The patterned-yoke sweater for A4A is done! I had to dash outside to get a few quick pictures before the rain started this morning. I would like to find a better backdrop for my knitting, but for now the hosta will have to do.

Pattern: Child's yoked sweater from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns

Knitting this sweater was freeing for me. Ann Budd did all the work of number crunching and Alice Starmore did all the work of charting the color pattern, but I chose how to put everything together, so it feels unique to me. I love how these colors go together, so bright and cheery.

Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca (50/50 wool/alpaca worsted weight)
3.5 skeins Lavender Mix
about 1/2 skein bright orange-red-coral (might be grapefruit mix)

The neck took three tries, I'm afraid. This was one modification I made to Ann Budd's instructions. The final decrease round looked to me like the neck would be far too small, so I eliminated it. As it turned out, the neck was too wide with no decreases. So for the second try, I did the decreases as she instructed and yes, the neck was far too small. Going on the bet that the third time would be the charm, I gave it another go and did a few decreases, but not nearly as many as the original instructions called for. I had a good amount of yarn left, so I just kept going in a 1x1 rib to make a turtleneck. It's loose enough not to be itchy and uncomfortable, but will still be nice and warm.

It's often the details that really make a sweater. I love the neat look of a turned-under hem, so I did that on the bottom and sleeves, using the contrasting color for the inside.


Finally, I had to try the sweater on, in part to make sure the neck opening is an appropriate size, and also just to see how the size works. I have a 32" chest, and I made the 32" size, thinking it should fit a young teenager. This is assuming girls in Afghanistan will want the modesty and comfort of a few inches ease. The sweater fits me pretty well around, and the sleeves and overall length are a bit short, so I think I got it right. 

I'm on a roll and started a third sweater for A4A. When they're all done I'll send the three together to San Francisco, where they are collecting 500 sweaters for a new school opening in Farza, Afghanistan. (By the way, if any knitters out there would like to contribute but don't have time or yarn or energy for a whole sweater, they are also collecting mittens and socks for Afghans age 7 through adult. Click here to read more about the current campaign.)


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