I have to admit, I couldn't resist the Memorial Day sales. It seemed like every store that carried any kind of crafting supplies was having a big sale last weekend. I took the opportunity to stock up on some novelty yarns. They are so handy for embellishing many types of projects. I plan to use these for trimmimg knitwear, quilts and scrapbook pages.
I resisted the urge to buy staple yarns; that is, the main yarns I use for the body of the garment or other knitted/crocheted objects. I have enough of these to keep me busy for years. And since I have a large stock of yarns just waiting to be used, I decided to start a new project using yarns I have on hand.
I have a little cousin who is just a few months old. The many baby shower gifts our rather large family contributed should keep her well clothed for a while, but she is growing rapidly and will most likely be in need of more goodies come winter. I did some calculations, based on her birth weight and current rate of growth, and made a good estimate of the size she will most likely be wearing by that time. I checked my yarn supply and discovered that I have a limited selection of girly colors. I want the garment to be washable, so Lion Brand Homespun it is. Then I searched through my books for an appropriate pattern.
This little seed-stitch coat is from Bouton d'Or layette book 14, model 72, and it has a gauge very close to what I get with the Homespun on size 10 US needles (6mm, or 4 UK). The book is still available at the Bouton d'Or website.
The yarn that I have chosen is very different from the yarn the pattern calls for. The sample is knit in Laika, a solid colored bulky weight wool that would have nice elasticity for ribbed edges. I am using Lion Brand Homespun, color 315 Tudor, which produces a broad color stripe and doesn't have enough elasticity for a good ribbed front band in my opinion. I will need to make changes to the pattern to allow for these differences. It will require patience and a good amount of unknitting I'm sure.
I have made good progress so far. I started by finding a color change in the yarn that I could easily identify and repeat from piece to piece. I followed the directions and knit the back. I don't like the striping on the back at all, but I wanted to see what the fronts would look like before ripping it out. I then knit the right front, adding extra stitches for the front band to be knit along with the front because I liked the firm edge I was getting in seed stitch. I had to calculate button placement and work buttonholes into the piece as I went along. I knit the left front to match.
I like the patterning on the fronts. I want the back to match the fronts, so I will knit it in 2 pieces and seam it down the center. This should be fairly easy to do since seed stitch can be sewn together in a similar way to garter stitch and leave a smooth seam.
Next I will work out the sleeves and hood. I can tell I will be doing a lot of testing, unknitting and reknitting for these parts of the coat. The width of these pieces are different and therefore make a different color pattern. I have to decide where to start these different yarn color change locations. I also now have less yarn to work with and therefore fewer color ranges to choose from, which will give me fewer options.
After that, I have to decide how I want to finish the coat. The pattern uses some novelty eyelash yarn as trimming around the edges and some little butterflies attached here and there for interest. I know that I will be doing something different because these trims can be hazardous for children under 3, but I don't know what yet. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.