Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Calli-Cardi! Sweater with a caterpillar

Last year I made sweaters for everyone in my family (except me...). My four-year-old's lovey is a multicolored caterpillar we call Cally. I wanted to incorporate it into her sweater to make it personal and unique for her: a Calli-Cardi!


I looked for a cardigan with an off-center opening to maximize the room for the caterpillar on the front. As with my six-year-old's sweater, I knew I didn't want to buy five colors of yarn to only use a little of most of them so I dyed the caterpillar colors:

Each hank was about 14 yards; the eight of them together weighed about 36g.To dye them, I used food safe colors in Mason jars on the microwave (but that's another post!).

Red: one packet of cherry Kool-aid
Yellow: about five drops of yellow McCormick's food coloring (and white vinegar)
Green: about five drops of green McCormick's food coloring (and white vinegar)
Blue: one packet of mixed berry blue Kool-aid.

Originally I planned to work the caterpillar design as part of the sweater itself using the intarsia method of colorwork, but I realized that would be a big challenge, especially with two different weights (thicknesses) of yarn. So I made the cardigan normally and then knit hexagons to appliqué the caterpillar on.


I left an extra long tail on the end of each hexagon and used the tails to sew the caterpillar onto the sweater. I used backstitch in black yarn to make the caterpillar's face and short i-cords to make his antennae.

As you can see, she loves it!

For pattern notes, modifications and in-progress photos, see this project on Ravelry!
Cardigan Pattern: Peach Blossom Child Jacket by Jennifer Little
Cardigan Yarn: Cleckheaton Country Kids 8-ply (superwash wool in DK/8-ply weight) in purple
Caterpillar Pattern: Merit badge by Amanda Ochocki
Caterpillar Yarn: Knit Go Craft Super Soft Cashmere Wool in white (cream), hand dyed (claims to be DK weight but knit up more like fingering weight)

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