Standing Postman Pat Jumper

Back in February, I remembered how my mother used to knit character sweaters for my sons when they were toddlers. Browsing through old photos, I found pictures of several featuring Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. I felt inspired to try one for my grandson, who - at the time - was just over two-and-a-half, and a fan of the same characters.  

I could not find any suitable current knitting patterns, but discovered 'The Postman Pat knitting book' by Joy Gammon second-hand online. I was particularly keen on the 'Standing Postman Pat' version of the jumper (there are four different designs in the book) as that's one that my mother knitted. It also looked simpler than the others! I asked my son for my grandson's measurements, and decided, as my mother did, to knit the main part of the sweater in grey rather than red.

By the time I began it was the end of March, and at first I made slow progress. I had never followed a chart before.  I began by colouring in the image given in the book, knowing I would otherwise get very confused with B, Br, and Bl (Blue, Brown and Black). I remembered that my mother was keen to have as few strands of yarn at the back as possible, so used different balls of the grey for the left and right sides of the front, while knitting the main part of the pattern.

Eventually the knitted part was finished, and sewing it together wasn't difficult, although I realised that the head opening was far too small for my grandson; so I left one of the shoulder seams unstitched.

Here's how it looked after knitting, before I started on the embroidery:

knitting from a chart to make postman pat

I was quite encouraged by how recognisable it is, even at this stage. I really don't like sewing, so I put off the features; instead I started by taking all the loose ends from the back and weaving them into the jumper so there weren't threads hanging. I did a few at a time when I had a spare moment.

At last, I began on the sewing of features on the face, lines on the suit, and so on. I didn't do everything suggested by the pattern, and in the meantime started and finished several other knitting projects... but finally it's complete, just in time for my grandson's third birthday.

Finally the Postman Pat sweater is finished

Here's what I did at the open shoulder seam:

poppers (snap fasteners) on the shoulder seam of Postman Pat sweater

And here's Postman Pat in close-up, with more detail:

Final close-up of knitted Postman Pat on the Joy Gammon sweater for chldren

Of course it's now too warm for him to be wearing sweaters and I'm a bit worried he may grow out of it before there's a suitable time to wear it.  But I'm pleased that I've completed my first knitting based on a chart, even if it was a fairly simple one.

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