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FO Pas

Dear Ann,
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s been a real FO Show around here lately. Finishing things up, which doesn’t stop me from starting things up.
Today’s FO is a top-down baby raglan cardi. I was knitting it in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska.
Hold On: Moment of Zen
As you will recall, I was knitting this cardi on the road between KC and Omaha, when I was riding with brother Van in his car, and you were following in the rent-a-wreck du jour. You were savoring the sound of Me Not Talking, while you wigged out to one of the many obscure and depressing items loaded on the AnnPod. (Refresh me on this: was it Collapse, or an old Fresh Air interview with Drew Carey, or was that another road trip or maybe a bad dream?) Anyhoo, do you remember when our car sped up real fast and then slowed down? I made Van do that so I could catch up to this guy. (Click on it again if you missed the license plate. Which would be understandable. There is a lot of First Amendment exercise in that picture.)
But Back To The Cardi
The pattern is ‘Seeds and Vines’ from Elanor Lynn’s new book of baby things, Cozy Knits for Cuddly Babies. I sort of know Elanor! She works at Downtown Yarns! I even have a picture of her! I fell in love with this sweet old-timey cardi, I am something like 8 babies behind on my baby-knitting list, and I was OVER the mitered squares thing (for a minute)–so it was perfect travel knitting.
I changed the pattern a little. Instead of wool, I used Rowan Denim 100% cotton, in the lightest shade, Tennessee. I did not do the waist shaping, because I wanted it to look kind of jackety and because the baby in question probably doesn’t have a nipped waist right now. I made the seed stitch edgings deeper than called for, because I heart seed stitch and I had plenty of time on my hands, and I left the edgings open instead of seaming them, for a kind of 1950s car coat look. Like something Laura Petrie would have worn on the Dick Van Dyke Show, if she had been a baby.
I love the tight vine cable set off by yarnovers, instead of the usual reverse stockinette. Sa-weet!
Okay, now you’re probably wondering whether the Tennessee shade of denim is really that pale. It’s not. On Sunday, when I was sewing up, I treated myself to a little Mothers Day fun with the Clorox Bleach Pen. It felt so…risky….dabbing bleach all over a finished garment. But the mom of the baby girl in question is an adventurous and understanding knitter, who has been known to wear her own jeans down to the molecules. So I went for it. I learned a lot. Mainly I learned that a little goes a long way. The pointy end of the bleach pen is generally your best bet.
Once baby gets the hat on, the mom won’t even notice a few ultra-bright speckles here and there. (Another of my handknit gifting guidelines: always accessorize with a non-handknit. Just in case, you know, they don’t like the handknit.)
More O’s have been F’d. I’m photoshopping as fast as I can.
Love, Kay




  1. Love the jacket, I can never get enough of seed stitch, particularly on baby things. The idea of bleach on denim terrifies me, although it really brings out those pretty cables.

  2. Love it, love it, love it. Bleach is denim’s best friend, I feel. OK, I have to say that as I spent yesterday afternoon sloshing half a bottle of bleach over 5 knitted squares of denim (each one a whole ball!). But that little jacket is perfect, very, very ’50s. ‘Twill be a super stylish little sproglet!

  3. Love the baby raglan! It is very sweet.
    I finished my first baby kimono yesterday. Love the book It sits open by my bed with me wanting to knit everything in it!

  4. that is so cute.

  5. Love that baby sweater. Adult size version next? With grown up buttons.

  6. Beeeutiful sweater! I love the bleach bit…you are truely brave! Don’t think I’d have the nerve to go at a newly knitted project with a bleach pen. But the results are awesome! The hat is a perfect match and so cute!!! You guys are the best!

  7. Love it! I just got a bleach pen and never thought of the possibilities with denim yarn. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Kay – it’s fantastic! I picked up some Debbie Bliss Denim Aran this weekend. Only 5 skeins and I’m hoping it’s enough for a baby sweater!

  9. That is want-my-own-baby-girl-right-now cute. Meanwhile, I’ll be taking my bleach pen to the grout in the bathroom. I wonder if people googling “bleach pen” get your site because of its frequent appearance here and say to themselves, “Oh, THAT’S what those are for!”

