Little Boy Blue

All done.

The pattern was loosely based on the Rocketry sweater, but I took the opportunity to change some stuff to make it better suit my needs. 

I kept the slight vee-neck, believing as I do that it is better suited to the particulars of the physique of the very young, who often lack necks.  I’ve always thought that the a round neck wasn’t quite right for a little one, and I’ve noticed that their parents seldom button that top button, the one that would settle under their fat chins – so I left it out entirely. The yarn is Spud and Chloe Sweater, a rather delicious confection.  (Colours were 7503 "Root Beer" and 7507 "Moonlight", one of each. Special thanks to Jennifer at The Purple Purl, who chose the colours. I’d have never picked them, but love it.) a delicious mix of 55% superwash wool and 45% organic cotton, perfect for a baby. 

I altered the bottom to include a ribbed edge, and added slightly mitered buttonbands, because the original Rocketry sweater had a roundish bottom that didn’t suit my desire for a tailored look – because, you know, babies like a tailored look.   My mum found wee buttons that matched the yarn exactly, and I did the math to space five of them top to bottom. 

My mum picked it up today, to drop off to the intended baby, who I know won’t care about any of it, except it is soft, and doesn’t have a button that insults his lack of a neck, and will keep him warm for some time to come.
I love that I don’t know this baby, he’s the son of a friend of my mum’s, and I’ve never met him, and probably never will, but there he will be. Sitting warm and cozy in the Canadian winter, spitting up on the handwork of a knitter he’s never known. 

Oh Knitting.  I love you. 

84 thoughts on “Little Boy Blue

  1. Lovely! And you exactly capture the secret pleasure of knitting gifts for people you don’t know. You’ve sent a gift of warmth into the world, and trust that it will do its job wherever it lands.

  2. That’s a sweet sweater. I love bold colors for babies. The pastels make me want to gag. Maybe that’s why some babies spit up so much. I’ll bet they’re sick of the pastels too.

  3. “Sitting warm and cozy in the Canadian winter, spitting up on the handwork…”
    I love how you continually redefine the romance of our craft.

  4. Surely the most cherished gift I ever received for my infant daughter was the sweater and booties knit by the neighbor of my beloved mother-in-law. I had never met the neighbor and so certainly, immediately, understood how dear my mother-in-law was to her, also. Good going, knit on! jdu

  5. I just finished and sent off a sweater for my daughter’s friend’s baby, a nine-month old I’m not likely to ever meet. The sweater has arrived, and is big, according to my daughter. That is the good thing about knitting for babies–they grow into everything! Your sweater is lovely and well-thought out. The buttons are a perfect match.

  6. Nothing like having someone else choose colours for us to get us out of our colour ruts! It worked for me at Rhinebeck at the Miss Babs booth; while I was in the process of picking up some skeins of grey, Mary Heather wandered in and suggested fire engine red. It turned out to be just perfect. The baby sweater is sweet, but not too much, if you know what I mean, and I agree with you that babies look nice in tailored things.

  7. What a lovely, cheerful sweater. The colors are just perfect together and the knitting is vintage Stephanie, so beautifully even. What a lucky baby.

  8. When you speak of knitting, you make it sound so romantic!
    When I speak of knitting it usually contains swear words. Decidedly unromantic…

  9. Love, love the neckline that allows for his little chin that is so close to his chest.
    And thank you for the romantic knitting story that fills me with inspiration and dreams of all babies wearing handknits.

  10. Love the wee sweater. I am sure the baby will love it and refuse to spit up while wearing it!
    Great idea to vee the neck and leave off that top button!

  11. What a lovely cardie for a well loved baby. I’m sure he’ll enjoy getting milk all over it!

  12. Super cute!! I love the colors, and the yarn looks very squishy and awesome, I’m sure the lucky little one will enjoy it!

  13. The wife of my dad’s business partner made me a quilt when I was born. I don’t know if I ever met her until she and her husband came by my law school graduation party that my parents hosted for me. I showed her the quilt, which has been my lifelong blankie. It was all tattered to shreds, and I retrieved it off my bed where it has always been kept (and still is, don’t judge). She said she had never known one of her quilts to have been loved quite so much. I was so happy to show it to her.
    Who knows, maybe in 30 years you’ll spot some guy carrying a baby down the road wearing a little blue and brown sweater with evenly spaced buttons and a convenient v-neck.

