Pattern: Cabled Cardie with Shawl Collar, from Sirdar's "Little Kisses" booklet, size 0-6 months
Yarn: Crystal Palace Merino 5 (100% superwash merino), color 9798, three skeins
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) and US 3 (3.25 mm) Addi Turbo circs
Started/Completed: June 20/June 30
Mods: I had to wing the button band and collar (see notes below)
I knew that I had to knit this sweater when I saw the sample hanging up at Natural Stitches; it was just too cute. However, the yarn called for -- Sirdar Snuggly Kisses DK -- is a nylon/acrylic blend. While there are certainly uses for synthetic yarn, I prefer to knit baby garments in natural fibers. This Merino 5 just happened to jump out to me, and while it resulted in a slightly chunkier sweater than the sample, I love how it turned out.
I followed the pattern exactly for all the pieces, but when I got to the collar and button bands, I basically had to throw the directions out the window. To begin with, I did not knit a gauge swatch. I know, I know, I really should have, but I wasn't really interested in knitting a sweater that was a particular size. After all, babies come in all sizes and they grow quickly, so I knew that there was a good chance that the finished sweater would fit Rainbow at some point. Because I wasn't knitting to gauge, when I went to pick up stitches, I didn't have the right number. On top of that, the pattern has you knit one button band and half the collar, then knit the other button band and other half of the collar, and finally seam the back of the collar. I didn't see a reason to knit two pieces, so I decided I was going to do it all in one piece.
I knit about three rows over all the stitches, then marked the center of the collar and worked a series of short rows around the neck for the shawl collar. On the next row, I made the buttonholes, and then it was just a few more rows of ribbing and a bind off. I think it worked pretty well, all things considered.
A good blocking helped to even everything out, and the buttons (picked out by The Mister himself!) were the finishing touch.
I really did enjoy working with this yarn, and I wouldn't hestitate to use it again. I feel I should mention that despite the fact that this color is shades of red and orange, there was absolutely no dye runoff in the water when I washed the pieces before the sewing up or when the whole sweater was done. It was such a pleasant surprise!