October Sweater

Once upon a time, I was showing a little cotton sweater I had knit to someone I didn’t really know at all. She was a knitter and so she immediately flipped the sweater inside out to examine it’s bowels. Of course I didn’t mind because I would have done the same thing. Upon close inspection she felt propelled to exclaim, “Oh, you must never start a new ball in the middle of the row! You must always join a new thread at the beginning of the row!”

I never did get a citation from the Knitting Police.

But I actually think of that conversation a lot. There are rules in knitting, but are we seriously supposed to follow them all the time? I’m sure there are many finished knits I have shown you on this very blog that have minor or major indiscretions that I just failed to mention. Perhaps because they weren’t a big deal or maybe because I was too embarrassed to fess up. But does it matter? Does it matter if we join a new ball of yarn in the middle of a row on a cotton sweater if the sweater is absolutely adorable? Doesn’t matter to me.

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because I have finished the October Sweater for Maggie.

October Sweater

Looks like a cardigan. Smells like a cardigan. But is it a cardigan?

When I finished it and put it on Maggie for her photo shoot, there was one small problem.

This is not good.

That darn button wouldn’t stay closed. The picot button band is two layers thick, the buttons are small, and I really didn’t want to do any major sweater surgery. I also really love the buttons and the button/sweater proportions. I didn’t want to go to bigger buttons. So I sewed the button band closed, turning my little cardi into a faux-cardi pullover.

October Sweater

I left the top button open because otherwise Mag’s head would probably not fit through.

October Sweater

A little bit of a fudge, which may have been solved differently by someone following a set of knitting rules other than my own, leaves me with a sweater that I adore. And that my baby can’t easily get out of.

October Sweater

As promised, the details.

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Seamless Yoke Sweater, from two sources: I used her suggestion from Knitting Without Tears to omit the sleeve increases for a child, and I used the adjusted yoke decreases (updated by Meg Swansen) from The Opinionated Knitter. The sleeves were knit in the round to the underarm and the body was knit back and forth. Then when I joined it all together I continued knitting back and forth.

Yarn: Cascade 220. Color 8013. Less than 2 skeins.

Gauge: On US 7’s, about 5 sts/inch.

Cloverleaf Eyelet: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (the first one) by Barbara G. Walker, p. 169. This pattern is a multiple of 8 plus 7, so I calculated my number of cast on stitches accordingly for both body and sleeves.

Picot: I am not sure exactly why I know how to do a picot edge, but there’s really nothing to it. I cast on and knit a few rows, then *YO, k2tog* on a right side row. That’s it. On the bottom hem and sleeve hems, I attached it as I was knitting by catching a stitch from the cast on and knitting it together with a live stitch. Sorta like a three-needle join although I didn’t actually use a third needle. On the collar and button band I sewed the hem down by hand.

October Sweater

If I make Maggie another yoke sweater I will space out my yoke decreases more. Next time I’ll start the first decrease about halfway up the yoke (which is what you’re supposed to do, I just had a lapse) instead of 2/3 of the way.

See? Little indiscretions. Doesn’t bother me.

Lastly, my favorite picture.

October Sweater

She’s growing up so fast! Whaaaaa!

(I am going to the workshop on Sat. It’s actually the Brandon Mably Color Workshop. I’ve been told to knit a 10″x10″ swatch using my favorite colors. Yea! Time to dig into the yarn bins!)

35 thoughts on “October Sweater

  1. Oh! In that last photo it looks like she’s snapping her fingers. What a cutie. And the sweater–what an ingenious solution! seriously. It’s adorable. I love the color.

  2. Oh you lucky girl you getting to see Brandon Mably. I like quite a few of his designs. I love the cardigan/sweater. I used to join my yarn in the middle of a row too, but now I always make sure I have enough to finish the row and start again at the beginning of the row. I just feel better knowing that the join is hidden in the seaming I suppose. I quite like the cardigan that way, and she wont get a chill now that it wont pop open. I thought that problem only happened to large chested women like myself.

