Thursday, 22 May 2008

A Sweater for Big Brother

“I don’t like it. I won’t wear it Mommy”. After spending untold hours patiently and lovingly knitting this dear little sweater for Chi-Chi, these are the first words to come from those sweet lips. Not exactly music to my ears! Like most three year olds, a little convincing and bribery was all that was required to get Chi-Chi to slip on his new threads. Now that he’s got it on and is being praised for being so darn cute, he rather likes it.

Like brother Muffy, Chi-Chi was recently presented with a new addition to his spring wardrobe. An adorable little sweater hand-knit by the Wool Fairy herself. Once again, I tried my hand at dyeing wool and I’m quite tickled with the results. While Muffy’s vibrant green and blue sweater is well suited to his spirited personality, the warm, earthy tones of Chi-Chi’s are an appropriate match for this loving, sensitive and contemplative little guy. Of course, he’s full of spunk and sunshine as well, he’s just a little more subdued. Once again, I used the Easy Peasy Sweater pattern from Little Turtle Knits. I love the cuffs on the sleeves as they provide ample room for future growth, extending the wear life of the sweater.

The sweater knitting process turned out to be a bit of an educational experience for Chi-Chi. One of his favorite reads these days is Licorice and the Brown Sweater by Nova Scotia author Thelma Morris-Fogarty. This endearing tale tells the story of how one little sheep learns what happens to his wool once it is sheared. Though originally afraid to be sheared, he’s pleased to see his beautiful brown wool created into a special sweater for a dear friend. Although we don’t raise sheep (yet), Chi-Chi was with me when I purchased the wool from Gaspereau Valley Fibres. He was thrilled to pet the friendly resident sheep Willie during his visit. He watched me dye his wool and sat by my side during my knitting sessions.

Chi-Chi’s not the only one who learned a valuable lesson during this project. Mommy learned likely one of the most important rules in knitting - make sure you have enough wool to complete a project before diving in. Sure enough, to my dismay and horror, I ran out of yarn well before completion! This can create quite the dilemma, particularly when working with a hand-dyed one of kind skein. There was no recipe to follow as the dyeing process was extremely experimental! I had two options. Pull it out and start over with a different yarn or try to replicate my “one of a kind” dye job. I opted for the latter and the results were actually surprisingly good. Though not a perfect match, I achieved a fairly flawless transition to the new wool. I then did a quick over dye job to help blend everything in.

Chi-Chi and Muffy are quite the pair in these little sweaters!


Gypsy said...

Oh that is such a cute jacket - I bet he is so warm in it! Even if he is being a real boy ... cheeky. Although I'm sure I refused to wear some of my mamas knitting too as a kid.

nurturedmom said...

Oh I TOTALLY refused my mom's handiwork when I was little - I used to duck out of sight and take it all off!

It's beautiful - love the earth tones!

jenny-junebug said...

Hmmm. Based on your comments, maybe I should stick to knitting for myself instead. Kiddie projects are just too darn cute though. Chi-Chi is actually wearing his sweater quite often, now that I've convinced him he's a sheep when he wears it. Thanks for the kind words!