Little Lou Who (He’s no more than two)

I know, I know, you’re all geared up to see the Christmas knitting, and dudes, I’m wild to show you. Coming back to visit the holiday knitting doesn’t even seem all that late to me,  since there’s still a big honking Christmas tree in my living room.  Usually I take it down on the 6th – the Twelfth day of Christmas, but this year, that just didn’t feel possible.  We were supposed to arrive home on Sunday night, but the cold caused havoc here at the airport. We were delayed out of Veradero for de-icing in Toronto (that should have been a clue) and our plane landed at 2am. The fun was only starting though, and we were held in the plane on the tarmac for just over four hours, waiting for a thawed gate. Another delay getting luggage, another delay finding a taxi, and we ended up staggering in the door at about eight in the morning, and after being up all night taking down a tree just seemed… ambitious.  I decided it was still pretty and left it. (For the record, the delay was easy to tolerate. There’s only so crabby you’re entitled to be about problems caused by the cold when there’s still Caribbean sand in your underpants.)

This year I knit lots of things, and I’ll show you a few more tomorrow, but the big winners this year were the littlest, my niece Myrie, and my nephew Lou.  Both have sets of parents who appreciate knitwear, and a big investment in them always makes sense.  Sure, they won’t fit for long, sure – there’s a fair to middling chance that someone is going to puke on my work, but they’ll be worn and adored for every minute that it’s possible to do so, and that inspires me to no end. Luis was the first on the list. 

I’ve wanted to make Lou a cheerful red sweater for a long time. Well, not that long, he’s only 22 months old, but for most of that time I’ve dreamed of a cozy red sweater, cabled and warm, the sort of thing that you can put over almost anything for a romp in the park, or in the house, or a layer under a coat, or as a jacket in the spring and fall.  I knew exactly the sweater and yarn I wanted, and I just had to find both. 

In September I went to the Fingerlakes Fiber Fest, and Jill Draper was there, and whammo.  There it was, the perfect yarn.  I bought two skeins of her Mohonk yarn  in Heritage Tomato and knew just what they would be.  I think I even stood in her booth and described (in excruciating detail) just what my plan was. 
The yarn’s a deliciously squishy, bouncy cormo, and I was after cables.  I thought about designing something, but while I was kicking the idea around, I saw Ellinger, and suddenly, things were easy.

The last time I knit him a sweater, I miscalculated.  His mum and I aren’t sure what went wrong, Kate measured him, and I knit to those measurements, but the sweater was too small, and it only fit him for about thirty-six seconds, if that – and as much as I like knitting for the kid, the payoff is that he wears them, and so this time Kate and I were both determined that it would be big – fit him for a long time.  Kate measured him with a generous hand to the tape measure, and I did the same when I knit.

Success was ours.  This sweater fits just the way I’d hoped.  Roomy, with the sleeves rolled up now, with tons and tons of space to grow into, which is fabulous, because right now the kid is growing practically in front of my eyes.  He makes the way beans grow look like they’re not really trying, and this will fit forever, or three months, which is really the baby version of forever.  

His mum was thrilled (and that matters too, when you’re knitting for a baby)  and I love how it’s an "old man" sweater, if you know what I mean. There’s something charming about a wee lad in a garment with grown up styling, and I think the combo of his natural charm and what the sweater grants him is deadly.

He looks just like I’d hoped.  Cozy, happy and our little Lou who.

PS – My thanks to Carlos and Kate for the beautifully executed photo shoot. He’s a fast mover, getting pictures is tough.

PPS – Do you think his Nana loves him?

PPPS – People have asked if it was hard chasing Lou on the beach while on holiday, and the answer is no.

Uncle Joe totally had a solution.

104 thoughts on “Little Lou Who (He’s no more than two)

  1. Lou is adorable and the shade of the sweater is a perfect compliment to his coloring—It is not too red—-just right—he looks great in it!!! Nice going as usual Stephanie!!!

  2. Have you ever seen a more beautiful baby? The sweater is pretty good too!! Man, he is going to be popular with the girls….

