Look at this cute little baby pullover that I designed for Knit Picks! It’s the Blueberry Buckle!
It’s worked flat in pieces from the bottom up, then seamed, so it’s super easy (it would be a great first sweater for a new knitter). It’s got the cutest sewn-on patch pocket and a collar that’s picked up and knit after assembly is finished.
I love the new self-striping Brava yarn- it makes this sweater beyond easy to work up. But, it would be totally easy to substitute any of your favorite worsted-weight yarn (self-striping or solid).
Oh, and did I mention it’s a free pattern? C’mon. Can’t get better than that.
They’re done! They’re done! And just in time for the baby to turn 6 months! (It might not be a very punctual “Congratulations on having a baby” present, but oh well. New sweaters are better in October than April, anyway, right?)
That duplicate stitch nearly did me in. It was such slow going. Every night I sat down to work on it I’d think “This’ll be the night I finish these ding dang sweaters,” and I’d end up only finishing one half of one letter.
But, finally, after much whining and several bad movies, I managed to finish! A little blocking later and, tada! Matching sweaters for Luna and Albus! (Or maybe Lupin and Aberforth? Or Lord Voldemort and Aragog?)
I’m so pleased with how they turned out. The duplicate stitch (while a slog), ended up looking just lovely. I love how it blends into the knitting, and how much the blocking made everything so nice and even (I swear blocking is some kind of magic).
Now that I’ve got these guys done (which took surprisingly longer than I had intended), I guess it’s time to get back to the wedding blanket that was “due” last June… Oops!
First, I used safety pins to mark off roughly where I wanted the letters to go.
Then I counted out my stitches and rows, made myself some graph paper and sketched out my letters. I made my own graph paper because I am both too lazy (I didn’t want to go down to the basement to grab my pre-printed graph paper) and not lazy enough (it probably took 15 minutes to draw out these graphs). I wouldn’t recommend it.
Then I grabbed my leftover yarn and a needle and got to work duplicating my stitches.
And I gotta say… this is slow going. When I say it might take me longer to embroider the letters on these sweaters than it took to actually knit them up, I might not be joking. I don’t know if it’s a me thing or if I’m doing something weird or what, but oofa doofa. It doesn’t help that I’m doing the fronts and backs of both sweaters (since Flax is a reversible sweater, I figured I’d make the decoration reversible, too).
It’s going to look so cute once I’m done, though!
Have you ever done duplicate stitch to finish a project? Did it take you an aeon, too? Or is it just me?
I “finished” my big-brother sweater last week, and I’m on to the little brother.
I did the first in the 4-6 year size, and this one in the 6-12 month size, and the difference is wild.
Like, I know that obviously the big one will take longer, but when compared to the big sweater this one is just FLYING off my needles.
I’ve been working on it for essentially one day, and I’ve made it almost to the armpit split. And I don’t have a ton of knitting time these days (obviously).
I just love this caramel-golden-yellow color, too. It’s so warm and cozy, and puts me in mind of something delicious and full of toffee.
Speaking of toffee, there’s really something just so tempting about knitting for babies. Even with the same pattern, a sweater for a grownup might be a whole meal, but a baby sweater is dessert. Or coffee and a slice of cake. Or a caramel apple from the state fair.
Or maybe I’m just hungry.
Have you ever knit the same pattern in different sizes? What’s your favorite size of sweater to make?
I just love blocking. Of course it’s magical on lace and fancy cable projects, but it’s just as satisfying on simple projects. I’m always amazed how much even the simplest (for example) bulky stockinette sweater benefits from a good block.
Looks fine, right? Nothing too rough about it. But give it a solid block (or even a half-effort one, like I did this time… because my pins were upstairs and I didn’t feel like getting them) and it transforms! Also, it’s still slightly damp, because even though I started it blocking several days ago, it is a very solid sweater, and is taking a million years to dry.
