Monday, April 09, 2007

Hooded zip-up Baby Sweater

Minus the zipper

I said I wasn't going to knit socks anytime soon, after the last round of Sock Madness.

Gee, I wonder who cast on the latest Six-Month-Sock-Along pattern?
But it's Harry Potter socks, so how could I resist?

During the latest down time of Sock Madness I did try something different, though.
My sister-in-law is about to give birth any day now and up until now I've not felt the urge to knit anything baby. Superstitious? Maybe.

But I had grabbed up a skein of Bernat Softee Baby yarn with a 50% off coupon from ACMoore's to make a pair of baby booties for husband's co-worker shower gift a while ago.
There was a lot of yarn left over. I cast-on without a clue how far the skein would go.
Foolish optimism is a wonderful thing.

The sweater I had in mind was given to me 24 years ago as a baby shower gift. It had a zipper in the back and I remember it as the best invention EVER for getting on or off a sleeping baby. Even if it meant tag-team cooperation between the inexperienced parents we once were. I knew it was still around somewhere, turned over to the girls for their Cabbage Patch Dolls long ago. Wondered where it was...

I took my memory of the sweater to the internet search engine and tried finding a free pattern. What I found was this. It's not very well written for a first adventure in baby sweaters. And the picture of the zipper installation is appalling! I've changed the pattern to include cables and rewritten it in terms I can understand.

Because that's what a Foolish Optimist does, right?

I've knit my first baby sweater!* In about 5 days of casual knitting. No crazy non-stop Madness Knitting. I can't believe how quickly it knit up once I figured out how to increase for the Raglan Sleeves. (Pile of raveled yarn proof of several attempts at figuring out "increase, place marker, increase" instruction. Without freaking holes of ginormous proportions.)

With one sleeve left to go, there was question whether or not there would be enough yarn to finish. I suggested to Tom I might need one of those booties back! In the end there was yarn left, rolled up about the size of a golf ball.

(If anyone wants my changes, let me know. It probably needs a second test knitting though to see if I deciphered my scribbles correctly. I did find the sweater, still on the doll! Looks like 58 stitches cast on instead of 78. It's only slightly smaller although I used size 7 needles on my version. )

* Technically, I knit a toddler sweater for Sara when she was little. The neck opening was so tight there was probably an element of child cruelty involved getting it on & off. She only wore it a couple of times. She would have every right to continue holding the entire experience against me, should she jot down her Mommy Dearest moments at some point later in life.

(Plus I kicked her arse at Scrabble yesterday ~:)

Pocket Constitution in honor of One Million Blogs for Peace. I'm joining.


Sheepish Annie said...

Wow!!! That is the cutest thing ever! And I really do like the idea of the zipper being in the back...non-parents such as myself would never think of that, but it really does make sense.

GinnyG said...

Love the cable, what a nice touch. I cam across our blog while looking for a way to rezie this pattern to 6 mos and 1 year size. WOuld love any suggestions you might have.

I have just started my first (newborn) of this pattern, my first grandchilld is due next mont :-)

Feel free to email me at
with suggestions for sizing.