On Wednesday I was having a rather difficult time of things. I’d had a really positive hospital appointment the previous day and been out for a bite to eat with Mr Awesome and the other prospective parents in our small ante-natal class the evening before, but I woke up on Wednesday in a lot of discomfort and feeling rather poorly. ConsequentlyI felt I needed something other than plain blue rounds of chubby little baby leg to distract me from each round of baby gymnastics that had started to, along with a few test contractions for fun, exacerbate a few of my past scars. And what is more pleasurably distracting than a yarn that refuses to decide what colour it will be?
I have spoken many times of the ills that a good Zauberball can help heal, so in lieu of strong pain relief or the ability to sleep, I chose the most randomly coloured concoction from my little medicine chest of healing Zauberballs and cast on the simplest pattern I could find, which happened to be Julie Chanudet’s little striped sweater, Langoz.
I deviated away from the pattern only in small details and the order/method of construction. I knit the back and arm raglan increases to the underarm first, retained these on the circular needle and then knit the front raglan increases from the other end of the Zauberball, which I had re-wound into a centre-pull skein with the help of a patient husband. Once both pieces were knit to the underarm I did not cast off any stitches, but rather overlapped the front 5 button band stitches over those of the back and continued with the live yarn to knit together off of front and back needles to save casting off and seaming later.
I had considered striping the rest of the body using the two Zauberball ends to give even more play of colour, but then decided to let the Zauberball do what it does best and let it play with the colour for me, and just observe.
I decided to leave the sweater sleeves short, so making this a T-shirt rather than the original sweater of the pattern. Partly this was because I wanted an instantaneous knitting hit: some immediate knitting karma, but also because I don’t know if I would have been able to get over mis-matched colour sequences in the sleeves (and as Zauberballs do not have regularly ordered stripes in either colour or length of colour progressions, my inner wish to have the sleeves matching would be elusive, if not indeed impossible). To help give the sleeves a more definitive finish, they cease where the raglan increases end, and are finished by way of a short 12-row garter stitch cuff made in Drops Baby Alpaca in an off-white shade. This is complemented by a matching bottom hem and off-white buttons along the ‘help me dress this wiggly baby’ neck opening.
The only other detail I added was the inclusion of three vertical stripes, again in the Drops Baby Alpaca, which I embroidered onto the left side of the T-shirt in duplicate stitch, just to help tie all of the elements of the shirt together; to highlight the raglan shaping (due to the difference in line hight reflecting the raglan edge); to bring the yarn used in the trim details into the main piece and to provide a nice contrast to the strong horizontal stripes presented by the shifting hues of the yarn.
The finished T-shirt took less than two very poorly days to complete, and would make a great last-minute baby gift.
Pattern: Langoz by Julie Chanudet
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball StÃ¤rke 6 in the shade Papagei.