Don’t everybody keel over from all the excitement, but it’s another WGK blog post and another new design in the same week! Let me tell you how Lalita, aka The Rainbow Sweatshirt, was born. Back in early March I started to get a design itch. My Instagram feed was overflowing with handknits in black and white marled wool, and I wanted a piece of that action. I knew exactly the shape of pullover I wanted to make and just what its features and proportions would be, and I wanted to make something that could work for a little girl or a grown woman. I figured I’d begin with the little girl version, since the sample would practically knit itself and since I’m possessed of a little girl to try it on. Happy Knits had just enough black-and-white Cascade Duo on sale. I was all set to pull the trigger when I realized what I was doing.
My kid is four and a half. She doesn’t want a black-and-white pullover. That’s what I want. What Ada wants is the loudest yarn in the store. The yarn that’s as bright and madcap as her personality.
So there you have it. Instead of the Duo, I brought home this Madeline Tosh Vintage in the Holi Festival colorway. If you’ve never lived on the Subcontinent or somewhere with a big Hindu population, Holi is a spring festival, the festival of colors. It’s a day of joy and fun that you can’t possibly miss because of rang khelne (that’s Nepali, I’m not sure about the Hindi), color play. Everyone has packets of brightly colored powders, water balloons, squirt guns, etc., and the ambushing and merriment proceeds from there. (The water makes the powder stick better, you see.) Everybody is fair game—old people, little kids, total strangers, tall white exchange students.
I was right on the mark. My daughter fell on that bag of yarn like a pirate on booty, complete with lustful chortling. When she saw the sweater taking shape on the needles, she exclaimed, “Rainbow sweatshirt!!! Just looking at it makes me want to wear it right now!” You can’t ask for better enthusiasm about Mama’s handknits than that, so I knew I’d done right.
Lalita is a Sanskrit girls’ name meaning “playful,” because this is a pullover built for play. It’s got lots of positive ease, a swingy high-low hem (shaped with short rows but also by the garter-stitch panel at the center front), and pockets for treasures. It’s got modified drop shoulders that don’t add bulk at the underarm and comfortable sleeves, neither too slim nor too baggy. Slipped stitches at the sides produce a faux seam for visual interest and to add a fold in the fabric. The worsted-weight yarn is worked a little over gauge for plenty of stretchy drape. In short, I love everything about it.
And about this terrific growing girl, who offered up all these (and many more) silly poses without any coaching. Glad you like your sweater, kiddo.
The pattern is in the grading stage, where I work out the numbers for larger and smaller sizes. I’m thinking 2-12, but chime in if you have other ideas! A women’s version will be on the way, too.