And just in time for a heat wave, of course. I finished my kid’s sweater on Monday. Tuesday was a chilly 50 degrees, so we busted it out right away on a little trip to the woods near our house. He looked like a cross between a baby hobbit and a little old man. Frankly, my ideal kid aesthetic. (Though I think the cute factor could be upped with the addition of elbow patches.)
And literally by Wednesday, it was in the 70s, and over the weekend it got into the 80s. So, it seems like this super-cozy, cabled wool sweater will not be getting a lot of play until next fall.
But, thank goodness, I managed to make the sweater big enough that it’ll definitely fit all the way through the next year (probably). There’s plenty of length in the sleeves, and if I blocked it out, I’m sure I could get some extra room around the belly and chest. I haven’t blocked it yet, because it fits just about perfect as is, and it’s extra-squishy and fluffy pre-blocking. It’s possible the neck will be a little too tight if this kid’s gigantic head keeps growing at its current rate, but that would be an easy fix.
I’m so happy to have this sweater finished! I truly don’t know the last time I finished anyproject, much less a full sweater. And, I’m so glad it turned out well! Now I’m thinking of making myself another Ben sweater to match… My current one is definitely “well-loved.”
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’ve just about done it- I’ve got all the big pieces for the toddler Ben-ish pullover finished. (And right in time for summer-y weather to set in. Though this is Seattle; I’m sure it’ll get back to cold and rainy before the week is out.)
The sweater looks so good! I just love this cable pattern- it’s making me want to knit up another Ben for myself (the one I made for my husband 10+ years ago and that I subsequently adopted/stole back is looking pretty disreputable). I can’t wait to see this on my little guy. He’s naturally got a real “tenured professor” vibe, so it’s basically a crime that he doesn’t have a cabled sweater already. Maybe I should add some elbow patches, too.
Anyway, all that’s left is to seam it, add the collar and block it. And if I say it like that, it doesn’t sound like much, but I’m sure it’s going to take a few weeks for me to actually get around to finishing up everything. Because why would this step take any less time than any other step? For a tiny little sweater, it’s really taking a lot of work. Long gone are the days of finishing an entire adult sweater in two weeks.
How do you feel when you get close to the end of a project?
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!
Woo! It’s starting to look more like a sweater! It’s going to need a nice blocking (and assembly) to really see how it looks, but I’m feeling more optimistic that this will be done before my toddler is in high school.
Anyway, here’s the sweater all laid out. Obviously, I haven’t sewed it up yet, but it’s getting there. Despite my best/worst attempts at math, the proportions look more or less correct. And I just love the “little old man” aesthetic for my slow-moving, cheerful, and thoughtful little guy.
One funny thing that happened though, is that the sleeves are literally wider than the body pieces. It’s an oversized sweater with generous sleeves, so it’s not that surprising, but still, when they’re laid out like that… it looks a little funny.
Now I just have to make the other sleeve… and sew it together… and block it. I’m basically done, right?
Is it precisely related to knitting? Not on its face, but I think the connection will become clear.
My kid had a playdate yesterday. Our neighbor from down the street came over (by himself!) and the three kids played on their own for just about 2 hours. We’ve never had a kids-only playdate before, and as much as I like having adult friends over, too, this was shockingly lovely.
The kids barricaded themselves into the bedroom, played trains and trucks and LEGO and pretended to be dragons and came out only to ask for a snack about halfway through.
YOU GUYS!!! I GOT TO SIT DOWN BY MYSELF AND KNIT WHILE MY CHILDREN WERE AWAKE AND IN THE HOUSE AND IT WAS AMAZING!
It really feels like this is the beginning of a new era of parenting.
Plus, I got the front of my toddler’s sweater done up to the split for the V-neck. Shocking.
When was the last time that you got surprise time to work on your knitting?
It’s been a wild few weeks at our house. We’ve got a toddler that’s suddenly developed a LOT of opinions. A four-year-old who’s realized that the toddler wants to play with the “big kid toys,” and is suddenly on high alert making sure that “babies don’t go in my room.” We’ve had two rounds of illness (one of which was a nasty stomach bug- my literal nightmare). And I’ve been dealing with drama at the kids’ preschool co-op. (Why do all volunteer-run organizations seem to thrive on big drama?) February has been a lot.
