Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wallaby Notes

The latest Wonderful Wallaby is finished.  Since this is my 8th, I wanted to pass along hints that I have gained from experience.

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  • Sizing—This pattern has been around for awhile.  As written, it is definitely intended for a garment that is shorter than most of us wear them today, and it is also obviously intended to be worn as a sweater that replaces another inner top.  If you live where a hoodie is most useful as an outer garment pulled on over other clothes on a chilly day, you will need to consider that in your sizing.  My personal recommendation is to measure a garment that fits correctly, check your gauge, and make the size needed.  Length is not a problem--just keep knitting.  On the sleeves you will want to judge from the underarm down on another garment.  For children, I make the sleeves extra long with tight ribbing.  I’m going for 2 years of wear.
  • Yarn—My personal favorite for child wear is Plymouth Encore.  I get it from Webs.
  • Edges—My personal preference, which sort of messes up the Wallaby signature—for the neck placket and the edges of the pouch pocket is to use seed stitch instead of garter.  I like the firmer edge that it gives.
  • Needles—This garment is a perfect place to use a circular needle set.  I use cables as stitch holders all over the place with those little caps on the ends.  I screw and unscrew tips as needed for needle sizes.  I change cable lengths when needed.
  • Do follow the pattern suggestion about marking your pickup row for the pocket stitches.  It makes life much easier. 
  • I have made ties with a crocheted chain, with single crochet, with narrow seed stitch, and with I-cord.  They all work, but the chain is a little skinny for convenience.
  • Hood—The ribbing at the base of the hood makes the neck of the sweater fit very nicely.  I always make the garter hood.  I like the stretchiness and I like the contrast in texture with the body of the sweater.  The pattern suggests that for a nice finish the seam in the top of the hood should be kitchenered.  I did that on the first few that I made.  However, since you are kitchenering a folded seam, you are putting together two furrows or two ridges.  I just don’t like the way that looks.  I began experimenting with #7 with stopping with a wrong side row, turning to the right side, folding the hood, and using a three-needle bindoff.  It makes a slightly more pronounced ridge than the other garter ridges, but I think it looks much nicer than the other way, and it is still nice and stretchy.

          photo(36)

What I will do differently the next time:  I will put the underarm stitches on the sleeves and body on a firmer stitch holder than waste yarn.  It is very hard to pick them up nicely when I get ready to weave them together. 

Next up, a quick hat for my hubby and then a lovely pair of socks for ME, from some beautiful yarn my daughter’s family gave me for Christmas.

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