Pouches Rock!

My second Wonderful Wallaby is off the needles. This one for my sister-in-law to give to a friend who is expecting a new baby in April. She requested it in pink … and since I was at the Black Sheep (teaching), I ran right back to the yarn room to see what was available in a baby-friendly pink that’s not too pink. (Because as much as I love pink for little girls, I also know that they get a lot … a LOT … of pink gifts.) And voila! I loved this one …

Ta-daaa! My yarn choice!
Ta-daaa! My yarn choice! Plymouth Yarn “Encore Tweed”

Knitting for babies and children really requires washable yarn. I sometimes break this rule … especially when I’m knitting for people who I know well. But when I am knitting for people I don’t know, I assume that they’ll want garments that are easy to care for. Thus, acrylic or blends are essential. The yarn I chose is Encore Tweed by Plymouth Yarn. It’s a worsted weight blend of 75% acrylic, 22% wool and 3% rayon. Stretchy, soft, washable … and a great price point at $7.50 a ball (I needed three. Color W464, Lot 67839.)

I decided to make the smallest size possible which is a 2T because if the baby is born in April, she will be 8 months old in December and with rolled up sleeves, this size will likely fit well with a little room for growth. I always put my children in sweaters that grew a little bit with them. Because I was knitting a gift, I did knit a swatch for gauge. If it was for me I might not have done that but I wanted it to be sized accurately. And away I went.

Bottom's UP!
Bottom’s UP!

This sweater is constructed from the bottom up and knit in the round. (Hear this, NO seams!) The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Two needle sizes needed. Sleeves can be knit one- or two-at-a-time which is my preference so that they are sure to be the same size. I’m sorry that I didn’t take a photograph of my sleeves in process. On this particular pattern, I like using scraps of yarn to hold the few stitches for the underarms both on the body of the sweater and the sleeves. (Makes the “pits” very flexible.)

Here’s a great tip! If you start with the sleeves, you can consider them your swatch. For those who don’t like to swatch, you can start your project right off and if your gauge is off you have a lot fewer stitches to pull out.

Splitting up for the neckline
Splitting the stitches for the neckline … and then on to the collar and hood!

The sleeves are attached very simply by stitching them onto your needles along with the sweater body. Decreases all around for the shoulders and we’re getting closer and closer to a finished garment.

At the neckline, the stitches split and you knit back and forth for the neckline and hood (if you choose to add one … and I love children’s hats with hoods!) Again, very simple. The only “glitch” that I can see in the pattern is that there is a repeat of a few knitted stitches on the edge of the hood, which I am too much of a perfectionist to accept. So, I chose to knit all of the edge stitches on one side and purl all edge stitches on the other side. That way, I get a “perfect” edge. You’ll see what I mean when you knit this cutie!

At the end of the hood, you’ll graft all the stitches together with a Kitchener stitch and ta-daa!!! I added a tassel to the hood because I really liked the hassle that I added to the first WW that I knitted for my niece. All you have to do is graft the underarm stitches and all the seaming is done. Don’t you love that!? I sure do! Use a long piece of your seaming yarn to tighten up the “holes” at each side of the underarm. This is a trick you can use in lots of patterns.

IMG_0021
Just a few underarm stitches to graft … that’s it for seaming!
Underarm "holes" are easily tightened up!
Underarm “holes” are easily tightened up!

So, there you have it once again. The Wonderful Wallaby. I love this pattern so much that I am knitting one for myself in oatmeal-colored wool. You can be sure you’ll be seeing it when it’s on the needles!

Wonderful Wallaby in pink!
Wonderful Wallaby in pink!
Queen Bee Knits label is placed on the inside of the bottom … don't want it rubbing baby's neck!
Queen Bee Knits label is placed on the inside of the bottom … don’t want it rubbing baby’s neck!
Tassel … my addition
Tassel … my addition

Gone knitting.

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