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Archive for the ‘baby sweater design’ Category

Finally it’s time to start the decreases on the raglan sleeves for the imaginary baby sweater. A short recap. I increased from 34 stitches to 40 stitches (widest part of sleeve in schematic below) over 6.5″ (16.5) cm or 48 rows only 24 of which were RS rows and can be used as increase rows.

raglsn sleeve schematic

Now I need to decrease 40 sts to 6 sts over 4″ (10) cm or 30 rows of which only half, 15, are RS rows. All these numbers are now etched in granite, so to speak, because my imaginary sweater front and back have been completed, at least in my mind. The first thing I naturally want to do is panic. I can’t get 40 sts to 6 sts in 15 rows. Deep breaths, make a cup of tea.

Next grab a pencil, calculator and paper. It’s time for Knitting Math. The first problem I need to solve to calm my brain is make a dent in that number 40. The panicky little voice in my head keeps circling around the fact that 40 is so much larger than the 15 rows I have available for decreases. To ease it, I am going to take the 6 sts that will be left after all the decreases are done and subtract them from the 40. I now have 34 sts. The panic in the little voice goes down a notch.

The next number I need to subtract from that group of 34 sts is the number of stitches I originally bound off at the same point on the sweater body. My initial bind offs were two sts each side. 2 + 2 = 4. So 34 – 4 = 30. The panicky little voice disappears. 30 and 15 are numbers that play nicely together.

In order to evenly space the decreases along these rows I divide the number of RS rows available for decreases by the number of decreases. To find the number of decreases I need to divided the 30 sts by 2. Why 2? Because I am going to decrease 1 st at each end of the needle, which means each RS row I’ll be offing 2 sts. So 30 divided by 2 = 15.

To find the rate of evenly spaced decreases I divide the 15 RS rows by the 15 decreases and I get 1. That means I will decrease 1 st each end of needle every RS row 1 until 6 sts remain.

The knitting math I used to figure out the numbers on the baby sweater is the same math I would use on an adult sweater. Increases and decreases and the math that goes with them is the same whether it is for a wee one or an adult.

Here’s a tip I find helpful when making sweaters for a specific individual. Once I get the correct sizing I make a general schematic and plug in the numbers for the widths and lengths of the body and sleeves. I then file it. The next time I make a sweater for that individual, whether creating it from scratch or from a pattern I take out the file. Then all I need do is figure how many stitches and how many rows to get the widths and lengths I want. Once I know the math, I can adapt any pattern I want and so can you.

I hope this information helps. Have a good weekend.

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In the last post the sleeves of the sweater were behaving nicely. Below, the sleeve schematic for easy referral.

raglsn sleeve schematic

The beauty in the raglan design is, naturally, the raglans themselves. The raglans are the sloping armhole sides on the body (four in all) and the sloping sides of the sleeves as they decrease to the 1″ (2.5) cm top. The slopes are the focal point. They need to be neatly joined and to do that they need to be made correctly.

The raglan extends from under the arm up to the collar bone. It’s location and length place it in a prominent position. Sweatshirts often use this design.

The first suggestion for a neat raglan is to calculate for 2 selvedge stitches for each raglan including sleeves. One stitch on each side will be lost in seaming, which will leave one stitch on one side and one on the other making a nice raglan slope.

This next piece of advice is more like a rule than a suggestion. Raglan decreases and increases only occur on RS rows. All decreases and increases occur after knitting the 2 selvedge stitches at the beginning of a row and before working the 2 selvedge stitches at the end of a row. The decrease at the beginning of a row is an SSK, at the end it’s K2tog.

For the 6 month sleeve the cast on was 34 sts. Referring to the schematic, I need to increase to 40 sts. That’s 6 sts to be added. I need to add them while working the first 6.5″ (16.5) cm of the sleeve or 48 rows. But, I don’t really have 48 rows to chose from. Increasing on RS rows only means I have 24 RS rows or half the total number of rows, on which I can increase. Since the increases are worked in pairs (one each end of needle) I only need increase 3 times, or on 3 RS rows. While the numbers may seem small and insignificant, sloppy work in baby garments begets sloppy work in adult garments. As a designer and tech editor I treat baby garments with the same mathematical respect and eye for detail as I would an adult garment. If I am going to take the time to create something by hand I am going to do it to the best of my ability and knowledge.

Sleeve increases should gradually occur in a visually pleasing taper. To achieve this I divide the number of rows I have available for increases by the number of rows I need to perform an increase on. 24 divided by 3 = 8. Increase one st each end of needle on every 8th row 3 times. So far so good.

