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Go Big or Go Home – the September Sweater

December 4, 2017

It is often said that one should ‘go big or go home’, and I try to live according to that motto at least some of the time. If ever there was a ‘go big’ it was the invention of the September sweater. The September Sweaters are a sweater for each kid, according to some sort of theme, each September(ish). September sweaters are accompanied by a wild photoshoot, with much sugary bribery, and exhaustion after only 1/2 hour or so.

My sister-in-law Emily and I have accomplished this epic feat 2 years running and it is now a permanent addition to my yearly knit list. We might be nuts, but I think it’s worth it!

Last year’s September sweater featured Flax, with a little rainbow

Last year we did Flax sweaters for all four cousins, all with lovely rainbow stripes, giving them a sort of nostalgic 80’s feel. It was an epic amount of knitting, an even more epic photoshoot, and the end result might be my favourite photo I’ve ever taken.

Fast forward to this year. We decided to keep with the rainbow theme, but wanted to do more of a coordinated effort, rather than matchy-matchy. We picked up a gorgeous rainbow of Brooklyn Tweed Arbor (knowing there was a 5th cousin on the way) and set to knitting!

Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, from left to right: Alizarin, Klimt, Wreath, Sashiko, and Cobbler

We were originally going to knit them all Tenderheart sweaters, but once I started designing Strange Brew yokes I didn’t want to knit the same thing twice! Emily knit a wee Tenderheart for Arlo (with a few mods to make it fit a newborn, details here), and a Dog Star for Ellis.


Ellis’ Dog Star sweater is the only one we knit straight from the pattern, no mods! It came out so cute, and Ellis looks so big compared to last year’s photo!

For Hunter, Jones, and Bodhi I worked on new yoke designs, following the Strange Brew recipe pattern and enjoying the limited pressure of using only 2 colours, and the endless possibilities in a yoke! Charts and details for Hunter’s sweater are here, Jones’ sweater are here, and Bodhi’s sweater are here.

Do you go big, or prefer to keep things reined in when it comes to your knitting projects? Emily wrote last week about about how knitting can help you develop grit and the endurance to tackle larger projects, do you agree?

Planning September Sweaters for next year… the short list includes:

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Louise permalink
    December 14, 2017 3:22 pm

    Wow! I’m so impressed!
    Your September sweaters are awesome!
    The pics are great too..I know what a chore it is to get the kids all in one place for a good shot!

  2. Nancy permalink
    December 14, 2017 11:29 am

    I started knitting Christmas sweaters 16 years ago when our first granddaughter was a baby. Continued each year as granddaughters 2 and 3 came along. Then, a few years ago I ran into a wall – they had all grown SO MUCH that I suddenly realized that I would not get the sweaters all finished in time. Now that they are all bigger than I am, I try to start in August and still have to stay focused to get them all finished.

  3. Julie D. permalink
    December 14, 2017 7:20 am

    When I was small, my mom made my sister, me and our dolls matching outfits. I’m not sure how much I appreciated them at the time, but now I treasure the memory. Wish I had photos!

  4. wendi permalink
    December 5, 2017 10:59 am

    Oh how fun! Love how cute all of them look in their beautiful sweaters. When they’re all grown up they’re gonna realize that their moms were AWSOME!

  5. December 4, 2017 10:45 pm

    I love everything about this post! Beautiful knitting, great photos, kids who love their sweaters and are having fun! There’s an awful lot of work behind the scenes, but what a great result.

  6. Cindy permalink
    December 4, 2017 9:02 pm

    Yep…my motto is also go big or go home…and sometimes I bail and go home! Or rather, miss my self imposed deadlines. A couple of years ago I knit 16 Flax Sweaters for my grandkids and great-nieces/nephews. This year, I’m doing Christmas socks for my grandkids (9 pairs)… this may be a deadline I miss. It’s fun to take on a challenge. At some point I want to do strange brew sweaters for all of them. Love your designs.

  7. December 4, 2017 12:20 pm

    Tin Can Girls – your knitting is excellent and to knit for all, the same design but different color,
    that is alot of time. I can not believe you can get so much knitted. Also beautiful, colorful, designs wonderful, even stitches – take time off to admire all you accomplish – may you
    and your families have a Merry Christmas – thank you for being so inspiring – you gals
    are the best – – – – Bev K

  8. Sara Wutzke permalink
    December 4, 2017 11:07 am

    The coordinating wellies are everything!

    Sent from my iPhone


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