February Baby Sweater

A February Sweater in October

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)
Color: Maroon/Eggplant
Needles: Addi Turbo 40″ 3.5mm (US 4)

Started: September 09, 2007
Completed: October 01, 2007

Pattern modifications:

  • 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.

Pattern tips:

  • 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.

I ran out of yarn

I’m on my trip and I finally got in a little knitting.  I continued working on the February Baby Sweater.  So far, I’ve managed to finish about four inches of the body before running out of yarn.  It’s not a complete crisis; there is more yarn back home, so I’ll be able to finish the sweater.  No photos of the sweater today because the hotel lighting is terrible.

No progress has been made on any other project.  I’m just not feeling any inspiration.  It’s funny, because on this trip I’ve had so many yarn opportunities.  There has been yarn at farmer’s markets, and I’ve driven by several yarn stores (just stumbling on them), but nothing seems to help.

It has sleeves

Little progress is being made in my house on knitting projects.  The sock that I’m working on has been sitting in a bag, untouched, for about two weeks now.  My other project, the baby sweater, just gets neglected.

I have managed to finish both sleeves on the sweater.  I decided to knit them in the round to eliminate additional finishing steps on this project.  In order to knit them in the round, I had to put the rest of the sweater on waste yarn (the blue seen in the photo below) because I have only the one size US4 needle. 

I’m hoping to have some knitting time over the next week that will allow me to finish the baby sweater, and possibly cast on for an additional project.  I’m headed out on a trip, and with the airport wait times and flights, I think that the baby sweater should be done before I return.  As proof of my insane confidence, I leave you with this.  I dug through the stash and found this.  It is now in a nice, center-pull ball on my table, waiting to be packed in luggage.  I’m thinking a Nancy Bush Knitting on the Road pattern might be appropriate for this trip.  I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

It IS September

I’m still alive, but life has gotten in the way of my knitting and blogging lately. 

Since I finished Bayerische, there has been mostly insignificant knitting.  I knit about a half dozen dishcloths with the Swish with a Twist pattern.  That has become my favorite dishcloth pattern.  It’s easy to memorize, has a bit of patterning to keep my interest, and I love how the finished items look. 

I’ve also cast on for a new sock.  It’s my own design, and for undisclosed reasons, I can’t feature it on the blog yet.  That’s the end of that topic, for now.

Jim and I were working on the house over the Labor Day weekend, and he mentioned that a friend of ours had called to let us know that his wife had their baby.  My response, “She’s not due until Sept… oh.”  In my defense, the baby did arrive about two and a half weeks early.  After some teasing about having knit for babies of other friends, I decided that I’d go ahead and knit something. 

Luckily, our friends had a little girl.  I just think that there are so many cute girly patterns for babies, and it seems like everyone I know is always having boys.  After spending some time on Ravelry, I settled on the Baby Sweater on Two Needles from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitters Almanac.  This pattern is also known as the February Baby Sweater, which is how I’ll refer to it from now on.

Now comes the challenging part, yarn selection.  I wanted to knit this sweater from stash.  However, my stash tends follow the colors of my wardrobe (except for that sock yarn stash).  This means that it tends to be blacks, grays, and neutrals in mostly natural fibers that could felt.  I’m not sure about burdening the new parents with having to handwash garments, so I wanted to ensure the sweater is machine washable.  I did find this lovely Baruffa Aerobic in a dusky lavender color in my stash, but the more I looked at all the little symbols on the ball band, the more I worried that it would felt if washed. 

Back into the depths of the stash I went.  What else could I find that wasn’t wool.  Hmmm…the Jaeger Cadiz perhaps?  It’s a nice off white color, but I just can’t bring myself to use this 50% Silk yarn for a friend’s baby when I really wanted it for me (yes, I’m selfish).  I know, I’ll use the Artyarns Supermerino; it’s been sitting in the stash for some time now, since I found it in a sale bin at Ancient Pathways.  However, upon seeing the yarn, Jim declared the #101 colorway “too-boyish”. 

Then, there it was, a yarn of the right gauge that actually recommends machine wash and dry, the Phildar Leader.  The whole reason I bought this 100% acrylic yarn was because this always happens to me when I want to knit baby sweaters.  I have 3 skeins in a green, and 3 in a nice eggplant color.  I grabbed the eggplant and started swatching; when I was done, I washed and dried the swatch.  While it is a nice acrylic, it softened up even more after machine washing and drying. 

My gauge isn’t the 5 stitches to the inch called for by the pattern, but it will work.  As the pattern states, “Babies come in various sizes”, this will be a sweater for the baby to grow into.

Create a free website or blog at | The Baskerville Theme.

Up ↑


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.