  10. That’s an adorable sweater! I love all the detailing, and the faded denim is perfect. You’re slowly pulliing me over to the *denim* side. My little niece is ready for a new sweater…something like this might be just right. I’ll have to get my hands on a copy of that book!

  11. more o’s have been f’d …… I am going to have to remember that one, just in case I ever get an f’d o. ya know?

  12. The few and the brave – you are certianly among them. I gotta get me some denim… as soon as I finish another 30 mitered squares and everything else in The Book. Love it all. πŸ™‚

  13. I just love what you did with the bleach pen! That just takes the jacket to a whole new level.

  14. Adorable sweater!

  15. I think I need to have another baby.

  16. OK, I admit that my heart stopped just a tiny bit when I first read “bleach pen” but I think the results are totally worth it. That, and I bet it was easier than doing intarsia cables at the raglans, which is totally what I thought you had done when I first saw the picture.
    Cute Cute Cute!

  17. I am glad the beach pen is in full use! I have had to quarantine mine until I get at least one of the current projects finished!
    I so want to take it for a spin on a couple of cotton swatches I have.

  18. The sweater is so sweet! If I wasn’t so addicted to Log Cabins and so eager to start a miter blanket… I might bite at this.

  19. “photoshopping as fast as i can”– LOL!
    beautiful knitting, kay.

  20. The sweater is fantastic and I NEVER would have thought (and not sure I would have been brave enough) to try the bleach pen, but I have to admit I love the way it looks πŸ™‚

  21. How gratifying that your adventurous spirit always has such a nice outcome. Were I so bold and so successful, I’d dance a jig.

  22. The sweater is great, but even better is that pearl of wisdom: always accessorize with a non-handknit.
    I never stop learning here at MDK!

  23. I think I need to have a baby, too. Oh wait, I am! Lucky me!

  24. Who couldn’t love that jacket, of course given my level of knitting tallent, good plan. ;> How do you set a cable by yarn overs (I have done only one cable to date, am in luv)

  25. How beautiful Kay! I love what the bleach does for seedstitch – I’m going to fiddle with my swatches today. I’m afraid – wish I had you and Belinda to help!

  26. Did you drive through St. Louis?

  27. Ann & Kay behind McCartney split!
    No time for Paul after reading new Mason Dixon book!

  28. Very cute jacket. That bleach pen is genius. I would have never thought of that on my handknits.

  29. What a great baby knit. All my friends seem to be getting pregnant at the same time, so I’m going to have to (get to!) buy some baby pattern books. I love the book, by the way! My sister got it for me in KC (Yarn Shop & More).

  30. “More o’s have been f’d” hee!
    I just f’d my first o from the MDK book, haven’t taken a picture of it yet though. Gotta get on that!

  31. I love the sweater but your advice about accessorizing the handknit is worth it’s weight in gold!

  32. Bleaching grout! What a great idea… all I had thought about were yarn uses.
    Just goes to show you. Never skip the comments.

  33. Wow, a bleach pen! I never would have thought of it. How daring! I’ll have to try it now.

  34. A gorgeous sweater. I love the cables. But I have to say, the sweater is way too classy for that hat. The hat’s cute and all, but this is a handknit car coat for pete’s sake. πŸ™‚

  35. Glorious baby jacket! I love shadings of blue and the cables πŸ™‚

  36. I really, really like the tight cables offset by the yarnovers. And I really, really like the bleach pen effect. Now, could you overdye the bleached parts? Does Clorox make an overdye pen? Possibilities unfold.

  37. F ’em if they don’t like the handknits.
    and i’d like mine in a nice sage green. absolutely F’ing cute.

  38. Awesome sweater!

  39. Lovely work and some timely inspiration- I need to get gift making for my gazillion friends producing babies this year..

  40. AWESOME jacket! It came out perfect! Bleach can be a girls best friend sometimes….;o)
    Great colorway on the socks too! Trekking is great stuff!

  41. I second, third, maybe even fourth the instructions for the yarnover framed cables. I love cables and I have been trying to recreate the cable thingie on my own for about two weeks!


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