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Christmas Sweater

A brief programming note for our faithful 100 readers: I aim to write a few separate posts about my Christmas craft projects this year, if only to spread out the self-congratulatory photo dumps a little longer. So we'll celebrate Christmas on the blog for another week, and starting in the new year I think I'll start a series of posts about being a full-time mom of a toddler. Because, you know, that's ground-breaking blogging right there. But for now, onto the knitting porn!

I give you Harvey's Christmas sweater:

harvey in his new orange sweater

happy to be warm outside

Harvey picked out the yarn for this himself, way back in the summer when we were more mobile and could bike all the way to the Lexington knitting store. That's only to demonstrate how frigging long this sweater took me to knit. With 168 stitches around the middle and 87 around the sleeves, I could have knitted a while adult sweater in the time it took me to make this 2-year-old version. That's due to the small size of the needles (2 and 3 US, respectively) which for some reason didn't give me pause when I picked up the pattern. Although I love the way the tiny stitches look and the amazing elasticity of the ribbing, I'd still prefer a 7 or 9 for future sweaters.

orange sweater side view

steppin out in style

The sweater is knitted almost entirely in the round, which is lovely for the base rows and would be more lovely if more than half the sweater wasn't ribbing. Still, it's a nice technique on principle, though I'm not super keen on the gigantic external seam along the shoulder that's left by casting off two sets of stitches together. I know the point of the round method is to be seamless on the inside, but after working all those tiny sleeve rows on double pointed needles I've decided that I rather like seams in the end. They're handy for hiding your yarn ends, after all. Another point of contention with the pattern: what's that weird neck gusset interrupting the ribbing? Does anybody find that odd? I am told by the now-out-of-print Debbie Bliss pattern that this is a traditional guernsey sweater, but I don't know how many fisherman I've seen walking around with big neck and gussets.... maybe I don't see enough fisherman.

orange sweater back

what Christmas magic lies ahead?

No matter how many curse words go into knitting a sweater, it's always an unspeakable joy when it's finished. When I opened the package for Harvey on Christmas morning he looked at it and said, "ninning?"

"No sweetie, mama's all finished knitting this. It's a sweater now." I held it up for him to see that it was in fact a garment and not something he would get yelled at for touching.

"On?" he said immediately, sticking out his hand.

For the rest of the day he refused to take the thing off, even when it reached 80 degrees next to the fireplace and his cheeks turned apple red. Of course this makes the whole project worth it, all the late-night error-fixing and the times these past two weeks when I let him watch an extra episode of Phineus and Ferb just so that I could get in a few more rows. All that is more than doubly worth it for that one moment of "On?"

harvey watching computer in his orange sweater

I love that boy so much it's stupid


He looks a lot like Dan in that last picture. Great sweater Leah. You are talented.

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