Archive for the ‘My Patterns’ Category

Vesterday

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I am pleased to announce another new design, published for free in PopKnits Issue # 05, Fall/Winter 2009 (Ravelry link). It was such a pleasure for me to work with Stephanie Pajonas at PopKnits to publish this pattern!

This child-size, stranded vest employs a vintage houndstooth pattern with a low scoopneck. The houndstooth is framed by 1×1 rib at the bottom edge, neck edge, and armholes. Although I designed this as a small scale way to practice steeking neck openings and armholes, it plays a very functional role in a child’s wardrobe. A scoopneck vest offers the promise of warmth without the headache of sleeves, buttons, or constricting neck openings. It is the ideal layering piece for a child.

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Sizes: 2 (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), shown in size 2

Yarn: Briggs & Little Sport in Khaki and Washed White

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) and US 2.5 (3.0 mm)

Gauge: 28 stitches and 32 rows = 4″ in stranded pattern on US 4 needles

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Beatrix wanted to wear this as soon as I finished it in June. Since wooly vests do not mix well with the heat of summer, I told her she could wear it to school in the fall. We call it her back-to-school vest (or more accurately, her ‘to-school’ vest). It is still far too hot to wear to school, but she waits patiently!

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I said there would be some baby stashbusting projects to come, so bear with me! I had quite a bit of yarn left from my Pod of Cetaceans cardigan last winter. Not knowing what else to do with it, I set out to use it up in baby projects. Sadly, I do not feel very excited about the prospect of baby knitting this time around. If I must knit a few baby items, let me use great yarn! I love everything about New England Highland: the weight, the spin, the tweediness, and the wonderful color saturation.

Best button find EVER

Earlier this summer, I found the most perfect buttons to match this navy blue yarn. Unfortunately, the lime green proves difficult to photograph against the navy background!

Harrisville stashbuster

I did not use a pattern for this cardigan, only some basic measurements.

Harrisville stashbuster

Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Highland in #33 Midnight Blue (Ravelry link)

Needles: US 7

some New England Highland leftovers

I cut it pretty close with the yarn on the second sweater, coming out with only scraps remaining. Again, I did not use a pattern for this one, just measurements. I think there were four decrease rows in the yoke.

A cardigan for New Baby

Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Highland in #7 Tundra and #44 White (Ravelry link)

Needles: US 7

I promise there will be a break from baby and child knitting! I intend to publish two new patterns in October, both for adults! Stay tuned!

Just One Button Cardigan

Back in March, I knitted up this lovely little cropped cardigan for Beatrix, aiming to use up some cotton stash along the way. I wrote up the pattern with the intention of publishing it here; then, I got pregnant. Yes, you read that right, I got pregnant and lost all interest in knitting, sewing, and crafting of any kind. Once I stopped puking my guts out, I sent the pattern off to Elizabeth of Sweet Paprika Designs for tech editing. It’s back just in time for the start of pre-school!

Just One Button Cardigan, front view

Just One Button Cardigan

This cute little cropped sweater is a perfect quick knit for little tykes. The smallest size can be completed in a single afternoon! The single button closure makes this an easy garment to get on and off. As an added bonus, the large button gives toddlers good practice putting on and taking off their own clothes. Since the cardigan is meant to be cropped, babies and toddlers will not outgrow it as quickly as other sweaters.

The garment is worked flat in one piece to the armholes and joined at the shoulders by three-needle bind-off. The sleeves are worked in the round to the armholes, then the sleeve cap is knitted back and forth and sewn in.

Just One Button Cardigan, front view

Beatrix is absolutely enamored of the button.

Just One Button Cardigan, front view

Pattern: Just One Button (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Classic Elite Four Seasons in #7640 Red, shown in 36 mos size

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

Just One Button Cardigan, back view

I also knitted up the 3 mos size to check my numbers. The difference between 3 months and 3 years is striking, don’t you think? I hardly remember Beatrix being that small.

Just One Button: 3 mos and 36 mos sizes

I’m back to knitting now. Who knows what brought it on? Autumn or the third trimester on the horizon? I’m grateful for whatever it was. There will be more stashbusting projects for little people in the weeks to come. Stay tuned.

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.

Set-in Sleeve Calculator

A lace pullover for spring

Although raglan and yoke constructions (and even Elizabeth Zimmermann’s set-in model) are seamless, I regrettfully find them ill-fitting on my body. Like it or not, traditional set-in sleeves just fit me better. However, calculating the armhole and sleeve cap shape is time consuming and rather unwieldy for patterns with multiple sizes. This winter, I designed several garments for publication with set-in sleeves. I created an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the armscye measurement, the perimeter of the armhole. Still, the spreadsheet required tinkering here and there and was not a very good solution. When I explained my frustration to Aaron, he decided there had to be a better way. Using Jenna Wilson’s (girl from auntie) impeccably thorough armscye tutorial in Knitty as a guide,  he wrote a web application that would take in the necessary information regarding gauge and armhole shaping to produce meaningful information about sleeve cap shaping. 

