Saturday, March 9, 2013

Easy Does It: Kid Sweater Roundup Edition

This week I started a Boathouse Mini for the girls (which I hope to embellish with some kind of vintage owl motif, inspired by this adorable hedgehog embroidery). I just love a nice, easy kids' knit. While there's certainly something to be said for children's garments that use descriptors like "heirloom" and "intricate", I find myself most often looking for good basics. Simple to knit, quick to finish, easy to wear... basically, the knits that have the best odds of being finished and used. Here are a few of my favorites:

1) Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirmaier: With a size range all the way from a child's size 4 to an adult XXL, this pattern fills me with desire to make matching sweaters for the whole family. The color blocking possibilities! So exciting! Fun fact: I am a huge sucker for knits with pockets.

2) Gathering Stripes by Veera Valimaki: I was a little skeptical about the collar on this thing at first, but the kids wearing the sweater just look so damn stylish. It's true that a fingering weight pullover is quite a commitment, but it's pretty loosely knit (5.5 st/in), and you have to consider the added versatility you get out of a lighter weight sweater. Hearkening back to last weeks' post, there are some lovely rainbow interpretations out there. Also, this little boy in pink stripes? Rocking it. Oh, there's a grownup version too! 

3) Plain Cardigan by Anna & Heidi Pickles: While I find the Pickles website pretty complicated to navigate at times, they have some very sweet and simple patterns available. This one is available for free in size 0 - 3 months, or you can purchase sizes up to 8 years here. The Ravelry listing is for DK, but the pattern calls for yarn held doubled so gauge is a chunky 3.5 st/in. Malabrigo Worsted, perhaps? Cascade Eco Wool? Oh, yes. Delightful. 

4) Child's Classic Raglan Pullover by Jane Richmond: This pattern does exactly what it says on the tin. Timeless style, common gauge. I like it straight up, but visions of the many ways it could be varied and embellished are quite tantalizing. Duplicate stitch, fair isle, stripes... it's a perfect blank canvas. Having started one of these myself not long ago, I can vouch for the pattern as clearly written and beautifully laid out. 

5) Wonder Years Toddler/Child Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith: What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Or would you knit this sweater for my daughters? There's a very popular free version of this for babies, but I think the toddler/child sizes are worth shelling out for. Those babies are only going to get bigger.

6) Toddler Raglan Hoodie by Megan Goodacre: This is another great (free!) blank canvas sort of pattern. I love this example with variegated body/solid edging (and bonus points for referring to the sweater recipient as "Fatty McFatterson" LOL). Don't forget that a hood is a costume gold mine, as evidenced by this adorable little lion and zebra. And a Brobee! Also, check out this cool cloud/wavy thing with the stripes.

Feel free to shout out your favorite simple kid knits in the comments so we can all knit for our children as lazily as possible!

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