Bang out a sweater

A slightly freestyle yoke

A slightly freestyle yoke

Today I am reaping the rewards of a few finished knitting projects - one of the upsides of my recent illness was the extended time available for knitting and crafting - anything to avoid the horrors of UK daytime TV.

Today I thought I would share the Stopover sweater I recently completed as part of the Mason-Dixon ladies #bangoutasweater KAL. Knit in aran weight Lopi yarn but on larger than usual needles this is much touted as an amazingly quick (ie under 7 days) knit and I am happy to concur that this is indeed the case.

Like a few other knitters I had some trouble getting a gauge and fabric combination that I was happy with. Eventually I settled on 15st per 4" (the pattern calls for 13") on 6mm needles. I did a little maths and worked out that I could knit the M size and come up with something which would fit my UK Size 10 frame (34" bust).

I had never knit with Lopi yarn before and I was keen to give it a go. Choosing colours was the hard part though and I was very tempted by looking through the gallery of some beautiful finished sweaters.

The pattern is fabulously clear and it really did knit up very quickly. Looking at the finished sweaters I wasn't entirely convinced by the high neckline and I'm not a fan of things being tight around my neck. As it happens I tried it on once I got to round 12 of the colourwork yoke and decided that I liked the fit as it was, without doing the final set of decreases.

I went a little freestyle at this point - adjusting round 13 to work without additional decreases and then switching to smaller (5.5mm) needles. I added one round of plain grey and then worked in k2, p2 rib for 4 rounds.

I really liked the little pop of colour that the orange gave in the yoke pattern and so I decided to use this same contrast colour just to do the bind off with.


I am really pleased with how this turned out, and even more thrilled that I managed to bang out a sweater whilst it is still cold enough to "feel the benefit" - as my mum used to say.

You can find all the details on my ravelry page: here

Thoughts on Baby Knitting

When it comes to baby knits I have a few essential criteria that have served me well in the past. I tend to knit items in advance and keep them ready for the inevitable 'surprise baby' from a co-workers spouse or when several new arrivals happen within weeks of each other.
I like to keep a well stocked baby box with enough choice so that I can match item to recipient, rather than gifting a handwash-only item to a dear friend who I know can shrink laundry just by looking at it.
I do knit the occasional girly cardigan on impulse such as Autumn Leaves if I have suitable yarn but mostly I tend to favour unisex knits in fairly neutral colours to maximise gift-giving potential. Otherwise it is bound to happen that there will be 4 baby boys born in a row and all I have in the gift box is a pastel pink Liesl.
One of the reasons that I prefer a plain and simple knit like my Fuss Free Baby cardigan is that it is endlessly adaptable. Short or long sleeves, plain or striped, frugal stashbuster or blow-the-budget cashmere it can be adapted to suit any requirements.
I tend to have several in the gift box in neutral colours and then when the gender is known I can add some cute and funky buttons. Gender stereotypes can be a social minefield but I do love adding pretty flower buttons to a plain cardigan for a girl, not least because (with having two boys) my opportunities for girly knitting are strictly limited.

For added ease and adaptability I knit both button bands plain and then, using small buttons (knitting police - look away now) sew them onto the appropriate side and then just poke them through the band on the other side to create little buttonholes. I'm sure the local WI would faint at the thought but I don't imagine that the baby or sleep-deprived mother for that matter would give it a second thought.
I have never been clear on which side buttons go for a boy or a girl and I'm not sure that it matters anymore but for the record the buttons for a girl traditionally go on the right of the garment.

Impossible ?

Now, I am a sensible person normally and if someone were to tell me of their plans to knit a sweater in a week I would gently remind them of the laws of space and time. But for some reason I don't apply the same advice to myself. 

Surely, normal rules don't apply to me. Even though I am working 4 days this week and the sweater in question has long sleeves and is knit on 3.5mm needles.

Totally realistic to expect to have a finished sweater ready to wear for teaching my toe-up sock class on Saturday.....no?

I suspect this is an exercise in futility. But does it stop me trying? Nooooo...

The sweater is Peasy by the way in some lovely Rowan Felted Tweed that I picked up on sale recently.