“Won’t you be my neighbor?”
When I was designing this pattern I had Mr. Rogers in mind. Not just because of the bright red iconic sweater eh wore, but for what he stood for. Todd (my hubby - scroll down to see him!) and I had just finished watching the new Mister Rogers documentary on Netflix, and it really hit home.
I grew up with the words “Love your neighbor and love yourself”, and I think Mr. Rogers played a very large role in that. I have always been so thankful that his show had the concept of teaching children not to stuff their feelings down, but to instead to talk about the hard things that happen in life. Death. War. Racism. All topics that are not easily spoken about outright, and especially not to children. In his show he found a way to do that while still being relatable and understandable for a kid. I’ve always seen his show was a perfect way of being able to bring these heavy topics to light.
If you’re in the Instagram knitting and crochet community, there has been a very important conversation happening about racism. So, especially during this important conversation of race and cultural diversity that’s happening in our community (and around the world), I just wanted to find a way to say that “I like you just the way you are”. Skin color, size, gender status, whatever it is; I like you the way you are.. Just like for Mr. Rogers, that motto stands for all things Knitatude, and I wanted a wearable reminder to always keep this in the forefront of my mind.
MORE ABOUT THE DESIGN
A few months ago Lion Brand sent me an email letting me know of a new yarn they were bringing to market: LB Collection Fifty Fifty. I saw this bright red and knew it was kismet. Not only have I always been in love with chunky smokers jackets, but it fit my Mr. Rogers vision to a T.
Pattern Details: This knit is super chunky, warm, and fast since it’s knit on 10 mm needles and size 6 super bulky yarn! Though on the intermediate knitter side of the spectrum due to the applied border, I still think it would be a great pattern for a knitter looking to learn a few new tips and tricks. The collar is to die for and can either be lifted up to create a cozy effect, or rolled down to give a more open and relaxed fit. For some reason I remembered Mr. Rogers cardigan with a big collar in his sweater though I now realize that’s not the case. Either way I wouldn’t let that hinder me from putting my own spin on it. PS did you know that his mom used to knit all his sweaters? How cool! Best part though? It’s unisex! Todd and I are both wearing the same sweater. Fit as a medium for me to be oversized and bulky, it fits Todd as a more slim cut.
Yarn Details: LB Collection Fifty Fifty comes in 9 colors and is made of 50% luxurious alpaca and 50% super soft wool. It’s really soft, and boy is it warm! It was pretty chilly when we took these pictures (about -12 degrees Celsius) and I was still toasty warm!
If you’re looking for another yarn sub, you could totally use Lion Brand Yarns Thick N’ Quick as a more affordable option or Wool and the Gang’s Crazy Sexy Wool, or We Are Knitters The Wool. Though I personally think that the Fifty Fifty is a bit softer! Either way, you can’t go wrong with the bright red!
I hope you love this cardi as much as I do, and of course as a simple reminder to “Like everyone just the way they are”.