Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Labour Sweater

(warning: another knitting post)

When I realized I was in labour (for real, this time) I called my sister and told her to get on the next bus. It was 5 am (yes, she's a good sport!)  and the house had been spotless since the wee hours of the night, so I felt I needed something to do with my hands.

Fortunately I have bookmarked on my computer all those wonderful knitting patterns you think you have time for, but never get around to, including this simple, highly adaptable, beautiful one. It's a wrap-around kimono for newborns, knitted back and forth on a circular needle.

I took down my basket of scrap yarn—those tiny little balls leftover from other projects—and started twisting yarns together to make a thick-and-thin chunky yarn of variegated colours to match the guage.

When my sister arrived we chatted, joked, watched british comedy on youtube, laughed so hard it brought on contractions (just on me; she was safe), and drank tea. All the time I twisted wool and knitted back and forth on this tiny little sweater.

It was therapeutic to work with such beautiful rock and ocean colours. And keeping my hands busy kept my mind off things.

All morning and afternoon when the midwives arrived I kept twisting and knitting and thinking about the little body that was going to fill it, and longing to see him.

Eventually I had to abandon the sweater to focus on birth (it was a beautiful birth, as I mentioned before), but I finished it in the next few days post-partum while I nursed and snuggled with Raphael.

It isn't exactly a cuddly baby piece but see how strong it is! A free standing sweater!

The super fat yarn ended up producing a sherpa-like sweater suitable for horseback riding in Mongolia. Also when we take Raphael up Kanchenjunga he'll remain warm and dry.

Well, alright, at least he'll be safe from the Fall winds when we walk to the libarary.

After scouring Ravelry for the perfect baby kimono: seamless, raglan sleeves (the best construction, in my beginner's opinion), oh, and free, I found the beautiful pattern on sockpixie's blog. It is so simple and versatile, I've already thought of half a dozen variations for future sweaters!

But right now Rafe and I are happy with one, warm little wrap-around sweater.

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high
and the snow come tumbling from the sky...


  1. Is it strong enough to allow Raphael to sit up on his own? Great post and great name - I am glad to hear that you are going with the British pronunciation (which Dave also informs me is the Valley pronunciation as well). And, that baby is terribly cute!

  2. Love how it turned out, Mary! Raphael looks so handsome. Miss you all! ♥

  3. Oh. Oh. Oh. Too very precious. The baby AND the sweater.

  4. Thanks, ladies! Elena, no, you're thinking of the full body version with a bend in the middle...and a turtle-neck to hold his head up. Ha ha! Perfect