Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Sweater for Little Miss Chutzpah

I was tidying up old drafts and found this, originally begun last August. I am not going to fiddle with the verb tenses, so you will just have to imagine that we are sitting in a time machine, and all the typing is happening now instead of almost a year ago.

I got started on the raglan decreases at church on Sunday. This is the stage where, on a human sweater, you have all the bits threaded onto a circular needle (or a pair of them), and everything just dangles from the needles down into your lap, and it’s heavy and awkward, and you think you’re never going to be done with it. Here, I have flipped the sleeves up out of the way so that you can see that they really are in place, even if this does not much resemble a sweater just yet.

And suddenly, all of the sleeve stitches are gone, and if you have calculated the neckline decreases accurately, those stitches are gone as well, and all that remains are the stitches across the back of the neck.

I have cleverly not photographed the time two times that I got off-kilter with my decreases and had to frog back. [Nor the search for the fifth needle (after I got distracted by the fourth book in the Twilight series). It was, of course, right where I had left it: atop a magazine, not even six inches from the rest of the sweater. Thankfully, I found it using my eyes and not my feet or a vital organ (I frequently knit in bed).] As you might be able to see below, I opted for a V-neck.

And then if you are knitting for a human, you bind off the neck stitches because you don’t want the neck to stretch out in back; but if you are knitting for a doll who will not be turning cartwheels or chasing a cat up a tree, you can just leave the stitches there and pick up along the front edges of the sweater and work a garter stitch band with simple YO (yarnover, K2tog; I’m not channeling Rocky’s “YO, Adrian!” here) buttonholes on one or both sides, depending on whether you are going to button the sweater closed [as I did for Blessing’s teal sweater] or lace it shut [as I did for Celeste’s variegated lavender/rose/grey sweater].

Here it is at that point, with both sleeves seamed, the underarms grafted, and most of the ends woven in. I left the tag from the cast-on, in case I want to use it to sew on buttons later. When I made Blessing’s sweater, I knitted in the button-beads as I went. Some of them are a little wobbly (too long a thread shank, in effect). I think that if I stitch the beads on later, I will prevent that problem in future sweaters.

Here it is with the button bands completed. I opted to work buttonholes on both sides.

How sad is it that when I inventoried my ribbon stash, I had three cards of green 4mm, one card of green 7mm, and four cards of green 13mm? None of which was individually right to lace up the sweater, but all of which combined to give me the idea for a really cute skirt. So I drove over to The French Knot and bought four more cards of green 4mm, two cards of #8 silk perle (like perle cotton, only better), and two tiny hanks of #8 soysilk thread (one of which I immediately hand wound into a ball roughly the diameter of a quarter and proceeded to cast on for a pair of bloomers or panties, using a #11-12 steel crochet hook and my 00000 needles.) Insert sigh here...

I took three shots of the bloomers in their infancy: one aerial view showing the cleverness (ahem!) of the nether panel shaping (pardon the coyness, but I am trying to avoid spelling out the word which means the part where limbs join the trunk, both on trees and on people, because I think it would attract the wrong kind of attention to this blog), and two showing how short rows in the back were adding the fullness required to accommodate Her Cheekiness. All three of them impossibly blurry, so you will just have to trust me, but I was rather pleased with the shaping itself.

I have since duplicated the sweater, since I mislaid the instructions the first time around.

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