While I am forever reminding students that there are no knitting police, I do try to observe one knitting commandment: Thou shalt read thy pattern from beginning to end before picking up thy needles.
In the weeks after the birth of Darling Bebe, I broke this commandment, and for that I have paid dearly. Witness Peachy, knitted in those bleary overnight hours between feedings while on maternity leave. The folks who produced such gorgeous patterns for children and adults for now-departed Jaeger embodied an inexplicable love for finishing. The more fiddly the better. Actually read any of their pretty patterns to completion and you’ll see that whatever makes it special involves knitting separately and easing onto a garment, or seven kinds of seaming.
And so it was with this sweater, from the cover of JB04 Spring Babies. If I had been in my right mind at the time, I would have kept the commandment. If I had kept the commandment, these are the modifications I would have made that would have brought this to completion a year ago or more:
Start by knitting the petals and joining them in their seed-stitch border. Count your stitches. Cross-reference against your cast-on, and in the first row of knitting, increase/decrease as necessary to total (front cast-on + back cast-on) minus 4 (for selvedge edges). Knit in the round to armholes, then divide to work front and back separately.
Otherwise, you end up with this loop of petals that must be eased onto a completed sweater. I didn’t get it in perfectly, but it’s in. Period. Did I mention all those ends to weave in? Each petal has TWO. Two d*** many, thank you very much.
Also, do pay attention to your head-hole. With all the knitting completed, it was eminently clear that the head-hole for the sweater – size 2 years – was too d*** small. I unseamed the left shoulder, knitted a garter edge to the back, repeated with front edge, adding two button-holes, and rejoined as necessary before easing sleeve in.
Have I mentioned that as written, the sleeve edges seemed a few stitches too short to fit into the holes? They fit, but not by much.
Result: a sweater knitted in 2008 and finished in 2010 (albeit 2 days into 2010)
Yarn: 4 skeins of Jaeger Baby Merino DK – also discontinued. A little splitty to knit with, but not too bad. The heavens opened up with a soak in a warm Eucalan bath: This blocked like a dream. The hearts popped out and the yarn softened significantly. LOVE how it feels now.
My students know that when I use a few key f-words, I mean what I’m saying. So here it is: this pattern is FUSSY. It is FIDDLY.
Now I can add, FINISHED.
But you’ll probably see one more post about this, once conditions are right for my favorite little knitwear model to be photographed in it.