Friday, May 21, 2010

DROPS Garter Stitch Baby Sweater

I love this free pattern by Drops Design. It has a Scandinavian feel to it. The dark blue and the variegated sock yarn from Happy Feet turned out to be a good combination. I had purchased the wool to knit Minni, but I wasn't having much success with it. There are a few notes for this Drops Design Cardigan on my Ravelry page.

You cast on in the contrast color (blue) along the left front vertical border. The sweater is knitted from side to side with only a bit of seaming under the arms at the end. The two yarns are alternated in short rows for the striped effect. There isn't a purl stitch in the entire thing. Elizabeth Zimmermann liked garter stitch for its stretchability, among other traits. It is especially charming on babies. I'm sure I will be making this sweater again. Next time I will widen the sleeves just a bit as they look a tad skinny, but on the other hand, I haven't seen a lot of babies with bulging biceps. Although I knit the newborn size, my gauge was off (refused to go down to a smaller needle size) so the result is about 9 mo to one year.

The blue is actually darker than it appears in the photos. The Happy Feet yarn has a lovely bounce to it.

The pattern is similar to one in a knitting pattern book from the 1950's that my grandmother had given me. I used this pattern to knit a gray sweater, bonnet, mitten, and bootie set for our first born son. Of course, back then we didn't know whether we were having a boy or a girl. Gray was gender-friendly and untraditional. Elizabeth Zimmermann suggested gray wool for babies and in the 1970's she was the only knitter I knew, needed, or heeded. So I heeded.

I scanned a few fading photos of our baby in his little gray sweater. Here we are when he was just 6 days old, in the middle of January 1978. We called that his "Cheerio Look" because his little mouth looked like a cheerio cereal bit. He was a bit of a fuss-budget but we were so enamored we barely noticed at the time.

At 8 weeks he was going with me to a folk dance festival weekend. I am wearing my (fake) Swedish costume. As we were poor graduate students I cut our hair to save money. You can tell. It's a good thing I did not decide to become a hair dresser. That is one sweet baby, isn't it?


KPiep said...

Oh Paula! You're family pictures are wonderful! Thanks for sharing them!

And by the way, you look a whole heck of a lot better than I did after my girls were born.

The baby sweater is adorable. I'll have to check out that pattern. I'm just finishing up a Minni of my own, but am looking for other patterns for another baby.

joyknits said...

Really cute sweater, and I love the photos - hard to believe how they're all grown up ;o)

MttR said...

Thank you so much for sharing your memories. You are right : Gray is lovely for babies.

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