Rei had her second birthday in January. I think the Sears photo people know I'm a sucker for a deal, because they called us up and offered a birthday photo package. I couldn't help myself - getting our photos taken at Sears was a big deal when I was a kid and I guess I'm continuing the tradition. However, as I was deciding what the little monster cutie should wear, I realized we didn't have any professional photos of her in handknits! How could this have happened?!?

I decided to fix this. I may have overcompensated a bit. Not only is this little sweater hand knit, I dyed the wool and spun the yarn too! The wool was Finn, the colourway was Fangorn, and the pattern was Little Montoya by Kate Jackson.

It was a pleasant knit, although I found that the pattern wasn't written at a beginner level, despite the design itself being a very easy knit. As a non-beginner this wasn't a problem for me, but buyer beware. Other than that it's a great design - the slipped stitch "seams" look awesome and add a bit of structure and shape and there's a cute lace panel up the back. It also comes in a huge size range, so I may be making more of these!

Cute right? The buttons are adorable - they're plastic, but they look like little hazelnuts! Rei is obsessed with acorns right now because she loves to watch My Neighbor Totoro (awesome movie for all ages, btw) and she thinks her buttons are special magical acorns.

I love the way the yarn knit up. It's very soft and squishy, and the colour looks fantastic with Rei's peaches and cream colouring.

My only modification was to do a garter stitch button band and a bit of a shawl collar. The pattern calls for crochet, but I crochet very... unpredictably. Since I had only two days to finish this sweater, I decided to stick with what I know. Turns out I had a lot more time because it snowed profusely on the day of the photos and we had to reschedule, but whatever.

Didn't the pictures turn out great? we got a cute collage photo too - this is half of it (the other half was the reading picture seen above)

You'd never know from the pictures what a little terror she was while having them taken! Apparently we have raised a stubbornly independant child. I guess I'm not surprised.

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