Just how many sweaters does a newborn baby need? Especially one to be born just before the summer season? And particularly when said little one will be 'inheriting' a stash of existing handknit sweaters from his or her older siblings to wear as well? Oh, probably not this many...but I don't care. I'll keep knitting and baby will surely keep wearing (our summers are not exactly tropical here, after all).
This sweater jumped into my on-the-go basket in the past few weeks. It was actually a crumpled up abandoned sweater-in-progress in the bottom of my yarn stash. I believe I started it before Harper was born, alongside the pants I made for him out of the same yarn (The Fiber Company Organik). But then before the sweater was complete, I think he was born, and knitting slowed, I lost interest in it, and well...there it sat. When I spied it a few weeks ago, I felt inspired to finish it finally. It's the 5-Hour Baby Sweater - a rather fitting name for a sweater which took me nearly three years to make, yes? It's a bit bigger than anything I've made yet for this babe, which hopefully means it will fit in the winter. In winter we'll need all those handknits - really and truly. (Ravelry link.)
Whenever I post about handknits and babies, I'm always asked about their care ~ Do I handwash all of my handknits? Yes, I do!
There's a lot of wool in our lives, and most all of it gets handwashed. It really isn't any trouble at all - just a few minutes of a soak in the sink with an appropriate soap (I've always used and loved Eucalan). Any tough spots get a little attention with Gall Soap (especially handy for wool soakers). Then it gets very gently squeezed out and rolled in a towel to absorb excess water, and laid flat to dry someplace warm (you'll want to keep the wool out of direct sunlight). Handwashing is so much gentler than the machine, and totally worth the extra time to care for something so special (especially when the natural antibacterial quality of wool makes it needing less frequent washing anyway). Dare I confess (and may you not be surprised) that I really enjoy the time spent doing so? It's so peaceful and lovely to touch all that wool in a slow and mindful way. Giving thought to the source of the fibers I'm holding, the time I spent making it, and the amazing little one who wears it. There you have it. My secret is out. I love sheep, knitting with wool and the babies who wear it (and of course, the amazing people they grow up to be too!).