I knit a sweater for my new baby

February 7, 2011

Recently I got a new itty-bitty 11-inch macbook air. I pretty much ran my last laptop into the ground. I actually typed many of the letters right off the keys, and that spinning rainbow wheel and I spent far too much time together in the past year.

I thought it might be nice to cloak such a high-tech baby in some low-tech handmade.

I’ve never felted anything before. It always seemed too much of a gamble: you knit something far huger than what you need, only to have to shrink it, crossing your fingers that the size comes out right. But I’ve always admired the laptop cases in Alterknits, so I thought I’d give one a shot. A very scientific shot.

I had to adapt the pattern because these air laptops are smaller in size and wafer-thin (and so don’t need a gusset), and I wanted my case to close. I knitted a 4″ swatch and felted it. I measured how much it shrunk, both widthwise and lengthwise. I figured each ratio of shrinkage and applied it to the final measurements I hoped for. And then I promptly forgot that to make the stripes come out vertical, you have to knit the case sideways, meaning that I’d mixed up my ratios when I cast on, and I had to start over.

Anyone who says that you never use algebra in real life has never tried to plan a felted project.

Guess what? Algebra works. The fit is perfect.

(details on ravelry)

I did do some actual baby knitting as well. Cashmere socks for a friend’s new baby. Doesn’t every baby deserve cashmere socks? (Although I don’t have a pair of cashmere socks.) This pattern came from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a real drool-inducer of a book.

I’m also knitting this pattern from the same book, the Big Lace Scarf, on size 17 needles. Lace on 17s? Crazy! But fast. And cozy.

It was funny to be knitting the tiny socks and the gonzo scarf at the same time. Sort of like knitting in Wonderland, growing larger and smaller.

After slogging through a single project for months, it seems I am on a knitting binge.

This was the sloggy project, and I love it so much it was worth it. I’m calling it my Look At Me! cardigan because the color and the pattern can’t help but call attention to themselves. The pattern is the Que Sera cardigan, a free pattern from Knitty.

I promised to knit Chris an Icelandic sweater, but while waiting for the (real! Icelandic!) wool to arrive, I’m distracting myself with this.

It’s the Simple Yet Effective Shawl. I’m making it in a smaller, kerchief size. And since those jelly belly colors aren’t gaudy enough, I’m planning to add bobbles to the edges. (But I promise not to wear it with the Look At Me! cardigan. I have my limits.)

More ravelry links here.

Oh, and we actually do have a new baby around here.

Meet Sorrel. I’d knit him some socks, but he already has some very sweet white ones.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin February 8, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Oooo! Your new babies are too cute. I saw that felted pouch being passed around at park day and I didn’t get to hear the scoop. And I also heard in passing, something about cashmere socks. Luckily I was fully present as you cuddled your new little bunny. And now I’m all caught up. Fun.

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patricia February 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

Well, Sorrel is the cutest project, so I’m glad he’s the one you got to see in person!

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Just Peaches February 9, 2011 at 6:15 am

Isn’t felting fun? The great thing is if you do make it a little too big, you can always cut it and it won’t fray. I love forgiving hobbies. (Sorrel’s pretty darn cute but I hope you keep him out of your garden!)

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patricia February 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

Last spring I planted a little patch with the bunnies’ favorite plants, and then I put our movable pen around it. So the bunnies got their own garden, and they absolutely loved it.

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molly February 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm

i love both your new babies 🙂 but i’m totally digging that sweater! you have been a busy knitter!

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patricia February 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm

It’s a crazy color, that sweater. Looks like a 70s thrift find, don’t you think?

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Susan February 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Are you sure Sorrel can’t wear those socks? Because they are both (all three?) incredibly cute.

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patricia February 15, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I probably could have put one of the socks over his ears and made a cute little toque, but I’m not sure the baby’s mom would have appreciated that.

Nice to “see” you here again, Susan!

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sarah February 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm

doesn’t it feel good to get through those sloggy projects! seems your hands have been busy with sticks & string. 🙂 love it.

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patricia February 15, 2011 at 11:52 pm

So nice to see you here, Sarah! Yes, it’s so satisfying to get through the sloggy projects. I’m glad to have that yellow sweater finished and wearable. In fact, when we had our meet-up at Adventure Playground, I think you were wearing a yellow cardigan, and I’ve wanted one ever since. So, finally, I have one of my own!

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Valarie February 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Well that new sweater for your new baby is so incredible. It looks so cozy. Wish I was a Macbook. Your little bunny is too cute.

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patricia February 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

And I wish my brain were as fast as a Macbook.

Thanks, Valarie!

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