  14. Love that, and the warm tolerance of baby barf! Great sweater, and I now have a nice warm fuzzy feeling.
    PS (Which, actually is perfect as it’s freaking cold here and we have snow that has stayed and stayed and this is the UK not Canada, so we can’t cope! Although my house is cosy with its yarny insulation.)

  15. Love the colors!! I just finished a quilt that goes to a baby I will probably never meet. Must be something in the fibers.

  16. Hi Stephanie
    I have just discovered your blog Not sure why because I have read some of your books and just purchased one for my ipad .
    My son had his first baby last year and it is amazing What happens
    My daughters boss who I would never of thought of as a knitter made some booties, not knowing my son and his wife at all and a friend of mine who has never met them bought some handl knit booties as well.
    The little cardi is just gorgeous my daughter in law started a romper suit in the same yarn and colours that I think has come to a stand still I will show her your post she may like to do a cardigan instead. A bit more achievable for a new mum than all that leg knitting
    Thanks for keeping us all laughing
    Lynette

  17. This is a perfect sweater. And I have loved turquoise and brown together since the first time I saw it when I was about 12.

  18. And that’s why we knit. Sharing the love and warmth where we can. The colours are fantastic – my daughter has a stunning dress in these exact colours.

  19. I bet you will meet the sweater recipient…and he shall be wearing the sweater. You just wait! Fait will have it’s way!
    bkr

  20. Congrats on a beautiful sweater. The colors are lovely, and congrats to your mum who found the perfect (and perfectly matched) buttons. I’m sure the proud parents will love its beautiful construction, even if the recipient is ignorant to all the work and thoughtfulness that went into that wonderful sweater. :)

  21. Maybe your mom’s friend will take a picture.
    A trick for buttonholes that I learned from
    Lily Chin is to make one inch marks on a length of
    elastic. Then when you want to mark where the buttons go, stretch the elastic on the button band
    to include the number of marks you have buttons for.
    Works every time.
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  22. Fabulous! What a wonderful feeling knowing a little baby somewhere is benefitting from your work. Love it!

  23. I was honestly so skeptical about the colour combo but now that it’s done I think the brown and the green work so well! It’s refreshing for a baby sweater not to have those typical baby blues and bubblegum pinks as well. It’s really lovely that you’re making this little person warm and you might never meet him.

  24. I love that some little peanut is being wrapped up in proof that the parent-child bond lasts a whole life long,

  25. Marlyce, what an interesting idea! I’ll try that!
    And that sweater! It’s so cute and adorable! And the colors are perfect for a guy. I can see myself in those tones, to be honest. :D

  26. And the wee one will feel strangely at home if he ends up at Tufts University.
    Scroll down to see the colors in nice little official squares:
    http://webcomm.tufts.edu/policies-and-guidelines/web-branding-guidelines/visual-identity-basics/
    “The official college seal, bearing the motto Pax et Lux (Peace and Light) was adopted in 1857, and the student body picked the school colors of brown and blue in 1876. (The colors were not made official, however, until a 1960 vote of the Board of Trustees.)” from their website, as well.
    And yes, I did graduate from there. Mascot? Jumbo the Elephant (as in P.T. Barnum).

  27. I really like the sweater. Now I will study up on mitre for the bottom of the band…sometimes my button bands get wonky, yet I believe I’m counting/picking up correctly. This might be the trick to keep things ‘neat’. Thank you.

  28. Good lord, Presbytera, let the woman catch her breath. Please see in the All Time Greatest Handbook of Final Rules For Knitters where it clearly states that, “…A knitter may temporarily abandon a knitted sweater project for one destined for a newborn and/or stranger gift, in which time is of the necessity, provided abandoned project is resumed prior to knitter’s demise.”
    On second thought, that book doesn’t exist. Maybe Stephanie should write it. Okay, resume chastisement and add writing that book to her list.

