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sweaters

Reed’s Sweater: Locksley by Emily Ringelman

Locksley by Emily Ringelman. Knit by Andrea @ This Knitted Life in Swish Worsted DK (Knit Picks).

One of the many things about having kids is sometimes they make you surprise even yourself. As in, you’re out the door, gracing your back yard with your p.j.-clad presence shortly after 7:00 a.m. to send your son shooting down the normally gently sloped back yard on his sled, laughing as he chants at tremendous volume, Go Super Reed! Go Super Reed!

Whereas normally, you’d be (a) still in bed or, worse case, (b) calming sipping perfectly concocted early grey tea from the warm and dry locale of the living room sofa.

To Reed’s defense, we don’t get snow often where we live, so it is quite exciting and special when so much as a mere inch (2.54 cm) accumulates.

Locksley by Emily Ringelman. Knit by Andrea @ This Knitted Life in Swish Worsted DK (Knit Picks).

I had this pattern (Locksley by Emily Ringelman via Knittin Little) in my queue for more than a year before I finally got around to it. This is the first sweater I have knit for Reed (bad mom!) and my first venture into colorwork (brave mom!).  After a month of solid knitting, I was well on track for a Christmas sweater to gift my darling child who still kicks me all night long (we often still sleep together), demonstrates highly selective hearing anytime I ask him to do anything that doesn’t involve receiving a yummy treat, and throws fits every time I utter the word “no.”

Kids. Gotta love ’em.

I chose to knit up the Size 6, which seemed to be working out perfectly. I had a hunch the sweater would be big enough for room to grow but not too big to be unwearable. This required purchasing 8 skeins of Knit Picks Swish Worsted at around $35*  (plus the two skeins of random sock yarn needed to bring the total up to $50 to qualify for free shipping). (And I had enough yarn left to knit up a corresponding hat! Stay posted for future pom pom, forthcoming shortly!!!)

Like I said, everything was going perfectly.

Until I ran into one glitch.

Because there is always a glitch.

I hit sleeve #2 (fully engrossed in a horrible case of Second Sleeve Syndrome) and ran out of the main color. I wasn’t even close to finishing the sweater.

Problem.

Now, I will admit I didn’t keep particularly close track of my yarn for this project. It went places with me. It made various appearances for photo shoots and such. It was stored in the hall closet which is about half as organized as an over-cluttered Good Will.

I had a Strong Hunch I had indeed bought enough yarn but couldn’t seem to FIND my last skein.

I think.

I asked Reed if he had it, because he has an odd little habit of taking things he deems might be IMPORTANT to you and storing them in odd places. Like his backpack.

Except, thanks to the generosity of three sets of grandparents, he now has not one but THREE backpacks, each well stocked with various four-year-old necessities.

So I did what any wise mom would do: I searched all three backpacks.

No luck.

I scanned the hall closet as best as my anxiety level could tolerate.

No missing skein.

I triple checked my knitting bag and checked on top of the fridge (you never know).

Still nothing.

For all I know, that skein of yarn is rotting somewhere along the side of the road in some remote corner of Humboldt County.

Could happen.

This left me no choice but to order a Replacement Skein,which wouldn’t have been a big deal ($5 or so USD)…except I then felt Completely Compelled to also purchase an additional $65 of yarn** from the Knit Picks site to qualify for free 2-day shipping and meet my Christmas sweater deadline (which I did ultimately achieve!)

Not the most cost-effective choice. But worth it.

Locksley by Emily Ringelman. Knit by Andrea @ This Knitted Life in Swish Worsted DK (Knit Picks).

(If you are noticing that odd strangulation mark under Reed’s chin, it’s not because I lost my temper. I swear. There was a collision between Reed’s head and a piece of furniture during an indoor scooter riding session. Truly.)

I’ve already let go of any expectation of keeping this sweater neat and clean. Reed managed to snag it (big time) in under an hour. I do remove it before meals but otherwise expect it will quickly be covered in odd, sticky substances and quite possibly littered with holes. I can tell the single ply Swish Worsted is going to pill and shed like crazy (it’s barely been worn and is already FUZZY), which may inspire the much needed purchase of a gleaner.

