Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Don't Think Elizabeth Would Mind

Boys grow. This is a fact that, despite the evidence of the Growing Stick, has somehow caught me by surprise. Snuck up behind me. Thwapped me on the forehead and bellowed, "Look already!"

I started a Seamless Saddle Shoulder Hybrid Sweater from Knitting Without Tears for John last March. Back then, he was shorter than I was (and still am, for that matter), barely. In the meantime, and while I was otherwise engaged, he has sprouted. Shot up while I wasn't looking. In a word - grown.

A lot. Three inches since then. Over 4 inches in the last year. This has made me nervous. I don't see how I could possibly knit fast enough to keep up. It's going to take all the knitting I can do to stay in the same place. If I want him to wear the sweater even once before his elbows shoot out of the cuffs and the -- as yet unknit -- ribbing rises to the middle of his chest, I'm going to have to knit twice as fast.

I have this vision of a never-ending sweater, one that I keep knitting and knitting and every time I think I've reached the point where I can join the sleeves to the body and knit the yoke, he's going to have grown another two inches. Years and years of knitting Cascade 220 in Olympic Rain Forest. Wearing out the cable on one pair of Addi Turbo's after another.

Suddenly, adding the ribbing to the bottom of the sweater doesn't seem so odd. If I'm willing to do some plain old invisible seam type assembly, adjusting the sweater as he grows becomes possible. Even, almost, painless. All I would need to do is remove the ribbing, pick up the cast on edge, knit to the new length and reattach the ribbing.

I wonder if I could figure out a similar trick for the sleeves (preferably one that doesn't involves frogging).

It would be a hybrid on so many levels, just not the seamless one.


diane h said...

I just lost my comment! Never mind. Here's the shorter version: knit the sleeves from the top down (reverse what you are doing in the sleeve photo) but you need to then also guess how big John's upper arm will need to be.

Kathleen said...

I don't know about the knitting but I think you'll want to change 1/14/07 on the stick to 1/14/08! :)

Luni said...

This is hilarious. In fact, I think it is a real concern for those who knit to clothe children. I can imagine the story of a layette that was never finished and was frogged to be knit into a toddler sweater, then being successively added to over the years until the kid stopped growing. What a comment on the speed with which life can race by.

When I try to imagine a solution to your dilemmna, I'm reminded of those expandable suitcases, the ones with a zipper that unzips to expose more material. Maybe you could finish the bottom of the sweater with a zipper and then zip more knitting on as needed. Teva Durham actually designed a sweater like that. Hers was meant to accomodate a change in the weather, but yours could accomodate a change in the wearer!