Now that I have the 40 sts needed it is time to shape the raglan by decreasing. I just reach the pinnacle and now I have to figure out how to come down. That’s why I like knitting. It is so much like life.

Friday, hiking back down Raglan Mountain.

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What rows are to length so stitches are to width. The width of a garment is measured in stitches in addition to inches and centimeters. The stitches per inch (2.5) cm for my imaginary raglan sweater are 5.5. Of course there can’t be a half stitch. Like rows, in reality I knit an entire row or I don’t. Same with a stitch. I need to knit a whole stitch, but the universe likes to play with me.

raglsn sleeve schematic

Above is the schematic of the imaginary raglan sleeve that includes rows, stitches, lengths, and widths. It’s the way my schematics look when all the information I need is filled in. The smallest size on this schematic is 6 months, then 12 months, then 18 months. I’m going to concentrate on the numbers for the 6 month old sleeve.

After drawing the sleeve shape, there are two items I can put on the schematic right away for they will not change. The short top of the raglan sleeve measures 1″ (2.5) cm which in math terms comes out to 5.5 sts. But I’ve been here before with the non-existent half sts so I know the number needs to be rounded up or down. What I know about that little 1″ top helps me make this decision. I know that half the sts in that 1″ become part of the front neck and half become part of the back neck. Since I try not to encourage migraines, I want an even number, a number easily divisible by 2.

Now this is a baby sweater. A baby’s head is much bigger than the body and I want to fit the sweater over that 17″ head. I also don’t want a tight fitting neckline on an infant. So I want the neck opening to be as large as I can make it while still fitting properly on the upper body of the baby. At this point it helps to have a magic wand that can be waved over the pattern and poof! the proper numbers appear. Unfortunately I don’t own one of those so it’s back to my calculator and my knowledge of baby measurements and how certain styles are suppose to fit. In the end, I choose to round up and make this 1″ out of 6 sts. It’s easily divisible by two. I pencil in the 1″ (2.5) cm and put 6 sts near the short top.

Next up is the sleeve width at the wrist. I refer to my schematic range charts located here. The wrist width for this size goes from 5.25″ / (13.5) cm to 5.5″ / (14) cm. I select a width size of 6 inches / 15cm at the wrist. That’s a half inch (1.25) cm larger than the biggest suggested wrist size, which is okay here. The wrist area is worked in ribbing. It will pull in.

Now I need to know how many stitches to cast on for the wrist. I multiply width by stitch gauge: 6″ x 5.5sts =33 sts for cast on. Since it is easier to work with even numbers I increase the cast on by one 1 to 34 sts. So I will work in 1 X 1 ribbing for 1″ / 2.5 cm or 8 rows. (Remember we increased the rib row of the sweater body to 8 rows also).

Since the next part deals with the raglans and other migraine triggers, I think I’ll end here while everything looks positive.

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Lengths are important figures. They define the size of the armhole and the vertical span of the garment. They tell at what intervals to start and stop increases or decreases for bust and waist shaping, when to start neckline shaping, and how long sleeves should be. In addition to being measured in inches and centimeters, length is most importantly measured in rows by designers and tech editors. Yet knitters only think in terms of inches and centimeters when it comes to length. This is where the problem lies for knitters: length must be thought of in rows.

The marriage between me and my tape measure begins with the words, “Cont in patt until piece measures…” and I answer “I will.” And I do. I knit and then measure. Knit some more. Measure. Knit more. Measure. At this point the feeling I will never reach the required measurement settles over me. I am stressing. This is the reason why the word tension substitutes so nicely for the word gauge. With less than a quarter of an inch to go, infinitesimally less than 1 centimeter, I knit like mad. Stop. Measure. And still I need to knit one more maybe two more rows. Not until I reach the big UNTIL can the “death do ye part” happen where I am free…sort of…until “Cont in patt…” shows up again and restarts the ceremony.

As a designer and tech editor, I go through none of that angst. Why? Because I am dealing with rows. I have transferred all the inches and centimeter measurements into rows. No guess work on whether I am pulling the piece too much just to have it finally reach the “until” mark, no constant start and stop to measure, no anxiety build up till I’m about to scream.

While the number of rows per inch is important to all garments it is especially essential to the Raglan style. All four raglans must have the exact same number of rows in them to achieve a neat looking garment.

raglan sweater schematic

Above is my working schematic for an imaginary raglan baby sweater. I like to do my rough schematics by hand because it is easier for me to quickly change things as needed. When it is clear that the pattern will work, I’ll aggravate myself drawing it by computer.

