Look Ma, No Sleeves!

So, I can’t seem to get my nose out of the Mason Dixon book. There’s a Jess Hutch bunny I’d like to make for a baby shower this Sunday, and I already had the yarn for that… but I still couldn’t resist a trip to Wally’s to buy more Peaches ‘n Cream, this time for a Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono for said baby shower. I finished the kimono today, and am not sure that I’ll have time to complete the toy before Sunday. Priorities…

I don’t know what possessed me to choose this color, aside from the fact that the color selection at Wal-Mart is mostly variegated, and mostly made by a color blind man not what I wanted (btw, totally a tangent – is it just me, or is it sickening that Microsoft Word’s spell check just corrected my omission of the hyphen in “Wal-Mart”?). There really wasn’t much to choose from for girl colors that would be suitable for a baby. I thought this colorway was pretty – it’s called “Orange Sherbert.” In alternating shades of cream and peachy orange, this yarn had me thinking, “cute, reminds me of a 50/50 bar”… implying that baby is sweet enough to eat. Hmmm. I’ll let you be the judge of whether this little number is Peaches ‘n Cream sweetness, or whether I’ve just doomed an innocent babe to mockery on Baby Fug.

So, what happened to the sleeves? Thought you’d never ask (thought I’d never have such a prosaic paragraph transition either, but hey, it’s nearly midnight. The witching hour for really bad writing.). My friend’s baby is due in early July, which in Southern California is a really, really, unfortunate time of year to be gifted a SWEATER – even a cotton one. I had seen a comment from one TBCristina attached to a post on the Mason Dixon KAL, which said that she sometimes makes the kimono with no sleeves for summer babies. Seemed like this might be much more appreciated than a full-on sweater, and much quicker to make than a larger-sized kimono for winter, so I decided to give it a go. The pattern itself was really easy, although I wish I’d seen this about the YO increases two stitches in before I decided to go with the M1 increases (my YO increases at the beginnings of rows created holes big enough to put my pinky through). I placed a piece of waste yarn at the beginning of what would have been the first row of casting on stitches for the sleeves, so that I would know how far up the sides to seam – I can’t imagine the insanity had I not thought to do that.

The ribbon was harder to deal with than anything else. I learned mattress stitch for this project, and found that to be enjoyable in comparison to trying to attach ribbon (no, really, I liked seaming! Do you think there’s something wrong with me?). I don’t sew and have no business with a sewing needle. I couldn’t figure out how to sew on the ribbon without making a mess of sloppy stitchery – which I realize makes me look completely stupid, because I suspect it’s a very easy thing to do. I ended up cutting two lengths of ribbon 18” long, then threading them through stitches an inch apart, and I managed a couple of tiny stitches on the wrong side of the kimono to keep the ribbons from sliding around or coming out. The ribbon doesn’t want to stay tied, though, and I’m not sure what to do about that since it’s just in its nature. It’s a slippery variety, no holding it still for long. I could try adding snaps in case the ribbon comes undone while baby is wearing the kimono, but that’s more sewing and therefore dangerous territory. Maybe I’ll just give it to my friend with the warning that her infant daughter might become Spontaneously Nekkid when wearing this item.

Once completed, the sleeveless version seemed like it needed something… some girly bling. I decided to try adding a tiny lacy crocheted ruffle to the arm holes. This would hide the unfinished edge and make the kimono look less like a knitted Chinese take-out box. Right. So, after playing around with it a bit, here’s what I came up with: Sc 24 stitches around the armhole (I didn’t go completely around; babies don’t need ruffles in their armpits). Ch one, turn. *Sc in the next sc, ch three. Sl st in the next sc. Repeat from * to the end of the row, and bind off [After the initial chain one and turn, I single crocheted into the first sc, not the second from the hook.]. You can do more ruffles if you like; just make sure you do an even number of sc on the first row. Really easy, and I’m happy with the result.

(No animals were hurt in the making of this blog post, but yes, one was humiliated.)

This entry was published on May 31, 2006 at 6:49 am and is filed under Finished Objects, Knitting. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Look Ma, No Sleeves!

  1. jenknits on said:

    Love your sweater and your blog!It looks so cute on the stuffed animal it’s almost a shame to make the pup take it off!

  2. choomon on said:

    That’s adorable!

  3. Juls on said:

    I’m a Californian too and have been looking around for the right baby shower gift for July baby. Thanks for posting all your modifications to the kimono! Brilliant!!

  4. Cristina on said:

    Great thought to embellish the arms with that picot edging! I’ve done mostly plain vests that end up looking a little like a Junior Jedi garment. I also do inner ties of crochet chain (inner=the under flap to the inside seam) to help with the slipping-off-the-baby issue. All best, Cristina Shiffman

  5. What type of needle did you use, if it was circular, what length?

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