knitting and timing

This month is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel from scratch, starting 1 November and finishing on or before 30 November. This is my third year participating, and my second year of being a registered participant. Last year I got more than the 50,000 words completed, despite heavy hours at my day job, and this year I am on track to do the same.

Which is a long way of explaining why I was finishing a baby jacket at 2:30 in the morning last Saturday.

The jacket pattern is from Interweave, which seems to be the source of 80% of my pattern knitting these days. It's just a knit-and-purl pattern, sort of a King Charles Brocade, and had to be made in unisex colours because we don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl yet:

(The buttons are little sunshines with smiles on them. The eyes are the buttonholes.)

There were no side seams on the body —the only seams were up the sleeves and to attach the sleeves to the body. Since the fabric pattern was knit-and-purl anyhow, I used a trick my grandmother taught me and knitted the first and last stitch of any seam sides, no matter what was going on in the pattern at the time. Doing a one-stitch garter border like this made it very easy to seam, and I got everything straight on the first go. Given that I did the sewing-up at 7:00 in the morning the day I was to give the gift, the speed was both needed and appreciated.

The garter-stitch seam lies nice and flat (especially important for baby sweaters), but it shows more than a traditional seam. In my humble opinion, it is nice-looking enough to be called "decorative."

The yarn is an "eco-cotton" by Marks & Kattens. It worked well and has a nice soft hand on 3.25mm needles.

The only really nasty part in the whole pattern was doing the seed-stitch collar on 2.75mm needles for 7cm. Highly recommended if you want something more polished than Your Average Baby Sweater but don't want to get bogged down in complicated stitch manoeuvres.

And yes, this took about as long as making an adult sweater.