Once I start working on a pattern, I just keep on going until I am satisfied. Back in September 2019 I made a toddler's coat in chunky pink yarn. Last year I decided to see how it would turn out if I just made it in ordinary double knitting yarn on size 9 (3.75mm), so it would be scaled down to baby size. It turned out smaller than I expected, big enough for a 3 month old baby. The green suggested baby boy to me, so I put the buttons on the boys' side and gave it buttons the same as on the toddler grandad cardy (now owned by my very handsome great-nephew Jude, who looks absolutely cracking in it).
The pale blue yarn woven through the work up the sleeve was just to help me keep count of the rows when increasing every 4th row. It can easily be pulled out, but I have left it in for reference while I am still developing this pattern.
Because I loved the flecked yarn so much, I thought it would be a good idea to try it in different shades. That was when I found that it must have been discontinued, but after scouring the internet I managed to buy 10 balls of pink and 5 of mauve. I checked with my son and daughter in law to see which colour they would prefer for a a coat for Emilia, and the reply was mauve.
So the next practice had to be in pink. I made it jacket length, and added a cable design down the front edges and down the centre of the sleeves. This meant I could keep track of the rows when knitting the sleeves, so no need for any marker yarn. The added refinement was a button and buttonhole to fasten the collar in place at the back, so it can stay neatly folded down at the front above the third button. For chilly weather, the collar can stand up and be buttoned up to the chin - the top button is hidden when the collar is folded down.
I was quite pleased with the result, even though I had a bit of a knitting crisis with it. When I was just reaching the collar, I noticed that about twelve rows previously, for the shoulder shaping at one side at the back, I had accidentally shifted the decreasing two stitches across. The option was either undo all those rows (about two inches), or drop the stitches and pick them up with the decreases in the right position. I went for option 2. It took hours. Now I am watching out like a hawk to make sure I don't repeat that mistake again too soon. I can't believe I merrily worked so many rows without noticing it.
Having finished the pink jacket in under four balls of yarn, I knew I had plenty of the mauve to make a longer coat for Emilia. So here it is, with a slightly neater collar than the one on the pink jacket, and button down cuffs. If, as my husband predicts, she ends up sucking the cuff buttons, they can easily be removed.
This time I managed to keep all the sleeve shaping in line, but just as I was reaching the collar...
Why don't I plan on paper, you might ask? Because my maths is rubbish. I'd rather just make up patterns as I go along. And I can make as many mistakes as I like while watching murder mysteries on telly.
...just as I was reaching the collar I noticed that the back was narrower than it should be. The option was to have a tighter collar than on the pink jacket, or unpick about four rows and work that section without decreases. Again, I went for option 2.
The error can be blamed on my maths. Despite counting several zillion times to check I had the right number of stitches, I finally worked out that I should have cast on 201 stitches, not 191.
So some time soon I shall be casting on 201 stitches for the next version in pink.
2020 was definitely my knitting year, when I cracked the mysteries of seamless garments. Now, perhaps I should work on my planning.