Archive for the ‘child’ Category

Exercise Before Knitting Gifts

Exercise Before Knitting Gifts? Yes, go out for a little jog before committing to that queen-sized afghan for your cousin’s child’s girlfriend’s dorm room! Or, use the coupon code EXERCISEBEFOREKNITTINGGIFTS in my Ravelry pattern shop to buy 2 patterns and receive the 3rd free! The promotion will end 12/31/2010.

Otherwise, check out the Holiday and Winter issues of Interweave Knits for some new Exercise Before Knitting designs. These two colorwork patterns for Interweave Knits Holiday were inspired by that old Latvian mitten book I found last year.

Copyright Interweave Knits

Copyright Interweave Knits

Slanted Peerie Mittens feature a more unusual stranded pattern, one that moves diagonally across the fabric. The design reminded me of ribbons and wrapping paper, a good motif for the holidays. Although these have three different colors of yarn, the little bits of red are actually duplicate stitched on once the knitting is completed.

Copyright Interweave Knits

Copyright Interweave Knits

Parallax Hat came about as I went looking for an easy stranded pattern to work at worsted weight into a pointy little elf-like cap. I am mad for the spiral top on hats in general, and I think it looks even better in colorwork. Consequently, I made the two-color spiral the heart of the design, then worked out the rest from there.

Tuckernuck Cardigan, a baby/child (3 mos – 5 yrs) pattern appearing in Interweave Knits Winter 2010, comes with a bit of history.

Copyright Interweave Knits

Copyright Interweave Knits

While we impatiently awaited the arrival of baby #2 this time last fall, I thought I would pass the time in part by knitting Beatrix a big sister sweater with lots of lovely cables. Intending to self-publish the finished product, I sketched out the design, set up a spreadsheet, planned a list of sizes, and then powered through the knitting. Baby Odysseus interrupted my seaming, so this sat untouched for a few months. I finished it just as I was packing away our winter woolens. When someone from Interweave asked if I had any children’s patterns for Winter 2010, I sent off my sketches.

Normally, I dread selecting buttons because I have an incredible knack for making extremely poor button choices. One of my coping strategies is to ask other shoppers in the store what they think of my button choice. Did you know most knitters and sewers love choosing buttons? They do. AND they’re usually quite good at it, don’t you think? These particular buttons pleased me very much. They look great with the gray yarn, and don’t detract from the cables at all.

I realize many people do not want to think about baby or kids’ patterns, but I maintain the set-in sleeve is worth the (small) trouble. Well fitting knits look great on children, don’t you think?

Stay tuned for some more gift ideas, namely a pair of Latvian-inspired mittens from Twist Collective!

In need of finishing time

To think, just two months ago, I worried aloud medical school would rob me of every last bit of knitting time! On the contrary, I have far more time to knit now, but no time to think about my knitting: a fatal combination for a perfectionist knitter.

There’s even an almost finished sweater for me in that pile, probably buried near the bottom as it stews in Time Out – I am too annoyed to even discuss that one yet. Although I have plenty of time to knit while studying and sitting in lectures, I have little time to use my brain for things that do not relate to human anatomy (and I’m pretty sure fitting a sweater to a human form does not count in this respect). As you might expect, there have not been many successful projects around here: the three sweaters I swatched last week need different yarns, I have a stack of projects in need of button bands, buttons, or zippers, there’s a hat needing a lining, a baby sweater needing a fix involving a sewing machine and scissors, and several projects waiting on more yarn from the US Postal Service. Things will improve, but until they do, I will show you other people’s knitting, not mine.

Grumperina kindly sent one of her original Budgies to Odysseus, who, shall we say, fills things out quite nicely these days. I pulled it out of the drawer yesterday morning for him to wear on a walk, now that it’s cool in the mornings. Bonus? There are no buttons for him to attempt to eat. Odysseus is a big fan of grumperina knits! Thanks so much, Kathy!

Two of the striped sweaters in my unfinished knits pile are Budgies – it is such a perfect pattern for little ones who tug and pull buttons. I’m making two to use up some cotton stash and to knit for some new babies in my family. Only the zipper installations remain to be done. (Of course.)

O’s new Budgie conveniently matches his new Thorpe! Danielle spun and knitted both of my kids Thorpes for the winter. I think the hats are the same size, which is good, because O’s head is as big as his sister’s. Plus, he has long since outgrown the hat she made him last winter!

What I love about these hats is that they seem to come from so many knitterly people at once: the wool for the hat on the left is from Adrian (HelloYarn), the wool for the hat on the right is from Amy (SpunkyEclectic), the pattern is by Kirsten (Through The Loops), and the spinning and knitting by Danielle (aswiminknits).

Lastly, much to my surprise, a beautiful baby quilt arrived on my doorstep last week, sewed and quilted by my KBC friends.

The little boat on the back is embroidered with “S.S. OEB”, such a sweet personal touch for a little man named for a big sailor, don’t you think?

His chubbiness is lucky to know so many generous and talented crafters! As am I! Thanks so much, everyone!

