Thank you all for the lovely comments and support the other day. The concert went well and Julia didn't need any help getting up the stairs. There were a lot of tears before the concert and I think she was more anxious than I had ever dreamed possible. As Julia's aide Jackie said to me the other day, "It's hard to know what is swirling around in her mind." So now on to easier things ---- knitting!
Sometimes I just like to knit simple. I'm sure you all feel that need - maybe even more than I do. Although I am known as a designer who creates colorful and sometimes intricate patterns for magazines and books, there are days when all I want to knit is garter stitch! There are many times when life is so complicated that picking up a piece of complex knitting is the last thing I want to do. Thank goodness, I always have a few projects going myself, something difficult and usually something unbelievably easy that I can knit in the dark in the movie theatre. (Do you knit in the movie theatre? Much to the chagrin of my family, I do. I'm forever fumbling in the dark looking for the ball of yarn that starts rolling down the slope under other's seats! Ugh!)
Even if a sweater is basically simple to make, there is no reason that it can't have a little style to it, some frivolity that makes it fun to make. If I'm going to spend hours and hours on a project, I want it to be a project that stops traffic. I want it to look handmade and sophisticated, all in one fell swoop.
Last year, I started this pullover for Julia. She's been growing so fast that none of her handknit sweaters fit her. I knew I needed to make something loose and cosy and pink for her. With kids of her age (11), you really don't know what size they will be the following year, do you? Julia is still prone to really liking her handknits that her mom and our friend Cathy make her, thank goodness. What will I do when that stops? Oh, I guess I will adapt and knit for someone else!
So here you go - Julia's favorite sweater and matching cap of the winter and the only handknit that fits her at the moment! (She has sadly outgrown the beautiful "Best Friends Pullover" that she wore in my new book Color by Kristin). She has named it her Cozy Pullover and I agree. Looking at her dressed in the simple garter stitch in a lovely combination of Blue Thyme, Magenta, and Espresso Julia Yarn really makes me feel cozy too.
This is a project that a beginner can make. Both the cozy cap and pullover is knit entirely in garter stitch. If you like the projects you see on my blog and in my books but just aren't ready for Fair Isle Knitting, this sweater may be the project for you. For fun, I added some crocheted and embroidered flowers to the pullover yoke to make the design girly. It could just as easily be knit for a boy, just leave off the flowers. The cozy cap has a fun pom pom topping it off.
I've sized this design for toddlers to pre-teens. There are many variations I can imagine you could make to it:
•knit it in one color
•knit it totally in a two color garter stripe
•knit it in a mish mash of different colored stripes - sort of like a scrap afghan.
The basic premise is an easy to knit, easy to wear sweater made in comfy, warm wooly worsted weight yarn. You can find the pattern as a PDF download on my shop page. To learn more about the pattern, see my Julia Yarn page.
I know this isn't the most opportune time of year to be introducing a new pattern but it was finished! It is hard to hold back my excitement when a pattern is finally photographed, put into Illustrator, Indesign and tech-edited and up-loaded to my website. But then I also know that everyone is probably done (or almost done) with their gift knitting and you all are looking for a new project to knit at the new year! Or you could make the cozy cap over the weekend and give an IOU on the sweater!
Julia is for sure!