It's never too early for a baby to to step out in style, which requires a crisp, flattering cardigan, among other things. The baby is not here yet, but when she shows up, and when the weather turns cool and windy, she'll have the right extra layer to slip on before her daily strolls.
I combed various Debbie Bliss books before settling on this pattern, inventively called "A-Line Cardigan", and published in her "Design It, Knit It: Babies" book. Like many of her patterns, this one calls for knitting each part separately up to the bodice, for no clear reason that I can see. So I knitted the body from the bottom up in one piece, up to the armholes. Then I knitted each sleeve up to the armhole, and put everything together on one long circular afterwards. This made for some clumsy maneuvers at first, requiring me to knit half of the cardi on one circular, the other half on another one for a good inch or so in order to avoid pulling on the joint at the raglan "seams".
The wool is Webs' own Valley Superwash DK wool. I stumbled upon it in the gigantic Webs booth while at Stitches West; the color was exactly what I had envisioned for a baby cardigan -- pale blue with the slightest hint of grey. It is very soft, but it has the drawbacks of other superwash wools I have tried: since it doesn't bloom in its first soak, every flaw remains visible. I can see some rowing out in places, even though I watched my tension carefully. I made sure to knit this piece tightly, going down to a #4 needle to alleviate the problem, but still. I also found that this soft yarn snags very, very easily. Make sure to keep a nail file handy if you cast on with it.
I also made some modifications with the contrasting edging of the collar; my first two tries followed the instructions to the letter, but the corners of the collar looked horrible. Next, I tried an i-cord edging, but I wasn't happy about it. Finally, I decided to proceed as for a log-cabin blanket and knitted a simple garter-stitch edging in three narrow "logs", each two-ridge deep. This gave me a more pointy collar than what the directions called, for but the look was neater and I was at my wit's ends by that point anyway.
Aren't the buttons perfect? I am very happy with them. I had been considering those adorable Beatrix Potter buttons, but the background was too white next to that écru edging on the collar. Which means that I need to knit another baby sweater soon, you know, to show off the buttons.