Wonderful Wallaby – Pattern Review

Image 4I taught the Wonderful Wallaby pattern by Carol A. Anderson as part of the classes that I offered at the Yarn Nook in Lafayette, LA earlier this month. This pattern is so great that I want to make one for myself (and so did the owners of the Yarn Nook … another uniform piece?)

The pattern reads a bit like a story and has cute illustrations. I had a bit of difficulty finding the place in the pattern booklet where they told me what I needed to get gauge and others did, too. But it is there. You may have to “hunt” a little. Once you’ve gotten your gauge swatch knitted and are set to begin, the pattern is clearly written and well written. I have had no difficulty following most of it. I did do and re-do the part where you pick up stitches at the bottom of the “pouch”/pocket. If I had actually READ the pattern, however, it would have been done properly the first time!

I decided to add a bit of a different yarn to my sweater (I knitted the smallest size, a 2T) and make the pocket/”pouch” a different color and I also started the sleeve ribbing in the coordinating yarn. Once done with the body of the sweater, I also decided to use the coordinating yarn for the collar ribbing and on the 5 stitches that border the hood. I wish I had added the coordinating yarn at the first row of the neck stitches in the yoke. (For the children’s sweater, this direction is on page nine at the bottom.) I’d have begun the coordinating color yarn at the place where you purl the ten center stitches between the markers on the front of the sweater.

Students who took this class made good progress and each sweater was very unique. One student was making a green sweater with a pink pouch. Another was making a baby blue sweater with blue and pink stripes on the pouch. They were all cute! One poster on my Facebook pages said that this was her favorite children’s sweater pattern ever. I might be willing to agree with her after knitting this pattern.

The yarns that I used were Berroco Comfort Solid in a beige color (3 skeins for my size) and Classic Elite’s Liberty Wool in a beige/lavender/grey/green colorway. I love knitting with both yarns on this sweater. The Berroco yarn is not too heavy and is washable. It’s worsted weight and not too “splitty” (my pet peeve for yarn!) I think for a child’s sweater, it has to be washable … what mom wants to wash their child’s sweaters by hand? As with all knitted items, I’d suggest drying it flat. Liberty Wool is a soft wool yarn and I love the colorways. I wanted to take home a couple of balls of each just to play with. This yarn is a looser wrap and can split so be careful knitting with it but you’ll love the way it feels. And the way it looks, too!

I am totally pleased with my Wonderful Wallaby and will be sending it on to a very special little girl in our family … she’s going to have a bunch of hand-knit sweaters from her auntie when she is a little bit bigger! Her collection keeps growing … because I keep finding sweet little patterns to knit for her! I have another project all lined up for when I finish one or two!

You can purchase the pattern at your LYS (local yarn shop) or online at Amazon.com or Cottage Creations. You can also call Cottage Creations at 641-324-1280. The pattern is around $7.00 … a great deal considering you get from size (child) 2-T through an adult XXL or “super size”! Trust me, you’re going to want to knit one of these for every member of your family! And don’t forget to check out the different styles and colors that have already been knitted on Ravelry!

Gone Knitting!


Classic Straker “Johnny” – New on the Needles

A Classic Straker Design, C772 “Johnny”

I have been carrying three (and a bit more) balls of Paton’s Decor yarn around with me for the last ten years or more. It was way back then when I bought the yarn in a tiny yarn shop in Montgomery, Ohio to make an afghan for my house. God only knows what my color scheme was back then but I picked the periwinkle colorway … it must have matched something!

Anyway, I have been moving this yarn around with me (at least three times) and decided to bring it to Maine with me this summer and use it up!

Today I cast on a new project with the yarn. A Straker Classic Design #C772 “Johnny”. It’s a cabled sweater with a hood. I knitted one of these (and my mom knitted the matching smaller version) for my girls when they were little. We knitted them in a red yarn and they had panda bear ceramic buttons. I’ve saved the buttons (and I hope the sweaters, too). But this new sweater has nobody to go live with at the time of this posting … but with all the babies that I know are being born, some lucky kiddo will be getting this sweater.

I love the Straker patterns. They are clear and concise, have good information and this one (in particular) is quite simple to knit. It would be a good first sweater pattern! I remember the first time I knit it, feeling somewhat intimidated. Today, it feels so easy and comfortable. I guess I’m growing, too!

Normally, I won’t knit with acrylic yarn because I like the natural fibers better and I feel strongly that there is a huge investment of time in each garment that is hand-knit. Why not use good wool?! Sweaters for children, however, can be washed and dried if they’re knit with acrylic yarn. And this yarn is so easy to knit with and feels pretty good in my hands!

N’s sailing, the dogs are sleeping and I’m gone knitting!