Archive for July, 2012

A Question of Colour

Monday, July 9th, 2012

This little sweater has been on the go for about 2 weeks.  It’s Elizabeth Zimmerman’s pattern for a garter stitch hooded sweater called Tomten.  The tomten is a very interesting pattern, written so that there are always the same number of stitches in the sweater, but it can be sized up for a small adult (using very chunky yarn and big needles) or sized down for a very small baby using small needles and baby or fingering yarn.  Others on ravelry have reworked the pattern to fit an adult better, and some have changed the pattern to stockinette stitch.tomtenThe question that I have is this:  What should I do to close this sweater?  There are a few different options.

  1. zipper: I’ve put zippers in the other tomten sweaters I’ve made and that has worked really well.  I like zippers because you can add a stripe of colour.  I’m leaning towards a bright red zipper at present, but I’m open to other ideas.
  2. button band: I can knit a button band and button hole band, but that includes a whole lot of picking up stitches.  I’m not sure what colour buttons to use either–large wooden buttons?  metal buttons?  contrasting colour?  varying colours?
  3. buttons with applied i-cord button holes.  This is a method where i-cord is applied to the button hole edge.  Loops are worked to act as floating button holes.  I’m not sure what kind of buttons to use though.
  4. ties at the neck: I’m a bit leary of having a strangulation hazard with things tied at the neck…but i-cord could be used to tie the sweater together.
  5. does it need to be closed at all?  I don’t know the answer.  I haven’t had much experience with wriggling babies between the ages of 6 months and a year.  Would they squirm right out of this?

Suggestions are welcome!  What would you do?

New Baby Cardigan

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

It’s been such a hot dry summer so far.  Since I’m sticking around town this summer I’m doing my best to grow a garden on my balcony.  I’ve got peas, beans and cherry tomato plants on the go.  My plants are drinking up a lot of water, and growing quickly.peasHere are the peas, starting to wind themselves up the trellis….tomatoHere are my tomato plants that are growing so fast I have to buy longer stakes for them!  They are blossoming daily, and there are two little fruits that are getting bigger and bigger but are still green.tomato

My beans are growing too.  I’ll have to tie them up soon!  I’ve just finished adding buttons to this little cardigan that I made out of scrap yarn.  I’ve been cleaning up a bit these days, consolidating stash, shredding papers, and regaining control over my long neglected apartment.

baby cardiganIt’s a top down raglan cardigan that I made up as I went along.  I knit the button band on 5 stitches in pink along  each edge of the the sweater since I hate picking up stitches and knitting it later.  the stripe pattern is 5 rows of light blue, 1 row of white, 5 rows of teal, 1 row white, 5 rows of dark blue, 1 row white, 5 rows teal, 1 row white. I am really pleased by how well this turned out!  The bottom didn’t roll on this sweater, maybe that’s because it is 4 ridges–longer than the last sweater I made.

I’ve got a few friends who are expecting….this little sweater will go into the “waiting” pile for the next little girl that is born.

Bright Colours for Baby Deacon

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Now that this sweater has been delivered to Deacon’s dad it can officially be blogged about.  This has been one of the most fun sweaters to knit.  I love playing with colours, and it is such a treat to have complete freedom to try some interesting combinations.  I was out shopping for orange yarn when baby Deacon was born, but I couldn’t find the exact orange I was looking for.  I came across the yarn for this sweater on a colleague’s desk actually!   She’s not a knitter, and just needed some string to bundle things together.  She accepted the trade of some green yarn from my stash.

for DeaconThe stripes are all odds and ends which I think worked really nicely to break up the large chunks of orange, and add more vibrancy to the sweater, and I think the raglan sleeve shaping really stands out with the stripes.

for Deacon

It’s a top down, raglan sleeved, placket necked sweater, based off of my instructions for Laila, but mostly made up as I went along.  The edging is all done in garter stitch (2 ridges) and I cast off purlwise on the cuffs and the bottom of the sweater–the cuffs didn’t roll but the bottom did.  I’m puzzled by that–garter stitch isn’t supposed to roll up.  Maybe I didn’t have enough garter stitch.  I will have to experiment on another sweater or two this summer for the many more babies that will be arriving soon.

Baby Deacon’s big brother Otis got some orange knitting a while ago.  I knit him a set of soakers–“orange underpants“.  Today Otis was running around, on the lookout at the window for passing trucks, and enjoying a game of peekaboo from inside a laundry hamper.  It was a fun visit.  I hope to see them again soon, and get a chance to meet Deacon.

Sunnyside for Baby Fiona

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

A long time friend of mine has just had a baby, and I left a special delivery at their door tonight.  Baby Fiona is going to have plenty of woolies to wear as she gets bigger–my mother and grandmother have also knit a sweater and a bonnet–that’s 3 generations of knitters who love this baby before they even meet her.  A quick ravelry search led me to this darling little sweater (Sunnyside) and I knew that it would be just the thing to knit.  What’s best was that I had yarn in my stash that was just waiting to be turned into such a cute little sweater.

sunnyside sweaterSunnyside has all the criteria of a great project.

  1. It has no seams to sew up: top down raglan sweaters are great for this!  The sleeves are knit afterwards on DPNs, and the button band is knit into the body of the sweater not as an afterthought.
  2. It is a useful garment: cardigans are easy to put onto babies, and for a new mom this will probably be important!
  3. It is interesting to knit: the cables down the front and along the raglan, keep things fun.  It makes the sweater look unique too.
  4. There is no ribbing: I hate ribbing!  Substantial garter stitch borders at the neck, button band, bottom edge and sleeves make fine edging that doesn’t roll.
  5. This sweater necessitates an excursion to select the perfect buttons.  I brought the sweater to Fabricland and spent a good 30 minutes trying different button combinations
  6. It is a free pattern! (available here)

sunnysideThere are two options presented in the pattern.  This one has cables–the other one has a picot edging and lace detail where the cables are.

My only modification to the pattern is something that I always do on button up sweaters.  I have always worked button holes on each side of the sweater.  Some people have asked me if I sew buttons on one side if its for a girl or the other if its for a boy.  My answer is much more simple than that.  It doesn’t really matter to me (or to the baby for that matter) which side the buttons are on.  I use the holes as guides for sewing the buttons in place so that they’ll line up with the holes properly!

With the current heat wave, it’s hard to imagine that anyone will ever wear wool again!  I’m sure though that in 6-9 months little Fiona will grow into this sweater and it will keep her warm and cozy in the winter.