Archive for the ‘sweaters’ Category

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“Lilla Koftan” Little Cardigan

April 7, 2017

Lilla Koftan sleeve and front

I love going into yarn shops wherever I travel, don’t you?  Ever since I walked into my first yarn shop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when my oldest son was a baby in 1988, I was hooked.  I love the women in yarn shops – so eager to help you and so excited about the yarn they sell. A good yarn shop has a big table where knitters come and work on their projects, either for the help or just for the friendship. Recently while visiting our son in college, I walked into a yarn shop in Evanston, Illinois – CloseKnit – and this shop was one of those great little yarn shops.  The women were having a great time and laughing and there was a big table right in the middle of the shop.   I saw this yarn on display with a little sample swatch knitted up and was so intrigued with it that I bought a couple of skeins.  It’s a German yarn called Schachenmayr Extra Fine Merino 120 and, when knitted up, kind of looks like Fair Isle.  I love it.  But what’s really great about it is the texture – it’s extra fine merino, but has a really nice firmness to it that I like.  It held up so well after blocking – sometimes wool can relax too much after blocking and I hate that.  This yarn retained its structure.

Lilla Koftan top

Lilla Koftan upside down

This free (!) pattern is called “Lilla Koftan” which means “Little Cardigan” in Swedish.  It is a pattern by Petra Orrbeck and I really liked it.  It’s my favorite technique for a sweater: top down, seamless, sleeves put on holders and then knitted in the round. And it has a little garter yoke and garter trim.  Perfect!

Lilla Koftan start of sleeve

I knit the whole thing on #4 circular Addi Lace needles and then did the sleeves using Magic Loop, instead of DPNs.  If you need a tutorial on Magic Loop, here is mine (along with a video to help you).  Magic Loop is my favorite way to knit in the round.

Lilla Koftan sleeve on needles

 

Using #4 needles and DK yarn, this made a tiny sweater – probably a 6 month size.  So cute.

I modified the pattern just a tad:
1.  I only did 3 buttonholes (because I like that look)
2.  I did M1 increases instead of the yarn overs she suggested.
3.  I did 22 rows for the body instead of 17 as the pattern says.
4.  I did 11 rows of garter stitch for the trim instead of 9.
5.  I did 22 rows stockinette for sleeves before garter trim

Lilla Koftan cardigan side view

Lilla Koftan stitches detail

This pattern, making it the size I did, took exactly 2 skeins of this yarn – I only had about 7 yards left!  It was a close call.  So that’s about 260 yards.  This yarn is a DK weight although the company web site lists it as a Lace weight.  That just is a mistake.

Lilla Koftan buttons

 

This is all the yarn I had left!    If I want to make a little hat, I’ll have to get another skein.

 

Lilla Koftan leftover yarn

 

Thanks for stopping by and
I hope you’re making something!
Elaine

Pattern:  Lilla Koftan
Needles:  U.S. #4 circular
Yarn:  Schachenmayr Merino Extra Fine Color 120 in Helsinki (494)
Ravelry Page

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Garter Stitch Baby Sweater

January 29, 2017

garter-stitch-sweater-open

This darling little sweater is another top down, no seam sweater – my favorite method of garment making.  Plus I love the look of garter stitch, so this sweater had to be made. The little yoke, with its raglan yarn overs, was a sweet touch.  I loved everything about this pattern.

garter-stitch-sweater-button

I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Merino, a super soft worsted weight wool that is machine washable.  I like using this for baby items.  It’s so nice to knit with – and even softer than regular wool.

garter-stitch-sweater-side

I love the look of little beige sweaters for babies, but I wanted to introduce a little color on this one, so I picked out an aqua color and did some two color knitting. This was done in garter stitch, so you may not be able to tell that it is simply a “knit one in beige, knit one in aqua” repeat.  On the next row, you just knit the opposite colors over each stitch.  It creates a stranded look with the colored yarn only if you hold the colored yarn in your right hand. If you want to see how I knit with two colors at once, you can see a video of this here.

garter-stitch-two-colors

garter-stitch-sweater-detail

This pattern calls for slipping the first stitch on every row on the front. This makes a really nice, flat decorative edge.  However, if you miss just one stitch, like I did, it looks bad:

missed-stitch-ii

What to do?  The mistake was glaringly right in the front. I came up with a solution – I crocheted a decorative edge over the top, using just a simple single crochet.  It worked beautifully and I really liked the finished look of it:

crochet-edge-garter-sweater

I was able to find the perfect button for this sweater – a little aqua wooden button that was the sweetest finishing touch.

