EDIT October 9th, 2020: Finished!
“The most welcome present you can give to a mother-to-be is something warm and hand-knitted for the layette,” wrote Stitchcraft’s “editress”, Patience Horne, in the September 1962 issue, and it’s still true! If I can’t decide on a project, if I don’t feel like making a full-size adult garment, if I have bits of wool that want to be used up in a useful way, I make a baby jacket. Someone, somewhere is having a baby soon, and I always have a couple of finished objects on hand in case I didn’t know that a colleague or acquaintance was “expecting”.
That was the case this month, funnily enough in my own weekly knitting group. We have been “meeting” via Zoom since March due to the pandemic, and I dropped out for a while due to being ill myself, so by the time I came back I had apparently missed some happy news — one of my fellow knitters will be having a baby this winter. What better time to make this cute and easy first size raglan cardigan?
I had 3-ply wool left over from this jumper, so I was even able to achieve the tiny gauge of 8 stitches to the inch. Only… it turned out I did not have enough of this wool, so the raglan yoke part is leftover mystery purple 4-ply. I’m not quite convinced that it’s going to work; the harsh colour line seems weird at the moment.
I don’t know the name of the stitch pattern, but it’s a lovely easy sort of herringbone:
- Row 1: knit
- Row 2: k1, p3
- Row 3: knit
- Row 4: p2, *k1, p3*
Except… I decided to make the yoke in one piece, because I didn’t want to sew raglan seams, and the raglan decreases change the pattern at the armholes. I knew that would happen, but was too lazy to work out mathematically exactly what the decreases would do. It turned out that the fronts and back stay in the proper pattern and both sleeves end up in k3, p1 rib. OK, it’s symmetrical and doesn’t looks terrible, so I decided to live with it.
But… then I ran out of the mystery purple wool as well! And had to make the last bit of collar ribbing in another mystery purple-ish wool that was also thicker. Well, at least the colours didn’t clash too much? And I had cute, matching, vintage buttons in the button box!
… except that I somehow utterly failed to sew them on evenly spaced? I could add one more in the gap near the top — there’s a buttonhole there — but somehow the buttonhole in the lower gap got sewn shut while I was weaving in ends or sewing on the front bands. I have enough buttons, but can’t decide whether to cut a new lower buttonhole and add two more buttons or just give up and leave it as it is. At least the gaps are vertically symmetric.
Not my best work, but it will keep a baby warm and clothed. Perhaps I’ll make something else for my knitting friend’s baby — a fellow knitter deserves a more successful project!