Last fall (at Rhinebeck!), Zuzu helped me pick out some yarn so I could make her a little sweater. However, shortly after Rhinebeck last year, my briefly revived interest in knitting was pushed aside in favor of Halloween costume craftiness and abandoned. Naturally, as often happens with my fiber festival purchases, I tucked the yarn away in my stash and forgot about it.
Lately, I’ve been obsessing over knitting again (YAY!) and decided to dig out that yarn and finally turn it into something cute for Zu. She has been very interested in the whole process, from picking out the pattern to re-approving of the colors to the idea of picking out buttons (“Let’s go now, mama!”).
Everything was on track for this sweater. Having bought two colors, I thought I would try something with some simple colorwork. I decided on a pattern called “The Chromatic Cardigan” by Kira Dulaney. I compared the pattern’s finished measurements to the measurements of some of Zuzu’s larger sweatshirts and decided that a size 4 would be the most practical choice. I felt very thorough.
I didn’t swatch.
“Baby” sweaters are little. Swatches are annoying. The sweater could BE the swatch, no? Besides, I had the correct weight yarn and the right sized needles… How off could I be? Right? RIGHT!?!?!?!
Really, *REALLY* off, apparently.
Since it’s top-down and almost every other row has increases, it’s really hard to get a good grasp on gauge off the actual sweater. I knew the collar was *4* inches too wide, but I shrugged it off in a fit of denial and optimism. By the time I separated the body from the sleeves, there was no denying the ugly truth.
While too big is better than too small and it IS true she can always grow into a larger size, I was sorta kinda hoping she’d be able to wear this sweater sometime *BEFORE* college.
So? I had to rip it out. And uh, SWATCH.
Swatching is key, apparently*. There is actually a purpose to swatching. Swatching? Kiiiiiinda necessary. Don’t skip the swatching, people.
I made two mini-swatches and ended up with perfect gauge on 8’s. So I cast on again and got going!
After knitting, then ripping, then swatching, then RE-knitting, I FINALLY finished the sweater!
We ended up using buttons I already had buried away in my stash! (I found three in my stash. The other two had to be ripped off dusty old iPod cozis that only fit iPods made circa 2004. Useless.)
It’s not perfect…I kinda suspect the puckering is due to my lackluster colorwork skills…but I think it came out pretty cute! There’s supposed to be another row of colorwork under the stripe, but I decided to leave it out, partly because I like how it looks without it and partly because I’m lazy and cannot stand colorwork on the purl side.
Now, after all this sizing drama and the knitting and ripping and reknitting, I’d love to wrap the story up with a pretty little bow and tell you that the sweater fits PERFECTLY and Zuzu loves it and we all lived happily ever after, but…
She won’t try it on.
I cannot get her to wear it. If I even HOLD IT UP TO HER, folded up and to the side, she pushes it away and yells, “Noooooooo!”
The day I finished it, I moped around the whole day carrying the sweater, constantly trying to see if I could sneak it on her. I was a depressive, disgruntled knitter in need of a serious FO fix and my dealer would not give it to me! Adam suggested that maaaaaybe if I stopped stalking her and stopped trying to push it on her, she might actually wear it. Whatever. What does he know?
She says she likes it. She was excited when I first showed her the finished sweater. She loves the buttons. She just won’t put it on.
“What do you think we should do with it then?” I asked her.
“Put it away.”
I’ll get it on her. You just wait! Mama’s got ideas… This knitter is not going down without a fight!
*you know what else is probably necessary (or at least highly advisable?)!?!? WASHING said swatch. Let’s just say I’m going to avoid washing this sweater for as long as humanly possible…