So in March, I got a particular urge to knit up the three skeins of Cascade Sierra, leftover from Mr S's Dylan Goes Electric sweater. This yarn has mad yardage, and I learned from experience that this yarn washes and dries beautifully in the machine. This would be the perfect yarn to knit a sweater for my son, and as I am typing this very sentence, I am thinking to myself, "why the hell didn't you just make a sweater for Pepe? It would have been perfect." Damn you, hindsight! Well, I can guarantee you that I will use this yarn again and again, probably for easy sweaters for the children. But in the meantime, it was time to get these three skeins out of the stash.
I started with the Ribbed Lace Bolero by Kelly Maher, after seeing Sally's in progress (dude, finish it already!). This is a simple, customizable pattern that knit up over a weekend of many, many basketball games. However, the pattern calls for Cotton-Ease, and I used a mostly cotton blend (80% cotton/20% wool), but I think a yarn with a little more stretch would be ideal for this bolero. There's a big of sag in the armholes and slight droop in the back (as with most shrugs, really) that might be eliminated if knit in a more elastic yarn. My sag vastly improved after a trip through the washer and dryer, which is another reason to love Sierra, because a garment looks better after laundering. I'm not criticizing the pattern, but would just recommend a knitter try a yarn with a bit more memory and give it you are looking for a perfect fit.
It's a perfect, multi-season layer. I've been wearing it a lot over turtlenecks and long-sleeve Ts, and can picture wearing it over a tank in the summer. Love it!
Details here (Ravelry link). Like my haircut?
My daughter immediately asked me to make one for her too, but I don't do the matchy-matchy mother-daughter thing, and I still had 1.5 skeins left of the Sierra, and the goal was to get it all knit up. I knew a ribbed bolero for her would take far less yarn, and leave me with a useless quantity leftover.
Rosebud got a Cloud Bolero. I loved this sweater ever since I saw Carrie's full length version. It was simple to resize for a child, too. First, the sweater is written for a bulky yarn; Sierra is a worsted. I also knit at a much tighter gauge, even for the Sierra. I used a US6 needle and got about 5spi in stockinette. The difference in gauge was enough to shrink it down to fit her, and I ended up following the instructions for a size S. It is basically a top-down raglan, so it was easy to try it on her as I knit it, and Ysolda's instructions for customizing the sizing are easily applicable.
But I got a little overzealous resizing it, because it is a little too small to allow for any kind of closure. It ended up being more like a vest than a bolero. I should have cast on a few more stitches in order to have it meet in the front, but the truth is, my daughter chews on her clothes. I know, gross, right? I know she would have loved a pretty satin ribbon tie at the neck, but it would have been gnawed to oblivion within days. The problem with a vest is that she plays with it incessantly. Pulling it off her shoulders, putting it back on. It needed some kind of closure, like a button or tie at the center of the chest or something. As is, it's a weird, distracting layer for her, and while it looks really cute, it is not exactly a practical item for a busy 7 year old. I have lived and learned: no more open-cardigan-vest-things for her for a while.
But I have knit every last bit of Cascade Sierra (except for a tiny bit left over for repairs if needed on the DGE) in my stash. And that feels great.