Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fully done

One finished sweater - Cottage Creation's Babies & Bear Sweater

Abou 18-19" around, so a newborn-3months size I guess. Double stranded, it took 8oz of TLC baby yarn on size 6/4mm needles. The cuff to center body pieces were done on dpns. The hood was done on 9" straights. The buttonband on a long circ (the dpns would have worked, but I didn't really like the points on the dpns I was using and didn't want to deal with them anymore)

(the 'panels' I talk about is part of the pattern. There's a stockinette stitch panel in the center back, and one on each front between the button band and the garter stitch body. Each panel is about 28st by 8rows. Full details in the pattern.)

I pretty much followed the pattern, but I did put the markers in a slightly different position (after stitches 1 and 28, not 2 and 29). I followed the pattern for increases and placing the second set of markers. It helped that the instructions were all written as "before marker do xyz" and not "at stitch 29 do xyx" The instructions still worked perfectly fine even though I shifted the markers over one stitch.

By doing that marker shift, when I finished the sleeve and body increases, the yarn was in the right place to do either the front or back panel - the pattern as written needs the yarn to be cut & reattached at this point.

And I did the 'assembly' in a slightly different order than the pattern is written. I did the SAME 'assembly' steps, just a different order so I could do the front left panel and buttonbands were with the same yarn instead of cutting the yarn.

I did the left side first (sleeve, garter stitch body, back stockinette panel) but didn't do the front stockinette stitch panel yet. I cut the yarn, leaving a long enough tail to graft the two sides together in the back.

I did the right side (sleeve, garter stitch body, front stockinette panel) and cut the yarn. I grafted the two sides together.

I finished the left side by doing the front panel, and continued to do the buttonbands - the buttons are yellow with smiley faces. Very cute.

Finally, I did the garter stitch hood. On the last row of the hood, I knit only to the center stitch then grafted the top of the hood. That way the garter stitch ridges on the hood aren't interrupted by the grafted seam. A little detail that no one will ever notice. But I do it anyway.

That's four parts and 8 ends. That's a big difference from the 6 parts and 14 ends in the pattern that I talked about when I started.

Would I make the sweater again?

I honestly don't know.

I like the sweater, but it just seems so fussy for a baby sweater. The sweater itself is garter stitch body & hood and stockinette sleeves, which isn't fussy at all. The 'assembly' is fussy. It's easy enough to actually knit - its garter and stockinette, mostly in the round, it doesn't get much easier. The fussy part is putting it together - it's knit cuff to center, seamed, then the front is finished, then the buttonbands, then the hood. I used dpns, circulars, and straights.

On one hand, it's 4 parts (left, right, buttonbands, hood) which seems like a lot for a baby sweater. But a 'regular' sweater done in the round is 4 parts too (body, 2 sleeves, hood). And I suppose depending how the pattern was written, the buttonbands would be a fifth part.

I think maybe it's because you keep stopping & starting - you get halfway through the sweater and stop (to do the other half). you finish the other half and stop (to graft them together). You finish the front and do the buttonbands and stop (for the hood). Finally, you finish the hood and done. Seeing it written out, it doesn't seem any more involved than doing a baby sweater in pieces as front/back/2 sleeves/graft/do hood.

Oh well. Guess it's just one of those patterns that just doesn't 'feel right' and there's no rational reason for it.

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