Letters to Camp

Updated: Feb 16

Right now I'm staring at the tiny, perfect, 18-month version of Letters to Camp that's hanging in my studio (ahem, dining room), wondering whether the buttons I've ordered are going to be The Ones and whether they'll arrive in time for photography before this pattern goes live next week.


It wasn't supposed to be this way - I have hundreds of buttons. In my mind, I had already decided which stash buttons would be the top contenders and was confident it would be a matter of making a choice between several excellent options. Instead, the end of last week found me feverishly ordering dozens of additional buttons and now I'm crossing my fingers and watching the mailbox.

Mia is three, and is proud to be doing the buttons on her white sweater by herself.  Contrasting welts in pink, green, blue, and bronze run the length of the button bands and over the hood.
Photo: Anna-Lisa Miller, @AHiddenPurl

The problem is that I'm not very good when it comes to color. For my first sample, I was inspired by a flower pot in my tattoo artist's studio, with flecks embedded in the clay that perfectly modernized the colors of my childhood summers. But let's be honest, a sweater for kids in off-white can be a little intimidating and I'd pitched the sweater to my four-year-old by calling it a 'rainbow' sweater and I knew I needed to deliver.


So instead of plowing on with my own stunted sense of color, I emailed Shobha from Serendipitous Wool Company (because she's a color genius). I'd worked with her yarn previously when I'd ordered one of the Yarn Journeys Book Club collaborations with Birch Hollow Fibers (highly recommend!) and I'm a huge fan of her values-forward approach to building an online community on Instagram. I'm honored to be working up a second sample in her recommended colorways, which definitely deliver on the rainbow theme and which I never could have put together on my own.

Back view of a highly textured light blue sweater, with bands of rainbow colors looping around the hood.
Size 18 months shown in Serendipitous Wool Co

Construction Notes

The fronts, backs and sleeves are all knit flat, then seamed. Stitches are picked up for the hood, which is finished at the top with a three-needle bind-off. You'll pick up stitches for the contrasting welts, and then the button band. Instructions are given for putting the buttons on either side. To seam the sleeves I recommend this incredible tutorial from Patty Lyons - How to Seam a Set-in Sleeve.


Sizes

18 mos (2 yrs, 3 yrs, 4 yrs, 6 yrs) (8 yrs, 10 yrs, 12 yrs, 14 yrs)


Body chest circumference: 19 (21, 22, 23, 24) (26, 28, 30, 32) inches / 47.5 (52.5, 55, 57.5, 60) (65, 70, 75, 80) cm


Finished garment chest circumference: 21 (23.25, 24, 26, 26.75) (28.25, 31, 33.75, 35.5) inches / 52 (59, 60.5, 65, 67) (71.5, 77.5, 84, 89.5) cm


Generally, I recommend choosing a size with 2 - 3.75 inches of positive ease for wearing over a light tee-shirt. If you'll be styling this over something more substantial, you may wish to size up.


A small blue sweater mid-construction, with the shoulders seamed and stitches picked up for the hood.  Balls of contrasting yarn appear on the work surface.
Vajra, in Pearl Blue, makes a dense jacket-like texture

Yardage Estimates

MC: 1080 (1320, 1490, 1675, 1910) (2190, 2610, 2870, 3140) yd / 990 (1205, 1365, 1535, 1745) (2005, 2385, 2625, 2870) m


CC 1, 2, 3, and 4, each: 50 (60, 60, 65, 70) (80, 85, 85, 90) yd / 45 (55, 55, 60, 65) (70, 75, 80, 80) m


A note on yarn - you can totally substitute a heavier yarn held single for the main color. The texture might be a little less rugged but it will still be very awesome.


Pattern Credits

Tech Edit: Heather Storta, @HeatherStorta

Testers: Susan, Demetria, Susan, Katie, Jenn, Leslie, Kirsten, Stephanie, Marion, Brigitte, Callean, Beth

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