Sunday, July 01, 2007

An Opinionated FBJ :-)

I set out to make a sedate, delicate, grandmotherly February Baby Jacket for a granddaughter who’s due in mid-July. Because of wool allergies, I chose a mercerized cotton yarn, and the variegated pastels looked yummy to me at the time.

I soon realized that the lack of “spring” in the yarn made the garter stitch yoke thicker and stiffer than I liked, so I ripped it out and started over, this time using garter stitch only for the first few rows.

Next, I had to figure out how to increase while knitting down. I posted on Zimmermania about it and got very helpful replies, but I had to rip out again to start that part over.

The further along I knit, the more I realized this wasn’t going to be a “gentle” sweater! I think it’s the orange that’s in the color mix that gives it a 60’s, almost tie-dye, look. Not exactly compatible with a lacy FBJ, but I plunged ahead anyway.

I braved my way through the gull pattern and discovered it wasn’t easy to keep track of where I was. Again, many ripping outs. (Rippings out?) About the time I got it downpat, it was time to cast off.

I sewed it up (that part went easily), and then tossed it in the washer and dryer. To my relief, the laundering helped the yarn fluff up and fill out, as it had become rather stringy in the process of being knit.

My daughter (the mother-to-be) really liked the colors and the “retro” look, but I still was dubious.

I hoped to salvage a bit of demureness by getting some gentle buttons. But what kept calling to me were these pink plastic flower-child buttons with orange centers! So I gave in and got them.

I had nearly a skein of yarn left, so I “unvented” a little cap to go with the jacket and used a matching button to decorate it.

When it was all finished, I actually liked it, so I’m glad I let the sweater have its way.

(And now I’m knitting another one, this time in a nice muted medium blue, which I hope will look grandmotherly!) (And I’m using markers to keep the pattern repeats straight.)


  • i think it is cute with the little hat. selfstriping yarn is very much a matter of taste. isn't it? i know what you mean about grand-motherly. i knitted two of these for my great niece and she has used them a lot. actually she has been wearing zimmermann designs all her life (she is 11 months now) and will continue that way.

    By Blogger knititch, at 1:51 PM  

  • Adorable!! I love the "Flower Power" buttons. They're perfect!

    I enjoyed your tale also .. made me smile!

    By Anonymous kathy in juneau, at 3:58 PM  

  • Chuckle. At the moment I have a little sweater on the needles out of Lion Cotton-Ease in their Maize color — rather a golden tan — for one of my young granddaughters. It was looking so masculine that I put a column of little arrowhead stitch down the fronts so everyone will know she's a girl. But... the odd color will be gorgeous with her red hair!

    By Blogger Carla, at 7:33 PM  

  • I really like the little sweater and hat colour! And I am a grandma, so my opinion counts, right? It is gorgeous and the buttons are just right. I rather like bright colours on babies. And blue on baby girls because babies usually look amazing in blue. Lovely sweater! May baby wear it in good health. Samm who is waiting for a baby grandson to arrive in a week or two. :O)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:03 AM  

  • I Love the colours and the tale of persistence. It's just so nice to receive something made specially for you.

    By Blogger crafty fox, at 1:26 AM  

  • It looks great! Glad you 'went with it'...and there's no reason that 'grandmotherly' should equate with blah. Best of luck with the new project!

    By Blogger portlandia, at 11:05 PM  

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