Thursday, May 19th, 2011
My Middlest Boy turned 9 over the weekend. A fact that has left me reeling a little. I don’t know why. I think because Iain is the oldest, I’m always prepared for him turning another year older. It’s part of the job description, he’s the oldest. I expect him to be much older then I’m ready for at any given time. But this one always catches me off guard. Nine? Already?? How can that be??? Well, ready or not, as my Dad would say, “it be”.
And for his ninth birthday, I crafted a very carefully chosen sweater. I started on his sweater much later then usually because I simply could not decide what to make. Nothing felt right. As I’m mentioned before, of all of my kids, he is the one who is the most particular about the things I make him. He’s harder to truly please then the rest and sometimes that’s a challenge. From the beginning I had a strong inclination towards something with a fair-isle yoke. But I could never settle on one that I thought he would love. Finally out of desperation I asked him to sit with me a look at some patterns to give me an idea of what he liked. Every pattern that he picked had featured some sort of animal. So, I went back to the drawing board, thinking it was time to give up my fair isle plans. And then I found this sweater. And it was absolutely perfect.
The color scheme required some letting go on my part. Quite a few times I had to remind myself that I was making it for him and not for me. The colors I’m drawn to don’t matter, nor does my opinion on what looks best on him. Many, many moons ago, when I was first starting to think about his birthday sweater (because I really did think about this, a lot, for a very long time. more then a year in fact), I asked him what kinds of colors he was drawn to and he said that he really liked bright colors. I sputtered some and bit back my knee-jerk reaction, that involved disowning him and tried to put things in perspective. After all, it’s not like he said he didn’t like wool, or something truly terrible like that. But bright colors? So not my cup of tea… Neutrals make me happy, splashes of jewel tones from time to time, even most pastels are all-right by me, provided they aren’t too sickeningly sweet. But always, always, I look for the most toned down and muted of these colors. In my head, this pattern was absolute perfection in greys, browns and blues. And just think, how lovely it would be with his eyes! But I stayed the course and really tried to design something that he would love. I started with the bright red that is a favorite of his. I couldn’t decide what to pair with it, until it occurred to me that a little Gryffindor nod would probably be appreciated. As you can see, I did add in a little brown at the end, just to tone down all that bright a bit. I really think it adds a nice contrast though.
I found this pattern while looking for horse sweaters. Once I decided I needed an animal sweater to please him, the choice of animal became a simple one. This year has brought a passionate interest in horses and a strong desire to own a pure white pony, but only because it’s the closest he can get to aunicorn. And so, with a slight modification, this sweater’s horses became the white unicorns of his dreams.
Pattern: Hstapeysa by Jóhanna Hjaltadóttir
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton in Red, Gold, White and Gold Heather
Modifications: In addition to changing the horses to unicorns I altered the child’s size to be a bit larger for him.
Ravelry notes: here