Note from Sandi: Here is Rebecca Daniels, editorial assistant for Interweave Knits, to tell us about the cabled baby sweater she designed as part of the Summer 2009 staff project: "Design an Heirloom."
When I think of heirloom, the first things that come to mind are delicate lace shawls and garments knit at impossibly small gauges on steel knitting needles. At first I struggled with the idea of producing a staff project that I felt was heirloom quality but still possible to complete within the magazine's deadline. I spent several days contemplating what I could make that would be worthy of the title “heirloom.”
The answer to my question was quickly supplied to me. Only a few days after we received the assignment, a close co-worker announced that she was having a baby! And in this case, there were no months of planning, yarn fondling and contemplation of the perfect baby garment. My co-worker and her husband had finally found a baby to adopt -- a little girl who was due to arrive in a scant two weeks.
Just because this birth was on such short notice didn’t mean that mother and baby should be denied a beautiful hand-knit gift. My heirloom project would be something that I could later gift to the new baby.
Because of the accelerated timeframe, I decided to knit the sweater in DK weight. Not what I’d traditionally think of as “heirloom” weight, but the luxurious baby alpaca yarn made up for the quick gauge, turning it into a baby sweater that will hopefully be passed on to another new baby at some point (even if it’s not a hundred years from now). Knitters may not think of an alpaca sweater (even a short-sleeved one) as something appropriate for summer use, but I tried to think beyond the season in which this pattern is being published and see it as a garment that transcends seasons and years with its classic shape and minimal details.
Download the Cabled Baby Sweater pattern for free
P.S. If you are interested in knitting clothes and accessories for mother and baby, please check out Natural Knits For Babies And Moms: Beautiful Designs Using Organic Yarns for great ideas and patterns.
Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.
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