Knitting the Sweetie Pie Kit

This post has been transferred from my previous blog. If you're visiting here from MlleOiseau, I'm happy to welcome you to my new space!

I love to knit. It's another skill I picked up when I was young; I learned how to knit from my mom, who I have never seen knit a day in her life, but who remembered well enough to teach me. As an adult, I found that knitting was a great way to manage my anxiety. It forces my mind to focus on small, simple tasks (much like to do lists, which I love to keep) and the repetitive motion is similar to counting prayer beads (perhaps that’s why knitting prayer shawls is so popular).

I've knit simple, flat pieces like scarves. I've picked up knitting in the round, and can bang out hats almost without thinking. I've even dabbled with toe-up socks! But it finally became time to try knitting a complete garment. I knew I wanted to try top-down construction, and I only had yarn enough for something small and sweet. Luckily I stumbled upon the Sweetie-Pie-Kit on the Pickles blog.

But my-oh-my, what a project. It started off so simple, and as soon as I got to the Fisherman's Rib, it all went south. I finally followed everyone's recommendations and looked it up online... valuable advice to all of the other knitters out there! If you’re here looking for the corrections yourself, this is what I tried: when knitting this rib flat, it must definitely be “P1, K1 in stitch below” instead of “K1, K1 in the stitch below” for Row 1 (same for Row 2 but in the opposite order, of course). At the very least, it seemed to work for me and I took off at quite a comfortable speed.

Curious about my other changes? I also followed mychildrensmother's (Ravelry) recommendation and added 4 stitches in each underarm to meet the required number of stitches. I don't remember the cast-on method I used, but I'm unhappy with it. When I reknit this for the third time (I've already passed this point on my second version of this sweater, where I used the cable cast on) I’ll have to try something else.

My final change was to use the super stretchy bind-off by Jeny Staiman, but I only thought to do this after ripping out the standard bind-off I used the first time around. Binding off loosely as the pattern suggests just didn’t do it for me, and after all of my hard work on the Fisherman's Rib I really wanted that lower edge to maintain the horizontal stretch. Want another idea? You could also try the more decorative picot bind off, which is said to also be pretty stretchy.

The Fisherman's Rib is just different enough to hold my interest while I knit, while being simple enough to do while watching television (although I can only look up every so often, still). The rib is also exactly as advertised, stretchy and plush and very snuggly-warm. It's very satisfying to see the sleeves quickly pop into shape (perk of top-down construction) and knitting in the round minimizes the seaming to be done later. It’s so cute! It gets lots of "ooh's and aah's" while knitting, which every knitter can appreciate.

I've sprinkled photos throughout this post, but I haven't mentioned yet that I haven't blocked the piece. This is 100% acrylic yarn (Vanna's Choice and Vanna's Choice Baby) and while it desperately needs to be blocked, I’m so nervous that the yarn will melt and it'll be destroyed. So please be forgiving of my uneven stitches, and I promise to start knitting with natural fibers!

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