Tag Archives: shawl collar

Pattern Spotlight: Baby Sophisticate

A few years ago, it seemed like everyone I knew was getting married (including me, so I don’t really have any room to complain).  For some reason I decided that the perfect wedding gift was a hand knit or crocheted blanket.  I soon began to hate that decision.  When you have one wedding a year, it’s fine.  However, when you start having three weddings every month, that’s a lot of late nights.

Now, as the song goes, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…  a whole passel of babies (what’s a group of babies called?  A herd? A pod?  A holler?).

But this time, I am being smart about what hand knits I give out.  Babies get sweaters. Not great big blankets.  Maybe a little stuffed animal or a matching pair of bootees, if I’m feeling generous.  I’m a big fan of EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket, but sometimes knitting even a tiny sweater in sock yarn is more than I’m up for.  When I learned that a friend was expecting twins, and invited me to a baby shower in a week, I knew that even I couldn’t bang out two BSJ’s in time.

I went to Ravelry and started poking around for an alternative, and I found the perfect baby sweater.  It’s the Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down.  It’s a free download and comes in two sizes, 0-3 months and 6-12 months.  It’s knit up on size 8 needles and Aran yarn (although I used worsted, which worked fine). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s an absolutely adorable pattern.  It’s well-written and easy to follow.  The garter-stitch shawl collar makes the sweater look fancy, but it’s completely easy to do.  And, since it’s knit at a larger gauge, I managed to knit up two sweaters in about a week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, if you have a skein or two of something superwash, and you know of someone (or six people) in the family way, keep the Baby Sophisticate in mind.

Inspiration: Top Chef

Say what you will about reality TV, but sometimes even on dumb TV shows you get good knitting inspiration.  A couple weeks ago (I think… I’m woefully behind on my TV watching), on Top Chef, the contestants went on a cruise, and during the QuickFire Challenge judge Curtis Stone wore this sweater:

Good, right?  Even my husband pointed it out.  Either my obsessive eagle-like searching for knitting has rubbed off on him, or this is a pretty cool sweater.

It’s a fairly simple cardigan with set-in sleeves and a shawl collar. The twist comes with the texture of the knitting.  The collar is not just knit plain, but in fact consists of great big cables.  The body is (I think) worked in seed stitch.  If you wanted to make something similar, try modifying these patterns:

Brownstone by Jared Flood

Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan by Kate Kuckro

Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oates