  3. Nobody would ever know that it is a faux cardigan. I love it!

    Pishaw! I start a new yarn mid-row all the time. Then I weave in my ends the way the yarn is knitted and everyone tells me it looks invisible so there! Do what you want.

  4. If you can’t join in the middle of a row, how do you join on a circular sweater?!

    I love how you’ve gone so far from my pre-conceptions of a yoke sweater. My thoughts went straight to color-patterend yoke and ribbed cuffs. I love the loose sleeves, plain yoke, lace edging and picot details. The brown is a wonderful color for Maggie. Beautiful work.

    Oh, and her hair in that last picture is wonderful.

  5. Oh boo to the knitting police! Rules are good, but it’s also good to know when we can bend the rules! No fun in fretting about rules. That cardi/sweater looks so adorable! Very pretty. The cloverleaf eyelets are a great touch.

  6. Each thing I’ve knit has at least one small “mistake”…
    But I don’t care ! Who notice ? Especially when it’s weared by a runnig and jumping toddler…

    It’s very smart to transform your cardi in a sweater, and the result is great looking !

  7. I think EZ was definitely opposed to the idea of RULES…that’s why she was so creative and we all follow her example. She opened my eyes to what fun knitting could be if I threw away the patterns that demanded I read the instructions for knitting row by row and allowed myself to plan the sweater myself. Your sweater and your little one are both adorable.

  8. OK, first off, that “cardigan” is adorable. Very nice work.

    Second, re: Knitting Police? WHAT. EVER. In most cases I’m too cheap to waste even a few inches of yarn by joining anywhere other than exactly where I run out.

  9. i adore watching your little strawberry blonde mags from afar in her knitted garments. always with an edge in the sense of style. i think it is good to start with a new ball of yarn in the middle of everything and knit one stitch with one strand from the old ball and one from the new. my knitting tends to be a little more saggy at the beginning and end of the needle. and when knitting in the round there is no reason to bother. happy birthday, again.

  10. excellent idea. i just finished a cardigan and let my 4 year old choose the buttons. she chose 6 crazy buttons and none of them stay closed. i think i’ll sew it shut. thanks!

  11. Oh, wow, I love that sweater. It is so darling on her. And she does seem to have suddenly grown up so much. What a charmer. Brava on a fab sweater and a great solution to the button problem.

    Hope you had a happy birthday today!

  12. What a beautiful little girl in an exquisite little fall sweater! I think that sewing down the buttons was a perfect idea… perfect! I might have to do that to a couple of my sweaters… :-)

    I also adore the picot edging… how sweet.

  13. Peggy above had a good point about if you can’t add a new yarn in the middle of a row, how do you add a new ball in a circular sweater? I add yarn in the middle of a row all the time, why waste the yarn by leaving a long tail at the beginning? Another trick–as long as it’s wool-is to spit splice the yarn and then no one ever knows you added a ball in the “wrong” place. The sweater is adorable and I’m sure EZ would admire your adventiveness! I just love seeing all the cute stuff you knit for your kids!

  14. What a lovely sweater! The color is wonderful–I just saw several boutique clothing items for little girls in that shade of brown. However, your wonderful knitting is outshone completely by that beautiful little girl; she’s adorable. Enjoy her!

  15. Your little girl is so sweet– and that cardi/jumper looks adorable on her. And I join anywhere I please– especially after reading EZ’s comments in _Knitting Without Tears_ re: just knitting the two strings together for a few stitches. And Barbara Walker says there’s no reason NOT to knot if you want to. If these two ladies can break the rules, then I don’t see how they could possibly be very good rules to begin with!

  16. Adorable faux cardi! Your work is stunning, and I think you handled the tummy/button/band issue in an elegant way.

    How many of us have wished to deal with a troublesome blouse in just the same way? Maggie looks lovely.

  17. My first time here and I must say — both your little girl and her faux cardigan are so wonderfully cute! Sewing up the front is absolutely a brilliant idea! I’ve made a Feb sweater for my 2T, and find myself only using the first button all this while. It’s just so much easier to dress her. And I love that brown too!

    BTW, you’re not alone, I join in the middle of a row too, with wool sometimes I felt the yarn ends tog but other times I just don’t care.

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