Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Res Originales: Jo's Top-Down Baby Mitts

With the genius Knucks pattern in mind, I designed these itty bitty fingerless gloves for my cousin's two darling children. The smaller size was custom fit to a 20-month old and the larger to a 3-year old -- measurements are below. More (modeled) photos can be seen here.

Yarn: 1 skein RYC Cashsoft 4-ply (or whatever you'd like in the same gauge)
Needles: Set of 5 US 3 dpns
Gauge: 7 sts/10 rows per inch
Size: 20 mos (3 yrs); the cuff will fit a wrist of 4" (4.25") and a knuckle circumference of 4.5" (5.5").

- 1x1 rib: *knit 1, purl 1, repeat from * across all stitches
- CO: cast on
- dpn: double pointed needle
- k: knit
- k2tog: knit 2 together
- pm: place stitch marker
- psso: pass slipped stitch over
- sm: slip stitch marker

- CO 9 (11) stitches and join to work in the round, making sure to place a marker at the beginning of the round
- Knit 6 (7) rounds
- Put all stitches on stitch holders or scrap yarn
- Break yarn

- CO 26 (30) stitches and join to work in the round, making sure to place a marker at the beginning of the round
- Work 1x1 rib for 3 rounds
- Knit 9 (13) rounds
- Divide hand stitches between three needles (it is not necessary to have an even number of stitches on each needle) and transfer the thumb stitches to 2 needles: 4 (5) on one, and 5 (6) on the other
- Do not break yarn

(This is a little clumsy, but it's not many stitches, so bear with me)
- Using the dpn with the last worked hand stitches (and the yarn you did not break), pm and knit across the first needle of thumb stitches. This will be the new beginning of the round, so clip in a stitch marker or safety pin to mark it.
- Using the needle just "freed", knit across the second needle of thumb stitches, pm, and work to the end of the round, dividing all the remaining stitches between four needles (or 3, if you swing that way).

Thumb gusset:
- K to 2 stitches before first marker, ssk, sm, k to second marker, sm, k2tog, k to end of round
- K 2 rounds
- Repeat last 3 rows 2 (3) times. You should have only 3 stitches remaining between stitch markers.
- K to second marker, remove marker, slip the first stitch as if to knit, k2tog, and psso (you will probably need to transfer 1 or 2 stitches from the first needle of the round to the last). Remove first marker as well.
- K 2 more rounds

- Work 6 (8) rounds of 1x1 rib
- Bind off loosely.

- Turn the glove inside out and sew up the small hole between the thumb and hand
- Weave in all ends and block if desired

Make second mitt the same way!

(If you have any questions about this pattern, please feel free to comment here and I will respond as soon as possible.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Res Completae et Originales: Baby Warmies

Thank you all so much for the comments on my Deep-V Argyle! (And also for not pointing out what a dork I am for mistakenly referring to it as a sweater when it is, in fact, a vest. No sleeves = vest. Missing that point = dork.) I actually have a bunch of photos of other projects to share and was expecting to post them all this week, but have had no time. Please remind me again why I am taking these accounting classes??

Anyway, below are some baby knits made for my two extremely cute first cousins once removed. Their mother (my first cousin zero times removed) has been having a hard time getting them dressed in warm enough garb for the cold climate in which they live (they're currently on another continent), so she enlisted my help.

Before reading the upcoming v. boring writeup of the exact technicalities of knitting legwarmers, please go view the much more adorable modeled shots on my cousin's blog. I'll wait here.


Aren't they cuties?? Their little Dutch-and-Swedish-ness just kills me!

And on to the technicalities...

Pattern: Legwarmies, by Alana Dakos
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 1 skein each of Putty and Truffle
Needles: US 6 dpns

Mods: Instead of the sport weight yarn called for, I used a worsted, for thicker legwarmies and more warmth. To adjust for the difference in gauge, I cast on 34 stitches. Then I knit around and around for 11 inches.

Notes: Because of the kiddos' sensitive skin, my cousin asked for a wool blend yarn, instead of straight up wool. I was worried about using a 100% cotton for tension reasons (I knit quite loose so need something with some sproing) and also so the warmies would have a little bit of stretch -- nothing's worse than baggy legwarmers that won't stay up! I found the cotton fleece to be an excellent compromise. Boy is that stuff soft, and it was great to work with. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the yarn, though, when I attempted to combine the two colors with the leftovers from the first two pairs...

(The athletic stripe)

(The girly heart)

See all that pink where the brown dye bled into the off-white?! So bummed. In addition, I had to rinse the 100% brown warmies about 50 bazillion times before the water ran clear. I felt really, really bad about sending these off to my cousin in such a state, so I'm hoping to make it up to her soon.