  29. I understand completely how this feels, Stephanie. I recently discovered that my brother in law and his wife are expecting a little one- and since they live on the other side of the world, I immediately began planning for the layette I am making for my new niece or nephew. Since we’re not sure what “flavor” the baby is yet, I am making a multi-colored pastel blanket, a knit cotton hat, and a white jacket that would fit a 6 month old.
    I doubt I will be spending a lot of time with the new little one. Distance sort of prevents that. But I love him or her just the same, and I love that I can do something like that for the baby and his/her parents. It’s partly because I adore my sister-in-law, but mostly because in my family we firmly believe that every baby deserves handknits. Despite the spitup and everything else, it warms my heart to think that they will someday know how much their auntie loved them. Knitting can do that in a way nothing else can.

  30. The sweater is so great! I want one exactly like it — will you make one for me? You don’t know me, either! Oh, but I’m a lot larger than the babe for whom the pictured sweater is intended.

  31. As much as you enjoy that, somewhere, a baby who you will likely never know is dribbling all manner of stuff onto a sweater that you’ve knit, I enjoy that you’ve put so much thought into this little sweater and at least appeared to have a good time doing it.
    Also, your mum has a knack for choosing buttons. She could possibly offer this as a service…?
    Stay warm, and have a lovely Tuesday.

  32. I love those colours, and the buttons, and the button band! Well done to everyone involved, but especially Stephanie.

  33. Adorable sweater. The color selection was primo and your work is, as always, impeccable. Congrats to you for finishing this project and to the new mom who is the beneficiary of your largess.

  34. That colour combo makes my mouth water, almost literally. It reminds me of chocolate and mints. The little person is very lucky to receive such a fine cardi. I wish I were so generous. If I knit more, I might be!

  35. I can vouch for the top button being a bad idea. Older daughter, as a newborn, had her chin chafed with a top button (shanked, and a bit higher than the rest of the cardigan). It took days to heal.

  36. Besides baby’s comfort of not resting the chin on a button, it also does make it look like the baby has kind of a neck, a much used trick for shortnecked women. Also, keep zippers end at the same distance from baby’s neck, my neckskin got caught in a zipper, my brother, then 10, rescued his nearly one year old sister, me, screaming her head off and ripping her skin and I still, after 60 odd years have a little scar to confirm this story. So, either cowls (which every mum tends to put her hand between baby’s neck and the to be zippered close cowl)or Stephanies V-formed necktreatment with a zipper, but never a zipper ending at neckheigth for a baby, please.

  37. Very cute. The only way it could be cuter is with a baby inside. I have similar colors that I intended to make socks with. I might have to go back to those.

  38. An adorable little sweater. And I love that you’re realistic about babies and clothing. They don’t care as long as they’re comfortable, and they also don’t care about what they do to what they wear.

  39. Knitters! Wrapping folks in Warmth and Love….Its what we do.
    You have touched on the great satifaction of charity knitters. thanks. Mary Ellen

  40. Marlyce! That is a very good idea..thanks for passing on that tip.
    That sweater is gorgeous and I love everything about it and will now drop everything I am doing and go make one for my grandson. Perhaps the two fo them will run into each other in their matching sweaters at the mall and start a trend!

  41. Great sweater, Steph!
    Although I must differ with you on the yarn, having just recently completed an adult-man-sized sweater out of the same stuff. From where I sit it’s got all the drawbacks of 100% cotton yarn with none of the benefits of its wool content (very drying to knit with, not elastic or stretchy or forgiving at all, and prone to split).
    Still, you’ve given me inspiration for what to do with my leftover yarn from that project, and I thank you!

  42. Love the sweater, but can I make a request/suggestion for a future blog post:
    I know it might be irritating, but could you do a post on how best to secure ends on yarns that won’t felt and are likely to slip loose? I’ve seen a lot of mention of using regular needle and thread to tack ends down, but I have NEVER been able to find a picture of what this looks like in the finished product or pictures of how to do it (let alone do it well). I’ve consulted all my reference books and multiple blogs — no dice. Many thanks in advance! I’m wrestling with securing ends on a nylon/cotton blend child’s sweater and your baby sweater made me think of it.

