I sliced open the envelope with eager anticipation and then upended it on the kitchen counter. Bright, beautiful yarn tumbled out, catching my son’s eye. He hurried over to crowd in next to me and ask, “Is that my yarn? It’s my favorite!”
But who can blame him?
Yarn: Three Irish Girls Springvale Super Merino
Colorway: Benevolent (top) and Halcyon (bottom)
Yardage: 230 yds/skein (I have 3 of each)
Fibers: 100% merino wool
And he’s right: it is his yarn. Well, his and his sister’s. I made sure to purchase enough to make them coordinating…somethings. I didn’t plan for the outfits to be the same, just for the yarns to coordinate. My idea was to make something that could work from late fall through winter, so I wasn’t planning on full sweaters.
I decided it would be really cute for Lexie to have a jumper–something she could wear as a dress with tights and a shirt underneath in the fall, and then with pants as a long overshirt in the winter. I found the perfect pattern in the first one I looked at…and then made myself look at all the rest, because you’re never supposed to fall in love with the first. Fortunately, none of the other options had what I was looking for, so I went back to Berroco’s Patrice, a free pattern. Lexie will be 2 in November, so the size 2 should fit her perfectly.
Jeffrey was tougher. I felt a sweater vest would go well with Lexie’s jumper, but then I ran into a well-known problem: finding patterns for a young boy. If it’s a baby, you’re gold. If it’s a girl, at any age, you’re set. If it’s a boy…well, hope he grows up to be a teen soon so you can put him in men’s patterns. All I wanted was a simple, unembellished sweater vest. I didn’t care about color work, just no stitch patterns or cables. After searching the Ravelry pattern database with no luck, I decided to hit the Lion Brand Yarn site, and found the Naturally Classic Vest. This time, there wasn’t that instant connect I felt with Patrice, but I wasn’t sure why. It was a simple, stockinette stitch sweater vest that came in the right size.
It took a comment from my friend Sara to help pin down what I didn’t like about it–the V-neck is awfully deep. Too deep, for my taste. I resigned myself to looking elsewhere, and actually did page (futilely) through several more patterns, but I kept going back–mostly because the sample picture on Ravelry looked subtly different from the sample on Lion Brand Yarn’s pattern page. So I pulled up the projects linked to that pattern and saw that 2 of the projects had pictures of the vest finished and on a child…and neither of them had the excessively deep neck. Neither mentioned any alterations to the pattern either, although they did have notes on variations they did add (one changed the pattern to be knit in the round to the armholes; the other added an argyle pattern with stranded colorwork). So I’m guessing that either the pattern does not normally knit up with such a deep neck…or it would be a fairly simple matter of continuing to knit to where I want the V to start (as long as I remember I’ll need to pick up fewer stitches for the neck ribbing).
So, that’s the plan. That beautiful deep blue-green yarn will be a sweater vest for my son (with a bit of the subdued rainbow thrown in for contrast), while that gorgeous subdued rainbow will be a jumper for my daughter (with a bit of that blue-green to bring out the blue in her eyes). And if you’re a knitter who’s still wondering what good Ravelry might do you, reread the last paragraph with all the jumping from pattern to linked projects to the pattern location and back again. The power of not just databases, but integrated databases, my friend. Yeah. It’s cool.