But look at the ruler- it’s grown a good 2″ across the chest (maybe more), and the drape and feel of the fabric has absolutely changed. The stitches are so much more even and the collar looks so much better. It’s gone from stand-up-on-its-own-stiff to smooth-and-velvety. Honestly, I’m kind of jealous of this sweater. I wish it was in my size!
What’s the best blocking transformation you’ve done?
I’ve been complaining about my dwindling stash for a while now, but I’m still making it work. Sure, I don’t really have enough of my usual favorite yarns to make full sweaters or afghans or shawls (my go-to projects), but I do have weird remnants of odd weights of yarn.
For example, I found 2.5 balls of yarn at the back of a drawer the other day. It’s chocolate brown, super-bulky, extra soft (and clearly ready to pill if you look at it wrong). I think it’s Knit Picks’ Biggo, but I could be wrong- the tags were lost years ago and I can’t remember what I bought it for. It’s not really enough for even a scarf, much less a full-on sweater or a blanket (which would have been my project of choice if I had more of it).
I estimated the yardage, based on the yarn weight and the ounces I had and figured I should have just enough for the smallest kids’ size in my favorite Top-Down Sweater book. I cast on and got to work on a raglan with a Henley collar (one of my favorite boy-styles, and so easy to do- you just start making a cardigan, then cast on a couple extra stitches at the front and start working in the round).
It’s looking good so far- I’ve made it most of the way through the body, and even went to the trouble of finishing the neck. I’ve only got one more skein of yarn, so I think I’m going to make the sleeves next, so that I’m sure I have enough to finish them off properly, before finishing the body. My theory, anyway, is that a body can be an inch or two short without looking too wild, but sleeves have to be long enough. (Is that my baggage from being a very long-limbed teenager who had a whole wardrobe of accidental highwaters and inadvertent 3/4-length shirts? Perhaps.)
I know, I know, another yarn-chicken semi-improvised sweater. Will I learn?
No, I will not.
Fingers crossed that I’ve got enough yarn for this bad boy.
Also, fingers crossed that it ends up fitting the kid. It’s looking a little small right now, but it should block up pretty big, if I trust the swatch. I suppose if it doesn’t work for the kid, I can always save it for next year (or the year later) when the baby gets big enough… I knew there was a practical reason to have a second kid- more opportunity for my knits to get worn!
It’s true. I think I might be that mom (or at least I want to be that mom). The one who gets matching clothes for both kids. Because I can’t get over how cute these two sweaters are.
(OK, honesty time. I’m actually that mom that hasn’t gotten her kid to wear actual clothes in over a week. PJs at night, and sometimes during the day, sure, but mostly he just parties around the house in a diaper. If we leave the house, he has to wear clothes, but these days, is anyone actually leaving the house?)
(Further honesty time. I haven’t even gotten the kid to try on his sweater. I assume it’ll be worn at some time. Right now, I’m just enjoying the idea that he has a new sweater that he will be wear at some point. Hopefully before he grows out of it.)
Anyway. I love the “fraternal twin” vibe these sweaters have. Essentially the same, but just different enough.
Plus, they’re cute, even if they’ll never be worn at the same time.
If the kid ever deigns to wear his sweater, I’ll be sure to share a picture. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
I’m sure the baby will wear his- after all, he won’t be able to fight back as well as the two-year-old. Yet…
Have you ever made a project that you half-knew would never be worn?
I enjoyed making my kid’s striped sweater so much, that I’ve decided to keep going.
(Or, if you’re feeling less charitable, I’m having some real designer’s block, and can’t think of what else to make.)
But either way, I’ve decided to keep going, and make a newborn-sized version of the same striped sweater. I’ve still got a good chunk of Hawthorne, and I know how I made the big one, so I can crank out a bitty one pretty easily.
So I’m cruising through, I’m about halfway through the belly, and already thinking about the arms. It’s crazy how small this one feels after the 3-year-old-sized one. It’s going so fast!
