I wasn’t really sure what I’d end up making when I picked up this ball of handspun. I was pretty sure that I’d be making something that didn’t come in pairs, since I had no way of knowing how the stripes or colours would distribute themselves across the ball. So…socks and mittens were out of the question.
I knew that there’d be stripes of some kind–with handspun from painted roving, you can’t really escape it! I decided to try knitting Laila (ravelink), a baby sweater that I created for friend’s of mine when their little Laila was born. It is a top-down, placket neck, raglan sleeve, seamless sweater, knit in the round. I love it because it requires very little finishing, and shows off stripes really well.
I also wouldn’t have to worry about the front and back being two very different colours (some of this yarn is very orange, and some is very green).
Being swatchless has its advantages–I knit, and make things, and usually they turn out the right size for someone….the problems arise when I try to make baby clothes. I don’t have access to many babies, so I’m at a loss as to their proportions. To this end, I brought the sweater to my mom–a fairly conventional knitter who works to gauge, from patterns that have sizes on them. She measured what I had against some of her 6 month sized sweaters. This one seems about right for a 6 month old. The neck opening is very stretchy, and so is the body. I left the sleeves wide until the cuff, decreasing only 4 stitches over the entire arm.
I had wanted to do garter stitch at the sleeves and around the body just like I did at the neck. Garter stitch is so much more brainless to knit than ribbing…but I found that the bottom edge of the sweater started to flip up when it was edged in garter stitch. I ripped back, did a few rows of K2, P2, ribbing, and it seems to lay flat now. I’m not sure if the flipping up is due to the garter stitch, or the twist in my spinning–it was not a balanced skein, but with me, it rarely is!
All that remains for this sweater is to pick out the most adorable little buttons. I’m thinking that I might go for wooden buttons, or black buttons, or maybe three different coloured buttons….there are so many options….I’ll bring it along to the fabric store and see what speaks to me.
And now….I’ll have to wait for a knitter to have a baby sometime in the spring or summer….I don’t think a non-knitter would fully appreciate all the work that has gone into this creation!