Next up, some little glovies:

Pattern: My own
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft 4-ply, just a little bit of Weather
Needles: US 3 (I think?) dpns

Notes: I originally wanted to modify the Knucks pattern to fit a 3 year old and 20 month old, but making the half-fingers that small proved to be a difficult challenge. After a few attempts that produced gloves that looked absolutely nothing like the human hand, I gave up and made fingerless mitts instead. I was surprised to find an utter dearth of baby fingerless mitt patterns out there, so I wrote my own. If you'd like to make your own pair, the pattern will be posted here shortly...

Jo, it was so fun to knit these for CB and W - I hope they're able to get a lot of use out of them this winter!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Res Completa: Deepish V Argyle Sweater

Pattern: Deep V Argyle Vest, by Eunny Jang
Size: 32
Yarn: Jo Sharp Classic DK Wool, 3 skeins of Silk, 4.5 skeins of Amethyst
Needles: US 4 circs
Start to Finish: August 24 - October 17, 2008

Mods: The deep V looks awesome on Eunny (and many others out there in blogland who have made this vest). But I knew that I didn't quite have enough up there to pull off such a plunging neckline, so I modded the V to start a bit higher (21 rounds higher to be exact), then increased the frequency of decreases (every 4 rows instead of every 5) to catch up. An unplanned mod came when I hit the right length of armhole before completing all of the V decreases -- therefore, I ended the vest about 15 rows before I was supposed to, making the shoulder straps wider than designed. This is one thing I don't love about the vest -- I feel like those straps are wide and bulky from the folded under steeks (see picture below) -- but my hair covers them when it's down, so no biggie. I also don't generally walk around with my hands on my hips, which helps.

The other modification I made was to cast on for the size 34, then do some extra decrease rounds to get down to the size 32 waist. This made the bottom a little wider and the vest longer in general, which is something I'm finding I need to do to most fitted garments to make them fit right (see also Snow White).

Notes: So I steeked this thing on an airplane. That was an adventure! The light was low, I was crammed in a tiny seat, and there was an "active" 2 year old sitting next to me -- making sure I cut the right stitches was more than a little nerve wracking and I was practically drenched in sweat when I was done. (Note: You can totally take scissors with blades shorter than 4" on a flight. I swear.)

I posted in the beginning of October about how I had run out of purple yarn and, my LYS having also run out, I had to order from elsewhere (a couple times). To my absolute delight, the new purple yarn, though being a completely different dye lot, was indistinguishable from the old. I can't even tell where the change occurred, so I am just going to put all of those nightmares about having to rip back and alternate rows with each dye lot out of my mind altogether.

With all the fair isling and modding and steeking and running out of yarn and picking up of stitches and sewing down of stitches and weaving in of ends, I did not feel like this was the "lazybones" pattern that Eunny originally meant it to be! But boy did it feel satisfying to finish. It was a lot of work, but well worth it to have this cool vest finally hanging in my closet!

ETA: Thank you all so much for the lovely comments about my Shalom Cardi! I have been blushing for days!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Res Completa: Shalom Cardigan

Whoa! Actual knitting on this blog! I was finally home during daylight hours this weekend and was finally able to get some photos of my recent knitting adventures. I sure love the fall, but boy is it hard to run a decent blog when it's both dark when I leave the house in the morning and twilighty when I return. Anyway, here's a project finished way back in September...

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan, by Meghan McFarlane of Involving the Senses
Yarn: 2 hanks of Fingerlakes Woolen Mill 3 Ply Soft Wool
Needles: US 10.75
Notions: Two wooden buttons from Main St. Antiques in Turlock
Start to Finish: September 27-30, 2008

Mods: I made the mistake of thinking the pattern as written would be very slightly too big for me, and due to my downsizing it turned out very slightly too small. My mistaken mods simply involved increasing a little bit less than called for in the yoke section. I did also add a second button and buttonhole, but I'm not sure it was necessary.

Notes: It may be a little small, but I love it! This is such a neat, fun, and quick pattern -- and the end product is adorable. It started out as a mini-knitalong between Sophy and me, though she blogged hers (in a beautiful raspberry with very cool buttons) almost 3 weeks ago. Ugh, I am so far behind. Anyway, I absolutely adore the twisted ribbed yoke of Shalom and think it might make a pretty neat pullover as well. Hmm...

I am very happy with the way the yarn and pattern paired together. Fingerlakes Soft Wool is not quite as soft as the name might imply, but I think it's lovely and I love the rustic look it produces when knitted up (it has a slightly rustic smell as well...).

One final thing -- if you have not checked out Meghan's blog, Involving the Senses, you definitely should! (Check out her profile by CanarySanctuary, too.) This gal just oozes creativity and I am hoping she comes out with more fabulous patterns in the future!