Thursday, August 29, 2013

Worth the Annoyance

Thanks to a vacation day today (not really a day off, because I was with Rainbow all day), I was able to finish up the first baby gift on my list.

Pattern: Maile Sweater by Nikki Van De Car
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy (100% superwash merino) in Forget Me, less than one skein
Needles: 40" US 4 (3.5 mm) ChiaoGoo Red Lace circs
Started/Completed: August 10/August 29
Mods: added additional rows to the collar to match the bottom hem, including a fifth buttonhole, and made a hat to match

I'd had this pattern in my favorites for a while and decided this was the time to do it. There are nearly 1,700 projects from this pattern in Ravelry, so I figured it was a safe pattern to do -- but I didn't realize just how fiddly it would be. This is a bottom-up raglan, and when the body and the sleeves are joined, every single stitch is on the needle (usually, several stitches are held for the underarm from both the body and the arms). I dealt with this by treating the sweater as if I was magic looping, pulling the excess out at each side at roughly the halfway point of each arm, until there was enough fabric above the joining point to work it comfortably work it as normal. This method was a bit of a pain, but fortunately I'm willing to put up with it in the form of a baby sweater -- I'd never do it for a me-sized sweater, though.

For all the annoyance, I will say that this sweater is pretty darn cute. The lace panels between the raglans on the front are quite sweet, even in an unblocked state. The buttons came from my collection; Rainbow helped me to pick them out. To complete the outfit, I knit a small hat to match.

I cast on 90 stitches (for a finished hat roughly 15 inches around) and worked 10 rounds of garter stitch and the first lace chart to match the bottom of the sweater. Even after doing the hat, I still have a pretty significant amount of yarn leftover, which makes me happy.

Am I happy with this sweater? Most definitely, and I think the recipient will love it. Will I knit this pattern again? That's questionable. It would have to be someone really worthy, I think.

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