The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Olearia by Georgie Hallam.
Size: six years.
Yarn: Noro Yuzen (56 per cent wool, 34 per cent silk, 10 per cent mohair) in colourway 3; 5 skeins.
Needles: 3.75, 4 and 4.5mm.
Start to finish: 16 to 28 February 2011 - that's stellar performance for me and explains why I blinked and missed mentioning it before! This was just so easy and a joy to knit, I even managed to read in the plain stocking stitch portions which was very satisfying.
Stash/recycle content: Yes, this yarn was in my stash. I bought it last September I think at Little Knits here in Seattle with the intention of knitting something for miss bear. I loved the yarn so much though and the resulting fabric that I just want to stock up on more of it for something for me.
Comments: This a great design because there are so many different ways that you can knit it: as a shrug, as a cardigan, all ruched or partly ruched, cap or short or long sleeves, a gathered cuff or a garter stitch cuff. Fabulous! I did elbow-length ruched sleeves on a long cardigan, working in stocking stitch after the basic bodice was completed.
A few modifications: I worked a Vogue single-row buttonhole across two stitches instead of doing a yo k2tog which I don't like at all. I also worked less ruching in that, instead of knitting kfb in each stitch on the increase row, I kfb on only every other stitch (and decreased accordingly). I did this because I think that the yarn that I used has a bit less drape than those suggested and I didn't want it to look corrugated.
This was the first time I have used Noro Yuzen (in fact, when I bought it was the first time I encountered it). I'm not sure if it is the cold here at the moment or the rustic texture of the yarn (or a combination thereof) but my fingers got really chafed knitting this garment. All worth it though because I love the texture, the colourway (reminds me of water lilies), the colour transitions. I want to make something out of it for for myself (and it has been discontinued, so must grab it while I can).
This was also my first knitted top-down garment (I think). The rows get quite long quite soon but all of a sudden you are up to the armholes. It was also a great choice for using up as much of the yarn on hand that I could (I used five of my six balls).
Finally, the buttons. I spent ages deliberating over the buttons at Nancy's Sewing Basket. There were so many choices but I was aware that this was a rather sophisticated yarn choice for a four-year old and that I needed to keep it whimsical. Finally, I looked at the children's buttons and there they were - irregularly shaped resin buttons in three perfect colours.
Verdict: Love love love - the design, the yarn, the finished product. I am so happy with this and my daughter looks adorable in it. I perhaps didn't do such a great job with the buttonholes, they're a bit fiddly to get the button through, but I'm hopeful that a couple of times opened and closed will loosen them up. The buttonhole band may also need to be stabilised at some point with a ribbon lining, I'll keep an eye on it.
I'm not much of one for knitting a pattern over and over again, but if I were to, this would be it. I would love to make a completely ruched shrug and experiment with the different long sleeves. The design is sized up to an eight so there may be time yet.