Tag Archives: knitting

Yikes! Stripes!

Why I love making sweaters for my kid:

  1. They’re super cute.
  2. They go super fast (at least compared to a grown-up sweater).
  3. I usually have just enough yarn just hanging out in my stash to make something fun.
  4. The dang kid grows so fast, I don’t really have to worry about sizing (as long as I make the sweater big enough). He’ll grow into it in about fifteen minutes.
  5. Makes me feel like some sort of Type-A-Martha-Stewart-Ma-Ingles impressive mom who’s got it all squared away.

Why I don’t love making sweaters for my kid:

  1. The dang kid refuses to wear them.

I mean, he’ll wear them sometimes, if it’s cold enough. But currently, Seattle is not cold enough in his opinion. (He runs hot like his dad. I’ve been wearing sweaters since August.) Also, with being in quarantine for the last… several months, I’ve been a little lax about the whole “getting dressed in actual clothes” thing. Most days he spends in last night’s footie PJs, or just running around in a diaper. I can’t really blame him. I currently have my “Day PJs” and my “Night PJs,” so I’m not doing much better.

Anyway, all that is to say: I finished his Striped Pullover. It’s super cute. It’s gigantic. And he probably will refuse to wear it until mid-December. So, here’s a picture of it, nicely blocked and laying out on the floor. (Not pictured is my kid, just out of frame, spreading LEGOs all over the living room.)

I love how the stripes turned out, and how all the disparate colors ended up blending pretty seamlessly (though, part of that is the poor color balance on the photo. The green stripes are much more green and the red stripes are much more red in person.) And, as far as I can tell, it’s going to fit the kid. (I managed to get the collar over his head, just to check if my bind off was too tight for his giant noggin. It’s not.)

Though, compared to his current favorite outerwear, it’s massive. I’m just going to say it’s “oversized,” “cozy,” and “he’s going to grow into it”.

Maybe by the time he’s ready to wear real clothes again, he’ll fit into it properly.

Do you ever knit for kids?

Teeny Tiny Pants!

I finished my tiny Felici pants, and they’re just about the cutest things ever.

They’re super small- each leg is probably about 3/4 the diameter of a standard adult sock, and the way I got the stripes to match up is just *muah* perfect! Even pre-blocked, I kind of love them. (I’ll probably block them up when it’s time for them to meet their new owner, but I’m just not feeling it right now.)

It’s funny, though how on the “butt” part of the pants, the stripes are so much skinnier. Which makes sense, because of math (he butt is about twice as wide as a single leg, so of course the stripes there are half the width), but for some reason it didn’t occur to me until I was halfway up the front. I considered ripping back and fussing with two balls of yarn or grafting in chunks of different skeins to keep the stripes even, but 1. That’s a lot more work than I wanted to commit to, and 2. I think it’s pretty cute as is.

The only problem now is that my 2-year-old wants a pair, too. And a pair of toddler-sized pants is going to take a lot more work (and yarn) than a pair of newborn ones. Oh well- that’s just how it goes, I suppose!

Switchy Swatchy

OK, I totally hadn’t planned on going forward with the Helge Doppler sweater vest from last week. Sure, it was cute, and I really liked the texture, but lord knows I’ve got enough half-finished projects sitting in my studio right now.

But, well, it kind of got stuck in my head. Like a weird knitting version of an ear-worm. An eye-worm maybe? Ew. A knit-worm?

Anyway, one thing led to another and I was swatching before I knew it.

I started with US2s and some leftover Hawthorne Fingering. (I’ve since come to the decision that a kettle-dyed yarn is not right for this pattern, and that I need to go down at least one size (maybe two) to get the stitch definition I want. The swatch isn’t super clear, but bear with me.)

And just to remind you, this vest is my goal: (Again, sorry for the poor-quality picture- it was the best screenshot I could find.)

I began with the pattern I sketched out last week, and rapidly discovered that it was wildly wrong. (It’s the bottom section of this swatch.) What I thought was diamonds of stockinette and reverse stockinette clearly was not. The diamonds were super small and squished- hardly even diamonds.

So, I went back to the drawing board and tried using garter stitch instead of reverse stockinette, which looked a lot better (the top part of the above swatch). I wasn’t sure about the transition from one repeat to another, so I tried a few different varieties (you can see that each repeat is slightly different) until I landed on one that looked more or less the way I wanted it to.

I sketched up the new design, and here we are:

Now I’m off to swatch this new pattern out with finer needles and some machine-dyed sock yarn. Wish me luck.

The only question left is, “Do I want to knit a sweater (even for a 2-year-old) on US0s?” Eek!

Knitting on the TV

It’s been a minute since I’ve gotten really excited about knitting in a movie or on TV, but I think I might have found my next project. (Ha! Like I need another project.)

Ya’ll know I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix. It’s very moody and (well) dark. There’s lots of rain and nighttime scenes, and of course lots of knitwear and very good coats.

Plus, part of the story takes place in the 50s- the heyday of knitting, in my opinion. Knitting in the 50s was all vests and sweater sets worked on tiny needles with fingering weight yarn. It would drive me nuts to do it, but man, I love how the finished product looks.

