Posted by: jinniver | October 5, 2009

Skipping Stones Across a Winter Lake

Two days ago, I mentioned my newest obsession.

Today, I’m cured…

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…for now.

It didn’t take long to knit up the front band.  Sewing in the zipper took a bit more time than I expected, but I decided to whip stitch the zipper in by hand so that I didn’t have a visible seam in front on those front bands.  I’m quite pleased with the placement–the bands lie just over the zipper enough to make it invisible without bunching up.  The fit is precisely what I was hoping for, and even Lexie likes it.  Once I got it on her to take some pictures tonight, I had hard time chasing her down to get it back off!

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When Sharon of Three Irish Girls released the previews for the September Stash Menagerie club, it took me a while to figure out what I was going to do with a bulky weight yarn. I’d recently been trying to help a fellow 3IGer find a hooded cardigan pattern for a child that went with another pattern, and we’d both stumbled across the Knit Child’s Raglan Cardigan from Lion Brand. I suggested some ways she could modify the pattern to get what she wanted, but it occurred to me that I really wanted to knit a hoodie for Jeffrey–I could use this pattern too.

I rejected that idea sometime between winding the yarn and casting on. I just wasn’t a big fan of the look of that pattern, and I was dismayed to find the patter was written to knit in pieces from the bottom up and then seam. I’d wanted a raglan pattern because they’re often written to be either seamless or minimize seams. And, if possible, I preferred a top-down raglan because I like being able to try it on as I go–and with children above the average height for their ages, it’s easier to knit a top-down sweater to the proper length.

So the search was on for another pattern, but I was rather dismayed to find that top-down raglan hooded cardigans for children knit in bulky weight yarn were hard to find. Eventually, I found the Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan Sweater pattern. It sounded promising…it looked intimidating. It was much more recipe than pattern, with a fair amount of math (easy math, at least) thrown in. But it would allow me to knit a top-down raglan cardigan to my child’s exact measurements with any yarn I chose.

After a bit of uncertainty, I reminded myself once again that it’s only yarn, I can’t hurt it by knitting with it, and if my version turns out to be a disaster, I can frog it and try again. And what the heck–while I was at, why not wing adding a hood?

As I mentioned previously, I was only a couple rows in before Jeffrey’s cardigan became Lexie’s cardigan, but that little bit of knitting was enough to make me comfortable with my version of the pattern. I opted for seed stitch edging rather than ribbing at the wrists and bottom edge–it tends to be more of a pain for me to knit, but I infinitely prefer the look where I can get away with it. I think it really works beautifully with this yarn–it gives a pebbled look at the edges.

The body and sleeves knit up quickly, and then it was time for the hood. I checked a couple patterns that had hoods added, and decided to pick up one stitch in every collar stitch, and then added a stitch on either end for the first several rows. I wanted to be sure to have a nice deep hood (that was one of the things I didn’t like about the Lion Brand pattern–although it’s hard to tell due to the hairstyle of the child model, the hood looks fairly shallow) that would stay in place, since hood cords are out. I used a hooded sweatshirt I recently bought Lexie to make sure the height was right, and then–in the move I’m probably proudest off–I Kitchnered the top of the hood instead of binding off and seaming.

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Chances are you can see in the picture above where I did it, but I doubt someone who didn’t know would see it–and it only shows because I accidentally pulled some of the grafting stitches a bit too tight. I expect some of that will come out once I block the sweater, as well, but even if it does, I consider that a very successful first attempt at the Kitchner stitch.

The last knitting step was the front band, which was picked up all along both fronts and the hood edge. In retrospect, I probably should have picked up in 2 out of every 3 stitches instead of 3 out of every 4–I think the front band might be a bit on the wavy side. Again, it’s probably a sin that blocking will help hide, as well as the stability of the zipper I sewed in. I decided I wanted the cardigans to zip up because that makes them easier to put on and take off…and then I bought the wrong kind of zipper, that doesn’t disconnect at the bottom. So the very bottom opening is permanently sewed shut.

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I can live with that. And as soon as the Seacoast yarn shows up, I’m ready to cast on for Jeffrey.



  1. She looks adorable in it!


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