We have the tradition of giving each child a new warm piece of clothing for Martinmas. I like them to be handknit by me, although some years they haven't been (we've done these in the past, for example).
So, this year I had the ambitious (to me) goal of knitting three sweaters. And I succeeded!
The first of this year's completed Martinmas knits is James's. His was actually the last one I completed, but I'm sharing it first. Disclaimer: Normally I wouldn't let my child play in the snow without being bundled up, but we were only out there long enough to get these pictures, and he is wearing layers of wool, top and bottom.
The pattern is the Child's Neck-down Cardigan #981 from Knitting Pure and Simple. This was the second time I've knit this pattern -- I like it a lot. (The first time was for Elisabeth's Martinmas sweater from last year, which I'm realizing has never been photographed!)
The yarn is The Fibre Company Organik in Dark Red. I did not like this yarn. I'm serious! I know it's really popular and people love it, but it really didn't feel any nicer to knit than, say, Lamb's Pride, which is quite a bit less expensive and not "designer". It's a lot scratchier than I would have liked, and my little guy is really sensitive to fiber, anyway (synthetics cause him to break out and wools have to be oh-so-soft). I also ended up not loving the color I chose. I wanted something in a really deep red, which I thought this was at first. But once I'd knitted it for a while, it really began to look like more of a brick red to me, which isn't really what I was going for. (It looks like a deeper red in the photos than it does in real life, as well.)
There were two other things about this sweater that I didn't like -- it's shorter than I would have liked, but it's a good thing I didn't knit it any longer because I only barely had enough yarn for the hood. And the star buttons are pretty sharp, so I may end up swapping them out for something else later if I find anything I like better. We'll see.
Anyway, James likes the sweater pretty well. He has complained about the hood being too scratchy, but it's OK as long as he has another hat under it. I know we'll get use out of this sweater this winter, even if not as much as I anticipated (due to the scratch factor and short length). Overall, I'm satisfied with the project, although I won't use this yarn again.
I like this pattern a lot. I will most likely knit it a third time. And I love knowing that, even if it's not quite what I expected, my little one is being kept warm with something I created with my own hands. So in the end, this is a heartwarming story.