For the kids' birthdays this year Jim and I decided to make their presents (we knew the collective grandparents and their friends would take care of the store-bought stuff). Each kid got a new quilt, a sweater, and a costume from their dad. I can't speak for Jim---but making the quilts and sweaters for the kids' birthdays was as much for me as it was for them. I liked the symmetry of making them the same things, and all were projects that I had been trying to move to the top of my list for a while. I hope this will be the first post of several in the next few days sharing these projects (I haven't been very good about updating this site).
I used Hadley Fierlinger's pattern from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies for Gram's sweater (a book I highly recommend). This was based on a vintage pattern, so the pieces were made separately and then sewn together. I have to admit I was very skeptical and considered unraveling the whole thing more than once. Even as I sewed together the finished pieces, I still thought it was going to be a huge failure. It seemed way too small and I just wasn't sure I was lining up the raglan seams properly. So I was kind of shocked when it was all done and it was so charming and perfect. A bit on the small side -- that is my fault, not Hadley's -- but it fits him and he actually likes it. He wore it to school twice during the first week. A big improvement over my first attempt to make him a sweater.
He likes it because the yarn is so soft. I used yarn that I bought at the Michigan Fiber Festival last summer. It is Knitting Notions classic merino superwash sport. I bought the yarn at the festival directly from Catherine Harrison, the owner of Knitting Notions. The yarn is expensive (the most I've ever spent on a single skein), but it is beautiful and soft and gorgeously dyed.
(I really like the buttons on the back). I'll soon share the birthday sweater I made our daughter.