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Pitching sweaters to your kid

I don’t know about y’all, but my daughter has an unholy amount of clothing and wears very little of it.

Much of her wardrobe is second-hand and consists of super soft t-shirts and performance fleece sweatshirts with fuzzy linings. Some I’ve bought new, purchased in an attempt to smooth our morning routine, and emblazoned with the cutest bunnies on the market.

Sprinkled into that array of texturally appealing clothes are the sweaters I’ve knit her. Given the competition in her closet, I’m pretty pleased that she reaches for the sweaters with reasonable frequency. She’s not sentimental and she’s highly (and vocally) particular, so anytime she chooses a sweater it’s because she honestly prefers it to any of her other choices - woohoo!

A few weeks ago, I talked to you about wearability (here), and that’s important. Today I want to talk about your sweater pitch - how do you get buy-in with your kids? Sure, you can let them pick out the pattern or the yarn, but I think we can be even MORE compelling!

Tap into a beloved theme

In my house, nothing turns an indifferent ‘oh, you can give that to someone else’ into an urgent ‘I want to try it on NOW!’ quite as fast as introducing a theme. My Scoop Shop Cardi is a design born of this very principle (ice cream, anyone?). Here’s a few more to get you started!

  1. Rainbows (I pitched Letters to Camp as a ‘rainbow sweater)

  2. Princesses - try using a yarn with some sequins or bell sleeves

  3. Trains - maybe a square stitch texture pattern, or cables that look like wooden train tracks

  4. Favorite animals - how about a green sweater for a frog lover, or a wooly yarn for a puppy lover?

Delegate button choices

I don’t know about you, but I have very fond memories of my mother’s button tin, and take pride in maintaining my own. My daughter refers to many of her sweaters by their buttons (her Elevenses Cardigan, for example, is her ‘heart’ sweater). Kids are almost guaranteed to pick out obnoxious plastic buttons we would never in a million years choose - but I think it’s worth it in wears-per-sweater!

A four year old's hand full of buttons shaped like cookies, donuts, pretzels, and bunnies.
Look at this little paw! I have a hard time vetoing her choices!!

Evoke a costume

Even the most sweater-reluctant kid might find some enthusiasm for a knit that doubles as a costume. SuperCape, from Shanalines Designs, is just such a design. The pattern includes a coloring page and examples of **7** different capes to get your kid engaged!

Other fun ideas? How about a ballet tutu, a robot sweater, or a sweater in the color that a favorite character wears?


I was winding up yarn for a sample the other day and my daughter sweetly looked up from legos and announced "if you have leftover yarn you can make me one too, and we can be twinsies!" I (barely) resisted the urge to immediately order a few more skeins, but if your kid likes to hit the playground in matching looks, offer them a sweater that matches one of yours. Maybe it's the same sweater in a different size (Try Little Sunup and Sunup on 82nd, for example), or just the same yarn or the same color!

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