  3. Ok, that kid is so adorable that I’d want to knit him a sweater every day for the rest of his life. SO CUTE.
    I mean, I wouldn’t because that’s crazy, but I could totally see wanting to. :)

  4. I love the colour of that sweater on him. Love love love. I’m not a big fan of red but now I need many balls of that colour :)

  5. Oh my. He is one of those precious little kids that gives one a toothache! I want to knit for him and I don’t even know him! Wonderful work.

  6. Lou is wicked CUTE! And the sweater is perfect in and of itself and especially on him. His Uncle Joe is one smart fella.

  7. Lou is wicked CUTE! And the sweater is perfect in and of itself and especially on him. His Uncle Joe is one smart fella.

  8. Lovely, lovely sweater! So wonderful that this one has plenty of room to grow. :) My mother-in-law knit sweaters for my 19 month old twin boys for Christmas and they are much like this one you knit for Lou – one is even red! :)

  9. Look, I’m immune to kids. Take ‘em, leave ‘em. Case by case basis. But Lou. Lou melts me every, single, stinking time. Do me a favor and get a shot of him having a tantrum or drooling or doing something unattractive some time, okay?
    Oh, and the sweater’s okay, too — okay enough that I’m off to help boost Ellinger through the Ravelry roof and that only my self-respect has me considering whether a nice ivory mightn’t be better for Lily…

  10. Sweater? What sweater? Oh, yeah, nice sweater. I’m too intent on what a cutie Lou is. I wonder if memories of his Uncle Joe burying him in the sand will surface when his own children do the same?
    P.S. The sweater is gorgeous. I’m totally going to knit this, then wait for someone I know to move north and have a baby boy. A sweater like that would only get worn for about 1.45 days here in Texas (except for this year, when it would have been worn during the three whole days of the “Artic Vortex”).

  11. Sweater? What sweater? Oh, yeah, nice sweater. I’m too intent on what a cutie Lou is. I wonder if memories of his Uncle Joe burying him in the sand will surface when his own children do the same?
    P.S. The sweater is gorgeous. I’m totally going to knit this, then wait for someone I know to move north and have a baby boy. A sweater like that would only get worn for about 1.45 days here in Texas (except for this year, when it would have been worn during the three whole days of the “Artic Vortex”).

  12. I am not, and have never been, a person who coos over babies (kittens, yes, babies, no).
    So let me tell you it is a very significant thing that I think that kid is *just adorable* and looks like, as we say in my family, “naughty on a stick.”

  13. Time must pass faster in Canada because I swear, Lou was just born a few months ago.
    Oh! He is achingly handsome!
    Joe is a pretty smart uncle. I’m impressed.

  14. A perfect little boy sweater. I’ve added it to my rav queue. :) Lou is just the most handsome young man! Good job, Aunty Yarn Harlot!

  15. Suffering from a serious case of Kid Envy, here… Luckily, we’re planning a wedding for my daughter (can grandchildren really be that far off, now?). Sweater, gorgeous. Lou, stunning. And yeah, looks like Nana kinda loves him… to the moon and back!
    And rams, you still just kill me!

  16. The sweater is perfect!!! (I want one for me.) I wish I had a little boy to knit it for…my best friend just had a grandbaby Audrey yesterday and I’m thinking even on a girl, it would look fantastic. Great job, Steph….and oh yeah, Lou is “to die for” cute!

  17. what an absolutely beautiful child! Handsome! Love the sweater – he looks like he is retired and needs a pipe. Sooooo cute. Everyone in your family seems to be a gorgeous knitwear model.

  18. Stephanie, I love your knitting, you are often inspirational…..but, really, who gives a darn about the friggin’ sweater? Lou is clearly the star here! If I were only 60 years younger!

  19. Gorgeous baby! I”d love to make a sweater like that but would have to make it extra big otherwise the child would outgrow it before I ever finished it!

  20. The Little Lou Who sweater looked familiar. Tracked it. It’s a Little Lou Who scaled version of Gwendolyn (see October 2011).

  21. I think that last picture was the best ending for the post. Seeing little Lou in a sand hill with his uncle Joe standing by was great.

