It's great isn't it?! I love intarsia. I know that kids love tractors. And I know that you lot love patterns that give you options. We have three options here - stripes (dead easy), knit and purl patterns (getting harder) and intarsia (oooooohwee a tricky little stitch).
I made this for my nephew, Seb, for Christmas. I made him a big yellow tractor because since he could talk that's been his favourite colour but that apparently changed like the week before Christmas - brill. I then had to pick a main colour that Caroline (his mother) would allow him to wear. This is not what she'd put him in at all but the hope was that he'd love it so much he'd demand it. He looks pretty pleased here doesn't he??
Maybe that's the remote control dino though...
I'd have loved to have made it in the Cottonsoft which is what the pattern is made for but the colours weren't right for trying my best to get Cazza to put him in it and at the time they didn't have any kind of yellow (hellooooooooo Buttercup - nice to meet you). So I ended up using the Pricewise DK and to be fair that fitted in with my (non-existent) pre-Christmas budget...
So, in the interests of full disclosure - and of creating even more slatternly knitters like me - instead of using a 3.75mm needle like the pattern suggests, I used a 3.25mm needle. I did this because the 3.25mm was to hand and the 3.75mm would have required getting off my fat arse. Horrific idea I'm sure you'll agree. Generally, we use smaller needles on ribs for three reasons. One: to bring the rib in to make the bottom of a garment or the neckline or whatever wind proof. Two: smaller stitches sag less easily over wear so it should keep that windproof-ness and the rest of the stitches should be kept better in place by that too. Three: stitches in one by one rib tend to look bigger even if they actually aren't so making them smaller to start with means that they visually match the main body better. What I'm not suggesting is slatternlyness when it comes to the main body needle - you'll have to get up to get the right one even if, according to your gauge that isn't actually the 4mm... That's the bit that makes the actual size and it's also it's the needle size that you use for the most part throughout the garment so it's going to be the most important. Suck it up princess.
I bet you thought I was going to go on and on about intarsia didn't you?? Well I'm not! I have another blog post in which I'm going to blather about intarsia and it's going to be good. Until then, I suggest that you just stop worrying about it and get to it - only sticks and string.
But I do want to talk about gender neutrality in knitwear. I've not got an awful lot to say (well, I have, but it's not the time or place...) but essentially, King Cole have billed this as a boy's pattern and I get it, little boys love tractors. But this is such an easy to wear little sweater, and it's going to cover all sorts of stains and marks with the busy front, that it's perfectly acceptable to make for a little girl. It's also the sort of thing that encourages 'other' interests and wouldn't it be great if your knitting were the thing that made a little girl want to be a farmer or and engineer rather than a nurse or a ballerina? You've got to know your audience - it's hardly going to go down well with a girl who will only wear pink and sparkles (or indeed parents who only put their kid in pink and sparkles) but if you can push the boat *cough*tractor*cough* out a bit then I think you're doing your bit.
And that's it. Once more for the google rankings - King Cole 3862. Buy it, knit it, love it.