Well, I went to see my friend and her baby who is doing very well in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). He is a very cute 27 week baby and seems to be coping well with the outside world, wish I could post some photos of him but I think it will be a while til they send some out!
I was unable to take my knitted gift in to them yesterday much to my frustration and disappointment. I eventually decided on a vest pattern from a Creative Knitting magazine – I remebered the pattern was in one of the issues a while ago before I changed my subscription over to Interweave Knits – and went to my LYS to buy some delicious baby alpaca. I was pretty excited with the purchase and came home to cast on….the pattern was in 5 ply and I am using 4 ply, it had no gauge so I winged it a little.
I read the pattern, maybe not too well but I did read it. I was off and racing towards my Saturday afternoon deadline. The 2×2 rib made the garment look even smaller than I anticipated but I decided that, with blocking, it would be suitable. I knit and knit and knit. Pete came home, Sophie went to bed and I kept knitting.
Wow, I just kept thinking how long it was taking me to finish the first side, 20cm in 4ply on 3.25mm needles takes forever. I made it to the shaping and finished off the first side by the time the football game on TV finished. Before I went to bed I cast on for the second half and was pretty happy with my progress…….the penny should have dropped that 72 rows would be far to long for a premature baby.
When I got up on Saturday I knitted like a Trojan, no stopping til I had finished the second side. I decided that grafting the shoulder seems was a better idea than sewing them together and was starting to wish I had taken the time to modify the pattern so that it had no seams…..better for a tiny baby with no body fat. I looked at the vest and then it finally hit me. This wasn’t a vest, it was more like a miniature sleep suit…..if I put this on young Thomas it would cover his whole length and some….hmm. I reread the pattern. Cast on x number of stitches and work 2×2 rib til work measures 20cm….that’s what I did……then after the shaping it said something like “continue on these x stitches til work measures 15cm”……hmm plot thickens. So, on Friday night I had just figured it meant 25cm but in hindsight I think the initial measurement should have been 10cm because 15cm overall looks right. I had heard that there were lots of mistakes in these publications and, had I not been tired and excited about the baby alpaca yarn, maybe I would have realised my mistake several rows/hours earlier.
My new dilemma was what to do about the extra 10cm of length on each side…. I don’t know how other people deal with problems like this – in the past I have ranted and raved and thrown the project into a bag to be dealt with another time, but this one is too important to me. I started off trying to unpick it from the cast on edge…. I think I spent almost as much time unpicking the first few rows as knitting the whole thing. I was getting very very frustrated, my throat was hurting, I was angry, I wanted to save my beautiful, expensive yarn. I cracked. I threaded through a different colour yarn at the 15cm mark and cut the bottom 10cm off a few rows down thinking that I would unpick those rows and re-knit the bottom. I have left it there for today. My throat is sore and Sophie is sick (I think it may be more teeth) and it’s just way too frustrating. My friend is prepared to wait and it will be a while before Thomas can wear the vest anyway.
I am going to use the off cut yarn to knit up some socks or bootees for him…. Is there an easier way to deal with this sort of issue? How do others do it? I have only cut one side so can easily try a different method on the other if anyone has any suggestions.