One of my 2013 goals was to try sweater knitting – and so far, so good. I tackled this for the Alana Dakos knit-along in the Subway Knits group on Ravelry – I’ve liked Alana’s Spring Garden Tee pattern for quite a while and had been wanting to knit it for one of my girls, so this was the perfect opportunity.
I decided to knit the largest size that the pattern is written for – size 14. When I measured my middle daughter, it looked like the size 12 would be just about right for her, but I wanted to make it a bit larger, just in case. It’s always smart to aim for things to fit Hannah – that way if it’s too big, Abbi can wear it, or if it’s too small, Becca can.
The recommended yarn for the pattern had been discontinued (Rowan Calmer), so I visited my LYS to see what I could find in a similar-type yarn. I wanted a yarn with some cotton content since it’s a warmer weather garment, but I didn’t want to use straight cotton because there’s no give to it and it’s very difficult to knit with. I wanted something with just a bit of stretch to it – and something washable since it’s for a kid. I also needed an option that wasn’t too expensive since I had to buy around 900 yards of it.
I ended up with Berroco Weekend DK, which is 75% acrylic and 25% cotton (the opposite of the Rowan Calmer). I picked a bright pink since I figured that any one of my three girls would wear it in that color and even though I was aiming for a sweater that would fit Hannah, it could have ended up for any one of them. Plus pink matches just about everything that they’ve got.
I did knit a gauge swatch and was pretty close on the size 6 needles the pattern calls for. My stitch gauge was right on at 6 stitches/inch – my row gauge was off, but I figured that with this type of design, I could just knit the body as long as I wanted it and then stop.
This was a really fun pattern to knit. It’s extremely well-written, which I appreciated since it was my first time dealing with raglan sleeve increases. It’s knit top-down in one piece, which was very easy, and the bit of lace on the cap sleeves gave a welcome change from straight stockinette knitting for a while. I powered through the stockinette on the body portion during a weekend visit at a friend’s house – which worked great since I didn’t have to pay any attention to what I was doing and could easily visit and chat.
The sweater turned out wonderfully and fits Hannah exactly as I hoped it would. It fits, with a bit of room for growth, so she’ll be able to wear it for a good year or two – and then pass it down to Becca once she outgrows it.
I’m trying to decide what I want to knit for my next sweater – I’d love to knit something for me, but that’s a much bigger challenge. Literally – I wear between a 1X and 2X shirt. And I’d be much more worried about gauge since I’d want it to fit me well. I don’t wear a lot of sweaters because I don’t like the bulk, so I’d want to do something lightweight. I’ll have to look through Ravelry and see what I can find – maybe something like the Brise Cardigan or Featherweight Cardigan. Or the Tarim – I already have the pattern for that one.
I took a break from my monthly sock knitting to finish the Spring Garden Tee for the end of the knit-along – but I’m back at it for June with my first Camp Loopy 2013 project. More about that to come.