Frog in knots

Knitting, knots and frogging.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

No sweat!

January tends to see the start of several knit-a-longs that last all year. I've always been put off by these thinking it was a huge commitment or a bit boring to be knitting the same type of item over and over again but when the fabulous Stefaneener came up with a grand plan I couldn't sign myself up quick enough. She has masterminded a Sweater-a-Month KAL.

Uh-huh, I have pledged to knit a sweater a month, every month, through 2007. Am I crazy? You mean you haven't figured that out yet? Of course I'm crazy, just for even thinking it, let alone trying it, but it's do-able right? I'm quite seduced by the prospect of 12 sweaters for myself and have been plotting and planning the year ahead. There's still plenty of time to sign up with the rest of the crazies if you think you're daft enough if you fancy it.

After signing my year away I had to choose a sweater. Unfortunately my big January project can't count because I can't show it off for months. I am knitting like a loon on my Sensual Knits submission for it's fast approaching deadline and so I needed something smaller to make that I could let you see. Fortunately I had a baby sweater planned for Sol's first birthday.

I chose the reindeer jacket from 'Simple Knits for Little Cherubs' by Erika Knight. I've been dying to make this for ages and even though the smallest size was for a 2-3 year old I went ahead anyway. Babies grow and Sol is quite a sturdy little lad.

I made a few changes to the pattern, some for ease of knitting, others to keep my sanity. To start with I used 2x2 rib instead of 1x1. I feel it looks better and a bit more modern. I changed the snowflakes from the bottom as the ones given in the pattern looked a bit floral for a little boy and the trees in the background of the reindeer simply had to go. I didn't like the trees at the top and seriously contemplated changing them, but by that point I was a little fed up with it all and went for the easy option of following the pattern.

I was supposed to be stranding the yarn all the way across the piece but instead I chose to work the reindeer and trees as intarsia. I also knitted the whole piece in one to the armholes which meant lengthening the body slightly so the sleeves sat in the top blue part only rather than cutting down into the white, by doing this it was a bit less fiddly to deal with. I completely ignored the collar pattern and picked up sts around the neck and worked in 2x2 rib for a few inches. I also missed out the snowflakes that were supposed to go around the lower sleeve. I tend to knit the sleeves plain on fussy or very patterned sweaters as I think it can look a bit much to have it patterned all over. I'm pleased with how it came out although the zip was sewn in by hand on the train and isn't my neatest effort. The yarn wasn't anything thrilling, just bog standard aran weight acrylic in navy and white, those little cherubs aren't always so angelic when it comes to staying clean.

36 Comments:

At 12:37 pm, Blogger artyfartykat said...

Rain,as a beginner I am totally in awe of the way you can swap and change patterns!
The jumper looks fantastic and in my opinion, much better than the original.
Hope you get your Sensual Knits submission finished in time and good luck with your knit a sweater a month knitalong. Yes you must be crazy, but we knew that already ;)

 
At 12:45 pm, Anonymous Sue said...

A sweater a month? That makes me tremble with fear! But I know you'll do with your usual style and ease! I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines. :-)

Adore the reindeer cardi, absolutely gorgeous.

 
At 12:48 pm, Blogger HPNY Knits said...

wow! great little number. I have not seen the original, but your modifications make great sense. especially for a little kid- simpler is better. I am in awe of your bravery to cut it, never mind the zipper!
SOTM seems very serious to me- mayby next year...

 
At 12:57 pm, Blogger Seahorse said...

I love that! I'm very impressed with ho weasy you make all these modifications sound!

 
At 1:44 pm, Blogger Batty said...

Love the sweater! A sweater a month seems like a lot to me, but then, I don't have the same incredible 'crank out an amazing creative piece of knitting every other day' track record that you do.
As you said, no sweat.

 
At 3:46 pm, Blogger The Fluffy Ewe said...

Yeah, what Batty said. We all know you got lil gnomes stashed away in the closet doing your knitting for you, time to 'fess up. Lol You are a brave woman for committing to a sweater.

The cardi for Sol is very cute! Those babies are so lucky to have an auntie Rain to knit for them. :)

 
At 4:27 pm, Blogger Jerry & Maxy said...

You are talented and quite capable! And we will see your work in action even more with you KAL! Woo hoo! Your sweater for Sol is adorable, and I, too, am in awe at your ability to modify a pattern at the drop of a hat. So impressive, Rain.

 
At 5:03 pm, Blogger modelwidow said...

I really like the modifications you have made, they definitely improve the sweater (wish I had your confidence).

A sweater a month ??! and I thought I was being ambitious saying I would do 10 charity knits this year - and mine are only going to be little items. Good luck, and I`m looking forward to seeing them all.

 
At 5:32 pm, Blogger Bezzie said...

Ok, I *might* be able to do a baby sweater a month, but definately nothing as complicated as that beautiful reindeer sweater (intarsia--shudder!)!!

I like your modifications to the sweater. Makes it look cleaner and not quite so busy.

 
At 6:00 pm, Blogger acrylik said...

Now, that's a challenge! But one that you're definitely up to :)

Sol's sweater is gorgeous, and all the modifications you have made make it that extra special. He's a lucky little soul!

 
At 7:10 pm, Anonymous Silvia said...