In order to divorce my tape measure and reduce anxiety (I always say I knit for pleasure and relaxation) the first thing I need to do is approach the pattern like a designer or tech editor. I take the schematic and the row gauge (tension), a piece of paper, a pencil and a calculator (a cup of tea helps) and sitting in a comfortable chair I do the math.

The row gauge on this schematic is 7.5 rows per inch (2.5) cm. Lovely. Half rows in knitting don’t occur. It’s whole rows only. Note to self: I’ll be rounding off.

The next thing I look at are the measurements for the size I am interested in knitting. The schematic tells me it covers 3 sizes: 6, 12, 18 months. I’m choosing the 6 month one which is the smallest size.

The sweater is constructed bottom up so I’ll be starting at the ribbing. The length of the ribbing is one inch (2.5) cm. I know that the gauge (tension) is 7.5 rows per inch. I am already screwed.

Uhhhhh, not really.

I need to round.

Check written instructions. First side row is RS row. Body pattern begins on a RS row. Okay, using fingers count out RS, WS rows, 6th row is my thumb and a WS, 7th is RS—if I end it here the next row is WS. No good, body patt has to start RS so I can end it with either the 6th or 8th row.

Now it depends on a number of things, including the body patt whether I will end it one row short or long of 7 rows. But for this demo, I am going to work in ribbing for 8 rows. I make a note of this on my own little schematic.

The body patt is worked for 6″ (15) cm for the 6 month size before raglan shaping starts. 7.5 times 6″ gives me 45 rows. Glance at written pattern. Does raglan shaping begin with RS or WS row? It begins on RS row. So my 6″ will have to end with a WS row which means an even number. 45 is not an even number. Do I round up or down? Again this depends, but I rounded up once and I am going to do it again.

Remember babies grow faster lengthwise. A little long, and baby has more time to grow into it. I am going to work the body pattern for 46 rows. I make a note of this on my schematic.

The dreaded raglan shaping (Whoopeee!) My size is 4″ (10) cm. 7.5 times 4″ = 30. (YESSSSSSS!) Even number no rounding needed, do the Snoopy Happy Dance.

Now I need to check to see how different my number is from their number. For that I look at the measurement for the entire piece. For the size I am making it is 11″ (28) cm. 7.5 times 11 = 82.5 rows. Now I add up the number of rows I actually plan to work. 8 + 46 + 30 = 84 rows. Divide 84 rows by 7.5 = 11.2″. I am not far off at all. I am going with my row numbers. I have successfully divorced my tape measure!

This is really quite easy. If for some reason I can’t get the pattern’s called for row gauge, I substitute my row gauge and doing the same figuring I find how much I need to knit for the size I select. It doesn’t get much better than this.

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A productive weekend it wasn’t. I managed to rip back a good 20 rows on the Shetland Lace Baby Shawl. How many mistakes can be made on a simple, small lace pattern and garter stitch ground? I fear I am about to discover the answer.

The Skipper hates it when I rip back. It sets his teeth on edge faster than nails on a chalk board. Finally he asked me the question I was most dreading: How big is this thing going to be? Remember, this isn’t the first time I’ve ripped back, and knowing me it won’t be the last. But if I could say it was a 4 inch (10 cm ) project he would find it in him to go with the flow, or rather the herky-jerky two steps forward four steps back motion. I smiled to cover my angst, then dropped the bomb. 52 inches (132 cm). Kaboom!

When not painting trucks (yes, The Skipper built two more), or knitting and ripping back the Shetland Lace Shawl, or ice skating with Yarn Rascal, I have been in the weeds updating a vintage raglan sweater pattern. A nice looking raglan sweater is within everyone’s reach provided a few rules are followed. I was going to call them suggestions, but that word implies that if not followed things still might turn out alright. Nothing could be farther from the truth with these, so rules they shall be.

The first rule covers the raglan armhole. The raglan armhole is a full inch (2.5 cm) longer than the average armhole. If the chest size is 42 inches or greater the armhole becomes 2 inches (5 cm) longer than the normal armhole. Ignore this rule and the armpits end up level with the chin. Lately, I’ve seen a good deal of raglan baby sweaters that look exactly as I just described. The armhole needs to be made larger by at least one full inch (2.5 cm).

