I’m thiiiiis close to finishing my toddler’s sweater! Miracle of miracles, I got it seamed up over the weekend, and the sleeves actually look proportional to the rest of the sweater! I had serious doubts about that, but hey, it turns out that my math was correct! Who knew?
It’s so cute, and all I have left to add is the neckband! And, I suppose, block it. But that’s it! I honestly didn’t think this sweater was ever going to get finished. I’ve gotta say, it’s a nice feeling, getting close to finishing a long project. It’s been too long since I managed a bigger project like this.
And it even looks like its still going to fit the kid… maybe even next year!
I started working on the second sleeve, and, well, I almost immediately ran out of yarn. I had managed to delude myself into thinking that I had enough yarn to make it through the sleeve. But, no matter how much I wanted it to be true, I had barely made it through the cuff when I was left with this much yarn:
So, I ran back to Webs and ordered another skein. I was excited when the package showed up yesterday, but then I suddenly realized- I had no idea if it was going to match. The color on the website vs. the actual color was so wildly different, it suddenly occurred to me that the new and old yarn might not match at all.
I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and opened the package.
And thank all the Knitting Gods! Not only did the color match- the new yarn was actually the same dye lot as the stuff I ordered months ago. I certainly lucked out!
I’m going to be honest, I’m kind of winging this sweater. I thought I had a plan- well, I do have a plan, but it’s a very rough plan. And the further in I get to this project, the more I realize that the “pattern” I wrote up at the beginning of this knit is more of a “suggestion” than an actual pattern.
But that’s fine, it just means I do a little math on the fly, and keep my fingers crossed that everything works out in the end.
The most recent thing that I’ve winged is the V-neck for the front of the sweater. I marked the center-most stitch, then decreased 1 stitch each side of the neck, every RS row. I kept decreasing until the neck seemed wide enough (which I always have trouble estimating). It looks a little wonky because of the cables, but I think it will look OK once I add the neckband. I hope.
I’ve roughly estimated the proportions on this sweater by holding up the project against my kid’s favorite sweatshirt. And, so far it looks OK (though the proportions will change a bit with blocking).
I guess I’ll just keep guessing and keep crossing my fingers, and hopefully it’ll turn out OK (or at least OK enough for my kid to wear it a few times).
Do you ever wing your projects, or are you strictly a follow-the-pattern knitter?
You guys. I can’t believe it. I actually finished it! I finished the kid’s sweater! After three whole months, I finally actually factually finished it. That’s right. It took me three months to finish a sweater for a 4-year-old.
And when you think about it that way, two weeks to put buttons on is nothing!
I found this amazing set of pinkish-maroon-y buttons, that went perfectly with the red yarn without being too matchy-matchy. They came from my Grandma’s old button collection, and are probably from the 70’s (according to a bit of light Googling).
I sewed those buggers on and blocked the thing! The ends are in, the buttons are on, it’s all really and truly finished. Thank goodness. I didn’t think this sweater was ever going to be done.
Of course, it’s approximately one bazillion degrees out now, so the kid won’t touch the sweater with a ten-foot pole, much less put it on for a final photoshoot. But, hey, we can’t have everything, can we? So, instead, I’ll style it by laying it on my unswept floor with a bunch of our ever-present Brio trains. (Seriously. They’re always out.)
I’m off to drink a celebratory LaCroix (it’s too hot for anything else right now), and think about what my next project should be.
After all that complaining about how long the kid’s sweater was taking, it turns out that all I really needed was about 2 hours and a couple episodes of Drag Race and…. Fanfare, please!
It’s done! I finished up the ribbing, bound off and even wove in the ends!
The sleeves are ridiculously long on the kid, but fit well enough when I roll up the cuffs, and the body is long, but not looong. I think (hope) that they’ll get a year or two’s use out of it (and I have plenty of extra red yarn, so I can always make the body longer as the kid gets taller). Although, at the rate they’re growing, it’s going to be too small for them by the time I finish typing out this post. Kids, am I right?
Now, just to get it blocked out and add the buttons. That certainly can’t take longer than actually knitting up the sweater. Right?… Right?
So, I went back and forth for a while about what color to get to finish off the kid’s sweater. And, while I was leaning toward the nice light green, or a neutral oatmeal/gray, they were adamant that they wanted RED.
I managed to talk them down from RED red, to this nice shade of “Black Cherry.” Not necessarily what I would have picked, but, hey, it’s not my sweater.
It took a while for the yarn to show up, so I haven’t gotten far, but I’ll be honest, I like it more than I thought I would. I figured the red + green would look so Christmassy, that I wouldn’t like it, but I’ve surprised myself that I don’t hate it.
(Would I have preferred not running out of green yarn to begin with? Yes. Would I have picked another color if it had been up to me? Yes. But, such is life with a preschooler.)
What new color combinations have you tried recently?
OK, it’s officially official. I’m out of green yarn. (OK, not 100% out of green yarn, but close enough that I know for a fact I won’t make it to the end of this sweater. Unless I make this into a crop-top with 3/4 sleeves.)
