Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Baby kimono

The baby kimono got finished last week, but I'm just getting around to posting the photos. Haven't had a chance to deliver it yet.

Pattern notes

Finished (unstretched) dimensions: 6 inches around arms, 6 inch sleeves, 18 inches body circumference, 4 inch neck opening

I used the instructions in the Kimono sleeve chapter in Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top.

Here's a brief summary of the pattern: I provisionally cast on 127 stitches (23 stitches for the neck, 33 stitches for the sleeves) and knit down in k3p1 rib. When I reached the appropriate length for the sleeves (about 3 inches), I undid the provisional cast-on and knit one row in stockinette (in hindsight, I'd knit 2 rows stockinette instead to make it a design element) to minimize the jog from picking up and knitting a rib pattern in the opposite direction. While knitting the stockinette row, I bound off the 23 neck stitches.

While knitting the rest of the upper body (also in k3p1 rib), I formed the neckline by increasing every other row a total of 9 times, then cast on enough stitches to equal the number of stitches initially cast on. I reached a sleeve length of 3 inches around this point too. I grafted 27 of the sleeve stitches on each side, leaving 6 stitches per side (12 total) to form the underarm gusset.

The rest of the body was knit back and forth in k3p1 rib. I started shaping the gusset the row immediately after grafting the sleeves by knitting the first 5 remaining sleeve stitches, doing a centered double decrease, m1 stitch (necessary to balance out the stitch count for the remaining gusset decreases), knit 4 more stitches (for a total of 5 stitches on either side of the decrease). I continued knitting the body until the length reached 10 inches, while also doing the centered double decrease for the gusset every other row (you only have to m1 for the first gusset row).

Switching to the contrasting colour, I provisionally cast-on for 3 stitch i-cord, and applied the i-code around the bottom. I like the technique Meg Swanson writes about in Knitting, where you knit the last i-cord stitch and the body stitch together through the back loop.

I used some leftover Merino Style to sew on the buttons (I pulled the yarn apart and used only 2 plies). I figure that machine washing will felt the buttons in place and make sure that they can't be pulled off easily (hopefully).

Once the buttons were in place, I continued the i-cord up the right hand side of the sweater. After that, I picked up the provisionally cast-on i-cord stitches and continued up the other side. I formed 5 row button loops from the i-cord as described in Knitting (handy book). The shawl collar details have already been written up. Finally, I machine washed and dried the sweater a couple times to get rid of all the cat hair that usually accumulates on my knitting.


Plymouth Encore DK. The body and collar were knit on a US 5 (3.75mm) circular needle at a gauge of 6 stitches/inch for stockinette after machine washing and drying. The i-cord edging was knit on a US 6 (4.2 mm) needle and the cuffs on US 3(3.25mm) needles. Oddly, the heathered green-grey I used for the i-cord edging and button band seemed softer (at least to me) than the dark green.

The buttons came from a local fabric shop.

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