The application can be found for free here.

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It may seem complicated at first, but I think his Help! pop-ups explain the inputs pretty well. Here are some sample inputs, taken from the lace pullover shown above. 

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By leaving the final output as the number of decreases and the number of rows remaining before the cap bind-off(s), the calculator provides the designer with enough freedom to play around with the curve of the sleeve by varying the rate of decreases. 

Set-in sleeve detail

I relied heavily upon Aaron’s calculator for this simple lace pullover. Although the body largely came to life during a fit of insomnia, the sleeves dragged on interminably in part because I ran out of yarn and needed to alternate between multiple skeins to hide the variation between dyelots. The yarn is yet more stash leftover from my Ivy League Vest, which called for far more yarn than was actually needed. 

Back view

Pattern: The vine lace stitch pattern is an easy 4-row repeat from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns; the sleeve calculations came from Aaron’s armscye calculator 

Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Shetland

Needles: US 8 (5.0 mm)

Side view

Since this was another stashbusting project, I’d say it was almost free! One thing is for sure: because I used a light sport weight (fingering, really) yarn on US 8 needles, the project required minimal yardage – only 570 yds for a finished bust of 36″ with 3/4-length sleeves!

 Set-in sleeve detail

This is the fifth garment I’ve knit using the calculator and every single sleeve cap has fit into its corresponding armhole flawlessly. Here are a few examples of the other garments:

Armhole details, using Aaron's armscye calculator

I hope others will find the calculator equally useful. 

Vine Lace Pullover

Perhaps it’s time to give set-in sleeves another go?

Ultimate Stashbuster Vest

Done!

It’s done! And I love it. I was worried it would be an eyesore but I could not love it more. AND, it was free. Well, almost. I had to buy one skein of yarn because I ran out. A $3 skein hardly counts. At the outset, I had 11.5 oz of yarn in my stash, now I have 3.0 oz left. The remains will likely go into hats and mittens here and there. 

Stashbusting: from 11.5 oz to 3.0 oz

Pattern: I cobbled this pattern together as I went. None of the peeries are the same but many of them are variations on one basic pattern. For the stacking of patterns, I followed a few general rules. For example, every orange and white peerie is followed by a tan and red peerie, with occasional 3- or 5-row peeries thrown in for better transitions. Because the pattern repeats are all relatively small, I did not concern myself too much with centering the patterns. The exception, of course, was at the base of the V-neck. I made sure the last peerie before the neck shaping centered directly below the V. I thought about offering the pattern for this but since I made up instructions as I went, I can offer no information about standard measurements and yarn usage. Here is the chart image, feel free to use any or all of the patterns as you see fit. I also have the chart in Excel; please email me if you would prefer the Excel copy over the .gif file. 

Yarn: 8.5 oz Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in six colors – Bev’s Bear, Roasted Coffee, Bordeaux, French Clay, Sunburst Gold and Natural

Needles: US 4.0 (3.5 mm)

Gauge: 28 sts and 32 rows = 4″

Ultimate Stashbuster Vest

To fit this to my 34″ bust, I made a 32″ size for 2″ of negative ease. Eunny Jang’s Ivy League Vest taught me some important lessons last year about fitting a vest to one’s body. Primarily, a vest like this should not have any positive ease. I am much happier with how the garment feels with a full 2″ of negative ease at the bust. For the record, there is no ease (positive or negative) at the waist and hip, only negative ease at the bust. 

Ultimate Stashbuster Vest

The vest is knit entirely in the round. The armholes, neck opening and back neck shaping are all steeked open. Since Brown Sheep is not particularly good for steeking, I used the crochet method but reinforced the steek edges with machine stitching down the sides. I had intended to hand sew; however, machine sewing was much faster and I was desperate to be done! I took care to ensure the floats did not catch in my sewing machine, my greatest fear. After I added the edgings and blocked the vest, I tacked down the facings with a big blanket stitch. This last step is hardly necessary (especially with sewn steek reinforcements) but I like knowing that my facings will not move around.  

The guts

The steeking process is far easier than it seems it ought to be. I would encourage anyone to give it a go! I think my last few posts have linked to Eunny Jang’s steeking chronicles but it’s worth doing again. She takes the mystery out of cutting one’s knitting. 


With my favorite jacket

The edges are done entirely with 3×1 corrugated ribbing for about 3/4″.  I am particularly happy with how the pattern at the shoulder join looks – it is almost seamless! I thought about grafting it together for a completely seamless look but decided the seam would provide important support at the shoulders. 

Shoulder join 

For more photos, see the Ultimate Stashbuster Vest folder on my Flickr account.

Ultimate Stashbuster Vest