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?
They’re so cute, and so fast to work up. They’re just the most fun. (Especially when I’m in a knitting funk!)
And they’re a great excuse to do silly stuff like this. A matching pair of Harry Potter-themed sibling sweaters. C’mon. I’d never do something this silly for an adult, but there’s something so satisfying about doing it for little ones.
I’ve finished the hard part, and it was hardly hard. I just finished up both the big and little brother sweaters! (In my beloved Flax Light/Provincial Tweed combination.) They’re super cute and super soft and ready to be embroidered.
I’m honestly tempted to just leave them like this. They’re already so cute. But, I’ve got a plan, and I’m sticking to it.
I really love this pattern for kids and babies. It’s so functional and cozy. Before I had my kids, I made a BSJ for every friend that had a kid. I still love that pattern- it’s such a satisfying knit, and the final seaming-up is just… the best. But now that I have kids of my own, I’m all about the functional knits for kids. I don’t have time to do up (and worry about) 6 buttons every time we go outside. Flax Light is great because it’s a simple pullover, it’s reversible (no worrying about which is the front and which is the back!), and the head holes are generous enough for even my kids and their giant melons. And, because it’s such a simple pattern, you can do all sorts of things to add your own spin- change the colors, add stripes or… add a giant duplicate-stitched letter to the front!
Speaking of which… I’m itching to get embroidering. It’s going to look so good!
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 DID IT! I finished a sweater! It’s the first sweater I’ve finished in… a while.
Yes, it’s a kid’s sweater, but still. It’s so cute and so soft and it’s going to be so appreciated by the recipient (or at least I’ll pretend it will be… the recipient is 3, and probably couldn’t care less about clothes, but still.)
I’ve roped our sleepy dog Ollie into modeling for me:
He’s a good sport.
I haven’t blocked it yet, and I’m going to wait until the little brother sweater is done, too, before adding the duplicate-stitch letters on the front and back. (They’re going to be a set of matching Weasley-inspired sweaters, so cute!)
Now that I’m in a good mood, and on a roll (and, shockingly, both kids are asleep at the same time), I’m going to go wind up the yarn for the baby version and get knitting! I’m so excited!
I’ve somehow made it out of the black hole/vortex of doom that was keeping me from finishing the body of my sweater. It’s plenty long enough (and will probably end up being way too long once it’s blocked), and I’ve even cruised my way through the first sleeve. It’s looking great!
(I marked a couple stitches at the bottom to help center the duplicate stitch I’m planning on adding after it’s done… that’s why there’s a couple little markers down by the waist.)
But speaking of being cursed, I can’t get a decent picture of this sweater to save my life. It’s so cute, but it’s proving impossible to get a picture of the whole sweater, in focus, and with an accurate color. The above picture shows my progress pretty well, but the colors are all washed out and beige-y.
This picture is closer to the real color. It’s a lovely, warm two-toned moss-green with little tweedy bits in goldenrod and violet. Frankly, It’s colors I wouldn’t have put together, but it makes for a lovely little sweater, perfect for tromping around in the woods.
(And, yes, I know I could take a photography class or learn photoshop… but what’s the fun in that?)
(Or, maybe I’m just bad at measuring. But that couldn’t possibly be it.)
I’ve been cruising through my latest Flax Light. I used up one skein and added in another. This is my usual go-to baby sweater, but this one is for an older kid, so admittedly this one is taking longer than usual. But still, I was making plenty of headway.
So much so, that last night I pulled out the tape measure to check my progress.
The body should be 9″. I could have sworn that when I sat down to start knitting, it was at 8.5″.
After a couple episodes of Treehouse Masters (which is a delightful show, if you ever need something fun and silly to watch), I’d worked probably a half dozen rows. I measured again, sure that I’d be switching to my smaller needles for the next row.
8. Inches. Eight.
WHAT? How is that even possible? I had added rows. How could it be shorter?!
I angrily worked a few more rows and called it a night.
I pulled it out this morning to take pictures and write this post and, well. You can see for yourself:
What black magic is this? Who has hexed my sweater? Will it ever grow any longer, or has it been cursed to always be just a little too short?
(Or will I get frustrated, knit a bunch of rows tonight, then go and measure it again, and it will be 3″ too long? That’s also a possibility.)
I’ve been all about instant gratification these days, in my knitting and in my day-to-day life. (I may have eaten an entire pan of brownies in the last 3 days. Don’t judge me.)
