A Red Hoodie for My Boy

I have a love/hate relationship with Debbie Bliss Patterns. On the one hand, I buy her books and magazines every chance that I get. I love them – they are perfect eye candy for the knitter. The designs are all so lovely, and the photography is always gorgeous. I thumb through her publications and admire the clean lines, the attention to detail. I am always inspired. I want to knit about 75% of the Debbie Bliss patterns that I own – and have knit four of them so far. This is the fourth:

It is Hoodie, from Essential Knits for kids, knit in Paton’s Classic Wool Bright Red. My Ravelry project page is here.

And it is a perfect example of all that bothers me about Bliss Patterns.

First. I got gauge. I swear that I did. I checked it and rechecked it and then I checked it again. I got gauge spot on. And yet, this sweater, that claims to be a size 5-6, knit up to be an oversized sweater on my eight year old. I had to add 3″ to the body and a whopping 7″ to the sleeves, just to make it proportional! And, do you see that hood? That is the hood for the smaller, size 3-4 sweater! What enormously fat five year old was this pattern written for, anyway? This is not the first time I have run into grossly disproportionate kid patterns in this book, or some of her others.

Second. The pattern was written to be knit in peices and seamed, as most of Bliss patterns are. Now, I know that there are those who prefer this method, and that is fine. A little brain work on my part, and I easily turned it into a knit-in-the-round pattern. But, it blew my mind, that even the collar goes out of it’s way to be knit back and forth on straights – adding a bulky seam up the side of the neck and an extra three lines of instruction to accomplish this ugly thing. Weird.

Third. How hard is it to throw a chart in there, really? I am a visual girl. Please, show me the pattern.

Fourth. This one is a minor point, but some out there may agree with me. When I have cables and ribs, I like them to blend in to the ribbed collar – like this does in the front:

Nice, right? But, look at the back:

At least the hood covers it.

Okay, end of rant.

In the end, I had about 5 yards of yarn left, and that was because I seriously cut down the hood size (which, as stated before, I am glad that I did). The generosity of my fellow knitters never ceases to amaze me – thank you for all your offers to bail me out of that potentially fatal yarn shortage!

At last, the boy has a new sweater and he knows that I love him. My maternal guilt is (temporarily) assuaged. I can knit what I want for a little while.

So, in the words of the Man, “What’s next?”

Does he know me, or what?

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Getting a Few Things Off My Chest

Another bout of insomnia has me up yet again. So, I was laying in bed thinking about all the conversations I have taken part in on some of the forums on Ravelry. A few of them have me stirred up a bit. But, being the nice person that I am, I am very polite and civil. But this here? This is my blog. And I can say what I want.

So, I mentally composed four lovely rants while trying to fall asleep. (Of course, this only stirred me up more. Hence my typing instead of snoring…)

The first concerned genetic testing during pregnancy and how one woman stated that she would “definitely abort” if the baby in her womb was going to be born with some disorder. In my well worded and very passionate rant, I ripped this woman up and down for having the gall to call it a baby this week, yet admit openly that she could kill it next week, simply because she couldn’t have a special needs child at this time in her life. Grrr

The second rant concerned all those lovely pregnant women out there who keep saying the annoying phrase, “Well, my doctor said…” Look, ladies. Doctors are not gods. This is the age of information. You ask me about cord blood? Don’t you have Google? Search “delayed cord cutting” and in five minutes you will know more than your doctor does about cord blood. I do.

Third rant – and this one is touchy. Grief is a process, a journey to be traveled. Grief is not a cloak to wear for the rest of your life. I lost a baby. I know what that is. But, at some point, one must come out of the dark hole and celebrate the life that they have. This rant was fabulous because I included the testimony of my dear friend, who at 15 weeks gestation, found out that her daughter had died. She had to have a D&C. Do you know what they named her? Victory. Choose a little victory over your grief. Don’t wallow in self pity indefinitely.

The final rant was concerning motherhood. Why is it that in all aspects of life it is looked down upon to allow your emotions/hormones to govern your actions, except in the case of motherhood. Within so many of today’s parenting trends we are encouraged to stop thinking and just act on how we feel. Not a good life strategy, if you ask me. I find this topic exceptionally infuriating. Hormonal parenting. Disgusting.

Then, the irony hit me. This is definitely a hormonal train of thought. If I wasn’t pregnant and overly moody, would I still post this scathing treatice on my blog? Would I really risk offending people just to get it off my chest? Would these things really be bothering me as much as they are. (Well, that abortion thing would, but other than that?) The answer is no. In ranting about women being led by their emotions, I have proved that I have a long way to go before I live up to my own standards!

I really need to knit something soon so that I will have something good to say….