Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Baby Sweater

Knitters, for the most part, tend to enjoy making baby things. For one thing, they don't require as much time to make or as much yarn. For another, they are itsy bitsy and it's just adorable. Also, we like making gifts for people who need and will use them, and there's no one who needs warm wooly things quite like a baby. So when baby showers roll around, we get out our needles and some soft and washable yarn and we make something sweet, a blanket or a hat, something the mom-to-be might like. This is all to be expected (unless of course, we get suckered into a year-long commitment to knit our little brother a blanket, in with case, we tend to attend a few baby showers knitless).

However, there's nothing quite so thrilling for a knitter as when that knitter has the opportunity to knit up baby things for herself. Now, I'm not saying I got pregnant just to make baby things, but I do have three different books soley dedicated to the making of tiny garments, 2 for knits and 1 for crochet. The crochet one is called "Baby Crochet" and I only have it because it was on clearance really cheap at Borders, back when Borders was still a thing. The two knitting ones, however, I just fell in love with upon seeing and bought for a rainy day (you know, when that rain consists of babies about to be born). The first is The Expectant Knitter and the second is What to Knit When You're Expecting.

When I first found out I was expecting myself, I pulled out both of these books and started paging through them. Then I made a list, quite an expansive list, of all the baby things I wanted to knit, including both those knits I liked from the two previously mentioned books and any patterns I have favorited on Ravelry. It was a massive, completely unattainable list, and a lot of the patterns were dependent upon whether the baby ends up being male or female.

Of course, I won't know the gender until the 18 week ultrasound, which is, incidentally, happening later this week. There is one thing that I know all babies need regardless of gender: a nice, sturdy woolen sweater. Thus, I picked out two gender-neutralish shades (a bright greeny blue and a gray) of Cascade 220 washable wool at My Sister's Yarn Shop in Green, OH, and I cast on for the Striped Boatneck Sweater from What to Knit When You're Expecting.

I made a few alterations to the pattern, however, as I much prefer to to stockinette in the round and I used a different gauge of yarn than the pattern calls for. I knit most of the body in the round bottom-up instead of flat and then separated the front and back for flat knitting once I reached the sleeve holes. It should make the making up easier when I get to that stage, since the front and back won't need sewn together. I finished the body a few weeks ago now and blocked it out to see how it will look when finished.

If it ends up being a girl, I'll probably add a little flower to the bodice or something, but overall, I think it looks rather nice for boy or girl. I had to pause in the sleeves until this weekend to knit up a requested Go Blue Bro Beanie for a (get this) paying customer. My brother-in-law, now a proud postal worker, wears his wool blend beanie all the time to keep his head warm in the winter on his mail route and a coworker of his wants a Michigan hat of his own. 

I still need to add the M in duplicate stitch, but it will be all set to go to its new owner by the next time I head to the mitten. If you want a version of your very own, I might be interested in the business. I'm thinking twenty bucks a hat seems like a fair price.

I'm hoping to start in on the next baby knit once I know the gender. In the meantime, I'll be swiss darning an M, knitting up some baby sweater sleeves, and getting the garden ready for planting. There are fun things on the horizon.

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