Some time last year, I told each of my boys that I would knit them a sweater that they, they themselves, designed. At the time, even with the help of Style Your Own Kids’ Knits, this was ridiculously ambitious. I hadn’t even really pieced together a pattern on my own, altering it for personal details. I hadn’t done a single large intarsia project. Nonetheless, I took the boys to a local craft store and allowed them to select balls of Lion Brand Wool-Ease. Liam had his heart set on a sweater with a pink and yellow striped octopus. They didn’t have enough of the shade of pink he wanted, so he settled on the darker heather rose, which looks very purple when paired with the electric turquoise and yellow that he also selected.

I actually finished this sweater a while ago, but I’ve just recently got around to photographing it. We’ll certainly never lose the boy when he’s wearing it. There are a number of things I’d have done differently, starting with the mistakes I made in the intarsia and didn’t notice until later. I also cast off far too tightly the first time I did the collar. It was so tiny, no head could ever fit through it. Another mistake was going by the lengths as appropriate for an average four to five year old, as opposed to my own. Sure, it fits him perfectly. But I finished this project in July, and it fits him perfectly. Considering the work that went into it, I would have made the sweater a size larger, had I thought about it.

No matter. He’s happy, and the sacharine, blinding, jittery glee of this sweater has caused a number of usually sober friends to request childish and exciting sweaters of their own. My husband wants a version of the tee shirt I designed with piratey arrrrgyle. My best friend wants a dinosaur sweater. Intarsia seems to have opened up a world of posibilities to my friends and family.

Hopefully, I’ll have Gabriel’s sweater done by Christmas. He’s selected an all together more conservative pallette and theme, but there are some simple cables on the edges, and a nice fair isle border, as well as a heraldic hawk on the chest. Boy knows what he likes.

5 Responses to “Octo-sweater”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I can’t believe how grown up Liam looks, even in a wild octopus sweater (that he’s sure to remember forever, as I remember an intarsia horse sweater my aunt knit me at a similar age). You have the handsomest kiddos on the planet, Kristen. And nice work – I’m still nervous about tackling serious intarsia for the first time!

  2. Lori Says:

    That came out great. He did a great job designing it, and you did a great job knitting it. I’m also scared of doing a big intarsia project, but this is very inspiring.

  3. spiffygrits Says:

    Thank you both! I have to say, it’s not so much that it’s difficult to do a large intarsia project as it is annoying. I hate sewing in ends, and I foolishly did not sew them in as I went along. I had about a million ends left to sew in at the end, and that took me almost as long as actually knitting the thing. I’m making Gabriel’s a little simpler. The intarsia is as large, but it’s in one color, which will be a little less frustrating.

  4. Intellek2al Says:

    Great job. You have such wonderful, gifted children. That was quite the sweater you made for Liam… how very inspiring…

  5. The God of Rainbows « Knitting Kninja Says:

    […] back, back, when I was just starting to knit bigger projects, Liam designed an octopus sweater for himself.  It was, well, really something, and my execution was also really something, but man, […]

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