I started this hoodie a long time ago, November 2013 to be precise, and abandoned it not long after, finally picking it up again last month when I vowed to empty the box of unfinished projects.
The pattern is designed to be knitted using variegated yarn for the body and a solid for the sleeves and trims. I switched this to green and cream stripes for the body and a darker green for the trim. The major selling point of the pattern is the seamless hood, which is knitted a bit like a sock heel, and is great if you don't like seams, or if, like me, you like to test out new construction techniques.
I remember knitting most of the body on a train journey to and from Oxford, but then clearly lost interest as when I fished it out of the box I had only got as far as the body and hood. I could have sworn I was knitting the 9 month size, but when I checked the numbers it turns out I was actually knitting the 12 month size (obviously I would have been handy to have written that down somewhere...). Fortunately I had written down needle sizes and gauge in Ravelry, which was a relief as I didn't fancy re-swatching the whole thing; if I'd had to do that the jumper probably wouldn't have been finished! Unfortunately I couldn't find needles though as I'm bad at putting things away when I'm done! I used Ravelry's advanced project search to see which project they might be with, and finally found the needles with the yarn for the Rudi sweater that I made at the end of last year.
|Balloons, great for blocking hoods|
I'm not sure what my original plan was with the contrast sleeves, so went with stripes and contrast cuffs to match the rest of the jumper. I hadn't done jogless stripes for the main body of the sweater, but decided to for the sleeves, which was possibly a mistake as they've jogged rather more than I'd have liked - I carried the new yarn under the old yarn as you would in intarsia, but have a feeling I should have carried it over the old yarn, but never mind, I'm not unravelling them and redoing them, or the jumper would never get finished!
|Not totally jogless stripes|
Having knitted the sleeves I think I know why I gave up on this one. The yarn (Adriafil Regina, 100% merino wool), while being very soft, is rather splitty, and for whatever reason the stitches are not terrible even, even though my stitches are generally fine. I also think it would be happier being knitted at DK gauge (22 sts to 4 inches) rather than at worsted gauge (20 sts to 4 inches) as it feels rather drapey for a children's jumper, but never mind. I persevered and after blocking it looks ok.
|Slightly uneven stitches|
There are a couple of aspects on the pattern that I didn't like. The sleeves are a bit loose for my liking (although this will make it easier to get onto a wiggly baby), and you have to finish the very bottom of the neckline by stitching down the ends of the button band, which I think looks a bit messy. Those details and the fact that I've seen this jumper for long enough mean I'm unlikely to knit the pattern again.
|Rather fiddly buttons and button band|
I also had problems with the buttons for this one. They're little wooden cars, bought very cheaply direct from China via eBay and the holes are tiny! I had to remove a single ply from my yarn, then use a needle with a very narrow eye to stitch them on, which was a bit of a faff. In the end though, I'd say the jumper looks good. I like the colours and the style of the hoodie.
The jumper won't fit its original intended recipient - he is now nearly two - so I'm passing it on to a friend in my knitting group (she's a crocheter) who admired it while I was knitting the sleeves and has a little boy who's almost 6 months, so it should be perfect for him. I had a lovely time wrapping it up: I was given a 'Hand Knitted by Vikki Bird' stamp for Christmas that I've not yet had the opportunity to use, so used it to stamp one side of my care instructions label, then I wrapped the parcel with some fab moustache tissue paper recycled from one of my Christmas presents. But the best bit of all? It's no longer an unfinished project!