Friday, March 16, 2007

Little Sweaters

Making baby and child sweaters is a favorite pastime of mine. My in-laws used to own a store that sold country decor and handmade items, and I used to sell my sweaters there and at a Christmas boutique in a museum. I would make pullovers and cardigans, usually with duplicate stitch designs or lace panels. I found that there was a market for really dressy white and pastel child sweaters, since it is hard to find a nice dressy sweater for special occasions like a confirmation or wedding. They eventually sold the store, and my sister-in-law is working hard to put a similar store online, so maybe the future holds more sweater selling for me. One day a few years ago, I took my little niece to the park, and there was one of my sweaters on a three-year-old blond cutie. It was a white cardigan with a large mama duck on the bottom of one front and a line of her chicks on the other front extending around to the back. I was pleased to see that the sweater, which had to be a few years old, still looked as good as the day I made it. I chatted with the mom and told her that I was the one who made the sweater, and she said it was a favorite of her daughter's, given to her by an aunt, and that it was in and out of the wash several times a week.
This white sweater is only waiting for the finishing and buttons. I like raglan sleeves for kid sweaters because it gives the child extra moving room under the arm and fits over clothes (especially a puffed sleeve) better. This yarn is an acrylic sport weight. The sweater was knitted on the machine, even the lace collar. I knitted the ribbings by hand. I like the way the collar is attached to the ribbing and does not flap around. There is a row of crochet finishing up the edge of the collar. The sweater is a size 6. I usually put a facing on the ribbing for the button band, since it gives the band more substance to hold the buttons. It is important to sew the buttons on extremely well, especially on baby sweaters because you know they will chew them. Even three and four-year-old kids that you thought had gained some sense will turn up with things in their mouth. I will tell how I manage the band in a later post.
It has been about 10 years since we had a baby in the family, but one is due soon, so I get to have fun knitting baby stuff again.

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