I shall call him Mini-me

I promised to make a mini version of husby’s cardi and I always keep my promises (well mostly…). When the opportunity arose to test knit a pattern for Celia which was a pretty close match, I thought well why not! And even better, it is top down and seamless!

Pattern: Alex Jacket by Celia Ng – this is a great kids pattern – not only top down and seamless but has a range of options for you to mix and match – I did the collared version with ribbing at the sides and on the cuffs and bands, but you can do no collar, or a hood, or cables (where the raglan “seams” are), or garter edging or moss stitch edging. And it comes in sizes from 12mo to 8yo. I will be sure to knit this one again, probably every year until it no longer fits Connor!

I really like the raglan increases – the pattern has you do a yo increase and then purl it through the back loop on the way back, to close the hole. I wasn’t sure it would work, but it did! I’m really glad I trusted the pattern, because I learnt something! Yay for testing knitting and GAAK!

And, even better, if you buy this pattern before the end of January, Celia is donating half of the price to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Appeal – nice! (you can buy the pattern separately or with the companion pattern Lee which is for a jumper with the same sorts of options). A good deal I think!

Yarn: The leftover Cascade220 from husby’s cardi – 1.5 skeins of the Olive Heathers (9448) and just under 50g of the Cordovan (brown). I only just scraped it in with the green – I literally ran out of yarn just as I finished the last row of the second sleeve!

Sticks: 4mm KnitPicks Harmony options for the cuffs and bands, 4.5mm KP Harmony options for the body of the cardigan.

Time: 20 December 2010 – 7 January 2011 (my first FO for 2011, weeeeee!). Thanks to a couple of long drives and general sitting around time over Christmas, I managed to finish this quite quickly.

Modifications: I made the collar a bit shorter than the pattern suggests, and I ensured the ribbing down the sides flowed neatly into the ribbing along the bottom edge (which just meant starting my ribbing with a p1 instead of a k1). And I did the buttonbands all the way up along the collar, as I wasn’t convinced it would look ok if I stopped at the bottom of the collar – although once I saw the other test knits I realised it would have been fine! But I’m happy with it the way it is (as long as it fits Connor when winter arrives – which I’m sure it will!)

What I learnt: The pattern suggests a stretchy bind off for the bottom band and sleeve cuffs. I decided I’d try Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Yes, it is very stretchy! I’m not sure I love how it looks though, it’s kind of lumpy-ish. I think it’d be fine on a sock, but if I was doing this again, I’d probably do a tubular bind off on this garment – I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me in the first place, since I used a 1×1 rib! Next time!
I also learnt that when changing colours between a ribbed band and the main part of the body, it’s a good idea to do the first plain row after (or before, whichever is the case) of the ribbing in the same colour as the ribbing – I did this on the collar but forgot on the bottom band – and it means that the first row of the bottom band ribbing is actually in the green. It’s not hugely noticeable, but I think it’s much neater – a nice finishing touch.

Now, the big question is – what buttons?? As you will have noticed, there are none. These are the options:

I like the brown patterned ones, but as they are coconut shell, I think I’ll go for the green ones – not a perfect match, but more practical and I think a nice pop on the brown button bands – the green has a yellowish undertone, as does the green C220. What do you think?


Filed under baby, FO 2011

24 responses to “I shall call him Mini-me

  1. wow. this is just wonderful. It's so gorgeous and manly! Just like the original! So good that it goes up to bigger boys sizes too – I'm doing one for Will! Personally I like the slightly unusual look of the brown buttons but I can see why you're drawn to the green.

  2. del

    How cool that you got to test knit this pattern. Excellent job!And thanks for the extensive notes–great notes always help. Love the cardigan!I like the green buttons, too, very much (though it's a toss-up between those and the kitties).

  3. my vote would be the kitties, then the green ones. it is for a little guy, so the kitties would work. very handsome sweater.

  4. I vote coconut shell buttons, but I'm notoriously impractical. 🙂

  5. so gorgeous, and just like his daddys! cant wait to see them this winter wearing them together. and why cant you have the cat buttons? theyre the best!

  6. Sue

    Oh what a great little jacket. I personally love the cat buttons!

  7. Oh the Mini-Me is soooo cute!!! I love the colour combination and the knitted fabric is just so smooth and even.Strangely, I like the Kitten Buttons first, then the green ones. The green ones are very cute!!

  8. I need to come back in the a.m. to read this properly – I'm being rushed to bed (and not for anything exciting, hahahaha, just to make sure we get enough sleep!) but wanted to cast my button vote before it's too late! They're all cute, but I agree the green would give it a cute pop! OK: off to bed, but I'll be back in the a.m.!

  9. amy

    I like the brown. I seem to have strong feelings against the green, and I've never liked cutesy things for little boys, so that rules out the kitten buttons for me, anyway.Sort of like MadMad up there, I'm being harassed to get off the computer…

  10. Love that colour combination and agree… the coconut shell buttons are brilliant, but the green ones do pick up that lighter green.

  11. I agree with everybody's comments on just how good this pattern is – classic but interesting. I like the patterned brown buttons – and why aren't coconut shell buttons practical? I should imagine they'd wash well.Looking forward to seeing this on Connor.

  12. Alrighty. I'm back. Just wanted to make sure I got to read all your notes on the sweater – it came out so cute! And how awesome is it that you got to use scrap yarn – and FINISH it up, too? I always make "plans" for my leftover yarn… and never do anything with it. (Except for the Noro, which I'm always cannabilizing when I get a yucky color in the current skein.) Anyway, enough about me. Great job. Can't wait to see them both attired in their new sweaters!

  13. What a sweet sweater!I vote for the green ones. Practical is always a plus in baby clothes!

  14. The coconut shell buttons are the best match. The kitties make me squee. Wonderful sweater. Great job!!

  15. Mini magic and I love the green buttons

  16. Beautiful little cardi and so wonderful that the sizes go so high so you can keep making it. Might just have to check it out for my three :-)On my screen the green buttons are a bit too different in colour so the brown would be my first pick followed by the cats.

  17. How cute father and son all matchy match :DYou've done a lovely job o this and if asking on buttons, my preference is the coconut, however I do like the whimsical little cat cause only kids get a chance to wear something like that and look super cute in it, plus I do like it..heheh

  18. I like the brown buttons best but totally understand why you'd choose the green. The colors of the sweater are beautiful. The green and brown match and contrast so perfectly. I guess it's too hot for modelled shots?

  19. Another vote for the cats – I love cute novelty buttons for kids. Plenty of time to be dignified later on!

  20. PS I forgot to say, the cardigan is gorgeous

  21. Thats lovely, and sounds like a great pattern. I like the green buttons!

  22. it is so cute, I love the colours you have knit it in.

  23. Your sweater looks nice and warm! What a great pattern to give you so many options. Thanks for sharing how you did the raglan increases. I am going to be knitting a top down cape/wrap in the near future and I think I will give this a try.

  24. I never knit sweaters, but I just had to say "Awwwwww!"

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