Thursday, October 06, 2016

extending a sweater's life

Maybe two? years ago, I made this sweater.  I can't seem to find a record of it on the blog, but I combined two relatively inexpensive wool/wool blend yarns (Patons Classic Wool/Merino Worsted and Patons Kroy Sock yarn) and made this sweater.  It has never fit either twin perfectly,  it's been too long in the sleeves or the body or both...but it has been worn a lot and well-loved.  This morning, it was just above freezing and definitely a sweater moment.  Sadly, it is now too short in the torso...but in the make do and mend way/the Slow Fashion October way...there is hope.

Someone recently asked how I make these, and here's a snippet of my response.
As for the boy sweaters, I have gotten to the point where I take their measurements and knit in the Icelandic way: body in the round, two sleeves in the round, join at the yoke, etc. I followed a pattern or two when they were smaller but found that there was just no rhyme or reason to sweater sizing for little kids. Inevitably, some part of the sweater would be vastly too long or too wide. (my guys are small for age five) And, my twins are fraternal, and one has a very small chest measurement and the other has a broad one. So, at this point, I make my own bottom up, in the round pattern every time. (and I see no point in publishing it, as every kid is a different size, sizing is all over the place, etc.)

These days, they prefer henleys to v-necks, and will take a regular pullover with a round neck if it is offered.  They do like cardigans but are still struggling to do zippers or buttons on their own, so I prefer pullovers as they save time and promote independence.

Anyhow, the smaller chested twin is still definitely the right size for this sweater in the arms and chest.  However, it is maybe 3-4 inches shorter than we would like it to be.  I will cut off the ribbing, pick up the stitches at the bottom of the sweater, right above the ribbing, and knit down a couple of inches in stockinette, and then add more ribbing.

The sweater is worn and the yarn looks new--people may be able to tell it is an addition.  So what?  My child will be wearing a warm, handmade, wool sweater this winter.  Again.  

I am in the planning stages for two new sweaters.  Every winter, I try to make two new sweaters, one for each twin.  Each kid gets to choose his own colors and styles--within reason--and I'm just about to cast on for the first one.  Sometimes the sweaters get rotated among twins, and whatever I planned ends up on the other kid.  It's all good.  In the meanwhile, this is a quick fix that reuses and values my work.  I'm all in favor, and my kid is thrilled he will wear this beloved sweater for one more season.

This is, at essence, what it means to me to embrace a more sustainable takes time, but it saves time and money, too.  It's worth it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this! So glad your kids appreciate your handknits. I, too, have begun to move to iron-on patches for my husband's clothing, which all ends up being "work" related in the end.

October 25, 2016 at 6:00 AM  

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