Anyway, that’s how I ended up being that mom, who makes matching clothes for her kids. Sorry, kids.
Do you ever make favorite patterns in different sizes?
They go super fast (at least compared to a grown-up sweater).
I usually have just enough yarn just hanging out in my stash to make something fun.
The dang kid grows so fast, I don’t really have to worry about sizing (as long as I make the sweater big enough). He’ll grow into it in about fifteen minutes.
Makes me feel like some sort of Type-A-Martha-Stewart-Ma-Ingles impressive mom who’s got it all squared away.
Why I don’t love making sweaters for my kid:
The dang kid refuses to wear them.
I mean, he’ll wear them sometimes, if it’s cold enough. But currently, Seattle is not cold enough in his opinion. (He runs hot like his dad. I’ve been wearing sweaters since August.) Also, with being in quarantine for the last… several months, I’ve been a little lax about the whole “getting dressed in actual clothes” thing. Most days he spends in last night’s footie PJs, or just running around in a diaper. I can’t really blame him. I currently have my “Day PJs” and my “Night PJs,” so I’m not doing much better.
Anyway, all that is to say: I finished his Striped Pullover. It’s super cute. It’s gigantic. And he probably will refuse to wear it until mid-December. So, here’s a picture of it, nicely blocked and laying out on the floor. (Not pictured is my kid, just out of frame, spreading LEGOs all over the living room.)
I love how the stripes turned out, and how all the disparate colors ended up blending pretty seamlessly (though, part of that is the poor color balance on the photo. The green stripes are much more green and the red stripes are much more red in person.) And, as far as I can tell, it’s going to fit the kid. (I managed to get the collar over his head, just to check if my bind off was too tight for his giant noggin. It’s not.)
Though, compared to his current favorite outerwear, it’s massive. I’m just going to say it’s “oversized,” “cozy,” and “he’s going to grow into it”.
Maybe by the time he’s ready to wear real clothes again, he’ll fit into it properly.
It’s the beginning of the school year again (sort of), so that must mean that it’s time for me to make my kid another sweater. (Although, when is it not time to make him another sweater?) So far, every fall I’ve dipped into my stash and made him a sweater. And, they’ve all been from the same leftover yarn.
Honestly, at this point, I don’t even remember what the yarn is leftover from.
But, I do know it’s Knit Picks Hawthorne in a whole bunch of colors (mostly light blue, which thankfully looks really good on my kid, in my totally unbiased opinion). It’s a fingering-weight superwash wool that’s right in that sweet spot of soft and strong that makes it perfect for kid’s clothes. Plus, it’s Knit Picks, so it’s fairly cheap.
When he was a baby baby, I made him a “Christmas in July” Sweater. It might be my favorite sweater I’ve made for him (or in general, really). It’s super cute, I love the colors, and it was a super fun, quick knit (maybe because of the size). Unfortunately, because he was a big baby with a gigantic head, he grew out of it in about fifteen minutes.
Last year, when he was 1 and a half, I designed a sweater for him, based on the book Sheep in a Jeep (his hands-down favorite at the time, and still a winner, if I’m being honest). I loved the little radish design. (Also! Look at all that hair! So cute!)
And this year, I’ve broken out my stash of Hawthorne again, but this time, I’m keeping it simple. No color-work, just stripes. My current plan is to do a bottom-up raglan V-neck (just like the Sheep in a Jeep design, and perfect for active little kids with big noggins), with blue cuffs, collar and hem. But, I’ll be covering the whole body and arms with 2-row stripes, alternating between blue and the other colors I have in my stash. They’re kind of a disparate lot of colors- not necessarily something I’d put together normally, but I think using all the colors and alternating them with the light blue will make them come together.
And, heck, if it doesn’t, who cares?! He’ll be cozy either way.
Do you have a seemingly unending stash of a favorite yarn? What’s your favorite thing to do with it?