stash knitting a baby sweater

Stash Knitting = Baby Knitting

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The last few months have been all about stash knitting. I’ve got a freelance gig, but otherwise I’m not working. I’ve got access to funds, of course, and there would be no objection to me going out and buy a sweater’s worth of Malabrigo… But it seems kind of unnecessary when I have a decent sized stash of yarn, don’t you think?

Unfortunately, like many stashes, mine is made up of ends of projects – half a skein, or one or two balls of this and that. No sweater’s worth of anything. It doesn’t matter, because babies exist. I don’t have kids, or any plans for them, but two women in my life have confessed they’re “trying” and one of the women in my coffee group is pregnant. Baby knits it is!

stash knitting a baby sweater

I tried to make a sweater for my niece. I had the body done, then cast on 40% of the stitch count for the sleeves. This is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sweater Percentage System, and if you hadn’t seen it before, I’d recommend you take a look.

It’s guaranteed not to fail, except it failed me. Maybe my gauge was off from knitting on a much smaller round – and two-at-a-time to boot – or maybe I picked up the wrong size needle… or now I look at the link again, perhaps I cast on 20% instead of 40%. Whatever happened, the sleeves were way too small. And more to the point, I wouldn’t have enough yarn to rework them to the right size and do the yoke. So I cast on a new body to match the size of the sleeves and ended up with a cute sweater which will no way fit my niece.

Colour work details are ideal for stash knitting

I love the detail on the hem… that pop of pink and green.

It’s loosely based on Prairie Fairy, although I fudged the yoke to get the sizing right. You can see the flowers are a bit squashed. A baby won’t mind though.

The yoke of a baby sweater

It’s a pattern I’d like to knit again… when I’ve restashed. My niece will have to have a striped sweater this year!

Finally, I whipped out the hat. I looked through all the options on Ravelry before deciding I liked my own pattern best.

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Because the sweater turned out small, I had enough of the blue to make a Baby Boom Beanie. The ladies in my coffee group frowned at the pink flowers on the sweater and insisted a gift for the expectant mother HAD to be blue because she was having a BOY. What would happen if I made a pink hat? I didn’t have time to wonder. Knitting the hat took – I timed it by Downton Abby episodes – three hours from cast on until blocking.

The destashing continues with a sock project (thank goodness I thought to stash sock yarn!), and then maybe a blanket it on the cards…

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