I wonder just what things haven't been done in a Walmart parking lot. This photo-shoot was done there on a quick button-buying detour on the way to the baby shower for which I was almost already late. It's not a very good picture. I knew that when I took it. I didn't take any more because just as the camera caught this, the wind whipped one of the cards of buttons under the van in the next parking space. Before the wind could blow the clothes onto someone's windshield or a grease spot, I snatched everything up and retrieved the other buttons. Don't worry, I didn't have to crawl under the van on the dirty ground. Apparently I did have to scrape my knee. But I digress. . .
I love TLC Cotton Plus yarn. It feels soft and warm, not hot or itchy. It has a slight sheen and shows the stitches well. It drapes nicely and keeps its shape. It's also inexpensive. I can only get it online. I hear they may have it at AC Moore or Hobby Lobby. We don't have those 2 stores in Milwaukee. I had a small, precious amount in my stash. There were two skeins each of 2 variegated colors. I actually finished the sweater at the shower. I was going to write on the card that I'd do it there and then, but the shower was so big and crowded that I took the gift bag and sewed the buttons on and crocheted the drawstring for the pants sitting on the couch in one of the rooms. I didn't even know who the mother-to-be was until she was opening the presents anyhow. I am a friend of the father-to-be's mother. It turned out very well. I just wish I could have gotten a better picture, especially of the colors. To better imagine the colors, know that the buttons are bright, sunny yellow, not gold or mustard. There is no pink or pastel anywhere.
Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus in thistle and princess. The thistle is green & blue, the princess is rainbow colors. I didn't name them. 51% cotton & 49% acrylic.
Gauge: Between 4.5 and 5 stitches per inch
Needles: Sizes 4 & 6 US
Pants Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern from The Knitter's Almanac. Altered to make the rise slightly shorter. Diapers today are not as bulky as they were when the pattern was written. Next time I'll shorten the rise even more. This is my second time making this pattern. It is actually written with feet, which I consider above and beyond the call of duty.
Sweater Pattern: Believe it or not, this started as the baby kimono from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. I panicked about not having enough yarn, so I didn't knit the arms in the same piece as the rest. I thought I'd have to make them striped with the pants yarn. I even bought a 3rd, neutral yarn for edgings & sleeves in case it would be needed. Which it wasn't, though it would have been cute. Furthermore, the sweater is a cardigan because all that overlapping you normally find in a kimono sweater would have used up too much yarn. It turns out that I did have enough yarn to knit the sleeves to match the body. I picked up stitches at the shoulder and knit them down in the round. It took a few tries to get the shaping right, but I did. I changed to the pants color for the cuffs. For the waistband, the neckband, and the buttonband, I picked up stitches. I think I finally learned a good ratio for picking up stitches: 3:1, or pick up in three spots & skip one, repeat. On the curved parts of the neck I picked up fewer stitches. I may yet again visit the neckband of my Noro sweater with that in mind.
Size: In the picture the set looks bigger than it is. I estimate that it will fit 12 to 18 months.
Remember this? It was going to be an Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket for the baby above. But I realized that I was going about it all wrong by skipping the even numbered plain knit rows. I tore it out and reknit it correctly. I got a ways in when I became worried about the sizing since I wasn't getting the gauge called for in the pattern I had. I knew that, but was actually trying to make it bigger. After a few inches I started to think, "What if the proportions are off?" So I frogged that and started on the mitered blanket you see pictured on the snow shovel. (same yarn, closer to the actual color) I finished 4 squares before I started to panic that I wouldn't be able to finish it in a week. That got set aside. I count this as part of the creative process that actually went into the creation of the completed baby set above. How else could I not consider it a waste of time?