Labour of Love

ImageThough I have no children of my own, I love to knit baby clothes. Not only are knitted baby items, and their wearers, always painfully cute, they also satisfy my ego’s need to be able to complete something quickly and easily, especially as I slog away on larger or more complicated projects. It never occurred to me when I first started knitting that I would enjoy making tiny sweaters and socks for small children. For one thing,  I have no desire to have kids of my own. I certainly don’t dislike children, but I’ve known for a long time that being a mother is not something I want for myself. And besides, my reasons for taking up knitting have been mostly selfish. I want to make myself clothing that I like and that fit me well. Now that I have a new niece and another nephew on the way, though, I’m finding myself really enjoying the idea of clothing my new family members in soft, beautiful hand knits that will keep them warm no matter how cold it gets in whatever frosty part of Canada they find themselves in.

ImageThis pullover, my own original design, will shortly make its way to my brother and his wife for their first child together, a little boy whose name starts with an “E” (to be revealed with his birth in the fall). The design is a complete accident born out of necessity. I started out intending to make this cardigan with two balls of Knit Picks Swish DK in the Dove Heather colourway I had in my stash, a beautiful, light heathered grey colour that has become a favorite of mine. I cast on for this sweater before I knew the sex of the baby, figuring that I’d brighten it up with some colourful buttons once I knew whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. I quickly realized that I didn’t have nearly enough yarn to finish the sweater I had original cast on for, but some stash diving revealed two more balls of Swish DK in a beautiful deep red colour (Garnet Heather, in case you’re wondering). With two balls of yarn in the wrong colour, and not wanting to be a suck, I changed my plans and set out to improvise a pullover, and above is the result.

I have to say that I’m really pleased with how this little sweater turned out! Because I am still very much an imperfect knitter, there are a few small mistakes and things I might find a way to do differently in the future. Unfortunately, I didn’t take great notes when I was working on this, so I won’t be able to share a pattern (assuming there is any interest in seeing a pattern, that is) anytime soon. But I can point out the new things I got to try out in making this sweater, like the applied i-cord edging around the collar and my very first foray into stranded colour work. In any case, this sweater is soft and warm and, very importantly, machine washable (you’re welcome, Duncan & Jessica!). 

Oh, and, uh, did I mention that I’m participating in the Summer Sweater Knit Along? Well, I am. 

ImageFeast your eyes on my version of Veera Välimäki’s Still Light Tunic, which is about 50% away from completion. It’s taking a while because of the fine gauge of the yarn I’m using, but I’m confident that it’ll be ready to wear when it starts to get cold. Is it crazy to be knitting a sweater in the summer? Maybe. But I know for certain that I won’t regret having knit this in the summer heat once I’m wearing it in the cool of the fall. And, besides, it’s nice to have a head start on this year’s sweater knitting. I’ve got big knitting plans for when the weather gets cold, people!

What are your fall/winter knitting plans this year?

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3 thoughts on “Labour of Love

  1. I love all of your projects, just lovely! I love baby stuff as well – it was hard to do for a while but I think I have come to grips with it.
    For me, fall and winter is my first sweater, my first bag and a beautiful table runner pattern I found in a book. Yea! 🙂

    • Hooray! What do you think you’ll do as your first sweater? I’ve never knit a bag before, but I’ve been eyeing Gudrun Johnson’s Shetland Shopper pattern for a while. I have weird romantic ideas about those old fashioned string grocery bags. 🙂

      • That is the exact bag I was thinking of!
        As for a sweater, I am taking advice from everyone that’ll give it to me. It’s still up in the air but leaning to something fairly painless 😉

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