Saturday, April 28, 2007

A is for Andrew

The sweater for baby Andrew is finished, and it turned out quite cutely, I think. This was my first foray into knitting with cotton (not a big fan) and into knitting a baby sweater that is not top-down raglan. It was necessary to make a sweater in pieces because of the stripes and the intarsia, and certainly the seams were short so not irritating to do -- but I do appreciate more now the seamless feel of the other sweaters I have knit for babies -- and can imagine that a baby would appreciate it even more, since there is quite a bit of cotton bulk under the arms of this sweater. I found some green buttons in my button stash that were exactly the right color for the neck opening (just barely visible in the above photo).

Sweater with Square Set-in Sleeves from Debbie Bliss Baby Knits for Beginners, significantly adapted by me
Classic Elite Sundance yarn in baby blue (3 balls) and celery (1 ball)
Size 5 Addi turbo needles

Monday, April 23, 2007

Baby Andrew's sweater

My friends Barbara and Christopher just had a baby, and I'm taking a break from the seemingly endless Arwen to make little Andrew a sweater that advertises his name with sass. I'm using Classic Elite Sundance, which seems like a nice cotton yarn in beautiful colors. Here's the little dude:

This is the same kid for whom I knit the sheep sweater, but that's sized for about a 1-year old, and this is a little baby sweater he can wear right now. I'm going for a first-time visit this weekend!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

April is the cruelest month

There is no way I am going to finish my April sweater for the sweater-a-month KAL. After a series of false starts on my adult-size version of Anny Purl's Cardigan for Merry, which is a child-size raglan version of Kate Gilbert's Cardigan for Arwen, I am only this far:

I've never knitted a sweater with fronts and back in one piece before; while it appeals to me not to have to do pretty much any seaming, it is slow going, and I find it a bit disheartening to knit a whole ball's worth of yarn and only seems to have created a few inches of fabric. The reversible cable, however, fascinates me enough to keep my interest -- the right and wrong sides do look almost exactly the same, and the construction is ingeniously simple.

The bottom appears to roll with abandon here because I have not tacked down the hem yet; I am waiting until I do Elizabeth Zimmermann's phony seam from the armpits down. I found a nice laceweight merino that is almost the same color as the main yarn to use for the hem facing, and I am hoping that the difference in weight will minimize the bulkiness and obviousness of the hemline.

The yarn I am using, Lana Grossa Merino Big, is a pleasure to work with. It's very much like Karabella Aurora 8, but at a DK gauge. So far it seems like a good alternative to Filatura di Crosa Zara. All three yarns have a lot of small plies with a lot of twist and a rounded shape, a ton of elasticity, great stitch definition, and absolutely no scratchiness. I am hoping that the sweater does not pill like crazy despite its being merino -- the last two merino sweaters I knit, with Debbie Bliss Merino DK, are pill factories.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Stash augmentation

A trip to Syracuse to visit my parents (see "Success!" post below) also meant a trip to the cheapest and best yarn store I know -- "In-Stitches," which is run out of the basement of a friend of my mom's. Donna stocks all the good quality yarns, in really beautiful colors, and charges about 2/3 the price I've seen at any other yarn store, in NYC or on the web.

My haul:
14 balls of Karabella Aurora 8 in a really nice rust color to make the Cable-Down Raglan from IK Spring '07
12 balls of Lana Grossa Merino Big in olive green to make a variation on the Cardigan for Arwen from IK Winter '06
10 balls of Jo Sharp DK wool in burgundy and black to make this Louisa Harding sweater
3 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino to make a Chinese-themed baby sweater
(on order) 7 balls Brown Sheep Naturespun fingering to make a Shetland yoke cardigan

The grand total: less than $250! This was mostly a gift certificate left over from Christmas, so I only spent $45. Pretty good!!

The sexy yarn shot:

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Paula's Sweater pattern

I've typed up the pattern for Paula's Vintage Cable Sweater, and it can be found here.

I only provided one size, because I haven't had time to try to do the math for resizing it.

Monday, April 2, 2007


I gave the sweater to Paula, and she loves it! And it fits her perfectly -- even the sleeves are exactly the right length. I learned a lot from this project -- in particular, I learned that knitting something to fit the way a favorite sweater already fits is a really good way to go, and that although armscye math is difficult and intimidating, knit fabric is forgiving, so it all worked out just fine. A success all around!

I've typed up the pattern and when I get a chance to chart the cables I will post it, if anyone would like it.