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Baby Boy Textured Stitch Pullover Sweater & Pom Pom Hat

December 9, 2016

dino-sweater-hat

I just finished this little pullover sweater and hat for a little boy.  Once again, this is a seamless construction with lots of knitting in the round.  I may never make another garment with seams again!  I really like knitting from the top down and having no seams to sew up.

dino-sweater-on-needles

The sweater is a pattern from Frogginette and is very detailed and well written.  I knit the 12 month size and came out with a 20″ chest, which was exactly what the pattern said so my gauge must have been right on (did I do a gauge swatch – no, I’m so bad about that!).  I knit this in Cascade yarns Superwash, so the baby’s mother can put the sweater in the washing machine.  The yarn relaxed like crazy after I blocked it and I was concerned it relaxed too much but the gauge ended up correct, so I was okay.  The color I used is 862 Walnut Heather.

dino-sweater-front-detail

dino-sweater-front

I used Addi Lace Circular needles, using Magic Loop.  The Addi Lace were really nice on this project because the textured stitch pattern required a “knit 2 tog without dropping stitches off your needle then knit the first stitch again and then drop the stitches off” and it was easier to do with the very pointy lace needles.

dino-sweater-needle-detail

dino-sweater-collar

The hat pattern was just something I improvised and incorporated the textured stitch pattern from the sweater.  It’s super easy – just knit a few rows of stockinette stitch so the edge curls and then knit a little square and cast off, doing a three-needle bindoff.  Super simple. I added two pom poms, which I thought was cute.

dino-sweater-sewing-pom-poms

dino-hat

dino-hat-pom-pom

Hope you’re knitting something!  

Elaine

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow me here.

Sweater Pattern:  Boy Sweater from Frogginette
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Walnut Heather
Needles:  #6 and 8 Circulars Addi Lace
Ravelry Page

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Capella Shawl

November 30, 2016

capella-shawl-hanging-back

(For all of you who are on Instagram, I just wanted to let you know that I started an Instagram feed of my knitting projects.  If that’s something that  you would like to follow, you can find the link here.)

I just finished a big knitting project.  If you like lace knitting, this Capella Shawl from German knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer is a real winner.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this.  It’s a beautiful lace pattern but the garter stitch banding is the finishing touch that I really think makes it different.

capella-shawl-front

I used Quince Chickadee yarn for this shawl, although the pattern calls for fingering weight.  This pattern is from Quince and if you have never checked out their website, hop on over there!  They have wonderful patterns and super soft, squishy yarn that’s sourced and made right here in the U.S.  I love the fact that they are producing these yarns in Maine.  You can read about their story here.

capella-shawl-quince-yarn

capella-shawl-hanging-wrapped

 

I am a big believer in Addi Lace Circular needles.  I use them for all my knitting, flat or circular, lace or not and have replaced all my old needles with these.  If you enjoy lace knitting and have never used these, you will be amazed!  The tips are so pointed and sharp, you can easily knit intricate stitches, pick up stitches and especially knit twist stitches.  This pattern has a S2KP: “slip 2 stitches tog knitwise to the RH needle, K1, pass 2 slipped stitches over knit stitch” and that is so much easier when using  lace needles.

capella-shawl-with-needles

I did an Icelandic bind off because of the garter stitch edge. I thought a regular bindoff would not be stretchy enough, but Jenny’s Super Stretchy Bindoff would be impossible to do for this length of garment.  The Icelandic bind off worked great and I will be posting a video on how to do this bindoff soon.

capella-shawl-closeup

I followed the chart on this pattern and except for one lone row of Purl only, you really have to pay attention to your knitting.  That’s the reason this project took me so long – it was hard to watch TV and knit this at the same time!   Was such an enjoyable knit, though. I hope you get out your needles and try it.  And check out Isabell’s patterns – she is a fantastic knitwear designer.

capella-folded

Pattern:  Capella Shawl
Yarn:  Quince Chickadee in Kittywake
Needles:  Addi Lace Turbo #6     40″ circulars
Ravelry Page

 

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Shawl Baby Sweater and Garter Ear Flap Hat

November 14, 2016

garter-ear-flap-hat-shawl-sweater

I had to interrupt my Capella shawl knitting for something really important – a baby gift for a little boy!  I knitted a little shawl sweater and a little hat with ear flaps. These were two new patterns that I had never knitted before and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them and can highly recommend them.  And an added bonus:  they are both free patterns!

shawl-sweater-detail

The baby sweater is a pattern called Baby Sophisticate by Linden Heflin. I especially loved the construction of this sweater because there are no seams to sew up!  You knit in the round (my favorite) for the yoke, place stitches for the sleeves on holders, knit the body, bind off and then just place the sleeve stitches on your needles and knit those in the round.  You then pick up stitches for the shawl collar and button placket.   I knitted this sweater using my favorite Magic Loop method on circular methods.  You can find a tutorial for it here.

The pattern page is here but if you would like to see some of the more than 8,000 sweaters that people on Ravelry have knitted from this pattern, you can see them here.  I like to check out a project’s Ravelry page before I begin a project, so I can see how other people knitted the pattern, check out different color options and read notes and tips that people write about that pattern.  If you are not a member of Ravelry, join now!  It’s free, too.

The buttonholes were easy to do – just one YO and that’s it.

For the yarn, I inexplicably used an acrylic yarn.  It was an impulse buy.  I never buy acrylic yarn, but the colorway just jumped out at me.  I used Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand yarn in Grey Marble.  After I blocked the sweater, the yarn softened up a little.  But I didn’t like knitting with it much – it doesn’t have any give, like wool.

