Wednesday, October 22, 2014

red rover, red rover

The last of the baby gifts! Since I made leg warmers and a blanket for one coworker, I needed another little something to go with the blanket for the second. I give you Red Rover.

This little guy is a super cute sweater with an off-center cable motif on the front and buttons running down the back. Presumably the buttons are on the back so little fingers don't pluck them off and transmit them to little mouths. I suppose you could use the sweater either way, though.

The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, wool with a touch of cashmere in it, and the stitch definition is lovely for both the stockinette and cable sections of this sweater. I also really enjoy the variations in color of this yarn, as in many of the yarns I gravitate to. True to this year's goal, this was out of the stash. I bought a skein at Interweave Knitting Lab in 2012 and used it for a couple projects (a buttoned collar, a baby cardigan) leaving about half of it left over. Turns out that was the perfect yardage to make this.

It worked up quite quickly, taking just about two weeks of not very focused knitting time. The construction is a pretty simple top-down raglan style where you set the sleeve stitches aside to be picked up and worked in the round later. I'm getting so good at baby sweaters I hope this eventually translates to sweaters for big people! I keep telling myself this is good practice. (And then think guiltily of the Aidez and Rotation sweaters I've had on the needles for quite some time….)

I did make a couple small modifications: shortening the sleeves to 3/4 length and knitting an i-cord for the cuffs instead of ribbing. I wasn't super happy with the way the garter stitch hemline at the bottom turned out so loose, so that prompted the change in edging on the sleeves. I'm actually quite pleased with the i-cord look and would do it on the bottom if I had it to do over. As for the sleeve length, I thought they were turning out kind of long, and I also didn't' want to run out of yarn in the midst of the second sleeve. That would have been sad sauce.

I sifted through the bags of miscellaneous buttons I have from Britex and found these cute brown squares. They fit perfectly through the buttonholes called for in the pattern and the corners provide enough interference to not slip back through too easily. No sneaky unbuttoning buttons here! I chose to sew them on with light aqua perle cotton for contrast and sturdiness. Perle cotton is tough, and it's little person clothing. Toughness is needed.

The basics (more on Ravelry): Jeudi (free pattern by Elisa Di Fiore), just over half a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in Fierce Scarlet, size 4 circular wooden needles, steam blocked with wires and pins. Quite pleased with this one, especially the time from start to finish. I definitely have noticed an improvement in my knitting skills this past year or so. More improvement to come! 

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