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Riverstone sweater

Here’s my Ravelry project page.

Yarn: Generic scratchy acrylic. (Don’t ask me why). It’s about DK weight, and I worked this sweater with two strands held together.

Needles: Size 6.00mm (US 10)

Pattern: Riverstone. It isn’t up yet on Ravelry (but you can see the designer’s Ravelry page for it here). I tested this pattern for Justine. I made the 12 mths size and really enjoyed the unusual construction. I wish I’d used better materials, though. Next time perhaps. Increases and decreases keep your interest going in the yoke area, while the body went pretty fast because I wanted to put on the buttons :p

Time: About ten days, but only because I got into a funk midway thinking I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish. In the end I had enough to finish, plus a good amount left over.

Size: 20″in the chest x 12″long unstretched. The ribs provide a lot of room for growth, although mine are possibly worked at too dense a gauge.

Extra #1 What is it about baby sweaters? I prefer them to babies, actually :p No feeding/cleaning.

#2 I’m very happy with the buttons, which I bought here in Cochin. I think they are coconut shell or wood.

#3 One more baby sweater and not an infant in sight.

Thank you everyone for the warm messages assuring me I am not boring you to death. I hadn’t meant my last post as a call for reassurance (more like an observation), actually, but you still made my day 🙂 You must really love me 😀

Well, not really (more like a run-of-the-mill show and tell), but this one is a Debbie Bliss pattern, which I had an urge to make and providentially a CAT PAC arrived with some suitable yarn in it. I cast on almost as soon as I opened the package.

Ribbed baby jacket

Here’s my Ravelry project page.

Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice. Another Red Heart Supersaver clone. Nothing to recommend it especially. I used about a skein and a half for this project.

Needles: Size 4.00mm (US 6) for the ribbed button band and 6.00mm (US 10) for the body of the sweater.

Pattern: Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss. (Ravelry link here). It is also available free here.

Time: Over two weeks. I think I took a while to weave in ends (so what else is new?), but otherwise it is a simple enough knit.

Size: 26″in the chest x 10.5″long

Extra #1 The stockinette does make it curve in at the bottom and cuffs, but I’m letting it be.

#2 Another reckless and pointless knit for me, no babies targetted, but I was compelled to make this one. I don’t know what it is about baby sweaters and me, but they draw me like a moth to the flame. You can learn new techniques without having to spend the rest of your life knitting on something. Also, they have no shaping, usually, and will fit some baby at some point. Now all I have to do is find some babies. (I’m happy to say I gave away my February sweater to my maid, who wanted it for her great-nephew. What use they will find for it in tropical Kerala, I do not know. But it lessens my baby sweater inventory by one).

#3 I’m happiest about the way I picked up stitches for the button band. Rather than picking them up in the last stitch of the exposed rows, I went behind them and picked up the stitches from the inner column. It made for a very neat finish, especially because I had a chain selvage (slip the first stitch of every row knitwise, knit the last stitch). So that was the learning from this thing. I wasn’t very happy about the picking up around the neck (instead of binding off as the pattern advised, I held the stitches on a spare circular). The whole “pick up evenly” thing continues to baffle me and reduce me to scrambling for closure. Otherwise the whole thing is an average project, nothing to write home about.

So why blog about it? Partly because my other projects are test ones which I cannot yet blog about. And partly to squeeze in another post before the end of this month.

I realise my blog has become rather dull and monotonous. Where’s the wit and variety gone, you must be wondering. Perhaps it’s just old age. Or something.

I stopped blogging about books, because I realised no one appears to share my taste in them/find anything new in what I say. And I really don’t feel the need to journal all the books I read. Which pretty much leaves me with only craft to write about. And since I usually don’t like showing works in progress, all you get nowadays are staccato essays following a rigid and predictable structure.

Which makes me grateful for the people who do continue to read. Thank you! I can’t describe the thrill I get out of seeing comments from you. Please continue to visit 🙂

Body view

Yes, my dears. That up there, looking so familiar, is the crocheted version of the Baby Surprise Jacket. I did it. The entire credit goes to James G Davis (Pandaman) who worked out a stockinette version, upon which mine is totally based. The stockinette gauge is closer to the sc gauge than garter, so Mr Davis’ version was perfect for this. I don’t know why I didn’t do it this way the first time. All I had to do was use sc for every stitch and decide how I wanted to make my increases and decreases. I chose to increase by doing 2 sc in two stitches (an increase of 2), and my decreases by sc3tog (hook through next stitch, yo, pull loop through 3 times, yo and pull loop through all 4 loops on hook). Next time I might change my increases to 3 sc in one stitch. And use some interesting colours instead of this pale pink.

