Sunday, November 23, 2008

Farm Animals Sweater

Be careful what you promise!

My little neighbor boy has always loved farm animals. Instead of toy soldiers, his relatives have always gotten him some small version of farm animals. He would go to bed with a little bag of them tight in his hand each night, when
I got to babysit him and his sister.

I usually knit when I watch the kiddos. Something the boy referred to as "nutting". One day, rather innocently, he popped off the question, "Would you 'nut' me a sweater with farm animals on it?"
Hesitating with any answer, I said I would see if I could find a pattern for one. Well, I never found a pattern with farm animals on it, so I was left to design my own.

Nearly a year later, I was still "working on a design", as he often heard from me when he asked about the sweater.
Knowing my propensity to procrastinate, I finally told him I'd have it for him on his sixth birthday - er, uhm, that was this past July. I had been to the library and found a book I ended up purchasing for my own library: Kate Buller's Style Your Own Kids' Knits. This is an outstanding resource and has literally hundreds and hundreds of options for design, style, motif, stitch patterns, and layouts. You will use it for years!

With a good effort begun, I scoured the internet for anything I could see well enough to create designs from.
While vacationing at my sister's in Texas in early July, I decided on a pattern for each animal and then thought a barn and tractor would fit right in. Unfortunately, I didn't have the right yarn with me and my sister only has a Wal-Mart as a resource for yarn in her tiny town in Texas.

I began, deciding to do the patterns with their original design of purl stitches on stockinette stitch for the outline and animal particulars like the Holstein's black-on-white markings, the horse's mane, etc. I was well on my way up the back of the sweater and well past the animals when I decided I just didn't like it. It was three days after his birthday and I was home in Louisville already.

The answer, "Almost," became my continuous reply when he would continue to ask about the sweater. Bless his heart !!!!
Now I am ready to seam up the sweater and have finished the animals, barn, and tractor. FINALLY!

I had recently said I'd have it for him by Halloween and I did not. I've not given him other dates, but decided I had to have it for him by Thanksgiving. Considering the recent temperatures in the 30s and 40s, I thought there's no time like the present.

Here it is in progress. I hope to have a finished photo in the next couple of days.

Barn outline and tractor awaiting some duplicate stitch.

Close up of barn before doors are done (can you tell that's a silo in the back?).

Tractor before duplicate stitch on seat and smokestack Before the animals were finished.

The animals before duplicate stitch was added.

The animals after duplicate stitching is done. The cow now looks like the cow and is headed the same way as the other animals. (Sorry this pic is on its side - silly Blogger!)


At 11/23/2008 8:10 AM , Blogger Sonya said...

It is well worth the wait. And yes it has gotten really cold here. Watching the weather the other day he said this is Jan. temperatures.


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