Monday, May 30, 2011

Let the sun breathe us in

Three years ago, my sister was expecting twins and I made two little cardigans for them. She had the baby knits out the other day, as she is getting things ready for the new baby on the way.
There's no immediate need to knit for the new one, as there are doubles waiting for him or her in a couple of sizes. But of course, when the time is right I will make something special for my new family member.

It was perfect timing to be reminded of those cheezels as I was just starting/planning another cardigan for a friend's baby. I had been thinking of adding a couple of grey stripes, but realised just in time that that could look a bit school-ish in maroon and grey. I think this motif, borrowed from a pattern called Nieman, worked much better.
I also reused Carole Barenys' seamless top-down raglan pattern. I doubt I'll ever knit a seamed baby garment again. This was for a boy who's a little bigger than a newborn, so I switched to 5 ply wool (Heirloom Heatherwood, which is not really just maroon, it has blue and red in it, really lovely stuff + a little bit of some grey vintage stuff) with 3.75mm needles, and added a couple of stitches too. I also did the buttonholes every 10 ridges instead of 12 - when you omit the garter ridges in the pattern, I don't think it needs as many rows in length (the ridges would make it pull up a bit).
These last two pictures were taken before I washed it. It's amazing how much better knits look after being washed (in this case soaked for a while with a little hair conditioner in with the wool wash) and laid out nicely to dry. I suppose this IS blocking, though I can't bring myself to call it that, when it's the same thing I do when I wash and dry anything handknit or delicate. In my mind, blocking involves a special effort with pinning and/or wires.
For the colourwork rows, I consciously kept things *really* loose, and for the first time managed to avoid the pulling-in effect. Very happy about that.


Alwen said...

Awww, that is darling! Baby knits are so cute. And I love that color.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. And you've done so well with avoiding the pulling. Remember grandma's fairisle that gave a hunchback effect? :) ily ma

Bells said...

it's gorgeous!

I never call it blocking when you're just washing something and laying it out. That's a mistake many people make I think. It's just washed and laying it out. Blocking is the whole pinning thing you do with lace etc. That's what I think anyway!

amy said...

Congrats to your sister! That's a lot of kids under age 3--I hope their auntie is around to help. ;)

Beautiful sweater!

Rose Red said...

It's so very cute! Love the colours, much more modern than pastels!

Jenesaisquoi said...

It's beautiful, Harley and I thank you very much!!

2paw said...

It's such a cute cardi and I love the 'O's. The inside is so lovely too!!

DrK said...

oh and, a strategically placed book there i see. do you have it in paperback already?? such a gorgeous pattern, and the colour in that yarn is gorgeous.

Carly said...

oh liv - i dream of the day when i might be able to knit like you! I have just started teaching myself and it is terrible - somehow i increased by double and i wasn't even trying to! I LOVE hand knitted garmets for kids - am always picking aud's up stuff from the shops.