Panicked pattern queuing

Nothing gets me more panicked about knitting for my kids than July and August. The school year approaches, you know! What’s that? You say my kids aren’t in school yet? Hm, yes, well there is that. However, as many of you know, I will begin medical school in less than a month, so at least one of us has to prepare for the school year. As you might expect, I feel a bit panicked about losing my knitting time; naturally, I’m spending my last month of freedom planning lots and lots of projects!* I must remind myself that because I knit while I study, August 2010 does not mark the end of my knitting days. Whatever you do, please do not leave a comment asking how I will ever knit again, OK? Thanks.

Despite my impending lack of time, I have been planning what I will make for my kids this year. I thought I would share my ideas with you. For Beatrix, I would like to cast on for a Morgan’s Flower Garden by Amy Herzog.

Copyright Amy Herzog

Everything is red with Beatrix these days, so I will probably have to change the main color to appease her. Although the pattern calls for Cascade 220, I intend to use some Berroco Ultra Alpaca bits floating about in my stash. With shrinking knitting time, I need to make sure what I knit for the kids is both cute and functional; this definitely fits the bill.

For Odysseus, I hope to make an Ella Funt by Pamela Wynne before Chubby outgrows the pattern sizes. Perhaps I should get started on this first, since my tubby seven-month-old is already 22 lbs. He wears things for a week before outgrowing them.

Copyright Pamela Wynne

The pattern calls for sport-weight yarn, and boy, do I have sport-weight scraps! In fact, my stash seems to be comprised almost exclusively of them. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit I have only made one sweater for little O in his life and I made it before he was born. That is to say, of course, it doesn’t count. The little man needs some woolens for the winter when his mama is away in the anatomy lab, don’t you think?

Finally, I’m planning grumperina’s Budgie Striped Sweater for sometime this fall/winter. Isn’t it adorable? True, I am a sucker for anything striped, but the zipper is what makes it a very useful, day-to-day garment. Once they start teething, little babies tug every button in sight to get it into their little mouths, which is dangerous for them and disastrous for their sweaters.


Copyright grumperina

Stacey recently sent me some of her own handspun, and it is burning a hole in my stash. I have never used handspun, and this stuff is gorgeous. I only worry about selecting the wrong project and wasting it! It would look great with this pattern, but a baby sweater might be a waste of handspun, don’t you think?

Like grumperina, so many of my friends and relations are expecting babies right now. I feel like my list of baby standard sweaters has dwindled to a few about which I’m not terribly excited. It’s time to shake things up a bit and find some new go-to baby knits. I think both Ella Funt and Budgie will fill the void.

I’ve also been swatching a little bit on my own for some baby items, playing around with gauge and color values, but I have not yet found anything I must knit.

What baby and kid patterns excite you?

*This can only fail.

Yarn Forward patterns: Green Day and Scoopneck

Green Day from Yarn Forward Magazine, No. 13 (June 2009)

Copyright St. Range Photography

I have been waiting months to post about these two projects! Back in December, I submitted two project proposals to Shannon Okey, the editor of Yarn Forward Magazine. They were accepted, but I needed to turn around both projects in 6 weeks! Indeed, this winter’s frantic knitting frenzy partly explains the major burnout I feel now. Or more likely, finishing the Katharine Hepburn Cardigan crushed my will to knit

Front

Pattern: Green Day Cardigan, in Yarn Forward Magazine No. 13, May 2009, shown in 22″ size

Yarn: Dale of Norway Heilo

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm)

I intended this to be a functional, unisex baby cardigan. All of the pieces are worked flat and seamed together, although it would not be hard to knit this seamlessly in the round. I used some Dalegarn Heilo I bought last fall while visiting my parents on Cape Cod. Heilo offers wonderful stitch definition for cables!

Back

Unfortunately, Beatrix was not at home when Green Day came off the blocking table and since it went straight into the mail, I do not have modeled photos of this!

Button band

 

The second pattern, Scoopneck, is due out next week in the next issue of Yarn Forward. I designed this specifically with wearability in mind. The yarn is one of my favorites (Harrisville Designs New England Shetland); it is light and airy but offers a tremendous amount of warmth with really wonderful drape. Besides, it comes in 56 amazing and tweedy colors. What’s not to love?

Scoopneck from Yarn Forward Magazine No. 14 (June 2009)

Copyright St. Range Photography

 Pattern: Scoopneck, from Yarn Forward Magazine No. 14, June 2009, shown in 35″ size

Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Shetland, in “Topaz”

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm)

Front view

The lace pattern is simple and easy to memorize but does not interfere too much with the body and arm shaping. 

Scoopneck blocking

Scoopneck is knit in the round to the armholes, when the sleeve caps are worked back and forth; the shoulders are joined by a three-needle bind-off to minimize seaming. 

Set-in sleeve detail

This project was actually the first one in which I used Aaron’s set-in sleeve calculator. Not a bad fit, eh? Math is brilliant when someone else does it!

Side view

Although a British publication, Yarn Forward Magazine can be found at Barnes & Noble and some LYSs in the US; copies can also be purchased online here. When the pattern rights revert to me later this fall, I will offer the pattern for sale here.

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!