Monday, November 12, 2012

Ma Petite

We had a beautiful weekend here, perfect weather for a photo shoot, but unfortunately I had an unwilling model. I still hope to get some decent shots of this sweater, but for now I hope you'll bear with me and these substandard indoor shots of Rainbow and her new cardigan.

Pattern: Hiro Petite by Julia Farwell-Clay, size 4
Yarn: Berroco Vintage worsted (50% acrylic, 40% wool, 10% nylon) in Pansy (~1.75 skeins), Pool Party (~0.5 skeins), and Banana (~0.25 skeins)
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm) Addi Turbo 32" circs
Started/Completed: October 23/November 4
Mods: added a steek to the yoke; worked collar and button bands in seed stitch

This sweater was entirely planned by Rainbow. She picked the pattern and the yarn (from a couple of choices). I knew going in, of course, that the main color would be purple, as most of her sweaters must be these days, be I think she did an excellent job of selecting the contrast colors.

For the most part, this was a fun knit. I'm so used to working with small needles and skinny yarn that working worsted on size 7s was incredibly fast (even considering I had to frog back several inches on the body when I discovered a mistake made while knitting while overtired). This pattern is knit from the bottom up, starting with the body, which is knit flat. The sleeves are knit in the round up to the underarm, and then the sleeves and body are joined on one needle to work the yoke. The yoke is where I made my one major modification, and that was to add a 10-stitch steek at the front. I have never tried doing stranded colorwork flat, and I didn't want this to be my first attempt at it, so I added the steek in order to knit the whole stranded portion in the round. This worked fairly well, in my opinion, though if you look closely at the last few colorwork rows (where there were lots of decreases), you can see that my tension isn't as even as it could be.

As I detailed in a previous post, I used my sewing machine to secure the steeks and then whipstitched the facings to the inside. Here again, if you look really closely, you can see that one side of the cardigan is a bit lumpy because I didn't do this as neatly as I could, but I'm not sweating it -- and Rainbow certainly isn't, so if she's happy, I'm happy.

She had to try it on before I wove in the ends!
My other major modification was to do the neckband and button bands in seed stitch, rather than garter stitch as called for in the pattern. I found this instruction to be a little odd given that the sleeve cuffs and bottom hem are in seed stitch and the pictures in the pattern show these areas in seed stitch, too; I was in touch with the designer, and she said her tech editor had recommended garter due to something about rate of picking up stitches. I find that my seed stitch lies pretty flat and even, pretty much like garter, and I wanted everything to match. I did not do intarsia for my button bands, though, so they're all in the solid main color. It would have been nice for the bands to match the dominant color in each section, but I didn't want to deal with any more ends to weave in.

Rainbow picked out the buttons from my grab bag collection; they're a plain pale blue that's pretty translucent, so they pick up the purple nicely.

I think if I had knit this for me, I would not be 100% pleased with how it came out, but I didn't knit it for me. Rainbow was so excited to wear it once it was all sewn up and dry from its blocking that her preschool teachers told us she didn't want to take it off all day. I predict it will get a lot of wear this winter, and it's roomy enough that she may be able to get another season's wear out of it as well.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the pattern. It was pretty easy to follow and the charts were easy to read, which is always a plus in my book. If you're going to knit this, you should be aware that there's a typo in the instructions for working seed stitch flat over an even number of stitches; it should read (p1, k1) across for even/wrong side rows. I've been in touch with the designer and I expect she'll fix it and update the pattern at some point.

I think this last photo sums up this project quite well:


  1. Beautiful cardigan, beautiful child!

  2. Super cute! I can't believe how big Rainbow has gotten and I never realized she's so blond! Just adorable.

    The sweater is lovely. I find it so fulfilling when my kids get their handknits and just never want to take them off! My son (18m) is obsessed with his handknits and will fight and cry if you try to take them off him.

  3. I think the sweater is just adorable, and it's obvious that Rainbow is totally in love with it. How wonderful it is to have someone to knit for who is so appreciative.

  4. Agh! It turned out so, so cute. Great color choices!