Friday, April 15, 2011

A problem with pants

Nope, this isn't a rant about how I'm still a long way off from fitting into my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans (very true but a bit off-topic for this blog). Instead it's a story of knitted pants. Or rather, not-yet-knitted pants.

This all started when Tadpole received several pairs of adorable little socks and booties as gifts from various family and friends. I put them on her and snapped pictures of cute little baby feet, remembering to take them off before the next diaper change since someone who shall remain unnamed is very good at getting her feet dirty while on the changing table. Then I realized there was a little problem: all of her pants have feet on them. Footed pants are very convenient in terms of getting her dressed quickly. But they're not very good at all at showcasing handknits.

The solution hit me immediately. I knit. And I should knit her some pants.

I spend a fair amount of time on ravelry while nursing so I researched various patterns for longies. None of the patterns was quite what I was looking for so I decided to take the various bits and pieces that I liked and come up with my own design. I'd been swooning over various brooklyntweed patterns at this time, especially the Guernsey Wrap, and I decided to make a pair of Guernsey pants.

I pulled out Beth Brown-Reinsel's fabulous book and picked out some stitch patterns I liked. Then I cast on and knit happily away for several inches. (Note how I didn't say anything about swatching. There wasn't any.) I made it about half-way down the butt when I started thinking the piece was looking a bit big. I dutifully pulled out the tape measure and discovered that I was getting 4 stitches to the inch when I had worked the numbers for 4.5. About that whole swatching thing . . .

So I frogged and started over with numbers crunched for 4 stitches per inch. I also took out the guernsey elements since I thought the combination of stitch patterns looked too busy in the yarn I was using (Dream in Color Classy from the stash). This has been my main project for the last week and a half or so. And every day for the last few days I've said to myself, "tonight I think I'm going to finish it." Inevitably I'd knit 2 rows after each time I said that before life got in the way.

It doesn't help that I've fallen in love with the latest shawl design from Jared Flood. Or that I told myself I couldn't start that project until I'd finished the pants.

But last night I was really making progress. I finished the first leg and was picking up stitches to start the second. And then it hit me: I had split for the legs using the original pattern numbers. The current version was 8 stitches smaller and that meant that the leg I had just finished was too big. Not only that, but my short row shaping along the backside was not centered at all.

So I frogged all the way back to the ribbing and knit a couple of rows before calling it a night (aka sitting up with a certain someone who didn't want to go to sleep until 12:30).

This is what the pants look like now:

I'd really like to start Rock Island soon. Wish me luck!


Jodi said...

Guernsey baby pants sound like a great idea! I love Jared Flood's new men's sweater pattern, but I need to knit Paul the Big Lebowski cardigan first.

BTW, I knit these baby pants a while ago:

They were very well-received and saw a good deal of use!

Rachel said...

I like that you are knitting pants to show off socks and booties! Another bloggy friend knits wooly pants quite a bit for her kids...I love them so much I really want to make a pair of the striped version for me! If interested, here are links to 2 different patterns she uses. Maybe they'd be quicker and get you to that completely awesome new shawl pattern from Jared a little faster!! (oh I just realized that the second link was the same that jodi just one link!).