Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gift Knitting

Cotton baby sweaterLet us pause from our trip to France for some knitting content!

I actually knit a gift for someone.

Yeah, it doesn't happen often around here. I hope you aren't too shocked.

Pattern: One-stitch baby sweater from Lion Brand, 18 months size.
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton, 2.5 hanks.
Needles: US9

So remember how, at the beginning of the year, I was making a sport out of not making gifts for my younger cousins who have been reproducing?

But how instead of being smart and keeping quiet about this laziness I was talking about it on Twitter and my blog, which both feed into Facebook—where all my family members can see it?

Well, back in May or June my mom ran into my cousins' mom (which is kind of surprising since Aunt T lives out in Calif.) And mom reported Aunt T said something along the lines of, "If a baby blanket is too boring to make, maybe someone should knit a baby sweater instead."


Which just shows you the high levels of sass in my family, in case you were wondering where I get it from.

Since even I can take a hint when you hit me over the head with it, I dutifully settled on a pattern and bought some yarn.

(Note: this yarn was purchase before the pay cut was announced, so I'm not off my yarn diet.)

I decided to go with the Lion Brand One-Stitch Baby Sweater. (You need a password/ID to get into the Lion Brand pattern library, so I'm not going to link it.) I had made it for my Cousin A's youngest son several years ago and remembered it was quick and easy.

The problem was choosing yarn. My Cousin X had registered for organic cotton rompers, layettes, sheets, etc. But I didn't know if she believed in organic or was just being trendy. Fortunately during one of mom's recent visits I had to answer her cell phone because she was driving. My Uncle the Priest confirmed his daughter is pretty rabid about the whole organic, non-toxic lifestyle. Which limited my yarn choices, but also justified my laziness as the 100 percent acrylic blanket I'd been avoiding probably wouldn't have been well received anyway. (Although she probably wouldn't have said so since she was brought up well. But she's got as much sass as anyone else in this family, so you never know.)

I settled on Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton in the grown organic colorways. I'd used the normal Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton for a baby bolero for a coworker a few years ago and thought it quite lovely.

(Don't ask. It was a one-skein project and very cute. However, by the time the baby was old enough to visit the office, she had outgrown it. sigh.)

Now the pattern said I would need three balls of Lion Brand Cotton Ease and it comes in 207 yard balls. BSA-OC comes in 150 yard skeins. So by my math I needed 4.14 skeins of the BSA. I thought, "What's 0.14 of a skein between friends?" and just bought the four instead of five.

Turns out I only needed 2.5 skeins. Don't know how or why, but I thought it was pretty cool.

And a Hat
G stitch baby hatThen I sat there looking at the left over 50 grams of yarn and thought, "That's pretty useless."

So I fiddled around and made this little hat. I used US8 dpns because I apparently don't own US9 dpns. Which seems like a bit of an oversight, so maybe they just aren't in the drawer where they belong.

My first attempt was too small. I don't know much about baby head sizes as I do my best to avoid babies because they are gross. And for all I know they are contagious, like fleas or something. You touch someone elses baby and end up with one of your own. It's just too dangerous.

Anyway, even I, with my limited knowledge, knew the hat was too small. So I asked my friends who do have babies and got some size guidelines. Yes, there are tons of free patterns for baby hats available, but all the ones I saw were stockinette and I wanted garter to match the sweater. So I persevered.

My second attempt will hopefully fit. It only took 25 grams of yarn. Since the leftovers from the hat were even less useful than the leftovers from the sweater, I made a second hat. Now I'm ahead of the game the next time someone decides to reproduce. I'm feeling rather pleased with myself as well.

Of course, by the time I get to the post office, Cousin X's baby will probably have outgrown the sweater. But it's the thought that counts, right?


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Great job Ann! It will be a wonderful gift. :)