A small sweater, a big trip

Home again, home again.  Sorry for the radio silence knitters, but I always forget how completely full Madrona is, as an event.  I knit my way across North America, trying hard to finish that little sweater – it had a hard deadline of Thursday morning, when I’d meet the little miss it was destined to grace. My connection was delayed, I missed three shuttles in Seattle, and finally called Debbi and asked for a rescue. She ever-so charmingly not only picked me up from the airport, but drove to the hotel with a light on so that I could cast off the sweater. I walked into the hotel, tossed the sweater in a sink full of water to wash it, gave it a quick block on an end table near a vent in my room, and went out to dinner, wishing it dry thoughts. Rather predictably, it wasn’t dry when I got back, and rather disappointingly wasn’t dry in the morning either. I stood there, my hand on the still damp sweater, and tried to figure out how I’d get it dry by 10:30, considering that I had a mountain of work to do, and couldn’t stand over it with a hair dryer or something. A series of failed experiments later (one involving a chair, my belt and a binder clip) I hit on the solution.

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Bingo. So simple it was magic, and about an hour later (with breaks to let the dryer cool off) I had a dry sweater. (Well. Dry enough.) With 10 minutes to spare I sewed the buttons on, wrapped it in tissue paper I brought from home, and brought it down to meet its owner.

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Her excitement was palpable.

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Pattern: Rutelilje – it’s from an older Dale of Norway baby book, one I’ve had in the library for years, now sadly hard to put your hands on. (I buy all the Dale baby books I see. They’re always lovely, and transient.) Yarn is part Dale of Norway Baby Ull (for the colours) and Loopy Ewe solid series for the body – both delightfully from my stash.

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It’s a charming little thing, and should fit the lady in question about the time she learns to sit up, stops puking on all her outfits, and can show it off to its best advantage. (A few of you with good memories have noted that this is the second time I’ve knit this, and I bet it isn’t the last. It’s a favourite of mine.)

The rest of Thursday passed in a blur leading up to the Teacher Talent Show for Charity (I’d tell you about it, but there’s a media blackout. Be assured you missed something remarkable) teaching 9-5, events in the evening, and culminated in Amy Herzog and I making the time for a rather remarkable (and expensive) 20 minute sprint through the marketplace on Sunday, just before they shut the whole thing down.  I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow, but suffice it to say that three things remain true.

1. I make wild decisions about yarn when rushed.

2. I still have a fairly serious thing for stainless steel yarn.

3. My love of knits that fall into the fashion category of post-apocolyptic-my-clothes-are-all-rags-but-I-still-look-so-good-I-should-be-in-the-matrix is intact.

(PS. If that leads you to believe that I fell down and swiped my credit card on the way to the floor at Habu, you might be onto something.)

76 thoughts on “A small sweater, a big trip

  1. That is a brilliant way to pick a size to knit for a baby, also if you have it done when they’re this wee you’re almost guaranteed they’ll still be smaller than the sweater.

    So sorry about your travel issues, and happy to hear you’re home. Hopefully you’re not getting as walloped by snow as we are in Ottawa.

  2. You can never go wrong with Dale Baby Ull or with Habu silk stainless. I’ve been toying with the idea of trying out my Cataraqui Scarf in the latter, but still haven’t got around to it (will the holes stay put or wilt, as they tend to do in wool?) And I agree with you on the attraction of the post-apocalyptic look (it must be in neutrals, I think), but then I see someone sporting bright turquoise and I’m sucked into that. Can’t wait to see what you got sucked into purchasing. Bet we’ll all be trying to order the same.

  3. Charming indeed! I love the colors, but sadly, I just never pick really small gaged sweaters. Maybe when I don’t have a 2 and 4 year old at home…

  4. Yay! You finished the baby sweater! With luck, the little miss will get to wear it before she encounters strained peas. . .

    Can’t wait to hear about the stuff you bought at Madona, but stainless steel??? Are you knitting a new kitchen sink??? (You can get ready-made ones from your local DIY store, you know.)

  5. Several of my friends were able to come to Madrona (I was happy for them and jealous simultaneously, of course), and one took your Color Theory class and has been raving about it ever since. I just wanted to pass that along!

