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11th Hour Sweater: Vanna’s Choice Baby review

My baby sister is expecting. When I first found out (in November), I thought I’d have enough time to knit up a quick little thing to wrap and have under the tree for the newest member of the family, even though the child, known now as B.O.B. (Baby On Board) won’t arrive until summer. I might have been a bit off on my calculations.

I was seaming this beauty together on Christmas Eve. Yes, I am the queen of procrastination. I finished all the details and wrapped it somewhere after 11 p.m., resulting in a single, terrible lighting, iPhone photo. I was too caught up in the family festivities the next day to snag it back for a better, natural light photo. This just doesn’t do it justice:

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It is the Little Luxury Kimono pattern from Lion Brand Yarn. It was a really quick knit and in my opinion a great first project if you are thinking about making garments or sweaters. It went quickly, was basic and gave me some practice on how a garment is put together. The down side is that if you are used to quick projects, like I am, it gets a bit boring at the end. Once you are finished knitting, you need to block, seam, maybe add some edging details, etc. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I liked learning and practicing some of these news skills. The pattern includes 5 pieces (back, front left, front right, and 2 sleeves) and the individual pieces knit up easily. This is a great evening, television project with the stockinette stitch pattern used. Easy decreases shape for the neck, so if you know knit, purl & decreases, any beginner can knit this project!

The yarn I used was Vanna’s Choice Baby in the Sweet Pea colorway. This was my second project using the Vanna’s Choice line from Lion Brand Yarn. My first project was the Luigi Hat. It took about 2 skeins to complete the project, with enough yarn left over to be comfortable (errors, details, edging, extras, etc.) I chose the green color because it is one of my sister’s favorite colors and it’s gender neutral. We are still waiting to find out if B.O.B. is a girl or boy. The Vanna’s Choice yarn is really soft and easy on your hands as you are knitting. It is one of the softest acrylic yarns I’ve tried. It is a worsted weight (weight class #4) which means it knits up pretty quickly. I believe this project was knit on size 7 or 8 needles. My only complaint about the Vanna’s Choice Baby is that the strands tend to separate a tad more easily than some other acrylics. Not too bad, but I’m just being completely honest here. The softness and the rich, almost jewel tone colors (compared to other baby yarns), and the fact you are likely using larger needles totally compensate for this issue. I loved the yarn so much on the next sale I grabbed one of each of the Vanna’s Choice Baby colors to play with and use in other projects. They are soft, yet vibrant, a nice change of pace from many chain store yarn brands.

It remains to be seen how well the kimono will survive in the wash and dry process necessary for newborns, but with $5 in yarn and only a few evenings worth of labor involved, it was a good trial into this sort of project. Sure, I wish I could make these for every new baby in my life, but I really don’t like seaming and blocking, at least not yet. Maybe once my children learn to feed themselves more often, or Mr. T builds that feeding trough for them, I’ll have more time and won’t mind the tedious parts as much. So for now, because of my life situation, not the pattern itself, this will remain and “family only and maybe not even them” project.

A quick note for all my fellow knitting and crocheting iPhone/iPod users: Lion Brand Yarn recently released (FINALLY!) an iPhone app that makes it much easier to cruise their listing of patterns while mobile. It’s an early version, has a few quirks, but it is so much better than having to use Safari to navigate the LBY website! It’s a free download too, pick it up here.

Posted in craft, knit, reviews, what were they thinking?.

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