Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holifo II: Battle of the Beelzebub

More baby knits, squeeee!

Could it be? Yes, that is my very first, fully constructed sweater! With sleeves and everything! Okay, so it was for a toddler. But still...

Pattern notes
Didn't use one. Coulda used one, lord knows I have enough patterns for kid knits. (Don't have a kneebiter myself, but we're of that age where everyone else does. Or so my mother-in-law keeps reminding us.) Probably shoulda used one, having never knitted an actual sweater before. But eh, that woulda been too easy*. Instead, I based it on gracielou's Rocket Sweater, for which she was kind enough to post her notes on in the knitty gallery. *See Twisted Georgetown Socks.

Before I began, I did some research online and dived into my ginormous pattern binder (the sock patterns alone...) and discovered baby sizes are freaking ALL over the place. The chest circumference alone varies anywhere from 21" to 27". So I split the difference at 24" around and just went with instinct on the other measurements.

It's your basic drop shoulder construction (because I didn't have time to geek out the calcs for short rows, stepped bind-offs buh-low, and he's just shy of 2 and will probably outgrow it in a month) with your basic seed stitch detail. Now you may have noticed that apparently, in my head he's preparing for the UFC because the sleeves are HUGE. I mean really, could they be any wider? *sigh* See, I'm anal. And I like picking up one stitch for every row. Picking up say, 3 stitches for every 4 rows gives me hives. Hence the monstrous diameter. Or does that look normal for a baby sweater? At any rate, if he wants to start bulking up, he's got the room. At least the decreases taper 'em down a little as they meander towards the cuff.

Two days in dismay
I finished this sweater early last week at around 2am. I should have put it away earlier, but I was *so* close to the end and fell into that must. finish. this. project. FO zone. As a result, I was just a wee bit delirious by the time I sewed down the collar and weaved in all the ends. I made that last snip, stood back, and felt a wave of disappointment wash over me. In my head, that evil devil voice said, "The sleeves are too wide!", "The neck is too small!", "The seed looks weird, ribbing would have been better!", and so on in a litany of self-abuse.

Dismayed and dejected, I shoved it into a Ziplock bag and stuffed it down to the bottom of my wip bag. Two days later - even with the impending Christmas deadline pummeling towards me and three more gifts yet to even start - I decided to make another one to replace it. So I cast on and knitted several inches up, oh yes, yes I did. Then I dug the first one out of my wip bag to note the sleeve measurements. I released it from the Ziploc prison, fluffed it out a bit, and held it in front of me.

Suddenly another, much more encouraging voice said, "Hey, that's actually not bad!", "The colorway pools in such a cool way!", "The seed stitch actually complements the construction, ribbing would have pulled in too much!", "Lookit how neat the collar looks!", "Ooo, it's so soft!", "What the hell, if it's too big he'll grow into it and if it's too small, his baby brother will!", and so on.

And I realized, it's not a good idea to judge a FO at 2am when you're borderline comatose and know you have to get up in three hours to get ready for work.

Giddy and full of glee, I bathed it in some Eucalan and wrapped it on up for my best friend's older son, whom I just love to pieces. If I'm lucky, he'll love his new sweater to pieces, too! And that will make his "Auntee Seee" all warm and happy.

Jay-T Baby Sweater
Pattern: My own, but based on gracielou's Rocket Sweater and her helpful notes
Size: 20-24 months
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Jaypond
Needles: H&S ebony, size 7, 16"
Lesson learned: If the voice of beelzebub starts to bag on your knitting at 2 am (or anytime really), tell him to piss off.


Blogger Bezzie said...

Hee hee! Great story of the sweater there!

I think it turned out pretty damn good for no pattern!

Babies are so weirdly shaped anyway...its all good!

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is the cutest little sweater!! I adore it!

2:35 AM  

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