15.2.07

The Ballad of the Baby Sweater

I've been knitting since around June, and although my grandmother taught me some basics back when I was around twelve, I am still quite a novice. Now, back in June I dove in head first trying socks which were closely followed by scarves, which I actually finished for once. There have been dishcloths, an afghan square, cup sleeves, a Nalgene cozie, more socks, a hat, a few mittens, and the beginnings of a few shawls . . . but as of yet, there had been no sweaters.

I was afraid: afraid that I wouldn't be able to get the gauge right, and over the course of so very many stitches, it would ruin the garment, afraid that the techiniques would be too much for me, afraid that in putting together the pieces that I had slaved over for much longer than your average pair of socks I would discover they were horribly mismatched; afraid my inexperience would come to bite me in the butt.

But a very sweet lady at church is having her first little girl. And this is her second child so there's less need for toys or blankets. She really needs clothes. Needless to say, I took the bait. I suppose I was feeling my inner grandmother . . . I'm ok with that.

I hunted the internet for a pattern that started at the neck, or as luck would have it the hood, and continued down in one relatively solid piece. If I didn't have to sew seams, I would have to conquer one less fear, and since it was a baby sweater, it wouldn't take so very long. Babies are small, right?

So when I couldn't find anything decent, for a price I was willing to pay, at the yarn store that was having the big Super Bowl sale, I headed back to my favorite haunt, and bought this:

And, man alive, is it ever soft! I just want to unravel it all, toss it on the bed, and curl up in it for a nap. It's wool, but I bought machine washable on purpose, babies being babies. I'd heard bad things about "superwash" wool being scratchy or stiff, but this stuff is divine! It is merino, a very soft wool to begin with, so that probably helps. I also managed to suck up my non-girly colored pride and buy it in the following shades - here read the labels, and feel free to laugh at me.



Yes, the last one says "Ballerina," and yes, it's pink. When I sat down to start knitting the sweater, it hit me. I wasn't too sure I could stand all the pink for the duration of the project. Thankfully, I had another ball of yarn in my backpack. I used that yarn to make a crochet chain through which to cast on for the hood - this allowed me, when it came time to fold the rectangle of fabric that made up the hood in half vertically and join it's top (cast on) edge, to make the apex of the hood virtually seamless. The kicker is, that yarn was black - thus saving my sanity.





By the end of work that night, I'd finished the hood section and begun adding stitches to make the yoke around the shoulders. Yesterday's photoshoot shows that progress. I made it to the dividing for the sleeves yesterday and today I'm nearly to the bottom hem. This puppy is going really quickly. You can kinda see from the progress picture how the hood goes together. That was about the time it started to look more like a sweater to me. It's encouraging.

1 comment:

Cheryl in VA said...

Q- I am so proud of you for picking gurly girl colors. I must say it looks like the sweater is going to be just adorable. Good for you for starting small. When I decided to do something different I immediately dove into a shirt of me, and lo and behold it is still not even close to being done.