Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Isaiah's Turn

In all this frenzy to complete a quilt for Isaiah's cousin before she is born in May, my 8-month-old grandson's projects got set aside - and nearly forgotten.  I had completed the knitting on his sweater while visiting him and his sister in Oklahoma earlier this spring and wrote about it in my post for March 18, 2016, titled Knitting Queries, Quandaries, and Quiescence. All that remained to complete the garment was blocking the components and adding the bands on the two fronts and around the neck. The blocking task would not take long. I just had get over my inertia to start it. The ironing board was already out. The pressing cloth was hanging in readiness, pushed-pinned quite conspicuously on my bulletin board, as it had been for months.

I pinned the top and two fronts right side down. I had knit it in one piece to avoid side seams. It barely fit on the double thickness towel I'd placed on the ironing board.

I saturated my pressing cloth and wrung it out. I laid it over the stockinette stitch portion avoiding flattening the ribbing. I steamed flat only the outer edges that were curling under along each front and along the raglan sleeve shoulder seams.

I repeated the process for each of the sleeves.

Here are all the pieces flat, right side up, and ready to be seamed. I will add the front and neck bands before seaming.

My next decision is in sizing the buttonholes. Because of the fine gauge of the yarn and the diameter of the shank buttons, I suspect a mere yarnover and a decrease will not be sufficient. I will need to knit up a trial swatch binding off and casting a few stitches. Two or three stitches is my best guess. Stay tuned.

So Isaiah is back in the running with Grandma projects. I need to finish his sweater real soon before it no longer fits him. Why do I so often underestimate how long something will take me? The weather in Oklahoma may already be approaching too hot to wear it but I am banking on him not having too big a growth spurt before fall. Am I being delusional?  I should learn my lesson and just aim for a bigger size. But then again you have to match the size with the season when the child will be that size. I guess a Grandma just needs a crystal ball. Sigh...

While I was on the topic of Isaiah, my daughter had seen my April 6, 2016 post about the sheet I'd sewn for a Pack 'n Play. I made it pillowcase style with no elastic needed. She thought it was a good use of my one yard size pieces of juvenile novelty prints in my stash. After all, I always claim that just about every  novelty print I cave on becomes a commitment to a quilt. Of course, there is the option of a pieced back but still, the colors are the colors, and the combination of them often presents a challenge to playing nice with others. My daughter asked for some covers for the pad on their changing table, giving its dimension as 34" long x 17"wide x 1" thick. It's girth calculates out as 2x17" + 2x1" = 36". I made two pad covers: one where the fabric's straight of grain ran parallel to the long dimension of the pad and one where the fabric's straight of grain ran parallel to the short dimension of the pad.

A fabric where the straight of grain runs parallel to the long dimension of the pad is the easier project. The first pad cover I made like this was straight forward. The striped pattern of zippy little cars runs along the straight of grain so the width of the fabric was plenty enough to circumvent the 36" girth with ease to spare. I cut off a 7"x36" band parallel to one of the selvages adn French seamed it as a tube. I only had a 1 yard length to use for the 34" long pad though so once I used ½" for seaming at the closed end on the left and used a ½" for a narrow hem at the open end on the right there was not much to overhang and tuck under. It is sufficient though.

The previous pad cover was certainly a simple approach but alas when fabrics are directional you need to follow their directions! On the second pad cover I made, the straight of grain ran parallel to the short dimension of the pad. I left the fabric at full width so there is plenty to tuck under at the open end on the right. I also left the selvages on and did not do any hemming on the open end. To calculate the girth around the pad I summed 2x17" + 2x1" and got exactly 36". There is no allowance for a seam in a one yard length of fabric. Especially if you figure the first time it is washed, it will shrink. With 3% shrinkage in cotton, that is about 1" per yard. I was quite fond of this whimsical doggie print but had to add side gussets since 36" was just not quite enough, I added a wide red and white stripe for the side edges. I made French seams that take ½" seam allowance and calculated (incorrectly) that I needed 1" side strips. The calculation was 2x17" (feature fabric), + 2x1" (inset gusset), plus an added 8x½" seam allowance, gives 40". I cut my side strips 2" wide. So far so good except when you take out the seam allowances I am back to 36" around and lose all ease. Note to self: with one yard of fabric I need to cut 2½" side strips even if they do creep up the side a bit when on the pad. This will give me 1" of ease for shrinkage during laundering. Second note to self: not to state the obvious but this project is even easier if I have 1⅛ yard of fabric so no side strips are needed at all!

The cover may fit now but it will be very snug when it shrinks! Perhaps when washed, my daughter can avoid a high heat setting on the dryer or take it out a bit damp. It seems like even with a changing table pad, where one size should fit all, I have trouble with making things too small. Sigh... Again...

Linking up with Let's Bee Social #123.


  1. Your little sweater for Isaiah is darling. Let's hope he still fits in it when it's done and he needs a sweater. I'm with you -- grandma needs a crystal ball! I am so slow knitting mainly cause I have way too many knitting and quilting projects going. Sigh. I like the idea of your changing pad covers. I'm going to look at your blog about the pack and play. Maybe I need to make one for my dil.

  2. So excited to receive those projects! I especially love the car cover, and I suspect the woodland one will work out fine because the sizes I gave were a rough estimate/rounded up a bit as well. I so hope the sweater fits next fall! I am sure I will find *some* excuse to put him in it at the end of spring/over the summer, but those are such great fall colors... perhaps it is good that sweaters stretch! At any rate, these are all exciting projects. And I join you in wishing for a crystal ball. If nothing else, it'd make it easier to take advantage of the off-season sales at gymboree.

    1. I enjoy working on all these projects. As the grandkids get older their growth rate will slow a bit so it may be a bit easier and I may be a somewhat more successful in timing my sizing.

  3. If you have many more grandkids, you'll need to hire some help to get through all of your projects! You're almost up to four and counting;-)

    1. Ain't that the truth! I was just commenting to Grandpa about keeping up.