Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So Many Ends -- But So Cute!

Technically, this was the last finished object of 2011. I finished weaving in the last end about 30 seconds before the stroke of midnight. Of course, it took me about a week after that to finally sew on the buttons and give it a much-needed blocking. So perhaps this also qualifies as the first finished object of 2012?

Pattern: Snowy Owl Cardigan by Elizabeth Suarez
Yarn: madelinetosh tosh dk (100% merino) in Logwood, a little less than two skeins, with small amounts of Fig (for branch) and Antler (for owl)
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) Addi Turbo circs
Size: 12 months
Started/Completed: December 24/December 31, 2011
Mods: none

I first saw this pattern when it was in testing and somehow managed to find it again when I was looking for it. This sweater is a gift for a baby due in about two weeks; the parents-to-be have been friends of ours for several years and were among the first to come visit us (and bring us dinner!) when Rainbow was born. The mom-to-be's baby shower was entirely in an owl theme, and when she told me that the nursery had been decorated with a big tree and several owls, I knew this sweater would be perfect.

I used the recommended yarn for the sweater but did not quite get gauge; I'd already gone down two needle sizes from what was recommended, and I thought that if I went down another size, the fabric would be way too stiff. So although I made a 12 month size, the finished sweater is probably a bit bigger than that -- in my opinion, that's not necessarily a bad thing in a baby sweater (much better to be too big than too small!). Some extremely kind Ravelers on the madelinetosh board sent me some of their tosh dk leftovers so that I wouldn't have to purchase two full skeins for just a few yards' worth, and as you can see, the colors worked perfectly.

Duplicate-stitched eyes
As to the pattern, perhaps I'm more critical than I used to be now that I write my own, but I thought it could have been a little more clear in a couple of places to make it more accessible to a less-experienced knitter. Intarsia's not really a beginner's technique, though, so maybe it's not an issue. I didn't really have any issues following the pattern, and obviously it results in an adorable sweater. What's more, it's an extremely affordable pattern as pay patterns go, so I definitely think it was worth it. The intarsia portion is very fussy, but it's only about 25-30 rows of the pattern; if you're going to knit this, I'd advise working on the intarsia portion when you have time and space to spread all your knitting out, because you will have to rearrange/untangle your yarn every row. And there are about a million ends to weave in at the end, but that's easily done with a good podcast to listen to or a good TV show or movie to watch.

The final verdict? Definitely a winner. I can't wait to present this to the new parents as soon as the recipient makes her debut. Rainbow has also expressed interest in the sweater, so I may be making her one in the near future. Methinks the vast stash of Cascade 220 I have might be perfect!


  1. IT'S ADORBS!!! You gonna make tiny owls for this lil chica??

  2. Very cute! I'm sure it will be a big hit with the new arrival's parents!

  3. So adorable! I guess owls are the new butterflies! ;)

  4. This is so cute! A friend is expecting a little girl soon and I think this would totally complete her wardrobe. :)