Not gonna make it

I measured young Feather and quickly cast on for a birthday gift. Knit a garment for a five year old in 22 days? Sure, plenty of time for a small item with short sleeves. Never mind that I didn’t have a proper pattern. Figure out which size needles worked well with the yarn (#4 /3.5mm, as big as reasonable for speed!), get gauge, do the math with her measurements and knit the thing as fast as possible.About this point in the process the niggling worry that I hadn’t cast on quite enough stitches across the shoulders, either that or I hadn’t made properly spaced increases.  A detour to the Frog pond was necessary. Feather also let me know that she really likes purple best of all. I knew that, still, I fell hard for this exquisitely colored yarn  in The Sanguine Gryphon‘s booth at Sock Summit.  What’s a grandma to do? Go shopping!  We’d already planned to hit up the wood store in their nearby city and so, of course, I asked if there was a yarn shop in the area. After scooping up some lovely wood for spindles we all went to the yarn shop where JJ and Wes were dazed by all the fiber, Ed talked with the store owner and MJ found some yarn she fell in love with. (Score on knowing what to knit for her birthday!). Feather and I had a harder time finding a superwash sockweight yarn with purple that would work with the mango/apricot? yarn but we managed to leave triumphant.

No way could I get far enough to be certain the shirt would fit decently while still visiting the kids and remembering a post by Charity  some time ago, I persuaded Feather to let me duck-tape her to make a form.She was a good sport about it, except for the taking off of the one strip of tape that I accidentally taped to her arm. Ouch!

Originally I’d planned to make a small version of the Buttercup shirt (pictured above) but completely veered away from it once the shirt started taking shape again. I wasn’t in the mood to be chained to reading/following a lace pattern. Besides, with an October birthday a long sleeved shirt was more sensible!

These past two weeks I’ve been a knitting fool. Every spare moment has been consumed with knitting. During the knitting I’ve listened to books on Librivox:  “Whose Body” by Dorothy Sayers, “Little Lord Flauntleroy” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, followed by “Pollyanna” by Eleanor H Porter – two books I’d missed growing up – and more appropriate stories to listen to when knitting for a child!
The opposite shoulder came in dandy for storing the ball of yarn used in the body while working on the sleeve. (Picture is way off on the color, the yarn is not orange though there are bits of light orange here and there in the colorway.)
One sleeve finished I began the lower portion the body feeling fairly confident that I could finish the sweater with enough time for the washing and blocking/drying to mail it on the 18th. (This pic, below, best represents the color.)

Only the body to finish, the second sleeve and some ribbing at the neck and it’d be ready for a bath.

Except. The 1×1 colorwork on the sleeve prevented it from being elastic. On closer inspection (with protesting groans in my head) the entire lower sleeve seemed too skinny. I wanted a snug fit along the arm, but with enough ease for growth. Ignoring the sleeve for the time being, I finished the body.

Hearing our six year old neighbor out playing I gathered up the shirt and ran over to ask her to try sticking her arm through the finished sleeve. It was fine until her hand encountered the cuff which was too tight. ugh
Besides by then I wasn’t thrilled with the two contrasting color bands on the upper arm followed by three rows of seed stitch in the main color which didn’t seem right for this sweater.

I’m re-knitting the sleeve with fewer decreases, different designs, ending again with the 1×1 stranded color knitting. Then on to the other sleeve, intentionally unmatched in design for this granddaughter who loves wearing unmatched socks, and then the ribbing around the neck.  It won’t be made in time for Feather’s birthday but she’ll see it when we Skype on her birthday. In the meantime, I refuse to be such a slave to knitting. But it sure has been nice listening to books!



Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

5 thoughts on “Not gonna make it”

  1. I admire your commitment! I just finished a languishing lace shawl after a marathon of knitting yesterday – nothing like little challenges in life. Binding off hundreds of stitches in black lace cashmere at 1:00 in the morning, you say – ? Why not?!?

    Anyway, I’m sure the sweater will be as delightful when finished as it appears to be in-progress. And I must, must, must avail myself of audio books – I have sorely missed reading since the knitting obsession began, but have yet to delve into the technical complexities of downloading audio books from the library…Thank you for the reminder!

  2. BEAUTIFUL! She will LOVE IT!!!
    I am working through some wonderful Librivox Dickens,
    as Mil Nicholson is such a great reader!!!
    I will have to remember the duct tape thing….except for
    certain of my grandkids (ahem) I will need a piece to go over the mouth
    and around the wrists! yeow! giggles.

  3. Deliberately mismatched sleeves. Would never have occurred to me, but now the muse is whispering in my ear… [Feather’s sweater is already gorgeous. Can’t wait to see the finished article.]

  4. The sweater is beautiful! I know what you’ve been going through; I have a three-quarters finished sweater languishing on the needles. I recently banished it to the closet so it can languish some more, out of my sight! Sweaters really are a lot of work. I’m fascinated with the duct tape form and I’m going to check out Charity’s instructions. I’ve often wished that I had one of those dressmaker’s dummies shaped exactly like me when I’m attempting to make myself something (like my sweater.) Thank you for the great idea!

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