Posts Tagged ‘sweater’

Heed the warning!

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

It happened so quickly.  I was browsing through the yarnharlot’s blog and I did not heed her warning.  I was lured in by the sweet images of a baby cardigan with two rows of little sheep around the yoke.  My photo is way down at the end of the post, so you don’t get sucked in without fair warning.

I looked at the pattern on ravelry.  It’s pretty cute adorable and before I knew it I was justifying the purchase price by telling myself that it would be a really versatile pattern–any small graphic could be substituted for sheep.

After making lunch, I ended up looking through my shelf of stash yarn to find some green.  I have some Nob Hill Naturals in Fern which I got on sale ages ago.  It seems pretty comparable to the recommended yarn.  Doubled sock yarn would do for the sheep.

I put a movie on and started knitting into the wee hours…

There is a lack of process pictures because I just kept knitting!  I would knit until a decrease, and then talk myself into knitting 12 more rows to the next decrease…and then starting the arm–it was so tiny that it worked up really quickly.

In the morning, I woke up and worked on sleeve 2.  Before I knew it I was knitting sheep!  How can you stop once you start seeing little sheepies around the neck of the sweater.

While I knit, I figured out that this would probably be the right size to fit one of the babies I met in Japan this summer.  I’m not sure if it will ever be cold enough there to wear such a garment, but maybe by winter she’ll be big enough to wear it.

Here’s the sweater, about 40 hours after I started it…waiting for a soak and then buttons.  (It’s a lot cuter in person–the colours are a bit off here)

IMG_3521

I think I may have enough yarn left over to make the hat….

…and I may have ordered some more green to make another set soon!

This is a difficult affliction to beat!

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.

For A Baby Girl

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Many of my friends are having babies these days, so I’ve started knitting some baby clothes to give them.  It’s a great way to use up some of my sock yarn/baby yarn stash.  The yarn is generally superwash wool or acrylic, which is suitable for baby clothes that tend to need quite a lot of washing.  This particular pattern is my new favourite.  It is the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi by Jennifer.  The pattern is so easy to follow, and is knit in one piece with absolutely no seams to sew up at the end.

To go with the cute sweater I knit up a “Top Down Bonnet” by Adrian Bizilia of Hello Yarn .  It is such a nice pattern that fits babies so well.  I just need to add some ties and it will be all done.

The combination will be packaged up, ready for the first girl to be born.

Knitting For A Sparkle Monster

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Since she was about 6 years old I’ve known Kendra as “The Sparkle Monster”.  I believe the name came from arts and crafts at camp, and grew into a bit of a sparkly obsession over the years.  Sparkle monster has grown up, gotten married, and now has a little sparkle monster of her own.  Baby Julian has made his arrival and must have some sparkles in his wardrobe.

The bonnet is the “Top Down Bonnet” by Adrian Bizilia (Hello Yarn) and the vest is an improvised pattern that ended up making a much larger garment than planned!  It’s a good thing that babies grow quickly.

I knew it would be very important to find the perfect yarn to knit a sparkly ensemble for young Julian, but I do not own any sparkly yarn.  It’s not really what I tend to collect.  I do often get bombarded with knitting advertising which led me to finding Gumdrop Sparkle Yarn in Lemon and Cherry.  I waited while this lovely package of sparkly goodness made its way through the postal system, and was delighted to see that the sparkly bits are not rough and scratchy.  In fact, the yarn is soft and slippery with a single thin ply of a shiny metallic thread throughout.  The slipperiness of the yarn led to issues when joining a new ball.  If you don’t tie a knot between the two balls of yarn they will slip and slide and stitches will work themselves undone.

This yarn did get a bit fiddly to knit with–the yarn becomes easily split, and the sparkly thread can stretch or bunch up, or sometimes get dropped or knit together with another stitch.  It’s worth it to get the sparkles though!  The glint shows up in the stitching really nicely.

As I was finishing the neck and arm edges on the little vest I came across another issue with this yarn.  There is really limited elasticity, so on cast off edges it was really really tight–so tight I had to undo it and redo it about 4 times before I could even imagine putting this over a child’s head.  I think it’s big enough now!