I set out all these goals at the beginning of quarantine that I was going to use this forced downtime to finish up projects that I’d been putting off/forgotten about. I was going to use up my stash yarn- after all, it’s not like I can just pop down to the LYS. And I have been responsible… somewhat. I’ve finished my shawl, and some socks, and have actually resurrected a quilt that I started working on almost 10 years ago (more on that later). But the last few weeks, all I want is a fun, quick, easy project in a soft yarn and a pretty color.
Luckily, I have/had a whole bunch of Knit Picks Provincial Tweed in my stash (one of my favorite yarns for baby clothes), and a couple of pregnant friends.
That’s right, I’ve dived right in and knit three more Flax Lights one after the other. Two were in the smallest size for new babies due this fall, and one in size 4-6 for my kid, who’s already on the edge of outgrowing his red sweater, even though he’s just over 2… he’s a lanky kid that won’t stop growing! (The big sweater is currently being worn by my kid who should be napping, but is rolling around his crib like a wild man.)
I think I’ve now knit…6? I think? Flax Lights for my kid and friends’ kids. They’re kind of the perfect baby sweater. There’s no buttons to fuss with. The back and front are the same, so you don’t have to worry about which way you put it on. The neck-hole is really generous (important if your kid has a melon like mine does). And it’s a quick, easy knit. I can do a baby size in about a week (a couple days if I put my mind to it).
And, the yarn I’ve been using (Provincial Tweed) is just a dream for kids clothes. It’s super machine-washable and dry-able(!). I’ve washed my kid’s sweater probably a dozen times and it just looks better and better. The yarn is super soft, perfect for sensitive kiddos. And (this might be gross), since it’s a tweed, it hides dirt surprisingly well if you can’t quite get to the laundry as quick as you want. (Note: it’s marketed as a worsted weight, but honestly, it’s more of a DK or even a sport. It’s perfect for this pattern, with no substitutions/alterations, but it’s important to know if you’re planning using it to sub for a different, worsted-weight yarn.)
Plus, now I have a whole herd of little kids/babies running around Seattle in matching blue sweaters! Adorable!
I’ve finished a project! Yay! It’s a pretty cute one, too.
It’s actually a double project. A family friend who has a little one the same age as my boy, is expecting a baby girl just about any day now. I had some extra yarn and I love an excuse to make a baby sweater. (Seriously, they’re so fun and fast!) I whipped up a tiny little Flax Light for the little one. (Can I extol the virtues of this pattern again? 1. It’s well-written and free! 2. It comes in literally all the sizes. 3. It’s reversible! One less thing to have to fuss with while getting the little guys dressed.)
I found some matching red yarn in my stash, too. I thought I’d make a red sweater for the big brother! How cute would that be? But it turned out I didn’t have nearly enough for a toddler-sized sweater. Thus, I ended up with a stripey sweater, which, honestly, I like better than if it had been a solid color. It looks like the kind of sweater a little boy wears as he runs around the neighborhood getting into trouble.
After some whining about weaving in ends, I finished it up, and now the pair are all wrapped up and ready to be delivered.
I know the kids won’t really care about them, but I bet their parents will appreciate them. And I think they turned out super cute!
Have you been working on any gift knitting lately?
God, it feels good to finish a project. It’s been a while. I’ve been working on that dang wedding blanket for my (now married) brother for what feels like a decade, and before that, I was working on a sweater for my husband that I ended up setting aside because I am an insane person who decided that knitting a full-on men’s sweater on US3’s was a good idea.
So, it’s been a minute since I was able to weave in that last end, break out the blocking boards and say “I’m officially done!”
I mean, look at this kid. He’s looking dapper in his little tweed sweater that’s still a bit big for him, which is great- it should be just about perfect in the fall. (Don’t mind the fat lip. He’s trying really hard to learn how to walk, and had a little run-in with gravity the other day. It looks worse than it is.)
I really enjoyed this pattern- Flax Light is real simple, and a nice quick project that used up a couple leftover skeins of Knit Picks Provinicial Tweed. (It’s marketed as a worsted, but knits up like a sport or a DK, so it was pretty perfect for this pattern.) I love that Tin Can Knits grades all their sweaters from baby to big adult, which means that I can make more Flaxes for the kiddo as he grows up. (And maybe matching ones for my husband and I? Though, that might be a little much, even for me.)
One thing that was odd, though, was the lack of a front/back in this pattern. No short rows at the back of the neck or stitches bound off at the front. It’s the second time I knitted a sweater for the kid that didn’t have a specific front/back. I wonder if it’s a baby-sweater thing, or something that I just haven’t run into until recently.