A prodigal knitter returns to her craft. As a fiber artist, I enjoy both knitting and crocheting. However, I must confess that after several years as a knitter, I became absorbed with various projects and stitches as a crocheter for several months. I had forgotten the rhythmic sensation of knitting and the relaxing ability of knitting for almost a whole line without even looking down at my work. I missed the smooth texture of my pieces and that wonderful hand feel of working with soft luxurious yarn. True these same sensations can be experienced in crochet, but they are not just the same. During my granddaughter's first year of life, I knitted sweaters for each stage of her development. I even celebrated her first birthday with an article that chronicled all of these pieces as my little one grew from an infant to an emergent toddler. http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/a-little-girl-grows-up-a-year-in-sweaters.
What made me return to my knitting after crocheted sweaters,gloves, hats, and amigurumi? I was rummaging in my stash when I came across a box of gradient yarns manufactured by Premier Yarns. The Sunset ombre selection included 5 small skeins that ranged in color from a light pink to the darkest brick. Among the many projects suggested was a sweater ideal for a baby girl. Premier yarns even offered an easy-to-follow pattern created specifically for this collection of yarns. AlI needed to buy was a a large double pointed cable needle in #8. I located my set of double pointed needles and place markers from my box of knitting and crocheting tools, and I was all set to go. To find the free pattern online, search for Premier Yarns Ombre Cardigan. It was created by the Premier Yarn Design Team. Skill level is intermediate. The Premier Yarns website is www.premieryarns.com.
The pattern was a top down design, and so there would be no seaming in the construction. Premier Yarns did all of the gradient color selection for the collection. When I opened the box to begin knitting, I noticed how smooth and soft the anti-pilling !00% acrylic yarn was.I was eager to create this sweater for my granddaughter. Even though she is a petite 15 month old, I selected the 24 month size since I wanted her to be able to wear the sweater for several months. As it turned out This was a good decision as this lighter weight sweater fit perfectly for spring, and there is a little room for growth during the summer and early fall.
As I cast on and read the directions for the increases and place markers, I was filled with trepidation. would I be able to get the formula correct and add the correct number of stitches in the correct places. Some of my previous attempts with this method had not been successful. However, as I progress with the raglan sleeve and the additions for the yoke, I was pleased to note that I had the correct number of stitches. by the time I had to place the sleeves on stitch holders to knit the front and back panels, I as right on target.
My box contained a total of 360 yards with 72 yards in each of the 5 colors. As I proceeded though the secitons and color changes, I began to worry that I might not have enough yarn to finish the size 24 month sweater which was the larges size for the pattern. I was playing a continuous game of yarn chicken as I finished knitting the sweater body and each sleeve. By the time I got to the front and collar edging, I was certain I had a problem with the darkest shade. there was only enough yarn to knit 3 of the 5 rows and bind off. I still had a remnant of the lighter brick. Therefore, I held my breath and knitted only 4 rows, proceeded to bind off and ended with 12 inches to spare. The change in the number of rows and the slight color variation did not appear to affect the design adversely. I would have preferred to knit the edging entirely in dark brick, but my subtle coping strategy [aid off, and the change was hardly noticeable. I will write to Premier Yarns about my experiences to help other knitters/ These yarns are soft and lovely. Stitches line up beautifully. Premier Yarns would do well to manufacture these yarns for purchase as regular skeins for each of the colors in their selection boxes.
This color banded sweater was interesting to knit, and I think the finished garment is attractive. The color sequence is perfect for my granddaughter who walks proudly in her newest sweater. I like the pattern design, and would definitely consider recreating it with my own color choices. To avoid the problem of running out of yarn, I would need new skeins or remnants larger than the 72 yards for each color. The Premier yarns box cost $9.99 in the store and $14.00 online. I used up almost all of the yarn, and there was no waste. If I were to knit the sweater from new selection of yarns, it would probably cost me about $20-$25.00, but I would have a large remnant in each color. I could also use complementary colors for my stash even though they might not be in a gradient layout. If I recreated the sweater, I would make an important change in the button placement. The neckline is narrow, and I placed the buttonholes as directed from the neck border down. I think that the garment would be more comfortable, if I started placing the buttons an inch down from the neckline. With the current placement, I suggested to my daughter and son-in-law that they leave the top button and maybe even the top two buttons open. The sweater is a bit longer than most, and there are 7 buttons that reach halfway down the front. Leaving the top buttons open or making a change in button placement would not affect the look of the sweater.
As I play with sweaters for my granddaughter's second year, I will probably include some crocheted items. However, I will always return to my first true love-knitting.