Sunset Highway Mini / Tecumseh Sweater Hack

So......I'm in love with the Tecumseh sweater pattern by Boyland Knitworks, like the rest of the internet. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to make it for myself, in the most selfish, 'my precious' kind of way.

There was only one problem. Or two or three.

First off, I'd never done colorwork, where you switch back and forth between multiple colors. So...I'd need to learn that. Secondly, I'd never knit an adult sized sweater before. Thirdly, a needle size and yarn that small absolutely made my head spin. I was a chunky/bulky/size 15 knitting needle kind of girl. Fourthly, I was a slow knitter. In fact, I hadn't knit in a while, because I was SO SLOW. I'd lose interest in a project before it even started to take shape. It was so unsatisfying, in fact, I switched to crochet, where I could speed along on little chunky projects and get some immediate gratification.

The To Do list was daunting.

1. Learn colorwork. How do people even do this magic?
2. Get some patience and knit an entire garment, knowing it will also satisfy my fashion bug if I could do it well. As a tall person, making clothes that actually fit will be great, too.
3. Get over the needle size. Hell, get over yourself.
4. Speed up. Aka, learn continental knitting. Aka, re-learn how to knit.

With all that in mind, I decided I had to make a smaller, kid-sized version first, just to wrap my brain around all this newness. But, there isn't a kid-sized version of the Tecumseh. So what now?

I wanted to understand how knitting garments works, so I figured I'd just dive in and learn as I go.  I found a pattern that was similar, the Sunset Highway Mini, also by Boyland Knitworks, which is an adorable pattern in and of itself. I studied the pattern and decided I'd just do that one, but change the colorwork part to look more like the Tecumseh.

I loved the idea of colorwork, working off a grid. It's similar to cross-stitch, quilting and computer pixels, which I was familiar enough with. So I made a little grid in Photoshop and got to work. Here's the grid I came up with, after some *major* trial and error.

Other than changing the grid, I made the rest of the pattern as written, but with short sleeves. Luna is tall, so I didn't want to make a sweater for future-Luna, without having future-Luna's sleeve measurements.

Oh did I not mention that IT TURNED OUT TO BE A SIZE 10?!?

So here's what happened.

I bought yarn in the Tecumseh colors, looking at the Tecumseh pattern's gauge and recommended yarn weight. It wasn't expensive, but honestly with the aforementioned To Do list looming over me I wasn't 100% sure I'd really pull this off. I'm what I call a "two day project person." If it takes me longer than two days, I'm out. But having a kiddo has changed this a bit, so I didn't really know where I stood patience-wise.

So with my inexpensive but lovely cotton grey, mustard and oatmeal yarns in hand, I figured I'd do the smallest size of the Sunset Highway Mini, a size 2. Since Luna is so tall and is fitting into clothes that are ahead of her time, I figured doing a 2 would wind up being a 4 or so at this gauge, and maybe I'd finish the thing by the time she was 4. So I just plowed ahead, googled "casting on knitting," and went for it.

Despite the odds, an insane amount of ripping out and re-doing, and a whole lotta Google searches later, I'd accomplished that To Do list, and in about 10 weeks. Yeah, that's a long time. BUT. They were some of the busiest weeks of my life, with travel and work and out-of-town visitors, so I'm gonna say it's a win. I learned how to do continental style knitting, how to do color work, how to do short rows, how to knit faster, and best of all, I learned patience.

So yeah, it's a LOT bigger than a size 4, but she looks adorable in it, and I finished it, and hopefully that just means she'll get more wear out of it in the years to come. And now, I can knit one for MEEEEEE!!!

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