Monday, November 20, 2006

Maybe this is why I sew more than I knit

I'm a bit disappointed with Debbie Bliss right now. It was bad enough that I had to knit this cardigan in a larger size than I wanted: the pattern was written for every size excepts the Kiddo's (The size options were 9-12 months, 12-18 months, or 24-36 months. Where's the 18-24 month size?). But then, despite adding extra length to the sleeves, they'll clearly be too short when the rest of the sweater finally fits.

Plus, the shaping just seems sloppy. It's nearly wide enough for me to wear: chest measurement on the 24-36 month size, according to the pattern, is 30 inches. That's huge! I should have trusted my instinct and made a smaller size. Perhaps it will fit when she's ten years old?

But to top it all off, I substituted the recommended yarn (Debbie Bliss wool-cotton, which is no longer available) and used Debbie Bliss Cathay (50% cotton/35% viscose/15% silk). I really like the yarn, and converting the gauge was easy. But despite carefully following the care instructions, the red color ran into the pale blue at the hem when I washed and blocked it.

Yes, I'm officially annoyed. The pattern and the yarn have both disappointed me.

I made numerous changes to this pattern, but I clearly should have made many more alterations. I knit the body and sleeves on circular needles to eliminate most of the seams, and I replaced the ruffles at the sleeves (can't you just see them dragging through everything she eats?) with a simple garter stitch. The garter stitch at the hem became this cute little eyelet trim from a Nicky Epstein book.

I think that I can probably rip out and add more length to the sleeves someday without too much trouble, but I can't really do much about the other fit problems or that bleeding color.

Fortunately, the Kiddo seems perfectly happy with her new sweater, but that might also be attributed to the fact that she was eating her absolute favorite food, Pirate's Booty ("Ah Boo-dee!"), when I took the photos.


  1. Oh noooooo. I've been working on a Debbie Bliss sweater for my nearly three year old for months and I substituted a GCH yarn for Debbie Bliss. I hope I'm not disappointed with the results. I've spent so long on this sweater and it's my first sweater of any type.
    I was thinking that your daughter's sweater would be just fine as a 3/4 sleeve sweater when the body fits her better, but you seem like an accomplished enough knitter that you could probably make the sleeves longer too if you wanted to.
    I think it turned out great and I especially like the blue trim.

  2. Sandy9:04 AM

    She looks so adorable and happy!

  3. First, my gang maybe way older than your kiddo, but Pirate Booty is still one of there most favorite things. I like the color combo on the sweater. And I too dislike when things don't work out as they should. I agree with Amy I think it will look nice even as a 3/4 sleeve sweater.

  4. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Well, it looks good to me, but then, I never had the patiencce with knitting to get good enough to even try making alterations to patterns--I'm so used to being able to do whatever I want with sewing that my absolute beginner-ness was annoyingly frustrating when you can only wear so many scarves. (And I still think Pirate's Booty is yummy and I'm an adult!)

  5. I really like that sweater :) And Pirate Booty is MY favorite food too!

  6. Oh Debbie Bliss patterns always seems so wide. I make the 2 yr size for my 5 yr old, and just lengthen it so that she will get at least 12 months wear out of it. I love your tomato pincushion too, and I am so glad that your teaching classes went well.

  7. The colours are lovely and I am sure 3/4 length sleeves will still look good as she gets older. It is so frustrating when something like this happens, I have had a problem with Debbie Bliss children's sizes before and generally make quite a lot of adjustments now, why is she so convinced that children are very wide? My two are very "normal" sized, tall I guess and slim but only "normal" slim, not skinny, I remember having to rip one DB cardigan in particular, I think in the size 18-24 in fact, I had to rip because I realised I could have fitted 2 daughters in there easily.

    She does look scrumptious in those colours though and I love the edging.

  8. Laurel9:32 PM

    Kiddo looks right at home in her adorable sweater. I love the contrast in colors...can't wait to see it in real life.

  9. Awww, she looks so cute. That is disappointing though after all of that work...

  10. Anonymous9:32 PM

    It's a really sweet sweater though. I'm sorry it didn't work out as planned.

    Do you still have some of the blue? If so, when she outgrows it sleeve-wise you could remove the sleeves and turn it into a vest. Just add a bit of blue trim to finish the arm holes. It just might fit til she's 8 or so.

  11. Anonymous5:57 PM

    I think it's an adorable sweater, and it'll fit for a long time. You don't even need to lengthen the arms. I love many of the Debbie Bliss patterns, but I find there are often mistakes in them. I am currently knitting a top-down cardigan for myself with navy blue Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, and it's bleeding all over my hands and clothes. The store where I bought it went out of business, and I tried contacting the company, but no luck. I don't think they really stand by their products.