Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coffee Beans for a Little Boy

Do you ever have a plan in mind, and everything falls into place really nicely?  This is how I felt about one of my most recent knits.

Over the summer, while re-organizing my stash, I came across some yarn I had been saving.  I had one skein of superwash wool that I dyed about a year or so ago.  I was originally going for an amber/yellow/brown tonal yarn and instead came up with something that looked pretty pukey.  Some of the color washed out too much, and other spots were too dark and concentrated.  I was really bummed because I had high hopes for this yarn. 

My solution was to over-dye the yarn.  A lot of people over-dye commercially dyed yarn to achieve a color they prefer, instead of letting a perfectly good skein of yarn sit and collect dust. So apply the same concept, except with yarn I had dyed myself. 
I overdyed the yarn with what I believe was blue-raspberry Jell-O.  I think.  It may have just been blue Wilton’s dye, I can’t quite remember.  What I came up with was a gorgeous skein of woodsy greens.   It reminded me of forests and fairies.  At one point, I made Squishy a little pair of fingerless mitts for the cooler Fall days.  Then I set it aside to wait for the perfect project.
So when it was pulled to the top of the yarn bin in late June, I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for.  A cardigan for a little boy.  I had the little boy in mind, and I had plenty of time to get it done.  You see, my friend Lindsay has a son who turns one in October.  And I love this pattern.  The pattern is Little Coffee Beans Cardigan.  It may look familiar to you because I knit the same one for Lovebug, except in pinks and brown, again with my own hand-dyed yarn. 

What’s really funny is I had this green yarn picked out and even purchased the brown to coordinate before I cast on for Lovebug’s cardigan.  But about 3 days after I purchased the brown, we found out we were having a girl and I couldn’t wait and cast on for her instead...using the brown I purchased for this little boy.  Oops! 

Anyway, to make a long story longer, I got occupied knitting for Lovebug and this plan was pushed to the back. 

Enter September and the conference I just attended.  We would be close to Lindsay and Jason, close enough to visit, and so close to their little boy’s birthday I couldn’t not have it finished by then.  I cast on last Thursday and finished it on Saturday.  Knit with Woodland Fairy (my hand-dyed) and Cascade 220 Superwash Wool in Cordovan, this sweater was a breeze.

When we got into town on Sunday evening we went shopping and Mr. Man picked out these lovely green glazed buttons that were perfect.  Sized for 12 months, it appears as though it will easily fit for the cold-weather season.  Instead of doing the eyelet raglan increases, I used M1s to create invisible increases.  (A word to anyone who downloaded the pattern prior to August 2011, the designer has updated her pattern.  I had to remove the pattern from my library and re-download it into my library to get the updated version.  She has included instructions for long sleeves, as well as M1R and M1L for invisible raglan increases.)
A special yarn for a special little boy.  I’m glad I could put it to use.  I love knitting with hand-dyed yarn.  (And even better – I had enough of both the brown and green to knit Squishy a hat!  Stay tuned for pictures!)


  1. Fantastic knitting! Smart about the yarn and putting the colors together. You go Mama.

  2. This cardigan will be perfect for the little guy, it's really nice. Dying yarn... is it ok to use dye while being pregnant?

  3. @Lucy
    Thanks, Lucy! I've not seen any warnings about the risk of dying while pregnant. Honestly, I haven't tried it. The yarn I used here was dyed last fall and it was well before my pregnancy that I last dyed yarn.

  4. What an adorable little cardigan! The little boy is going to look so cute in this :)