Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ruffle-y Flower-y Awesome-y Kids Sweater

This was my first attempt at a sweater.

(as opposed to the mug sweater I made before)

I decided to start small and make a sweater for Laurel. I did not use a pattern---I know WHAT A SHOCK!---I just cast on what looked about the right width (figuring for expansion off the needle), and started working. When the height from the bottom of the sweater to the bottom of the armpit measured about right (compared to a sweater she already has) I started decreasing 2 stitches per row until the armhole closely matched the existing sweater. Once it went in enough for the arms I stopped decreasing and continued knitting rows until I got the right height for the neck. I added some ribbing at the top, and then I duplicated the same "pattern" for the back.

I wanted a little ruffle sleeve, so I Googled how to knit a ruffle. (Oh the internet is amazing) I decided to start with a band of ribbing the same height as the one on the neck, once I knit the 6 rows I moved onto the ruffle. I made the ruffle by doubling the amount of stitches I cast on; I cast on 8, so I increased to 16, then 32, then 64. At 64 I stopped increasing and knit until it looked long enough to be a cap sleeve (I believe it was about 6 rows), then I started decreasing 6 stitches at a time for the last 3 rows to "round off the edge" of the ruffle. Then I bound off and the ruffle was done.

I used yarn and some kind of stitch---WOW, I sure am official sounding, I knitted the whosamacallit to the whatsamajiggit---to piece together the back and front and the sleeves to the neck-ribbing on the front and back. This probably would have been good enough...BUT, I had some holes on the front panel due to being a beginner and knitting in the middle of the night. And rather than unravel (which would have been the right, and normal thing to do) I decided I would make tiny little flowers to place around the sweater to cover my holes---err I mean to make it look special. Who says holes are bad? They're just an excuse to add flowers. As for the flowers I just crocheted different sizes, then using the yarn tail on each flower I sewed them onto the sweater. (I REALLY REALLY REALLY loved the look of the flowers on the sweater, and despite being a lover-of-color I liked that it was monochromatic)

It's hard to guess how long this took me...I knitted when I couldn't sleep, then I knitted during Parenthood on Tuesday and The Office marathon on Thursday. With the constant starting and stopping I'm really guessing...but I'll go with 6-7 hours. Thank goodness I liked the final product because that's A LOT of time to put into something that's just ok. (Ok...I didn't like it...I loved it) Laurel could tell I was really proud of it and she modeled it and wore it with pride. She even wore it to our family date night to a talent show at which Aunt Scabbers (aka Abigail) was playing piano. On a side note, it was a fabulous time. The kids rocked out to some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G young talent, ranging in age from 10-18. Bands, soloists, guitar players and pianists...WOWSA. It was a good time.

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