May I present to you the amazing one-day sweater. It is the Ribbed Jacket from Debbie Bliss' Special Knits knit up in the smallest size. No kidding. It took one day and perhaps even more amazingly, just over one 100g ball of Red Heart Cotton Twist left over from the days before I knew the difference between passable yarn and super amazing excellent yarn ;0)
The pattern doesn't include much in terms of closures for this ribbed jacket. It recommends a flower pin. Though as most of you with little ones would agree that as cute as the little flower pin idea is, no one wants a sharp pin anywhere near their babies! So after spending a day knitting the sweater, I spent another day just concocting the closure for it.
I wanted something cute. Not pointy. Securely attached. And machine washable. I considered a large button, a rick rack flower button with a snap, a ribbon tie, and an i-cord tie before settling on a mandarin-style frog. Too bad I thought of the frog late last night after we returned from the store where these are usually easy to come by! But I really wanted to finish the sweater so I did some online research to see how difficult it would be to make one...
Turns out making frogs is actually quite simple (though time consuming). I started by making a 12 and a 20 cm i-cord (4 stitches wide) on 2mm needles with baby yarn. I then used these* instructions to make the button knot with the 20 cm i-cord (centering it as much as I could). Once I was happy with the knot, I held the ends together, lined them up and sewed them together using a mattress stitch (neatness counts ;0) and sewed it onto one side of the jacket.
Using the 12 cm i-cord, I made a loop big enough the go over the button knot (I actually made it quite snug on the button so it would not easily come undone) and mattress stitched the ends together before sewing it onto the other side of the jacket. Ta-da! A really cute frog closure!
I am so pleased with how it turned out and predict a lot more of these in my future. So cute. Really practical (if you have yarn, you have a closure). Totally safe for little ones. And machine wash and dry (I used shrink resistant acrylic). And it only took me...4 hours! Okay, that's a long time, but that's because I was experimenting. Now that I know what I'm doing, I could probably make and attach one in an hour.
One more note on the pattern for anyone inspired to knit it, the collar was really rigid on mine when I first knit it up and wouldn't fold over and drape nicely. I ended up ripping out the bind-off and started again binding off with a needle 3 sizes larger around the neck area (but using the regular 4.5mm needle on the fronts) which made a world of difference.
* I also found instructions here, here, here and here.