Thursday, 11 August 2011

A Project A Week 30: My first baby top


A Project A Week is (also) back from holiday and although I admitted in my previous post that my holiday was a lazy one on the crafty side I still managed to get a few things done. I’m back in the swing of it and nearly ready to show you what I have been up to!

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I bought a couple of knitting books, including “Simple knits for cherished babies” by Erika Knight. I already owned a book from her and really liked her creations, simple yet stylish! The big plus for me on “Simple knits for cherished babies” was that most of the models were made in garter stitch and seemed to be quite easy to knit. Also, being baby knits they weren’t too costly (you only need a couple of balls of yarn so you can splash on quality yarn) or too long to knit. I’m afraid my knitting attention span is quite low (something I need to work on).

One thing disappointed me though when I started looking through the book: the suggestion of yarn. I can understand the reason why you should pick some quality, natural yarn for a sensitive baby skin, but seriously... most of the yarns used in the book are hand wash only. I haven’t got babies (yet) but I imagine the last thing you want to do when you have a newborn is hand washing stuff.

I settled on knitting the garter stitch wrap top and decided to go through my stash to find a suitable yarn. I picked a grey acrylic yarn I bought in France last year- although acrylic it is soft to touch and matched the gauge quite nicely, got my 3mm needles out and I happily started casting on. I wasn’t feeling comfortable though; the needles were too long and I wasn’t used to knit such a small yarn. And at the back of my mind I was not feeling satisfied with the yarn I was using. It was not good enough. A trip to the knitting shop in Porthcawl later and I had some lovely King Cole Merino Superwash wool in navy blue and some short, 3.75mm needles. Not exactly the same needles as given on the book, but I figured out that it would be better if it was too big than too small (the baby would eventually grow and fit it). We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet, and my sister wants to steer clear of the usual baby colours, so I thought navy blue was a good compromise.

This yarn and the shorter, slightly bigger needles turned out to be much better for me. I still had to unravel my work halfway through as I lost count of my rows and started increasing on 2 sides instead of just one. This is when I decided to invest in a good old fashioned row counter. Goodness, I’m all kitted out now!! The third time was finally the one: no problems at all, except towards the end when I skipped a line of instructions and knitted too many rows! This was quickly sorted and here is the result!!

 




The original instructions called for a ribbon to be sewn on each side, but I’m thinking of attaching a button instead. I recommend this wool, it is lovely to work with. The pattern is very clear and well-written, and I can see myself making more of this now. Although I used bigger needles than recommended the cardigan came out as slightly smaller than the measurements given. In the process I learnt I was a tight knitter! Next time I might try on 4mm needles and see how it turns out. My Pilou yarn from Phildar would be great for this model...

xx

4 comments:

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

The sweater is adorable, and I'm sure your sister will absolutely love it. Yes, that was a great choice of yarn. And the color (colour) is fantastic. Good job!

Popbabe7 said...

Thank you! I really love this yarn and I plan on getting more in different colours. I am so pleased I finally managed to finish a garment!

Noas' Libellule said...

SOOOO pretty!! Did you block it? May explain why it was smaller than the measurements?

Popbabe7 said...

The instructions just asked to steam the cardi once all the seams were done. My gauge was slightly different than the one given in the book (same number of stitches but less rows- v strange) so it might be why it turned out smaller...

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