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Posts Tagged ‘Cardigan’

Summer Break

Summer break has started here.  For the next 2 and a half months the boys are home.  We started summer break off with a bang, which in our case meant 2 weeks of swimming lessons.  Lots of fun, but since we took them in the mornings, we had to get up early each morning!  With 4 kids at home, time for knitting, crochet or any other hobby has gotten significantly reduced, but here and there I still have a little time to my self.  The much bigger robber of my hobby time is another hobby that has been dormant for a while, but has now reared it’s head again.  Reading…  I love a good book.  The last several years I have been working my way through a series called the Dresden Files.  The author is Jim Butcher.  In the back of those books, they kept talking of another series of his, called Codex Alera, which was supposed to be very good as well.  So I convinced the library to add that series to the e-book line up.  The best decision I ever made!  Well, to be honest, I just requested the 1st book, and after they told me that they had honored my request, and added it to the selection, I discovered the other 5 were there too…  And quite amusing/annoying was that before I got a chance to check the 1st book out, someone else had already borrowed it!  At least they did not add it just for my benefit.  And I have noticed that every time I return a book there are at least 2 people in line waiting for it…  I think I started the 1st book in April, and I have made it all the way to book 5.  Needless to say, I am enjoying it, and it has usurped some of my precious hobby time.

But I still have some finished projects from a couple of months ago that I can show you.

First is the second Baby Surprise Jacket, though this is most definitely a child surprise jacket.  You might remember the first one, for my youngest.  This one is for her big sister.  I again used Pinwheel by Cascade Yarns.  This time the Grapes color way.  The needles were US 8, 5 mm.  I actually decided to use the stockinette version that Panda Man wrote up.  I had gotten a bit tired of the garterstitch version.  It was interesting, it seemed a little more tricky then the stockinette version, but definitely not terribly so.  I think it was not made any easier by the fact that the yarn was quite dark.

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Some of the things I came across?

Starting with a provisional cast on will help eliminate any visible join for the sleeves.

After binding off (or putting on a stitch holder) for the neck edges, I needed more rounds then the 5 described. Of course that was for a BSJ. I had a 3.25 in gap between the 2 fronts. I much prefer a 1 – 1,5 inch front border on a children’s cardigan. Which means I needed to continue increasing after I put the 2” on a stitch holder, and add about 10-11 rounds in addition to the 5 stated in the Stockinette Stitch pattern, for a total of 16 rounds, before putting the rest of the sts outside the marked sts on a holder. Keep in mind this was for a 26” circumference cardigan, this number will change depending on what size is made. I ended up increasing to 6K.

Since I am knitting from a really big skein, I was not about to “leave the yarn dangling” as the Stockinette pattern described. I chose to follow the Zimmerman pattern instead.

When picking up sts from G to A, add sts from the holder for A to E, then turn and go back, until you have to pick up
sts for H to B, and add the sts from holder for B to F. E,C,D to F is the collar and will be done later.

Next time, I will knit the cuffs with needles that are .5 mm smaller.  They flare a bit, which was not intentional, though is kind of cute too.

My daughter loved it, and wore it regularly until it got too hot for a cardigan.  But I expect that she will still fit next winter, as it was a bit big on her.

Next off the needles was the second coffee bean socks.  The name comes from the stitch pattern, which is apparently an old Dutch one.  I have not (yet) found it in a stitch dictionary in the US, but would not be surprised if I just missed it so far.  I used Diversity by Plymouth Yarn.  A tiny bit splitty, but as a counter to that, it is fully machine washable and dryable!  This is the Plantation color way.  I used 2.5 mm needles.

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You are curious about the pattern?  Alright.  In Dutch it is called koffieboontje, which is just the Dutch word for coffee bean.  It has 4 rounds.  Note, the pattern is written to be knitted in the round, as I did knit these socks in the round.  Use multiples of 4 stitches.

Round 1) k2, p2
Round 2) k1, yo, k1, p2
Round 3) k3, p2
Round 4) sl 1 knitwise, k2, pass slipped stitch over the 2 knitted stitches, purl 2

And just keep repeating!  😉

And last but not least, a blanket, for my 4 year old.

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I used Country Loom by Loops & Threads .  Color way Nobility.  It is a basket weave pattern of 15 sts and 15 rows.  I used US 10, 6 mm needles.  I have to admit, the pattern almost bored me to tears.  The only reason I finished it was the happiness it created for the 4 year old.  She had chosen the yarn herself, and loves the blanket.

That is all for now.  We are almost caught up!