I don’t know why, but I always seem to gravitate towards the same colours for babies. Sigh. It could also be that these are the only colours there are, so it’s not as if I’m faced with a wide choice, not if I don’t want to produce glow-in-the-dark baby clothes. Which I don’t.

Here are the particulars (here’s my Ravelry page):

Yarn: Standard issue baby acrylic, about 150gm or so.

Hook: Size 5.00mm (US H). I went up a size or two from my first attempt, in order to conquer the obvious gauge problem. I made a conscious effort to make the starting chain loose (mine usually tends to be tight) and was immediately rewarded by a gratifyingly right-angled beginning.

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise Jacket (link to knitwiki article), aided and abetted by Pandaman’s Stockinette modifications.

Time: I began my first attempt a while ago, as you will remember, and actually started this one a few days ago. Then I got caught up in testing a couple of patterns, doing some work (my job) and distracted by other things, so the project languished a bit. I finally told myself off and picked it up again and resolved not to be distracted this time. The endless rows of sc do begin to pall after a while, which sort of explains why I’d like to do it in a different sort of yarn the next time. And when I grow up, I’d like to try manipulating the gauge for other stitches, starting with dc perhaps. A couple of evenings to finish this normally.

Size: 22″ around.

Extra #1 What can I say? It’s a bit anti-climactic, realising the solution was easy after all, I just had been overthinking things a bit.

#2 I must have counted every stitch on every inc/dec row. I didn’t use markers (because I find stitch markers in crochet to be tedious) and spreading the increases out over 2 stitches made it a bit more tiresome than it needed to be. I don’t know why, when I’d been sc3tog-ing for a decrease, it didn’t occur to me to do 3sc in 1 for an increase! I was fooled by the knitting, where it’s usual to only increase one stitch at a time (unless you’re yo-ing or casting on, and end up with holes). Took me until I was writing down my notes to realise it doesn’t have to be that way, crochet is so much more flexible in that sense.

#3 I added some length to the sleeves after finishing the main part, because they were looking really stubby. I went to the edges and did a few rows of sc on the other side of the starting chain, then decreased stitches twice before ending off.

#4 Not entirely happy with the collar (it could still be added to, but I don’t think I will).

#5 There isn’t a girl baby in sight who’d require warm clothing, but I do have one earlier victim who’s a bit small despite being a year old. She’ll do.

I’m not resting on my laurels, having begun two other projects-one of them is yet again a baby sweater, and the other a dishcloth. And yes, I’ll name them among my FOs. That’s for Sara. If I didn’t count my small projects, I’d have no projects at all.

Back of sleeve

Waffles for Brunch

Since Ravelry, I am not being strictly chronological with my posts of FOs, or even complete, sometimes. I just blog about whichever project takes my fancy, when I have the time and the inclination. This one happens to be my latest finished thing and I really am proud of it, so here it is.

I caught this on the patterns page at Ravelry (I look through the latest projects added every now and then) and saw it was a free pattern, and was in fact currently running as a KAL, with the designer posting installments on her blog. In browsing through my stash I’d turned up this yarn which I didn’t know what it was when I got it from Celtic Coyote in a Knitty swap many months ago. She didn’t remember either, but then Sara was working on a BSJ with similar yarn some time ago and I discovered it is actually Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted, plus I was able to find some colourway names on Yarndex as well. I had 6 half skeins or so, and for this project I used up about 3.5.

(Looking through the photos, I just realised I didn’t take a picture of the back, but seriously, I don’t think it matters. It matches the front up to the armholes, and then it’s mostly similar.)

Here are the particulars (here’s my Ravelry page):

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted in several colours and half skeins. It feels a bit dry and rough and I don’t know how it will feel in a colder climate or next to the skin. Perhaps it softens with washing? I liked watching the striping, mostly because the pattern is stockinette-dominated. Besides, each colour runs for a fairly long length. I usually love variegated yarn in the skein and despise it worked up. But this worked for a small diameter project. Having so many different colours also meant I could use different colourways without too much weirdness. (The sleeves don’t fully match, but I can live with that).

