Oh dear

IMG_0879 I should probably begin by pointing out that my current career requires minimal math skills, and my previous career required minimal math skills. They’re both fields where when you do have to deal with numbers, you may well get it wrong the first time, and you may well then say something like “There’s a reason I went into field X, because I’m bad with numbers.”

Of course, knitting frequently requires at least minimal math skills. Like, it would be expected that you can look at the amount of yarn a pattern requires, and look at the amount of yarn in a single skein of the yarn you’re considering, and figure out how much of the latter you need for the former.

Or you could be me, and figure out halfway through your “baby” blanket that you have one skein left, you had originally bought five, each skein is 210 yards, and for some reason you thought that five skeins at 210 yards a skein would get you to the 1,950 yards the pattern requires.

Even though I knew I was knitting the largest size of this blanket (not “lovie,” not “stroller,” not “crib,” but “throw”), for some reason I was sure that five skeins would be enough and it would nonetheless end up a nice baby-sized thing.

In any case, late last night – after I had spent much of the day binge-watching Anthony Bourdain and speed-knitting – I finally, finally figured out my error. Since I’d had a baby-sized object in my head, and what I’d produced was pretty much that size, I had convinced myself I was nearly done (after all, I was using up the yarn!), and realizing I had basically a whole other baby blanket left to knit was…depressing.

I faced two choices: buy more yarn, keep knitting, and produce something very not baby-sized; or frog what I’d done, and start over with a more reasonable-sized project. It seemed really sad to consider frogging all. that. work, but I had pretty much the same amount of knitting in front of me either way. And buying more yarn was going to be expensive.

RIPPPPP.

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(Of course because I’d alternated skeins, ripping back got me into a huge tangle to begin with, so that was fun, too.)

I’ll admit, though, that I couldn’t face continuing on with the original pattern I’d chosen, the Harvest Moon Blanket. This has absolutely nothing to do with the pattern, which is perfectly clear (both in general and with regard to size and yarn requirements – apparently I just can’t read) and produces perfectly lovely results (I particularly liked the border texture). It’s more that after already knitting the equivalent of a whole baby blanket in that pattern, I couldn’t bear to do another one. (Not being a regular blanket knitter, I found those rows lonnng.)

So I’ve started over, with Tanis Lavallee’s Smooth Sailing. (Some day I am going to buy some of her gorgeous yarn, too.) The nice thing about this pattern is that the reverse side looks prettier than on the Harvest Moon Blanket, and I actually think that the stitch pattern works better for my yarn, which I’ve decided is a little too variegated for the Harvest Moon Blanket anyway. (So all that wasted work was for the best, right???)

IMG_0888It’s a good thing it won’t get cold here for – well, it doesn’t get truly cold here, but it won’t be chilly enough for a blanket for a while. Hopefully I can at least beat winter.

Finished object! Small = cute.

Earlier on here I talked all about how I only knit sweaters, and then I proceeded to show you a bunch of scarves. I have another sweater-heavy post drafted, but in the meantime, here is a sweater for you, if only a wee little sweater for a wee little person.

It’s a gift for some friends of the husband, who just had a baby boy. I’m not really good on baby sizes but I think this will fit the little one at some point along the line, even if not for very long. 

The pattern is garter yoke baby cardi by Jennifer Hoel, which is free and generally easy to understand. I’ll confess I had to look for an online tutorial for the i-cord bind off, but that’s probably me. The yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima Fine, in Chartreuse. The buttons (so adorable!) are from Yum Yum Buttons on etsy. 

The sweater began life as Joji Locatelli’s Garter Stitch Baby Kimono, because the husband adores the little baby kimonos, but that didn’t work out. My gauge was off (I thought that Cascade Pima Ulta Fine was fingering weight, but it’s sport), which messed with the proportions of the neckline increases, and the fabric wasn’t very good, so change in plans.

I can see a lot of problems with this (leaving aside the taken-at-night-poor-light pictures): the fabric has a bunch of uneven patches (I knit this in a lot of short sessions, and I think the picking up/putting down all the time shows), the i-cord bind off is a little too tight (so short), and the corners of the collar and hem aren’t very square. I think the buttons are secure, but the reverse of the button band isn’t the most attractive.

But the shape and size is pretty much right, the yarn is very soft, and I think the raglan increases against the garter yoke look rather tidy and handsome. And it benefits from the universal truth that even the most ordinary object looks many times cuter when you miniaturize it. I hope the new parents will like it.

Welcome to the world, little one.