Friday, March 23, 2012

Finished Knits: Mitts and a Baby Sweater

I have some knitted things to show you (and some I'm not showing you, since I managed to knit myself the most unflattering sweater ever...). First up, fingerless mitts knit for Jen:

This was the exclusive in the Squam store last month--the yarn is by Jill Draper and the pattern, Pinehurst, is by Natalie Selles, just for Squam. I didn't have even the least tug toward buying either, overwhelmed as I am by the bins of yarn in my basement and more than happy with my modified-to-suit-myself Evangeline mitts. (I've lost count how many times I've knit those mitts as gifts. I can nearly knit them in my sleep.)

However, when Jen mentioned in the Squam Ravelry Group that she'd pay someone to knit them for her, I offered to do it. For free, of course. I've pretty much decided not to knit for money, ever, because knitting needs to stay a centering activity for me (we're not talking about that unflattering sweater, remember?), not a stressy thing for income. So she had the yarn and pattern sent to me, and I asked, in return, that she learn how to knit.

The yarn is absolutely gorgeous, lovely and soft. The pattern gives lots of choices--type of cuff, length of arm, plus three sizes. This is the horizontal cuff, long arm, size medium. Supposedly you only need one skein to knit these in any size, but see that itty tangle of yarn in the photos? That's all I had left. I was weighing as I went. I did have some trouble with the numbers given for this size/cuff combo, and I emailed the designer as suggested in the pattern. Normally I'd just work it through on my own, not email, but I really wanted to send Jen the mitts exactly as designed. But I never heard back to my email--maybe it got caught in spam? Regardless, I reworked the numbers in question, referring to the numbers given for the small size as my starting point, and after that it was smooth sailing. (Ravelry project notes are here.)

Is it weird to offer to knit something for a relative stranger? I dunno. I don't think so...I wanted to offer, so I did. Not too long before that, she'd sent me a really nice email, out of the blue, about what I'd been struggling with as far as Lyme (this after I posted my February DDD of walking, to help with the pain and fatigue). It happened to land in my inbox on a day I'd been particularly discouraged with Lyme out in the real world. Would I have offered to knit for her if she hadn't made that connection? Dunno. I do know I like to knit, and I was more than happy to, well, make her happy. Good enough, right? It's kind of a people thing, in that, people should do nice things just because we're all people.

So anyway, that's the mitt story. Before them, I knit this:

That's the Baby Yours sweater (project notes here), knit for one of my son's teachers, whose wife is due with a boy early next month. I won't lie; I am not crazy about this sweater. Oh, it's cute enough (and isn't that little gift tag I made adorable?), but I'm worried it's too small, and it's wicked fussy to sew all those pieces together, plus the end result doesn't look comfortable to me, with seams at the shoulders, down the arms (and I don't like those increases either, the arm looks like it tapers too much toward a too-narrow cuff), and on the sides. I knit the smallest size because I figured, how long will a baby due in early April wear a sweater anyway? (Especially this year, geez!) But it looks super small to me. Maybe I've forgotten how tiny new babies are? Although I'm not sure my full-term babies were ever that small. (The preemie, yes, but even he was a good size for a 34-week birth.) I really hope the parents get at least some use out of this.

My original plan was to knit two of these, one for another upcoming baby, but now I'm not so sure. I bought enough Socks That Rock Mediumweight (colourway In the Navy) for two, but either I'm going to have to make some mods to get rid of those uncomfy-looking seams, or I'm going to have to find another boy-suitable pattern in sport weight.

Also, kind of random, but I kept wanting to ink up that cable and make a print of it. So I may be knitting that cable again either way, just to ruin it.

Anyway, there you go. Proof that I occasionally still knit, too.


Sally said...

Those mits are in the most adorable colour yarn. Gorgeous!!!

lamina @ do a bit said...

Those mittens are just gorgeous.. LOVEthe yarn... such a great colour too :) I think it's so lovely that you knitted them for her for no other reason than you wanted too... I like to do things like that too! It makes you feel good hey :)

Rose Red said...

I think the mitts look great - better on than off, actually.

I agree on the baby jumper - it looks a bit short, to me. But I've forgotten already how small newborns are, and my baby isn't even 2 yet!

Jen said...

The mitts are gorgeous! It's not weird at all to offer to knit for a stranger! You taught a stranger to embroider! :-) If more people were like you to offer their time & talent with no expectations back the world would be a better & much more joyful place!

Bells said...

The mitts are - wow! Colour, pattern, everything. Love!

I'd say don't make another Baby Yours. Forget it. I'd totally go for a BSJ - the little boy I made one for last year wore it all winter and into spring and it was fabulous. Sportweight would give a good one that he could grow into nicely.

Olivia said...

As far as making things for others - trust your instincts! Sounds like good karma. The baby cardie is very sweet, but I kind of agree about seams. I made one baby garment that required seaming and ever since then I've just gone for seamless patterns. They're quicker that way, small enough to never be bulky while knitting, and it's not like you need the seams for stability or to make it hang right - everything looks kind of lumpy and wrinkled on babies anyway, right?