Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sweaters to some, Jumpers to others

While I've been knitting obsessively for a number of years, up until recently I'd never tackled one of the most basic of projects, the sweater.  Why did it take me this long?  Well, considering that this is my first winter away from Southern California, up until recently, there hadn't been much need to knit myself one.  Besides, my UCLA sweatshirts are basically the only way I show school spirit aside from hissing and grumbling whenever the crosstown rival, USC is mentioned.

Knit one for a boyfriend?  Again, up until relatively recently, there hadn't been a boyfriend to knit for.  Besides, I'd hate to tempt fate with the boyfriend sweater curse.  Never heard of it?  Well, it's basically the well acknowledged idea that as soon as a knitter has begun knitting her boyfriend a sweater, the relationship is doomed to failure.  Personally I can see that one being a self fulfilling prophesy... think of how long it'd take to lovingly stitch together an adult sweater, and compare that to how much the typical guy cares about and for his clothes.

Finally I accepted the challenge when my mother asked me to knit a baby sweater for her to give as a gift.  The active lady that my mother is, she has met a number of people through jazzercise and yoga that have become friends.  One of her classmates had a lovely baby girl around six months ago, named the brand new person Julia.  Here I have a great picture of the active Julia modeling the sweater I knitted.

Of course she's got on the SECOND sweater I knitted... not the first.  The first one turned out to be nearly infant sized due to a simple and silly mistake I made.  Knitting needles come in different sizes; and just like how Americans use the word "sweater" while British use the word "jumper" to mean the same thing, there are US standard sizes and the metric equivalent.  I should have been knitting on US size 10 needles, which are 6mm.  Instead I briefly glanced at the pattern and used US size 6 needles, which are actually only 4mm in diameter.

After yoke and first sleeve of the sweater had been finished I realized my mistake.  Though rather than rip it out and restart, I figured I'd chalk it up to a learning experience and finish it up.  The good news is that my first sweater may still get some use.  My brother's friend Andrew and his wife are expecting a little girl... and while she'll be able to cry, she probably won't be able to tell anyone that it's because of the sweater.  Oh, and if you're  interested in the pattern, it's called "Pretty Baby Sweater" by Lisa Vienneau.  Not only is this gem available for free, it also doesn't require any sewing of seams, just a wee bit of crocheting!

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