Fraken-hoodie

Sometimes a single pattern just won’t do.  In this case, I loved the casual ease of the hoodie that I made last year for my niece and nephew. It looks great in the vibrant Cascade Superwash Paints, and both sweaters have gotten a lot of wear.  I wanted to make one for my son in the gorgeous blue colourway I spotted on my last trip to the LYS.  Unfortunately, it was a class pattern from my LYS, without much in the way of sizing variation.

My first two (size 18-24 month) raglan hoodies in two different colourways

My first two (size 18-24 month) raglan hoodies in two different colourways

I could have sat down and done the math to size this pattern up, but to be honest, sizing and fit are my weaknesses.  I’m really picky about how sweaters fit, but I cannot often muster the patience to rewrite every line of a pattern to fit the exact proportions of the recipient. In fact, it’s the reason I rarely make sweaters for myself. To make matters worse the original pattern just recommended different needle sizes and gauges for different sweater sizes.

Fortunately, I already had this Knitting Pure & Simple henley pattern.   When I made the size 2 henley over a year ago, I was really impressed with the proportions, which were perfect for my slim little guy.  All of their kid’s patterns contain detailed instructions for sizes from toddler to preteen. I love this pattern but I find it a little fussy for everyday preschool wear (especially since my son’s favourite outfits consist of t-shirts and sweatpants).

My son in my first Knitting Pure and Simple top down henley

An old photo of my son in my first Knitting Pure and Simple top down henley

The solution was clear: fraken-pattern!  I used the sizing, gauge and stitch counts from the henley (this time in size 4), and the trims and details from the hoodie, with a few of my own touches added in there too.

Fraken-hoodie in progress, in Cascade Superwash Paints

Fraken-hoodie in progress, in Cascade Superwash Paints

Modifications:

  1. The cuffs. The henley pattern called for ribbed sleeve and waist cuffs, knit on smaller needles. Instead I didn’t change needles and replaced the cuffs with a seed stitch border that sits flat, giving the sweater a more casual silhouette.
  2. The neckline. I have never ever closed the neckline on a henley sweater or t-shirt, so I used the open neck with a 3 stitch wide seed stitch border from the hoodie pattern.  At the end, I’ll add a little i-chord and a single button, so that the neck can, on rare occasions, be pulled in tight against the wind.
  3. My fraken-hoodie in progress - you can see the faux seam (in garter stitch) in the centre

    You can see the faux seam (in garter stitch) in the centre, above the green stitch marker

    The faux seams.  In Ann Budd’s excellent Top-Down Sweaters, she suggests adding a faux seam in top-down sweaters from the underarm to the waist.  They can be accomplished by purling or slipping a stitch under the arm, every second row.  This is my favourite knitting tip ever, it’s so easy and all seamless sweaters hang so much better with this little modification.

  4. The hood.  The henley pattern calls for a ribbed collar; here I will just substitute in the hood instructions from the other pattern.

In a few days, we leave to visit my in-laws and soak up the sun in Florida, but I hope to finish this sweater first.  Maybe I’ll be able to snap a few photos of the finished product on my little guy. I think it’ll be perfect to keep him cozy on the plane…

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