I have been successful in knitting colorful and stylish sweaters using a variety of storebrand, Red Heart, Lionbrand, and specialty yarns. The pieces were beautiul, and my granddaughters enjoyed wearing them. Still, I wanted to knit a sweater that was softer to the touch. A few weeks ago I found a selection of Ice Cream Roving Divagation Yarn manufactured by Lion Brand. The skeins were luscious to squeeze and the light pastel colors wee quite appealing. When my 6 year old granddaughter saw the sweater that I ws knitting for her 4 year old cousin she couldn't help touching and stroking. When I showed her the pattern and the piece I was working on, she gave her thumbs up sign of approval. Despite the fact that she has many knitted nd crocheted sweaters from her Nana, she requested if I could make her sweater from this soft yarn. Nanas just aim to please.
Previously, I had mainly worked with worsted or DK yarns with several plies that made up the strand. When I picked up this roving yarn, I did not know the features of the yarn, but I thought it would work for a child's sweater. The roving yarn is lightly spun and does not have individual plies.The solid strand is slightly twisted to keep its shape. It comes in all weights and sizes.The roving yarn goes from thin to thick, but it generally conforms to a weight class. The yarn I chose was a worsted weight #4. The yarn has a definite halo so that the fibers make the strands and finished pieces look somewhat fuzzy. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The plus is that this feature makes the yarn very soft and cuddly. The negative is that the fibers get intertwined with the knitting, making ir hard to frog or to correct mistakes. I found that there was little stitch definition in my finished piece. In addition the yarn could tear easily if stressed after a correction. Crystal from You Tube Blog Bag-O-Day provides an excellent explanation of roving yarn. She recommends roving yarn for most wearables.
Common examples of roving yarn are Red Heart Unforgetable and Lion Brand's Scarify. I have knitted with these yarns to make hats and scarves with no problem. However, these sweater projects were my first with roving yarn. Until I picked up my Ice Cream Roving Divagation Yarn I did not realize that there were two main types of yarn: the roving style and the plied
I had high hopes whenI started my knitting project. I have an extensive library of knitting books and have been looking forward to trying some of the sweaters from Ella Rae, Amity Prints, Knitwear for Children,Booklet #102. The "Carrie" pattern featured an interesting shawl collar and a K4 P2 ribbing for most of the sweater. As I had not knitted this type of sweater before I was intrigued. I should have read all of the directions first before I started. The shawl collar was interesting, but challenging. It consisted of three pieces, and I had to reverse my steps to get right and left lapels that would fit on the neckline of the sweater. I had to correct several times to get all the pieces correctly aligned and connected. Here is where the fuzzy character of the yarn made it difficult to frog.
I was knitting a size 5-6 and needed about 1 1/2 skeins. The Ice Cream yarn weighs 200 grams and is about 380 yards. I used about 650 yards for the cardigan When I finally solved my construction problems, I was generally satisfied, though not thrilled with my handiwork.
Since I had bought enough yarn to make 3 sweaters, I decided to take on another sweater from the same book. I hoped for better results and a cleaner construction job. The "Lila" cardigan featured a seed stitch, collar, cuffs, bottom band and button hole bands, The body of the sweater was knitted in Stock and Net. This time I chose the Capri color which has white shading to a light aqua.The instructions were simpler. The sweaters did hold their form better when placed flat on the table. Therefore, I was eager to see how they looked on a child,
I told my granddaughter that I had a surprise for her, and that she could select the sweater she preferred. I would take photos of her wearing each one so that she could see how she looked in each piece. I think you can easily tell which sweater she preferred as she did not want to take off the second sweater. She especially liked the pearly heart buttons that were a finishing touch.
When I purchased this roving yarn, I planned to make 3 sweaters, one each for the 4 year old,
the 6 year old, and the 7 1/2 year old. However, after slogging through the first two pieces, I decided to return the remaining yarn and plan another sweater with different yarn for another day. This is an achievement in itself. I was proud that I actually went to the store instead of letting the yarn languish in my boxes. I will probably make another sweater for both the 4 year old and her sister. I not think the shawl sweater is up to my own standards.
I get very excited when I see my granddaughters wearing the sweaters I made for them, The 6 year old gets to model more frequently as she lives aboout 25 minutes away whiile her cousins live in New York. I was thrilled when my daighter-in-law recently sent me photos of her girls wearing my sweaters at am outdoor event. The 4 year old was wearing her freeform multicolor piece, and her older sister ws wearing the jazzy pink hoodie that I posted in earlier articles.
Although I faced some difficulties, I learned a great deal from these projects. Roving yarn may not be my favorite, but perhaps I will try it again at a later date. Also, I must read all of the direction for a pattern before I buy the yarn or begin a project from yarn in my stash. Thank you for your reflections and feedback. I welcome come you to join me on my stitching journey.