February 4, 2011

Tulips Sweater

A year or two ago, a lot of bloggers were raving about the baby sweater "Tulips" by Dream in Color. I thought it was a cute sweater, but couldn't quite see what all the fuss was about. My quilting friends went on a shop hop, and got the pattern as a freebie. Since neither of them knits, they gave the pattern to me. The pattern sat in my knitting notebook for several months, because I didn't have any pregnant friends at the time.

Last year I finally got the opportunity to knit Tulips. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. This was my second baby sweater, (I still haven't worked up the nerve to try an adult sized sweater) and compared to the first one, this was a piece of cake! It is knit from the top down, so there are no side seams to sew; the sleeves are made by picking up stitches from the armhole section, and knitting in the round. There were a few parts where I had to really stop and think about the directions for a few hours (or days) but overall, this is the easiest knitting for a baby that I've ever done.

Yarn: I chose to use Vanna's Choice yarn, partly because it's acrylic and can be machine washed, and partly because I already had all but one skein in my stash.
Pattern Variation: If you are familiar with Tulips, you probably noticed that I did not use seven different colors of yarn. Again, this was partly because I was trying to stash bust, and also because I thought it would be too busy. I also did the knit-on I-Cord edging in purple, instead of pink, to make the sweater 'pop' a little more.
Advice: One thing that really puzzled me in the pattern was at the end of row 8, it says "for first three sizes, work color change row" then after row 10, it says "for largest two sizes, work color change row". What confused me was where to put in the row, since I already had directions for those rows. I finally realized that if there was a color change, to work the color change instead of the 8'th row (or 10'th, depending on the size made.)
The only other advice I have to offer is to work the applied I-Cord and seed stitch along the edges loosely! I had to rip out the second side and do it over because it was a good inch shorter than the other side.

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