Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kimono my--oh, forget it

Pattern: One-Piece Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Novita Perinteinen Cottonella, in color 275542 (about as red as you can get), 112 meters/ball, about 2.5 balls
Needles: 26" U.S. 6 Crystal Palace Bamboo
Size: newborn, 16" chest

This is for a colleague's baby shower. I don't know the expectant mom well and I can't attend the party, but since when I have passed up an opportunity to knit something for a baby???

Where did I deviate from the pattern? I don't know how conservative these parents might turn out to be about their son's clothing, so I played it safe and avoided ribbons and bows. (As it happens, I had no matching ribbon in the house and I lacked the means to go out and get some.) I decided to make some twisted cord out of the project yarn, attach it with a simple self hitch, and just knot it. I like the effect. I also didn't extend the front wrap all the way to the side of the sweater; I liked the proportions better when I stopped increasing about 2 inches before the instructions specified and then knitted straight down from there. I did do the full 8-inch-wide "under" wrap, so that I could add a simple little tie on the inside to secure that (also not part of the original).

Otherwise, I followed the instructions. I chose to do make-1 increases (because some people, I've observed, can be really strange about YOs for boys), and I'm happy with the results. What I can't quite figure out, though (and I hope you'll forgive me, revered ladies of the blog), is why the instructions have the knitter bind off for the neck so early, so that the neck opening begins rather far down the back of this little garment. To compound matters, you start increasing right away to create the front neckline. I haven't taken a close look at a newborn's neck for a while, so maybe I'm missing something here, but this looks like it might be, well...a mite uncomfortable to wear. The impressionistic little diagram in the book shows the neck opening beginning at a spot higher up the back, which strikes me as perfect, but the photo on the same spread clearly illustrates that the back neckline begins well before the shoulder.

If I were to knit this again, I'd reposition the neck opening, smooth out the increases and decreases on the sleeves (though the current instructions will suit beginners well), and keep the modifications I've already tried out.

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