Speaking of the finished product, look at this amazing sweater vest! (And don’t worry- no spoilers here, unless you consider a kid with a very good sweater vest a spoiler.)

And a close-up:

I mean, that color, that all-over texture, the 1×1 rib edging, the v-neck. It might be the perfect sweater vest. So stinking cute. I kind of want to make one for everyone in my family. Or at least for my kid. After all, making a vest for a 2-year-old on US2s is much less daunting than making one for myself. I’m thinking I could even use sock yarn to make sure it’s machine-washable and can stand up to a very busy toddler.

The thing I think I like most about this sweater is the geometric knit/purl texture. It doesn’t look particularly tricky, but when it’s worked all over the whole piece, it really packs a punch.

In fact, I like it so much I couldn’t stop myself from “sketching” it out and making up a little chart. (Empty squares are knits, dots are purls. Also, for what it’s worth, I haven’t actually swatched this out yet, so it might be wildly off. It’s just my best guess, based on obsessively looking up screenshots of this vest.)

I’m not sure if I’ve got the time/energy/follow-through right now to actually make this sweater become a reality, but man it’s fun to daydream. Maybe it’ll become a pattern?

Has any TV knitting caught your eye lately?

New Pattern(s)! Puget Hat

It’s new pattern time!

Actually, it was new pattern time two (three?) months ago… Things have slipped through the cracks, what with everything going on. But hey! That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a new pattern.

Actually, 2 new patterns!

That’s right, today I’ve got not one, well, two, but kind of just one cute little hat(s)- The Puget Hat in Fingering and Worsted!

They’re both simple bottom-up beanies with a big panel of cabling on one side. But, the big difference between the two patterns (as you might have guessed) is gauge and yarn requirements.

The fingering-weight hat is a really great light hat for cool fall nights when you just need a little something extra to stay warm, but the worsted hat is perfect for the depth of winter, and will keep you toasty even in the snowiest months of the year.

I love the decrease details at the top. Instead of a typical, boring decrease pattern, this hat features an X-shaped decrease scheme, a super-cute detail that’s surprisingly easy to work.

Check in your stash to see what extra skeins you have waiting, then head over to Knit Picks to grab the Puget Hat: Fingering or the Puget Hat: Worsted!

Finally Finished!

I’ve had a little run of… we’ll say “projects that haven’t been too successful.”  There were the socks that ended up three sizes too small, the woven scarf that took a left turn (literally) and the sweater that didn’t go to plan.  What with *vaguely gesturing* everything that’s happening, it just seemed to make sense that none of my knitting is working out either.  This whole spring/summer/year seems cursed.

Anyway, with all that, I decided I needed to finish something.  I have had my Stonecroft shawl literally sitting on my desk, looking at me for a good 4 months now.  It was basically done, except that I had lost yarn chicken while binding off the last 10 or so stitches.  I got frustrated with it, couldn’t decide how to fix it, and just… let it sit there.

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So, last weekend I decided NO! I’m going to finish something.  And it’s going to be successful, by god!  I ripped out a couple rows and re-bound-off.  (I had been toying with the idea of ripping way back to make the border wider, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that.  A decision I’m glad I made.)

And, within an evening, I had finished the project that had been sitting, teasing me for months.

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I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out- I’m not even mad at the slightly-narrower-than-called-for border.  It’s lovely, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

Of course, now that I’ve finished it, the weather has turned and I have no use for a cozy shawl…  But isn’t that always the way?

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Have you finished any projects lately?

Choices 2020

I’ve got a dilemma.

It’s a dilemma of my own creation, because I insisted on making a sweater without actually having a plan.  I should have had a plan.

I really should have had a plan.

Now I have… this:IMG_2909

Possibly the world’s least-flattering sweater.

Ignore the sleeve situation for a second, and let me walk you through what happened.

My original thought was to knit up a stash-busting sweater using the lace-weight alpaca that I’ve had in my stash for literal years.  I love all the colors, but haven’t had the time/energy for lace since… the early 2000s.  I actually knit up a swatch with the yarn held triple, and it seemed like it was going to work.  The first plan was to make a cropped, over-sized sweater, in the vein of the Love Note.  Super cute and trendy.

Well, I got carried away (a combination of quarantine blues and some good Netflix shows), and before I knew it, I had a hip-length sweater.  Not what I planned, but hey, that’s ok.

I tried it on.  It fit… well enough.  Even though I did a swatch, I forgot to factor in the inherent drapiness of alpaca.  It’s really kind of shapeless and droopy.  Don’t get me wrong… it’s real comfortable and soft, but not the most flattering thing ever.

It was time to tackle the sleeves.  My first thought was to just make it into a T-shirt- something trendy and cute, and something I could wear sooner than later with summer on the way.  I threw a quick short sleeve on the sweater.  I tried it on…

Y’all.  It was so wide across the shoulders (WAY too many raglan increases), that the armpit hits just a couple inches above my elbow.  It looks OK enough if I keep my arms down, but if I lift them up, I get a weird bat-wing look (and not in a good way).

So, I decide to make the other sleeve long.  I use my usual long sleeve formula,  and make it up in a weekend.

