Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Monday, October 4, 2010

Clara loves green

Early this summer I decided she needed a sweater for the summer, something warm-ish for cool summer nights (like we actually get those in Providence!) or heavily air-conditioned environments. Given my profession I am lucky that I can be picky about what I knit for my girls. Sadly, we don't carry a lot of greens at the shop and Clara's favorite color for a while now has been green. I also wanted just the thing... something soft, bouncy and easy to wear and not too hot. This girl has a thermostat I would kill for and she doesn't want to wear really warm clothes.

Enter Louisa Harding Fleuris with two colors I knew my girl would just love. It's soft and just a little chunky. But that darn label says hand wash only! Now, I'm somewhat famous for making my girls things that are not machine washable.... and yes, I've felted a few items in my sleep-deprived haze. (mostly socks, they are hard to find in the wash!) But I have found that most things do just fine in a cold water wash and as long as I fish them out before they end up in the dryer I have no felting issues. LH Fleuris is one of those yarns that works just fine in the wash, but no dryer please! (we felted a swatch, oops!)

It's funny, Knitting for kids is a little harder than I thought, and much harder than for a baby. Babies are round, and largely immobile and as long as you don't put on so many buttons that the poor mother never gets them all buttoned, life is really alright. Kids MOVE and they don't like fussy things and it has to be just the right color, and there is so much size variation! Clara is normal for height but pretty darn skinny and things just don't fit her very easily. I knew it would be easier for me to do a top down pattern for her because we could try it on as we went, but the ones that we had at the shop were for bulky or for DK.... and Fleuris is a heavy worsted. I tried mucking around with the pattern, changing for the different gauge and I ended up with the top half of an absolutely enormous sweater. So I went down a size by her age for the bulky pattern and tried that. Bingo. A little extra length in the body and the sleeves and it fits her perfectly with a little room for her to get a bit bigger. The great thing about the top downs is that I can easily rip out the cast off edge and make the body and the sleeves longer. Unless she develops a taste for, say, lard in the next couple of months I'm guessing that the width will fit her for a good long time!

And best of all, she really likes it. Her next sweater will be something really warm to be her winter coat (because winter coats are too warm for her!) and she has requested "sky blue" with of all things squirrel buttons (that I have yet to find...) I'm planning on the double breasted sweater on the cover of last year's Berroco magazine, Vintage Family. In a yarn that I'll be blogging about soon...

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