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Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 137

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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
This little sweater would look great in almost any color.

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 137

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
This is the little blue sweater that inspired some of my shaping.

This week, Deborah Newton tries to convince me that finishing isn't all that bad and I share a pattern for a simple baby sweater, one of many to come.

Autumn Dreams Baby Sweater

I don't know the gender of the baby who will wear these wee garments, so I'm having to be more creative about color than usual. What's better for a baby due in September than lovely autumn colors? Plus, since both of the parents are rather, um, pale (I also have very light skin), this little one will probably need some bolder, darker colors to bring out his or her sure-to-be-gorgeous eyes.

I used a skein of Dream In Color's October 2011 color for Simply Socks Yarn Company. It's a sock yarn made of 52% kid mohair and 48% Merino wool. 100 grams of any sock yarn should work.

I based the shape of the sweater, loosely, on a little blue sweater I picked up in an antique shop a while ago. I wrote about mending it way back in April. The tag that came with it said, "Blue Baby Sweater, 1940's."

Dating hand-made knitwear is tough, in the absence of a printed pattern. I'm nearly 100% sure this little sweater is handmade. The yoke is seamless, and there are seams at the sleeves, but they are sewn up with yarn instead of thread.

Without knowing its history, and I don't, since I bought it at an antique store, 1940 is hard to

claim, but I am reasonably confident that it was made in the 1960s or earlier. Why? Because it is

both blue and, to my eye, girly-looking. Blue didn't really settle in as a definite "boy" color until at least 1960.

The original sweater was knit from the top down (I can tell from the orientation of the decreases and yarnovers), without seams, except for the sleeves. Since that is my very favorite way to make a baby sweater, I did the same thing. I left out the feather-and-fan stitch, but that might emerge in a later sweater, one where I know that the baby is a girl.


Deborah Newton wows me with tales of her books and gently scolds me about overcoming my fear and just finishing my knits properly, already.