I’ve got big hopes.  I try it on.  Ugh.

It’s… fine, but way baggier than I hoped.  If I really want the sweater to be how I’m now imagining it, I have to rip it all the way back past the armpits and try again, and I’m just not feeling that now.

So, I’m asking you:  What should I do?

Long sleeve? Short sleeve?  Re-knit the long sleeve so it’s narrower?  Give up and walk around with one long sleeve like a crazy person?  Give up entirely?

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(Don’t mind my dog and my kid barking at the cars driving by…  It was a day.)

Have you ever gotten almost to the end of a project, just to realize you did it all wrong?

New Pattern: Stanwood Shawl

We might all still be stuck inside, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about bringing you a new pattern!

Introducing: the Stanwood Shawl, in the new collection from Knit Picks, Vivid!

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I’m really pleased with how this one turned out!  It’s a lovely, squishy, garter-stitch scarf/shawl hybrid that features contrasting stripes along one edge and short-row points.  It features a slightly curved shape, which lets it settle gently around the shoulders.  And, best of all I love the way it lets you play with color.  Mix and match your favorite 3 (or more!) skeins of sock yarn, and see how they play together.  Fun!

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Plus, it’s nice and long.  If you’re more of a scarf person than a shawl person- it’s perfect!

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(Also, I gotta say, Knit Picks have some fun, bright designs in this collection.  Definitely check it out!)

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Head over and grab a copy of the Stanwood Shawl here!

Quarantine Sweater

So, I’m putting my socks (er… sock) in time out for a little bit.  I can’t face ripping out an entire sock, and I can’t face knitting up a second sock that I know for a fact isn’t going to fit.

I also can’t really muster up the energy to dig through my stash and match up a specific pattern to the yarn that I’ve got on hand.  That just seems like way too much effort for right now.

I do, however, have just a ton of Knit Pick’s Alpaca Cloud lace-weight yarn.  Why? I have no idea.  I think the last time I knit with lace-weight yarn was somewhere in the middle of the Obama administration.  (Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice yarn, just not what I usually reach for these days.)

But, I finished my Lovenote (which I just realized I haven’t shared with you yet!), which was knit with finer yarn held double on large needles, which gave me an idea.  I set out my stashed Alpaca Cloud in a rainbow(ish) and started swatching on US10 1/2s.  (See, I learn from my mistakes.  Sometimes.)

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I decided that holding the yarn double made fabric that was still a little too skimpy, so I tripled-up, and came up with something that was light but fluffy, cozy but drape-y.

I busted out my favorite Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd, and started on a raglan sweater.  It’s not fancy in the design; no crazy textures or lace, no weird construction, just big blocks of color.  I’m holding the yarn triple, so every block, I switch out one color, which has left me with a rather pleasant color gradient so far.

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I’d originally thought about measuring out how long the sweater was going to be and making the stripes even all the way down, but… meh.  Instead, I’m kind of just knitting until I get bored, then switching.

What will the rest of the sweater look like? Who knows!  Will it be long or cropped or somewhere in the middle?  I dunno!  Will it have waist shaping or tapered sleeves? Maybe?

It’s kinda fun to go into a sweater with literally no idea of what it’s going to end up looking like.  I always go from a pattern, or at least a sketch of what I want the finished project to be, so it’s a nice change of pace and a nice project to have on my needles in this weird, weird time.

What’s your quarantine knitting?

 

And this is why you swatch.

OK.  Mistakes were made.

I was all stoked last week about making myself a pair of comfy socks.

Mistake 1-  After going on and on about all of those lovely, tried-and-true sock patterns, I decided to go off script.  Why?  Who knows?

Mistake 2- I decided to make the socks cabled.  Why?  When have I ever made cabled socks that weren’t a disaster?  Never.  Cables are the best- I love them.  They make wonderful, dense fabric that’s extra-thick and cozy.  I don’t want extra-thick fabric on my socks.  They have to fit inside shoes.

Mistake 3- I didn’t swatch.  Like an idiot.

Actually, I kinda did swatch.  I swatched the pattern (with different needles and different yarn).  IMG_2820I was thinking about using the cable design in a sweater or something, but I decided after I was finished with the swatch that it would be better for a sock.  I still maintain these are very cute socks.  But compared to my usual sock gauge, they’re way off.

Mistake 4- When I first started thinking I’d made a mistake, I just kept going.

About 3 inches in, I thought “Huh.  These are looking a little slim.”  But did I stop? No!  That would have involved admitting defeat, and having to problem-solve.

Anyway, long story short, I have one sock.  It’s a lovely sock.  It’s tall and blue and has a cute all-over cable pattern.IMG_2828

And it’s nowhere close to fitting me.  I’d show it to you on my foot, but you don’t need to see that.  Just trust that the cables are stretched beyond recognition and it barely stretches over my calf.  It’s real sad.

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Now I just have to decide what to do next.  Do I rip it back, and go back to a tried-and-true pattern?  Do I continue and work up a second one in the same pattern, and give it away to a smaller-footed friend? Do I ball it up and leave it at the back of my WIP drawer until I forget how I made it?

All equally good choices, I think.

What would you do?