When Rebecca Taylor decided to throw a baby shower for her business partner, Beth Bugdaycay, last week, she figured rather than ask guests to bring gifts, she’d put them to work making one. So Taylor and fellow designers Pixie Yates and Susana Monaco spent a freezing Saturday afternoon —?over margaritas and white wine — knitting four-inch squares that will eventually become a blanket for Bugdaycay’s soon-to-arrive baby, Gem.

For Taylor, the rhythmic clicking of needles is an instinctive way to clear her mind to create fabrics and designs. “I love knitting and yarns,” she said. “You are exercising your eyes for shape and color, and at the same time, relaxing.”

This story first appeared in the January 20, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Some of the 20 guests were more adept than others. “It is more time-consuming than picking fabrics, which could take two hours,” said Yates, who received a knitting kit for Christmas and tried her hand at creating “sock dogs.”

One of the more advanced knitters of the group, Kristen Schmidt, a sweater researcher and developer for Gap, headed for her second square — mixing two colors to form a border that she stitched in the shape of a “G” — after the baby, not her employer.