baby · baby knits · baby sweater · knitting

Off My Needles: A Baby Sweater for Chilly Days

I didn’t do much knitting in the months before Isabel’s arrival. Oddly, I felt a little guilty about it. I was going to be a new mother. Shouldn’t I be knitting little baby things like mad for the tiny person that would be needing them? In fact, the only thing I had knitted up for Isabel was a light baby blanket, intended for hot summer days.

Back in April, looking for a simple, small project, and searching for a way to connect a little more deeply with the squirmer in my stomach, I started a baby cardigan. I stuck to a beautiful, gender neutral teal, even though by that point, the Husband and I knew the sex of the baby; we were one of those infuriating couples who chose to find out, but kept it to ourselves.

I finished the knitting fairly quickly. Baby sweaters knit up fast, partially because they’re so small and partially, I think, because their construction tends to be very simple. Or, at least, this one was. I chose to use the Baby Sophisticate pattern, available for free on Ravelry. Raglan sleeves mean it can be knit in one piece, with no seams to put together afterwards, and the garter stitch collar added just enough punch to heighten the cute factor without making it overly complicated.

I finished the knitted before Isabel arrived. It should have been done, especially considering the week and a half I was overdue before I finally went into labour. But, it wasn’t. No big deal – I chose to knit the 6-12 month size, knowing that she was unlikely to wear a lot of sweaters during the warm summer months of her newborn stage. I washed it and hung it in her closet with all the other clothes that are too big for her. All it needed were four buttons. Such a simple task to finish and yet, there it hung, waiting.

These days, the weather is turning and Isabel is getting bigger. She’s solidly into 3-6 month sizes, and doesn’t even swim in 6-9 month clothes anymore. A month, maybe two at the most, and this little sweater will fit her perfectly. Knowing this, I knew I needed to get some buttons on it. I pulled out my sewing box and dug out the baggy of vintage buttons I picked up at a thrift store a few years back. I didn’t have many options. My collection didn’t seem to have a lot of buttons of the right size to begin with, let alone four that matched. Eventually, I gave up and found two and two in the same brassy colour.

They were perfect. Originally, I had planned on little green buttons, a bright contrast against the teal, buttons just like the ones I had put on the little yellow baby sweater I gave my best friend and her daughter. But they had disappeared, the whole package of them, so I was forced to consider a different option, and I’m glad I did. The flowers on two of the buttons add a little femininity, a little girly-ness to the sweater, and the brass pops without overpowering against the teal of the yarn.

Isabel hasn’t worn it yet. She won’t for a month or so, I expect. But, I’m glad she’s got it hanging in her closet, waiting for her to fit into it. I don’t know when I’ll make her something again, when I’ll find the time or the desire. When I do, hopefully it won’t take me another 5 months to sew four buttons on.

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