In Progress: Design and Knit a Little Girl’s Sweater

Today, I’m starting a sweater for my Goddaughter and thought it would be interesting to detail the design and construction steps as they proceed. The design process is not necessarily as straight forward as design and then knit; the designing goes along with the knitting to some degree. Sometimes it goes along with the unknitting (or frogging, as we like to call it) as well!

I promised her a pink sweater with flowers, so the color and design theme is set. Then, I found some Wool Ease, great for kids and moms because it is machine washable, in the local store. It is Rose Heather, a very soft muted rose that is not as babyish as the candy pinks, but still good for a little girl.

Since I knit better and faster in the round, this sweater will be constructed that way even though it will ultimately be a cardigan. To that end, I’ll sew and cut the front then finish with the borders. The yoke and shoulders will be raglan style simply because I think it looks neater and more tailored than the round yoke style.

The body will be basic stockinette stitch so I can go ahead and get started without having to work through stitch patterns or consider too many finishing details. The edges will be worked on at the end along with the cardigan borders and will likely be crochet of some type. That leaves me free to work all that out as I knit. This little sweater will really be designed as it progresses.

Sizing is next but since all I know for now is her general size and that she is tall for her age, I’ll just use standard size charts to get started. From those charts, I know that the chest measurement is about 23 inches and the ease to add for a loose-fitting garment is 4 to 6 inches. So, the sweater will be 28 inches around.

We’ll be seeing her and her parents this weekend and that will give me a much better idea of the proportions. That will enable me to develop the sizing in more detail in the next post as well as have a sketch of the design idea.

Knitting in the Round – How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways…..
Actually there are only two. No purling and minimal finishing. It is really that simple.

Because I knit Continental style, knitting is a breeze – fast and easy – but purling is more complicated. So, circular knitting = no purling back across an interminable row.

Just because I don’t like to work thousands of purl stitches across a row, doesn’t mean that I don’t use purl stitches. Some of my favorite stitch patterns are combinations of knit and purl. That’s right – textured and ribbed patterns knit in the round. As long as the pattern has a nice rhythm and is easily memorized, it is much more enjoyable than plain knitting. Lace patterns fall into that group as well.

As for the other reason for my love, I have been known to go to great lengths in the planning stages of a design to ensure as little sewing up as possible. Mostly because I like to be done when I’m done and also because an item finished with that kind of thought seems more of a piece – more whole, I guess.

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