Thursday, April 12, 2007
I started the Lillelam sweater awhile ago, from the Dale of Norway Soft Treasures for Little Ones. I really wanted to finish it by Easter, and in the end (even hopped up on steroids) had to make a vest of it. The bad news is that a sweater with dropped sleeves doesn't fit quite right as a vest. The good news is that I made the largest size (24 months) so I have until next year to knit the sleeves and the coordinating fair isle pants and by then it should either fit Jackson properly or be entirely too small. And honestly, not to be too biased, my cute little guy can pull of just about any outfit.
I did make some changes to the pattern (besides omitting sleeves). I knit in the round and so made some adjustments to the # of stitches. I found this much more desirable than purling with two colors on US2 needles. It may have been lazy, but I can promise that this sweater would never have gotten past the acres of lattice stitch if it weren't all knitting. Never mind that whole fence. Since I was knitting in the round, I couldn't do the intarsia for the sheep. No worries, I just did him in duplicate stitch. That change did make the second layer of embroidery, the fluffy loop stitch, a bit more challenging, but in the end it worked perfectly. I also modified the neck and shoulder area to have a button row, to accommodate Jackson's large head. This added extra time and a trip to Joann's that I could have lived without, especially since my husband pulled the sweater right on over Jackson's head without unbuttoning those buttons. I keep telling myself that he'll need them next year if he really is going to wear it again, even though I know the majority of his head growth has already occurred.
So since I knit this thing in the round, I had to steek for the arm holes. I didn't bother adding any stitches or anything, just took two stitches in either side of each center stitch and outlined them with contrasting color yarn.
I then machine stitched over those contrasting yarns, which now cannot be removed, as they are sewn in. Others might have basted in a single line and sewed along side it, but I am a lousy seamstress and I need those kind of guidelines to not get crooked. My mom stopped by while I was sewing and I said, "Oh good, you can witness my cutting up this vest!" She pretty much screamed in horror, but I made her take pictures anyway.
Once the stitches were cut, I seamed up the shoulders and picked up stitches for the armbands (no need to mention the 2 days I spent trying to figure out a facing) and neckband. The fit wasn't as perfect as I'd have liked, but I think when I get around to those sleeves it will be. And I did learn a lot about embroidery, steeking, and modifying patterns. I loved this project and loved making that fluffy little sheep!