Thursday, January 09, 2014
Orange: not the only baby wool
This latest little baby cardigan (Baby Tea Leaves by Melissa LaBarre) has finally depleted my stash of orange baby wool, a 10-pack bought around the time my now 8-year old nephew was born. He got an orange vest - not the one shown below the same vintage pattern, without the tree motif on the back. That was my first knitted garment ever, how exciting that was! A bit later I used some more of the orange wool (Patons Dream Time) for a more ambitious version of the vest, shown below. Then I used it for the bolero for my baby niece, and I loved the combination of that orange with the hand-dyed pink so much that I always had in mind another project with the same combination.
Actually I planned to make something similar to the bolero for this project, but I didn't want to use that pattern again as it was knit in pieces and seamed. Immediately after I finished that bolero, I tried a seamless top-down raglan for her twin brother, and from then on I have had no desire to seam such a small garment, ever again. I was surprised that combing Ravelry didn't uncover a suitable pattern written for 4 or 5 ply. A lot of the more modern patterns are written for heavier weights like 8ply and worsted. I really love knitting 4 ply, think it's more likely to get more wear in our climate too. Yeah, I possibly could have converted a worsted pattern, but I didn't want a lot of trial and error time with this project.
So I started planning how I could combine other patterns to improvise what I needed, but soon realised I needed to get a move on, as baby S was surely growing and the weather getting warmer. I shifted gears and ended up choosing a very different pattern, the baby version of the very popular Tea Leaves cardigan. There is a kids version too, called Tiny Tea Leaves.
I'm actually really glad I went this way. I would still like the challenge of improvising that seamless bolero pattern, and probably will do it at some point, but I love how the tea leaves pattern came out and think it really lends itself to two colours.
Finally, getting a little bit scared that baby S wouldn't get much wear out of the cardie before growing too big (by this time it pretty much summer), I added a little monogram washer to the package.