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"Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while,
then take up the sock again." - Dorothy Day

Devan and Friends

The whole set is finally done! I finished knitting the hat Friday night, but started working on something else and forgot about it until last night. A few ends to weave in, and it's ready for gifting.

Specs for the whole set below, but first, here's the hat:

And a close-up:

If you haven't already seen them, better shots of the other pieces are here and here.

Pattern: The cardigan is Devan, from Knitty. It's a very easy pattern, entirely stockinette with simple shaping and roll hems. It would be a good pattern for a beginning knitter who's ready to move beyond scarves. The size also makes it knit up very quickly. I used the smallest size; 0-6 months.
The socks are my favorite toe-up basic pattern, but smaller. I used the same rolled hem as the cardigan instead of ribbing at the top. And of course, contrast solid for the toe, heel, and cuff.
For the hat, I was obviously inspired by the Umbilical Cord Hat, but I didn't use a pattern. I just started with I-cord, then increased on the way down.

Yarn and Needles: The jacquard yarn is Regia Silk Colors, 55% merino, 25% nylon, 20% silk. Color 0184 (where's the fun in that?). I used almost exactly two skeins for the set. It is very soft and smooth. It almost glides off the needles, which can be a good or a bad thing, I suppose. It's also spun rightly, so it's not prone to snagging either.
The solid is Opal Sock, 75% wool, 25% nylon, color 1419. It's really just basic sock yarn, maybe a little softer than some. I had a 100 gm skein, and I didn't appear to make a dent. Any 50 gram skein should be plenty.
I used many, many needle sizes. The cardigan was knit on size 3 aluminum straight needles, with the hems on size 2. The looser gauge made the Regia feel extra soft, but it looks like it might pill. The Opal seems, frankly, like it's knit too loosely. The hat was knit on size 2 bamboo DPN's, hems on size 1. Very soft and drapey; great for baby clothes. Too loose for socks though, so those were done on size 0. It doesn't drape as well at this gauge, but somehow the pattern looks better, and the color pops a little more.

If I Could Do It Over: I would pay a bit more attention to my gauge swatches. I tested a lot of different needle sizes for this, but only in the Opal. I switched from a patterned Opal to the Regia after I made the gauge swatches, and i didn't think to check gauge on the new yarn. I should have; the silk makes the Regia a completely different animal. Had a seen how the Regia knit on a 2, I would have adjusted the cardigan pattern for that gauge. I also forgot that babies don't need durable socks (what with the not walking and growing out of things immediately). I should have done those on a 1.
I think I also would have made the hat a little smaller, and a little longer. It seems a little out of proportion to the rest of the set. I might also use 6 increases per round instead of 8; I don't think I like the pumpkin-head look.
Overall though, I'm sure the new mother will be thrilled.

Oh, I am going on vacation, so no post until next week. I have also pledged to keep the knitting under control, so there will not be much progress to report when I get back. I am still trying to decide whether to mention that Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day...