To that end, I haven’t been able to get much knitting time. But what I have gotten has been really lovely. It might just be a row or two each day (or half a row), but it’s been so nice to have a familiar, comforting pattern to fall back on. Something that I know how to do, that I can count on, even when things are rough.
This little sweater is going slowly. It might not be done before the warm weather sets in. It might not be done before the toddler outgrows it (especially at the rate they’re eating lately). But right now, the most important part of knitting isn’t getting the object done. We’ve got plenty of knitwear in this house. It’s having a project available that I know how to do. Something simple and comfortable. Something that isn’t going to require more brain power than the limited supply I have available right now.
And, hopefully, once it’s done (some day), I’ll end up with a cute li’l sweater.
What do you like to work on when you’re overwhelmed?
I’m cruising along on my two-year-old’s sweater. It’s turning out cute. It’s really reminding me why I like this cable pattern so much that I’ve made it 3 times at this point. It’s just complicated enough to keep it interesting, but also is super easy to follow. There’s never any question about which row gets the cable crosses.
I have to say, however, I’m shocked by how much yarn this project is eating up. In my head, my kid is still a teeny baby who I could make a whole sweater out of a single skein in a weekend. Not so much anymore. I actually used more than one skein just to make the back! I’ve only got three skeins total, so I doubt that I’ll have to enough to make it all the way.
I’d rather not place another order, so I think I’ll just let it ride and cross my fingers until it’s undeniable. (Which will probably be in about two days when I finish the front and have less than a skein to do the sleeves and collar.) Or maybe there’ll be a miracle, and I’ll magically have enough yarn to make it all the way through.
When did my little baby get so big!?
When’s the last time you tried to play yarn chicken? Did you win?
I might not be too excited about the color, but I am excited about the sweater. I’ve started knitting away, and I’m in love.
Like I said before, I’m doing a slightly modified, sized-down version of the Ben pullover. I’m using a smaller gauge, so the cables will be scaled appropriately for a 2-year-old. I’ve taken measurements from one of the kid’s sweat shirts (one that is a little big for him right now, because who knows how long it’s going to take me to finish this sweater), and mathed it out. I’ve decided to do a simple drop-sleeve, instead of a set-in-sleeve, like the original pattern. I just don’t feel like doing the math on a set-in sleeve right now, and I think the drop sleeve will look just fine.
I’ve already gotten a good start on the back (the biggest piece). And I’ve got to say, it’s taking longer than I expected- but I guess that makes sense. My kid isn’t a teeny newborn any more, of course his sweater is going to be a bit bigger!
I’m going to keep cruising through. I hope it turns out as cute as I think it’s going to be!
Have you ever modified a pattern to fit your needs?
It’s cold outisde, and not in a fun “Christmas Cheer” kind of way. As I write this, Seattle is in the 20s, which I realize isn’t that cold, compared to some parts of the country right now. But, we’ve had freezing rain all day, and literally every surface outside is covered in a sheet of ice. So scary!
Needless to say, I’m staying inside where the floor has traction and the air is warm enough that I can be comfortable wearing only one sweater.
But while I’m in here, I’m going to stare longingly out the window and dream about the cozy sweaters I could be making.
First, the Snowy Forest pullover by by Midori Hirose. This is just gorgeous- I love the plump cables and the wildly oversized shape. It’s cozy, but still feminine, and way out of my wheelhouse. It could be a fun project to use to stretch my knitting “legs.”
And it can’t be a round up of cozy sweaters without an Icelandic yoked sweater. Levi by Sari Norlund is just to die for. I love it in the soft grayscale, but can you imagine it in wild rainbow colors?!
I know I’m a bit late to this pattern, but man, have you looked at this sweater? The Handsome Chris Pullover is gorgeous. Maybe not quite as cozy as the other two sweaters, but I think I would wear the heck out of this one. You know me- I do love a cabled sweater.
What’s your favorite sweater to reach for when you’re cold?