my favorite things
For as long as I can remember – at least since April, I have a really bad memory – I’ve wanted to knit Maggie a red sweater. Don’t you think every little girl needs a red sweater?
Instead of using a pattern like a normal person would do, I designed this little number myself. Well, if you count using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s percentage system as designing it yourself, and I do. The “pattern” is for a Seamless Raglan, and the book that I used is Knitting Without Tears. The yarn is Tahki Cotton Classic, and for a woman who loves wool as much as I do, it is a lot to say that I like this yarn.
NB: Feel free to scroll through for the pictures…but if you’re interested I’m now going to discuss some of the technical aspects of this sweater. I’m boring myself writing it, so I figure you might be bored reading it. You make the call. I won’t judge. If you have a question I don’t address, please let me know!
I had a bunch of fun with the decreases. Late one night I was sitting with the half-knitted sweater in my lap trying to figure out how I wanted to shape this baby. It was time for decreasing but my mind was blank on how to do it. Like I do whenever my mind is blank, I pulled out my Vogue Knitting book and as always, the answer was right there.
According to Vogue Knitting, I used a double left-slanting decrease version A, and you can see it above. It is rather normal and can be written out like this: sl 1 kwise, k2tog, psso. The mirror of this decrease (seen in the first photo) is more involved, but sorta fun. Vogue calls it a double right-slanting decrease version A and is harder to write out. Sl 1 knitwise, k1, psso. Not done yet. Return the decreased stitch to left needle and with the right needle tip, pass the second stitch on the left needle over the decreased st and off the needle. Return the decreased stitch to the right needle. As with most knitting techniques, it is much harder to read through it than to just knit it.
After a few rounds of decreasing along the raglan lines, I started knitting back and forth, splitting the work at the left front raglan line. The decreases along the opening became a regular ssk on the front section with a single selvage stitch, and a k2tog after 5 stitches of garter stitch on the sleeve section.
When the body was shaped to perfection (accomplished only by taking out the needle, putting the live stitches on a waste thread, and letting the girl try it on and run around) I bound off the front section and knit back and forth on the sleeve and back stitches to raise the neck some. Then I bound off all the stitches.
The collar is just a straight tube, picked up from the wrong side, that opens along the same line as the raglan opening. In theory, if all the buttons were buttoned it would be a turtleneck. In reality, the collar isn’t wide enough and would choke her if I tried to button all the buttons.
Luckily, this is the look I was going for.
The button band was the last thing to knit. It works how it is, but I’m not sure that it is completely right. I really wanted the buttons to be very prominent, but as it is all the buttons are hidden. It would not be a big deal to re-knit the button band but once the sweater has been photographed, worn to Kindermusik, covered in snot, and napped in, I pretty much call that done. I’ll probably just keep this as it is and make the buttons more prominent some future sweater.
Oh, and have I mentioned the picot yet? Pretty much just add picot to every possible edge. That’s what I do and it makes me insanely happy. Picot is like my default.
Pockets and sunglasses: Maggie’s favorite things.
Finished red sweater and Maggie: Mommy’s favorite things.