When knitting for kids, it's probably a good idea to strike while the iron is hot. I had 9 balls of Noro Silk Garden (color #203) stashed a few years back to make something for H, the oldest. Of course, he's grown at a fantastic rate, and there wasn't enough yarn for such a large garment, so I knit something for L, who is ten. Right from the start there wasn't going to be enough for a hooded version of the Tomten jacket, but I still ran out of yarn!
For a good two months, this little jacket had three quarter sleeves and was bandless before I purchased a couple more skeins (which amazingly were of the same dyelot!), so I could finish it for CNY. I started with 168 sts on 4.5 mm needles (gauge of 4.75 sts per inch), and followed the ratios as in the pattern (Elizabeth Zimmermann's, found in The Opinionated Knitter or Knitting Without Tears).
I bound off a few stitches at the shoulder seam so that the neck wouldn't be too wide, did a shaped neckline and knit a few rows around the neck before picking up stitches from one side of the hem to the other side to make the band.
I probably could have finished this with just one extra ball of yarn, but as you can see, I like to match the stripes as best as I can (a bit obsessive, maybe?). Besides, there was enough yarn to make some little mitts. No leftover yarn, so it's all good. The jacket's already a little pilly from wear; not only does L wear this outdoors, but it serves as his bed jacket too. :-)
This is probably my twentieth project with stripey Noro yarn, and just when I thought I have exhausted my love for these yarns, I see this , some of which is coming my way. Can't wait to try it!