A week or so back I wrote about my poor maths - that is, at the time that I was ready (ah, allowed) to cast on for a new project I was already up to sewing on the buttons. Here it is - Brambling from the Rowan Story Book of Little Knits by Marie Wallin. This is a lovely book (click on the link to see the entire long title) both a story book and a book of knitting patterns.
This was one of those instances where I opened the book, laid eyes on the pattern and just had to knit it. All other knitting plans went out the window.
The vital statistics
Pattern: Brambling by Marie Wallin, size 3 to 4 years.
Yarn: recycled - hooray! This 97% wool, 3% angora yarn started life as a women's jumper which I bought from Vinnie's Boutique (St Vincent de Paul) in Wynyard, Tasmania. It's a really cheap op shop so I can't imagine that it cost much more than $6. (The pattern calls for Rowan All Seasons Cotton.)
Needles: 4.5mm bamboo straights.
Start to finish: 23 March 2008 to sometime in April 2008.
Comments: Again, this is such a lovely jacket. One of the staff at baby bear's child care centre thought that we had bought it on our recent trip to Europe. Ah, glowing mummy. So yes, this was knit for baby bear. Obviously I substituted for the yarn (Rowan doesn't do recycled from Vinnie's) and I'm not sure if that made it a bit smaller overall than intended. Anyway, it fits her quite well now with room to grow.
I made some other slight changes - like leaving the welt and pocket off the sleeves, I like them better just smooth and unadorned. Choosing buttons for this project was really difficult because of the unusual colour of the yarn- it looks cream but is actually the palest blush pink. In the end I did what any good craftster does and made my own. Three Buttons has recently posted about Dorset buttons which are made on a metal or plastic ring; what I actually used is more like a button frame which you 'cover', that is embroider, using the yarn of your choice. Like a self-covered button but for yarn instead of fabric. They're called Creative Cover buttons, are made by Birch and available at Spotlight (Clover also does a variation, available at Clegs) and they're fantastic for getting a perfect match. There are four large buttons (22mm) and 10 small buttons (15mm) on the jacket and everyone is different. While being reasonably cheap, the buttons actually cost more than the yarn for this project, which says more really about what good value you can get from recycling yarn.
I also had some trouble with the button holes - just that I didn't make them well so I actually attached the larger buttons on top of the buttonholes and added clear press studs underneath. Clementine's Shoes has recommended a button hole method from her 'Vogue Knitting Bible' which I will try next time.
Pattern criticisms - hmm, a couple. The pattern involves knitting pleats to get the peplum effect and is silent on how to get the pleats to lie in different directions for either side of the jacket. Also the sleevecap didn't fit very well into the armscye - I'd recommend a slightly shorter sleeve, and a longer, wider sleevcap.
Verdict: (a new category) Very, very happy with this knit. And as it's from recycled wool which I put through the washing machine before using, I know that I can wash it again and again.