Category Archives: Knitting

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!

A picture is worth…

After yesterday’s babble-on, I thought I would take a few pictures of what I’m working on these days. As usual, when Chaos is involved, things didn’t go quite as planned. Please forgive the blurriness of some of the pictures – things were happening pretty quickly!
The sweater that I’m knitting for a friend’s baby. It’s the basic pullover (one-year size) from Top Down for Toddlers, knitted out of tan and royal blue Cotton Fleece. I’m a big fan of no-sew knitting.

“Cool, a sweater on the table!”


“Where did the sweater go?!”


“There it is…”


“And now it’s mine.”

Turkey and Falling Leaves

Thanksgiving was interesting this year. My dad and stepmom are in the UK (staying in the castle used for the Harry Potter castle exteriors – how cool is that?) this semester, so there was plenty of advance warning that it wouldn’t be the regular Thanksgiving at their house. Now that my brother Matt is married and part of an extremely large family of friendly, happy, and slightly tipsy inlaws, I simply invited myself along.

There was precedence for this, as two years ago my stepmom went to Jamaica for Thanksgiving with one of her daughters and my dad stayed behind, convinced that he would be unable to get any suitable food (bland, as in no vegetables, spices, or parsley). So he and I joined this extravaganza then. (I should take this moment to point out that you would’ve been fine, Dad – true, they were in Jamaica, but they were staying in some hotel that was part of an American chain – there would’ve been plenty of Dad-appropriate food. Probably more than during your recent visit to Morocco… but I digress.)

Today there were probably 40 people wandering around the inlaws’ house. When you consider that my nonwork time is primarily spent hanging out with Chaos, such a crowd was pretty mindboggling for me. But I persevered (with only minimal nervous eye rolling), and there turned out to be another knitter in the crowd – yay! So we talked knitting a bit. And I realized that I’ve now been knitting for slightly over five years.

Anyway, after much food was consumed (there were 38 pounds of turkey to start with, but not a heckuva lot left but bones in the end – and I can assure you that I didn’t eat anywhere close to a pound of turkey), a group of us settled in the living room. Many fell asleep, but I pulled out my sock project (which is always in my backpack of a purse, waiting for such interludes) and got the heel turned while listening to the occasionally cacophonic chatter. It was a pleasant afternoon, although I was cursing myself for not bringing along the baby sweater for my coworker whose baby is due very, very soon.

As you might be able to tell, I was having a bit of trouble trying to photograph my sock, and gave up trying to get a good picture in the interest of saving my Addis. I’m using the lace pattern from Falling Leaves (Fall 05 issue of Knitty) in a pleasantly autumnal shade of Koigu (which might be color P615 according to my KnitAble record, but it sure doesn’t look like the pictures of P615 I found through Google).