Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More thoughts on knitting for babies

So, I went to the yarn store yesterday to try to hunt up one more skein of Nantucket 2nd Time cotton since the new size/design is sucking up yarn like nobody's business. I don't want to rip out the too-small sweater I knit. I was hoping to finish that up later and stick it in the gift drawer. But I might have to now, since the yarn store is out of it. And not likely to order more since they were as unimpressed with it as I am. So I asked the shop owner where they keep their washable wool since I wanted to swatch up some baby yarn while I pondered what to knit up for baby Oliver.

They offered me a skein of yarn over which I had some sincere doubts inspite of its genuinely nice yellow color. I grabbed another skein that was next to it of a nice merino which isn't remotely machine washable, but it feels wonderful.

I swatched last night. I cast on. I was unimpressed. It *looks* pretty enough and I'm sure it can take whatever Tide can dish out. I'll go ahead and finish the sweater because the pattern is the same as the two I'm making for my Olympics Project and I've already got it mostly memorized. But there's nothing wonderful about it at all.

So I wrote The Yarn Harlot requesting her opinion about the ethics of giving a baby prone to puking (and all babies are prone to puking) an outfit that must be either hand washed or dry cleaned--just how morally obligated am I to knit with a synthetic blend?

Her reply:

"Trash the crap. Knit an heirloom. Tell them that's what it is, and that it needs to be treated that way. I find that wrapping it carefully in tissue paper before I give it to someone helps convey that. Offer to wash it.

Very nice plastic sweaters are available at stores. You are an artist.

(How's that for a rationalization?)"

And I told her that was perfect thankyouverymuch. Even if I'm not entirely certain I'm capable of knitting a sweater worth this particular yarn, I intend to try. You only get one first nephew.

My Olypic project? It's coming along. I'm up to the arm pits on sweater number one and well past the belly button on sweater number two. But we're still four sleeves and two chest/shoulder/necklines away from success and I have a LOT of work to do. I side-tracked myself on various rabbit trails most of today. Some work related, some not.

Charlotte is past her initial crisis(es) and has promised photos as soon as she fixes some technical issues with her computer.


Anonymous said...

Knit what you want, Alaska. They can frame it if they don't want to dress the baby in it. ;-)


Aunt Charlotte said...

I agree, knit what you want. But be prepared when someone (like your sister or, as you know, your brother) throws a sweater the kid loves (which is never a given)in the washing machine and you end up with a Ken or Barbie sweater.

The Queen said...

I *am* prepared for that which is why I didn't actually trash the yellow yarn. It looks fine, I just don't love, love, love it like the merino. I'm still going to finish knitting it up though because it would survive a trip or twenty through the washer.

Anonymous said...

FYI, I'm not actually allowed to do the laundry anymore since I put a pair of pants in the dryer, on low, because thats what the tag said to do but appearently thats not what the tag meant. Anyway the pants appearently came out smaller than they were supposed to, so I'm not allowed to do the laundry any more.
I get to carry the baskets up and down the stairs and fold the laundry. I can wash the towels we use for rags. I am quite experienced at going to the dry cleaners and picking up and dropping off. So O's little sweaters won't really be any different than K's little sweaters and they should be fine.

Aunt Charlotte said...

Actually, I was referring to my sister and brother- both of whom seriously shrank hand knits their kids loved.