My son has a style all his own. He loves a good hat, and he loves certain colors...especially orange!
Last night,okay, it was really this morning (2 AM) I finished hand-stitching the zipper into the hoodie I have been working on for him. I told him I'd need him to wear it for a photo and he jumped right into model mode.
It takes so much longer to make a sweater for a 9 year-old than it did to whip one up for him when he was smaller. I see the sweaters others have made for their grown sons and wonder how fast they knit! Did you know that all of the sweaters that Mr. Rogers wore were knit for him by his mother? She must have been fast! Or started knitting years in advance!
I know this won't be the last time I collaborate with Little Man to make something for him that he'll love to wear...but it was the first time I feel like we worked together to make it perfect...and I'm happy that he wore it right away!
I combined different design elements to make exactly the sweater Little Man said he wanted. It has a hood, which was pretty easy to do. After the body was knit from the top down I picked up stitches around the collar and knit up for the hood. I then seamed the top together with the kitchener stitch so the seam would be invisible.
The sleeves were picked up from stitches that were placed on hold while I knit the body. There were a couple of tricky things I encountered with the sleeves. First, I wanted the stripes to line up with the stripes from the main body of the sweater. That I was able to do by paying attention as I knit. The second part required Little Man to constantly try on the sleeve to ensure a proper fit. He wanted fingerless glove cuffs. In order to achieve the affect (which I didn't have instructions for) I knit in rib stitch, going down in needle size, and knit until I reached the base of his thumb. I then cast-off five stitches (the width of his thumb) on the next round, and then on the round after that I cast back-on four stitches (taking into account that his hand circumference was a tiny bit smaller at this point. Because I wanted a snug fit I had him try on the sweater often during this process. For the 2nd sleeve I followed the same steps and didn't have to have him try it on as much. I did need him to try it on just to get the placement for the thumb opening. If he doesn't want to wear the fingerless gloves he can turn the cuffs up too.
The fingerless glove cuffs required carefully thinking through how I wanted to accomplish them. But the zipper...oh the zipper...that took hours of hand-sewing. I saw online a tip to use blocking wires along both edges of the sweater where the zipper would be placed to keep the fabric straight to prevent puckered fabric...and I do think that helped though it was awkward to sit with the sweater on my lap with the blocking wires in it. I had a wire right at the edge, and then another one about 3/4 of an inch in where the edge of the zipper was. So in total I used 4 blocking wires at once. Tricky! Each zipper half required 2 rows of stitches too..and I had to use smaller pieces of thread as I had issues with knots and tangles when I tried to use longer thread. I think it was the last row of stitching that I got into a groove........of course....when I was almost done!
I used some new techniques and Little Man has a custom sweater created together...a win-win project!!