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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Olivia’s Birthday Cardi, take 2

This child is destined to become a knitter, don’t you think?

Knitting sweaters for kids is tricky. Ideally you want the garment to fit them for more than one winter, but you don’t want to knit too big a size either.

I wanted to make a cardigan for my niece’s third birthday, decided on a pattern–Alice Starmore’s Secret Garden–and got halfway through knitting the 4/5-year-old size before I realized that, lovely as it is, it would truly look like a big purple sack on her. But if I’d knit the 2/3-year-old size, it would have been quite a bit of work for something she won’t fit into this time next year. So I decided to finish the Secret Garden cardi for her fourth birthday, and knit her something quick in time for her party.

Which leads me to the other tricky thing about knitting for kids: there aren’t enough patterns out there! I guess I’m just used to having tons of choices when knitting for myself or another adult. I had it in my head that she’d like a top-down garter-yoke cardigan (she’s very fashionable, for a toddler), but I couldn’t find anything to suit the yarn I had in my stash. So I winged it.

It’s basically a downsized version of Melissa LaBarre’s Garter Yoke Cardigan from Knitscene Fall ’08, although I substituted the short-row instructions from the Sweetheart Cardigan by Laura Brown. I’d originally bought this Knit Picks Swish DK to make me some witches’ britches, but I can always buy more when I eventually get around to knitting them. Or not, because the quality of this yarn is ridiculous–at several points it frayed to a hair’s thickness, and I had to cut the yarn and start the ball again from the beginning of the row. (I’ve used Swish Worsted on several projects, and I like it, so I don’t know what the deal is with the DK.)

I used buttons from my grandparents’ tin–not the cutest option, but cute enough given that I had the right number. I have a half dozen heart-shaped buttons, but I’d rather save them for a project where I can use all six.

(Olivia’s birthday was back in November, but I only got a chance to snap some photos just before Christmas, and when I went to Ireland and England I left my camera cable at home.)

Raveled here.

2 Comments to Olivia’s Birthday Cardi, take 2

  1. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    January 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Yes, she is my favorite "little person". She will be a knitter I'm sure. I love the picture with Kate's troll, or as Olivia says "the orange boy."

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    January 27, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    She's so cute! I can't take it! Let's eat her for dinner tonight! … Maybe I've gone too far …

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.