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FO Friday: Striped Baby Hoodie

 Striped Baby Hoodie - 1

Pattern:

Easy Baby Cardigan by Diane Soucy

Yarn:

Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in bison (3 skeins), light blue (less than 1 skein), and honeydew (way less than 1 skein)

Modifications:

To avoid grafting, I started at the top of the hood with Judy’s Magic Cast-On, flipped it over, worked across a purl row, and then used magic loop to continue the purl row across the opposite side. This made the top totally seamless, so hopefully it will be more comfy for a little newborn baby head.

The pattern calls for a garter stitch edging and i-cord ties to close. I worked one selvedge stitch at either side and then picked up stitches at the end for 2×2 ribbed buttonband, worked on size 4 needles (to accommodate the difference in gauge, I picked up every stitch around the neckline). I found perfect buttons on Etsy, from Tessa Ann. I also worked the bottom in 2×2 ribbing on size 4 needles, increasing once every 7 stitches this time to accommodate the difference in gauge.

As written, the pattern goes straight from the hood into the body. I was concerned that it would stretch out there and not fit properly (since babies tend to have rather rounded shoulders and not much in the way of necks), so I added a stabilizing neckband, which I adapted from a post on the Yarn Harlot’s blog as follows: I ended the hood after a knit row. Then I used a crochet hook to work a loose row of single crochet into the purl bumps of the previous row. Put last loop on the needle and started next knit row by k2tog this loop with the first stitch.

I used my favorite raglan increase method: *knit to one stitch before marker, knit into right side of stitch below first stitch on left needle, then knit stitch on left needle and drop it off needle, slip marker, knit next stitch, then knit into the left side of the stitch two rows below first stitch on right needle, repeat from *

The pattern is worked in a solid color, but I added some sporty little stripes.  

Time to complete:

About a month.

The verdict:

This was a gift for a co-worker of my husband. I am told that it was quite a hit!

Also, I loved this yarn. It gets a bit fuzzy as you’re knitting, but it feels like cashmere, knits like wool, and is machine washable. Doesn’t feel like cotton yarn at all. I think I’ve found my go-to yarn for baby knitting!

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The Buttonhole Block

I was scooting along with the Striped Baby Hoodie when I got to the buttonband. After my last debacle with buttonholes, I thought I’d be better off I picked up stitches along the buttonband and knit the buttonholes after the body of the sweater was complete.

Haha. I should know better by now!

I picked up stitches for the buttonband, knit a few rows, and then looked at the buttons and decided I needed a two-stitch buttonhole to accommodate them. Went online, found the instructions for TECHknitter’s Tulips buttonhole (and the Knitting Daily video that helped me figure it out the last time I used this technique), worked the buttonholes, and knit another row. Then it occurred to me that this sweater is for a boy. So the buttonholes should go on the left side, not the right side, where I’d put them (running on autopilot, since most of the sweaters I knit are for me, my daughter, or for girl babies!). I talked myself into just leaving them where they were. (After all, girl buttonholes were traditionally placed on the right, because that’s easier for someone else to do up, and I don’t know many 3-month-olds who are doing up their own buttons, right?!) And then I tried the buttons in the buttonholes. Definitely too tight. Grrr.

So I frogged the buttonhole row, all the way around to the other side. Redid my calculations, knit five of the six three-stitch buttonholes… and realized I’d gotten off by one stitch somewhere. Further investigation revealed it was between the first and second buttonholes. Cursed, frogged back to that point, reassured myself that after blocking, the fuzzy, repeatedly-frogged yarn would still look nice, placed stitch markers at the start and end of each buttonhole, and re-knit the buttonholes. This time, to gain a little extra slack, I used a trick from The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman: Cast on two extra stitches along the top of the buttonhole, and on the next row, work a decrease at the start and end of the buttonhole, which will eliminate any gaps. This trick has worked well for me in garter stitch and with stockinette, so I used it here. And discovered that it gave my 2×2 ribbed buttonband a bit of a drunken stagger. Sigh.

I contemplated re-doing the buttonband, or just the rows above the buttonholes, moving the decreases around. but then I decided that a drunken stagger in the ribbing was probably appropriate, since lately my knitting projects keep taking a drive-me-to-drink turn. Plus, the baby it’s intended for is now a month old (he was born a month early), so I need to wrap it up and give it to him before he’s too big to wear it! I’m halfway through the second sleeve now, so when this is done, I just need to sew on the buttons and weave in the ends, then wrap it up and give it away!

Striped Hoodie, in progress

And besides, the yarn I bought in Philly is sitting in front of me, winking and smirking. And the project I haven’t actually started yet is always better than the one I am currently abusing on the needles, right?

WIP Wednesday

It’s been a long time since I posted for WIP Wednesday! So here’s what’s on the needles right now… (Or, cough, at least what I’m actually working on right now, as opposed to projects that are on needles but haven’t been touched in a few weeks!)

 

The Scalloped Lace Baby Sweater

I have to finish this one by June 7th, so this is my first priority right now. I was stalled on how to handle my goof, but then I looked at it some more and decided that the buttonholes were a little too far apart (the perils of knitting the buttonbands at the same time as the body of the sweater). The bad news was that fixing that meant dropping the 4 stitches of the buttonbands back quite a few rows. Blargh. The good news is that the new buttonhole is exactly opposite my goof, so I can just sew the button over it and go on my merry way. Cheating? Yes. But I can live with that!

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Baby Hoodie

I am knitting this baby sweater out of KnitPicks Comfy yarn. This is the first time I’ve used this yarn, and I must say: it is very aptly named. It’s one of the softest yarns I’ve ever used. After so much time working on the Scalloped Lace Baby Sweater, I’m a bit tired of knitting with cotton yarn. But this yarn is a blend of cotton and acrylic, and manages to take the best qualities of both to create a yarn that is machine washable, soft, and much easier on the hands than pure cotton. This might be my go-to yarn for baby knitting from now on.

I can’t decide if I like the green stripes or not. I found some adorable buttons on Etsy that are brown and blue with a bit of pale green, but they haven’t arrived yet, so I’m not sure if this is quite the right green. I had some Knit Picks Shine Worsted that I bought for another project in a bright green, so I tried to use that to add a hint of green to go with the buttons, but I’m not sure I like it. Next to the brown, the stripes look more yellow than green. I have another skein of Comfy on the way in a paler green, so if I like that better, I’ll rip the last few rows and redo with that color. This project is on hold now until buttons and yarn arrive, hopefully later this week.

Lastly, I have a fun new toy! I am writing this post on my new iPad. (I took the photos with it, too.) I’m still getting used to the touchscreen keyboard (and I might end up getting one of the cases with the built-in keyboard eventually), but I’m excited to play with some of the iPad knitting apps that some of you have recommended to me.