The second rule deals with upper arm width in the sleeve. Increase the width a full inch (1.25 to 2.5 cm) larger than a regular sleeve. Please note that the widest point of the sleeve is not at the top. As seen in the schematic below, the sleeve narrows at the top to 1 inch (2.5 cm) for babies and 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm) for adults. (A better and more complete schematic is coming.)

raglan schematic

The inch or so width at the top of the sleeve becomes part of the neck width calculation. Half the number of stitches gets added to the front neck depth and half to the back neck depth. Thus if the sleeve tops are 1 inch each that means 1 + 1 = 2 inches is added to the entire neck. 2 divided by 4 = .5 or a half inch from each sleeve top is given to the front and back neck measurements.

The third rule is the killer. The number of rows that make up the armholes on the front sides and the back sides of the body of the sweater must be the same number that makes up the sleeves as they decrease toward their tops. This is an absolute. No rounding off of numbers, no a little more here and a little less there. 15 rows on the body sides means 15 rows on the sleeves. X must equal X here. This rule can and has made me weep.

Another little mot is rule four. Raglan decreases are worked on RS rows only. Rule 3 + Rule 4 = migraine. The RS decreases must be worked at least 2 stitches in from each edge on sleeves and body. Two slevedge sts give a nice, neat raglan seam that runs from the base of the armhole up to the collarbone. The whole look of this style depends on that seam being neat and exactly matched on both sides.

Wednesday I hope to have a hand-drawn schematic and explain how width depends on sts and length depends on rows and why both inches / cm and st and row numbers should be included on a schematic.

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If you are only altering size and keeping all else the same (i.e. gauge and design) the next step is simple. Draw a schematic and plug in the numbers for the size selected. You can find the size ranges for baby sweaters here in a previous post of mine.‎ For now, I’ll pull up the schematic for a 3 month old.

baby 3 mos sizes schematic

On graph paper, draw the back, one front, and sleeve form from the original pattern. Now let’s figure out and put in the numbers.

The average total chest circumference for a 3 month old without clothing is 16-17″. The circumference of garments made to fit this size chest is 18.5 -21.25″.
The ease varies from 1.5 to 4.25 inches. I usually start with a 17″ chest and 3″ of ease. Or put another way, I want the sweater to be 3″ larger than the 17″ chest size before seaming. Remember we lose a 1/2 inch each side once we sew up the seams. That means the finished circumference will be 2″ larger than the chest size. It may sound like a lot but it is not. A sweater with 2″ of ease is considered to be close fitting.

The math: 17 + 3 = 20″ total circumference. This falls in the middle of the garment range for circumference. Divide the total circumference of 20″ in half to come up with the measurements for front and back. In this case 20 divided by 2 = 10″.

The back width will be knit to 10″. Enter this number on your graph below the line that represent the bottom of the sweater Back. Now, how many stitches to cast on? Our gauge was 3 stitches per inch. Multiply back width by gauge stitches. 10 x 3 = 30. Cast on 30 stitches.

Since this is a cardigan, we need to divide the Front Width measurement in half to find the width of each front. 10 divided by 2 = 5″. Each front will be 5 inches in width. How many stitches to cast on? Multiply width by stitches per inch. In this case we cast on 15 sts for each front piece.

The length range is 9.5 – 11″. Since the our circumference measurement falls in the middle between the smallest acceptable size and the largest acceptable size, let the length measurement do the same at 10″. Our row gauge was 7 rows per inch. A 10″ length multiplied by 7 rows per inch = 70 rows.

So now you should have filled in the information for length and width of the BACK and two FRONTS of the sweater. On Friday I’ll show you how to figure in a neckline when the original lacks one and we’ll complete the sleeve calculations.

The latest news here is it snowed. Yarn Rascal saw and felt snow for the first time in his life. He went nuts! He thought it was great. He ran and ran and burrowed. He likes to go under the snow. How strange. But he wouldn’t be Yarn Rascal without strange behavior.

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Here is the schematic of the original 6 month old pattern I created from the information given in the pattern.

scan 1

 

All you need to know is gauge, the number of stitches cast on, decreased and remaining to find the width of the piece at any given point. To find the length, pay attention to the measurements given. These are usually given as “work until piece measures x.” The other way to find the length is to add up the rows. For example, to find neck depth count the number of rows worked from the start of neck shaping to the bind off on the front piece. If 7 rows equals an inch and you work 14 rows from beginning of neck shaping to bind off the neck depth is 14 divided by 7 = 2 inches.