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Catching up

It has been quite a while.  Dare I say it?  Daily life kind of got in the way.  As some of you may know or remember, I now have a 1 year old and a 3 year old (almost 4) who keep me quite busy most of the time, as well as a 6 year old who is now going to kindergarten.  This kindergarten thing required a lot of adjusting of our schedules and such all of it’s own.  Life as parent of school age kids is quite something different then life as ‘just’ a stay at home mom.  Yesterday, however, my husband informed me that a friend of his wanted to look at my blog.  Not a big deal, but I started thinking about it again.  I really have not been as quiet on the knitting front as the blog made me seem.  It was more one of these things where I could either write a blog post, OR relax with some knitting.  And at times it really is true what they say:  I knit so I don’t kill people… 😀

But I thought I would start with trying to catch you up with what I have been working on.  First of, back in September of last year, I finished Hippo Gnu Deer, a gorgeous shawl that was designed by Mmario.  I am utterly and completely in love with it:

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I was the first one who knit the whole pattern, and I loved being able to find the mistakes, and sometimes figure out the best way to solve them.  I  think Mmario is a wonderful (and prolific) designer, and always very helpful if you have any questions.  I used KnitPicks Pallette yarn in the color Silver; a fingering weight, 100% Peruvian Highland wool yarn, which is available in 231 yards, 50 gram skeins.  It is not necessarily a luxury yarn, some would probably call it a little scratchy.  But I really enjoyed working with it, and even though I had a little bit of an issue with 2 skeins that looked like they might have been attacked with a box cutter, an issue KnitPicks very quickly took care of by sending me new skeins, I would highly recommend this yarn for something like a shawl.  I started off the pattern, which is knit from the center out, with US 5 (3,75 mm) needles, and changed the size up every couple of rows until I had US 8 (5 mm) needles.  This keeps the center just a little more tight, and I think that looks better.

Next I finished a lovely cardigan:

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This I made for a friend from the Netherlands who was expecting a baby. (That was back in October, the baby was born healthy and well in November, and is now almost 2 months old!)  It is a pattern from ‘The Little Box of Baby Knits‘, by Sandy Scoville.  The pattern was called ‘Tie-on Sacque’.  I made it using Paton’s Silk Bamboo yarn, a DK weight yarn made up of 70 % of rayon from bamboo, and 30 % silk.  The colors used were Orchid and Stone.  I love the softness of the yarn, but it is also incredibly slippery.  It really needed a bit of a hand wash to even out the stitching. And my daughter loved taking the units apart.  (I am not sure what else to call the units the yarn comes in.  The yarn is wound over a 3″ cardboard core, but I would not call it a cone, it looks more like a ball…)  I love the pattern though.  The cable that runs over the sleeve is just adorable.  I love the way the second color pops the left front and the cables on the sleeve, though you could just as easily use a single color.  It just would make the pattern speak a little less loudly.  The ties on the front are really a nice touch, though I think next time I might use an I-cord edging, it just provides a little neater finish.

I have plenty more to show, but I am going to stop here for now.  This post is long enough, or so I would think.  It is my sincerest hope not to wait another 4 months or so before I bring you the next installment, though I do have a gorgeous shawl that keeps calling my name… (and might well distract me…)  More about that gem later though.

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Some FO’s

While I took a little sabbatical from the Blog, I did do some more knitting.  I promised I would show, so…

First up, a pair of socks for my youngest son, DS2.  He saw this yarn, and just had to have a pair of socks.  I didn’t quite manage to make them matching, but he doesn’t care.  I hope they are big enough he can wear them next year too.  The pattern is from ‘New Pathways for Sock Knitters’ by Cat Bordhi, the Riverbed Master pattern.  The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Merino 100, as you can see that is quite a bright mix of colors.  It really is a shame that apparently Meilenweit Merino is not for sale in the USA… 😦  I love this yarn, it is sooo soft!

Next was the cardigan for DS1, a pattern I made up myself.  I think it worked out rather well, in my opinion.  He is very happy with it, which is of course the most important thing.  The yarn was a very old worsted weight Wintuk by Sears.

And last but not least, I actually made some progress on my crochet afghan with 63 different blocks.  Here are block 34:

and block 35:

As I said, there are supposed to be 63 of these, and I am making them ‘in order’, at least the way there are listed in the book.  The order in which they are attached according to the picture is quite different.  It is fun to make squares with a different pattern each time, but 63 is an awful lot…  I try to do at least one a month, but the last couple of months have not gotten quite that much done.  Oh well.

If I can get WordPress to talk to Facebook, those of you following on Facebook get an update again, but since Facebook has cancelled the link, I have not been able to show my posts on my wall.  😦  I finally found something on WordPress that supposedly worked the same way, but I can’t get them to talk together.  Yet.

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Where I live we have hardly had any rain since June 21st, and it has been HOT! As in over 100 degrees hot. Makes you not really want to knit, and makes you beg for some rain. But last Saturday, we woke up to the most wonderful sound, even if it was 5:30 in the morning. It was raining. We got all of about 30 mm/1.27inches, but still, it was wonderful, slow, and lasted for several hours. Because I have been looking for something else to knit on (sometimes only having Oregon shawl to knit on is really getting a little…. tedious), and because, even though it is very hard to believe, winter will eventually head our way again, I have cast on a new project. Here is what I have to show for a lovely, grey, dreary Saturday:

When I started out, I was thinking I would knit the famous Tomten jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. (It appears pretty difficult to find a picture/page of the pattern, without having to scroll down a ways. If you are interested in the pattern, you can check here, about one third of the way down.)

