Archive for the ‘baby knits’ Category

Grow Like a Weed Jacket

Thanks to a great collection of test knitters - AndreaDanielle, ErinJennieMaiSvenja - the Grow Like a Weed Jacket pattern I previewed last fall is now ready!

Grow Like a Weed Jacket

I hope this heavy sweater will last two winters. It will be a little long the first winter, with sleeves cuffed. The next winter, it should fit as a sweater might, with the sleeves left uncuffed. Both the cabled and the twisted 1×1 ribs have incredible stretch to them and will expand to fit a growing child’s arms and belly.

Osterville playground

The garment is knit from the bottom up in the round and then steeked open. The sleeves are knit first and then joined to the body. I largely followed Elizabeth Zimmermann’s saddle shoulder construction for the armhole and shoulder shaping. The text is wordy but it should be clear once you begin the decreases. The neck opening is a bit wider than average and the back neck is shaped by short rows, with the cabled and twisted ribs extending up to form a collar. Rolled edges are knitted on to provide a place for the sewn in zipper.

Those unfamiliar with crochet steeks are encouraged to read Eunny Jang’s definitive steeking tutorial before proceeding. Only feltable wools with plenty of grip should be used for steeking purposes. Neither superwash wools nor plant or synthetic fibers will hold. Although it would be easy to modify the pattern to work back and forth without steeking, the instructions are written for construction in the round.

This pattern is available as a Ravelry download for $5.00.


Yarmouthport boardwalk with Doug

Difficulty: Advanced

Skills used: knitting in the round, increasing/decreasing, reading a chart, cabling, steeking, picking up stitches, stitching down facings, and hand sewing a zipper

Sizes:

1 yr (2-3 yr, 4-5 yr, 6-7 yr)

Finished Measurements:

glw_size_chart

Gauge:

21 stitches and 26 rows = 4” in cabled (body) pattern when stretched

24 stitches and 26 rows = 4” in 1×1 rib (sleeve) pattern when stretched

16 stitches and 24 rows = 4” in stockinette

Yarn:

Ram Wools Selkirk (100% wool; 272 yd [249 m]; 4 oz), 2(2, 3, 4) skeins

Needles:

US 8 (5.0mm) circular needle, length appropriate for size

US 8 (5.0 mm) double pointed needles

Materials:

Separating zipper, size as needed

Crochet hook, any size between 3.25 – 4.0 mm will do

Small amount of sport or fingering weight, sticky wool for securing the steeked edge.

tapestry needle

needle and thread

Steeking process

First Grow Like a Weed Jacket

Enjoy!

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan, button band

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan

Growing up on Cape Cod in the 1980s, I have many memories of nautical themed sweaters, with boats, anchors, captain’s wheels, or whales forming the yoke. With these sweaters came Nantucket jewelry baskets, alligator polos (collars flipped up, of course), plaid pants, embroidered pants, and any other garment with the shape of the Cape Cod arm littered gratuitously about.

This cardigan was inspired by a pullover my mother started for me and finished several years later for my brother, if I am not mistaken. I thought it might be a fun design to revive. Since winter is almost over and I will soon be packing away her size 2 winter clothes, I knit Beatrix the size 3-4 yr for next year. The garment is knit from the bottom up in the round and then steeked open. Those unfamiliar with crochet steeks are encouraged to read Eunny Jang’s definitive steeking tutorial before proceeding. Only feltable wools with plenty of grip should be used for steeking purposes. Neither superwash wools nor plant or synthetic fibers will hold. Although it would be easy to modify the pattern to work back and forth without steeking, the instructions are written for construction in the round.

Note of caution: Any knitter who chooses to abuse this pattern by making matching whale sweaters for the family Christmas card should be flogged, or at the very least have his/her knitting needles confiscated.

This pattern is available as a Ravelry download for $5.00.

