Every few years, I have a knitting project where everything comes together: the right yarn, the right amount of difficulty to the pattern, and the right amount of inspiration for the inevitable altering of said pattern. Ideally I'd have the perfect recipient in mind for the project, but in this case I do not. Baby boys keep popping up on both sides of LB and my families, but this sweater wants to be for a baby girl. I thought, hoping against hope, that the blue ruffles might make it appropriate for a boy. LB informed me this is not the case. The obvious answer would be for me to have not added ruffles, but I think all knitters out there -- in fact, all artists of any kind -- understand why I was not about to skip the ruffles.
As you can see the original pattern features a patch pocket. I generally do not like patch pockets, and I especially dislike the one here:
The beauty of this pattern is the sideways construction, and that pocket breaks the momentum. It bothers me in the same way I am bothered the the "Vanity Cards" at the end of every Chuck Lorre production: trust the show to have made its point without a cryptic epilogue. In the same way, I want this designer to have trusted the elegant simplicity of her little side-to-side sweater. That pocket is at best a reminder that the yarn comes in other colors, and at worst a little swatch of self-doubt.
I do like the hood in the original pattern, but the yarn told me it wanted to be a Peter Pan collar.
The yarn is actually three strands held together: one strand of Isager alpaca held with two strands of the Touch 2ply fine kid merino Miss Susan brought me from New Zealand.
I carried around that variegated merino for months and started and abandoned several projects using it. When I tried knitting it by itself, the color changes looked muddy. And when I knit one strand of it with the grey alpaca, the grey dominated. I was reluctant to knit with three strands held together because I knew there'd be inevitable mistakes: places where the third strand didn't get knit and would instead get carried across several stitches, front and center, unnoticed until I'd knit five more inches. Then I found this little pattern: the garter stitches and sideways construction meant that carried strands would be much less obvious because they'd be vertical instead of horizontal.
Sadly, I am almost done with this sweater. It's already chosen its buttons, and when I finish the last ruffle it'll be time to block it. Since this sweater has been such a chatty and opinionated little project, I feel fairly certain it'll tell me where it wants to go upon completion.