I’m Sylvester…

So the Cave Troll got a hold of the old Warner Brother’s cartoons we have on dvd, and one day (about the time it dawns on me that it’s a gorgeous morning and he needs to be outside turning browner) he comes running out of my bedroom going, “I’m not the Cave Troll, I’m Sylvester…” As in Sylvester and Tweety, right?

After a couple of days of this, Chicken and I look at each other and say, “Why does he want to be Sylvester? That damned cat NEVER wins!!!”

Ladybug’s repetoire of phrases has widened–now it includes “whatydoing?” and “dondodat!” and “dadyshom”. She also has this way of looking at you when you say ‘no’–you have to watch for it, because it is this look, and this look alone, that precipitates her running like hell in the opposite direction. Little shit…

And I have an absolutely hilarious story that I can’t remember, rolling around my brain-pan like a marble in a dance studio…everytime the scene flashes across a mirror, the kid at the barre goes, “pretty marble” and the scene disappears. I’ll probably remember tomorrow, as we’re drifting across the wilds of California on the way to Monterey…

And speaking of which? I have no idea which project to pack…it’s driving me BATSHIT!!! I’ve got a bunch of socks that I’m working on, but I usually like something in a weightier yarn because hotel lights suck shite, and I don’t want to go blind to unwind…

And I remembered that damned funny story!!!

But first, a classification of redneck grunion you may not have heard before:

ages 0-10 months: ankle biters
ages 10 months-2 1/2 years: diaper monkeys
ages 3 years–5 years: nose miners
ages 6–10 years: chatter enhanced passengers
ages 10 years–14 years: bacteria stench factories
ages 11 years–the day they move out: diminished capacity couch amoebas
Fully Grown: The apples of your eye, the lights of your life, and the most beautiful babies ever to grace the third rock’s crust.

Okay, and here’s the absolutely hilarious thing:
The little ones were outside, playing in the pool. They were naked. And then I saw Ladybug, playing with a suspiciously colored, suspiciously shaped object, and just as it was dawning on me what that object COULD be, that was the moment my sweet little girl chose to put the thing in her mouth. Ladybug’s dismay when I snatched said object out of her hand with a shriek of horror could not have been any more pronounced than the neighbor’s curiosity as I danced up and down in the middle of the kiddie pool, shouting, “It’s a rock, it’s a rock it’s a rock, oh thank the gods and sweet Goddess, it’s just a roooooooooooooock!!!”

*sigh* Yeah, those kids and that kiddie pool–thems good times.

Anyway, I promised and I shall deliver, and here it is for your enjoyment, the pattern for Sylvester’s alligator sweater–pictured again here:

(Yes, that is a front and back photo, plus bonus footage of Baby and The Rat.) Anyway, I got the motif from this book–1000 Knitting Motifs, I’m sure you’ve all seen it. The deal is that you can really do this with any picture you like–the thing that makes the sweater is the colors. I had visions of doing something like this using that same reference book, red and white, and putting ladybugs on it for, well, Ladybug. Then I thought of the odds that my sweet little baby would be able to wear white for longer than, say, the time it takes for her to get a booger on her sucking thumb and popping that baby right in her mouth, and thought that maybe her next sweater would be a muted green with yellow and rose high lights. That being said, I used Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweaters to get some of my initial numbers, and then, of course, tweaked the hell out of everything, because, as you all know, that’s where the fun is. And now, here’s me, writing a pattern. If nothing else, it should be worth the entertainment value to read:

Size–Child’s, size 3-4 year old (You may want to make it longer to make it fit bigger kids–it’s pretty wide.)

Yarn: Cascade Superwash Wool, three balls purple, one ball each light brown, lime green, and mint green. 1 ball Schaeffer’s Lola, (it’s superwash, but it’s a little lighter than the Cascade–I just soldiered on and hoped for the best.) I’m pretty sure the color was ‘Gertrude Stein’–it had multiple browns, a dark forest green, and a lovely purple in the colorway.

