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my favorite things

May 20, 2008

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?

Red Raglan, Red Raglan

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.

Red Raglan, Red Raglan

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.

Red Raglan, Red Raglan

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.

Red Raglan, Red Raglan

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.

Red Raglan, Red Raglan

Pockets and sunglasses: Maggie’s favorite things.
Finished red sweater and Maggie: Mommy’s favorite things.

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. crimsonpurl permalink
    May 20, 2008 1:23 pm

    Adorable!! And the red is my favorite! :o)
    But I have a thing for picot edge too!

    Okay I just need for you to put this pattern on sale woman!!

    LUV the last pic of Maggie!

  2. May 20, 2008 1:32 pm

    So cute – I love this, and would totally buy the pattern too!

  3. LauraJ permalink
    May 20, 2008 1:39 pm

    That last picture is priceless!!

  4. Katie permalink
    May 20, 2008 3:08 pm

    Like I said, it’s a killer sweater! And Maggie knows how to wear it!

  5. May 20, 2008 3:53 pm

    America’s next Top Model, in training! The sweater is faboo too!

  6. May 20, 2008 4:03 pm

    OMG she is absolutely adorable and the sweater matches her perfectly! I love it!!

  7. May 20, 2008 4:52 pm

    I don’t know how many times I have written this, but she is seriously precious. Soooo cute. I love the slanted collar that she’s styling so beautifully!

  8. May 20, 2008 5:06 pm

    OMG, OMG, OMG. I swear, one of these days I am going to drive myself down to North Carolina and swoop that little girl up in my arms and take her home with me.

    Okay, was that a totally creepy thing to say? I didn’t mean it to be creepy. I just love the Mags. And the Mags in the sweater and the sunglasses?! Too. Freakin’. Much.

    That last picture is just killing me.

  9. May 20, 2008 5:13 pm

    It’s awesome and yes, “covered in snot” definitely makes it done! If you have supercute buttons that aren’t being shown off, just recycle them for the next sweater.

  10. May 20, 2008 6:10 pm

    Oh it is gorgeous. I love red too but my daughter doesnt love it like me. Your daughter looks so cute in it.

  11. May 20, 2008 7:43 pm

    She’s such a little model. I love the sweater though, good job!

  12. May 20, 2008 10:43 pm

    This is such a sweet little girl in a sweet little sweater! I love the hands in the pockets pose!

  13. May 20, 2008 11:49 pm

    Yay! for not using a pattern. I love that kind of craziness and you did a great job.

  14. May 21, 2008 7:32 am

    nothing cuter than a little girl in a red sweater. i so agree with you. and knitting red is good for the eyes as is maggie.

  15. elizaleigh permalink
    May 21, 2008 10:24 am

    Beautiful work! And I love the last picture. I’ll bet she is quite the character!

  16. May 21, 2008 10:37 am

    Great sweater! Way to go! Every girl, little and big, needs a red sweater!

  17. Caroline/runawayknitter permalink
    May 21, 2008 2:38 pm

    How cute! She knows how to strike a pose!

  18. May 21, 2008 4:02 pm

    Maybe it’s the geek in me, but I sort of enjoyed the discussion about the process. Also, that last picture…PRICELESS! It’s an awesome sweater, well planned, well designed, well knit, and it will probably well-worn before you know it!

  19. carpoolknitter permalink
    May 22, 2008 12:27 am

    Mandy enjoying her designing and her precious baby . . . some of Anne’s favorite things. Srsly.

  20. Chelsie permalink
    May 23, 2008 4:23 am

    She looks like such a model!! lovely sweater mandy… the picot edging is exquisite! I’m a big fan…

  21. May 23, 2008 12:09 pm

    That is the most precious sweater! You are sooo talented!!!

  22. Denise permalink
    May 23, 2008 2:05 pm

    Maggie’s a cutie and I love the picot!

  23. May 23, 2008 8:22 pm

    EVERYONE needs a sweater like this, not just her. I love the collar. It’s so pretty.

  24. May 24, 2008 8:10 pm

    Oh this is so cute. You have to write it up and sell it. Seriously.

  25. May 25, 2008 11:39 am

    What a gorgeous sweater! (made even more gorgeous by the lovely model)

  26. May 29, 2008 11:59 am

    i love that last photo. look at that pose! i love the sweater, it’s adorable!

  27. June 18, 2008 1:48 am

    oh wow, your photography is stunning as is your wonderful model. She is such a little star especially the hands in pockets shot! The jumper is delicious on her too..

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