Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ay, there's the rub

Thanks, Will. That's exactly what I was thinking. Wool is wonderful. You knit, and then you block it, and it's perfect. It's warm, and babies need warm. If (heaven forbid!) it catches fire, it doesn't melt like acrylic will. BUT, and it's a very big 'but', mothers of babies on this continent want to be able to throw baby's clothes into the washer and dryer. You just can't do that with wool. At least, not more than once. So, those of us who knit for 'modern babies' often choose acrylic.

I was asked to knit a baby sweater. I chose a bright 'tomato red'. It seemed to scream for a hood. On Ravelry, I found this adorable pattern by Mary Scott Huff. The Sweet Pea Cardigan. I love it. However, I think it only makes sense in shades of green. (A bright red Sweet Pea Cardigan would just be silly, don't you think?)

Sweet Pea Cardigan by Mary Scott Huff
Photo courtesy of

So, I switched out the pea pods for regular cables. When you really look at the pods, they're just fanciful cables anyway. Genius, but cables. Some people on Ravelry were finding that the way the front bands pick up from the front edges, ends in an ugly line, and that's why the designer added the ribbon trim down the front. However, when I got that far, that wasn't my experience, so I didn't try to gild the lily with ribbon.

What I did have to do with this acrylic was block it, and I did it slowly and carefully, and with great trepidation. I know that if I'm not careful, there's a chance that the steam iron can melt acrylic. And that would be awful, after all my knitting. Tragic! So, here's the sweater, resting and cooling after the blocking. Once it's cool and dry, I'll remove the pins and decide if it's done. With any luck, it won't just spro-i-n-g back to its pre-blocked state.


  1. Bright red is one of my favourite colours. This is a very lovely sweater. Very smart of you to switch out the pea pods for a plain cable stitch. Worked like a charm. Hope the blocking does too.

  2. I have tried using sock wool for baby things, and it works nicely for hats and socks, but it is a little light for a sweater. The moms tell me it washes just fine.


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