Tell all the stars above

Pattern: Drive-Thru by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted (75% acrylic, 25% wool)
Needles: U.S 7 and 8 Harmony wood circular (32″ and 60″)
Size: 6

One day last November while I was working on my FLS, Cady Gray, as she often does, asked me what I was knitting. “It’s a sweater,” I told her. And then, the inevitable next question, accompanied by hopeful doe eyes: “Is it for me?”

I promised I’d make her a sweater the very next thing, and I knew just which one: Wendy Bernard’s “Quicko-Cheapo.” It’s a simple bottom-up raglan, cardigan or pullover, with one main color and yoke stripes that use very little of three other colors.

And I knew just which yarn I would choose: Plymouth Encore, a workhorse wool-acrylic blend that comes in hundreds of colors. I had been swayed by a Ravelry thread singing the praises of Encore for items that need washability and a wide color choice. (Wouldn’t you know it that just as I was finishing the sweater, this thread about how much people hate Encore was going strong. That’s the way it is with Ravelry.)

I let Cady Gray pick out her own colors (with a little push from me into the brighter shades of her favorite “rainbow” hues). I ordered from Webs. But when the yarn came, Christmas knitting was in full swing. And then job number one after Christmas was completing the FLS. But I knew that the first project I wanted to cast on for 2009 was CG’s Drive-Thru, and on January 3, I did.

The knit could not have been more straightforward. And after weeks of lace and fiddly little gifts and finishing, the stockingette on the body — 9.5 wonderful inches of it — was so relaxing. And the bright blue color was delightful to watch emerging as a fabric. Before I knew it, I was putting the body on hold for the sleeves, which knit up quick as a wink Magic Loop style. After joining them to the body, I continued to Magic Loop it while going around the sleeves for several rounds; I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have that trick

Just when the stockingette and the blue start to get old, it’s time for the stripes. The pattern suggests spacing the decrease rounds so that they occur on a solid color row (instead of the transition rows when you’re stranding two colors), and I heartily concur — in fact, I can’t figure out how you’d do it any other way.

I decided on a bunch of little buttons rather than fewer bigger ones, and that may have been a miscalculation; the buttons are almost too small for the buttonholes. In a pinch I guess I could sew up the holes to make them a bit snugger, but I don’t think it will be necessary.

Cady Gray loves it. I convinced her to save it to wear tomorrow to the first day back at school, but it was a tough sell — she had no interest in taking it off after I presented it to her this morning. A complete success both in her eyes, and in mine. She wanted a sweater of her own in all the colors of the rainbow, and I wanted a sweater that had all the simplicity and brightness of my little girl. I hope she’ll wear it and love it until it falls apart.

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9 Comments on “Tell all the stars above”

  1. Doc Thelma Says:

    it’s gorgeous! CG looks much more like you with her hair short and the yoked sweater reminds me of our Leader-clad adolescence. Get her some Dickies and a button-down and some penny loafers and she’ll be ready to go!

  2. maureen Says:

    I love it!! I need to learn this Magic Loop technique. It sounds lovely.

  3. jinniver Says:

    Awwwwww…beautiful sweater, beautiful story, and beautiful little girl.

    I think that might be another one for my queue for my girl someday!

  4. Amanda Says:

    Those colors are very Rainbow Brite. I love it!

  5. Lisa Says:

    Cady Gray looks very happy with her sweater and it is perfect for her! Lucky girl to have a knittin’ mom.

  6. Very cute. How long before CG asks you to teach her to knit?

  7. Donna B. Says:

    Oh, it’s already happened. But the smart money says that kids don’t have the fine motor dexterity until age 7 or so. So I keep trying to put her off, with waning success.

  8. maureen Says:

    You could always let her try finger knitting. Chances are she’ll get bored or frustrated with it quickly, but it is probably easier than knitting with needles.

  9. maureen Says:

    I meant to also say that it’s possible that she will have a natural inclination towards it, and might be ready before age 7. After all, her mom learned to knit and suddenly turned into a master knitter in the time it takes some people to knit one scarf. ; )

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