Thanks for dropping by,
Elaine

garter-stitch-sweater-front

Pattern:  Garter Stitch Baby Jacket by Nancy Elizabeth Munroe
Yarn:  Cascade 220 Merino Superwash in Tuffet & Aqua
Needles:  #6 and #7
Ravelry Page

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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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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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Sideways Garter Stitch Vest

March 28, 2015

gartervestblackontop

this vest is vertically reversible!

gartervestgreyontop

If you do not subscribe to Purl Soho’s e-mail newsletter, you really should.  This great little shop in New York’s Soho neighborhood puts out an awesome mailing that includes free patterns.  That is where I saw this pattern for a vest that is done entirely in garter stitch.  It caught my eye right away, so I looked it up on Ravelry to see how  many people were knitting it and what their creative spins on it might be. One great feature of this vest is that you can turn it upside down and wear it the other way, with the contrasting color on top.  Each way gives you a different size collar.

gartervestonneedles

This was such an easy project to knit – it’s just one big rectangle of garter stitch -but it does require doing afterthought armholes, which I kind of love doing.  I’ve done a lot of afterthought thumbs for mittens and afterthought heels for socks, so I know the technique well.

You just knit a length of contrasting waste yarn across the required number of stitches, slip these stitches back to the left needle and knit in your regular yarn.  This leaves you with this contrasting yarn embedded into your piece:

gartervestafterthoughtarmholes

To make the armholes, you slip your stitches just under your waste yarn, picking up one leg from each stitch underneath:

pickingupstitchesgartervest

Here are the stitches on the needles after they are all picked up, both below and above the waste yarn:

afterthoughtarmhole

Now you can get rid of the waste yarn by just picking it out and cutting it as you go to remove it:

pickingoutstitchesforvest

Now it’s a matter of just binding off those stitches you just picked up:

bindingoffafterthought

After they are all bound off, behold – an armhole:

gartervestarmhole

It’s really pretty easy.  A lot of people on Ravelry decided not to do Afterthought Armholes and, instead, just bound off the stitches as they knitted the garment but as I understand it, this method does not make as nice an armhole.  I guess the tension can vary too much.

gartervestside

I really love this vest.  It turned out with a very nice drape – I used a Made in Michigan yarn called Shepherd’s wool that I really love.

Pattern:  Sideways Garter Vest
Needles:  US # 8 Addi Lace 40″ circulars
Yarn: Shepherd’s Wool in Pewter and Black
Ravelry Page

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Old Sweater #1 – The Reindeer Sweater

May 25, 2011

When I started knitting about 22  years ago, I knitted a lot of things for my first son but I also knitted a lot of sweaters for me, something that I don’t do anymore.  I don’t knit hardly any garments, just mittens, scarves, hats and socks.  When I look back at some of the old sweaters I used to knit, I really still like them.  I’m going to do a series of posts documenting some of these old sweaters.

The first one is a Reindeer Sweater that is knitted in wool.  The pattern is from an old book I bought 22 years ago called  “Picture Knits” by Lory Cosgrove.  It’s such a nice book.  The patterns have adult size versions and kid versions.  There’s a lot of old vintage type patterns.

All these patterns are knitted flat, which I wouldn’t like much now because I pretty much knit everything in the round. In fact, I can’t believe I knitted all these sweaters flat, on straight needles.  Egad.  All that color stranding purlwise!  I wouldn’t do that now, I can tell you.

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