After returning home from my trip to Oregon, I was able to dig in the stash and find an additional skein of the Phildar Leader to finish the February Baby Sweater. After finishing the knitting and weaving in the ends, I faced an even bigger challenge. I needed to find buttons.
I don’t have much of a button stash, and from having browsed sites like Ravelry, and the Zimmerman knitalong, I knew that great buttons really make a difference on this sweater. I checked a few of the local big box craft stores, but was a bit disappointed at the selection.
So, I decided it was time to try a specialty sewing store. At the Libertyville Sewing Center, they had a large bucket of buttons. As the person at the store explained, they’d run out of space to keep buttons on display on cards, so they ripped them all off and stored them in a bucket. They have a large table that you can dump the bucket onto to help in the sorting of buttons. While I had fun looking through the bucket, this is not the way to go if you need a lot of buttons or if you don’t have a lot of time. But, all the buttons in the bucket are only ten cents each, so you can find some deals. What buttons did I find?
It’s a little difficult to capture them accurately in a photo. They’re round plastic buttons with wood grain finish and a dark purple/maroon shade rubbed in the edges and the detail cuts on the button. I think that they match the sweater well, and I love that they aren’t too babyish.
I think I understand now why so many knitters have knit this pattern. Overall, you get a sweater that looks much more complex than the effort put into it. I thought it was really fun to knit too. I will definitely be knitting more of these as future baby presents. Here are some photos of the finished sweater.
Pattern: February Baby Sweater (a.k.a. Baby Sweater on Two Needles)
Source: Knitters Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Phildar Leader (220 yards / 100g)
Quantity: A little over 1 skein (~300 yards)
Needles: Addi Turbo 40″ 3.5mm (US 4)
Started: September 09, 2007
Completed: October 01, 2007
- I used only three button holes in the yoke area for the sweater. I like the open sweater look.
- I knit the sleeves in the round to avoid seaming at the sweater completion. This allowed me to pickup stitches instead of casting them on as I continued working the body.
- My gauge was larger than the pattern gauge of 5 stitches per inch, but this way the baby can grow into the sweater.
- Since I made a slightly larger sweater, I extend the length of the sweater by half an inch.
- Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “pithy” patterns leave a lot of room for interpretation. The instructions for beginning the body after the sleeves and casting-on “4×7″… I’m still not sure I understood them correctly.
- This pattern is a wonderful example of why you should read an entire pattern before beginning to knit it. She doesn’t mention buttonholes until you have finished knitting the yoke. If you wanted yoke buttonholes, you’d be out of luck.
There will be more of this sweater in my future. I just have to wait now for more news of babies.