MYOKB: Baby Cardigan Finished!

Baby Cardigan finished!
Baby Cardigan finished!

A three-needle bind-off here. A chocolate grosgrain ribbon there. A little seaming. And the Baby Cardigan is finished at last! Phew! It looks beautiful and since my little niece, Lauren Amelia, was born the week before last, I’m glad that I will have an even more beautiful baby to give it to.

This bright fuchsia pink is not my usual color choice, but when I imagined this cardigan, the only ribbon choice I could envision was chocolate grosgrain (1/4″ wide). If I was one of those people who got paid to think of names for color combinations, I would call this one “Raspberry Truffle.”

"Baby Cardigan," Close up with Chocolate Grosgrain Ribbon
“Baby Cardigan,” Close up with Chocolate Grosgrain Ribbon

Since this project took me so long to finish, I’m glad that this week’s is a simple baby hat. I can probably knock that out in one night.

"Baby Cardigan" finished, with ribbon, and photographed at a rakish angle
“Baby Cardigan” finished, with ribbon, and photographed at a rakish angle

MYOKB: Baby Cardigan in (slightly faster) Progress

Debbie Bliss "Baby Cardigan," Back, Rakish Angle
Debbie Bliss “Baby Cardigan,” Back, Rakish Angle

After what seemed like several weeks but was only actually a few days, I’ve finished the back of the “Baby Cardigan.” As I’ve mentioned before, I love, love, love the look of seed stitch, but it takes me so long to work. I figure that this pattern would have taken me half as long to make if it were done in stockinette or garter stitch.

To help speed the process along, and in keeping with my goal of trying to expand my repertoire of knitting techniques throughout My Year of Knitting Blissfully, I researched some supposedly faster ways of working seed stitch. I knit in a style I laughingly call “modified-throw Continental” — in other words, I do hold the yarn in my left hand but I don’t use the right-hand needle to “pick” at the yarn, like most Continental knitters do, but instead I kind of “throw” the yarn over the needle, like most English-style knitters do. There’s no wrong way to knit, right? Just ask the divine Annie Modesitt.

The interwebs were all agog about the “Norwegian purl” which supposedly makes it faster for continental-style knitters to work “K1 P1” stitches like ribs and seed stitch. The advantage of this technique is that the yarn is always held at the back of the needles so there’s no need to move the yarn from the front to the back (and back again) after every stitch.

After viewing several videos and tutorials online, I tried several times to make the “Norwegian purl” work with my style of knitting, but no luck. Maybe it’s because of the way I knit, or maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance.

Debbie Bliss "Baby Cardigan" Back, Photographed Straight-on
Debbie Bliss “Baby Cardigan” Back, Photographed Straight-on

There’s no way I will be finished with this project by the end of my allotted week (which ends today). My first missed deadline. Sigh.

MYOKB: Baby Cardigan in (slow) Progress

Front Half of Baby Cardigan in Progress
Front Half of Baby Cardigan in Progress

And here you have the first half of the front of the “Baby Cardigan” from p. 38 of Debbie Bliss’s A Knitter’s Year. And it’s taken me almost all week to complete. And this is only one-third of the final project… Yikes.

On the plus side — this is going to be GORGEOUS when it’s finished. This bright raspberry color (Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino color #340042, sadly discontinued now) is delicious, and it’s made even more delicious in my eyes by the fact that I got in on mega-sale at Little Knits so this whole project is costing my under $10. It’s also making a dent in my stash.

On the minus side — this project is taking me f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Just how long is Debbie Bliss’s week anyway? Basically, the problem is seed stitch itself. Even though it’s one of my favorite stitches in terms of the final result (and it’s reversible!), it’s a slow stitch to work since you have to move the yarn between the front and back of the needles with every stitch.

Maybe it’s time to investigate quicker ways to work seed stitch.

Two Sweaters for Niece-to-be

Cabled Raglan Sweater FinishedI’ve just finished the “Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater” by Rebecca L. Daniels, a gift for the niece-to-be (the first photo is here). Because there are no seams — it’s worked from the neck downwards — it’s quite easy to finish. I had to make a quick trip to the local sewing store to get a snap since the button is only decorative. I chose a plastic, translucent white button to match the button from the baby kimono I also made for the niece to be. The yarn I used to make this, the heather Suss Love, is the same yarn I used to crochet the edges of the Kristin Spurkland “Baby Kimono.” Even though the sweaters are very different in appearance, I think the use of same yarn ties the two sweaters together and makes them a kind of matching set. Here’s a close-up of the crochet edging and buttons:

Ella's Kimono Close-up

And here’s a close-up of the button and collar area of the “Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater”:

Cabled Raglan Sweater Collar Close-upI chose to work the collar and buttonhole band edging in seed stitch instead of garter stitch which is what the pattern calls for. No particular reason–I just like the look of seed stitch better.

Update 07/05/15: I’ve been informed that the link to the free pattern for the “Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater” doesn’t work anymore and I’ve searched all over Ravelry and the Interweave Knits sites and couldn’t find a copy. Click here for a pdf copy of “7 Free Baby Knitting Patterns from Interweave Knits” that includes this pattern.