Friday, January 26, 2007

When First You Don't Succeed...

....refuse everyone's good advice to rip it out and instead just start all over again, but in a different shade of pink.

So here's the completed EZ baby sweater with its matching cute chenille bunny all set to go off to live with the new girl who's come into the world.

The baby girl was born two weeks ago, but I'm hoping that everything will fit just fine still. Besides, how's one to know anything about baby sizes anyways? (Oh right, I guess I could have consulted this site...I actually completely forgot all about this site again...geesh!)

Pattern: The February Baby Sweater, by Elizabeth Zimmermann, found in _The Knitter's Almanac_
Yarn: Caron's Simply Soft, 1.5 skeins (acryllic! gasp! sorry EZ! next time it'll be wool!)
Needles: US 5 circulars
Modifications: No real modifications, except for the helpful advice of those many who have gone before who suggested casting on an extra stitch on each side of the sleeves (so cast on 8 instead of 7 stitches), and then you can slip this extra stitch each time. This slipped extra stitch will create an easy-to-seam-border for the under-arm seam.

Final Thoughts: I really loved working with this pattern, and found it simple and concise. More so, I loved the fact that there are only two small seams to mattress-stitch at the end (and those seams are under the arms so even if your seaming skills are less than par (as mine are) it's not that big of a deal given they won't show all that much.
My main concern with the instructions however (as mentioned above) is not knowing what measurements I was aiming for. Having no babies nearby, I felt uncertain about the arm lengths for one (again, I forgot about the yarn standard size charts but I'm pretty sure that these sleeves are going to be on the short side). I kept reassuring myself of the sweater's size ambiguity by noting that the baby this is meant for is new-born, and so, at some point, shouldn't this cardigan fit--whether it be when she's 3 mos or 1 year? Let's hope so.
As for the yarn: the Caron's Simply Soft wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, and it cost only $1.50/skein which is a bonus (and which is the main reason I decided on it). That said, however, I don't think I'd use it again. It just wasn't as pleasurable to work with as merino/wool would have been, and it didn't block out in the way I wished it would (especially with respect to showing off the gull lace pattern.) But, the new parents (who both work full-time) will be able to throw it in the washer and dryer without a second thought so maybe, in the end, the acrylic isn't such a bad choice. I just hope it holds up, and doesn't look like crap after a wash or two. I'll ask the mother to give me an update on it, and pass the information on to you all.

Next up: the beret, the bedwarmer, and the BananaRepublic coat!