Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby Sweaters and Bears

Much to Robb's dismay, I decided to embark on making a baby sweater for a friend a few weeks ago. You see, Robb's sad that I haven't finished his man sweater (and truth be told, I'm sad I haven't finished it either!) I did that thing where you can't decide how you want to work a section--should I give it side seams or just work it back and forth? But isn't it a tad feminine to not have seams? Doesn't a big burly man sweater need big burly seams? And so, even though I'm working his cardigan top-down and seamless knitting is the big perk of that construction, I stalled beneath the armpits for months, not sure what do do.

Alas, I have decided on a seaming route, and now I am back on track! But first, I had this cute little baby sweater to make. It's the Easy Baby Cardigan from More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, and it's in the 4-to-6 hour gift chapter, which translates to one bad TBS movie starring Salma Hayek, two episodes of Antiques Roadshow, and approximately four episodes of Pawn Stars (yup, my TV viewing choices = nerd alert.)

But this sweater isn't just for any baby! It's for my lovely coworker Natalie's baby. And guess what? This child is going to be born into Pickle Royalty! (She's married to Bob McClure of McClure's Pickles, which I will always think is the coolest thing. Think about it! Free delicious pickles for life!)
Right after I finished sewing the buttons on this sweater, I found myself thinking, hmm...this is really tiny. Are babies really this tiny? I decided that I simply had to trust my gauge and that author Joelle Hoverson and tech editor Sue McCain know how to size a pattern (which believe me, they do.) All the same, I felt the need to try it on something, just to see how it fit. Which is how my old, beloved teddy bear Smokey wound up wearing the sweater. Of course, I had the curtains wide open so I could get good light for the photo, and this happened to be the exact moment that our upstairs neighbor walked outside to take out his recycling. And since we're on the first floor, well, he got a nice, good look at me--the 33-year old woman holding a bear in a sweater with a camera around her neck. I bet that didn't look too creepy.

Anywho, the point of the matter is this: knitting something for an amazingly lovely person who is about to give birth to what will surely be an amazingly lovely baby is a really good feeling. Especially if you knit it in machine-washable merino yarn.

And now that I'm done, I'm ready to commit to Robb's man sweater! I think I need to set myself a goal...can I have it finished by the end of October? That's a lot of bad movies I'd need to watch between now and then, but oh, it would look awfully good in a pumpkin patch...


  1. There is way too much awesome in this one blog entry.

    Smokey looks so toasty in that adorable sweater. (Now you're that lady who dresses not just her dogs/cats, but her stuffed animals. Congratulations!)

  2. oooh! It's a great baby sweater! (And they ARE that tiny, usually.)

  3. Natalie Kaire McClureSeptember 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    I hope to find out soon if babies really are that tiny, I believe that they are :) ... We are in love with this sweater - it really was the greatest gift - thank you!

    PS- Pawn Stars is awesome and I plan to watch it while holding our baby, Hayden, while he wears this sweater!

  4. Natalie, I think you're minutes away from finding out if babies are really that tiny! So excited for you, and my pleasure!

    And no, it's never too early to get Hayden started on appreciating the value of antiques. :)

  5. I love the colors you chose for the sweater. And yes, they really are that small when they are born. When my daughter was born, she couldn't fit into the handknits until she was at least a year.

    That is really cool that the father of the baby is Bob McClure. I love their pickles. I can't walk by their booth at the Brooklyn Flea without sampling some.

  6. Angela, I'm so glad you like the colors! I was a little worried that I was making a jailhouse baby sweater with those dark stripes. But the blue buttons softened things up a bit. And I LOVE McClure's pickles, too! They are the bomb.