Maybe I'd be a more productive knitter if my grand-daughter came to visit more frequently. While she was staying with me over New Year I faced up to the fact that I needed to finish the cardigan for her that I'd begun more than six months ago if she was to benefit from it before growing too much more.
[Forgive the quality of these photos - a combination of a moving target, a dull morning, a point-and-click camera and lack of time. However, my grand-daughter's now gone home so I had no second chances]
It's the Playful Stripes Cardigan by Alana Dakos (Never Not Knitting), who produces perfect patterns for little girls - modern, useful, and not too 'pretty'. This one's knitted from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in an aqua-blue shade that suits my grand-daughter. I love stripes, and am particularly taken by the reverse garter-stitch yoke of this cardigan. The one disadvantage of the pattern is that even though it's knitted in the round in one piece, there's a great deal of finishing - all the edges from the stripes need to be sewn in, the button bands picked up and knitted on, and the picot hems sewn up (I'd knit them in if I were to make this again). In fact, the reason this cardi took so long to finish was that it languished in my knitting bag for ages, waiting for me to sew in the ends.
Here's a clearer photo of the cardi - though without my cute grand-daughter:
One day Ana Maria asked if I could knit her a beebie. After initial puzzlement I worked out she wanted a hat - a beanie. A couple of days later when the hat was on the needles I asked her how she liked her beebie. She looked at me witheringly and said 'It's not a beebie - it's a beanie'. They move on very quickly at three-and-a-half. Like most knitters I love receiving knitting requests - at least from people I love - and so we jointly chose the yarn from my stash and I cast on for my tried and true favourite beanie - Mustaa Villaa's Garter Stitch Beanie.
This hat is knitted in 8ply yarn (dk) to quite a dense gauge - I know from experience that it makes a warm and very sturdy beanie. You can see my liking for reverse garter-stitch stripes again - and the stripes give you the opportunity to use up scraps of yarn, including sock yarn used double. I've discovered that almost any combination of colours in the stripes looks good, as long as you include a couple of stripes of the main hat colour.
So, in a few days I had a satisfactorily finished cardigan that had been waiting far too long, and a smart new hat.