While many crafters insist on working from free patterns, I find a great deal of stimulation when I visit my local independent yarn shop. The proprietors display many knitted and crocheted designs as well as an enormous and varied inventory of books and binders of patterns. They stimulate my imagination and call for me to try my hand at many new creative projects. When I can pair the pattern with the yarn, I am ready to go. While the yarns are typically more expensive than those found in large craft stores or from on-line sources, they are frequently high quality fibers that are colorful, soft, luxurious, and interesting. I usually reserve these purchases for family members or close friends when I give myself that special treat. Plus, I really want to support these dedicated vendors so that they are there for me when I want to make something special. Sometimes, I start with a pattern that I find on their shelves of binders. At other times, the yarn (especially if it is on sale) is the source for my inspiration. My favorite independent yarn store is The Yarn Barn in Woodbridge, Connecticut.
When I purchase a pattern, I typically like to find one with multiple looks from the same set of directions. The Child's Pullover and Cardigan, #P601, written by Jelli Beenz, published by Plymouth Design Studio was able to deliver. Although the pattern originally called for a Jelly Bean Yarn that is no longer produced, I was able to find two coordinating Paintbox yarns. The first worsted weight yarn was light purple with aqua and yellow speckles. The coordinating yarn was white with aqua and yellow speckles. The border and bottom, and neckline were knitted in garter stitch with a #6 knitting needle. The body and sleeves were knit with a #8 knitting needle. I made this first piece in size 4 for my petite 4 year old and daughter. I love the contrast between the yoke, borders and main part of the sweater. While the pattern called for a ribbed texture on the body of the sweater and a garter stitch on the yoke, the uneven texture of the yarn made it difficult to showcase the ribbing. Therefore, I knitted garter stitch on the borders and the yoke, but I used a simpler stock and net stitch for the body. I was thrilled that I had the perfect 3 aqua buttons for the closing in my stash. This sweet young lady loves wearing this cardigan to Pre-K and frequently is complimented by her teachers.
Then I tried the same pattern with two shades of grey in size 6 for her six year old cousin. However, while she is slim, she is big for her age, and the sophisticated interpretation of the sweater did not fit her. As you can see from the picture, the four year old can wear it now, but there is plenty of rom to grow. The sophisticated coloring yielded a completely differently different look. While the yarn for the first sweater was purchased from yarn shop, the yarn for the second sweater was in my stash, originally purchased from a large craft store. Again, the garter stitch was used for the neck, borders, and yoke. The two row repeat four-two broken rib is just right for the main body and sleeves. The three grey buttons for the closing came from my collection.
Although I usually knit cardigans, the third sweater was a pullover with a wider neckline that makes it easiler to pull off and on. I bought the multicolor rainbow yarn on the same day that I got the speckled yarn. My granddaughter saw the rainbow yarn peaking out of my bag and inquired whether the yarn was for her. How could I deny her? The Paintbox yarn was a lighter worsted weight. While I used the same #8 needles, I think I would have been better off with a #7. The cardigan was knitted entirely with the broken ribbed pattern, and there is no change for the yoke. This sweater was also knitted in a size 6. While it is roomy. the sweater works well as an oversized pullover.
I knitted the three sweaters over the course of a few months with other projects in between. Once I figured out the quirks in each of the designs the sweaters were relaxing to create.
I appreciated your feedback and comebacks. I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey.