Sheep Yoke Baby Cardigan (x2!)

Sheep Yoke Cardigans

Pattern: Sheep Yoke Baby Cardigan by Jennifer Little [Ravelry]
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport (for two sweaters: 3 skeins grey, 1 skein each of the other colors)
Needles: US 4 (for trim), US 5
Recipients: Marie's wondertwins Caroline + Lilly

Notes: I have Marie to thank for, like, half of my best friends in New York (including her). One afternoon, several years ago, in response to an email from Marie, whom I'd never met, I trundled out to Bay Ridge to learn to hand-dye yarn with a bunch of knitters I'd also never met (although I knew a few through our blogs). They had a name-The Spiders-which seemed weird. I told Chris to send the cops after me if I wasn't home by midnight.

Turns out, I spent eight hours on Marie's couch with these ladies and got home just a couple of hours before midnight, knitting and laughing and watching terrible Julia Stiles movies. In the years since there have been lots of changes, but the Spiders are still an important part of my life. All because Marie reached out to a total stranger and brought me into the fold.

I now know that act was completely in character for Marie, who not only is warm and friendly, but would never let a little thing like inviting a random stranger into her home bother her. A fundamental part of Marie-ness: she's unflappable. You might even call her a rock.

Now Marie has two little gals who came into the lives of Marie and her wife Courtney, and, as Marie put it: "Parenthood is starting out typical - I have absolutely no say in how my kids conduct their lives." Meet Caroline (L) and Lilly (R):

Marie's girls

These ladies came into the world at 33 weeks, after a pregnancy that put Marie and Courtney and everyone who knew them on a wild roller coaster. I won't get into the details, but at 19 weeks doctors were pretty much assuring them that the babies wouldn't make it to viability (which is 24 weeks). But these babies were stubborn, like their mamas. They wouldn't take "no" for an answer!

Marie and girls

That's a shot from not long after they were born. Lilly only weighed just over 3 lbs! Caroline came home sooner, and I met her not long afterward. We got on pretty well.

Zonked out Caroline!

And of course, I came bearing hats, which I might blog about at some point.

Caroline and Lilly

Well, it goes without saying that these gals stole my heart, and seeing them healthy and thriving is just a gift. What could I give them and their mamas back?


Sweaters with sheep on them, of course! I started these sweaters when Courtney was about 27 weeks, intending to make them newborn sized. Yeah, right. The gals should grow into them just in time for Rhinebeck, I mean, fall.

The Sheep Yoke Cardi is, for a free pattern especially, excellent. My favorite part is the detail on the back with the lone nosy sheep poking his little sheep face at you.

My Favorite Sheep

Some of the versions on Ravelry used yarn choices that were a little too loud and/or gendered for such a sweet pattern, for my taste. I went with some soft pastels snagged from Purl's collection of the very useful Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. (Hey Cascade, why do you continue to call this yarn "220" if there is less than 220 yards in a skein? Just asking.)

Yoke Closeup

This past weekend I finally gave Marie and her girls the sweaters and, more importantly, met Lilly for the first time. She's just a doll, teeny but doing all the things a baby her age should do and the perfect size for being best buds with a shrimpy grown-up like me. I can tell she's going to be awesome and stubborn, just like her mom. We're going to be friends.

Posted by jess at June 28, 2011 8:58 AM | TrackBack

Those sweaters are adorable. What great work!

Posted by: jane at June 30, 2011 4:30 PM

Wow! The sweaters are wonderful! Did you ever suffer from "2nd sweater syndrome" ? The babies are adorable as well!

Posted by: Connie at July 1, 2011 8:48 AM

Really? The 220 in Cascade refers to yardage? And it's no longer 220? I did not know any of this. Thanks.

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