Wendy over at Knit & Tonic has a cool pattern for kids called the "Drive-Thru" sweater. The pattern says it's a quick & easy knit- something that's great for kids because they grow so fast. I really liked the intarsia-ish yoke because it's not too girly but still provides some fun color. So I bought the pattern and the yarn and after about a week of knitting, produced this:
(the serious pose)
Started 12/08/06, finished 12/19/06
Pattern: "Drive-Thru" sweater by Wendy at Knit & Tonic, Size 6yrs
Yarn: Swish superwash in Copper, Baby Blue, Capri and Deep Ocean
Needles: Clover dpns for the sleeves and collar, Knitpicks Options circ for the body
My mods: I pretty much followed the pattern as written. It's knit from the waist up, then you knit each sleeve and add them onto the body (leaving a hole at the 'armpit' area that is later mattress stitched together). The colorwork is super easy and the most fun part of the whole sweater. Luckily I know how to knit both Continental and English at the same time, allowing me to knit with one color in each hand so the colorwork went very quickly. But even if you don't know how to knit with two colors, there's only a few rows of color knitting involved so it's not that difficult.
Had a couple of issues with my short rows on the back- I'm never good at short row-ing on the purlside of a garment. There were some pretty ugly holes that I was convinced I'd have to duplicate stitch over, but somehow they disappeared when the whole thing was washed. Yay!
The only difficulty I really had was binding off loosely enough for the sweater to fit over Little Man's enormous noggin. My first try at binding off (done with a needle two sizes bigger than the one called for) was way too tight. So I tried again with an even bigger needles and leaving lots of yarn with each cast off stitch. That seemed to work and it fit snuggly over LM's head. I went ahead and washed the sweater last night. Then, when I tried to get it on LM this morning for the photos, it wouldn't come anywhere close to fitting. Evidently it had shrunk a bit in the wash. While he was away at school, I picked out the cast off edge (and noted that Swish, even tho it's superwash, still felted a bit at the CO...it was quite a chore to pick out) and cast off a third time with the lace castoff. This gave me a very stretchy bind off and it fit with no problems over my small man's huge blockhead (he takes after me in the big-headedness dept.). Wendy's pattern does say that one should bind off "very loosely"....and she means it!
All in all, a great pattern and I'm already working on a second sweater for Monkey Boy in different colors. The Swish yarn is great- I love that it's superwash. It's quite soft and it hasn't pilled or fuzzed after two washes (I partially machine dried the sweater then laid it out to dry completely). Little Man says he really likes wearing it, too. It's "soft, not itchy":