Mariniere a Torsade

Remember I was knitting that garter stitch sweater for Amber’s friend’s new baby twin girl? Well, I haven’t finished yet, although I’ve got the front and back nearly done. I had to put it down because small circular needles (16″ in US5) were giving me hand cramps. The yarn is enjoyable, the design is somewhat mindless. But I put it down a week ago or so and I haven’t worked on it since.

On the baby front in general, though, I seem to be on a roll after a series of false starts. Back in December, I bought some wonderful orange Jaeger Matchmaker Merino for Bean, a.k.a. Mateo, who hadn’t yet arrived. Then I realized that Mateo lived in Tanzania and probably didn’t need a wool sweater. Not to mention that I had left my FAVORITE BABY PATTERN BOOK at Amber’s house and couldn’t finish the sweater if I’d wanted to.

But two weekends ago, I recuped the book with one of my favorite patterns:

bebes torsade

I bought the book at Le Bon Marche two Christmases ago when I had a layover in Paris. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the original location of La Droguerie, but the department store had a luscious selection of ribbons, beads, notions and kits, as well as this book, which I will never give up.

Last weekend, I went with some fellow obsessed knitters to Cozy and found two skeins of ivory Cascade Sierra, which is mostly cotton AND machine washable, and hoped that it would make a sweater big enough for a 5- or 6-month old Mateo. I mean, the kid needs a sweater, does he not?

La Droguerie sells their own yarn, and in grams, so the only way to guess the weight is by the needle size. I also realized that the directions do not include gauge.

[This lists yarn in grams; type of buttons required; stitches used in the design; and needle sizes.]

So the only way to figure the gauge (other than my usual method of ‘guesstimating,’ which I might add is an American idiomatic expression that was used by one of my higher-ups on a conference call with our Congolese collaborators, and I’m not certain that it translated very well) is to take the measurements and compare with number of stitches cast on.

I guesstimated.

It seems to be going fine in the end. I sized down to 4.5mm needles rather than 5.0, and this is what I have so far – le front, le back, la torsade, and cast on sleeves.


I decided to do the sleeves at the same time, even though in the past, when I was working on this sweater (that no longer exists because it became my Knitting Olympics project), I kept forgetting in which direction I was knitting, and I ended up with one sleeve several inches longer than the other one.

This time, though, I have two perfect sleeves! (Photos next time…)

This sweater just flew off the needles. It was so easy, there were no problems, and this weekend I plan to piece it together and find some buttons. All that will remain is knitting the neck edging, and then finding that Tanzania address…

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2 thoughts on “Mariniere a Torsade

  1. Ah! I’m enjoying the scene where your higher-up uses “guesstimate” with a Congolese collaborator. I don’t personally do much international business and it’s so interesting to consider a) working with someone in the Congo, period; b) the perspective and challenges it brings.

  2. It is amazing, if we listen to our own speech, how many idioms we use. We’ve been talking a lot about budget, and she’ll say something like, “Are we in the right ballpark?” Our colleagues speak English well, but this is another skill entirely, beyond grammar and vocabulary, to contextualize phrases that, when literally translated, mean something entirely different from the intended question.

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