Needles: Size Seven

Gauge: 4 1/2 stitches per inch

*With purple, CO 68 stitches
*Work 6 rows in garter stitch
*Change to stockinette stitch
*Work 3 inches in stockinette stitch,
*change to light brown, work 2 rows in light brown
*change to variegated, work two rows in variegated
* start alligator chart from book and work alligator in the darker green against the variegated. Center aligator so that the tail runs against the back of the chart and the nose has four spaces in front of it. A note on this–I tried working the alligator two ways–the back was straight intarsia with the details embroidered on in duplicate stitch–there were so many ends to weave that the alligator feels three dimensional. For the front I said screw it and just worked a bunch of floats, and then again embroidered the details. The front turned out MUCH better, and the floats don’t catch nearly as much as I thought they would, so I would recommend that. (Or do the whole thing in duplicate stitch…either way, it’s a finicky pissy job, but the results are worth it.)
* When you are finished with the alligator, work two rows in variegated alone,
* switch to light brown, work two rows in light brown
switch to purple and work in stockinette until the back measures 9 inches. (Note–I wish I’d made it longer, but the sweater he’s wearing is 9 inches.)
* At the beginning of the next 4 rows, BO 4 stitches
* Decrease 1 stitch each end of needle in next row
There will remain 50 stitches
Continue even until armholes measure 6 1/2 inches
* At beg of next 4 rows BO 6 stitches
BO remaining stitches for back

Front: Work as for back until after armholes have been shaped.
*After armholes, work even for two inches, then BO center three stitches, joining another yarn to the second side of shoulder. Work both sides of the placket until armholes measure same as at back to shoulder.
*Shape shoulders:
* At each armhole edge, BO 6 stitches WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, BO 3 stitches at each placket edge.
*At each armhole edge, BO 6 more stitches
On your next pass, bind off.

Sleeves: With purple, CO 32 stitches
Work Garter stitch for six rows
Change to stockinette and begin increasing 1 stitch on each side of sleeve every six rows. Do this 9 times, and there will be 50 stitches on sleeve.
Work 4 rows in stockinettw with purple
Change to lt brown, work 2 rows
Change to variegated, work 4 rows
Change to darker green, work 2 rows garter stitch
Change to variegated, work 4 rows
Change to light brown, work 2 rows
Change to purple, work sleeve until it measures 11 3/4 inches
Shape Cap:
At beginning of next 2 rows, BO 4 stitches
At beginning of following two rows BO 4 stitches
Decrease 1 stitch each end of needle every RS row once
Decrease 1 stitch each end of needle every 4 rows once
Then decrease 1 stitch each end of needle every 2 rows 4 times.
Then BO 3 stitches at the beginning of next 4 rows.
There should be 10 stitches left, bind those puppies off.

Stitch shoulder seams, fit sleeves, sew up the sleeves, sew up the sides, move on to the hood.

Starting at one end of the placket and working your way around to the other side of the placket, pick up stitches around–I didn’t count, I just did it comfortably–this is the easy pick-up–one stitch for each stitch that’s been bound off, + 1 on the shoulder seam and one for each row, and you’re there.

Work in stockinette stitch for 10-12 inches. (I like me a long hood–some people like them snug.)

Bind off hood stitches, fold hood in half, and sew the top closed.

Using variegated, and starting at the BOTTOM VEE of the placket, pick up stitches up the placket, up the sides of the hood, and around to the other side of the vee on the placket.

Knit 8 rows of garter stitch and bind off.

Sew the bottom of hood edging to the bottom of the placket and take a bow.

Then take a breath, because this is when I added the duplicate stitch to the damned alligators, but you’re probably much smarter than I am, so you can block the sweater and take that bow again.

See you all in a week!

0 thoughts on “I’m Sylvester…”

  1. roxie says:

    He needs to learn to say, “thufferin’ thuccotath!” “Baby with rat” picture should be in every high-school girls’ sex-ed book with a caption that says, “This is normal. Get used to it. they aren’t all ruffles and sweet-scented powder.”

  2. NeedleTart says:

    When The Children were younger they discovered that Mom could do voice impressions. Number one? Sylvester. Sometimes the cat could get them to behave better than the Mom.
    I have a story about Elder Son and pool effulvia, but he won’t let anyone tell it. So it’ll just have to wait until we talk face to face.
    Enjoy your vacation.

  3. Have fun on the vacation!!

    Sylvester, looks really cute in the sweater.

  4. Louiz says:

    Well, your parcel has gone off, but the royal mail is being militant again so I’m not sure when it will get to you. Also I’m back. Hope you had a brilliant holiday.

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