Pattern:  Baby Sophisticate Shawl Collar Sweater
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand Acrylic in Grey marble
Needles:  size #9 Addi Lace circular needles
Ravelry Page

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THE HAT:

garter-ear-flap-hat

The little hat is so adorable – it’s a pattern called Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho.  If you don’t know about Purl Soho, it’s a wonderful yarn shop in New York City.  They have a fabulous web site.  If you have never been on it, you will be amazed at the projects, tutorials, tips, patterns and ideas.  And so many of the  patterns are free!

garter-ear-flap-hat-tassel

I love the hat because the design is just a little different – a little whimsical.  It’s a very easy, fast pattern.  After casting on, you knit the two ear flaps in the round, using short rows, which I love to do.  Then you continue on knitting the hat, shaping the crown in garter stitch.  Easy peasy!  I used my beloved Magic Loop method on circular needles.

garter-ear-flap-hat-3

I love the cute little tassel on the top – how sweet is that?  Only takes a minute to make it. If you’d like to check out all the different versions of this little hat on Ravelry, the page is here. 

garter-ear-flap-hat-detail

Pattern:  Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand acrylic in Marbled Grey
Needles:  #8 circular Addi Lace
Size:  I made the small size, but on #8 needles
Ravelry Page

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Capella Shawl WIP Sneak Peak

September 13, 2016

capella-shawl-closeup

capella-shawl-detail

Currently enjoying knitting this wonderful pattern and will post final photos when it’s finished!

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Kirkwood Scarf

August 10, 2016

 

 

 

kirkwood scarf around neck

It’s finally done – the Kirkwood Scarf.  This project was such a fun knit, with three rows of cables running down the scarf.  It’s knitted up in nice soft Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.  A big thank you to Brenna for this awesome gift!

kirkwood scarf on hanger

kirkwood scarf wrappedkirkwood scarf folded

The tubular cast on and bind off are both worth doing.  The finished ends of the scarf will be stretchier and nicer.  The directions in the pattern are easy to follow, just like all of Brooklyn Tweed’s patterns.  They are so well written.

kirkwood scarf doubled

There are two chart patterns from which to choose and I chose Chart A.  I liked the nubby effect of those stitches in between the cable rows.

This yarn blocked up so nicely.  I put it in a little bath with some Soak and the stitches just laid right down into place and were so soft.  I did the blocking with wires down the sides that the pattern suggested, and that worked out great.

Pattern:  Kirkwood Scarf
Yarn:  Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Nest
Needles:  Addi Lace Circular #8
Ravelry Page here   

Related post: Kirkwood Scarf WIP

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Magic Loop Tutorial

January 23, 2016

paperdoll gloves magic loop

I have had several requests lately for help in using the Magic Loop method for knitting in the round.  It can be a little daunting to learn.  Since I use Magic Loop so much, I want to help spread the love!  So I made a video (at bottom of post). I hope this video explains things in a way that makes it easier for you to understand, if you are struggling with it.

After you have knit with the method for a while, it becomes super easy.  Some people think Magic Loop involves a lot of fiddling with pulling the needles, etc., but I can knit very fast this way and it becomes second nature.

chinook on magic loop

With Magic Loop, you can try your work on for size!  Try doing that with DPNs – doesn’t work so well

 

There are some reasons I love Magic Loop so much for knitting things in the round:

  1. No DPN (double point needle) tips sticking out! I hate working around those.
  2. Your work isn’t in danger of falling off when you have it on the circular cable (shown on video).  When I put my knitting down, I just slip the work from the needles onto the cable and it’s safe as can be.
  3. If you’re knitting something like a mitten in the round, you can actually slip your work from the needles onto the cable and try the mitten on for size! A big plus.
  4. Makes it super simple to knit something tiny like a thumb or finger.  If you use DPNs, you have to get teeny tiny DPNs to do this and it’s a hassle.
  5. Even if I have a very long circular needle, I can knit a variety of sizes on it, because the cable part just dangles.

 

 

chinookfinger

In this video, I’m using 32″ circular needles, which is a great average size for a variety of different projects.  My favorite circular needles are always Addi Lace. They are super smooth and super sharp, resulting in work that just glides along and needle points that are inserting easily for knitting.

One thing I failed to mention in the video (sorry!) is a helpful little tip:  After you get your project going, the dangling tail yarn becomes your “marker” for the beginning of your work and to tell you where the right side of the work is. This is helpful in case you forget if you have knit half of the round or all of the round – if the tail yarn is dangling on the right, you have completed a round.  Sometimes if you are knitting a project that is just a single solid color, you can get mixed up.

tail end on the left:  you are in the middle of a row.
tail end on the right:   you are at the beginning of a row.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section or email me. Good luck and enjoy Magic Loop!

Elaine

 

 

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Kirkwood Scarf WIP

December 6, 2015

kirkwood wip closeup

I am knitting.   I have a lot going on, that’s for sure, with the holidays, December birthdays, the food blog and this new project.  But I am sneaking in some knitting, of course. So I just wanted to give you a little peak of my WIP.  It’s called Kirkwood and it’s by Julie Hoover for  Brooklyn Tweed.  I love Jared Flood, who started Brooklyn Tweed and I’ve been following him forever, before he got really well known, when he was writing this tiny little blog about his knitting life in NYC (if you have time, it’s fun to go back through his archives). And then I received a thank you gift from my son’s lovely and thoughtful girlfriend and guess what it was?  A Brooklyn Tweed pattern with five skeins of Shelter!  Squeeeee! And she purchased it from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, no less, on Bainbridge! Makes it even more special.

Hope you’re making something!
Elaine

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