A few months ago, Mina, our youngest great-niece surprised me by asking me to knit her a sweater. I had only ever knitted one sweater for her when she was about 14 and had also given one to her older sister. I had made one for myself and thought it might be fun for the three of us to have matching sweaters (with some colour variations).
It was a tunic and had cables and bobbles (details which I like, and it also helps to keep the knitting interesting). But I had never seen her wear it, and recognizing our tastes in fashion might not be the same, I have not made anything for her since. So I was delighted to receive her request.
This time though, she had a pattern in mind.
This knitting pattern, #15 by Daisy&Peace was purchased on Etsy, above.
In keeping with the current fashion, it has a plain, cropped body and long balloon sleeves, all knit in stocking stitch. But the pattern is to be knit in pieces, requiring sewing together the side, shoulder, and sleeve seams and attaching the sleeves to the body. Sewing would not have been a problem, but I prefer more seamless patterns, since I find them less bulky-looking. We looked for an alternative and agreed on this one below, which could be knit in the round.
This pattern, Raspberry Sweater was purchased from throughthestitch.com, above.
We went shopping together at Michael’s for yarn and settled on this practical (washable and dryable) dark green tweed in an acrylic, wool, and viscose blend. It is a heavier weight than the one used in the pattern, but the pattern called for two strands of different yarns. As with all new projects, I knitted a swatch to ensure I got the correct gauge.
We chose size M from the pattern. I added ribbing to the sleeves and bottom edge and of course, the bobbles were omitted. But I did have to re-knit the sleeves three times (the balloons were huge!) and re-worked the body twice to get the right width and length for her body and arms, decreasing the number of stitches and rows as required. Even so, it only took 2 weeks to complete the sweater. When it was finished, she suggested I sew my maker’s tag on the outside. Awwww!
I gave the sweater to Mina just as spring was starting and was worried she would have to put the bulky sweater away until next year. But the weather has stayed cold and wet, and I am so happy to see her wearing it a lot!
So, don’t feel bad if you need to unravel, re-knit, and re-adjust. Sometimes it is done to correct a mistake, such as a dropped stitch, but in this case, it is to adjust for the type of yarn used, needle size, and to ensure a good fit.
A few weeks later, Mina said she was joining a knitting group at UVic and wanted me to teach her some basics. One of the joys of “doing”, “making”, and “creating” is sharing that knowledge with others who are interested and enthusiastic to learn. I loaned her a pair of circular needles, and taught her how to cast on, knit, and purl. Sitting side by side on our couch and knitting together, I thought: “How much better can life get, than to share a passion with the next generation, and especially with a loved one?”