    Adorable little sweater. I have a paucity of tiny people to knit for at the moment. But I do have a stash of several Dale pattern books with kids’ sweaters in, socked away for that time.

  6. The sweater is almost as beautiful as the wee one who will wear it. May she have many years of cozy sweaters in her future, and may her children wear this one in good health.

  7. I’ve now done 2 Baby Yours and 1 Baby Mine, speaking of favorite small sweaters. no new babies; time for a 4 year old sweater.

  8. Hi Stephanie,
    Glad you enjoyed your trip … and got to meet the new addition to your (or a friend’s family). Congratulations to all who will come to know that beautiful child! And good for you for getting that sweater done. You’ve knit so many lovely things, but there’s something about that little sweater … I think it’s the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen. Best regards, Maureen

  9. That is one seriously gorgeous baby! And I feel just about the same love for that sweater pattern. The last time you knit it, I was SO crazy about it that I searched relentlessly until I found my own copy of the Dale pattern book. I have yet to make it myself, but it is high on the wish list. Can’t wait to hear more about the Madrona adventure!

  10. I am almost hyperventilating because I’m worried about the hair dryer on the pillows catching on fire. Please don’t ever do that again. 🙂

  11. A very charming wee sweater and a very charming wee miss. Nice that they got to meet up. Loved the look back at the last time you knit this – you’ve come a long way in knitting photography, lady. Or maybe you just have better equipment now, but your pictures are better than ever.

  12. That is one seriously gorgeous baby sweater. I hope that after it’s no longer a sweater to be worn (puked on too many times, perhaps) it will be lovingly framed under glass and displayed in pride of place in that little girl’s home or the home of whoever inherits it from her. And yes, the baby is gorgeous too: that quiff on top of her head is drop-dead charming.

  13. I’m so excited to see what you do with the stainless steel yarn! I admire and drool over all the Habu yarns every time I see them, but haven’t used them yet. Also, thank you for sharing again, since I know that last time you used it, it necessitated the “this blog is my living room” speech, so I know you thought on it before you posted about it. Can’t wait to see what it becomes!

  14. The sweater is very detailed and so sweet – lucky baby! I can’t wait to see the purchases, I do love wide conference floors full of wooly things.

  15. You’ve convinced me – I’ve added this sweater to my queue. I do have that issue of Dale in my pattern library, so I will have to make this someday for a special baby.

  16. You do know this is like torture, to post an incredibly darling little baby cardigan, the pattern for which is UNOBTAINABLE!! So sad that I will never knit this incredibly darling little baby cardigan. Sigh.

  17. Can we start a campaign to get Dale of Norway to reissue the pattern, either for download or in a collection of popular patterns — call it “Dale’s Greatest Hits”? I’ll never knit it (no babies to knit for and no skillz), but people who have both should have the chance to create such lovely things.
    PS: your verifications are a bit eerie: I had to touch the clock while reading the blog amid a bout of insomnia.

  18. These patterns are lovely. I wish they were still available just found one on E Bay for another beautiful girls cardigan but the postage from the US is almost as much as the pattern.

  19. Ah yes, blocking on the wet coast always requires days in the wet months – unlike in the parts of Canada blessed with a “dry cold”! 🙂 . Excellent use of your resources!

  20. That’s a serious fire hazard, what you have there with the dryer… on top of pillows… on a bed.

    To Anyone thinking that’s a good idea: Please, just stop for a second and think about this. Your FO’s aren’t more important than life and limb.

  21. Thanks for representing knitting so well. I agree with a previous comment, your blog always makes me smile. I almost came down to the Marketplace on Friday morning, but, alas, my cash-flow and stash-flow couldn’t take it. Next year……

  22. Sorry to have missed Madrona…again. By the time we got headed that way, it was 1:30, which meant we would have gotten there in time for it to close at 2. Kinda wish I had gone anyway because I could’ve witnessed your “fall” through the market. Can’t wait to see what you got.

  23. Just checked and the baby sweater, along with booties and a blanket, is available on Revelry for download. Wonderful Revelry!!

  24. Shoe problem- head to Millers in Hamilton. They can fit anyone. On the way you can stop at Needle Emporium in Ancaster to check out their yarn . Two birds one stone- it will be magical day! I have no affiliation to either store but I too have had this magical day.

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