Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sweater for Kassidy



Pattern: Five-Hour Baby Sweater (a more ornate version than I used before)
Yarn: Tatamy Tweed in Cherry
Completed: mid-October 2007

I heard from my neighbor in September that the neighbor on the other side of her house (that is, two houses down from me) had just had her baby. "Crap!" I thought. "That's right, she's pregnant. Was pregnant. What can I knit in a very short time?"

Never fear, the five-hour baby sweater (FHBS) is here! This is a more elaborate version I found via Ravelry that seemed more appropriate for a little girl (unlike the recipient of the last FHBS I made, this little girl is not being raised as a tomboy). In protest I made this in red, not pink. She has a bunch of dark hair already and red will look great on her. I passed over cute buttons for the more stylish and classic black ones.

I'm kind of meh about Tatamy Tweed. It's a cousin of Little Lehigh, cotton/acrylic, but seemed much rougher than LL once knitted up. Plus once I finished the sweater, it seemed way too big (I have all these other baby sweaters lying around the house to compare it to). So I popped it in the washer and dryer with warm water and a medium high heat. It shrank up just enough to make a denser fabric and got a fair amount softer. Still, I don't think I'd go for Tatamy Tweed again, especially for a baby's stuff.

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Tulip Sweater (and hat) for Abigail




Pattern: "Tulip, a colorful cardigan for baby" from Dream in Color
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Cool Fire, Giant Peach, Strange Harvest, Spring Tickle, Happy Forest, Blue Lagoon, Some Summer Sky, and Visual Purple (yes, the names are one reason I wanted to knit this)
Completed: mid-October 2007
New skill: Attached I-cord; knitting sleeves in the round

I squealed about getting this kit, and it lived up to its reputation. The yarn is superwash wool, hand-painted with beautiful shadings even in the less varigated shades, and reasonably soft and squooshy. It was fun to add each stripe and see how it transformed the whole thing. The I-cord finishing on the edges thoroughly charmed me. And it was really, really nice to not have to sew a single thing when I was done knitting!

Had plenty of yarn left, so I knit the matching Tulip hat that I found courtesy of Ravelry. Pity it was written by somebody for their much older child--next to the sweater, it looks like a hat for a child with a freakishly large head. But it will be cute for Abigail to wear when she gets older.

I almost don't want to send this off. I want it sitting around my living room as a decoration. That must sound sad. But I've gotten rather attached to it.

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Sweater for a baby who cannot yet be named




Pattern: Pea Pod Baby Set by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Little Lehigh in Playtime
Completed: early October 2007
New skill: Lace from a chart (not by instructions)

This project was born rather unexpectedly--I had the pattern, I'd been meaning to try it in order to build my lace skills and use a chart for the first time--and in the flurry of packing to go to England, I tossed the pattern, the necessary things and two skeins of Little Lehigh in my bag. Not my first choice of yarn (it's cotton/acrylic instead of cotton/cashmere as the pattern recommends) but it was all I had and I didn't have time to hit the yarn store on my way out of town. Nor did I feel like buying yarn for this at British prices with the weak dollar.

Well, I ended up casting it on to see how it worked, and I was pleasantly surprised. It's not cushy when only worked with a single strand, but it's not rough at all, especially considering the fiber content. It shows off the lace well and was reasonably easy to knit something challenging with. It makes a nice light sweater, and I'm pleased with how it turned out. (Granted, I made some wonky mistakes...I think I knit one side longer than the other, just by a few rows...relying on blocking and the collar to make things right after I found the mistake.)

I'm a little concerned the neck is too small. Don't babies have thick necks? And it took forever to make myself sew on the dumb buttons and snaps. Snaps was a good idea, except that it takes three times as long to sew the buttons on when you make them snaps.

Now I'm making the hat to match. Cute!

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Massive Round-Up Coming

So, add one more baby to the mix--the neighbor's baby. I'm knitting as fast as I possibly can and still keep my job, people! I've got a slew of finished projects to add here, which will happen right after I post this. Ordered the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern...that's got to get here soon...that baby is due at the end of November...

Then we have a break until a friend who's due in April, but of course in the middle there is CHRISTMAS. Today I made my Christmas knit list. Very ambitious. Then I made the shopping list for all the yarn I will need to buy. Even more ambitious! We'll just do one small project at a time, I think. A lot of them would be cute for anybody, so I think I need to just work with what I can find easily.

Okay, now please feast your eyes on three completed baby sweaters...above. Voila! (Oh, and I'm now quickly knitting up the matching Peapod Hat. Super cute...and more so after I've had a break from that lace chart for a while.)

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