The Back of the Feelin’ Groovy baby sweater is almost done. It became the Back when I reached the armholes and still had not settled the debate in my head as to the type of neckline.
A large part of me still wants to go with the mandarin collar, even though the question has been raised as to whether a collar that stands up on the neck would be itchy. Of all the reasons against using this type collar that one never crossed my mind because if I am knitting a baby item I am using the softest yarn available.
I have a very sensitive neck when it comes to fabric touching it. So sensitive in fact that I have spent my life carefully cutting off the tags they put on clothes because they bother me. Yet I have never had an issue draping a knitted shawl or scarf around my neck because I use the softest yarn out there. When I am designing baby clothes I use yarns that are soft and gentle. Some are specifically made for baby clothes such as Sublime’s Baby Cashmere Merino Silk, or the Debbie Bliss line of baby yarns. If I am not using specific baby yarn I look for one that is made up of alpaca, merino, cashmere, silk, any combination that is soft enough not to irritate little necks. The yarn I’m using for Feelin’ Groovy is made of alpaca. I love the drape, the way it knits, the way it looks when it gets worn, and I love its softness. I could wear it around my neck all day.
One of the serious drawbacks in designing this sweater with a mandarin collar is it limits the size range. Babies from newborn to 6 months have no necks. So sizes 3 months, 6 months and even 9 months are out. While a 9 month old does show neck development, it is not enough to comfortably wear a mandarin collar. Thus I limited the sizes to 12 months, 18 months, and 2 years. I am toying with the idea of adding a 4 year old size, but I am not sure yet.
Altering the neckline to a collar that lays flat would give me the 3 month to 2 year range I like to design for. I have made a number of sketches with alternative necklines and while a flat rounded neck would look nice, it throws off the placket I had planned. Frankly, without the placket and its buttons the design just isn’t the same. It loses the child-like, innocent, playful feelings I want to convey. I like my designs to convey some emotions and I specifically put colors, shapes, and fabric together to achieve those things.
I still have time to worry over the collar. I’ll be starting the Front tomorrow. By the time I hit the start of the armhole I hope to have put the issue to rest.
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Running around the internet this morning and this caught my eye.
Yes, Barbie. Only this time the toy company is releasing more realistic versions of the icon. But what truly got my attention was not the announcement that the doll may have a more realistic figure, but the dress the red haired doll second from the right is wearing. Recognize those colors?
The colors look great on a red head. Who’d have thought?
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I spent the weekend thinking about and working on the baby sweater Feelin’ Groovy. One of the changes I made was to rearrange the colors. A color is affected by the other colors around it, as evidenced in the picture below.
Placing the lime green and hot pink next to each other sapped the life out of each color. Separating them with the dark turquoise gave them back their zip. This is the new edging / hem for the sweater. The knitting is a combination of slip stitch and stranding. I like the way each color is now distinct and vibrant. The checkered combination will go on the cuffs and around the neckline.
I am rethinking and redrawing the neckline, not sure which I will go with yet. First I need to get the duplicate stitch motif I plan to use charted and positioned on the body of the sweater to get a better idea of what will look best.
Because this sweater is influenced by the 1960s I did some research on which motif represented the 60s. I looked at fashion, design, and posters from the era. Three shapes seemed to most define the time: a flower, the peace symbol, and a dove sitting on the neck of a guitar. The latter was widely used in posters for Woodstock.
I immediately threw out knitting techniques such as stranding or intarsia for creating the motif opting for duplicate stitch instead. After much consideration, I decided on a flower as the representation of the era.
For now, the body of the sweater is being knit in Stockinette Stitch. My next decision is whether to use the yarn in duplicate stitch or use DMC Cotton Thread in a nice glossy color for the flowers.
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Somehow I forgot to add this size to the rest of the baby size and measurement posts. You can find all the baby sizes under Schematics Baby Sizes on the sidebar to the right.
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My latest baby sweater will be ready for the test knitters as soon as I finish typing up the pattern. For now here are some fast pictures I snapped.
Watching the fashions on the runways, I loved the non-stripe stripe. Breaking out of a stripe being a long, thin or wide, line that went across an entire garment, I decided to play with the idea a bit. For that I turned to the ultimate in stripe sweaters the Rugby sweater as my template. The only other overly striped garment that comes close is vintage prison garb.
I decided to learn how to play with the width of the stripes while maintaining an even length across the bottom of the garment at all times. That took some math and a whole lot of knitting, ripping, and knitting again. I was working in a heavier weight yarn than I am used to, but the heavier weight gave me more options when it came to breaking off the striping. Since this is a sporting sweater, I went with slim rolled hem, neck and cuff lines. Deepening the neck depth offered me the opportunity to eliminate the usual buttons one sees on baby clothes around the neckline. The way the neck is worked provides more than enough stretch for it to easily slide over the child’s head.
The weight of the yarn makes it appropriate for the autumn and winter months.
On the back side of the sweater I gave myself and the knitter a break and made it plain.
I can’t tell you how many times the front of the sweater was knit, ripped, and knit again. I lost count after week three. But giving birth to an idea is never easy, it seems.
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Much to my dismay, the “getting in shape” part of life continues. Should I live through it, I promise myself never to fall “out of shape” again.
Saturday morning began with a solid wasp sting to my right Achilles tendon. The villain was a yellow jacket. While they have nasty dispositions, yellow jackets are beneficial to the garden eco system, which is the only reason why I don’t aggressively eradicate every one of the little terrors. I was “getting in shape” when I came across it, specifically moved out of its way only to have it unknowingly stalk me and sting me when I paused for breath. The result was the eco system has one less yellow jacket.
Limping home, accompanied by the standard cloud of bugs swirling around my head, didn’t improve my mood. When I got home, I reached for an ice pack and Benedryl (yes I am allergic to wasp stings), settled myself in the chair with my “relaxing” knitting and waited for the ice and Benedryl to work.
On the last row of the stockinette part of the shawl I realized the number of stitches called for could in no way be attained by keeping in pattern. Put aside the yarn and needles, get the pencil, get the paper, get the calculator. I had to tech edit the whole pattern. Mistakes were found. The pattern was bought on Ravelry. I looked through the notes other knitters made. All alluded to mistakes and assumed the wrong was on them and not the pattern. The quandary I find myself in is whether to PM the designer and tell her of the mistakes and suggest how she can fix them privately or just point them out and give the fix for them in my project notes. What would you do? For me, I would want the PM. However, I don’t want to be stepping over anyone’s boundaries.
On the other knitting front, The Skipper’s sock is calling me to finish it. A small yarn sacrifice is scheduled for this afternoon. Yarn Rascal will be besides himself with joy.
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