Knitting on a rainy day with a latte

Little Old Man Sweater

My boss is having a baby in September and obviously I needed to knit something for her new baby, who is a boy.  This is her third child, but I wasn’t working for her with the first baby and I wasn’t knitting so much with the second.  I did try to crochet a baby blanket for the second kid, but I didn’t finish it in time, then I found out I had bed bugs in my apartment and had to scrap it.  It was a pretty pink with a scalloped edge and I have absolutely no pictures of it. 🙁

She is the kind of person who I know appreciates hand-made gifts.  She has told me stories about her family’s tradition of passing down handmade baby things.  I’m pretty sure I remember her telling me that her kids wear a hat that was crocheted for her when she was little.  So, of course, I decided to knit her new baby a sweater.  Not just any sweater, but the ultimate in chic tiny old man apparel, the Gramps Cardigan by Tin Can Knits.

First WIP photo of GrampsThis was my first time knitting a baby item!  I chose the 0-6 months size because her new son will be born right at the start of fall and it gets cold here in Michigan pretty fast.  I knit it out of Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Orange for the main color and Bark for the contrast color.  I actually knit a small swatch first (slightly out of character for me, Miss Lives on the Edge), but I was never quite sure of my gauge.  I remeasured it frequently throughout the project and I kept asking my boyfriend if babies were really this small.

I had a three-day timeline for this project because I learned about a baby shower for my boss after I had already planned the project but before I even had the yarn for it.  So, by the time I got the yarn, which I had to order online, I had very little time to get it done.  Debbie told me she finished her Gramps in one day back when she knit one, so I thought three days could be reasonable.  I did have a weekend getaway planned during that time, but it ended up raining the whole weekend, so it was perfect weather to sit inside and knit. 🙂

Knitting on a rainy day with a latte

Knitting on a rainy day with a latte

One thing I did not like about this sweater was how much finishing there was for such a small piece.  The contrast colors meant extra ends to weave in, the pockets and elbow patches meant extra ends to weave in, and I don’t like doing that stuff on a good day.  As it turned out, I was trying to finish up the cardi at about 1am the day of the shower, which made it that much worse.

Finished body of Gramps without sleeves or details

Here I thought I was almost done

I went shopping at my LYS for buttons the day I would need to sew them on.  Luckily they had some brown buttons that were about a perfect match for the button band.  I can’t remember what they were made of, but they were not plastic and I don’t think they were wood.  Maybe horn or bone?  I used this tutorial for sewing on the buttons, since I had never done it before.  I was glad there were only five since it was not my favorite process (hand-sewing never is) and I was really in a hurry to get to sleep.  In the end, the only concession I made was to knit only one pocket instead of two.  I thought it looked just as nice with one pocket and I still had the elbow patches and buttons to do at that point, so I stopped there.

Finished Gramps Cardi

It’s done!

I ended up having to give it to her a day late because it was not dry from blocking in the morning.  I also had to miss the baby shower because of an appointment, so I guess it worked out.  I folded it up in a little box and put a bow on top.  She thought it was very cute and said she couldn’t wait to dress her new baby boy in it!  And my worries about whether babies are really that small were unfounded–she told me her babies get big fast so he will fit into it in no time.

So, babies are really even smaller than this??

Gramps cardigan packed in a gift box

Ready to gift

I definitely recommend this pattern because it’s adorable and it’s the kind of well-written pattern we all expect from Tin Can Knits.  However, I probably won’t knit it again because I’m not the type to knit the same pattern twice (unless we’re talking vanilla socks) and all the finishing really drove me mad.

Seriously, babies, this small?