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February in July

february baby sweater

Pattern: Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February) from The Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann [Ravelry]
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, precisely and exactly and no less or more than one skein (but >1 if you don't screw up the pattern like I did!)
Needles: US 7
Recipient: Ms. M. Monkette!

Notes: There are 1,355 (!) February sweaters on Ravelry. It is a classic baby gift. But (like Minty), I had never seen it on a live baby (only on fake babies - no fault of the knitters of course, not everyone has ready access to the cooing and adorable child model we have here) until we slid it on Ms. Monkette.

february baby sweater on a beautiful (if drooling) model!

Ms. Monkette says: DREWL!

I wish I could tell you that the way it fits her is representative, but it is not. I screwed up the pattern a bit, forgetting to add the body stitches under each arm. This made for a slimmer body. I then took in about 1" of the sleeves (you can see in the photo above) where I had cast on extra stitches which, without the extra body stitches, had no place to go. Ms. Monkette is too young and hip, or not hip, for the dolman look, IMHO. Luckily she is also petite and as much weight as her mama is proudly packing on her, she may be more likely to grow long than wide. The sweater should fit her well by fall. It is lovely when mistakes work out. But a bigger sweater would have done her just fine too.

Lesson #1: do not knit an EZ pattern without reading the whole thing through first (duh).

Lesson #2: When EZ writes something cryptic, pretending you did not read it is kind of sad and not advisable.

Lesson #3: In the event you did not learn Lesson #2, sometimes things work out anyway, undermining the whole point of learning Lessons.

I chose the Ultra Alpaca for the color. It's pretty great, right? If you have been reading long enough, you know I will sacrifice for the perfect color / pattern match, and in this case, the big sacrifice: not superwash + alpaca. But Mama Monkette has been coping right admirably with the non-superwash soaker I made her, which gets a lot more wear and tear than February ever will. Also I hesitat to subject a baby to alpaca, which I sometimes find itchy, but this one is pretty soft and non-fuzzy, plus it won't go next to her skin.

february baby sweater

And a brief word on the buttons. They are vintage and were a gift from Chris' mother at Christmas. In a house with three boys, I dare say they were the first notions ever exchanged as gifts under that roof. They happened to be a perfect match!

Posted by jess at July 23, 2008 8:34 AM | TrackBack
Comments

That is really beautiful!!! I always wondered about EZ's baby sweaters, because YOU ARE RIGHT! No one puts them on babies for photos. I always think the sleeves will be too short. But your sweater is totally cute!

Posted by: Lelah at July 23, 2008 9:28 AM

That is one cute baby. The sweater is awesome and the button are fab!

Posted by: E to the M at July 23, 2008 9:53 AM

Adorable sweater, and cute baby!

The first time I made an EZ pattern, I purposely didn't read through it because way back when I first started knitting at least three people told me to never read ahead in a pattern, and take things one step at a time. I should have realized that EZ's patterns would work differently!

Posted by: Marlena at July 23, 2008 10:05 AM

It really is a great sweater. I love it. I also have the knitter's almanac and it is a great buy. I also love how that sweater if the lace is done in just stockinette stitch works so well for a boy gift.

Posted by: Sarah at July 23, 2008 11:18 AM

Beautiful, and I love the sweater too. I really like that pattern. I made it from an old Vogue collections book (blue cover) before I knew about EZ. It was in my early knitting career.

You can email me if you want more info about that copy of the pattern. I don't remember it being cryptic (like EZ) at all. Love the buttons!!

Posted by: LisaK at July 23, 2008 12:23 PM

Yea, a baby IN a handknit sweater! I swear, photos of those are about impossible to come by, no matter how much we knit. Good work, and SO cute.

Posted by: Katie at July 23, 2008 1:04 PM

Very rare photos indeed :)
I hear you on the "pithy" instructions. But the results are beautiful!

Posted by: Veronique at July 23, 2008 1:31 PM

Well, it turned out great - beautiful, and adorable modeled! :)

Posted by: Nonnahs at July 23, 2008 1:42 PM

oh, that baby is a heart breaker. the drewl...love it. and the piece is just as lovely. i think i have to jump on the bandwagon and get one out for my niece (ah, finally a girl to knit for). great job! the lesson list cracked me up.

Posted by: mamie at July 23, 2008 2:59 PM

oh my gosh! That sweater is wonderful!!!!
I want to make one. Thanks for the inspiration.

Posted by: leah at July 23, 2008 5:42 PM

Gorgeous! EZ does have her own ways about her, don't you think? Will have to look up this pattern, much daintier than Baby Surprise Jacket!

Posted by: PainterWoman at July 23, 2008 10:57 PM

This is so pretty, I love green for babies and this particular hue is really sweet. And fits the gorgeous model perfectly!

Posted by: Frogginette at July 24, 2008 4:44 AM

Love the sweater. I wish I had thought of it when my last niece was born. But I'm sure there'll be another one coming along soon enough.

If you didn't confess to your boo-boos, no one would know.

Posted by: jessie at July 24, 2008 6:54 AM

You're so right about the lack of live babies modeling EZ knits (actually many baby knits). Love the Feb sweater, and the model is adorable!

Posted by: schrodinger at July 24, 2008 8:36 PM

What's a notion?

Posted by: Chris at July 24, 2008 10:36 PM

That beautiful baby and beutiful photos, do your knitting proud!
Lovely little sweater.

Posted by: leisa at July 25, 2008 2:29 PM

That has to be the cutest baby ever! And the sweater is gorgeous!

Posted by: milly at July 27, 2008 12:10 PM

Great sweater! Glad to see you've started a movement to photo babies in thier EZ sweater. I guess most knitters prefer to highlight the lace, rather than the baby. Or maybe kids are just hard to photograph. This one is pretty cute, even with the drewl :)

Posted by: craptina at July 28, 2008 7:18 PM

so beautiful... sweater + baby :)

Posted by: amisha at July 29, 2008 9:26 PM

so beautiful... sweater + baby :)

Posted by: amisha at July 29, 2008 9:27 PM

I just love that sweater. The model sure does make the sweater look even cuter!

Posted by: Spare Ribbon at July 30, 2008 11:44 PM

BEAUTIFUL. I've never knit an EZ pattern, but for some reason I (young and childless) end up knitting a lot of baby sweaters. I'll have to give this one a try.

Posted by: Anna @ Vivre at August 5, 2008 6:23 AM

What a great pattern, and you couldn't have chosen a cuter model! Very inspiring! (The sweater, that is, not the baby!)

Posted by: Sue at August 11, 2008 4:55 PM

I just made the same sweater for my second baby, due in January, and I made the exact same mistake with the sleeves. Well, they are nice and roomy. Hopefully my little one will look as cute in the sweater as your super model.

Posted by: Liane at August 12, 2008 7:30 AM

Totally, completely adorable! I love it! Oh, and the baby's pretty cute, too ;)

Posted by: Laura Birek at August 12, 2008 6:03 PM

Lovely! And dang, vintage buttons--that's an in-law (oh, close enough) who's got your number!

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