• The Struggle Is Real - Act 1

    The Saga of the Christmas sweaters done in 3 Acts!

    I have been a knitter since 1997!  Over that time I have learned a few things - ok ...  a lot of things about yarn and patterns and needles and gauge and blocking and construction.  I am a knitting champ!

    You know what they say about pride coming before the fall!

    And knitting always takes me down a few pegs
     when I get too full of myself!

    Now that there are two babies in our family, my goal is to keep them outfitted in sweaters.  For this Christmas I thought it would be fun to make them matching sweaters.  Matchy-matchy ... you know!

    First Challenge: Find the knitting pattern

    The execution of that idea was marginally challenging when I tried to find a child's sweater pattern that would work for a boy and a girl.

    In the spring finally found a pattern called Boy's Sweater by Lisa Chemery.  At first look it seems best only for a boy.  Despite the pattern name, looking at other knitters' renditions of the sweater proved that it was perfect for a boy or a girl.

    photo credit: Ravelry.com
    Designer sample.

    Photo credit: Ravelry.com
    Sweater by Unicorn
    Just small changes feminize a boyish pattern by
    another knitter.

    Yea!!  Pattern obtained.  Check!

    Second Challenge: Select a yarn

    This is an easy choice for me.  Since these sweaters are for kids ... acrylic seems like a no-brainer!   But in most of the samples people used wool.  I really feel wool is a poor choice for children under 2:  little people grow through those first few sizes very fast, wool could be an irritant for tender skin, and it takes more effort for the mom to care for wool.  And acrylics today have greatly improved over 20 years ago.  Acrylic it is.  And I have some perfect acrylic in my stash.

    Double Yea!! Yarn choice made without visiting a yarn store.  Check!

    Third Challenge: Choose colors

    While this challenge isn't such a big deal for most people, it is a major hurtle for me.  I am color handicapped! Really.  It is true.

    But the color of the acrylic in my stash seemed perfect for matching sweaters.  Rusty orange for a boy and a sherbet orange for a girl.  Perfect I thought. The colors would work the male and the female.  I started the sweater for the boy - discovered I didn't like the rusty orange color after all or the knitted fabric that resulted.  Something about THIS specific acrylic was cursed.  This was my third effort to use this acrylic yarn in projects over 7 years, and all three attempts were a fail.   I had a small (ok, large) temper tantrum that NOTHING WORKED WITH THIS STUPID YARN.  I don't have a picture of the yarn or the knitting I attempted.  I gave that offending yarn away without giving it a second thought.  Truthfully ... I couldn't get it out of the house fast enough!

    Then I settled on an acrylic yarn that I LOVED while making the crochet Zookeeper's Blanket.  It is the house yarn for Hobby Lobby called Yarn Bee Soft Secret.  It is a luscious yarn for acrylic:  shiny, beautiful colors and so soft.  I had never used it for a garment but it looked perfect.  I berated myself for trying to use stash yarn that was 'cursed' for our babies.  But I didn't have colors that would work.  I went shopping!!

    Here are the two colors I bought for the girl sweater:  Blue Teal and Aqua!  My plan was to use the light color - Aqua - for the body and the darker color - Teal - for the trim like in the second picture above.

    Here are the two colors I bought for the boy's sweater: Denim and Light Denim.  The plan was to insert some sport stripes on the chest and the arms in the contrasting color.

    Aren't these colors wonderful?
      They are so soft - they feel like cashmere!
    They literally shine!
    I could not wait to begin.

    Third Challenge:  Colors picked.  Check!

    Ready to start again. The knitting began!

    Next time ... the fail!

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