Whooooo are you, who who who who....

Wow! It's been a while. How about I play a little catch-up? Real quick-like. First of all, this is the city where I now live:


It ain't Lyon.

Bordeaux, baby! I took that photo with my mobile almost as soon as we moved here from Lyon, in August of 2011. (To see some more photos I took at that time, you can go to mybluehouse.com.) I do miss Lyon (a lot), but Bordeaux is a fabulous city and I've made lots of great friends.

Also, Captain Destructo is very big now. Taller than me, and is still as thin and lanky as ever. He no longer wears my hand knit sweaters because I have no time to knit and finish them before he grows out of them, but he does spend a lot of time taking part in competitions doing this:


(Among other things.)

[Sidenote: He recently took part in a competition where Sanson Boris, French gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, gave out the medals and autographed Captain Destructo's glove. Suffice it to say that the Captain's day was made.]

And! He's no longer an only child. A little over a year ago, I had this view of my shoes:


No, that is not a helium balloon.

Which is why I made this:


This, too:


I wanted to make this for Captain Destructo in 2000, but didn't get the chance.
Twelve years later, I did. Yay.

And this:


Of which I think Leeloo the Bichon approves:


This was taken in April of 2012.
One. Whole. Year. Ago. Already!

More catching up soon, so that I can share more about the family and write individual entries for these projects (and others) including patterns and yarns I used. Isn't it awful of me to keep you hanging like that?

Baby Sweater No. 1


This is the front. Look at all those wee baby cables!

This was the first thing that I knit when I was pregnant. I wanted to knit it back when I was pregnant with Captain Destructo (in 2000...yes 2000. I needed to type that twice because I still can't get over how much time has gone by since I started this blog) but I didn't have the know-how to do it (double pointed needles? What are those?). That is the main reason why I refused to get rid of the pattern book. The sweater is vintage looking and timeless, and I figured that someday I'd have the opportunity to knit it as a gift for someone. Surprise! It turned out to be me. Anyway, before I talk about how I knit it, let me give you the project details:

Pattern: Baby sweater from Phildar's Layette 2000. I can't recall the pattern book number. I have the magazine stored in the garage. As soon as I locate it I will update this entry with it. [Update: The pattern book is Phildar Layette No. 347 from 2001 and the sweater is design no. 6]

Needles: 3mm and 3,5mm [Update: I actually used 2,5mm and 3mm.]

Yarn: Essentials Cashlana Dk (80% merino/20% cashmere) by Rico Design. (The pattern called for Phildar Super Baby, but I didn't like the acrylic content/shiny look of it (my, what a yarn snob). Plus, my gauge was like Super Gauge as it was way too big than the one required by the pattern.

The sweater is closed at the back, and this type of newborn sweater is called a brassière in French. No, it is not a bra. A bra over here is called a soutien-gorge. Anyway, I digress. The pattern calls for the sweater to be knit flat in five separate pieces: The front, two back pieces, and the sleeves. Then they are all joined on five double pointed needles and the yoke is knit in one piece. Then the sides and sleeves are seamed. Afterward, a cast on row is picked up along both edges of the two back pieces and on one, buttonholes are knit before binding off. The neck band is knit separately, and then joined using grafting.

My cha-cha-changes (sing David Bowie with me, please) I chose to go round all the way, baby! Using one circular needle, I knit the back pieces and front flat in one piece in order to avoid seaming those. The sleeves were knit in the round on double pointed needles [care for a game of pick up sticks?] to eliminate those seams as well.


[Look, Ma! No, seams!]

Then, using three circular needles I joined (in this order) one back piece, one sleeve, the front, the other sleeve and the other back piece and knit the yoke.


Both back bands were knit on at the same time by just switching from the pattern stitch to garter. I used math [oh how brainy...okay, not really] to calculate at which rows I would have to add on buttonholes.

[Click to make bigger.]
I decided to make up for the shorter row gauge of garter stitch by doing short rows every 4 rows or so.
If I were to make this again, I would not do this.
Or I would do it every 8 rows instead.
Yeah, the latter.

For the neckband, I simply decreased when I got to the neck and then started knitting in garter. And there you have it.

I'm sorry I have no photo of the baby wearing it. With all the photos I've taken, I simply cannot find one of him wearing this particular sweater. Too many sleepless nights, man. To make up for it, here is a photo of the Captain looking at his little brother the day he was born, in April of 2012.


"Hello, little one. Fear not.
I will teach you the ways of the Destructo. Oh, yes. I will."