Bellybellybellyphant!

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!

Details
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!)
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32 Comments

Filed under baby, fo 2010, stashbuster

32 responses to “Bellybellybellyphant!

  1. it is just so gorgeous, and so perfect! just like your lovely little boy. the ability to wear red with style is obiovusly genetic.

  2. What cute lil' bellyphants! (And a baby belly to snorgle, hee hee!)

  3. lucky boy. clever mum.

  4. amy

    I admit, once I read that you wanted him to wear it on that visit, I had to scroll down to see if we were actually going to get any modeled shots! What a cute sweater. And I am so impressed with your floats. I'm not so much with the fair isle, flat, round, or any other way you can think of.That does sound awkward, those arms. I've done raglan from the bottom up before and it wasn't that fussy, not by a long shot. It's just: here's your body, here are your sleeves, run 'em all together on one big needle and go. I think I'd have to look at the pattern to see why the difference.

  5. Sue

    Oh little bellyphants are so gorgeous as is your little model too! I think you did a marvellous job with the fair isle, mine always seems to come out lumpy! I agree, he is very well sutied to wearing red!

  6. wow despite some of the awkward construction stuff, it's turned out beautifully. It's perfect. I just love it. I reckon pick any top down raglan in the same weight and just adjust the elephant pattern to fit!

  7. Oh, it's so cute! And those floats – stunningly perfect! The whole thing is just too, too cute – LOVE it, every bit! The colors, how the sleeves join in to the collar, everything. Now I want to make one, too!

  8. I'm with Amy. Once I heard it was for Connor, I wanted to scroll straight to the end to see it modelled. It's just gorgeous. He must love it. He probably only throws up on things he loves (you, for instance). xnandi

  9. Some of my favourite things – elephants, red yarn and supercute babies! Looks fab – definitely going into my baby knitting queue.

  10. i am with sue – all of my favorite things – red sock yarn, elephants and Connor!!!!great pattern – and i think fiddly because everything is so small? I have done this sort of construction on a big person jumper/ cardie – not so hard

  11. Oh good lord it's so cute it hurts!

  12. Could Connor be any cuter? The cardigan looks lovely – will we get to see it modelled on Friday?

  13. Perfect. And what a great pattern name.

  14. naw, how adorable?!love it 😀

  15. naw, how adorable?! look how neat your strand work is, too!love it 😀

  16. His little deposit was approval! What a handsome little guy!!! What a handsome red cardigan!

  17. jp

    Great cardigan. Love the elephants and the colours are perfect.

  18. Aww that is great! I love the FO, the name of the pattern and I think your fairisle looks incredibly neat.Oh, and I love the red too!

  19. Such a cute and lovely elephant cardigan. I think elephants are fabulous, I had a Heffalump when I was little I loved it to pieces. Connor looks very dashing in his lovely cardi!!

  20. It's about time that Connor got his red on! It's perfect.

  21. LOVE it! so beautiful, love the colours and the inside is nearly as fab as the outside.. As I was reading bottom up raglan I was thinking why not top down so much simpler I would think.

  22. It came out quite well. The grey and red are such a good combo and I love that yarn. I got a skein of the red from Tinkingbelle and used it for socks for Emily. (I wanted to keep them but it was her birthday and all).

  23. he looks adorable in it!

  24. That cardigan is gorgeous!!!!! Love the little elephants at the bottom. Too bad I've no idea how to do fair isle at all 😦 boo hoo

  25. Ann

    The cardigan looks so gorgeous on Connor. You did a fantastic fair isle job. Top down is a better choice than bottom up as I also do not like joining the sleeves to the body.

  26. It's beautiful, what a lucky little boy to have such a clever crafty Mum.

  27. That is SO adorable! Everybody needs bellyphants, methinks! Connor, you are a lucky dude!

  28. OMG it's so delightful! What a sweet pattern, you've done very well with the back-and-forth fair isle (which isn't easy). Too cute!!

  29. Well…my lengthy and highly complimentary comment was unceremoniously eaten by my computer. So suffice to say, "Love!!!" Well done and beautiful colorwork.

  30. Such a cute cardigan and baby. I love the little elephant motives at the bottom of the cardigan.

  31. kim

    Oh, my gosh but he is adorable in his handsome cardigan. I can just imagine the comments he and his dad must get in their knitted attire. I think red suits him!

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