When I saw the Wowligan (the "wee owl cardigan") pattern by Kate Davies, I was in love. I adore knitted owls, I adore cabling (a good combination!), and I adore little girl sweaters. I'd purchased four skeins of Knit Picks Galileo yarn in "Gosling" ages ago, intending it for a sweater for Rosa. It matched the pattern requirements, so I started this as soon as I finished my Left Bank Cardigan.
Oh, love! Where to start? The yarn was luscious to work with -- 50% merino, 50% viscose from bamboo. It's silky and wonderful. The pattern was also a treat! It's knit bottom up, so I had a lengthy period of "knit, knit, knit." Then you knit the sleeves... Then you attach everything at the underarm and keep going.
|In retrospect, I'd add stitches to the cast on for the sleeves, and reduce the number of increases. The cuff fits Rosa,|
but I'd prefer if it were a little roomier.
Then, at last, the owls! At first I was going to reduce the number of owls (and even did the math and knit a few rows that way), but then I realized that the "dead space" between each owl is basically the wrong side of stockinette stitching. It looks fine with just two stitches between each owl, but looked a little odd with ten stitches. So I frogged back and knit the owls as instructed.
At this point, I've opted not to add button eyes for the owls. For one thing, I didn't have enough tiny buttons. For another, I was a bit concerned about the effect of SO MANY BUTTONS around the yoke. Looking through the finished Ravelry projects, I saw some that I loved, and some that I didn't. I'm happier with a "subtle" owl, so there we are. I might go back and stitch some eyes with a darker yarn, but that's not likely.
I found three perfect buttons in my stash -- They're the same taupe-grey as the sweater, with hints of mauve and teal when they catch the light. Understated, like the owls.
|I need to work on my "banding" skills, since I still can't figure out how to pick up stitches. Pick-up-and-knit|
I can do and I've made it work for me, but I'd really like to get the hang of just plain picking up stitches!
The only real problem I had with this sweater was that I nearly ran out of yarn! Perhaps my gauge was larger than I thought (I'm horrible about swatching!), but I realized shortly after adding the sleeves to the bodice that I probably wouldn't make it to the end. And having purchased the yarn about two years ago, there was almost no way I'd find some in the same dye lot. I made a desperate decision to omit about 8-12 rows at various points in the rest of the pattern (some before the owls, a few "in" the owls, and perhaps one after that?). The pattern photo showed the yoke coming up pretty high on the model's neck, so I took my chances that this approach would work. To my relief, it did! I had very little yarn left over at the end, so I think I made the right choice here. The sweater is a tad roomy on Rosa, so it will perfect for this year -- and maybe next? I can't wait to see her wearing it.
This sweater only took about 40 days, which was encouraging! I think I'll be starting on another "selfish sweater" soon, using some mohair yarn that I purchased over a decade ago, during one of my optimistic "I'm REALLY going to knit this time! REALLY!" phases. I've come close to getting rid of it so many times, but I think it's actually going to be used now. It would feel good, you know?
But first, some tiny baby socks, because socks are something I want to try and who can say "no" to newborn socks?