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Difficulty: Advanced

Skills used: knitting in the round, increasing/decreasing, reading a chart, stranded knitting, steeking, picking up stitches, hand sewing facings, and optional duplicate stitching

Sizes:

0-3 mos (6-9 mos, 12-18 mos, 2 yr, 3-4 yr, 5-6 yr)

Finished Measurements:

Pod of Cetaceans, finished measurements

Gauge:

17 stitches and 24 rows = 4” in stockinette on US 7 (4.5 mm) needles

20 stitches and 25 rows = 4” in stranded pattern on US 7 (4.5 mm) needles

Note: Swatching the stranded pattern in the round is imperative. I chose to cast on 36 stitches for three whale pattern repeats plus 7 stockinette stitches for a steek. In addition to checking gauge, this extra swatching will provide a valuable opportunity to practice steeking.

Shoulder yoke

Front yoke

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan, back yoke

Yarn:

Harrisville Designs New England Highland (100% wool; 200 yd [183 m]; 100 g [3.53 oz]): 1(2, 2, 2, 3, 3) skeins #33 Midnight Blue, 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1) skein #44 white, 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1) skein #7 Tundra.

Needles:

US 7 (4.5mm) circular (length appropriate for size) and set of DPNs

US 6 (4.0 mm) circular needle (length appropriate for size) and set of DPNs

Materials:

Crochet hook, any size between 3.25 -4.0 mm will do

Wool waste yarn in contrasting color (not superwash wool or any plant fiber)

tapestry needle

5 (5, 7, 7, 9, 9) 3/4″ buttons

Working the little hair she has...

Shown here with optional duplicate stitched water spouts over each whale:

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan, optional whale spouts

The steeked facings are tacked down with a simple blanket stitch.

Pod of Cetaceans, facings

Seed Stitch Baby Jacket revisited

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As many of you may remember, when Beatrix was an infant, I knit up this cute little seed stitch hoodie for her. Twice, in fact. I still maintain that it was the single most useful thing I have ever knit for her. Although the seed stitch seemed endless at the time, the finished product was well worth the trouble. Beatrix hated hats, could not stand to be confined in any way, and was often passed out asleep when it came time to dress her for the cold. She wore this hooded jacket everywhere because it warm, roomy and easy to get on and off without waking her.

The free pattern has been available on my site for two years. Although it has been consistently twice as popular (in terms of downloads) as anything else I offer, the pattern itself left much to be desired. This was one of the first patterns I had ever written and frankly, it was not very good. I did not really want to fix it because if I could do it all over again from scratch, I would have knit the garment completely differently. I have neither the time nor the interest to work out a better, seamless version. Instead, I cleaned up the language, edited out the known errors, altered the neck shaping a bit, and included measurements and stitch counts.

The revised pattern may be found here.

IMG_3496Sizes:
3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 mos

Please note the finished measurements of the jacket, as it includes plenty of ease. If you seek a closer fit, please make adjustments accordingly.

Finished Measurements:

Length from back of the neck to bottom edge: 10.25”(11.5”, 12.5”, 13.25”, 14”)

Chest circumference: 20.5”(22.5”, 24”, 25.5”, 27”)

Back width: 10.5”( 11.25”, 12”, 12.75”, 13.5”)

Sleeve length: 6.5”(7.25”, 8.5”, 8.75”, 9”)

Materials:

2 (3, 3, 3, 4) skeins Cascade 220 (100% wool; 220 yd [203 m]; 100g), color: Avocado green, #7814

US7 24” or 32” circular needle, or size required to obtain gauge

Four buttons (7/8” – 1” in diameter)

tapestry needle

Yarn Substitutes:
Any worsted weight yarn will do: Mission Falls 1824 Wool or Cotton, Cascade 220, Plymouth Encore Worsted, Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, etc.

Gauge:

19 stitches and 36 rows = 4” in seed stitch

Author’s note: It is important to make row gauge on this garment. If you cannot, you will need to adjust the frequency of increases and decreases in the hood, the sleeves, and the front and back neck shaping.

IMG_3471

The white version below was knit with Lion Brand Cotton-Ease.

Revisiting an old pattern

Finishing

New stripey sweater

My thrumming adventure has been partially interrupted by a striped, stashbusting sweater for Beatrix that I started over a month ago. I decided to pair up some Knit Picks Merino Style with the Debbie Bliss Merino Aran that Nova sent me last year to make a toddler cardigan. Sadly, I had to set this aside for a few weeks because I ran out of yarn – both colors, in fact (yes, that was great planning). Unfortunately, I only needed a few yards of each new skein so you will likely see these colors again soon in some hat or another.

