Monday, July 23, 2012

Tiny Old Man Sweater

If you haven't been through the pile of July posts yet you might not know this, but we've established that I like manly clothes scaled down for tiny people. So, I have been on the search for a pattern for a shawl collar sweater for a little boy for a little over a year now. I knew I wanted a worsted weight yarn, a long raglan sleeve, and a clean design. Instead, I've seen them with lots of crazy cables. I've seen them with ill-fitting sleeves. I've seen them with necklines that sag awkwardly. Basically, I've seen many-a variation on the theme but couldn't seem to find one that I liked enough to spend money on.

Naturally, rather than compromise like a normal person, the only possible solution was to make my own pattern. So, with a lot of guidance from the patterns for the Oh, handsome sweater and the Vestee sweater, and couple of well placed curse words, I developed my own pattern for this little sweater. The pattern below is for a size 12-18 months (more sizes to come!) * To get the full "old man" effect I used a tweedy yarn (Vanna's Choice in Grey Marble).

18 inch circular needle (size 8, or size needed to obtain gauge 4" = 15 sts in Stockinette St)
Size 8 double pointed needles
Stitch holder
4 stitch Markers
2 balls (apx 350yds) worsted weight yarn*

Authors Note: Please, if you find any errors in this pattern please let me know so no one else will struggle with them! Also, I hate finishing more than anything else, so this pattern is designed to minimize the number  yarn tails you have to deal with. If you don't care about working in 10 ends, you don't need to listen to the yarn ball connectivity suggestions.

CO 80 sts on circular needle.
Join round, front/back will be worked in the round.
Work in K2, P2 rib for the first 1.5"
Then, work in Stockinette Stitch for 6" more-- body will measure 7.5" from bottom.
Leave sts on circular needle connected to ball. We will call this BODY yarn.

Sleeves (make 2)
With new ball of yarn, CO 28 sts on double pointed needles
Join round, being careful to avoid twisting the round.
Work in K2, P2 rib for the first 1.5."
Place marker to identify the beginning of a round and work as follows:
**Round 1, 2, 3: Knit all sts
Round 4: Knit to 2 sts before round. Kf&b, k1.
Round 5: Kf&b. Knit remaining sts
(2 sts increased, 30 sts)
Repeat 5 rounds from ** 5 times more (40 sts total).
Work even until piece measures 6.5" inches from bottom. BO 4 sts from beginning of last round.  Leaving at least an 18 inch tail of yarn, disconnect from the ball and place sts on holder (36 sts).
Make second sleeve using the same pattern. When finished, leave this piece connected to the ball. We will call this SLEEVE yarn. 

Joining body with sleeves
Splitting the round body wherever you left it, place a stitch marker (#1), then slip 36 sts from holder (the first sleeve you made) onto left side of circular needle. Using BODY yarn, knit across these sts. Place marker (#2) at end of sleeve sts.
K40 beyond marker. Place another marker (#3).
Slip 36 sleeve sts from double pointed needles onto left hand side of round needle. Knit across these 36 sts. Place marker (#4). NOTE: This process should leave slit shaped holes at the underarms, don't worry. You should now have 152 sts on your circular needle.

Still using BODY yarn, K15 sts beyond last marker. Then, BO 10 sts for front neck opening.
K to 3 sts before marker (this should be 11 sts). K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, Ssk, knit across sleeve stitches to 3 sts before marker. K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, Ssk, knit across "back" stitches to 3 sts before marker. K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, Ssk, knit across sleeve stitches to 3 sts before marker. K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, Ssk. Knit across remaining "front left" sts to the beginning of the bind off for the neck (decreased 8sts; 134 sts).

Sweater will now be worked back and forth. This is the row end.
Turn work. Slip 14 sts (back to marker #4). Pick up the SLEEVE yarn that you left there. Purl across all 120 sts to right neck edge (this is the other row end). 

From now on, work all rows as follows (until only 46 sts remain). 
Right side rows: **K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, Ssk. Repeat pattern from ** 3 times more. Knit to neck edge.  (8 sts decreased)
Wrong side rows: Purl across. 
Ending with a WS row, move 46 sts to holder.

Using circular needle and the yarn left at the bottom left neck edge pick up 18 sts from straight edge created (moving up towards live sts). Knit across 46 live sts. Pick up 18 sts from straight edge created at the right neck edge (leave the 10 sts you bound off across the bottom alone). Turn work. Work collar for 3 inches in K2, P2 rib. Bind off in rib. Leave at least a 12 inch tail on the yarn.

Stitch 3 inch edge of collar to bottom neck opening, folding the left side under the right side. Stitch closed holes at each armpit. Weave in ends.

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