A sweater for the muse

Sock monkey was an unexpected gift from some dear friends, and has since become a kind of knitting muse and helper. When I’m in the middle of a long or more slow-going knit, looking at sock monkey – made up entirely of stockinette – reminds me to keep at it. When I was on the homestretch of my very first blanket last year, I pulled sock monkey into the shot to celebrate the soon-to-be FO.

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October 2016

I wanted to make something for sock monkey to wear – one gift invites another, doesn’t it?

I specifically wanted to see how the process of modifying a top-down sweater might work with a real wearer (that this wearer has long, skinny arms and no neck made this a special sweater-knitting challenge).

Karrie Flynn’s Sock Monkey Sweater pattern was just the right foundation to try my hand at some simple pattern modification. The wonder of top-down construction is that your wearer really can try the sweater on for size mid-knit, making for a customized fit. I love this idea; truly customized garments are a rarity these days.

I pulled together some ends of Cascade 220 Heathers and some leftover Patons Classic wool worsted and put my mind to some tiny sweater design. Something in me thought “stripes,” so I ran with that idea for the body and sleeves.

monkey sweater 1

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And ta-da! 

monkey sweater 3
I like how the eyebrows are popping in this picture. I’ll take it as a sign of sock monkey’s excitement at getting some brand new threads. 

Learnings

Spit splicing! The mysterious, felting properties of wool are such that a little bit of heat, spit, and friction are enough to magically join two separate ends together. Joining old and new yarn in this way isn’t perfectly invisible, and works mainly only with wool and other animal fibers, but the method yields a more or less seamless strand.

Like so many other knitting things I’ve encountered, spit-splicing is pure magic. See?

Do you have a little crafting helper? Or a symbol that reminds you of the work you love to do?

Happy making to you.