Thursday, June 01, 2006

Baby Sweater....

Dear Laura:

Every so often I run into a project that thwarts me at every turn. I simply had no idea that this was going to be one of them!

I have been so excited about this yarn - I got it at the Fiber Festival in Allegan MI last year. I loved this yarn, but being on a VERY tight budget, I circled it the entire day. "I really love that yarn, but it's $28..." "Great colors and it would make a beautiful baby sweater.." "It's so soft and yummy..." I'd fondle it for a while and then move on, always coming back. Finally, I took a deep breath and bought it.

And waited for a girl-child. I dangled it in front of all my pregnant friends/family...."Look, the next girl gets this! Think girl thoughts!!" And my niece Amanda won the yarn lottery when presented us with Lydia Marie on May 3.

As you may recall from my blog entry that day, I sat down and swatched the yarn, paged through pattern books, and chose a pattern. I cast on for the back of the sweater, and knitted a couple of inches.

Then I had second thoughts. While my swatch gave me the correct gauge, the fabric seem too tight and stiff. Besides, it had occurred to me that the varigation would look different on the narrower fronts.

I talked to you about it on the way home from my vacation, and decided to start again. I did another gauge swatch on larger needles, and then cast on to do the body in one piece, using steeks for the sleeves and adding a zipper instead of buttons. Ok, while I was still using a 4x1 garter rib, I could no longer say I was really following a pattern. Which is always fine with me.

I fussed around with the math, finally decided how many to cast on....and started knitting. I would like to mention parenthetically that I cast on the same number of stitches as I had on the needles for the red baby blanket!

I knit away for a couple of inches......and on May 22nd, I posted the question: If the garter stitch bottom rolls now, will it always roll or will it block out? This bothered me, and since I got no feedback to reassure me.........

Another frogging session.

I went in search of a whole new pattern. And ended up with this pattern from Knitty. It's a cute sweater, and being knit sideways, I thought it would showcase this yarn in an interesting way! Plus, it offered the ever appealing option of doubling the yarn and knitting with a bigger needle and less stitches. (Yes, it did haunt me that the sweater was using as many stitches per row as the baby blanket that took so long!)

So! I did another gauge swatch!! I cast on Friday evening with a long weekend ahead of me. Boy, did this fly on bigger needles!! The fabric was heavy and a bit stiff, but that makes it a great jacket for fall. I did narrow the center sections a bit, so that it wouldn't leave so much open on the shoulders.

By Sunday morning, I was over 3/4 of the way done, and the niggling at the back of my head had become a full grown TRUTH. There was no way I had enough yarn to knit this sweater with the yarn doubled. I had noticed that it required more yarn than the finer gauge, but I assured myself that I had "quite a bit" of yarn. (Lost the ball band, so I don't know exactly how much.....)

Sunday afternoon was spent at a barbeque, where one of my nieces helped with the frogging and rewinding.

Still determined that this yarn is a baby sweater.....I have cast on a pattern from the Summer 2006 "Easy Knitting." This incarnation of the yarn is a top-down raglan style. The pattern calls for knitting down to the sleeves, then knitting the body, coming back to the sleeves and finishing with a collar.

Since I have had quantity issues with this yarn, but I firmly believe that it is enough for a baby sweater, I am going to knit to the sleeves, then do the collar, both sleeves, and then the body...until I run out of yarn! The sweater in the picture is pretty long, so if it is more like waist-length, that will be fine with me.

Here's hoping it isn't a shrug. Hmm, maybe I'll rip the first swatch and use it for the collar....

And I know that I have a reputation for being...well...a yarn snob, and I wear the label with pride, but hey, if you're gonna knit dishcloths...what else would you use but kitchen cotton?? I have at least a pound of it, just not on one big cone!!

The skirts look great!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

1 comment:

YarnThrower said...

Maybe the third or fourth time is a charm?? I know it will be remarkable this time!!