I have to admit, I am pretty proud of the little sweater I cranked out. It flew from my fingers, even with a false start, and the directions were easy and straightforward.
Pattern: February Baby Sweater from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac
Made for: Baby Ella
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Superwash Merino DK
Yardage: About 1 1/2 hanks, or 370 yards
Yarn Source: KnitPicks
Needles: US size 6 KnitPicks Options needles
Final Size: I’m hoping the sweater will be wearable by infant Ella and toddler Ella!
SMOOTHING OUT THE TANGLES:
Set-up and cast-on:
I started the sweater on US size 4 needles but after working much of the yoke I decided that the neckhole seemed too small (I wanted a sweater that would fit well for more than just a month or two) and so I went up to US size 6 needles.
As EZ points out in her directions, babies come in all sizes, so this sweater is a bit of an adventure with gauge. (This is a roundabout way of admitting that I did not swatch!)
To make the sweater a little larger, I worked the button band six stitches wide instead of the suggested four. Likewise, I worked the sleeve cuffs and the bottom edge of the sweater in six rows.
For the buttonholes, I worked a decrease and yarn-over right next to each other, then knit across the next row, and then on the following row I knit into the yarn-over two rows below. I generally hate buttonholes, but these came out just fine.
A quick dip with my new Soak Citrus wool-wash (great suggestion Mick, I am loving the Soak!) and the yarn bloomed quite a bit. The sweater went from baby to small toddler size, and I patted it into shape and let it dry flat on some towels.
Once dry, I sewed on the two little pink buttons I picked out from F&S Fabrics using a tiny tapestry needle and some regular white sewing thread. Ta da! Done!
A final note:
This sweater was so incredibly easy to work! My student knitters are all agog over it, but really it’s just garter stitch, some increases, and a simple pattern, back and forth. The very best part, though, is that the patterned part of the sweater is totally interchangeable. Any pattern — even simple stockinette — would work (and in most cases, with very little nasty math). I know I’m about forty years late to the party on this, but I am already in love with EZ’s patient (though sparse) instructions and simple but brilliant innovations and solutions. The February Baby Sweater has been a joy to knit.
Finally, although there are many many pretty and well-made versions of this sweater out there (hello Ravelry! I love you!) I was completely inspired by Brooklyn Tweed’s beautiful photos of his sweater.