Needles: I used about 3-4 US #10 (6.00mm) circulars, and one US #8 (5.00mm). That was because I was too lazy to hunt up a stitch holder for the body. For the sleeves, I did both at the same time from different ends of the same ball, because I wanted them to largely match, which they wouldn’t if I had used two different balls. So that required two circulars at the same time, but not with both on one, if you see what I mean. I used one circular for one sleeve. I could possibly have simplified matters with only one circular to work both, but somehow that didn’t occur to me :-p Luckily I seem to have a surfeit of the 6.00 mm and nearby sizes.

Pattern: Waffles for Brunch by Jean Gifford. Here’s the Ravelry page. I probably might make this again.

Time: Over a week, but that was only because I took a break to (a) edit 15 files and (b) test 6 patterns (5 of which were small thread motifs). I got in on the KAL about halfway, but I was able to finish more or less quite quickly after the last instructions were posted. As I indicated, it’s a quick and easy knit.

Uh-oh. Thunder in the background. Hopefully the electricity won’t go.

Size: 19″at the chest, unstretched, 12″ long. As the designer says, it’ll fit some kid somewhere.

Extra #1 I loved doing this! Even loved the extra effort needed to match the stripes (or at least ensure they weren’t too odd/off). As usual, it a bit of on-the-edge knitting whether I’d have enough yarn (the other two half-skeins are pale pink and yellow, while these ones can still be useful for a boy, right?), but that was okay in the end.

#2 I’m very kicked with myself…I did a tubular cast on for this and even though that is usually recommended for 1×1 ribbing, it was okay for this one. It would be a problem with a more monochromatic yarn, though. I found this tutorial via Ravelry and it made the process very clear. I did try to match it with a tubular cast-off at the end of the sleeves, but couldn’t quite grasp it, besides which it involves grafting, which I’m not very good at. Also, the instructions were again for ribbing, not this 4×2 pattern.

#3 Very happy :-D. I don’t exactly know who is going to be favoured with this, as most of my friends have young boys, but I don’t think this is too girly. Do you?

#4 I really am very happy with how the collar worked out, too. The designer (and/or the pattern) made it easy when it came to picking up stitches (none of the “pick up eleventy stitches evenly around the neck” business). It’s the first time I’ve worked a collar like this and I really am pleased with the outcome.

It’s raining now. I’ll leave you with a picture of the cast-on to admire. (There isn’t a particular reason i’m not replying individually to comments, just plain laziness. I might just go to my inbox and catch up now, so don’t be puzzled by any replies you get to comments you made when you were a good deal younger ;-))

Tubular cast on

and so was the predictable pun, sorry!

February baby sweater

It is of course, the February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann from her Knitter’s Almanac. I found the book available on an Indian website and so I ordered it. I wasn’t sure I would get it, because some crochet book I ordered on a site once never got to me. The order was simply cancelled, because the book was out of stock. I don’t remember what it was. But after waiting for 6 weeks (and periodically checking the status of my order), I finally got it last Monday. I had to cast on immediately, of course because it was for this pattern I ordered the book in the first place! I had yarn left over from my Waffle Vest. Now that yarn is greyish blue while this pattern is a lace pattern, but I wasn’t too concerned about gender correctness. Nor do I have a target/victim in mind for it.

I was finished knitting by Friday although I must confess I still haven’t sewn on the buttons…they were a present from Cordi (hi, how’s the hibernation?), but did not photograph well. They are small bunnies (pinkish, but again, no gender concerns Chez Fife).

Here are the specs in the time-honoured format.

Yarn: The same acrylic that I used for my Waffle Vest. Regular baby yarn. About sport weight, I should think.

Needles: Unknown silvery circulars in 4mm (US 6). I think Heide gave me these. I really like them and they’re probably my most-used size/pair. The only issue is that the cable tends to curve in on itself, but that is manageable. Perhaps a spot of hot water treatment is called for?

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s February Baby Sweater on Two Needles (Ravelry link) from her Knitter’s Almanac (scroll down).

Time: 5 days (I dithered about sewing the seams and did a bad job anyway at the end)

Size: 21″ at the chest, 10.5″ long

Extra #1 I was surprised at the slimness of the book. I suppose I should have expected it from my copy of Knitting Without Tears (an amazing book sale find).

#2 The instructions for the sleeves puzzled me. I was first confused whether to cast on the extra 7 stitches on either side or not, but realised I should. Then when it came to picking up stitches to continue for the body, I confused myself about how to pick them up! I got the cast on stitches twisted, before realising that the extreme ends should be together, therefore you start picking up from the side of the cast on which is closer to the older stitches. Does that make any sense at all? It would probably help if you seamed the sleeves first, or if you did them in the round, thus eliminating the beginning of cast-on/end of cast-on confusion altogether

#3 My finishing as usual is horrendous, although I have improved the area under the armpits somewhat from how it looks in the picture. My picking up stitches for the body under the sleeves was also pretty bad.