But when I actually started making a gauge swatch (I am using some old Sears Wintuk from my stash, the same I used for my son’s sweater last year, though that was blue, and this is white), I also started thinking about the cardigan. I did a gauge swatch, because I really didn’t like the material I ended up with last year. The needle suggestion on the yarn was quite a bit larger then what the pattern for the sweater had suggested, and as a result the material was rather stiff. So, this time I used US 10/6mm needles, and the material is much nicer. But, I didn’t really want a zipper, or knit garter stitch for ever. So, I decided to add buttons, and of course a buttonhole band, I decided I wanted stockinette material, rather then garter stitch, and I wanted to add a cable on each front. And because of the gauge I was getting, I would have to change the stitch counts. And I realized I have actually ended up with a completely different pattern! One I will be designing myself… Oh well, worse things have happened, right?

And it was apparently exactly what I needed, because Oregon Shawl has also made more progress. I actually finished the second skein, and have at the same time done about three and a quarter repeats of the sides:

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Alright, here is the promised review post. 😀 I am going to try to list all the things that I finished last year. Mind you, a lot of the year was spend knitting Oregon Shawl, and I think the rest of it was primarily smaller projects? We will see.

In January, I started and in February I finished the Limberlost Luna shawl, designed by MMario. It was a great KAL to participate in. MMario is a very generous and prolific designer, the link above will take you to his Yahoo group, where he posts all his designs, most of which are untested, and where we get to play with them, ask questions to MMario himself, and have a lot of fun with the other knitters in the group. MMario is very good at responding to questions, and will come up with most corrections quite quickly. When the patterns have been tested they are often listed on Ravelry, but they also stay available for naught on this Yahoo group. If you like to knit lace, this is definitely a group to join. But they are chatty, be forewarned. Of course you don’t have to receive individual e-mails, MMario will be the first to suggest to go web access only if the avalanche of e-mail is too much for you.

Next, in March, I finished a very cute hoodie for my oldest son, it had been in the works since October. It is officially called Sweater with hood and pockets in Eskimo, a pattern from Drops. I made some adjustments, like no pockets, and a little less long, as well as different closure. I was going to add a zipper, but my son decided at the last moment that he wanted buttons after all. So I added crocheted button hole loops. I am not entirely pleased with those, but c’est la vie.
Next were a couple of dishcloths/afghan squares. The first one is called Columns of Greece. It apparently took me about a year to finish, but I swear it seemed longer then that. It was not the pattern’s fault, it was a pretty simple pattern, and easy to remember. But I used it as my take along knitting, but with 2 little children I just didn’t have much time to actually go somewhere and knit. Before you ask, if you have to wait somewhere and you have 2 little children, knitting is almost impossible.
And then a square I designed for a baby blanket. There is a yahoo group I belong to, called Lone Star State Knitters, and they knit a blanket worth of squares for each member who is about to have their first child or grand child. Someone asked for a 1,2,3 square, as we already have an A,B,C square, and since I couldn’t find one, I offered to design one. It was fun, and maybe I will actually offer the pattern sometime…
I believe then we reached the summer, and I started knitting on Oregon in earnest, I was determined to finish it in 2010. But in August I did design this little thing, after a friend of mine asked for a napkin ring and I discovered that one can hardly find any that are not knitted flat.
Which in turn lead to designing this coaster and place mat to match, and I am very proud to say that the pattern for this set of three has been used as one of the patterns for the Holiday Mystery Gifts group on Ravelry.
In September the designing bug bit once more, and I adapted this cute little guy from a crochet pattern.
In October, Oregon was finally finished, it took me 2 and a half years, which is really not bad if you realize how much I have done in the mean time.

After I finished Oregon, I started 2 more projects, but they were not finished in 2010, and therefore do not belong in this post. 😀 If you managed to read all the way to the end of this post, I greatly appreciate it. I love sharing my love for my hobbies, and appreciate any comments you might wish to leave.

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Back in October DS#1 wanted a hooded cardigan, just like his little brother. And like a good Mommy, I went and found a pattern, and then we set off to find yarn. DS is the one who selected the color. The yarn is Homespun (third from the top – Candy Apple) by Lion Brand. I appears to be an almost direct substitute for the suggested yarn. I modified the patten somewhat, in that I intended to add a zipper, and didn’t care for the pocket. I also thought the cardigan should be a bit shorter, and I didn’t feel like casting off at the top of the body, only to have to pick up those same stitches for the hood. So… I
put them on a holder in stead. Maybe I should have followed a dear friends example and used a 3 needle bind off for the shoulders, but I didn’t. Now, for those who read carefully, I said I intended to add a zipper. This was before DS told me somewhere around the end of the sleeves (I only had the hood to go at this point) that he wanted buttons. What is a knitter to do? I got buttons, and carefully added crocheted button hole loops to the cardigan. Here are some pictures of the process:
First I put pins where I wanted to add the button hole.

Then I crocheted a very short chain, about 4 seemed good for this cardigan, and attached it at the first pin with a very small very tight little stitch, so it “should” not pull out when used.

I attached the other side the same way, and wove in the ends. The most secure way I know of doing this is to first go up, then down, like the next two pictures are showing. But I have also used duplicate stitch, and it seems almost as strong.

This is the end result:

And here is the happy recipient showing off his new cardigan.

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