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About that jinx…

January 20, 2012
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That sweater I’m working on for my 8-week-old niece?  I knit, knit, knit, knit like a crazy fiend to get the body finished.  I gave up precious sleep.  I neglected the dishes, the floors, and the fact that I haven’t yet planned anything for Pea’s birthday on Saturday.  I kept eyeing the way-too-rapidly diminishing ball of yarn I was working from in dismay, yet I somehow reasoned that if I just knit faster, I could finish before the yarn ran out.  A logical assertion, right?

As I removed the completed body of the sweater from my needles, I looked again at the puny stash of remaining yarn, took a deep breath, and told myself sternly that the sweater would also be cute with short sleeves.

I was focused on the wrong problem.

I spread the sweater body onto the table in front of me.  I smoothed it down with both hands.  Wait – was it a little big?  I tilted my head.  Hmm, surely my niece was a lot smaller than that?  I squinted my eyes and leaned in, smoothing and re-smoothing the fabric, as if the action might suddenly make it snap into a different size.  I put my hands in my lap and sat back, staring at it long and hard.  Time stopped while I retrieved a tape measure and compared the 21″ chest with a handy chart of baby measurements (hint – the chart only goes to 24 months – 21″ isn’t even listed).  Holy yarn balls.  During the 16 hours I’d been holding the sweater, I was so worried about running out of yarn for the sleeves, I had neglected to actually look at it.

The sweater fits a three-year-old.

I have been known to exaggerate.  A little.  But no lie – the sweater fits a three-year-old.  A smallish three-year-old, but a three-year-old nonetheless, and with room for him to eat a few dozen cheeseburgers to spare.  To avoid any embarrassment that a boy might feel about wearing a lacy pink sweater, I won’t identify which three-year-old it fits.

proof of utterly ridiculous bigness

I want to blame the pattern – knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmerman is known for her “pithy” instructions, but I find statements like “babies come in all sizes” to be a bit vague for my taste.  But I’ll admit that I also made some modifications and sized the sweater up based on things I read on Ravelry – I was  using a thinner yarn than the pattern called for after all.  But nowhere could I find any mention of actual finished dimensions of the sweater, using the pattern as written or as commonly modified by other Ravelers.  Lesson learned.

Please excuse me while I rip out 12,972 stitches.

On the up-side, the reknitted version should have plenty of yarn left over for sleeves.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2012 11:37 am

    That is too awesome for words. I once made a miscalculation when resizing a baby hat pattern for an adult. Because of the unusual construction, I did not realize until I was nearly finished that the resulting hat would be far too large for Andre the Giant. Seriously. I should have realized that that much knitted fabric did not make sense for a hat, but somehow I just kept knitting away…

  2. Nancy permalink
    January 20, 2012 3:27 pm

    OOOO – don’t re-knit! Give it as a cute when-you-get-that-big gift! I received a hand-knit wool sweater that Aree only fit for 1 season, since little ones grow too fast to use anything more than a few months. They’ll love it!

    • January 20, 2012 3:52 pm

      I thought of that, but I was going to run out of yarn for sleeves so I was stuck anyway. If I ordered more yarn it would have been from a different dye lot and it’d have been noticeable where the colors switched. That’s OK – I’m getting more practice, and she can always use it as a doll sweater when she outgrows it. =)

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