A good little neighbor

Neighborly-3Zooey has a new Neighborly sweater. This was almost as instant gratification as it gets, being about a 3 day project. That’s also with me ripping out the same 10 rows twice as I debated about the contrast stripe color. If you follow me on Instagram you likely witnessed that deliberation.Neighborly-2I went with Cascade 220 Lavender and some leftover Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in Oatmeal. I believe Creative Focus Worsted is now a Rowan yarn and Nashua is no more. That demonstrates how old that leftover is. I’m thinking I got it around 2006…

Neighborly-6The striping contrast is very subtle, but I think it’s elegant that way too. Neighborly only comes as a one-size project (size 4-5yr). Last time I made it I modified it to be much smaller. This time I used the stitch count and just made the body as long as I wanted. Right now it’s more like a dress, that can morph into a tunic, and eventually the vest it’s meant to be as she grows. Neighborly-5I got the button from Wood Buttons. I’ve gone little crazy over their natural and lovely wooden buttons a couple of times. I was happy to use one on this project. I made the buttonhole two stitches smaller than the pattern called for and I picked up the button band from the opposite side suggested in the pattern because I like the tab pointing to the back rather than the front. Neighborly-7For the contrast stripes I knit 8 rounds in the main color past the increases. Then I knit contrast stripes in increasing widths each time, increasing them by 2 rows each time. After the contrast stripe was 10 rows wide I decided the top looked long enough and I did 8 rows of the main color again for some symmetry. Then I finished as specified in the pattern. Neighborly-4It’s so much easier to get pictures of Z in a knitted garment if she also has a task to do. She has been very fond of scissor practice lately. She loves to make little cuts along the edge of paper.

I love this pattern and I think it will make a nice transition piece from winter to spring.

My winter sweater and hat sale is only going on till midnight tonight! Grab a pattern for 25% off using the code ENDWINTER. You must click on the coupon code link on Ravelry before you go to PayPal to enter this code.

Snow day Smithfield

smithfield-2Smithfield is finished, just in time for a second snow day. This sucker is super warm. I used Cascade 220 in Provence. I used exactly 6 balls of it and had just enough to complete a tubular cast off for the neck.
smithfieldIf you look at this pattern (free on Knitty), you might notice that it starts at the neck. Well, after I finished it I didn’t like the regular 1×1 ribbing with my added length since it was right up against my neck, so I chopped it off. I picked up from the row where I cut and I used instructions from Oshima to make the collar more like a loose cowl. I knit it about 2.5 inches shorter than instructed in Oshima because a) I didn’t feel like breaking into a 7th ball of yarn and b) I was ready for it to be over. smithfield-4You’re looking at unblocked work here. Normally I’d do a wet block, but I just didn’t feel like it today. I finished the cast off, wove in the ends, and just didn’t feel like putting anymore work into it at this time. I’ll get around to blocking it soon, and I anticipate that the neckline will be even more loose and cowl-like at that point.

smithfield-3I added 4″ in length before the bottom ribbing to make sure this hit me at the tunic length I wanted. I think I added about 1″ to the sleeves. I also knit this at a looser gauge, making the 37″ chest size and ending up with about 41″ for the chest. I love the fit.

Twenty eight weeks pregnant here! Crazy crazy.

Dinosaur bones

Z was not really wanting me to take pictures of her in her new sweater, but I managed to get a few! I didn’t get close ups of the buttons, but you can see them here. They’re adorable and Z was a little sad when I actually put them on the sweater because she had spent a day and a half playing with them before they were sewn on.

antler finished-3I made the 2-4 year size of Antler Cardigan. It’s definitely big on her, but wearable. Right now it’s a super long cardigan. antler finished-6
The yarn is Cascade 220 in Sunshine Heather. I adore this color. antler finished-4I told Z that the cables at the top were dinosaur bones to go with the dinosaur buttons. I normally don’t let her out of the house before taking pics of items, but she wanted to wear this to school today, so I let her. antler finished-5I got really lucky with this one. She actually likes the sweater so much she wanted to wear it to bed tonight. We wouldn’t let her and she had a little fit and I felt gratified at a final cardigan success. antler finished-2This pattern is easy to execute and even the cable part flies by. This is my second time making it and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

