January 3, 2008

FO: Presto Changos


For my first post of 2008, I'm going to talk about some 2007 knitting I somehow failed to blog until now.

Over the summer, I became quite enchanted with Valerie's wonderful Presto Chango pattern. I went on something of a jag, actually.

The top left one was knit in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton in Nut. The middle right one was knit in Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in Stone. The bottom left one was knit in Suss Bomull in Raisin.

I made an alternate front panel for both the Stone colored one and the Raisin one. However, I only seem to have a picture of the Raisin one, where I used a fish scale lace pattern.

The extra panel for the Stone one was an interlocking, diamond chain, lace pattern. You'll just have to take my word for it that it came out very well. Actually, I liked it even better than the fish scale lace.

I fully intended to make another panel for the Nut colored one, but I got slammed with morning sickness and never got around to it. I never even gave the sweater as a gift. Now, judging by the picture of the baby on the family's Christmas card, he'll be too big for it. Whoops!

Since I still have that one, the originally planned recipient's loss will someday be the gain of another baby. Maybe even my own Minnie Purl, though probably not. I say probably not, because I plan to make her a Presto Chango out of some Teal colored Suss Bomull and really cute silverish buttons with little cutout hearts.

The Suss Bomull was an excellent yarn substitution, by the way. It's not as soft as the Blue Sky yarn, but it seems super durable and has a very crisp look with great stitch definition. I think that's because it's 4 ply compared to Blue Sky's 2 ply. The spinners out there who are much wiser on this stuff than I, can confirm or correct me on this point.

All three of these were made in the smallest size. The only modification I made, was on the Raisin one. When it came time to cast on stitches for the sleeves, I used a provisional cast on. Later, instead of binding off the sleeve stitches, I put them on waste yarn. This meant I was able to graft the stitches together for a seamless sleeve. I really liked the way it came out and will use that modification again in the future.

This is a wonderful pattern. It's a very fun, satisfying knit. And it impressed the hell out of the other guests at the baby showers. In addition to the always-fun-to-hear "you made that?!?", people were blown away by the cleverness and practicality of the design. Interchangeable front panels -- a genius way to deal with baby spit up down the front of a sweater. Well done, Valerie. Thank you for the spectacular pattern.