Wouldja lookit this sweet little cardi? I adore this pattern, and can’t understand why it took me so long to finally make it. It’s the Square-Neck Cardigan from Little Badger Knitwear, a book from 2000 that I like very much. Several of the designs, like this one, could just as well have been knit in 1904 as 2004. They have the old-timey look I find so compelling, yet they are clean-lined clothes for the ultra-modern baby of today.
What I most admire about this pattern is its breathtaking defiance of the Gospel According to Rowan. As it is written in the Book of Hargreaves, Ch. 2, verse 6-9: “Verily thou shalt add a buttonband after the raiment be compleat in all its parts and in all its pieces. And the righteous among ye shall knit the band on needles so small that a camel cannot pass through them any easier than a rich man can attain the Kindgom of Heaven. Unto every generation, thy children and thy children’s children shalt slightly stretcheth the band. Then shalt be picketh up the stitches for the neckband. Yea, thou shalt picketh them up in great numbers, whereas the lilies of the field shall just sit there without a worry in the world.”
When I was a child, I spake like a child. With the wide-eyed innocence of one barely 40, I asked the Rowan chat board, “Why, Sister Rowanettes, can we not just knit the button bands on as an integral part of the sweater?” It was explained to me that if the bands were not knit more tightly than the body, they would be loose and ruffly, and I would go directly to hell.
This little sweater is the New Testament of cardigans, all forgiveness and grace. Look how sweet the bands are, and they are knit right in, at the same gauge as the rest of the sweater. Look at the back, with its lovely touch of moss stitch–not so much moss that you get sick of knitting it, but a quietly elegant statement. I like this sweater so much that I want to crank it into the Sweater Wizard so I can make one for myself in that Tango Linen Drape I’ve been hoarding.
So why the title of this post? Here’s why. I made this sweater in Size 1-2 years for a baby girl. The baby was born in July 2004, but I like a baby cardi to be big enough for the baby to wear when she reaches prime sweater age. But not this big.
I’m to blame for an inch or two of this mess, because my gauge, while starting out at a prim and proper 28 stitches/4 inches (for at least the first 20 minutes), turned out to be 26 stitches when Hans Blix did some unannounced inspections. Although my measuring tape warned me of the danger, I dug in my heels and refused to believe that I needed to use size 2 or — gasp! — size 1 needles to get gauge. The rest of the problem is down to the pattern, which does not give the final measurements, but if you do the math (as I should have done beforehand), comes out quite big for a toddler.
Seriously, although this cardi fits my almost-8-year old, a size 3-4 sweater probably would also fit her, except the sleeves. Tell me, should I give it to an older baby girl? And then knit the smaller size of this one, on the correct needles, for the new baby? I have enough Rowan 4-ply left, and it was a quick knit (one week, from cast-on to Rowenta’s final blast). But somehow I’m not in the mood. Babies grow fast, right?
Just Because It’s Monday
I finally took some pictures of two of the afghans we sewed up at the party on September 12:
The Blue Afghan
The All-Noro Afghan
I’m in awe of what Community Knitting and Self-Taught Sewing (and a drop or two of Knitting Water), can achieve. (The Red Afghan is not quite ready for its close-up yet.)