Monday, 20 October 2014

Same project different wool

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I have found knitting a particular garment (or garments) can vary between loving it, exciting, interesting, hating and boredom. 

It varies between project to project and my mood ... or so I thought. I now know it additionally varies with the amount of future sewing and the yarn used. 

I have been knitting Stylecraft's Lullaby Hoodie (8912) [Ravelry Link]; unfortunately, the pattern is not available from the www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk website.   

I have been using the recommended yarn: Sand 1746 dk lullaby yarn. It is synthetic and fairly soft. I have knitted the birth to six months and twelve to twenty four months patterns. The pattern itself is fairly easy to follow and you knit the hoodie is major sections: two fronts, back, hood, border and ears. There is belt you can make (I have not). 

The first few sections of the first hoodie was exciting. It is a new pattern and that in itself is exciting; however, the pattern started to grate after section number two. I am not a fan of separate sections and I was imagining the future amount of sewing and swearing. I finished the pattern and then had to sew it together.  I started to sew the shoulders and when I completely and utterly mucked that up, I then crocheted all the sections together. Crocheting the seams together is something I have worked out by myself. It is more interesting that sewing, but is still a grind. 

I converted the pattern to minimise the amount of sewing. I am not a fan of sewing and I tend to rush it. 

I managed to get all the way through feeling fairly happy about it. The alternative purl and knit stitches were fine, I thought I was going to get seriously annoyed. I did not and I am fairly surprised. I got into the rhythm and time flew by and in a couple of weeks it was nearly competed (I have the buttons and the ears to sew on and I am working up the patience). Though, I did complete the sleeves in stockinette - whoops. The first hoodie, I did it by mistake. I realised by the middle of the second sleeve. Now knitting the second hoodie, I had to repeat the mistake, since both hoodies are going to the same mum. 

Theoretical Me: No, no, the sleeves are meant to be like that - it is in the pattern. Yes I understand that the picture shows a different pattern, but the pattern says I should do it like this. 

Actual me: I did the sleeves wrong, but they look fine. They are a little bit baggier and you can now easily tell if the hoodie is inside out. 

12 to 24 months size no ears and ends to weave in.

I have knitted the same pattern, albeit different sizes, and found out the amount of future sewing is inversely proportional to the enjoyment of the pattern. 

The x-axis is the amount of future sewing (arbitrary units) and the y-axis is the amount of enjoyment (squees). As the amount of future sewing increases the amount of enjoyment decreases. If sewing is zero the enjoyment is infinite. The unit of squee is equal to 1 kilopuppy.
Now, I am knitting a third version. This is a birth to sixth month old version. I am using Sublime baby cashmere merino silk dk as the yarn and I am converting the pattern even more to a seamless version (apart from the arms). 

I am really enjoying this version. The yarn is super soft and it seems to be knitting very quickly. I think the natural yarn has more stretch and my knitting does not feel as tight - as with acrylic yarns.  I have nothing against acrylic yarns, they are affordable and most importantly with babies and children - washable.

I do think that the third time of knitting this pattern is that I know what I am doing, using a different wool and reducing the amount of future sewing to a minimum. 

The pattern for me started exciting, reached a trough of future sewing despair, picked up to enjoying and now I am really enjoying (akin to reading a good book). 

I really like this pattern, since it is super cute. For me it would be improved if it was seamless or sewing reduced to a tiny amount. However, I do realise that making a pattern where you have to pass stitches to a stitch holder may put off people, especially if they do not want a complicated pattern. 

The best comment I have received from a stranger is:
Me: Woman: What are you doing?Me: I am knitting a hoodie for a friends baby.
Woman: . That is super cute. Carry on!