Want to find the total circumference of the sweater? For a cardigan add the two front widths and back widths. For a pullover add the front and back widths. One caution here. Use the number of stitches and the width they give to determine the “unfinished” circumference. Seaming sides causes the circumference to lose about 1/4 inch each side. To find the finished circumference subtract a 1/2 inch from the unfinished circumference number. Schematics are not always clear as to whether they represent the unfinished or finished dimensions.

The original 6 month old sweater pretty much falls within the size range for a 6 month old. The overall length is a little short. I would add an inch to bring it to 11 inches. Babies outgrow sweaters lengthwise quicker than they out grow them width-wise.

The other area of concern is the sleeve. The sleeve length is 5 inches, 1.5 inches shorter than the lower end of a 6 month size range. The upper arm of the sleeve is 1/2 inch smaller, while the wrist is 3.25 inches larger than average. When the discrepancy is this large, study the picture of the garment.  Often the numbers reflect design decisions. In this case, the sleeve is intentionally designed shorter and wider at the lower arm. Altering it there would throw off the balance of the design. I would let it remain as is. However, I would add the  1/2 inch to the upper arm width. The armhole length is created by the width of the upper part of the sleeve. I would add the 1/2 inch to accommodate clothing worn under the sweater.

 

Altering the sweater to fit a 3 month old size is a matter of changing the numbers if you want to keep all the design elements and ratios of the original, including the gauge. I have certain things that drive me around a bend when it comes to baby sweater designs. Necklines and collars are two. In my alteration, which I will post on Wednesday, I alter the design of the neckline as well as armholes.

In other news, I am waiting for my latest order from Jamieson and Smith of cobweb lace yarn to arrive.  The Shetland Baby blanket moves a step closer to being started for real rather than just swatched. I have doubts about my sanity in beginning this project. Knitting Shetland lace motifs across 60 stitches and getting it right was not always successful for me. What happens when its 250 stitches or 700? A mistake has epic consequences at that stitch count. So far I have not been successful in neatly un-knitting to reach a mistake and then fixing it. No, I’ve had to resort to unraveling the entire swatch in order to avoid weeping and wailing. I find contentment in the fact that I only ordered half the amount of yarn I think I might need to complete the entire project. What made me think I could do this? I have never been so happy to go to the mailbox to find that my yarn hasn’t arrived yet. I am dreading the day it shows up.

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Sometimes “free” doesn’t fulfill all one’s expectations. Janis Joplin once sang that “freedom was just another word for nothing left to lose.” The song was Me and Bobby McGee. I hum that line often when I see yet another novice knitter in a panic over a free pattern that doesn’t meet his / her expectations. However, when the novice knitter is a pregnant woman whose due date is 2 weeks from now and she is in tears because she wanted so much to have a little knitted something made by her for her baby it breaks my heart.

After failing to knit a wee hat and then a blanket, the knitter then fell in love with a baby sweater that said it was sized for a 6 month old. The knitter, who has never knitted a sweater, was in a panic because she wanted to make something the baby could instantly use and she wanted to know how to alter the pattern for a 3 month old. Thus, her time frame was alter the pattern and knit it in 12 days, take 1 day to practice deep breathing, next day give birth. My advice was to calm down, breathe deeply, and knit a wash cloth out of soft organic cotton.

Later that day I was traveling the internet when I thought to look in on the pattern she mentioned. Cue up Me and Bobby McGee. It was a cardigan. Simple? Yes. So simple that no armhole shaping nor neck shaping was needed. The back was a square. The two fronts were rectangles. After sewing the pieces together the knitter folds the ends of the front rectangles down to form a neck opening. The sleeves were also rectangles minus any shaping. No schematic was provided.

I can’t say this enough. Free pattern or not, make sure it has a schematic. If it doesn’t, that is the first clue that something is wrong. If you still want to knit it then put away the needles and yarn, get out the graph paper, a pencil and a calculator, and create a schematic.

Ready? It’s time for knitting math.

The first thing to check is gauge. What are the number of stitches per inch? What are the number of rows per inch? Gauge is usually written like this:
12 sts and 28 rows = 4″ (10) cm.
To find the stitches per inch divide 12 by 4. Answer 3 sts per inch. Do the same with rows. Divide 28 by 4. Answer 7 rows per inch. Write these numbers at the top of the graph paper you will be using them for all other calculations.

