Sunday, August 7, 2011

FO: A sweater for Tadpole

 I did it! Tadpole's sweater is done, washed, blocked, and photographed.

This took just about the entire skein of Dream in Color Smooshy. And let me tell you, that was a nerve-wracking last few rows. Actually, once I finished the neck it really wasn't so bad since I didn't mind the thought of working the button bands in a contrasting color. But I didn't have to! I had a couple of yards to spare. Nothing like living on the wild side.

Ok, ok, I've made you wait long enough. Here's a modeled shot:

She looks surprisingly happy to be modeling a wool sweater in late July, doesn't she? (Yes, I turned the air conditioning up before putting the sweater on her. And no, pants would not have been appropriate.)

Back to the sweater for a moment.

It's a seamless raglan cardigan with an asymmetrical opening and a wide boat neck. The piece is pretty straightforward to knit - your basic bottom-up raglan construction. There are just a lot of stitches. Tiny stitches. Did I forget to mention the whole thing is knit on a size 1 needle?

But the really great part is how it fits. The textured pattern is very elastic so it stretches easily without losing its shape - great for growing babies. You can fold up the sleeve cuffs for younger wearers and unroll them as little arms grow longer. And the neck is wide enough that you can just pull the whole thing off over the head instead of fiddling with nine small buttons once the baby says "Enough! It's 90 degrees outside. Why am I wearing wool?"

5-month old Tadpole (not quite 5 months in these pictures) can wear it easily.

And so can her nine-and-a-half-month-old friend C.

That's what I'm most proud of. I wanted to design a baby sweater that could actually be used for several months. And it worked!

There will be a pattern for this one coming out relatively soon (in the next couple of months, I hope). I took pretty good (for me) notes while I was knitting this sweater and that's what I used to write up the first draft of the pattern. There was just one problem: I wrote up the draft at a time when Tadpole wasn't sleeping particularly well. So I'm honestly not that sure how clear the directions are. The friend who is doing the first round of test knitting already caught one stupid mistake. Hopefully there aren't too many more! It's always surprising to me how tough it can be to set out written directions. I just want to point and say "See? It just works like that." But "that" always takes several sentences to describe.

Hopefully this will be one of your go-to baby gift knits. Now it just needs a name. Sounds like time for another yarn giveaway to me but it's past my bedtime and that'll have to wait for the next post.


Jennifer said...

Rue - both Tadpole and the sweater are adorable. She has such gorgeous eyes and such an expressive face. I think you should name the sweater design Tadpole in honor or your precious little one.

Gale said...

Very nice. Your sweet tadpole looks so happy.

Jacey said...

I love it, Rue! The sweater is adorable, as is little Tadpole!

Anonymous said...

O. M. G. Tooo freaking cute! How precious, that sweater is perfect.

elizabeth said...

I LOVE the eyebrow-raised photo! Congrats on designing an adorable sweater, one that could be easily upsized by changing yarn and needles!

Kathy said...

As I looked at it, I kept wondering, "what pattern is that?" I wish I could volunteer to be a test knitter but I am so. far. behind. on getting 3 other projects done!

Great sweater, beautiful babies.

Jodi said...

Aw, it turned out just beautifully! I love that the textured pattern is not only gorgeous, but it has so much stretch.

90 degrees + wool = unhappy humans, baby or otherwise.

Rachel said...

What a fabulous design...and what an adorable baby! Very well done!

BTW--sorry I never responded about the camera questions you had. I left the next day and didn't have a chance. But it would seem you did very well picking out a camera...beautiful images! What did you guys decide on?

Jonah said...

Love it! Also, nice new badge!