Pattern: "Boat Sweater" from Debbie Bliss "Special Family Knits"
Colours: Cream (#300101) and Navy (#300004)
Started: August 16 Finished: September 10, 2008
Mods: Substituted Cashmerino Aran for Cotton DK/Added 30% length to body
I think the horizontal ribbing, boat neck and little sail boat taken together are adorable and very French n'est ce pas? The pattern is written for cotton but I switched to cashmerino of the same weight to be more seasonal with both fiber and colour. The lighter, more springy wool let the horizontal ribs run away with the length making the thing, if knit as written, into more of a pop top than a sweater . To counter this I knit the fronts and backs 30% longer. I was knitting the 2 year old size for relatively new babies (both big babies as I understand it) and I thought it would look cute kind of big and slouchy through the body. The sleeves are knit as written.
I knit the first sweater without paying much attention to some of the finer details around the neck bind offs. To be honest this is because I've never really learned how to count rows of reverse stocking stitch. So I made more work for myself when it came to finishing the collar. I learned my lesson both on the collar and how to count the rows by sweater two.
As for the yarn, I've used it several times before in several colours as well as the Cashmerino Baby but this time as I worked with the navy yarn I found it turned my hands blue. I've never had this happen before - have you? I thought I'd better wet block it to make sure I wasn't giving something to a new mom that was going to stain everything it touched and it took 6 rinsings to get the water essentially clear. This is a shot of the second rinse...I know to expect some bleeding on that first soak but look what it did to the towel I rolled it in after that first bath!
This project was an interesting exercise in blocking. Look at the spaces between the raised rows - they are about twice the size on the wet blocked navy version of the spaces on the steam blocked cream sweater. I can also tell you the "sproinginess" of the cream one is quite absent in the flatter navy one that had the bath.And look what I was able to do with the size once it was wet!...
Both these sweaters are knit to identical measurements. Its really showed me what a change in look, feel and size wet blocking wool can make compared to the more gentle steam blocking! (Wouldn't a pair of these make a great gift for a set of fraternal boy/girl twins?)
So they're done. My Beloved can have them shipped to the recipients this week.
I can get back to some selfish knitting now. Next on my list is to start swatching for Honeycomb!