09 July 2011
Pattern: Demne by knitsofacto, aka me!
Download pattern here. Ravelry project page here.
Size: newborn, to fit chest 16", garment measures 18"
Yarn: Sirdar Balmoral DK, 73% Wool/25% Alpaca/3% Silk, 100g/234m
Needles: 4mm (UK size 8, US size 5.5) 10" rosewood straights, and 3.5mm (US size 4) 10" rosewood straights for bind off.
Why Demne? Well, I set out to design something original for a friend's baby and I wanted to name it for him. She knew she was expecting a boy and had decided before he was born to call him Finn. This is the Finn of Irish legend - Fionn Mac Cumhaill ... hunter, warrior, poet, seer - whose boyhood name, the old stories tell us, was Demne. And Demne means something akin to steadfast, which seems just the kind of quality a fairy godmother might wish upon a newborn.
I'd like to think Demne will be a dependable little jacket too. One of those easy-to-knit easy-to-use items that would look good on a boy or a girl. Memo to self: must persuade one of my test knitters to try it in pink!
Do you like the buttons? They were among my vintage button finds at Woolfest, or rather they were among my good friend Lal's. She also has a stash of this lovely yarn and so knew that these would be perfect for Demne when she spotted them lurking in a box of bargain buttons on a vintage button stall. My part in the discovery was to then knock said box of vintage buttons to the floor in my excitement ... which was both embarrassing, as we scrabbled for buttons that had rolled in every direction, and serendipitous, as in scooping them up we found quite a few more that we wanted to buy. We did come back from Woolfest with a lot of buttons.
They're stitched on securely with colour-matched cotton thread, but I've used a single ply of the yarn on top to hide it anyway
The bind off I've used seems to be my own invention too! I was playing with different possibilities, trying to create a 'just-so' edge, and eventually found something I liked that seemed quite new to me (if anything can ever be said to be new in knitting, maybe I've just unvented* it). A quick poll of my 'knitty' friends, a couple of whom - thank you so much Lal and Francesca - have kindly tested it for me, suggests that the technique might actually be all mine, so I'll try to put a little tutorial together one day soon and post it here.
*Elizabeth Zimmerman coined the word 'unvent' to describe knitting solutions that you've figured out for yourself but find it hard to believe are original. Knitter's use it freely but, frankly, it's an awful word. To 'un' anything is to take away from it, and yet each rediscovery of something, if rediscovery it is, surely adds to it. I may be one of many knitters to have worked this particular bind off, and some of them may well have written it down before, but I can find no record of it and surely the fact that I can now share it with knitters everywhere via the wonders of the web deserves a more celebratory verb than unvent. Suggestions anyone?
Please note that the pictures in this post are copyright knitsofacto and are not cc licensed.