What should I knit with this variegated cotton yarn?
May 26, 2014 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Last summer, four days before my daughter was due, I acquired two and a half skeins of Cascade Luna Paints yarn in colorway 9792, to knit a coming-home hat and booties and maybe even a weensy little lovey blanket. Well, the baby came two days early and the hat never got beyond a brim, and now she's a happy toddling thing who has NO interest in hats or booties. I have an emotional attachment to the idea of using this yarn for this child. What should I use the yarn for instead?

The yarn is 100% cotton and nice enough to work with. It's aran-weight and primarily blues with some pale green and some purple. The colorway is called "waterlily". It isn't really enough yarn for much of a blanket, and she's got a great crib blanket already (that I knit with 12 full skeins of Cascade Luna solids, incidentally).

I almost never buy variegated colorways - the most variegated I usually get is a semisolid or heather. But this yarn jumped into my hands and insisted it needed to belong to my baby girl, so who was I to argue?

I don't typically love sweaters in variegated yarns; I'm not crazy about how colors pool and how different the patterning is on the sleeves. I do have enough yarn for a sweater if someone has any awesome ideas on how to make it spectacular.

I was thinking of maybe something with stripes, to make the two and a half skeins go a little further, but I can't really think of what to pair it with. Also, the best local yarn store has gone out of business so if you think stripes would be a good idea, I'd appreciate suggestions of specific decent yarns to match that I could seek out.

What do you think, knitters of MeFi?
posted by SeedStitch to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about a toy that she can keep? Also, you need a password to see the yarn so I'm guessing as to what it looks like.
posted by Jubey at 6:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

A toy maybe? These are the toys that others have made with it so far.
posted by wiskunde at 6:14 PM on May 26, 2014

FYI, your links can't be seen by people who don't have ravelry accounts.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:14 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, shoot, forgot Ravelry doesn't let you see some stuff if you're not logged in. Here's the Cascade page. The colorway is in the middle of the second row down.
posted by SeedStitch at 6:15 PM on May 26, 2014

I do a stripey baby sweater pretty regularly. Something like this might work for you.

I use a solid color and an off-white, but you could use that variegated and a solid color from the Luna solids that picks out one of the colors from the variegated. Because of the stripes you wouldn't get a big pooling effect, though it might pool a little in the sleeves.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:26 PM on May 26, 2014

Seconding a stripey baby sweater. I've used Knitty's daisy with good results.
posted by rebeccabeagle at 6:37 PM on May 26, 2014

When my daughter was about that age, I knit her a beach/market bag--I didn't use a pattern, but you know what I mean. Stockinette bottom, stockinette bottom couple inches, several inches of mesh (a row of K2tog, YO, then a row of knit), bind off, drawstring. It wasn't huge--probably two skeins was more than enough--but she loved it, and it became her Going Places bag for several years. Going to grandma's? Go put your stuffies in your bag! Going to supper? Toys and books in the bag!

She's eleven now. The bag was a regular feature for quite a few years, and I'm 90% sure that it's still in her bedroom somewhere, stuffed full of Monster High dolls or some other horrible thing. It's less of a potential heirloom than a sweater or a toy, but a lot more practical.
posted by MeghanC at 6:38 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I too came in to suggest a bag. My daughter is six now and loves her purses/bags. Make a thing as big as a toddler can handle with an adjustable strap and she'll have it for years. We had a lot of lovely crocheted garments from my mother and it pains me how short the usability period was for a lot of it.

Alternatively, if you are the type: matching mother-daughter scarves -- make hers huge so you can max out the life span!
posted by kmennie at 6:59 PM on May 26, 2014

Hey, a bag sounds like a great idea! You won't have to worry too much about the colours pooling - and anyhow, alternating skeins should take care of that - and it feels special to have something to cart stuff around in just like mum*. If you use an adjustable strap, like the one on the Medano Beach tote here, then perhaps what is today a roomy cart-all bag will in ten years be a small purse. That's cool.

In fact, you could just graft a shorter strap on now and keep some yarn for the future, when you can put in a longer strap, like replacing sock heels. Or if she has a special toy (and you have saintly patience for working on small items and those damned DPNs) they could get matching bags!

*although it is totally okay not to wear handbags and such
posted by undue influence at 7:12 PM on May 26, 2014

I was going to suggest a nice stuffed bunny or something like that. Maybe a bunny and a little bag to carry it in.