  22. ditto all the other comments. and my comment? PERFECTION!! if that is what you and Lou were striving for, you reached it!! Or mom and dad did with the photo shoot. Glad I got I little man to knit for. Gill is only, what, a month behind Lou. Wait, how the h*ll did THAT happen??? gees, it must be my turning the double nickels next month… sigh… again…. :0)

  23. Absolutely adore that sweater and it suits young Lou to a T – or should that be an L. ???
    But. Important Note for next year Stephanie. Twelfth Night is always 5th January, not the 6th. Countdown is from 25th Christmas Day as day one.

  24. That is just the cutest dang baby ever!!! Sweater is just right too. He will love it and wear it until the sleeves are half-way to his elbows! Yes, I think grandma has a bit of a love story on her hands :)

  25. Cute! That first picture even made my husband grin! I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I read this. You’ve captured a beautiful kid and wrapped it up in beautiful knitting. Beautifully written. :)

  26. Your knitting is beautiful and always inspires me, but honestly, when that child is in the photo, I have to remind myself there is knitting to be admired. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen (and I have 2 myself) and he is turning into a beautiful big boy too!! Well done to the parents and well done to you on a most handsome sweater!

  27. Comments about Carribean Sand are just obnoxious. But when you post pics of a kid that cute in a sweater that perfect, a lot can be forgiven. :)

  28. Awww… uts so perfect. I will have to go through and see what goodies you’ve knit for Lu, as I will have a grandson in a few short months. You’ve always knitted the cutest, and yet the most striking, things for Lu.

  29. What a gorgeous sweater – pattern added to favorites. Lou has grown so much! I know they are supposed to and all but this seems so fast :) a very handsome boy!

  30. Query: The pattern calls for the sweater to be knit in an Aran weight but the Mohonk yarn appears to be a sportweight… is that correct?
    The sweater and the boy are both gorgeous.
    And I have a whole raft of handsome little great-nephews who I’m SURE must need an Ellinger! (Almost as much as I need to knit one.)

  31. My sympathies about your time in the Toronto airport. My husband just got back this morning after being trapped in the Toronto airport all day yesterday. It would have been longer except for a very kind Westjet lady. But, on to more important stuff. That sweater brings back so many memories. My son had an “old man sweater” just like that when he was little. Now I just have to learn to knit sweaters so I’m ready to make them myself when he has kids. (He’s 19 now. Do you think I have time?)

  32. The last picture of Lou and his uncle didn’t have me just LOL or even ROTFLMAO, but actually guffawing! Really great to see Unca Joe’s learned Lou isn’t as fragile as Joe originally feared!
    I must echo everyone else about how perfect that sweater is for him. I’m guessing here, but I think similar shades of red will be very flattering to him throughout his life. Steph, someday (decades from now) you may just get tired of knitting him stuff made from red yarn. . .;-)!
    And, mark my words: That kid’ll be breaking hearts in his peer group as soon as he starts pre-school! Could some sort of modelling or acting career be in his future? I can just picture “Luis (fill in family name) Starring In (Title)” on a theater marquee someday!

  33. Hi there, newbie here. I followed the link to the “miscalculated” old post, and discovered that all the comments are missing. Is this intentional, or a browser problem? I like reading the comments.

  34. I’m completely smitten with both Lou and the sweater, and Joe should always be in charge of babysitting. Freakin’ brilliant.

  35. Lou and the sweater are adorable, and that shade of red is just perfect for him. Our tree is still up, so don’t feel bad :) Also, props to Joe for a creative way to trap a fast-moving baby! If he doesn’t mind, I may borrow that for when we have our own.

  36. My grandson is 18 months old and my, oh, my what a stunningly adorable age to be! Beautiful knitting,and what sweet darling boys with lots of nana time and knitwear. Well done.

  37. Wow, Lou’s sweater is stunning! Beautiful color, beautiful yarn, beautiful pattern, beautiful knitting! You know how people look at the landscape and say, “Wow, that’s as pretty as a picture!” It makes me go “grr” and I want to say, “The picture is manufactured, not the landscape!” (I may be over-reacting)
    Anyhoo, Lou’s sweater is flawless and I would comment, “That’s as beautiful as store bought.” but I know that’s an offensive thing to say to a knitter (and seeing as knitter’s always have a needle in hand, when they reach out to slap, they will also inevitably poke you in the eye).
    I’ve watched a few YouTube videos of you speed knitting. I’m gonna give it a go this weekend, I’ve got a few projects to try it on. Plus, gonna try continental. I seriously need to pick up my speed. So much knitting, so little time!