Now that I’ve finished this first sweater, I am itching to knit him a second. They’re just so cute! Send pattern suggestions my way, please!

*I hadn’t knit with Knit Picks yarn before and will admit to feeling a little snooty about it whenever my Knit Picks-loving friend raved about her latest score from the well-priced site. I am pleased to say I quite LOVED the Swish Worsted  and would use it again any day. It was very soft to work with.

**If you’ve done the math here, you will note I somehow managed to spend $120 to knit a $35 sweater. (But I will someday enjoy two pairs of socks a something big and colorful in Swish DK.)

General pattern notes: this was a great pattern! I was able to follow it without mods and didn’t screw up too much. The sweater is knit in the round, bottom up, before separating for the front and back. The collar is knit last by picking up stitches and working some short rows. I was weary about this but followed the instructions and seemed to have survived mostly unscathed. It’s super cute, although I have to remind Reed to “make a fist” with his hands when I pull it on/off so he doesn’t snag the strands in the sleeves (which are numerous.)

I hope to see you over at the Yarn Along this week. I am still reading This Must be The Place and like it…although late night knitting has infringed on page turning. Sigh.

For My Birthday Boy

Dear Reed,

We’re fresh off your birthday weekend. I have to admit I cried a few tears on the morning of your fourth birthday, so amazed at what a Big Boy you’ve so quickly become and a bit saddened to realize there’s only 14 more of these big birthdays before you embark into the world. (I later cried even harder when our friend Betsy noted actually there’s only 12 more because once you’re 16, it’s over.) It seems just yesterday, you were turning three!

You were so excited for your birthday to arrive, likely in anticipation of the insanely large pile of gifts you amassed. I have concluded the addiction to capitalist consumer culture starts early. They really hook ya when you’re young.

For the past few weeks, you have asked each morning: Is my birthday THIS day?  To which we replied: No, but soon!

Just like we promised, you’re birthday did indeed arrive. Eventually. You spent the afternoon bouncing and running and giggling with your favorite buddies, balloons tossed here and there. Pizza foregone. Cake and ice cream consumed in its stead. A plain ol’ good time.

Even though you seem suddenly so old, officially graduated from those toddler years, I am still struck, with a bursting heart, that you are still such a young child. You’ve been gentling placing your favorite stuffies in your new scooter basket, one by one, and giving them rides around the house. So precious. And you have not been to remiss to notice that I have yet to knit more sweaters for your beloved Lion.

Most importantly, you still love to snuggle and are just as sweet (and naughty) as you were when you were three. Thank goodness.

I had hoped to finish this sweater of yours (from the Knittin’ Little collection) by your actual birthday.

Sorry.

Plan B is now to finish by Christmas. So I’ve got a couple weeks to wrap up a shoulder, two sleeves, and a sewn-in shawl collar (why do these patterns always save the tricky bits for last?!?!).

Plan C will be to finish by the final night of Hanukkah, so I’ve got an extra week should I really need it. I’m prepared.

And, worst case, we can start a new tradition. Screw an annual Christmas sweater. How about a New Year’s Sweater instead.

Reed, I am wishing the very, very best of you for this upcoming year. May you play, learn, and grow like any child should–freely and surrounded by love, as I know you are. I wish for you many adventures in nature, fishing in your favorite spots and new ones, hunting for secret pirate treasure in the yard, and camping in the most beautiful of places. I promise to take you to the beach so you can fling sand (try not to fling it AT me, please) and the river so we can swim and delight in the sun once these dratted winter months finally pass.

I promise to read you stories at your beckon call and will try my hardest to be more patient and less snappy. (Mom could use a little vacation…)

May you also become more fond of washing your face and hands and generally breaking that habitat of wiping messes on your clothes (when you choose to wear them) instead of a napkin or towel.

Dirty or clean, I will love you always.

And I will try to knit more sweaters (and scarves) for Lion. Soon.

I love you, Reed.

Happy birthday.

Love,

Your Mama

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