About those sweaters...
I'm messing around with the templates in Blogger (I know, I know. Blogger is SO mid-2000s, but whatever. I'm set in my ways.) Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Should yo care to check out the blogs I follow you have to go to the drop-down menu on the upper left. Also, I took down all the finished posts by year, though they're still archived so I easily put them back up. This blog dates back to 2006 (!!!), so that link list was really long and rather unwieldy. I'm not sure anyone was clicking those links other than me, when I wanted to link back to an older post.
Anyhoo, as promised, here are some more details on those sweaters I knit for my niece. Both patterns are from Tin Can Knits, a design duo I just adore. Their patterns are fresh, timeless, and sized for EVERYONE - newborn baby through 4XL adult. This is very good news for anyone wishing to make matchy-matchy sweaters for the whole family (not that I'm planning to any time soon) or, as in my case, someone who has a hard time finding sweater patterns sized for kids over the age of 6.
For little V, I chose two TCK patterns, an older classic and a brand new release.
First up is the Lush Cardigan:
As you can see, I had a hard time getting the color right in the photos. The top picture might be the most accurate. It's a deep coral shade of Venezia Worsted that my mom gave me; she had a few skeins leftover from a sweater project last year. This means it's probably not machine washable, but the yarn is a 70/30 wool/silk blend, nice and soft for delicate baby skin.
I tried something new with this sweater: sewing a grosgrain ribbon to both the button and buttonhole bands to stabilize them. Even going down a few needle sizes, those bands felt really stretchy (thanks to the silk content of the yarn, I'm sure) and I didn't want the sweater to pull out of shape. I found the ribbon at Joann (I'll be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with that place). I ironed interfacing onto one strip, marked the buttonholes, and sewed them by machine before hand stitching the lengths of ribbon onto the sweater.
It was a labor of love, but I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I'm confident that even if V tugs at her sweater, it won't stretch out of shape.
If you follow knitting podcasts or well-known social media knitters, you probably heard about the Heart On My Sleeve collection released by TCK in February. I bought the ebook the day it came out, in part because I think it's worth owning pretty much everything this team comes up with, and also because all of the proceeds benefit an organization that is fighting the spread of malaria.
Heart On My Sleeve is a collection of 8 variations on one sweater pattern. The TCK team wrote the basic template, which is a DK-weight sweater knit in one piece from the bottom up, and 8 guest designers came up with yoke variations. If you're feeling indecisive, you don't even have to decide which one you're knitting until you get to the sleeve/body join! I think it's brilliant.
I chose Crazyheart by Tanis Lavallée because it seemed like the perfect way to use up some Lerke I've had kicking around in the stash f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Seriously, this is like the 4th baby sweater I've made out of the brown color and I didn't have all that much to begin with.
As you can see, I did garter stitch at the bottom of the sweater and sleeves instead of ribbing. Just because. I also did a rolled neck instead of ribbing. Just because.
And finally, I added some short rows to raise the back neck. It drives me CRAZY when designers don't bother to make sure the back of the neck is higher than the front. I assume they do this because some knitters don't like short rows and eliminating neck shaping simplifies the pattern writing. I can't stand it when a neckline rides up in the front, though. I suppose it's less of an issue for babies, but I still made the modification. It took four tries to get it not looking ridiculous, but I think what I came up with is acceptable. I guess I'll know for sure when I get a photo of her wearing the sweater.
It was the color work on the yoke that sold me, though. There are so many possibilities here. You can stick with two colors, go wild with rainbows, try out a subtle gradient. I used white, then pale pink, and a bit of purple at the top so that the sweater wouldn't be too plain and neutral with all the brown.