Thursday, March 19, 2009

Whisper your name to me


Here's a little baby cardie I just finished this week. I used Carole Barenys' top down raglan again, with slight modifications to make a v-neck (fairly easy with a little bit of maths - cast on less stitches for the neck and then increase at both ends of every other row until the stitch count 'catches up') and to add a bit of width, just to make sure it would be likely to fit in winter, for a baby born mid summer. I also changed the ribbing at neck and hem to garter stitch to match the button band. The wool is Naturally Haven Merino 4 ply. The light in these last minute morning photos makes the colour look a bit lighter than it really is. It's quite a strong, but still soft, green.

Baby's name begins with an S. I had an idea that some sort of motif incorporating an 'S' would be nice. Something personal but not quite a monogram. I think this worked out quite well first try! (at the last minute of course) I admit the daisy was not intended to be there, but I had left too much space between the two Ss. I quite like it though. I did do a little bit of swatching first to make sure I could do duplicate stitch. It turned out to be so easy and satisfying, I may never bother with colourwork again!
I don't know why my stitches look so wiggly. They aren't normally like that. Maybe I should have knit this stuff at a tighter gauge, but I liked the fabric.

cinched back
The duplicate stitch working out was such a pleasant surprise, because colour work (fair isle-esque) was not my friend on this project. This is how the cardigan looked when I first finished and washed it.
cinch close
I was lazy/hasty, and realised too late that swatching would have saved me time. I decided about halfway through that I should have reversed the positioning of the lilac and the white, because the lilac did not 'pop' enough against the green. Colour theory experts are welcome to correct me here - I think it is because they have a very similar level of brightness, ie if you converted a photo to black and white, they would be indistinguishable.

The lilac wool was also too thin. I could see this before I even started, yet I pressed on thinking I could get away with it. When I steamed it even before washing, I was able to block it out so the cinching in affect was hardly noticeable. But when I washed the cardie, I could see that each time it was washed it would look bad again. It was ok, certainly wearable, even cute. But I knew I could do better.
So I did this kind of thing again. I had already woven in all the ends, so ripping out wasn't worth trying. So I put a lifeline in the last row of stitches before the ill-fated colourwork, snipped a stitch in the row below, and pulled out that row, neatly detaching the lower part of the cardigan. Reknitting it plain was relatively quick and easy.


amy said...

I love the embroidery. What a beautifully sweet sweater. And the surgery pics at the bottom! Well done.

Anonymous said...

Liv, can you remember those fairisle jumpers Grandma used to knit? One particular set of 3 cardigans for you girls had significant 'issues' which she just didn't notice. Can I say right now, you are nothing like your Grandma!! And that your work is very beautiful. I love the embroidered work on that little cardigan. ily Ma

Taphophile said...

Seriously, heart in mouth. Scissors! Love the green and the S motif.

Rose Red said...

Sweeeeeeeet! Love the S's. And bet you are glad of the surgery - very well done.

Smells said...

It's gorgeous Liv. Great colour. So special you can make things like this. The world needs beautiful hand-knitted baby's cardigans in it.

Donna Lee said...

I love the little flowers. Perfect touches. I am slowly making my first top down sweater for a baby. And a grown up size for my daughter. If they're lucky, I'll finish them sometime this year. I'm horribly slow.

Alwen said...

I love blog posts with knitting surgery. I'm so glad I'm not the only one!

Jejune said...

Oh it's just gorgeous! I love the little 'S' shapes, and it is greatly improved by the removal of the geometric pattern and addition of the flowers on the front - beautifully and skillfully done :)