There is nothing sweeter than spying a child in a baby bonnet! When our children were little, there was the most wonderful children’s shop on Bellevue Avenue in Newport. A trip to Amy Janes’ The Viking Shoppe was a time-travel adventure each time I stumbled through the old green Dutch door with four children in tow. Then, there wasn’t much time for knitting, so ready-made traditional baby hats and toddler clothes with vintage style for our little ones were on my list.
If you cherish classic children’s fashion, those short-alls and dresses that span generations and get passed down on and on, then Amy Janes’ was the perfect place. With creaky oak floors and shelves that reached the ceiling, Amy, her sister and another friend, Penelope, with her graying hair swept up in a bun, were always eager to help you find just the right handmade sweater, smocked dress, or organdy baby bonnet.
The store was loaded with racks and racks of snow suits and Rosenthal coat, hat, and leggings sets, the sort that keep toddlers warm and toasty. Handmade bibs, bonnets, baby gowns and blankets, layettes fit for royalty were stored on shelves and glass cases in plastic boxes in the main shop, and if that wasn’t what you had in mind, the kind ladies would travel upstairs to find more in their vast collection of children’s clothing treasures.
We were fortunate to have two little girls and two handsome boys. When the girls were babies and toddlers, they always wore Amy Janes’ bonnets. Many of them, I still have, well-worn memories of their childhood. Since Ye Viking Shoppe closed over 30 years ago, I have been knitting bonnets and have just written down the pattern for this one, available on Etsy. The baby bonnet knitting pattern accommodates two sizes: newborn to 6 months, and 6 – 12 months.
The baby bonnet has a lacey ruffle and is tied with a wide double-faced satin ribbon. Very suitable as a christening bonnet, it can be worn everyday as well. Knit with organic cotton on a US size 6 (4.25 mm) needle, this little baby cap is as close as I can get to Amy Janes’ traditional baby bonnet.