#4 The lace pattern was extremely easy to memorise. Perhaps next time I shall actually challenge myself (imagine!) and choose another 7-stitch lace pattern. If there is a next time.

#5 I think this is the most beautiful thing I have ever knit for a baby. (In the intent, if not in the execution).

______

Thank you everyone for the encouragement on my attempts at crochetising the BSJ. I have sent the project into temporary hibernation prior to what I realise must be inevitable ripping. Sigh. A friend is working with me on it and seems to be making better progress. I am wondering if I should perhaps use Pandaman’s stockinette adaptation instead of the original as a base, because the primary problem with the current oeuvre is the row gauge of sc rows versus garter rows. As far as I can understand it, of course. We shall have to see.

Crochet BSJ

I’ve been busy over the past couple of days trying to fulfill a dream wish of mine. Converting the Baby Surprise Jacket to crochet. For my first attempt, I did a plain stitch for stitch translation from knit to crochet, replacing knit with single crochet.

Crochet BSJ

Quite early on I saw there was a problem, but I persisted and finished the piece. I’ve tried to pull it into shape, but as you can see, there are some problems. It appears the piece is too long and not wide enough.

Crochet BSJ

Obviously I shall have to rip it back, and redo it. It will involve some thinking. Namely, I need to make it such that the width of the two fronts equals the back (cast-on edge) minus the sleeve lengths (allowing for the button bands, of course). Also perhaps reduce the length of the back a bit so the fronts are squarer.

Something tells me that dreaded thing, a swatch, is imminent. Oh dear.

IMG_4906

So I brought only the yarn for two WIPS with me (which are dozing, and so haven’t even found mention on Ravelry). And I was vituously telling myself that I wouldn’t buy any more. Well, guess what! I did! But I had an excuse. I truly did.

A very good friend told me when I rang him up to wish him for his birthday that he’d had a baby boy just two days previously. So of course I just had to make him something. I haven’t got any of my pattern books and patterns aren’t something you can just snatch up at your neighbourhood store here. But I’ve got a good amount on my Mac, so I trolled through them and came up with this one. What appealed most was that it’s made in one piece up to the armholes. Please ignore the fuzziness of the pictures.

The details follow.

IMG_4908

Yarn: Local unbranded acrylic in hanks, a bluey-grey colour not showing properly in the picture. I trusted the word of the salesman on the amount to buy and got 330gms. Some is left (about a third), but then I skipped making sleeves, so that might have something to do with it. I’m not complaining anyway.

Hook: Clover Soft Touch 2.5mm (C)

Pattern: Snail Cardigan, Hat and Booties from a pattern booklet by Bernat that I got for answering a survey. The booklet itself only has this one and a knit pattern (both with blankets).

Time: About a week, I think. Been very lazy! Mostly reading and lazing around.

Size: About baby size (haven’t measured it)

Extra #1 I made a mistake about halfway up, when I did 6 rows before the waffling rather than 4, but it isn’t too glaring, so naturally I didn’t frog.

#2 Left off the sleeves.

#3 Changed the button band to two rows of plain sc and one row of slip stitch. Did the same thing on the armholes.

I also found that when it got to point of neck shaping for the left front, I was supposed to be on the wrong side (RS or WS, I forget which), so the pattern tells you to cut and rejoin. Instead I was on the correct side, as it happened, so I just continued. I don’t know how it happened, except maybe because of the error I made? But it oughtn’t to matter, because I added 2 rows, not 1. Anyhow, I’m not brooding on it much.

If you Ravel, here’s my project page.

Now I’m testing a pattern for Kathy, because I wanted to do some delicate thread work and was seriously tempted by her latest design.