The little sweater that could…

I really had to psych myself up to finish this one. After the body was too large and I had to rip about 10 inches of it, I ripped it and grumbled my way through. On Christmas Eve I noticed the sleeves seemed ridiculously wide, but I just had to finish it anyway. I blocked it, and that didn’t make the wings that sprung up below the elbows magically disappear, oddly enough.

Behold, Easeease-2

I used Cascade 220 in Mocha Heather. I used about 5 skeins of it. Matt’s been wearing the collar rolled down. I offered to rip out the turned hem that forms a casing for a drawstring, but he doesn’t seem to care, so I’m leaving it alone. ease-3

To make this more masculine, I cast on for the smallest size (narrowest neck) and increased until I had about 40″ for the chest in a 16sts over 4inch gauge. I did a couple of waist decreases. I made the bottom ribbing a little less tall and less hip-hugging. ease-4It was crazy cold when we were outside taking these, thus Matt’s hands are jammed in his pockets constantly and it was hard to keep either of us still for good photos. easeHe’s already worn it about four times, so I’ll call it a success.

Another baby, another pinwheel blanket

pinwheel-2Please excuse the indoor light. I was far too impatient to hand this off to my friend, Canem, on New Year’s Eve for her baby that was due the following week. Luckily she and her husband have a very bright kitchen. I can’t seem to stop making Pinwheel Blankets when I want to make a baby blanket. I love the round shape, and the design works well for all kinds of wilder sock yarns.

This yarn is ONLine Supersocke in the colorway New York, which seems appropriate for this couple since they are recent transplants from NYC. I used two skeins for this and I think it ended up measuring about 36″ in diameter. Their baby boy was born on Monday and he is lovely. I can’t wait to see him in person. pinwheel

Christmas Hermiones

hermioneI’m still playing catch up with some projects that were presents that I haven’t blogged about. This is a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks in some Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks in the color Painted Desert. These were a gift for my friend Karen in St. Louis, to fulfill a special request from her husband. I wanted to make sure they got to her by Christmas, so I did a pattern that could be completed without extensive concentration, making it a bit faster. I was able to crank these out in a little over a week to ship them off in plenty of time for Christmas.

Karen is a huge fan of Harry Potter. She and our roommate, Genny, got me to read the first book in college after I scoffed at them a bit for reading a kid’s book. Now I’m also a huge fan. I thought Karen would really appreciate a sock pattern named after Hermione. I think these socks put me so much in the mood that I had to re-watch all of the movies.

I love this yarn. I made these socks for Matt out of another colorway in the same yarn a few years ago and they still look great. I had this in my stash and as I was knitting it I fell in love with it all over again, so I immediately had to replace the yarn for my stash so I could make another pair for myself…

 

My brother, the ham.

ham-7I made my brother a Howlcat for Christmas, and it turns out that he loves it. He was a real ham for the camera. ham-10 Howlcat can be worn as a cowl or a double thick hat. This is good for my brother, Charlie, because he lives in Minnesota. That seems like a complete frozen tundra to me since I live much further south in Arkansas. Just thinking of those winters makes me shudder. ham-4Charlie requested “a hat that actually fits” for Christmas this year, as two previous attempts were not large enough for his 23.5″ noggin. For this hat I added 10 extra stitched to the width, and a full inch to both sections.

ham-12I used some Cascade 220 Superwash in Summer Sky and some Knit Picks Essential Solids and Twists in Brown. Both are washable, which is a good thing for those that aren’t wool aficionados by nature. The hat took slightly less than one ball for each. ham-6It was extremely gratifying to see him wear it for hours each day at my parent’s house from the time he opened the package until we parted ways a few days later. Christmas gift success!

More examples to come soon…