Within a few days of our 19 week ultrasound, I placed an order on Knit Picks -- I had restrained myself from placing an order any sooner, which I was sorely tempted to do. But while I'm all for gender neutral newborn clothes (why not be able to use a garment for multiple children regardless of gender, especially considering how short a time they fit?), I knew I'd want to celebrate the gender reveal with a little "specific" knitting.
|Not sure why the left neck/shoulder area looks a bit wonky in this photo -- while it's |
not picture perfect, it's not quite as "off" as it looks in this snapshot!
I incorporated the motif from the free Anchors Away (do they know it should be "aweigh?") dishcloth pattern to give it a nautical, masculine flair. Not to mention a little nod to the Navy! I worked up the anchor pattern in a scrap yarn first, and I am so glad that I did -- it was a bit tricky for me and included several new stitches (bobbles, for instance), so the practice was well worth the extra time and effort. I was just glad to find a raised anchor motif! I've never tried color work (and didn't have another color yarn, anyway), so this was actually the easiest option for me.
Serendipitously, the anchor pattern fit nicely into the Pebble vest pattern. The only real change I had to make was to change the center body panels to purl instead of knit stitches. I actually rewrote the vest pattern with the anchor motif included, just so I wouldn't get confused. Quite honestly, I prefer the way it looks (I don't like the deep "recessed" look of the center area that I've seen in several finished Pebbles, plus I think the purl blends better with the borders), and will probably do the same on any future vests even if I'm not adding the anchor. Oh, I did also reduce the amount of border on the bottom edge, because I needed a few extra vertical rows to fit the anchor.
The shoulders were another area that I played around with -- I didn't think it would work as written, so I adjusted the number of rows. This was also my first time trying Kitchener stitch (joining two sets of "live" stitches), and while it didn't come out perfectly I'm very pleased. My only real disappointment with this project is that my edges are not *just so.* I tried a purl-wise slip at the beginning of each row, but either I forgot to do it on every row or something went wonky when I was taking out rows (which I had to do at multiple points!), because they're not as nice as I'd like. But overall the project turned out as I'd envisioned and the less-than-perfect edges are not very visible, so I'm not going to fret too much over that.
I can't say enough good things about the yarn I used! It's a mix of Tanguis cotton and linen, and has the most delightful hand. It's almost silky, in fact. The finished vest is relatively stretchy, so I think our little fellow will be able to wear it a bit past the newborn stage. The color is perfect -- not pastel, but not too "lively," either. Oh, and it was supposed to require two skeins, but ended up taking only one (with a smidgen left over). I went ahead and hand washed and blocked it, even though it's supposed to be machine washable and dryable. Is dryable a word? Hmm.
I'm so enjoying being able to knit things myself now -- my limited skills are gradually improving, and I feel each project teaches me something new. Even better? Finally learning the identity of the squirmy little one who seems to take delight in rearranging my insides. We can't wait to meet you, baby boy!