  43. Isn’t Spud & Chloe awesome stuff? I have a few skeins of Outer and a couple of sock weight skeins and I love the stuff!

  44. Wouldn’t it be cool if you were just walking around town and came across that baby in that sweater? You would know immediately because of the unusual colors, etc… a cosmic knitting connection to a stranger!

  45. I loved the colors so much that I instantly went to the Spud and Chloe website where the colors looked nothing like yours. Won’t some technology-forward person please invent an app that allows us to see and touch yarn over the internet? It would be ever so helpful! (The sweater is adorable! Very lucky baby!)

  46. That’s sweet of you, Stephanie, to knit a perfect sweater for Little Boy Blue You’ll Never Meet. Me? I couldn’t do it…I like to give things to peeps I know (selfish, I’m aware) so I can get the satisfaction, delicious delight of seeing their eyes light up like stellar stars when they see my handiwork. I’m a bit weak that way, I’ll say.

  47. A good friend’s grandmother-in-law crocheted a blanket for my daughter when she was born. A beautiful, unusual stitch I had never seen before, it reminds you of slipping a stitch to move a color from one row to the next in knitting. I never met the crocheter who has since passed on, but my 4 year old still holds on to this gorgeous blanket, the handiwork of a woman who sent out a token of love to an unknown baby. I feel blessed to have it.

  48. Stephanie – I’m confused about the color discrepancy there seems to be among us commentors. From my computer, the colors appear a deep chocolate brown and a nice tealish blue – great combo, I happen to be a huge fan already – but there were multiple comments of the yarn reminding people of “chocolate and mint” – is the yarn actually GREEN instead of BLUE? I agree with the comment by Staci at 10:30am – there ought to be some techno way of insuring all of the viewers get the same VIEW lol :) Anyway, keep up the awesome work!! You’re always inspiring – thank you.

  49. I love S&C Sweater and the brown and blue are great together. I think your Moonlight is actually Waterslide though. I just made the Tycoon Vest for my grandson out of Moonlight, and it’s much darker. Perhaps it’s the photo, but is the top button spaced the same as the others? Is there a logistics reason for that, like the v-neck? I agree on the v-neck-much easier to dress babies!

  50. That sweater is SO delicious I want to eat it! :) Love the colours and I can actually feel the softness of it in my hand.

  51. I love that sweater, and I love the colors, and it may need to exist in grown up size.

  52. I love the colors, and I think the chocolate goes well with all of the different shades of blue/green/teal our monitors are showing us.
    I am reading through your archives, and also knitting my first sweater (baby sized, from acrylic, because it’s a learning sweater and I can use up the acrylic).
    I know that you prefer natural fibers on children, and agree with your reasoning. However, I can admit that I am afraid to buy natural fibers for gift sweaters because I don’t know how to take care of them. The friends (and myself) who I would like to knit baby sweaters for are the types who won’t use something that can’t go in the washer & dryer.
    So please tell us, how should/could this sweater be washed, and could another yarn of similar makeup (superwash wool and cotton combination) be washed the same way? Can it go in the sterilize cycle, or only in the cool cycles? Would baby fluids stain something like this if it can’t be washed in hot water? (Can you tell we haven’t made our first baby, yet, either? ;) )
    Thank you for writing your blog and books, for sharing your life and knitting knowledge with us, and for keeping it all going even when disasters happen or “closets” are not designed properly for the blog. We have learned so much from you. :)

  53. I love the color combination!It ‘s so pretty. I wish someone wanted to knit me an adult version.

  54. Such an awesome color combination! Blue/brown is one of my favorite palettes anyway, but the teal-blue really adds a depth to it.

  55. I like the idea of drying yarn on a heat vent. I once dried a pair of white print pants on a radiator. Bad idea I got rust stains on the pants that I could not get out. I love these pants. I ended up tossing them. Kind of wish I hadn’t. I could have recycled them somehow – they were vintage 60s or 70s cotton border prints with a flair. Really stunning. Oh well, sob. That I dry fabrics near the radiator all the time. Saves $ doing the same in a dryer. That and and a walk downstairs outside in the fffffreezing cold!

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