the suspender sweater

new sweater

What you need to know about the pattern:

The pattern, Suspender Sweater, is from Knit One Knit All (scroll down), the posthumous garter stitch frenzy book by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  I started this sweater over a year ago. Maggie was smaller then, but there were just a few adjustments needed to make it work with her current size without starting from scratch.  The pattern is written as a regular pattern (with regular directions like, “cast on…sts”) but also has all the information necessary to adjust for any gauge and any size. I figured out my gauge using Nature Spun Sport on size US 4 and went from there.

I experienced a lot of trouble with various aspects of this project, none of which were anyone’s fault but my own, I assure you. First I had trouble picking up stitches. Then I misunderstood the meaning of the word “center”. Next I knit the first sleeve too narrow and didn’t admit this until the sleeve was almost fully knit. After that I knit the second sleeve too long, and really there is no excuse for that sort of thing when you have the first sleeve (complete with easy-to-count stripes!) to compare it to. Finally, I had to unsew one of the woven (garter stitch kitchener) side seams and re-do it because apparently the direction in which you do that trick matters.

But from the very beginning of this project I pictured the finished sweater and thank goodness because that is a lot of roadblocks to overcome. I knew this sweater was going to be The Cutest. And finally this morning I saw the results of all that knitting, unknitting, reknitting, ad nauseum. It’s exactly as cute as I hoped it would be.

What you need to know about the pictures:

Maggie likes the sweater much more than she likes modeling the sweater for pictures. I really wish you could have heard the monologue she performed during our 10 minute photo shoot. It was a lot of “Wouldn’t it be good if we went on the tire swing?” and “I’ll be right back, I need to get my bird!” and “Let’s go over here!” and “I’ll put on this bonnet!” until I was exasperated and had to remind her that I was in charge of the pictures and please do what I say!

Maggie did her own styling, including props.

I took a bunch of pictures and a lot of them are posted here. There are even more in the Suspender Sweater set on flickr.

First, a picture of the underarm; the sleeve (top) is a sewn seam and the side (bottom) is the woven garter stitch. Details. They matter.

new sweater

And now the model, my Maggie.

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

One last picture. When I was ripping out the first sleeve Maggie drew me a surprisingly accurate schematic in order to help me get it right the next time. I was sort of blown away.

Maggie's surprisingly accurate schematic of the sweater I knit her.

I got it right, Mag! Finally!

Birthday Girl

Well, Maggie turns SIX today. I’m so excited to have such a sweet six year old girl, but I also can’t stop thinking, “My, how time flies.” The first picture here is Maggie at two days old.

Day Two

First Birthday (in her Pea Pod Baby sweater…I no longer have the pattern, so please don’t ask.):

Maggie's first birthday

Second Birthday:

two.

Near her Third Birthday (I Heart You sweater) (wtf why can’t I find actual birthday party pictures?):

i heart you

The day she turned Four:

birthday girl

Fifth Birthday:

Five!

And yesterday, at her 6th Birthday Party:

Maggie's Sixth Birthday

Maggie's Sixth Birthday

She did not get this bike for her birthday. It was the training wheels that were new, and she was beyond excited. There was also a new horn for the bike. We all went out last night to ride her bike for the first time. She was amazing, until she fell off; then she was forlorn.

My favorite picture I took of her yesterday was a knitting-related one. I’ve been meaning to get a picture of this sweater, because every once in a while she puts it on.

Maggie's Sixth Birthday

The sweater is the February Baby Sweater that I knit for her when she was one. ONE. And it looks better on her now than ever before. Although I do love this picture from April 2007, shortly after her 1st birthday.

February Baby Sweater

It has been fun, if a bit teary, looking back at all these old pictures. But I need to stop so I can get ready to go to her classroom with cupcakes.

Happy Birthday Maggie!

Sand and Snow

This weekend we visited Grandma and Grandpa at the beach. With the sun out it was warm enough to grab the chairs and the sand toys and head to the sand. Our favorite beach is Huntington Beach State Park. It was empty when we arrived, but as the day warmed, more and more people slowly trickled down. At first it was just people walking or walking their dogs. But as the sun got higher more families came out to play like we were doing. I can’t believe these pictures are from Saturday! Feels so long ago already.

Look closely at this first one. Grandpa made Maggie into a mermaid and it was The Best.

Murrells Inlet

Grandma was the best bucket flipper.

Murrells Inlet

Maggie played and played. She loves the beach.

Murrells Inlet

Grandpa was the best paddle-baller (sorry, Grandma!).

Murrells Inlet

But Jerry’s getting better and better.

Murrells Inlet

Warm enough to be barefoot, but cold enough to cover up with the blanket. My Mom and I both had jeans and fleeces on!

Murrells Inlet

So that was Saturday, four hours east of here. We came home Sunday and on Sunday night it snowed! Even just a little bit of snow here usually means school is cancelled! And it was, yay! We went out bright and early on Monday morning because I knew it wouldn’t last very long. I took lots of pictures.

And you know why I took so many pictures (other than avoiding snow balls by having a camera around my neck)? Well, if you’re a knitter you know. These are the days I live for. Children begging for more wool to put on before they go out? Warms my heart. I love how the snow got stuck all over them. LOVE.

Winter Snow

Jerry’s wearing this seamless EZ sweater, knit nearly three years ago.  The sleeves were really long on him then, but that was easy enough to deal with. The fact is, he never wore it. Not even once.  But I asked him to try it on recently and was surprised to find that it fit! It’s not quite wide enough for him since he prefers his shirts loose, but I think it looks awesome. I like a slim fitting sweater on a boy.

Snow Day

Snow Day

The mittens all caked in snow?!?!?! And no complaints of cold fingers!?!?!?! WOOL!

Snow Day

Snow Day

They sled down the hill in the backyard. Straight at the chicken coop. There was clucking.

Snow Day

Snow Day

Snow Day

Oh my gosh. This kills me, the way the snow is caked on her bum.

Snow Day

Maggie was master of the sled. It was hilarious.

Snow Day

Snow Day

Eventually they did get cold. Jerry was on his way inside about five milliseconds after this picture.

Snow Day

But what fun we had! In the sand and in the snow.

What they Wore
(all links to Ravelry)

Jerry: sweater, scarf, mittens, hat
Maggie: sweater, scarf, mittens, hat (and a classic sweater underneath that also fits her better now than when I knit it)

They both had on their SmartWool socks from Santa at Christmas.