when does a knitter WANT shrinkage?

When you're knitting with denim!

My neighbor is expecting a baby girl any time now, so of course I had to knit her something. R works at a bead store. She quilts, crochets, and generally appreciates all manner of funky crafts. Little does she know that her soon-to-be baby girl is the recipient of a little experiment of mine.

You see, I have had some denim yarn hanging around for a while. When Daniel was a wee baby (like, wee enough to hang out in the bucket carseat while I was yarn-shopping), I got six skeins of Plymouth Indigo Blu Jeans on clearance when an LYS was going out of business. I meant to make him a sweater out of it. Then I got distracted with other projects and all of a sudden he was big enough that six skeins wasn't enough to cover his lanky torso. You have to keep in mind that denim yarn is unmercerized cotton that will shrink lengthwise when washed. Another problem with this yarn is that it is listed as DK weight, which is a slightly finer gauge than every other denim yarn on the market (like Rowan and Elann brands), so adapting a pattern accounting for a different stitch gauge and variable row gauge, depending on what happens in the laundry, my sleep-deprived brain just wasn't ready.

A couple weeks ago, though, inspired by the independent spirit and clever designs of Elizabeth Zimmerman, as well as Elinor's fairly recent toddler sweater, I embarked on the following: an Elizabeth Zimmerman February baby sweater (from The Knitter's Almanac) without the lace gull stitch pattern in cotton denim yarn.

I'm not sure how this is going to turn out, honestly. It's a little long, for starters...

...though I'm hoping that a long cycle in the dryer will shrink it sufficiently.

Also, I want to try out some fun techniques with a Clorox bleach pen (I read about that on Mason-Dixon Knitting a while back). This will be no ordinary baby sweater!

I just hope it doesn't turn out looking like total crap. The sweater is in the dryer right now. Come back tomorrow, and I'll let you know how it looks!


Rosemary said…
Such fun! I can't wait to see your finished creation. Baby Z is going to be Madison's best dressed baby girl this spring. And given the family trend to long torsos, longer is probably much better than shorter.
Dee said…
This looks like fun!

I have always been afraid of the yarn that will shrink.

I do have a finished tank in some cotton that will shrink with washing but I am afraid to try. I can't wait to see your results.

Dee Anna

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