I realised a while ago I had failed to knit a red garment for Connor! I had to rectify this immediately (it certainly wasn't due to a lack of red yarn in the stash!). I wanted a quick and easy pattern and so searched Ravelry for seamless raglan type cardigans - and found this pattern and couldn't resist the elephants marching around the belly!
Pattern: Bellyphant by Jennifer Little - a bottom up seamless raglan cardigan, available in 3 sizes. It actually has stripes all the way up the body and sleeves (above the elephants) but I decided to keep it plain, so I didn't have to fuss about matching the stripes on the sleeves to the body (not that it would have been too difficult, but I'm all about the easy-ness at the moment, pretty much). Also I had enough of the red yarn for the whole garment. As I was using 4ply/fingering yarn, rather than 5ply/sport, I made the 6-9 mo size, to try to ensure a 3-6 mo size outcome.
This was my first time working fair isle flat. It wasn't too bad, but I did only have to do it for 11 rows. I'm not sure I'd like to do it for a whole garment. Some of the floats were quite long (longer than for "traditional" fair isle) so I had to catch them as I was knitting.
Yarn: Patons Patonyle in red (from the Mill Shop, via MissFee - thanks!) - about 80g, and Patons Patonyle in grey (col 0068) - only about 5g. This is a staple sock yarn, sturdy and machine washable - and long used for baby garments in Australia too. And both from the stash! And the buttons from stash too! (I do have to sew another 2 buttons on, but I was desperate for Connor to wear this cardigan on Saturday when we were catching up with friends, and I only had time to sew on 4 buttons during our car ride there).
Sticks: 3.25mm KnitPicks Harmony Options - a good idea for this garment, because once you add the sleeves to the body, it helps to use a long cable and kind of magic loop the next few rounds, because the sleeve joining method is a bit tight - which the pattern very nicely warns you about. I also magic looped the sleeves, two at a time. Not my favourite method of working sleeves - it always seems to take longer when working two at once - but it does ensure the increases are in the same place and the sleeves are the same length!
Time: 28 July 2010 - 28 August 2010. Not bad! I really wanted to get this done so it would see Connor out through the end of winter and into spring. Because of course it won't fit him for that long. I can definitely see myself making it again for him next year.
Modifications: None really, except as noted, but if (when) I do make this again, I think I would do it top down rather than bottom up (unless anyone can tell me why that would be a bad idea?). I didn't really like the method for joining the sleeves to the body - using a three needle bindoff for 4 stitches, on each sleeve at the underarm. It leaves big holes on either side of the bind off, which you sew up using the yarn end, which is not a big deal, but it just seemed messy. Not to mention it was difficult to work the first few rounds after that, as the pattern warns. I also confused myself and I think I bound off an extra stitch or two on at least one of the sleeves, because my stitch count was off after attaching the sleeves. I just missed two of the raglan decreases to make up for it.
I'd also knit the sleeves first, thus avoiding having to the cut the yarn at the end of the body so I can use it to do the sleeves, then rejoin it. For a seamless project, I ended up having to weave in 14 ends!!
I am, however, inordinately pleased with how the neck ribbing matched up with the raglan decreases. I don't know if that's an outcome of the pattern writing or just pure luck!
Even though he sicked up on it about 20 minutes after I first put it on him (well, I hadn't blocked it before that first wear anyway, so lucky!), I think Connor approves (must have been the blocking that made the difference!)