So now, it’s time to buy some more yarn. In a perfect world, I’d love to get more of the same yarn (Douglas Fir), but I can’t imagine that the dye lots will be exactly the same, 10+ years after I bought this yarn.
So, I’ve gone through the Webs and picked out a couple favorite colors to do a series of mock-ups.
(My favorite) Fennel. Fairly low-contrast. I like the green-on- green, and I’d imagine it won’t take too much away from the subtle mistake-rib yoke.
(The kid’s favorite) Black Cherry. Honestly, they wanted red red, but I talked them down to this pretty garnet-y shade. Looks nice, but I can’t help but thinking it looks a little Christmas-y.
Oats. A nice neutral-y cream. Not too white (to hide the dirt that will inevitably build up on the sweater), but still nice.
Aubergine. A pretty dark purple. I’m a sucker for purple and green. Plus, the kid looks great in purple.
Thoughts? Feelings? Have I missed any fantastic color choices?
OK, not huge. But I’ve definitely underestimated how much yarn I would use for this sweater.
To be fair, I also underestimated how big this sweater was going to be, so it only goes to figure that I’d underestimate the amount of yarn that I’d need. (My kid is 4. I’m pretty sure this will fit them when they’re 12.)
I’ve got maybe a full skein left in total, and I’ve used probably 2-ish skeins already. And, since I’m barely 3 inches into the body and only at elbow-level on the sleeves, I can’t imagine that one skein will be enough to finish up.
To make sure I’m using my yarn as evenly as possible, I had the brilliant idea to work the body from one skein, then work the sleeves from opposite ends of a second skein at the same time. While this might make a lot of sense from a theoretical standpoint, it’s proving to be more trouble than I expected. The amount of time I spend carefully organizing my yarn and untangling it is getting a little out of hand. But, I’ve made my choice, and I don’t feel like going back on my plan.
Anyway, I’m going to have to go get more of this yarn… and I think I’ve got two choices:
Buy the same color, and hope the dye lots are close enough. (I bought the original yarn maybe 10 years ago, so there’s no chance that I will find the same dye lot).
Go for a different color for a two-tone sweater. And, if I go this way, what color should I pick? Play it safe with brown or gray? Go wild with a bright contrasting color? Or monochromatic with a different shade of green?
We were out of town this week, so I had to make sure that I was at a good spot with my knitting. I knew I had a chunk of time sitting in the car (a rarity these days), so I needed something that I could do without much attention. And, what’s better for knitting without paying attention than the body of a sweater?
Maybe a sweater body, worked in the round all in stockinette?
Before we left, I made it a point to get to the bottom of the yoke on my kid’s sweater. I followed the instructions for a cardigan (minus a stitch or two at the center), until I made it almost to the bottom of the armpit shaping. Then, I worked across the fronts, casting on 3 stitches between the right and left fronts. This made a nice little gap for me to put the placket in later on.
Then, I joined up the front and back at the underarms, and started working in the round for the body. It was the perfect project for our whole trip through the mountains. And thank goodness I picked something I didn’t have to look at… those mountain roads are twisty!
Now that we’re back, I’m looking at the size of the sweater compared to my kid, and it’s a lot bigger than I had intended, but that’s OK. The kid will grow into it eventually. Unfortunately, though, I’m not 100% sure that I’ll have the right amount of yarn for it at this bigger size. I think what I’ll do is finish up the neckline, and knit on the sleeves first, before finishing up the body. That way, I can use every last scrap of my yarn. And, worst case scenario, I can add a second color to the hem and cuffs. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that.
OK, so. After a nice long sit with my swatch and a stroll through Ravelry, I think I have a plan.
I’m going to go ahead with the kid sweater, but not necessarily set out to felt it, at least not right away. I figure it’s good to know that it has the potential to go through the wash without fully losing its shape, but I’m not sure how many washes it would have before fully disintegrating.
Anyway, here are my inspirations:
First, the In Stillness Mini. Such a lovely sweater- I love the simplicity of the broken rib and the stockinette. I think I’d like a different shoulder, and maybe a longer section of yoke.
And this adorable little sweater (Harry by Liudmyla Babintseva). I really like the vibe of this one, but I’m not feeling the fancy ribbing/cables right now, especially if I intend to felt this up down the line. I’d hate to do all that work and lose it by sending it through the wash. I love a Henley collar for kids’ sweaters. They look so fancy, and are great for fitting over gigantic melon heads.
So here’s my plan: I’m going to make a crew-neck/Henley sweater with set-in sleeves and a yoke of broken rib that goes just past the armpits. I want to make it as a top-down sweater so that I can use every last inch of my yarn (I’m about 90% sure that I have enough, but it’s going to be tight either way). I think I’m going to reach for my favorite Ann Budd pattern book since my kid is finally big enough to qualify for the kids’ sizes, and because I’m a basic b who pretty much just makes the same sweater over and over again.
What’s your favorite thing to knit for the kids in your life?