Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: stash busting



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.


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


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!


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.

Garter striped baby jacket

Finally finished!

I’m still here, just not knitting much. Summer successfully zapped my desire to knit! I will return when I have knitting to share. Until then, just a quick post about a long term purse project that finally came off the needles last week.

DROPS b14-27 baby jacket

Pattern: DROPS b14-27 baby jacket (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Zwerger Garn Opal Uni Solid 4 ply in 1418 (the teal color) and 1261 (Deep Chocolate)

Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm)

A dull knit but isn't this texture worth it?

This pattern has interested me ever since I saw the version Kelp! made a few years ago. However, I am not usually game for baby knitting with sock yarn. Then, last January, I decided to find other purposes for my sock yarn stash, as it was clear that I no longer knit socks. I cast on, hoping to use up 800 g of Opal stewing in my stash. Sadly, I have about 400 g left (nearly equally distributed between brown and green) so it looks like there will be some striped socks in my future.

The knitting was unexceptional, which was precisely what I wanted for a project I toted about to meetings. The results, I would have to say, are fabulous. I love this little one. I might need to make a larger version with worsted weight yarn for Beatrix!

Fleur de lis buttons

Maritza once told me knitting with Opal was like knitting with twine, but after a few washes, it softens up enough to make the knitting experience almost worth it. Besides, everyone knows Opal and Regia will outlive all of us – that is hard-wearing yarn! Hard-wearing enough for some baby, I hope.

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


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!


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.

My albatross

This cardigan has plagued my knitting basket for such a long time (since October 2007) that I know not what to say about its completion. Good riddance, perhaps!

Finally finished

I cast on while studying microbiology, and it immediately became clear that this pattern would never be a good study companion. The 12-row pattern repeat is simple – dull, even; however, it is just complicated enough to command attention. Since I almost exclusively knit while doing other things, the Katharine Hepburn Cardigan languished 18 months before I finally finished it. 

Not a bad product, but a miserable project

In fact, I would say that I only finished it out of spite. The color is beautiful, but it really is not for me. I am not even so sure the style is right. This might have to stew in the cedar chest until I forget my complaints with it.


Katharine Hepburn Cardigan

Pattern: Katharine Hepburn Cardigan by Kathy Zimmerman from Lace Style

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in “Chuckberry”

Needles: US 3 and US 5

The only modifications I made were to lengthen the body a little,  knit the sleeves to full length, and reshape the sleeve cap a little bit.

Refitted set-in sleeves

Although the knitting proved miserable, the pattern itself was very clear, well written, and accurate. The faults are entirely my own, not the designer’s. I should have known better than to jump into this one. Lesson learned the hard way.