I finished the latest baby sweater I was working on! It’s funny how finding a new pattern I want to try (the wool soaker) was so motivating. When I finished the last sweater (a Debbie Bliss pattern), I wasn’t super impressed — and I wanted something sweet and perfect to bring to the hospital for Baby M, since it’ll probably be chilly coming home. I looked around the internet for just the right thing and landed on the Sirdar Baby’s Vest, a pattern from the 1940s that has been uploaded to Ravelry.
It’s meant to be knitted with 3ply wool, but I had a bunch of this aqua 4ply (Rowan True 4ply Botany) in my stash, so I used that with the size needles suggested on the wool. It must have knit up larger than the original pattern, but I followed the lengths in the pattern (ie, ‘knit until the piece measures 6.5″ from cast-on edge’), and the proportions look right. It’s quite a long sweater (I wouldn’t have minded skipping an inch or two at the bottom!), and if anything, I would have thought that changing the yarn weight would make it boxier. But not so.
The neckline is interesting — you knit up the two sides, join them at the back of the neck, and then sew them together across the chest. I wish it were possible to sew them up without creating that visible line, but I don’t see how that would be work (you can’t see the actual sewn stitches on the front side, just the impression they make from pulling at the back). I also feel like the neckline edge, which is just a clever little pattern of decreases, would be MUCH better off with a knit stitch on the edge instead of a slipped stitch (the first stitch of every row, including on the main body and sleeves, is slipped — I can’t figure out what purpose it serves in this particular pattern). The result of the slipped stitches on the neck is a collar with very little stretch to it.
I would say that I’m a decent knitter — my tension stays even, and I can puzzle out most pattern directions — but I’m really not very fast. I love the vintage look of the stitch pattern (it’s a 3×1 rib on the right side and straight purl on the wrong), but it did take me quite a while to get through. Especially the 10.5″-long back — I thought I would never finish (yes, on a newborn-size sweater — now you know why I don’t knit adult sweaters!). But I’m glad I did. It should be a cozy little pullover for however long Baby M fits into it!