Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Starting in Style

I mentioned recently that there's a bit of a baby boom going on here (we found out about yet another baby on the way over the weekend!), so baby knitting has officially commenced. I've got a while before the others arrive, but the first of the group is expected later this month by my coworker and we're having a shower for her at the office tomorrow. I needed a quick but cute knit, as the mama-to-be is pretty stylish and is a knitter herself, so I did a search on Ravelry for some baby patterns that I hadn't knit yet. I found this one, which looked perfect to me for a summer baby.

Pattern: Abigail Sweater by Kay Squared (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted (60% Pima cotton, 40% Modal) in Watermelon, just under three skeins
Needles: US 5/3.75 mm circs
Started/Completed: July 14/July 24, 2011

If this sweater looks familiar, it's probably because it's a variation on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sweater on Two Needles (aka February Baby Sweater). The changes are in the yoke, which incorporates top-down raglan shaping, and the scooped neckline, which is achieved through casting on stitches at the beginning of several rows. The gull lace is the same, so if you've knit the EZ sweater or its cousin, the February Lady Sweater, you'll be very familiar with it. The pattern ends the sleeves at the end of the garter stitch, but I can see how this could easily be turned into a long-sleeved sweater. For my purposes, though, I didn't think it was necessary.

The pattern is a free download on Ravelry and was only a page long (like EZ's patterns, it is pithy), which made it very convenient to carry around, as I was working on this sweater mostly during my lunch break at work. I wouldn't recommend it to a true beginner, as it's a bit difficult to follow in a couple areas if you haven't worked the EZ original before, though I suspect some spacing in between directions might help in this respect. As you can see, it results in a really cute interpretation of the classic FBS that I think it just perfect for an August baby.

To finish it off, I kept the last bound-off stitch live and put that loop on a crochet hook. Then I did a row of single crochet up one button band, around the neck, and down the other button band, incorporating the two button loops with crochet chains. I did a row of single crochet around the armholes as well, as the underarm areas were a little sloppy.

This yarn had been in my stash for years, so it was nice to get it out again. I was reminded of the frustration I've had with the sport weight version of it -- it sheds. I had to put together several pieces of Scotch tape (what I had on hand in my office) to make a poor man's lint roller after each knitting session because I was covered in deep pink fuzz. That said, the yarn is soft and silky and, of course, machine washable, so I am not disappointed in it. I have seven skeins, or about 525 yards, leftover that will likely eventually become something for Rainbow. I'll just have to remember to have my lint roller on hand then!


  1. Anonymous1:31 PM

    thank you for the suggestion. I checked which book and I own the Almanac. I have loads of yarn (wool, cotton, acryl) and realise you can use old patterns better by using new colors instead of the pastels way back then. I like the BSJ and this one is ideal, I just did not check EZ's books, don't know why, so, thanks.

  2. A very nice sweater! I need to improve my crochet skills, since they really do suck. Nice job!