I cannot believe how you manage to addapt any Pattern to how you need it to be...amazing.
As for the Sweater along...yes you are mad but if anybody can do it it is you

 
At 9:04 pm, Blogger nanatoo said...

You are so clever :)

Good luck with the sweater a month!

 
At 9:42 pm, Blogger Peg said...

I like the little sweater. You are right, sometimes there is just too much 'fiddle' on a tiny sweater and I think your version is nicer!
I am staying away from KALs this year, although I did do the Einstein Coat KAL and I did the Not So Warm Coat, as I just put on my blog!
However, I had joined this KAL in Sept/06 and could not cast on until Jan 7/07!

 
At 10:19 pm, Blogger reluctantMANGO said...

Absolutely stunning! I love the changes you made to the pattern. I'm signed up for a somewhat less labor intensive year long KAL - Socktopia! Twelve new sweaters sounds downright sinful, but I'll settle for warm tootsies with a few sweaters thrown in for good measure :)

 
At 10:23 pm, Blogger cpurl17 said...

A sweater a month is a great treat for all of us who will benefit by seeing a new and gorgeous sweater knit by you each month!

 
At 1:25 am, Blogger dreamcatcher said...

Love the cardi/sweater! Best of luck with the KAL too. At least it doesn't have to be 12 adult-sized sweaters!

 
At 1:25 am, Blogger Shelley said...

What a beautiful sweater, and I love the changes you made to your version! Makes me want to do one.

 
At 4:21 am, Blogger Zonda said...

I love it!! Even better than the picture as it was a bit busy! Neat, we get to see even more sweaters from you! :)

 
At 12:25 pm, Blogger Queen Frogger said...

The reindeer cardi is great! A sweater a month?! The pressure would be too much for me, I can't even manage a row a day at the moment on my sweater!!

 
At 1:15 pm, Blogger Faerynuff said...

Good to see you're back! I love th way you have changed the reindeer cardi. I love that book :)

I used the craftmemo thingy and it is so useful - thanks for the link!

 
At 3:50 pm, Blogger Samantha said...

Holy cow! Twelve sweaters ... in a year! WOW! I can't wait to watch you do this. You never cease to amaze me.

 
At 3:51 pm, Blogger amanda said...

A sweater a month sounds like total fun. I think I'm going to check it out. Thanks for mentioning it!

 
At 5:10 pm, Blogger Diane said...

Rain that is a beauty!...And Sol will look very smart in it!:)

 
At 5:48 pm, Blogger knitfriendly said...

You are brave Rain! I have a friend who has also joined that KAL. Good luck to both of you! I love your baby sweater. You always do such nice work!

 
At 6:36 pm, Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Such a cute cardigan! I thought about joining the sweater a month-a-long for about a second. I could do it, but that would mean fewer socks. And God knows I can't have that.

 
At 8:29 pm, Blogger DomesticOverlord said...

You're my knitting hero.

 
At 1:53 am, Blogger Charity said...

Of course you're crazy, but we love you anyway! Can't wait to see all the lovely sweaters you'll be churning out. :0)

 
At 4:17 am, Blogger Knittypants said...

I love the little cardigan, you always pick the best kids patterns.

I wanted to join the sweater a month knitalong, but I think I had better be practial with a newborn coming. I will enjoy watching you knits lots and lots of sweaters though.

 
At 11:40 pm, Blogger Pam said...

Wow! I could never modify a pattern, you are so good! I am in awe. :)

 
At 2:49 pm, Blogger Piglottie said...

What a stunning sweater Rain! But 12 sweaters a year, wow! I thought 12 pairs of socks a year was bad enough :-) I'm sure we will all be watching in awe at your sweater dedication during 2007 :-)

 
At 8:58 pm, Blogger KnitPastis said...

That is simply beautiful! Good luck to knitting a sweater a month. If anyone can do it, you can!

 
At 9:04 pm, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

Your changes are certainly for the better. It's such a nice, simple, modern cardigan now. Darling. You never cease to impress me with how easy you make pattern modifications seem.

I'm delighted you're doing the sweater-a-month! Since I don't have the time to participate, I'm glad to have your posts to look forward to.

 
At 7:47 pm, Anonymous Rachel said...

You crack me up. You're basically like, I wanted to knit this pattern, but I actually hated most of it, so I changed everything. Viola! A perfect result!

With my commitment to sweater-knitting this year I contemplated the sweater-a-month KAL, but I know I'd be doomed to failure. But if at the end of the year I have 12 sweaters you can bet I'll be lying and saying I had joined all along and the hosts had just lost my email. :)

 
At 8:05 pm, Blogger Badger said...

That reindeer sweater is awesome, realy, really cute.

Good luck with knitting your sweater a month (rather you than me though!)

 
At 4:42 pm, Blogger TutleyMutley said...

A sweater a month????? AAAAARGh. And I thought signing up for the sockamonth KAL was daring. I thought the reindeer jacket was lovely - will we see a pic of it on Sol?

 
At 4:29 pm, Blogger Dina said...

Really? A sweater a month? No doubt that you can't do it, Miss Lightning McNeedles!

Modding a pattern is music to my ears. I don't think I can knit any other way. Besides, I like your version better :)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home