There's this (bought) knitted cardigan I've had for years. It's nothing fancy, but it's warm, soft, and has the right greyish blue colour that goes perfectly with the army of stripey t-shirts my wardrobe seems to consist of these days. I wear it so often it lives on the back of my desk chair for a good six months of the year. Nothing fancy, just a really good work horse cardie.
Except this year, somebody noticed it. Somebody with, I am increasingly inclined to think, as much of a love for all things textured and woolly and patterned and coloured as me.
This cardigan has bobbles going down each of the front panels.
"Mummyyyy?... I want a bobbly jumper too. Can you make me one?"
I'm getting this more and more frequently now. He looks at something - socks, jumpers, hats, bags - thinks for a second, then turns to me and asks, "can you make me one?". He used to ask me to crochet rockets or trucks and things, but now he knows. Mama has a gigantic stash of soft wool that can be turned into soft wearable things.
And I, of course, cannot say no. For the pleasure of the making, the giving, the delighted look on his face, I absolutely cannot say no even if I still have ten other unfinished things.
So I scoured Pinterest and Ravelry for bobbly knitting patterns that would work with a DK wool, thinking anything heavier wouldn't get worn anymore this year and anything lighter would just take too long to make. The Popcorn Vest by Studio Misha & Puff jumped out at me and stuck. I showed it to the Bean and he approved, then we picked a lovely emerald green DK in a wool/nettle blend by Onion at my local yarn store, and it seemed we were good to go.
Unfortunately the pattern only covers ages 0-24 months. However, you don't number crunch for your own patterns on a regular basis for nothing, and so after a bit of swatching, head scratching, tape measuring and guess work I decided to give it a try.
I've put the details on altered stitch counts, dimensions and so on my Ravelry project page, in case you're interested, but basically it turned out to be quite doable to size up. It's a bottom-up vest that is split for the arm holes and then seamed only at the shoulders, so the only things to really watch out for are chest circumference and armhole depth. I cast on, thoroughly loved all the popcorns, and gleefully cast off some two weeks later. It's a joy of a little pattern, it really is.
I think I could have done with slightly more generous sizing, but I swear he's had a huge growth spurt in the time it's taken me to knit this. Because I started with the intention of leaving a wee bit of growing room, I really did, but now it fits perfectly. Which, when you're four, means it's already too small. Bother.
Still, he is very happy. We swapped the i-cord tie for a toggle, and he is thrilled he can do it up (and undo it and do it up and undo it and...) by himself. I love the colour on him. He loves the bobbles. It's perfect for this time of year, when it's too warm for a full-on wool jumper but too chilly to wear cotton hoodies.
As it's a really fun, fast pattern to knit, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to think about working out the next size up. Or the next five, just to be sure.