Those who know me will tell you that I rarely knit for babies. Even when my own girls were little, they rarely benefited from the fruits of my knitting needles. In the nearly five years that I have been writing this blog, I haven’t knit a baby sweater. Until now.
I have some friends who have just had their first baby. These friends are special, and thus obviously so is the babe. Clearly he deserved a bit of stylish hand-knitting intervention. I perused baby patterns for quite some time. With Doug’s help, I finally decided on the pattern called gramps, designed by Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel, the duo otherwise known as Tin Can Knits. Here is their delightful version:
I made a trip into London to my favorite yarn store, Loop, in Islington (which also necessitates buying cakes at Ottolenghi – poor me! how I suffer for my knitting!). I spent a very long time trying to choose the perfect colours of Madelinetosh Vintage, which we all know is a very luxurious hand-dyed worsted weight wool. I purchased two beautiful skeins: Turquoise, which to my eye is more a forest-y green/blue than an ocean-y green/blue (to use sophisticated colour terminology) and Pecan Hull, which is a lovely but difficult to photograph brown.
I bought the yarn without purchasing the pattern first (or even looking at the yardage stats on Ravelry). I bought one skein of each colour – after all, this is a sweater for a baby; how much yarn could you possible need? Imagine my consternation to discover that in the 6-12 month size, this little sweater eats up 260 yards of the Main Colour and 140 yards of the Contrast Colour. A skein of Madelinetosh Vintage is 200 yards. Whoops! (Even in the newborn size, I would have needed 240 yards of the Main Colour.)
Luckily, we knitters have a solution to problems like this: it is called MATH!!!! Yes, dear readers, I engaged in a bit of “Pattern Math Fu” to re-design the sweater. Note that the original pattern calls for a total of 400 yards of yarn. Note further that I had 400 yards of yarn. All I had to do was change the pattern sufficiently so that it had a more equal distribution of the colours. This, I must admit, was rather fun, and I think the end product is completely lovely in every way.
I followed all of the instructions for the 6-12 month size exactly, except that I omitted the pockets and elbow pads, and added in seven sets of 2-row stripes on the body and sleeves of the sweater. Here you can see the yarn that remains:
I had so much fun knitting this little sweater. We actually had a week of decent summery weather (egads!) and I enjoyed the chance to knit in the back garden while listening to a good book.
Photos don’t do this sweater justice. It is absolutely fabulous. It is the perfect sweater for the urbane hipster baby to wear while sitting at his favorite coffee shop charming all the passersby.
This pattern also comes in adult sizes. Resistance is futile.