SQUEAKY WHEELS GET SWEATERS

As I finish up the gray leaf pullover, and wander through the midpoint of a second Klein Bottle hat (solid navy, difficult to photograph), I plan my next set of two projects.

The first of these I’ve already begun. It’s a quick pullover for Smaller Daughter who has now outgrown the Regia Crazy Stripes raglan I made her two summers ago. I’ve mentioned her fascination with her favorite toy before.

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Squeaky is still with us, but he’s aged somewhat. His original colors are only a dim memory. The strings on his head were surgically reattached after a regrettable incident featuring scissors. His music box long ago gave up trying to play Born Free (a welcome change); and the retractable leg that triggered the play no longer draws back into the body. His shiny black nose was chipped back to its pink undercoat after being inadvertently slammed by in a closing car door. He’s going bald all over. More suspicious stains than I care to remember have added to his decoration. But he still is a source of comfort and inspiration.

Smaller daughter wants yet another striped Squeaky sweater. I had some Classic Elite Star stashed away, a skein or two in each of a bunch of crayon colors. It’s a cotton bound with lycra. Although the recommended gauge and fiber percentages are a bit different, it’s visually similar to the old Silk City Softball – a nubbly and cozy machine washable cotton boucle that knits up into a soft and interesting texture. In a departure for something I find buried in stash, Star is still in the current CE line. Armed with Sweater Wizard, I’ve noodled up a quick roll neck pullover, knit in the round, sized for a tall 8-year old who wants something with a generous, boxy fit. As you can see, I’m off to a quick start.

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Orange, yellow and light green are next (I have no purple on hand). Stars being a lycra-enabled cotton is not necessarily a quick knit though. Care must be taken to always knit it with the same amount of stretch, or gauge can be affected. Also, it’s texture makes counting rows very difficult – something pointed out by the person who posted the Star yarn review. Since my stripes are each 20 rows deep, and it’s a pain to keep track on a separate piece of paper, I’m relying on a little trick to stay on track.

Every five rows (an easily grasped smaller unit), I flip a yarn color change tail to the front or back of the work.

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These big “basting stitches” make counting simple – four groups of five and I’m ready to grab the next color. Later when I finish this piece it will be equally simple to tease these ends out to their points of origin and end them off inside.

One caution – this isn’t a yarn that crocks (sheds color on hands and needles). Were it so, I would not use the dangling tails for this purpose. Instead I might use a length of plain white smooth cotton string. That would give me something easy to remove later that would not run the risk of leaving contrasting color marks on the lighter areas.

And Squeaky himself? In a bit of art-imitating-life-imitating-art, the toy that inspired the Regia Crazy Color sweater for the child has his own Regia Crazy Color sweater.

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One response

  1. Hi Kim,

    I knit a striped sweater from Star for my own small daughter a few years back, blue, white and bright green. The color bled somewhat when machine washed, even though I pulled out the sweater immediately when the cycle was ended. Just FYI… guess I should write a review, but that sweater is now ancient history.

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