Saturday, January 08, 2005
The Wonderful Wallaby
PrairieTide sisters, pick up your knitting needles! I've gotten a good number of comments about the Wonderful Wallaby sweater I made for our nephew Juddah, and I definately think this is a sweater everyone can make. What do you say we have a Wonderful Wallaby Knitalong at our family reunion this summer? Between now and the reunion, you can look for the needed materials and practice your knitting skills. This pattern is so easy, we'll be able to make a lot of progress during the reunion, so you'll be well on your way to a completed sweater by the time the reunion ends.
The sweater was made using the classic Cottage Creations pattern, and it is a snap. It is not much more difficult to knit than a cap, especially in the toddler size. Cottage Creations pattens are known for being easy to understand, plus all of their sweaters are knit "in the round", which means you can finish the sweater without having to stitch up a bunch of seams. The Wallaby is a sweater version of the ever-popular "hoodie" sweatshirt. It has a pocket in the front, just like kangaroos have (ergo the pattern name), and it has a comfy hood. The sweater pattern is sized for kids or adults, so hey, if you're so inclined, you can make one for the entire family.
To make Juddah's sweater, I used a pair of size 8 circular knitting needles that are connected by a 16 inch plastic cord. This is the best size of knitting needle to make an small, toddler-sized sweater. Circular needles come with different length plastic connecting cords. My size 8, 16 inch circular needles get lots of use. They are just the right size to make a lot of hand knit hats and scarves. Because the connecting cord is only 16 inches long, the needles are very compact and travel well. When I was knitting the Wallaby sweater, I could tuck the entire project into a corner my book bag and carry it everywhere. Finding size 8, 16 inch circular knitting needles can be a bit tricky. Walmart doesn't carry this size! If you have a hard time finding this size needle, just let me know and I'll track some down for you.
The smallest-sized Wallaby sweater calls for three large balls of worsted weight yarn. As a knitter, I always prefer knitting with wool, but since this is a sweater for kids, you'll want to choose a yarn that can be thrown in the washing machine. There are lots of good wool-blends out there, and I heartily recommend a wool blend over 100% rayon yarn. Brands like Wool Ease are available at lots of craft stores, including Walmart.
So between now and then, PrairieTide sisters, practice your knitting! This pattern does not require a lot of fancy knitting skills, so if you can knit and purl, you'll have the "mad skills" the sweater needs. Kknit yourself a scarf, or try a simple hat pattern. Type "knitting pattern" into your favorite internet browser, and you'll have an oodle of patterns to choose from. Then this summer, we can Wonderful Wallaby together.