Itsy Bitsy Teeny Tiny Sweaters

kps288These are still missing their buttons and need blocking, but I think I may be in danger of becoming obsessed with tiny things. Specifically making tiny things… It’s, well, it’s just that they knit up so fast! I’ve been working on a me-sized sweater for 8 months or so and have a solid 12 inches done. Don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome, and all, but there is something so, so, so satisfying about actually finishing a garment.

It’s also pretty awesome not spending 3 hours of your life figuring out where you left off last time you worked on it, because you made it one sitting (or even a few sittings, but close enough to each other that you can actually remember where you put it down!). And let’s be honest, baby clothes are freaking adorable. So yeah.

And there is the very real bonus of being able to work an entire pattern from a partial ball of yarn, discover where the pattern is wrong, or where you have no idea what you’re doing, muddle through it, back track a few rows, muddle through it again, finish, evaluate whether what you did worked, and, oh, still be out a mere half-skein for your efforts. The ability to do a full on test garment really appeals! (And yes, there were some problems I ran into with this pattern…so this is the voice of experience!).

So for these two darling little sweaters, I used the Knitting Pure & Simple #288 pattern. I actually saw a sample knit up at my (soon to be closed and dearly missed! sniff!) local yarn shop and figured it looked really pretty straight forward and would be perfect for the youngest niece’s birthday (which is just after xmas, so perfect timing even!).

I used Plymouth’s Worsted Superwash (oh my gosh, it’s just soooo soft) in a nice cranberry for the red one, and some Galway Worsted wool leftover from a different baby project for the tan one. Both yarns were great for this, though superwash is probably a better choice from the parental point of view (yay for low-maintenance washable baby clothes, I’m told!)

So, the problems. Well, maybe it’s just me, but I followed the steps exactly, painstakingly, even (never knitted anything top-down before this, and while I quite like the method, I was a bit befuddled for a bit until I got the majority of it done and could see where everything really was). So somehow I missed the instructions that result in the garter stitch border on the front placket the first time ’round. I had it on one side, but after 4″ of knitting down from the collar, realized I didn’t have it on the other! Oopsies!? So I ripped it out and started over (and now that I had a handle on where the front placket really starts, I had a much easier time) and just made sure I worked in garter for the first and last stitches in version 2.0.

That was the major issue I had. I also apparently can’t count to 44 (ha!), so I split the sleeves off 3 rows prematurely (eek!). There was a bit of back tracking there, too. But that was totally my fault!

I had also originally envisioned doing green and red colorwork for the lace border (green on the diagonal stitches, which would have looked a bit like ivy leaves, I think), but I couldn’t figure out how to work it out in the end (even after knitting some test swatches)…the double decrease kept popping the red back under the green, and it looked rather wonky. I might try again using the intarsia style (I did the standard fair-isle floats method, and it got super bulky and I worried it would be too snaggy).

I made a few changes for the second (tan) sweater. The yellow stripe and edging turned out pretty awesome (I wanted some color mix going on!). I also much prefer the seed stitch edging over the garter stitch and ribbing mix (I don’t know why, but garter stitch looks “sloppy” to my eye…it absolutely isn’t but there you go…knitting biases at work!)

I’ll probably make a few more of these while I’m on vacation in November (what with holidays coming up, I’d be foolish not to!!). I also think they could be easily boy-ified by adding a couple other buttons down the front (instead of just the one at the top) and replacing the lace edging with a simple rib panel. Maybe I’ll try that out next?!

What’s your favorite quick project at the moment?

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