Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

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.

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.

armscye

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. 

armscye_filled-in

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?

Seed Stitch Baby Jacket revisited

IMG_3494

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

Aspen Neck and Ridged Lace Cowls

As I mentioned yesterday, I made two other cowls last month.

Prune!

Pattern: Aspen Neck Cowl

Yarn: Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette in Pearl, a gift from Christine

Needles: US 4

I thoroughly enjoyed knitting with this yarn! It is so luxurious – soft, warm and shiny! I would most certainly call it bling for knitters.

Aspen Neck Cowl inside out

The Aspen Neck Cowl is supposed to have the purl side out but I rather prefer it with the knit side out. I love those purl ridges. They were, in fact, the inspiration for the second cowl.

Ridged Lace Cowl

For lack of a better name, I’m calling this the Ridged Lace Cowl and you can find the free pattern here. The stitch pattern is so simple that I am not even going to bother with a pdf. If you decide to knit it, please let me know what you think!

Ridged Lace Cowl

Pattern: Ridged Lace Cowl

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Angora

Needles: US 8
Here is a closer view of the stitch pattern, although the color is a bit washed out. Bright orange is difficult to capture! The photos above are better representations of the color.

Ridged Lace Cowl

Stay tuned for some Nancy Bush socks!