Last month, my amazing daughter turned nine and like the artist and maker that I am, I could not resist the opportunity to create some handmade gifts for her. At the beginning of the month, I was on the fence about whether or not I could realistically knit her a sweater by the time her birthday came around. I needed to decide on a design and pattern (I’m a major over thinker so this takes days and sometimes weeks), order supplies, and get the whole thing made in just under four weeks. It seemed like a stretch but I decided to go for it anyway.
I spent some time thinking about her birthday being in spring and the woods behind our home where the undergrowth fills out at this time of year, first with lush green plants and then dotted with wildflowers blooming. I also thought about how much my girl LOVES picking flowers when she plays outside and is constantly bringing fistfuls of them inside for me as bouquets. These visuals were my inspiration when I selected a design plan for her sweater. I have been wanting to try embroidering on a hand knit for some time (this talented maker’s instagram feed provides endless inspiration). Since Caroline has really loved other cardigan sweaters I have made for her, I chose a plain cardigan pattern and planned to embroider on top of the pockets as a design detail.
I didn’t follow any specific tutorial for the embroidery but cobbled together an approach after reading lots of different things online. I sketched out designs on paper first to make sure the scale would be correct for the area of the pocket, and transferred them onto water soluble stabilizer. I placed the tracing on the stabilizer over the fabric in the desired area, secured it with an embroidery hoop, and got to work. You can see day by day photos of the process of the making of this sweater on my Instagram story highlights.
There were many times along the way when I fretted about whether or not this would turn out the way that I hoped, but now that it is finished I can say that it is even better than I could have imagined. I love the gold rimmed pearl buttons, the design and finished look of the pockets, and of course, the embroidery. I can’t wait to experiment more with embroidery on my handmade garments, both sewn and knit items. Have you ever embroidered a piece of clothing to add visual interest?