Monday, 11 September 2006

a WIP no more

The facts.
Pattern - Rowan Babies Sweeten, size 6-12 months
Yarn - 80gms of Marta's yarn 2ply, knit double strand
Button - Thai coconut wood flower
What I learned - when you knit tight like me, err on the side of too many stitches when picking up a band. This one is too tight. And unless you are a stickler for getting the gauge right don't try to make the pattern pieces fit together if they don't - fix the mismatch in the seams. I got the slightly set in sleeves to fit but it would have been better if I didn't.

One of the things I found most surprising about this garment is how little wool it used. Given the overlap across the front there's quite a bit of it, and the pattern specified 3x50gm balls of 4 ply. I would have thought knitting double strand would have used more rather than less wool so I bought 200gms - now I can knit a whole other grament with the left overs! Perhaps a vest?

I very much like the garter stitch/moss stitch edging. In the variegated yarn it is hard to see the detail, but I am not a big fan of the standard ribbed edge on jumpers, both for it's look and for the shape it gives the garment. It always seemed kind of strange to me that just where your body flares out - over your hips and bum you'd be wanting to bring a jumper in. This has a nice smooth finish that I think works really well.

And now that it's finished I feel all lost and idle without knitting needles and a crumpled pattern sticking out of my handbag. As I search around for my next knitting project I am gripped by an irrational desire to experiment with making my own pattern. Irrational because I don't yet have anything like an appropriate base of skill and experience. But I am very keen on trying some more patterns using the knit in the round from the neck down technique I used for Amy's un-hoodie, and I haven't come across any using 4 or 8 ply. I like them because I think raglan sleeves, especially when you don't have seams sit so well, especially on small garments. Sewing up this little wrap my heart sunk a bit seeing the way the shoulder seams and underarms got all bulky and awkward, when the knitted pieces were so lovely and light.

Of course I do have several lovely patterns I want to try, but somehow my mind keeps putting the cart before the horse because it's the yarn that I start with, not the pattern. On my desk I have two pressing allotments and what I really want are tailor made projects just for them. For babies I seem to recall that opening garments are much more practical then over the head jobs, but I'm open to suggestion.

There's 175gms of the softest most lushious organic cotton in natural shades of cream, beige and pale green from the lovely Ellen. I think it's 8ply/DK, but I can't even read enough Japanese to understand what needle size it recommends. It just screams baby to me.

The other is the 100gms of sportweight Danetter Taylor wool that Alison sent me which has the most excellent selection of colours and I'm dying to see how to knits up. At 100gms of course I'm terrified of starting something and running out of wool. Perhaps something like this if I could find a compatible wool in a solid colour? I have a very similar pattern from an old Women's Weekly (Macrh 2003), but the maximum size is 6 months and it uses 250gms of 8 ply. Can anyone explain to me why I can knit a 6-12mth wrap with 80gms of 2 ply, but need 250gm of 8 ply to knit a 6mth jumper with no overlapping front? How can that be?? And is it too girly to risk a baby knit when I don't know what we're having?

So tell me oh great knitting oracle - where to from here?

A girl could go mad with all this wondering. Best I go do some work on the felt blanket project before I rush into some crazy half-baked scheme...


kt said...

Who you callin' GIRLY?

That melange of coulors is perfect for ANY baby!

Go for it!

(But I'm still watching for the felted blankie, too...)

Alison said...

The variegated wool was used on a wrap top for an undisclosed sex baby which turned out to be a boy and it looked great. Works both ways :)

June said...

I think the sweater is adorable and the button is a lovely little detail.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Maybe 2 ply wool weighs less so you get more for your gram?

Robin said...

Love the sweeten sweater! I just finished the same one myself in August using a ribbon to tie, but I really like your use of a button.

I think the general rule with yarn is that the thicker the yarn, the more it weighs (because of the larger circumference of the strand); therefore, you have to use a greater weight of yarn, but less length of yarn. Make sense? No? I'm no expert, but try this link:
Good luck finding a new project!

African Kelli said...

such beautiful knitting Sooz!