Keep on the Sunnyside!

April is just around the corner, the days are longer, the bulbs have pushed their upwardly-stretched arms towards the sky as the green growth has broken through the dark heavy blanket of earth and yes…”here comes the sun!”

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Sun, sun, sun here it comes…
(lyrics by Keith Harkin, “Here Comes the Sun”)

It’s more than alright…it lifts my spirits! I’m also excited to announce the recent release of my new pattern “Sunnyside Up Blanket.” I was thrilled to be approached by a Red Heart North America Inspiration Design Specialist when she asked me to design a baby blanket and I hope you love it. This is my first experience knitting for a yarn company and I’m so impressed with their commitment to presenting inexpensive and inspiring designs for knitters.

You can find the pattern both on the Red Heart North America web site (go to Patterns>Baby or simply type “sunnyside” in the search field) and on Ravelry (go to Patterns and type in “Ellen Susanne” to see the list of links to all my designs). It is a free PDF download and is both a single pattern and featured in the newly released Look Book entitled, “Hello Baby!” — also available for free download by Red Heart.

Sunnyside Up Blanket Pattern Download at Red Heart

Sunnyside Up Blanket Pattern page on Ravelry

Hello Baby Look Book at Red Heart

A few comments about some of the factors influencing my design:

  1. Knit tightly enough that there are no little loops for baby fingers to get caught in: use of seed stitch and linen stitch as the textured styles achieve this.
  2. Accessible to knitters with a small repertoire of stitches under their belt: while it can seem complex because of the variety of techniques and styles used, each is relatively basic and, when combined, create tons of visual interest. Stitches include: cast on, bind off, knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, yarn forward, yarn back, slipped stitches, cable cast on. Stitches are combined to create textures like linen stitch, seed stitch, attached Stst/Rev Stst Welted Ruffle. (The linen stitch can require a lot of concentration when worked in a single color, but is simplified when it alternates colors in the repeats as this pattern does.)
  3. Can be knit (nearly) seamlessly! (only 13 stitches to seam together using mattress after binding off at the end of the ruffle). The center section using linen stitch is knit at the same time as the seed stitch inner border. Once complete, stitches are picked up around the seed stitch perimeter to work the welted ruffle.
  4. A classic yet modern look, suitable not only for baby, but which can be enjoyed timelessly as a throw/aghan.
  5. No more than a single skein needed for each of the two colorways called for. You’ll find most of the solid colorway is used up but quite a lot of the striping yarn remains — enough to make coordinating pieces for the baby layette or pillows for your sofa if you like!
  6. I was aiming for a design which was both gender and age neutral. The welted ruffle softens the look and increases the drape (which would be lacking if only linen stitch was used), but in a non-frilly way.

Red Heart gave the name to this design and I love it. It conjures up happy childhood memories of singing in the car on family trips: One of my favorite songs was “Keep on the Sunnyside.”

Well there’s a dark and a troubled side of life.
There’s a bright and a sunny side too.
But if you meet with the darkness and strife,
The sunny side we also may view.

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life.
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,
If we keep on the sunny side of life….
(lyrics by The Carter Family, Johnny Cash)

Words to live by! Enjoy the pattern! And if you are uncertain about any of the stitches, remember that, on you can follow the links in the Resources area for instructions and technical support of all techniques, and stitches used in my designs. I hope you will share your pictures! (Photo: Copyright Coats & Clark)

sunnyside cover photo