The Story of the Little Sailor Coat

After so many comments on my Little Sailor Coat from last week I figured I needed to follow up with it’s story this week.  I think sometimes a project comes along that combines all of the things we love most about knitting.  Not that I don’t love all my projects but some just hit all the sweet spots and that’s how I felt about this sweater.

Some good friends of mine got involved with a local foster to adopt program in hopes of adding a child to their family.  A beautiful baby girl was placed in their care last year.  As with all children in the foster system she had a rough start in life.  They are hopeful that she will be able to stay with their family but it is a very long process.  With fall approaching they asked if I would knit a cardigan sweater for her.  I enthusiastically said yes!

Here’s the deal – I have lots of amazing girls in my life but when they were tiny I lacked the knitting skills to knit cute little sweaters.  Now, they are tweens and teens and not so interested in hand knit sweaters.  My friends’ request gave me the opportunity to check out all the cute baby sweaters I hear about on podcasts and see my friends knitting.  I showed up to knit night and explained my mission for the evening – find a pattern and some yarn to make a totally adorable baby sweater.  I had been looking on Ravelry and was focused on top down, knit in one piece sweaters because sewing is not my thing.

As I was wandering, my friend L who works at the store approached me with a sample the store had of the Little Purple Sailor Coat and I fell in love.  And, like real life love, it did not matter that it checked off none of my must haves and all of my dealbreakers.  It called for Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK which is a slightly more expensive yarn, especially for a baby sweater (dealbreaker).  I went home that night and opened up the book and set out to cast on.  That’s when I realized it was knit in pieces parts – sigh (dealbreaker).  This was not the sweater of my dreams but it was still the one.

Let me just say the yarn is a total delight!  It can be a little splitty but is so soft and so nice to knit and the drape of the yarn is really what makes the coat so beautiful.  There was no way I could have substituted yarn and been as happy with the finished project. One little problem – my friend loves to the dress the baby in pink, all pink, all the time. The only pink that was available was more of a dusty rose and I did not think it lended itself to an entire garmet.  But, there was an amazing denim blue that I thought would be perfect.  It was going to require a little persuation on my part but I convinced my friend that we needed to go with the blue.  I told her the entire knitting group had voted for the blue and I promised to incorporate some pink.  It really helped to have the shop sample to study.  We could see from the sample that the trim could be knit in a different color so I picked up one ball of the pink and decided to do all the trim in pink.  Over the course of the evening I had explained who the sweater was for and what the story was with the baby and when we had everything picked out I don’t think there was a dry eye at the table – the yarn, the pattern, the colors, the baby it was for, it was a perfect combination.

Ravelry tells me I started it on April 21.  I picked it up on and off over the summer as time and other knitting would allow.  My friends at knit night would ask how it was coming and if there was any news on the baby’s story.  I have to say that knitting a baby sweater is very satisfying!  It’s so quick because it’s so small!  I always worked on it when I just wanted to sit and enjoy my knitting.  The pattern had enough variety that it never got boring but it also never required a ton of concentration which made it a very enjoyable knit.  And I finished it just in time for fall to arrive!

Because of the foster care rules, I cannot share a picture of my friends’ baby wearing it (but I have seen them and she is adorable and really loves her new sweater!). So I had our shop baby, Rose, model it at knit night before I gave it to my friends.  It was Rose’s first modeling job and she totally rocked it!

What do we love most about knitting?  Knitting for those we love, finding the perfect yarn & pattern combo, the help & support of our knitting pals, and a finished object we love!  This was all of that and more.  From the pattern and yarn selection to the modeling of the FO – my knit group is so entwined in this project and the more good vibes that are sent my friends way, the better.  And, I can say that I knit love and prayers for her in every stitch.  This is a much loved sweater for a much loved baby 🙂


3 thoughts on “The Story of the Little Sailor Coat

  1. Oh my goodness. I just want squeeze those baby cheeks. So cute! Thank you for sharing your story. Prayers that everything works out.


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