Monday, February 23, 2009

knitting makes you feel better

doesn't it?

though i swore off deadline knitting, we ended up with a baby shower to go to, and how can a knitter refuse to knit for a baby? or the shower? so before we left for baja last week, i dashed into abuelita's, my fav lys, grabbed some debbie bliss baby cashmerino in five colors, threw my ez knitter's almanac and a size 3 circular into my knitting bag, and hoped for the best. here's what came out:

some shoulder detail:

more shoulder detail:
i used the february baby sweater pattern, and came pretty much to gauge with the size 3 needles (though a baby will always grow into and out of whatever size you make, another great aspect of knitting for babies!). i don't like garter stitch especially (too bulky), and i think seed stitch has a classically elegant quality that i like. here are the changes that i made to the classic fbs:
  1. of course, seed stitch borders instead of garter. the only tricky part is at the very bottom, when the border goes all the way across, i forgot to check for number of stitches, and ended up having to go against the seed stitch pattern for one row on the placket. you can't really see it unless you're looking for it, but if i were going to do this again, i would have done one fewer of the decreases on the last row of the body, so the seed stitch could continue uninterrupted.
  2. for the yoke increases, instead of an invisible m1, i decided to yo instead. it was going to be for a little girl, so i thought the lacy holes might add some daintiness. i'm not sure i would do this again. it's kind of choppy with the fair isle look. i would say to be sure to increase on rows where you are not doing any stranding. (is that really obvious? i guess so -- it'll help me remember)
  3. when i knit the first row (which i purled), i tried to make a lacy sort of edge by twisting my cast-on stitches every 3 stitches. it does make tiny holes along the edge, but not well-defined. i would not do that again, but would find out how to make a picot edge instead.
  4. the obvious: i decided i wanted a stripey sweater instead of a lacy-bottomed sweater. but before i started striping, i decided on the color order, then immediately hated how bold the maroon was after 2 rows. it just took over. so i could not do even stripes. so then my inner color-loving maniac took over and i just started throwing colors together, stranding, etc, to see what would happen, knowing that target and a pile of onesies were just a moment's drive away (and perfectly wonderful baby gifts in their own right) if the sweater came out as hideous yarn barf. as it evolved, i needed to make sleeve and body decisions. you see what i decided -- if it's going to be a fun fair isle-style sweater, then let's get really fun and have different colored sleeves.
  5. i kept the green going on the outside to unify this colorful mayhem. i love love love this color green (close to sage?) for a baby -- girl or boy.
  6. on the next one i will make the first button hole at row 8 instead of row 16 -- i think with the seed stitch spreading so much it just looks a little sloppy. but how cute are those buttons? and they stand up off the fabric so there's room for the placket underneath -- you don't have to sew them on really loosely.
re: the cashmerino -- lovely and soft, a tiny bit splitty, and unplies a little bit when you are casting on. this sweater needed someone who really knows how to block. the seed stitch spread quite a bit as i was frantically steaming it with my iron 2 hours before presenting it at the shower, but the stranded parts definitely settled into themselves after being steamed and pressed a little. i did not want long strands due to baby fingers, so all of that catching strands makes for fabric that seems a bit stressed and irregular until it is steamed.

all in all, fun to do, a quick project, and really easy to modify to one's rebel heart's content.

1 comment:

me said...

is it possible that i love everything you knit?! your knitting skills amazes me.