Christmas In July pattern

I think this might be the most photos I've ever put into one blog post! I hope you'll forgive me, but I knit this pattern 4 times, I took a lot of photos of it, I love it and I'm sharing them all! Actually, I'm sharing like 1% of the photos I have of the experience that is the Christmas In July pattern, I could have posted way more, but I'm trying really hard to be reasonable here. 

All the technical aspects of the pattern can be found on Ravelry here. Details about sizing etc, so I won't repeat it all in this post, instead I'll chat about the process a little bit. Oh, but I have to mention that this pattern is sized from 0-6 months all the way up to size 57" bust. So often I knit a wee pattern and think to myself "man, this is so cute, I want one in my size!" so this time I made that happen. When you purchase the pattern it's really like you're getting two patterns in one. I've laid them out completely separately. There's a youth pattern and then the adult pattern after it. They each have their own cover page and schematic and everything. Fitting all of the info and sizing into one pattern layout seemed like it would be way too jumbled to work from. The gauge, the charts and the yoke shaping are different from the youth version to the adult version as well. The adult sweater features short rows to lower the front neckline whereas the youth pattern does not. Upsizing a youth pattern to fit an adult is not as simple as just scaling the size up proportionally because adults don't have the same adorable build as children do. I'm just putting that out there as a way of explaining why it took me over a year from cast-on to pattern publication, it was a big undertaking!

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So, it all started with that adorable little girl in the top left of the collage above. That's my niece Annika. Her birthday was coming up and I wanted to knit her something fun. As I was planning her birthday knit I posted these two mood boards because I was really itching to work with loads of colour. A small sweater for a toddler seemed like the perfect fit. I made the pattern up as I went, which is not something that I've ever done before. I had a yoke recipe, I knew when and how I would work increases, I just didn't know what colour I would work them in or in what pattern. I picked colours as I went, knit some stripes, some zigzags, had lots of fun. I loved it so much that I immediately cast on for another version of the same sweater for Rowan. He wore his a lot last year. It was his most special sweater. He wore it for his daycare "school photo" he wore it at Christmas, anytime he needed to look really spiffy. ;)

I say that I just chose the colours randomly, but obviously not that randomly. I had a rainbow of yarn spread out in front of me and I am not one to turn my nose up at a perfect rainbow gradient. I kept considering mixing it up, "oh, maybe I'll work pink next to green!" but I just couldn't do it. I'm not that brave. As I was knitting Rowan's I was intending to release the pattern as a child's pattern, but I quickly realized that I really wanted it to be available in all sizes, so I made plans to work out a longer yoke, to do more math, to knit it in my size... but then I got distracted and a year went by! Finally this summer I decided that enough was enough. I cast on for a sweater for me on our drive to the cottage and I cast off on our drive back. I only allowed myself to get distracted with another knit when I was almost done and at that point I cast on for Rowan's 2015 version. The first sweater I knit for him was in the size 1-2 years. He wore that last year and by Christmas it was getting a little snug. I couldn't believe it, but when I took his measurements and checked (and double checked) I decided to make him the size 4-6 years to hopefully fit him all through the fall/winter/spring sweater wearing season. He is growing like a weed, he's only 2 1/2! It fits looser than last year's did, but it's not that big on him! 

For Rowan's 2015 version I finally allowed myself to stray from the classic rainbow scheme. Though, I didn't stray very far from my comfort zone, this one I worked in my favourite blues and greens on a background of cool grey. This sweater just might make me knit a 5th version because I want one in this palette in my size... maybe with short sleeves. Imagine how cute it would be layered over long sleeves in the winter? I'm not ruling it out. 

 These mother/daughter versions knit by  Undone57  make me squeal. They are just soooo cute!  

These mother/daughter versions knit by Undone57 make me squeal. They are just soooo cute!  

The colour possibilities for this sweater are truly endless. Each version looks so fresh. I can't wait to see what people do with it. I want to see a neutral version, and a version done in 2 colours. For Rowan's aqua sweater I used the MC for one of the zigzags right in the middle of the yoke, which breaks it up and makes it look like 2 bands rather than one full yoke (sort of). I also worked one of the bigger motifs towards the bottom in two colours rather than one (you see how Rowan's sweater has triangles towards the bottom? Right under the light grey zigzag, the pattern is charted for that section to be all one colour, making a diamond shape, but that simple switch up was really easy and changes the look ever so slightly.   

I wanted to include these silly snaps as a way of documenting how much fun we had doing this little photo shoot. It didn't start off that well. I was showered, but didn't have time to dry and properly style my hair, so I wasn't thrilled about that. I wasn't planning on wearing these pants, but at 3 1/2 months post baby I'm in a really weird place in terms of my wardrobe. Not much fits! So these super stretchy aqua pants were really my only option. It was that or pyjama pants. I decided to embrace the multicoloured vibe of the design and rock my aqua pants with my rainbow sweater. Rowan is 2 1/2 years old, so naturally he is totally unpredictable when it comes to things like this. I psyched him up with my most enthusiastic attitude "oh! Wow! Wouldn't it be fun if you wore this sweater to the park!? Oh! Look at Mommy! She's standing next to this wall, cool right! Let's do it together!" On this particular evening it totally worked and Rowan was really into it. He did everything I did, or at least attempted it. He had Chris and I in stitches. It was so much fun. 

I'm not sure what the pose on the left is, but he was working very hard at it. The one on the right is him giving us his very best "over the shoulder" look. He is such a ham.