Well, first, yes those are remnants of a temporary mustache tattoo below his nose. Odd black bits aside, this boy was so enormously excited about this sweater. It was technically his birthday sweater, but I finished it sometime in December. I think. He checked in with me all along the way, choosing the cheery red yarn and approving the little blue buttons.
Something I've noticed as the boys have grown older and bigger - it's very difficult to find interesting knitting patterns for them. This is hugely my own taste, I know, but I find most patterns made specifically for boys a bit bland. And so many "girl" patterns are just unalterably feminine. This one (Cricket, by Melissa Schaschwary) is a refreshing option. The details are fine without being girly, and cardigans are just so so practical for little ones.
The yarn is good old Cascade 220 Sport in Christmas Red. This yarn is super budget friendly. A very decent and workable yarn. But after a mere month of wear, the whole thing is pilled past repair. Pan did wear it just about every single day, in dirt and and in rain. But I have a sweater I finished around the same time for Quinn made of a different, smaller-batch wool, and the thing -- equally worn -- still looks brand new. My feeling about this sort of thing is usually that if I'm going to put such a large amount of my time into the project, the materials should be of good enough quality to make the garment last.
I have a pinterest page full of patterns I have my eye on, but I thought I would share a few that I think make for stylish-but-sweet, gender-neutral pieces for bigger kids!
- Purl Soho / The Purl Bee has several awesome kids knits - and most are free. I really like their Bobble Yoke Sweater and Friendly Fair Isle - both pullovers.
- The Antler Cardigan, by Tin Can Knits, has a really strong / kind of masculine cable detail around the yoke, and knits up with a good, thick worsted.
- As is Kyrie's Antler and Moss cardigan, which carries the cable pattern down the front and uses a pebbly moss stitch for the yoke instead.
- I love the simplicity of the Starboard pullover by Alicia Plummer. With pockets. Pockets are such a plus.
- The dropped waist of Madder's Li-Li pullover is almost too feminine for the fellas, but I think I would still do it. Really, it's just some interesting shaping. And interesting shaping is good for boys, too.
- Elyssa Samantha Taylor's Greener Pasture's cardigan has a nice thick button band and patterned ribbing.
- And I'm currently knitting a Little Oak cardigan (by Alana Dakos) for Quinn. I've previously knit this pattern as a tiny gift, and it's an awesome one.
What are your favorite gender neutral / boy garment patterns? As Pan and Quinn keep growing and growing out of everything they own, I'm always on the hunt for new ones. Although, truth be told, I also love to repeat old favorites.