November 8, 2012

fuzzy and warm

Last week a bright red, slightly felted sweater arrived in the mail from my grandma. When she was here she mentioned it, wondering if I wanted to for legwarmers for Evie, which I did. So I was excited when it arrived and I left it on my desk for a few days while I pondered what to do with it. Legwarmers were a must, of course. Evie loved the pair I knit for her last year, even after they ended up felted and a little tight, but after the sleeves came off there was still going to be lots of lovely red and white, thick and cozy sweater left over. A vest sized chunk of sweater really.
I felted it down quite a bit more, until the wool was very thick and the width around the waist was about what a sweater for Evie would be, and then I got snipping.

First, of course, I but off the arms for the legwarmers. This sweater had nice long cuffs so I folded them down and stitched them in place and then hemmed the raw end. Simple and sweet and super cute on. She'll be toasty on the playground today.
The neck and shoulders were too big still, and also one was cut where someone (maybe my grandma but it could have been like that when she got it) had started to cut into it for a project. I cut straight down the remaining sleeve from the neck  and narrowed the sleeves and shoulders by lining up the ends of the raglan decreases (the diagonal lines where the sleeves meet the body of the sweater). I also cut the sleeves at more of an angle, instead of having them end straight. This way it's a a little more "vest" and the holes are roomier for thicker shirts or sweaters underneath. The sleeves I rolled into a hem, which I may embellish a little, or maybe not. I can't decide. I kind of like them rolled and simple.
Once the sleeves were done I cut up the center front of the sweater. Because it was so thick, I wasn't going to be able to double over the fabric to hem it so instead I took a cue from my knitting guru friend Carol, who showed me once how she stitched grosgrain ribbon along the hem of a cardigan that was gaping. I sewed ribbon along the raw edge and then turned that and stitched down the front. Originally I wanted to put button holes in but the fabric is still so thick I'm not sure her little fingers could deal with getting buttons in. And also I don't think my sewing machine could make button holes though that much wool. So now I'm thinking buckles. Or maybe a heavy zipper. Or maybe I'll just leave it because she went off to school today with it as is. What do you think? Frogs? Buckles? Zippers?
I have to say, as a devoted vest wearer, I'm a little (a lot) jealous of this thing.I'm going to have to look for a huge Nordic sweater to felt down and make my own.