Next step , find  the measurements of the sweater. Start with the Back. How many sts does it say to cast on? Let’s say 33 sts. How many inches is that? Divide the number of CO sts by the number of sts per inch. 33 divided by 3 = 11. The Back width of the sweater is 11 inches. Draw a line on the graph paper representing the bottom edge of the sweater. Below that line write 11″ (33 sts).

Now find the length of the Back of the sweater. To do this read through the pattern instructions. A pattern with armhole shaping will usually say knit until piece measures x inches, then break for armhole decreases. The original had no armhole shaping so it said knit until piece measures 10 inches. How many rows is that? Multiply the length by the number of rows per inch. 10 times 7 = 70 rows. On the graph paper, draw a line on each side of the bottom edge of the sweater representing the sweater’s sides. Next to one side write 10″ (70 rows).

Since the original had no neck shaping, draw a line on the graph paper representing the top of the sweater. Above this line write the same numbers that are on the bottom. In the middle of the square, write the word BACK. We now have the measurements for the back of the sweater.

Follow these instructions and find the measurements for one Front. Do the same for one sleeve.

Next week , how to alter a simple baby sweater to the size wanted.  For now, have a good weekend.

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The Victorian Baby Coat is finally complete.

victorian baby coat z

While I am pleased with the knitting, I am drop dead crazy over the buttons I found for the coat. They go perfectly.

victorian baby coat buttons

The weather has been less than cooperative, but I decided to take the photos with the camera that hates me anyway.

victorian baby coat cables

I can see this coat on a little girl with long, curly red hair and freckles on her nose. She is wearing Buster Brown and Tige shoes, and her tights crinkle at her knees.

This imagined little girl has stayed with me from the moment I started tech editing the coat to completing the knitting. Rarely do I knit up what I tech edit. But I had to knit this.

Today I am going to spend some time with my sketch pad and try to capture her on paper wearing the coat, of course.

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Things are really moving along here. I am inundated with tomatoes. As usual, they all ripen at once. It means lots of time spent in the kitchen making tomato sauce and putting it up in the freezer for winter eating. This is also when we draw heavily on our onions, garlic, parsley and oregano.

And the zucchini just keep on coming! I’ve put them in salads, paired them with stewed tomatoes, and of course the old time-consuming standby, zucchini bread. Most days the kitchen looks like someone went crazy in it after all the cooking and baking are done. I restore order, then the next day I end up with the same mess. I keep telling myself I will appreciate all the work during the winter months.

The beans are coming in too. But they are easier to deal with and prepare for storage because The Skipper handles all things beans.

In the meantime, I have a shawl to photograph. The November Woods Shawl is going to be a free pattern. The Skipper needs to do the camera work and getting him to do that takes the exact same amount of labor it takes to put the kitchen back in order day after day.

Bath time is on the immediate horizon for the Yarn Rascal. He hates wet. In fact, it almost borders on a phobia with him. It’s full out wrestling and this afternoon is the match date.

In the meanwhile, the animals have been plentiful and visible around here. Here is The Skipper’s photograph of a Red Admiral Butterfly.

red admiral butterfly

The butterflies have been plentiful this year, but no Monarchs. It seems their habitat in Mexico has been destroyed. I miss them.

A word now about knitting or crocheting a baby sweater. The reason why there is usually no armhole shaping, especially on the 3 mos to 9 mos old sizes, is that babies at that age don’t really have shape. The diaper negates any waist a baby might have, so waist shaping is not practical. Also, many babies don’t have well-defined shoulders. A baby’s bones are more pliable than adult bones because the baby’s body needs to move through the confined space of the birth canal in order to be born. Sometimes the result is not well-defined shoulders. Where shaping is needed, however, is the neck.

Look at a baby. It is basically, with the help of diapers, two bowling balls on top of each other with tiny legs and tiny arms. The biggest feature on a baby is its head. The feature most lacking on a 3 mos to 9 mos old is a neck. The neck does not distinguish itself until 10 mos. It is quite distinguishable by 12 mos. Why shaping is needed most around the neck for the 3 to 9 mos old is to prevent constriction around the throat. Keep it loose around the neckline. Cardigans are good because they have a loose neckline. The very top button on a baby cardigan should be 3/4″ (2) cm from the top edge of the sweater. Sweaters with V-necks, boat necks, sweetheart necklines, keyhole necklines, square necklines, any neckline that doesn’t constrict the throat area is good.

Friday I’ll ask why designers put collars on sweaters for 3 mos to 9 mos olds and why designs that go from 3 mos up to 24 mos usually don’t work.

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