Monday 9 March 2015

Nate hoodie

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!

Finishing touches


  1. I do love this little hoodie and yay for more finished projects!

    1. It is rather cute. If I knit another though I'll speed knit it rather than hiding it in a box for a year...

  2. I love that stamp! It looks very professional. I am pleased.

    1. I do too! So pleased I got it right this time - the first time I used it I was way too heavy-handed with the ink and it went all blobby. Practise makes perfect.