Ollie wasn't the only one with a new sweater for Christmas card photo day--I finished JJ's Jesse Half-Zip too!
Pattern: Jesse Half-Zip by Kate Oates, from Knits for Boys
Size: 5 (or close to it; I knit at a slightly tighter gauge)
Yarn: The Fibre Co. Cumbria in Windermere; about 550 yards
Needles: US 6
Notions: Zipper from Zipperstop.com
Ravelry project page
This was a fun project with an easy-to-memorize cable pattern. It's knit bottom up, which isn't my favorite construction, but again, when working with a patterned yoke, it's much easier to decrease than increase, so I don't mind. Plus, there's that magical moment I just love when you join the sleeves and body and suddenly have a SWEATER.
Cumbria is a wool blend with a slight halo--60% merino, 30% brown masham wool and 10% mohair. It is not the absolute softest yarn, but it is sturdy and warm. I love the slightly rustic look to it. I wouldn't wear it without a layer underneath, but I think it's a great choice for winter garments that will stand the test of time.
I started knitting on the suggested US 7 needles, but didn't like the fabric, so I dropped down to US 6. This also gave me a slightly smaller sweater that's a better fit for JJ--he's tall for his age, but skinny, so at not-quite-3, a true size 5 would've been too large.
The trickiest part here was, of course, the zipper. My first zipper ever! I decided to go ahead and try the method Kate illustrates in her book, which involves picking up stitches through the zipper fabric, and then working a 3-needle bind off with stitches picked up along the neckline.
It worked quite well, but came out a bit sloppy--I didn't really have the right tools, and the stitches I picked up along the zipper were too loose. The zipper was also too long, so it bunched. I left it in so we could get photos, but I plan to rip it out and try again--maybe after Christmas! I also bound off too tightly when attaching the collar to the sweater--it was a tight squeeze over JJ's head and he was really unhappy about it--so I'll fix that was well. A mother/knitter's work is never done!
Overall I'm quite happy with this sweater--JJ looks like such a little man in it, and the best part is, it will make a lovely hand-me-down for Ollie one day!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like . . .