I have recently finished a Flax Light sweater (the pattern is by tin can knits) for Tiny Wolf. And since I’ve really enjoyed the knit, I thought I would tell you a bit about it and give you a little pattern review. And in the next post, I’ll show you how I ended up fixing a really ugly and stupid mistake I made on a sleeve after I had already finished the thing and bound off…
My experiences and changes
I used a 3.5 mm needle for the main knitting. I couldn’t for the life of me find a single 3.75 mm needle, even though I have several. That wasn’t all bad since I knew beforehand I wouldn’t like the fabric the 3.75 mm needle would give me with fingering weight yarn. I personally prefer my knitted fabric to be just a little bit denser and sturdier especially for a sweater worn by a little kid. They tend to stretch clothes out a lot just for fun. Or at least mine do.
So, I did a little swatch and ended up knitting one more yoke increase row. Still, my gauge is a little off. Under the arm, I reach the measurement given but the further down on the sweater I go the more it pulls in. I end up with 3 cm (about 1.2 inches) less width around than at the underarm. That is likely due to the hem being knit at a tighter gauge (2.75 mm). But me having chosen the wrong bind off likely didn’t help either. I had meant to choose the same stretchy bind off I had used on the sleeves but unfortunately, I ended up doing a standard bind off. Must have done that on autopilot while I was already half asleep. Tiny Wolf can still wear the sweater (and seems to like it) but the hem is a little tight.
The sleeves ended up with a slightly different row gauge after washing than the rest of the sweater and are a bit too long. It’s my own mistake, though. I knit the sleeves with double pointed needles but everything else with circulars. Fabric on double pointed needles tends to have a bit more give for me and made it grow after being washed.
I’m likely going to knit this sweater again, but would probably reduce the needle size even more. That means more swatching and more calculations on my part. Luckily such changes are easily done with this pattern.
Pattern review – what I loved
The pattern is very easy to knit (technique-wise) and also easy to read and follow. There are lots of pictures that will help a beginning knitter understand the construction of the sweater. The pattern links to a very detailed tutorial on how to knit the Flax sweater – the worsted weight version of Flax Light – and to explanations on techniques used. All of these links are URLs to blog posts on tin can knits’ own site.
The pattern includes a schematic and measurements for chest/bust circumference, sleeve length, upper arm circumference and underarm to hem length for all of the 17 sizes the pattern includes. This makes altering the pattern for a different stitch gauge relatively easy.
The 17 sizes are made up of 7 children’s sizes, ranging from 0-6 months up to 10 years, and 10 adult sizes, ranging from 31 inches/ca. 79 cm to 59 inches/ca. 150 cm bust circumference. Also, the pattern states the needed yardage for every size. Recommendations on ease depending on gender and age of the wearer are also available.
The sweater itself is simple but elegant and definitely unisex. Even Papa Wolf would wear it as well. And Little Wolf has already asked for one of his own, although he doesn’t normally like to wear knitted sweaters. It is also well suited for hand painted yarns. The colors would not obfuscate the pattern. I didn’t encounter any pooling but that always depends on the yarn and how colors are spaced on it as well.
Pattern review – what I didn’t love as much
I personally didn’t like the loose gauge chosen. That is a matter of personal opinion, however, and may not bother anyone else.
Something, I think would make a great bonus for beginning knitters: links to stretchy cast ons and bind offs. Not everyone might know to look for it. Especially too tight necks can be a problem with the relatively big heads children have. And having extra room for your own hand and the baby’s arm in a sweater sleeve can make your life so much easier.
Lastly, I only have a little pet peeve. I would prefer the abbreviations at the beginning (before the written description and after the materials) or end of the pattern. I think they would be easier to find there, as in between the body and sleeves.
I think Flax Light is a great pattern for beginners and experienced knitters alike. The sweater itself is simple, yet elegant and works well with a variety of fingering weight yarns.
Also, I’d like to recommend tin can knits patterns and site in general. I’ve knit more of their patterns and they are always gorgeous and have a huge variety of sizes. They are among the best-written ones I’ve seen out there, in general. And all of those lovely pictures of cute little kids in wonderful knits are a plus, as well.
So, these were my experiences, opinion, and pattern review of and with Flax Light. If you liked this and would like to see more, please let me know in the comments below.