Archive for the ‘uncategorized’ Category

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Toddler Cable Sweater

January 4, 2017

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I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and New Year.  I’m still picking up and cleaning after all the out of town guests we had at the house and recovering from too much food and fun.  But I’ve been knitting right along and having a great time with baby patterns.

This is a cute little sweater knit from a Bergere de France pattern book that caught my eye.  The pattern is written in English but there were all kinds of amusing  and maddening techniques that we American knitters don’t really do.  I love the end result, though, and will be knitting this again with some modifications.

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First of all, this sweater is knitted flat and requires seaming, which I don’t really like to do.  But I liked the sweater so much I did it anyway.  One of the odd things about the pattern is that they have you knit the neckband separately, leave the stitches on a separate needle and then graft it on.  That seemed ridiculous, so I just picked up the stitches around the neck and knitted the neckband.

The other odd thing was the creation of the buttonholes.  I’ve never encountered this – they had you knit the sweater with no yo’s for buttonholes.  After the sweater is done, you create buttonholes by lifting a stitch above and below where you want the hole to be and sewing those stitches aside.  What?  But I gave it a go and hated it. Never doing that again.  The buttonholes it created weren’t very good and it was an enormous hassle, with having to weave in yarn ends all around the buttonholes.  Yikes.  I guess this is a typical French technique, but I’m sure glad we don’t do that here.

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Another odd thing – the pattern has four sizes – newborn, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months.  Isn’t that weird?  Usually patterns are, for instance, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 9-12 months, etc.  Something like that.  So I wanted to knit a 12 month size, but there was no 12 months size.  My solution was to pick a heavier weight yarn (Cascade 220 Superwash Aran) and knit on bigger needles (#9).  I figured I would end up with about a 12 months size.  Nope.  I ended up with about a 2 or 3 year size!  Especially after I blocked the sweater, and the yarn relaxed like crazy.  It became huge.  So it’s really not a baby sweater anymore.  So I will be knitting this again, using DK and smaller needles.

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I loved the sweater, though.  The cables were just a sweet touch and I’m a sucker for garter stitch hem and cuffs. Looking forward to knitting it again.

Thanks for dropping by,
Elaine

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Pattern:  Bergere de France #06 Boy’s cardigan in Book #182
Needles: US #8 & #9
Yarn:  Cascade 220 Superwash Aran
Ravelry Page

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Tapestry Mittens

April 25, 2015

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I do love a good mitten pattern and this new one I found might be my favorite yet. The Northman Mitten is right up there, though.  There’s a couple of things I look for in a good mitten pattern:  it has to have a decent thumb (either an afterthought thumb or a thumb with a gusset)  and it has to be a two color pattern.  This pattern has both and it also has a lining, which is really nice. And it was a really fun knit.

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This pattern is from Elinor Brown, a knitting pattern designer who I was always in awe of because she designed all these wonderful patterns and did all this knitting while attending medical school.  The pattern gives three sizes for the mittens.  I knit the Medium and I thought they seemed just right for the average woman’s hands.

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I chose to use Quince Chickadee for the outer mitten yarn so that the pattern had a lot of stitch definition.  It’s a 100% wool yarn.  Sometimes, in the past, when I have used a wool and alpaca blend for an outer mitten, the alpaca fuzzes up a little too much and the pattern becomes a little blurry.  But I like the warmth of alpaca so I used that for the inner mitten.

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Two color knitting is so fun and it’s addictive to watch your pattern coming off the needles.  When I knit in two colors, I hold one yarn (the contrast color) in the left hand and knit Continental with that and I hold the other yarn (the background color) in the right hand and knit English on that side.  It took some practice to learn, but it’s natural for me now and very fast.  if you hold the contrast yarn in the left hand, it becomes dominant in the finished knitting. The background color is held in the right hand, and stays in the background.

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I knit all my projects in the round on circular needles using Magic Loop instead of double points.  It makes it very easy to try on the project and assess sizing as you go. Plus I hate all the double points sticking out and having to work around them.  And it makes knitting the thumbs very easy.

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The only thing I did not totally love on this pattern was the i-cord cast on. The result just wasn’t worth the aggravation. If I knit another pair of these (and I will) I’m going to do a different kind of cuff – maybe a picot edge.

Pattern: Tapestry Mittens
Needles:  US#4, #2 and #1 Circular Addi Lace
Yarn:  Quince Chickadee in Frost & Storm and Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light in Viola for inner mitten
Ravelry Page

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Snow Buddy Family

December 3, 2014

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I think one of the nicest yarn shops I have ever visited is the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan.  I was in there a couple of years ago and was so impressed with this shop.  I wish I had taken a picture of the interior. Old fashioned downtown shop with high ceilings, brick interior . . . just a really welcoming space with lots of quality yarns.  I loved this place.  And on one of the display shelves sat the cutest little knitted winter family of characters.  I immediately bought the pattern and finally got around to knitting a few of the little guys.

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These tiny people are quick to knit up.  You stuff the bottoms with dried beans for weight and then add poly fill for the rest.  The pattern is easy for just about everything except the little baby’s earmuffs – I never did understand the directions for those and so I just improvised.  Other than that, there were no troubles with the pattern and I had so much fun knitting them.

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This is a great pattern in which to use up scraps of yarn.  All the little accessories do not take up much yarn.  I knitted these in worsted weight yarns.

Pattern: Snow Buddy Family
Needle: US#3 & US#6
Yarn:  Various Stash Yarn (I used a lot of worsted)
Ravelry Page

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ColorPlay Scarf

October 27, 2014

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Have you ever knit anything with Rowan Kidsilk Haze?  If you have, you know how gorgeous this Italian yarn is.  It is a lace weight blend of mohair and silk that is light as a feather.  It is an expensive yarn, but it’s very special.  Whatever you make from it is very warm and has fantastic drape.

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This pattern is, once again, from one of my favorite pattern resources – Churchmouse Yarns and Tea.   The pattern calls for four solid colors, but I used six because I wanted a much longer scarf.  The yarn is to be held double.  The pattern has you knit one of the solid colors for a big block and then cut one yarn and add in one yarn of another color.  Now you are knitting with two colors at once and you get a great new color.  Then you cut the first color and add another end of the second color and knit with just that color.  It’s fun to see the colors that two different skeins produce together. I did not follow the pattern regarding how long to knit in one color – I just knit until I felt like switching colors.

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The scarf is all stockinette stitch, except for a 7 stitch border on each side done in seed stitch, to keep it from curling.  It’s very effective.  All that stockinette makes for easy knitting while you watch TV.  The scarf lies very nicely.  I damp blocked instead of wet blocked it.  I figured it would be way too heavy to handle if I wet blocked it.  I just threw two towels in the washer on rinse and spin and then wrapped the scarf up in there overnight and then pinned and blocked it the next day, as the pattern suggested.  It worked really well.  The scarf ended up being 82″ x 13″ after blocking, a really nice length.  I did not quite use completely all six skeins.

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I’m definitely going to knitting more of this pattern, it’s so great.  I can see all kinds of terrific color combinations. Kidsilk Haze is about $15 a skein, so it’s ends up being about $90 to knit one of these scarves in this length.

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Pattern: ColorPlay Scarf
Needle: US 7 Addi Lace Circulars
Yarn:  Rowan Kidsilk Haze in 6 colors:
Hurricane, Steel, Smoke, Anthracite, Tornado and Heavenly
Ravelry Page

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