"stwipey sweatah", complete with cwazy hair

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Seamless Yoke Sweater from Knitting Without Tears

Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Hollyberry and Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in #06

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

New stripey sweater

I regret that the severe yoke decreases show in spite of my careful blocking. I used three evenly spaced decreases to form the yoke and if I were to do it again, I would probably place four less aggressive decrease rows in there. Also, I skipped the back neck shaping and ended with a 2×2 rib collar. The knitting was terrifically mindless, the yarn was soft and I feel certain Beatrix will outgrow this far too soon for it to pill. I would neither recommend KP Merino Style nor DB Merino Aran for any project one expected to last, however. These are soft and fuzzy yarns, categorically not durable ones. Still, I am happy with the results.

Stashbusting sweater, done

Its initial reception was not good, unfortunately. Beatrix maintained, “I don’t wike stwipes!” Fortunately, a two-year-old’s preferences seem to change as quickly as her moods and this morning, she deemed it acceptable attire.

Returning to the thrumming activities, I happily report the mittens are done!

The last of the thrumming

And what a lot I have to say about them. I decided to go overboard on these to create the most densely packed, tightly knit, wind-proof mitten ever.

This is what 600 thrums looks like

Contrasted against the Yarn Forward mittens I made for Aaron last winter, these mittens pack an incredible amount of sheep. I made the 2008 pair with Lamb’s Pride Worsted on US 6 (4.0 mm) needles and each mitten contained 161 thrums. Of course I counted, you wouldn’t have? My only complaint about them is that the wind cuts through them on the coldest days. Consequently, I knit the 2009 pair with Ram Wools Selkirk on US 2.5 (3.0 mm) needles and nearly doubled the number of thrums. Each mitten contains exactly 300 thrums. I hope they will be sturdy enough to protect my aunt Therese from the bitter cold of watching early morning ice hockey practices and games.

Sheep explosion

Yarn: Ram Wools Selkirk with who knows how many ounces of Blue-faced Leicester

Needles: US 2.5 (3.0 mm)

For the cuff, I cast on 32 sts, worked 3” in 1×1 rib. I increased to 42 stitches, thrummed every three stitches, every fourth row. After a few rows of thrums, I added one pattern repeat below the thumb to make a little more room. There are 252 thrums in the mitten body and 48 thrums in the 24-stitch thumb. I worked three K1, K2tog decrease rows at the mitten top and one at the thumb top.

Now with twice the thrums!

The sheer volume of material stuffed inside is astounding to me. You can see the contrast with the old pair. On the whole, I cannot say thrummed mittens wear well. As you can see, Aaron’s pair (oh, who are we kidding? they’re really mine) is in dire need of a shave. They pill and fuzz all over everything. They also grow with time, as the wool inside packs down.

Last year's mittens, for comparison

I cannot so much as turn a door handle wearing thrummed mittens, much less wrangle a toddler. However, I do not fear for my extremities when it’s -10 degrees during my 5:30 a.m. runs. That’s really all that matters, right? Therese will only be able to wave and clap with her new mittens but isn’t that all one needs to do at a hockey game?

Mitten torpedoes

Stash busting hats

My regular knitting has temporarily been placed on hold. After tripping over a bag of worsted weight wool scraps, I decided to engage in some much needed stash busting projects. I am too cheap to toss out my scraps so it appears as though there will be many striped projects in my immediate future!

First up is a pattern of my own design.

IMG_3077

I had less than 100 yds of these colors so I put them together for a striped hat with an 8-point, star crown. The size shown Beatrix is modeling the 18″ version.

IMG_3073

Pattern: December Stripes Hat (Ravelry link here)

Yarn: scraps of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and Cascade 220

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

IMG_3072

IMG_3079

I still had a good deal of Cascade 220 left over after this hat so I used up the rest in a Norwegian-style star hat with a hidden liner, also in the 18″ size.

Stash busting hat for Beatrix

Yarn: Cascade 220 in Cream and Blue Heather

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

Stash busting hat for Beatrix

Beatrix is pretty excited about her new hats! And there will be more to come!

Stash busting hat for Beatrix