I joined a KAL

One of the reasons I was so excited to start a knitting blog was that I could join knit-a-longs, and in particular I was stoked to join the Cable-Down Raglan KAL.

The pattern by Stefanie Japel is from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits, and from the moment I saw it I was in love.

Like so many well-designed things, the beauty truly is in the details. The shaping looks really flattering, and I can’t get enough of the gorgeous cables.

I’m doing mine in a cream color, and I’ve already cast on and knit the first few rows of the neckline.

Since I’m not terribly experienced with cables, or top-down knitting in the round… or really even sweater knitting, I know I have to be incredibly careful.

It’s tempting to wait until the errata are published on the IK site, but I want to try as much as I can to figure it out and make some progress.

Beginning of Booties

Experienced knitters would probably find this to be the slowest-moving layette set ever created, and indeed, I’m impatient with my own progress as well. Grad school is leaving me with very little to no knitting time of late, but I did manage to start the booties of the Cabled Baby Set.

How ridiculously cute.

I knit this one entirely, though I have not sewn it yet. I was charmed by the way the top of the foot transitioned into the toes, then became a three-dimensional shape with a bottom and heel. My only point of contention is the two little holes from picking up stitches after knitting the foot flap.

I tried stretching the booties out a little, with my fingers approximating a baby foot, and I was more than a bit dissatisfied with the way the holes look, so I will probably come in through the back to close them up when I am seaming the backs.

I love the way they have a fold-over ribbed cuff. When they’re finished, they’ll look like very cute little socks I think.

I’ve started the ribbing on the second booty, and I look forward to finishing these soon. I found that the rows of the heel flap and the rest of the shaping flew by on the first one.

I also noticed these use very little yarn, so I’m thinking that since this pattern uses worsted weight, I could easily put some leftovers to use making hat and booty sets for charity or friends.

As for the baby, still no word of his arrival. A few days ago the father said he was three days late, which is good for buying knitting time, but for the mother’s sake, I hope our little guy comes along soon!

Some Nice Harmony

I really like when my knitting matches my reading.

I’ve finished knitting the pieces of the sweater of the Cabled Baby Set, but have not begun to sew them together, nor have I even thought about how to pick up the neck stitches and knit that part.

I moved onto the hat instead. It’s good to have engaging reading to break up what has become the mind-numbing tedium of garter stitch.

Cabled Baby Set

Recently my boyfriend told me about a friend’s baby shower with less than a week’s notice. I wanted to give them something homemade, and I was excited to have the occasion to knit something for a baby, as I’d heard how fast and fun baby sweaters were.

After a ridiculous amount of time searching patterns online, I decided on the Cabled Baby Set from Lion Brand. In case you are not registered with their site, it looks like this:

Pattern: Cabled Baby Set, Lion Brand free pattern #60604A, 12 month size
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, 100% acrylic, color #9905 Bone
Needles: Susan Bates size 7 straights and Boye size 6 straights
Modifications: Omitted pants from set
Started: March 7, 2007

This was my progress as of the morning of the shower, after several days and nights of practically non-stop knitting. I was incredibly frustrated with garter stitch (which wow, I really hate) and the way that such a small project was dragging so interminably.

It goes without saying, I didn’t finish on time and was extremely relieved that we had another gift to bring. My boyfriend mentioned the sweater to our friends, though, and I promised I’d get the set to them before the baby is born (he’s due April 2nd). I’m knitting a 12-month size, so he’ll have time to grow into it, and by next fall it will probably fit perfectly.

Because I personally am so sensitive to wool and other animal fibers, I completely understood the recommendations I’d read to make baby garments only out of acrylic and non-irritating synthetics. Luckily the Simply Soft is really beautifully plush and cozy – it’s been a pleasure to work with. If only it would go faster!

I decided that if I finish this set by the end of March, I’ll be submitting it in this month’s Craftster knitting challenge, which involves knitting a project using $10 or less of materials. The yarn for this set cost only $5, so it definitely qualifies.