Evolution of a Knitting Pattern
I finished this baby cardigan recently.
The pattern is my own. Well, more correctly, it is an evolved pattern.
Six years ago, in preparation for the birth of our second child, I knit up a new born Baby Sweater on Two Needles, that classic pattern by Elizabeth Zimmerman in Knitter’s Almanac, also known as the February Baby Sweater. I knit it straight up without any modifications other than changing the stitch pattern on the body. It was knit with a natural brown Polwarth from Tarndie. I remember being in the Dennis farm shop with a toddler in tow, the beginnings of a baby belly and very clear knitting plans. I also knit the EZ leggings from the same book and added a simple beanie…it was almost a layette. Funnily enough, Our Dear Girl grew into the separate bits at different times so I don’t recall they were ever worn together. As I remember, she wore the beanie first (when less than an hour old) and only the beanie as she nestled in for those first feeds.
I made that cardie a number of times for different babies changing the stitch patterns but little else. Then when Our Dear Girl was in her first summer, I made a cotton cardie, in the pale green Patons Gem. I had seen a pic of a similar one in an old black and white Patons book but I didn’t have a pattern (I knew not of the Ravelry powers then). I found the yoke stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary, and with the encouragement of EZ, I thought I would use the bones of her baby cardigan to knit the one I wanted.
The heart of the genius of EZ was to see into the relationships of a knitting design, distill them in a commonsense way and encourage experiments. So with that in mind, I kept the three sets of yoke increases and inset the stitch pattern in between. And yes, it looks a lot like Granny’s Favourite but I didn’t know that at the time. Where EZ had placed the textured stitch pattern, I put in stockinette. Stitch counts and button bands remained roughly the same.
It was a great cardie, got washed a lot and eventually grown out of. Which brings me up to this last cardie which I call Green Grow the Babies O. Same stitch counts, same sets of yoke increases but this time I have a knitted on garter stitch button band and I increased into the skirt to give it the slight A line shape so handy over the nappy bottom.
Postscript: I started this as part of Summer of the Single Skein, but the button band needed just a wee bit extra. And if you like reading about knitting modifications on a grander scale, you will surely enjoy The Gift of Knitting