Saturday, October 31, 2015

Picking up stitches, begrudgingly

Binic knit baby sweater  |  Picking up stitches, begrudgingly on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com

After knitting quite a few pieces that are sure to fit this little one through his or her first week (and then never to be worn again), I've finally got something ready that he or she hopefully won't have already outgrown by the time we get home from the hospital. Measuring in at about 4 inches wider and 2 inches longer than my previous knits, I'm thinking this might last until month 2, or maybe 3. With the envelope folds on the shoulder, which making pulling garments on and off a baby easier, perhaps even longer.

And while I'm happy to have broadened his or her wardrobe a smidgen, I fought with this sweater quite a bit and now have more proof than ever to support the importance of Lesson #3, which I theoretically was already supposed to have learned last summer, on my list of filters to use when choosing a pattern to knit, that is:

I do NOT like setting in sleeves.

For non-knitters, that's the process of finishing the body of a garment first, and then either knitting the sleeves separately and attaching them to the armholes, or picking up stitches from the armhole and beginning the sleeves from there. 

It's a tedious, not super exact or neat (at least for me) process that I find infuriating. 

Much better to go with raglan-sleeve sweaters (as seen in the lead photo here), a technique that allows you to start the sleeves while you're knitting the body (so there's no need to either attach a finished, separately-knit sleeve or pick up stitches from around an armhole) or, even better, the kind where you knit the sleeves while knitting the body and then you seam them together (as seen in the last group of photos here).

Tediousness and fury at my lap of yarn aside, at least this baby now has something handmade and wooly to wear through his or her first Swedish winter.

P.S. Ravelry project notes here.

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One year ago: Speaking Swedish & Andalucía: Jerez + Carmona & Swedish healthcare
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J.