And now for my first (and second) trick

The first sweater I decided to knit for my little boy is the Twisted Tree Pullover by Blue Garter’s Sarah Pope.

Cute, right? I’m making 2 changes to the pattern from the get-go: I’m knitting it as a zippered cardigan, and I’m making it slightly smaller than the smallest size, so it fits during next winter.

I’m using a wool-blend yarn, Classic Elite Princess: it’s incredibly soft, and I love this color. It is, however, handwash only, which makes it rather impractical for a baby sweater. No matter! I’m still a process knitter at heart: even if the kid gets to wear this sweater only once, I’ll consider it a win. And, oh! If this yarn looks familiar, it’s the exact same one I used in knitting the original Budgie.

To tell you more of the story, I started knitting this sweater with a completely different yarn: a cormo/nylon blend from Foxhill Farm. I bought it at this year’s Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair.

The yarn is absolutely divine – it has a soft terrycloth-like feeling – but I don’t think the Twisted Tree stitch pattern was working well with the hand-dyed color variegation. Not the worst I’ve seen, but I knew I could do better, both for this yarn, and for the Twisted Tree pattern. I think I will use this yarn for a simple stockinette pullover or cardigan in the future.

And just like that, I’ve now committed myself to knit a second baby sweater, ha!

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27 thoughts on “And now for my first (and second) trick

  1. Collette

    Well, my son wasn’t a puker or spitter-upper (that’s the technical, mom term for it!) so the handwash thing was never an issue. I’ll hope for that for you as well!

  2. susan

    I’m a knitter with two little kids, and I don’t mind handwash-only sweaters, seriously. I might be alone in this (except for maybe Elinor Brown)…but oh well. I figure, you handwash your kids, so their sweaters are worth it, too, right?

  3. Theresa

    My daughter has several things that are handwash-only including a newborn sweater I knit for her. When my daughter was tiny (and even now that she’s a toddler) most of my free time came a couple minutes at a time unless she was asleep and I’d somehow managed to get all the other cleaning/cooking/knitting I wanted to done earlier in the day. But those couple of minutes are plenty of time to throw the sweaters and soakers (wool diaper covers) in the sink with some Soak. I’d just leave them there for about 10-15 minutes or my next couple minutes of free time and then pull them out and wrap them up in a waiting towel…

  4. Amy J

    Belated congratulations 🙂 and no worries, hand-washing will be therapeutic when you can’t sleep in the wee-hours of the am….or maybe a matching bib? 😉 Very cute pattern!

  5. Gail H.

    It’s going to be terrific!

    I always used wool for my babies, neices and nephews and now that I’m expecting my first grandchild (Yay!) I’m using it again!

    I agree with EZ and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee that wool, being not flammable or melty, is safer for children.

  6. Kata

    I agree with the others that washing wool garments by hand really is not that difficult or time-consuming.

    As for the sweater, it really does look better in green. I think that reverse stockinette by default is more pattern-like than stockinette and this competes with the colour changes in the yarn.

  7. Beth in Maine

    What a lovely sweater for your little boy. I made a back zippered hoodie for my little boy that was fun to knit and very useful. I saw a couple of patterns on Ravelry. Mine was the one with the ribbed hood. I knit a cable up the center front. I’m thinking your little one is going to have quite a wardrobe waiting for him!

  8. cedar strings

    Handwash woolies do not become a problem until your child “loans” a sweater to a friend and it comes back home small and felted from a trip through the laundry at the friend’s house. Since the babes and toddlers aren’t hanging out at the smoky beer garden or cooking at the burger joint, most of their sweaters don’t need to be washed after each wearing. The bonus of high quality hand knits is that you have a marvelous, like-new sweater as a hand-me-down for the next wee one, or a cousin.

  9. Mary K. in Rockport

    I love your Budgie and lack only the grandchild to make it for. My two daughters had better get busy while my fingers are still nimble!

  10. Stephanie

    I for one am SO glad you are having a boy. IMHO, there is a serious lack of “boyish” patterns – lots of neutral (boring) stuff but not much else. I cant wait to see what kinds of things you make!

  11. Lois


    I love all the items you have knit and envy how precise your planning is. I’m making this same sweater and the directions for the sleeves use 24in circulars. Have you gotten to the sleeves? Is that a mistake? I’ve started the sleeves on double pointed needles and don’t see how they can be done on circulars. Do you have any suggestions?

  12. Seanna Lea

    Your sweater is coming out beautifully. I hand wash most of my knits (well, except socks), but I will admit that it takes me longer to get around to them.

  13. Kim

    I love that sweater! Did you get a period when you just couldn’t knit? I’m just finishing my 1st trimester and can finally look at yarn again.

  14. Sarah

    Color me hugely honored that Grumperino will be sporting a design of mine! And now that I’ve got a baby of my own, I can share this: wool is amazing stuff. The non-superwash stuff resists baby drool and spit-up better than you’d believe possible. I rarely wash Ada’s sweaters at all — a quick squeeze of just the primary drool zone under a stream of lukewarm tap water when they need it, leave ’em to dry hanging over the edge of the shower, and they’re ready to go again.

    And to Lois: Go ahead with the sleeves on dpns. The 24″ circulars are if you want to knit the sleeve (one at a time or both at once) on TWO circs.

  15. StellaMM

    Zips will be OK the first winter, but not the second winter (at least not in the front), they just want to pull them down all the time.

  16. Cynthia K-R in Canada

    Beautiful sweater colour and gorgeous child !!!

    That is a wonderful pattern. I would definitely hand-wash it; it’s easy and lasts longer.

  17. Joni

    Oh now that is 100% adorable! Sweater is perfect and the model reminds me of my little tow-head son when he was small. He is a grown man now but I gloat over how cute he was with all the nearly white hair :}}

  18. D Martin

    Hey, just leaving a note (apparently joining the crowd) but you probably won’t find the handwash a problem. I’m already doing it for my socks, sweaters, etc, I just add the baby stuff to it. (I have two: two years and three months.)

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