Thursday, 6 January 2011
Over the holidays I knitted a cardigan for a friend's baby boy, due just before Christmas. Daniel arrived on December 26th and I went to see them today and handed over the cardigan.
I had forgotten how tiny new babies are, and I really cannot remember my daughter being so small. He is, as his mother says, a poppet. The cardigan is supposedly the 0-3 months size and looks much too big at the moment, but he'll grow fast and I expect it will fit him before spring arrives.
The pattern is Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down (free from her web site or via Ravelry). It's a quick knit in Aran weight yarn. It's knitted top down - no seams, which is great. I found the pattern really well thought out. For instance, the shawl collar is made by picking up stitches all the way round the edge of the cardigan, and I usually hate picking up stitches. But that's because usually you are only told how many stitches to pick up on each section, and you have to work out the spacing for yourself (and often get it wrong first time). Here, the first stitch of every row in the body of the cardigan is slipped, and then you pick up one stitch in every slipped stitch. Dead easy. I like the shaping of the shawl collar using short rows, too - sophisticated but easy to follow.
This project was also my first serious attempt at Continental knitting (holding the yarn in the left hand). I saw someone knitting that way a few months ago, for the first time, and she was so fast that I was amazed. I decided that I should try it - I'm hoping that if and when I can knit easily in the Continental fashion, I will be able to knit faster than before. It's obviously not sensible to switch knitting styles in the middle of a project, because your tension might change, so a small project seemed like a good one to find out whether I could do it or not. This was also a good choice because it is all in stocking stitch and garter stitch - I haven't attempted rib yet. It seemed very clumsy and awkward to begin with, but I am getting better at it. My tension seems to be fairly even, somewhat surprisingly. I'm not very fast yet, but I'm sure I will get faster with practice. I'm now working on a bigger project - more on that later.