Fiber Fool

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Choosing Unisex/Boy-Friendly Colors for a Sundog Sweater

Filed under: Knitting, Knitting Patterns, Apparel, Designing — Kristi at 8:48 am on Thursday, August 13, 2009

Detail of Children's Yoked Pullover Sweater

I do not believe I ever posted here about my most recent Twist Collective pattern. The Summer Issue was released while I was in MN with limited connectivity and I had so many pictures to share from the trip that my Sundog Sweater kind of fell through the cracks. I’ll be remedying that for a bit as my friend, Amanda, will be working on one for her two boys.

The goal for this design was a fun to knit, but relatively quick project that works well for both boys and girls. Everyone I know who has had children in the last 5 years has had boys. We all know there are tons of fun girl patterns out there, but it can be more difficult to find a fun boy pattern. I felt a splash of handpainted yarn would spice things up a bit without the result being overly flashy or needing to worry about breaking up any pooling or flashing. I also wanted a design that could grow with the child(ren) and get more than one season’s worth of wear out of it. This inspired the fold-back cuffs on the sweater. Many children grow taller, getting longer arms and torsos without gaining much in circumference. Since the sweater has no shaping, I suggest knitting the sleeves and torso to the perfect length right now, then add the extra border. The cuff border is knit with the wrong side out so when folded back it matches the yoke and bottom body, but the wrong side of the stitch pattern is pretty as well so the following year the cuffs can be worn without folding back. Of course it is knit from the top down so you could also rip back and add more length to either portion as well! The really adventurous could even add more circumference to the sweater by steeking it at the sides and adding in gusset panels!

Sundog Sweater SwatchIn my original proposal swatch I chose a yarn with short lengths of many colors for the handpainted yarn and a coordinating solid that appeared in the multi-color yarn. This created a softer look to the striping - almost a watercolor look. For the look in the magazine coordinating, but not matching colors were chosen. That is the look I would recommend for yarn with longer lengths of a given color (generally commercial handpaints with 4 or fewer distinct hues).

Possible Color Combo for Boy-Friendly Sundog Possible Color Combo for Boy-Friendly Sundog
Possible Color Combo for Boy-Friendly Sundog Possible Color Combo for Boy-Friendly Sundog
1. Solid - Denim; Multi - Andersonville. 2. Solid - Chocolate; Multi - Jeans. 3. Solid - Chocolate; Multi - Envy. 4. Solid - Chocolate; Multi - Andersonville.

The magazine sample is of course in girl colors, but the sweater works equally well in unisex or boy colors. These are a few of the boy-friendly color options available in-stock at My Sister Knits. I apologize for the photos not being my usual quality. I needed to send the images to Amanda to ring in on her preference so it was easiest to take them with my phone. These aren’t all of the possible combos. Originally I had ordered the solid from the first picture (Denim) with the multi-color (Jeans) in the second photo. Upon seeing them in person I realized they were a near perfect match in color and that color was probably a good 1/3 of the skein. That was going to be much too matchy and obscure the work that goes into the stitch pattern in the yoke. Any of the above combos would work. It just comes down to personal preference.

In general the yoke pattern will pop more if the solid is a complimentary color of one of the predominant hues in the handpaint yarn like the sample in the magazine (red and green are complimentary colors and pink is a tint of red). If you are not confident in choosing a non-matching handpaint to go with a solid or you want a little more subtle look to the yoke and borders you may wish to choose an analogous solid color of similar value to the handpaint.

Of course you are not locked into using only Lorna’s Laces. There are a wide variety of yarns being used for the sweater. You just need the pretty standard worsted weight gauge of 5 sts and 7 rnds per inch. Lorna’s Laces is a great choice as it very soft, is superwash (a requirement of mine for kid knitting) and they dye coordinating multi-colors and semi-solids. Many of the great indie dyers would also have working color combos in the proper gauge.

Stay tuned for some guest blog posts from Amanda as she works on the sweater. Her first one will tell you which color combo we went with! Which of those four combos would you choose?

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