  38. Goodness me! That boy has a grin that’ll get him into trouble (and right back out of it again!)
    Keep those cosy cables coming. We live in brisbane, so handing ts get woefully little wear.

  39. I love that your family does such involved and fantastic photo shoots of the knitted gifts you give them. While my family loves my knitted gifts, it’s like pulling teeth getting photos of them. I usually do them myself.
    Your family sound like keepers! ;)

  40. I call that a philosopher’s sweater and Lou is nothing short of perfectly dapper in it!
    Welcome back to the frozen wastes. Hope your soul soaked up plenty of sunshine to last you!

  41. Beautiful boy and beautiful sweater! He could get quite a college fund started with some modelling gigs. Just sayin’. And Joe’s beach solution: must account for your words “sand in your underpants”.

  42. He’s so cute he made my uterus quiver from the grave. So sweet. I have a soft spot in my heart for little boys (I’m a mom of 3 boys growing at the speed of life!!!)
    Oh how I long to knit something small for one of them again. <3

  43. What fabulous pictures! They look like they were done for a magazine or catalog. Lou looks like he’s going to be a real ladykiller with that charming face.
    Beautiful work on the sweater, Steph. Great job!

  44. No way. Lou cannot be 22 months old. Seems he was born just a couple of months ago. That makes us all a couple of years older, doesn’t it?!?

  45. Oh! Those cheeks! The cuteness in the sweater! I actually teared up! Okay, I’m pregnant and weepy, but still…he is SO YUMMY.

  46. Lou is almost exactly the same age as my son and I am so jealous that he has such a wonderful auntie to make him these beautiful things. I knit also, and have made mine some beautiful things, but this would probably be the death of me. And I want mine to have one, too. So, if Lou would care to share with a friend in the US (as he can’t pass it down; they would grow out of it at the same time), we would be happy to pay postage to ship it back and forth. Now I’m going to go see what I have to do to make the three year old size…

  47. I just can’t get over what a beautiful boy Lou is! I mean, the sweaters are wonderful, and he looks very charming in his “old man” cardigan, but that kid would look adorable even if he were wearing a potato sack!

  48. What an adorable combo, adorable Lou and his adorable “little old man” sweater. I made one for my 2 year old grandson this Christmas, striped in bright colors with dino and piggy and ducky buttons. Knitting for toddlers is the best. The cuties would look cute in a gunny sack, but darling hand knits is over the top cute.

  49. Lou is such an adorable little boy! A friend of mine is expecting a boy, and I’m planning on making a cardigan for him – I’ll check out this pattern for sure.

  50. He is such the handsome guy. And the sweater is the perfect choice. I love the “old man” style too.
    I think I’m skipping a spring sweater for Emma and will just plan ahead to have something for the fall ready in time. I just hope there is a day she can wear her Rhinebeck sweater coat this spring…
    (sjn821 on Rav)

  51. I think he may wear that sweater for a year or maybe even two. There’s no problem with the sleeves being a bit short, and babies tend to get taller more than they get bigger around.

  52. Lou is so adorable and so lucky, mostly because he has a family the LOVES HIM SO MUCH. Beautiful sweater, but the love shown in each and every photo is astounding! I only knit for people that I love as most people don’t get how much LOVE goes into handknits. Cudos to you

  53. Lou is almost 2?! I remember when he was born. That sounds a little odd coming from a stranger to a stranger but it’s true. Thank you for sharing his life (and yours). The sweater is perfect for him. Both are things of beauty to treasure.

  54. I know exactly what you mean about the “grown-up style” on such a handsome young man. Mine stopped wanting hand-knits WAY too early, but then my mum made polar fleece vests instead and I wear the last one he outgrew, so we’re cool.
    SO glad you jumped on that Caribbean trip. The colors of the sea and sky should keep you warm and inspired thru the next few months of winter.

  55. Loved the “heritage tomato” yarn, especially since my grandson who’s due to arrive in April currently is known as Tomato in honor of what his mom can’t digest. (Big brother Sam was Onion prenatally for the same reason.)
    Luis and his sweater both are adorable.

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