A sweater will get outgrown practically as soon as it's finished.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:14 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

A skirt! Depending on the construction the variegation could be vertical or horizontal - I'm more familiar with crochet than knitting but if you find a pattern that has gores the variegation could highlight the pattern in neat ways, too. Make an adjustable waist so she can still wear it as she grows (a ribbon sash cinch?), and see about twirly-factor. Lovely colorway. Would look nice with adorable leggings of nearly any color, I think.
posted by Mizu at 7:22 PM on May 26, 2014

I would buy a solid of the same yarn, and make a dress like this one.
posted by kjs4 at 7:23 PM on May 26, 2014

Flossie Bear! I did one with varigated yarn for the contrast colour in fair isle patterns and it came out lovely. Choose a plain strong-contrasting main colour and make her a big squishy pillow bear to love. Very simple, and useful as a small pillow. I've made two FBs now and had to wrestle them away from my toddler to wrap as presents. Fair isle with varigated yarn is lots of fun for the way it turns out.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:32 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Those colors sound great for a stuffed elephant or octopus! I have heard that these can be knitted. I do not actually know as I can only knit rectangular things. Sweaters and bags sound lovely - and if they get to be too small or worn maybe they could be framed or put into a shadow box as a keepsake.
posted by Verba Volant at 10:20 PM on May 26, 2014

This sweet little ruffly top thingie?
posted by Kaleidoscope at 11:06 PM on May 26, 2014

Lately I've been drawing inspiration from projects other people have done. So here's the Rav search for projects made with this yarn, so you can see how it pools or stripes on a project you wish to do. I'm of the same mind as you re. variegation and pooling, but the very last project on that page (Watercolors by Peaceful Knitter) has some pleasant variegation, even if the project didn't turn out well. So I probably wouldn't rule out a sweater quite yet.

Here's a search for all Cascade Luna Paints. The Little Sister, using your variegated yarn for the top part and bottom hem, and a coordinating solid for the body of the dress (like here) is really nice, and adjusting the pattern for the aran weight shouldn't be that difficult.

Otherwise, you say she's got a crib blanket. How about a small blankie for the car? Or to sit on when the stroller seat is too hot. You could easily stretch your amount of yarn with some striping.

If you have enough for a sweater, you probably have enough for a cute poncho. This one is in my favorites, and could be strategically striped with coordinating yarn to break up pooling and stretch your yardage. Better, it's already written for aran weight!

Finally, here's a search for aran cotton yarn, yardage 350-410, pattern for a toddler. I really like the Little Dots Sweater, short sleeve version for summer, and think the little dots will make very pretty ripples in your waterlily pond.
posted by Liesl at 7:49 AM on May 27, 2014

Ooh, just found this skirt. I think your yarn would look lovely with this.
posted by Liesl at 8:08 AM on May 27, 2014

I can vouch for this little dude's adorableness and suitability to cotton yarn. The pattern specifies a lighter weight, but I knitted mine out of a worsted weight with no issues since gauge/fit isn't the same issue for stuffed animals as it is for clothes that need to fit someone.
posted by augustimagination at 8:38 AM on May 27, 2014

These are all excellent suggestions. I like the idea of a stuffed animal or bag instead of a sweater, because at the rate she's growing she'll be out of whatever I knit in no time flat. I did check out all of the Luna Paints projects on Ravelry but none of them really blew my hair back the way some of these suggestions do.

The Cascade Luna solids don't really match up very well with this particular variegated, so I love the suggestion of the Blue Sky Alpacas cotton to expand my range.

I really like some of the other projects that I'm not marking as best answer - I'll be checking those out as soon as I've finished her knitted toy and bag combo!
posted by SeedStitch at 8:59 AM on May 27, 2014

The Blue Sky Alpacas cotton is actually what I used for the elephant I linked above, and it is SUPER soft and snuggly - definitely great for the projects you're considering!
posted by augustimagination at 9:02 AM on May 27, 2014

Wanted to correct my link above for "this little dude" which was supposed to be the Elijah elephant pattern by Ysolda Teague (Ravelry link). I did, indeed, knit him up using the Blue Sky Alpacas cotton the link actually goes to.
posted by augustimagination at 11:07 AM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

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