I hope that little Julian will enjoy being a little sparkle monster.  I look forward to meeting him some time soon!  In the mean time, this little outfit is going in the mail later this week.

Autumn Colours Baby Sweater

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I wasn’t really sure what I’d end up making when I picked up this ball of handspun.  I was pretty sure that I’d be making something that didn’t come in pairs, since I had no way of knowing how the stripes or colours would distribute themselves across the ball.  So…socks and mittens were out of the question.

I knew that there’d be stripes of some kind–with handspun from painted roving, you can’t really escape it!  I decided to try knitting Laila (ravelink), a baby sweater that I created for friend’s of mine when their little Laila was born.  It is a top-down, placket neck, raglan sleeve, seamless sweater, knit in the round.  I love it because it requires very little finishing, and shows off stripes really well.

I also wouldn’t have to worry about the front and back being two very different colours (some of this yarn is very orange, and some is very green).

Being swatchless has its advantages–I knit, and make things, and usually they turn out the right size for someone….the problems arise when I try to make baby clothes.   I don’t have access to many babies, so I’m at a loss as to their proportions.  To this end, I brought the sweater to my mom–a fairly conventional knitter who works to gauge, from patterns that have sizes on them.  She measured what I had against some of her 6 month sized sweaters.  This one seems about right for a 6 month old.  The neck opening is very stretchy, and so is the body.  I left the sleeves wide until the cuff, decreasing only 4 stitches over the entire arm.

I had wanted to do garter stitch at the sleeves and around the body just like I did at the neck.  Garter stitch is so much more brainless to knit than ribbing…but I found that the bottom edge of the sweater started to flip up when it was edged in garter stitch.  I ripped back, did a few rows of K2, P2, ribbing, and it seems to lay flat now.  I’m not sure if the flipping up is due to the garter stitch, or the twist in my spinning–it was not a balanced skein, but with me, it rarely is!

All that remains for this sweater is to pick out the most adorable little buttons.  I’m thinking that I might go for wooden buttons, or black buttons, or maybe three different coloured buttons….there are so many options….I’ll bring it along to the fabric store and see what speaks to me.

And now….I’ll have to wait for a knitter to have a baby sometime in the spring or summer….I don’t think a non-knitter would fully appreciate all the work that has gone into this creation!

Thanks to slimchicken (etsy) for dyeing the roving.  It’s lovely!

Taking Baby Pictures

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Yesterday I met with Eilidh and her mom to take some pictures in the park to illustrate the “Eilidh” cabled vest pattern.  It was a lovely day, sunny and warm.  We found a spot in the shade, and got the wee one all dressed up, and sitting up.  Now, sitting up is new for her, and maybe she rolled a bit too far forward, squishing her stomach….or maybe she’d just been fed….but before any pictures could even be taken, she spit up down the front of the vest.

Thank goodness mommies always carry a bag full of wipey things.  We cleaned her up (you’d never know the vest was dirty in that picture!)….but she was really not into the whole modeling thing.  There were lots of pictures that look like this one!

Cuddles with mommy made it all better.

Funny thing is, when you take pictures of grown ups, you never have to worry about if they will spit up, or spontaneously cry when you get out the camera!  Thanks for being such a good sport Eilidh, and thanks to her mommy for letting her be a model!

What’s your craziest photo taking situation?

Fraternal Sweaters

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

It’s always good to know that knitting has arrived at its proper destination–the postal system here is pretty good, but I always cross my fingers until I hear back from the recipient….and it is always lovely to get pictures of the knitting in action.

This picture is of my friend Meghan’s twin girls wearing their almost matching sweaters.  I’m not sure what’s up with their scared faces.

These sweaters are the first cotton knitting that I have done and enjoyed.  The yarn is Cotton Supreme Batik that I got at Wool-Tyme.  I usually stay away from cotton, but once you touch this stuff you’ll understand how it became a little bit of an obsession.  The colours are stunning (I used “Beach Umbrella” and “Watermelon Patch”), and I hope that it will wash well.

Go on and give cotton a try….it’s perfect for cute summer knits!