On babies and the search for the perfect sock yarn baby sweater

I might have mentioned that there seem to be many babies in the works these days. First up is my coworker Maranda’s baby, due near the end of December, who will be receiving a lovely cat-haired covered tan and blue pullover and matching hat, which should fit her baby next fall.

Next up is the baby of my boss’s boss. I’m working on my version of the Knitpicks Last-Minute Stripes Pullover in Crayon.

Although I started this first because it seemed more fun, this project is on hold while I finish the sweater for Maranda’s baby. This baby isn’t due until February, while Maranda’s baby could show up at any time.

There are two babies more due in the February – March timeframe that I’ll probably just make hats for. I’m awfully tempted by this hat from Knitty Gritty, which would be the height of Minnesota winter baby chic. If I get crunched for time, they’ll probably get fruit hats.

Back to the Knitpicks stripey sweater. I’m a on a quest to find the perfect sock yarn baby sweater pattern. Sock yarn baby sweaters are very cute, and you can pretty much guarantee they will be unique gifts.

My quest started with the Mexicali Baby Ole from Knitters (Summer 2003, Issue #71). It was a maddening experience to knit. There were errors in the pattern, and if I had knitted the collar as written, it would’ve dwarfed the baby. Fortunately, google led me to bloggers who had kindly described how to properly knit the freakish shawl collar. It turned out mostly ok, but I ended up with a slightly lopsided v-neck and bulge in the front. Fortunately, the Meilenweit Fun & Stripes yarn I used mostly hid the bulge.

And of course, with Elaina in the sweater, it’s pretty darn cute. But not quite cute enough for me to forgive the pattern.

So I tried this cardigan. The pattern makes a lot of assumptions, and if you’re a newer knitter than I am, you might get a little frustrated. If I remember correctly, the hat pattern makes a freakishly large hat (I improvised), and the booties pictured with the cardigan are not included in the pattern. But it sure did look cute on Alex.

Alas, the Knitpick stripey baby sweater pattern isn’t perfect, either. I’m thinking it might be a little short, although I will withhold judgment until after I get the collar in. Jeanne pointed out that there was really no reason to bother with set-in sleeves for a baby (that Jeanne, always thinking), so I skipped the armhole shaping and am just picking up stitches for the sleeves. I may have miscalculated where to distribute those leftover armhole stitches on the body of the sweater, but I won’t know for sure until I have more of it done.

I’ll probably try Lucy Neatby’s sock-yarn baby sweater next. While I’m tempted by its knit-in-the-round option (no seams! fewer ends!), I suspect that knitting in the round might make the stripes too narrow for best effect. I also know that “Devan” (Knitty Spring 2004) is made from sock yarn, but for some reason that pattern just hasn’t grabbed me – possibly because it seems to take more yarn than the other patterns do. But if the Lucy Neatby pattern doesn’t work out for me, Devan here I come!

The Cat Chaotic was not much interested in babies or baby sweaters, instead choosing to stare zen-like out the fogged over window while I took a picture of the Knitpicks stripey sweater.

Added 12/13/05: Eileen just posted to the TCSnB (Twin Cities SnB) list about success with yet another sock yarn baby sweater pattern (#04042 on this page). Hers looks very cute!

11 thoughts on “On babies and the search for the perfect sock yarn baby sweater”

  1. more kitties eating yarn please.

    my kitty enjoys chowing down on my yarn while i work and even while i don’t.

    i have yet to advance beyond the “squares” phase of my crafting abilities. i’m terrible horrible at math but can crochet, although often forget what stoopid row i’m on, etc.

    napoleon is no help as he does not like to sit still as much as he likes to climb into my lamp and rip apart what is in my hands.

    😀

  2. You can do a lot of cool things with squares. 🙂

    No problem taking more pictures of a yarn chewing cat, either! How old is Napoleon? Chaos is a bit past two years now, and he’s melowed quite a bit re: the attacking yarn while I’m knitting business. Altho sometimes when he’s drowsing on my lap, I’ll notice that a beady eye is focusing on my knitting and know that I need to get it out of his way… or else.

  3. I hate it when you have a cat in your lap looking all innocent while you’re knitting and then you get to a soggy length of wool and realise that the little angel has been quietly chewing on it without you noticing.

  4. Fortunately, Chaos isn’t as subtle as your cats, Kellie! The big pounce onto the yarn is usually a dead giveaway that he’s up to something.

  5. napoleon is only five months… he is my oblivious doll face… oblivious to other’s pain, oblivious to the evil orange cat that lurks outside watching him, oblivious to the fact that soggy cat spit yarn does not make for easy crafting…

    i think he is jealous of the yarn… which is why he tries to eat it to oblivion so i cannot pay as much attention to it as i do.

  6. sorry to talk so much about my cat. i am not obsessesed much…

    i just bought my mother a book with 99 different knitting patters, a stitch gauge and some yarn for christmas. i may have to change my mind.

    how the hell do you make sweaters? i know a baby that could use a sweater…

  7. I like to hear stories of other people’s crazy yarn-chewing cats, so I don’t mind at all!

    I do remember that when Chaos was 5 months, I didn’t get a whole lot of knitting done because he was chewing the yarn, biting the needles, getting tangled in the yarn and then running off dragging the project, etc. It was not relaxing to knit until he learned a bit of restraint (around a year).

    How do you make sweaters… That’s kind of a big question, but, since I know more about your desk than I know about my own now… 😉

    Knitting Pure and Simple has some really well-written patterns for babies – the patterns are available at a lot of yarn stores. They might be good for moving beyond squares! 🙂

  8. I love the black kitty looking out the window. You had visited my blog and asked about the yarn for my orange pink sherbert striped socks. It is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Fantasy Partie 64375. I bought it at a shop in Columbus Oh called The knitters merchantile. I had two skeins and I did two pair of socks and a lace scarf. The socks are small ladies size and not real high on the leg. Hope you can find the yarn.

  9. That sweater was such a pain, both times I made it. So much so that I have the second one still sitting in my WIPs pile because I have to weave in the ends and block it. The baby it was intended for is now too big for it, so it goes to my other co-worker who is due any minute now. As I heard last, the turkey timer is about to pop.

    So, that leaves me with another baby cardigan to knit for Erin (a bigger size) and another for Sarah. Since the thought of knitting that thing sends me into hives, I think I’ll be working on the pull over.

  10. The pullover baby sweater is beautiful, could you tell me whos crayon yarn that is??? I just love the colors.

    Bobbie

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