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A Sweater for Jitari

July 14, 2011

A few years ago, I cast on for my very first sweater as a gift for Jitari, my (now five-year-old) nephew.  I figured that being the recipient of knitted things is exactly what nephews are for, so I braved my ignorance of seaming and shaping and zippers and plunged ahead.  He’s always been a little guy, and the sweater was on the large side, so it fit him reasonably well for quite a while.  Last fall, though, growing limbs and shoddy seaming caught up with me.  Jitari asked for another sweater, confessing, and I quote, “‘Cause the other one’s getting sorta small and plus the zipper kind of doesn’t work anymore.”

A new sweater was in order.

I absolutely loved this adaptation (lining instructions found there) of a basic Lion Brand Yarn’s children’s cardigan, and decided, somewhat naively, to recreate it.  You can get an idea of how much this project irritated me from how long it took to me to finish it: I cast on in October and attached the final button in June.  Originally intended as a Christmas gift, I finished it just in time for a Southern California heatwave.  In the end, though, I’m glad I finished it when I did, because I was able to give him his sweater on the day his little brother joined their family, as a kind of “we love you as much as ever” gift.  (And I’ve since heard from his mother that “to compensate for wearing a sweater on an 85 degree day, he wears it without anything else.”  So, problem solved.)

A few knitterly notes:

After knitting two child-sized sweaters in flat pieces, I vow to never do it again.  It’s so silly to knit a very narrow cardigan front whose edges will awkwardly curl while you’re trying to measure it.  Not to mention the ridiculousness of So. Many. Seams. on such a small garment!  I don’t think it’s heavy enough to need the structure that seams provide, so I won’t bother with children’s sweaters knit in pieces again.

Adapting the pattern for Cascade 22 Superwash turned out to be a little awkward, since my gauge swatch lied (as they do).  The finished sweater is about the right length, but is rather wide.  Unfortunately, since Jitari is far away and I don’t have a substitute kindergartener handy, there was no way to know for sure until it was complete.  Since it’s lined, though, it functions more like a jacket than a sweater, which means that an accurate fit isn’t so important.

Despite the frustrations of this project, I’m absolutely charmed by the finished product.  I love that the pattern of the lining flows between the body and hood (that was painstaking, but so worth it); I love the pockets, and the hood, and the buttons that match the lining; and I love thinking that this might keep one of my very favorite people warm on the playground next winter.  And that’s enough for any knitter, right?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2011 3:34 pm

    That is the cutest sweater and such sweet timing for a gift. I wish I knew a knitting comment but knit, pearl and yarn are the top and bottom of my knitting vocabulary. Love upur writing and your dear heart.

    • Ashley permalink*
      July 15, 2011 1:07 pm

      Oh, thank you Barb! What a nice thing to say. Also, I should warn you – admitting to knitting ignorance is basically knitter bait. Can’t. Resist. Converting. Newbies.

  2. Geraldine permalink
    July 14, 2011 8:26 pm

    Yay for knitted sweaters! I am dying to make one but am starting an afghan first. I hope mine turns out as beautiful as yours. Great job!

    • Ashley permalink*
      July 15, 2011 1:09 pm

      Thanks, Geraldine! Starting an afghan – wow! What pattern? Afghans aren’t very portable, though – may I recommend a (small or lightweight) sweater for on-the-go knitting?

      • Geraldine permalink
        July 22, 2011 7:19 am

        I really want to try the alpaca blanket pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (Joelle Hoverson), but I’m still trying to work up the courage. Every time I go the get the needles/yarn I chicken out – I’m a bit of a knitting project commitment-phobe. 🙂 A lightweight sweater is a great idea! I just started (tried to start, really-first time on double-pointed needles and I think I need some practice) a market bag for a friend’s birthday. Wish me luck!

      • Ashley permalink*
        July 22, 2011 10:22 am

        That afghan is gorgeous! When I’ve knitted or crocheted blankets in the past, I find they get done a lot faster if they’re my go-to movie-knitting. Particularly if it’s an easy-to-memorize stitch pattern, I can get a lot more done if it lives near the couch. Good luck on your market bag! You’ll be flying on dpns in no time. You should know that the first several rows on dpns are generally pretty awkward, but it’s MUCH easier once you clear that hurdle. Have fun!

  3. July 19, 2011 5:15 pm

    Beautiful!! It turned out so well. And the photos are fabulous.

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