Petal bib from One Skein

A certain someone sent me some lovely cotton yarn a few months ago, which I’ve been afraid to use (I’m petrified of using good yarn, and hate cutting it! There must be a name for this phobia…). But I got my hands on a copy of One Skein (thanks to another friend) and found this project in it, just right as I’ve been searching for something nice to make for a colleague’s new baby (the husband’s colleague, not mine). In our weather, warm clothing isn’t required, so I thought a bib might be more useful. The pattern went by very fast, but here are the tech specs:

Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Catania Color (whew!) in 226 (how romantic), about half a skein

Needles: Metal 3.25mm

Pattern: Petal Bib from One Skein (mind the corrections)

Time: 3-4 hours (more for finishing than the knitting itself, see below)

Size: 4.5″ x 8″

Extra #1 Very cute pattern, but omg, the number of ends to be woven in for such a small project! Each of the petals is begun separately and then all are attached and knitted together. About 14 ends in all. I finished the bib in about 90 minutes, but the weaving in took me two hours or more.
#2 My short rows came out beautifully, can’t spot where I wrapped the stitches, yay!

#2 My first time doing applied I-cord, and I’m very pleased with the result. See for yourself:

Applied I-cord closeup

#4 Perhaps I could have arranged the petals better to get a more symmetric striping, but it’s okay.

#5 I suspect the recommended yarn has a larger gauge, so the finished size would be bigger.

#6 I might knit the project again if I can think of a way to do away with the ends. In such fine yarn, carrying along the ends while knitting isn’t an option, especially not in stockinette stitch.

Since a good bit of the yarn was left, I sought around for another pattern to knit, and didn’t find any likely bibs, but I did see one for a dishcloth, so I cast on and knit that instead.

Multidirectional bib

Yarn: The Catania again

Needles: Metal 3.25 dpns

Pattern: Multidirectional dishcloth

Time: A couple of hours.

Size: 6.5″ square

Extra #1 Loved the pattern. Makes me want to knit the multidirectional scarf it’s inspired by, and I shall, too, when I have some appropriate striped yarn in enough quantity.

#2 Added straps by chaining a desired length, and then turning and hdc-ing (US) all the way back, hdc over the bib, chaining again and hdc back to the bib. Simple.

Even after all that, I still had a bit of the yarn left, so I cast on chained for a whimsical pattern that’s been on my mind for ages (it’s how I discovered the parent blog).

Solipsis

Yarn: More Catania!

Hook: 2.25mm Clover double-ended

Pattern: Solipsis from Redshirt Knitting

Time: An hour or so.

Size: Doesn’t matter!

Extra #1 I made mine in crochet, because I didn’t want to cast on 60 stitches…All over hdc (US).

#2 Great fun! I plan to use it for my stitch markers.

#3 those buttons were the only ones I could find 2 of and I was in a tearing hurry…

Now I’ve gotto run. Duty calls.

I tried a couple of different infant sock patterns, but even though they were knit, they appeared to use more yarn than I had left (I was knitting from opposite ends of the leftover skein). So I frogged and fell back on my favourite no-seam bootie pattern and would you believe it, I had just the right amount to weave in ends. I’m not totally happy, because crochet has a different look from knit and I wanted the set to be homogeneous 😦 With this worsted yarn it somehow doesn’t appeal. Anyway, here are the pictures and the specs.

Easy baby booties

Yarn: The same Shepherd Cynthia Helene that I won from Nona when she was giving away some of her stash last year.

Hook: Pony 4.5mm

Pattern: Darcy Richardson’s Newborn Booties

Time: Half-an-hour

Size: No idea. Hopefully they should fit at some point. Most probably, the three different parts of the set will fit the baby at three different points of time. Very odd.

Extra #1 Satin ribbon with tiny polka dots. No one said a boy baby can’t have polka dots. (Also, I didn’t think I’d find a matching shade of brown)

#2 Why do ribbons fold up when you thread them through the holes? I wish they didn’t.

#3 This is one set I wish I’d see pictures of in use. I never do, otherwise.

Here’s a picture with the ribbon in.

Easy baby bootie

A simple cabled hat also using magic looping.

10 cable hat

Specs, quickly, since it only took me a three-four hours to knit.

Yarn: The same Shepherd Cynthia Helene that I won from Nona when she was giving away some of her stash last year. Still some left over, which I’m hoping will make some socks or booties or mittens.

Needles: Denise #8/5mm with magic loop from this site. Nothing to it! Cabling with a needle, not without.

Pattern: Hey Julie’s pattern, the one with 10 cables. I preferred how it looked to the 5 cable one.

Time: 3-4 hours.

Size: 8.5″around (about 19″ circumference, which makes it giant-baby-head size, but that’s okay, I think. My friend can wear it otherwise. 🙂

Extra: #1 Not much! Law & Order: SVU coming up, gotta run.

Here’s Teddy in the meantime.

Sweater and hat

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