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Archive for the ‘Sweaters’ category

I finished three things this week. I’m really proud of myself. Of the three, the booties might have been the most difficult project. It was hard for me to understand what I had to do to complete the rolls and seam the back and bottom of the booties.



I made the matching hat last month






wpid-IMG_20140108_224516.jpgThis is the cardigan that I’m working on for my friends’ baby. I’ve had the yarn since the kiddo was born, but I somehow was mulling over what to make? Even though I’d had the idea before I even knew my friend was pregnant? No idea. I guess I was just lacking motivation. Seeing as how this is not the most timely of presents, I’m making it 18 months size, so that it should fit the kiddo for about a year.

I started it last night and picked it up again tonight after work. I was trying to figure out where to put the name on the back, and thinking that I would start it sooner than I did on the other name baby cardigan that I made. Then I started to freak out about how I would do this in the round, considering that the contrast yarn wouldn’t have to go in the front and I would obviously then end up with the longest floats ever. The horror. Then I remembered that I’m doing this back and forth, and the point was moot. I realized that I’d already spent 10 minutes mulling this over, and concluded that I must have been exhausted to miss the obvious for so long. At this point I decided it might be time to call it a night.


That’s not a typo. Just imagine Gollum saying the post title. I’ve become obsessed with kiddo sweaters, and have made three in as many months. They’re the perfect gift because 1) little kids need to stay warm; 2) they’re more likely to stay on than booties; 3) they’re faster to make than blankets; and 4) they’re more interesting to knit than just about anything else.

Pattern 1: Raglan Baby Cardigan (Top-Down)

The first sweater I made was for my friends who recently welcomed their first child. Can you guess their last name? I’d actually been playing around with this idea for years. Initially I thought I’d make them a blanket in these colors, but then I remembered that I’m still traumatized by the thought of knitting another baby sweater, and went back to the drawing board. I bought the yarn in March, before I knew that they were expecting. The color was exactly what I’d had in mind, and it seemed too fortuitous to pass up. Then I ended up needing more yarn for the sweater I wanted to make, so I had to turn to my fellow knitters on Ravelry. I was able to find more of this yarn, but the yarn I had was discontinued and the new yellow wasn’t as good a match for the colors of the Brazilian soccer team, which is what I’d been going for. Curses, universe! The color in those pics is pretty weird, since I took them with my cell phone (why couldn’t I have reached for my real camera?); the picture of the front of the sweater is most accurate, color-wise.

Horribly uncooperative child. Figures.

Pattern 2: Crossed Cardigan (not yet available)

The second sweater is one that I test knit. I made the 1 – 2 year old size. I didn’t get gauge on the completed project, and my model also experienced a terribly inconvenient (for me) growth spurt, so this one will be passed along to somebody else soon. This sweater was also done in one piece, but involved a lot of picking up stitches that struck me as too fiddly. The end result was lovely, though. I’ve decided that my current block-fu may not be working anymore, and finally caved and bought some blocking wires. Once they arrive, I’ll reblock this sweater and see if it ends up at the right dimensions. Even if this one doesn’t end up conforming to the suggested gauge, I think I’ll make this sweater again (the pattern includes directions for many sizes). I didn’t love all the picking up I had to do, but now that I know what to expect from this, I’m sure I could do it again.

Pattern 3: Sunnyside

I haven’t 100% of the way finished my third sweater, because I have yet to figure out how it’s going to close. I have a matching zipper I could put in it (learning that you can purchase $.27 zippers fixed something in my soul, btw), but since the buttons were the least of my concern with the Crossed Cardigan, maybe I should stop avoiding them.

© 2012 Satanski

So I finished my Gentle Teresa vest that I talked about in my last post. I did it in a bit over three weeks, with little breaks in between to do other things. I know that, due to the short sleeves, this isn’t a sweater in the sense that most people think of, but I’m still pretty proud of myself. I did it as part of a knitalong. I didn’t remember to check the designer’s blog as I was doing it, so don’t know if other people participated. This ended up being a pretty solitary project for me, but that didn’t really affect me. Before I started this project, I hadn’t finished an actual adult-sized garment before (accessories don’t count), so I’m pretty proud of myself. Plus, it’s really cute! I wore it to a Pints and Purls meetup, and my buddies didn’t realize that I’d made this. They thought that I’d purchased it, which made me feel good. Getting props from the general public is nice, but it’s always awesome when fellow knitters, who understand how time consuming it can be to make things by hand, think that something handmade was actually professionally done. Or something. That sentence made more sense in my brain jelly.

I rethought my decision to make my Heather Hoodie my Halloween costume, mostly because that thing has tured into a drag to work on. My second idea was to be Baberham Lincoln, complete with a top hat and beard, but now Frankenstorm is happening, so I’m not really sure what’s going to happen.

My poorly-done attempt at a sewn dress last year never saw the light of day because of the freak October snow storm the weekend before Halloween, and now dire weather is threatening my participation in Halloween 2012.

Gentle Teresa – back

I am participating in Jean Chung’s knitalong of her Gentle Teresa pattern, which debuted in the First Fall issue of Knitty. I LOVE this sweater, and can’t wait to be finished with it so I can wear it everywhere all the time. It’s purple, so I’m not exaggerating very much at all.

Knitting? What knitting?

I signed up for the knitalong, and then promptly forgot all about it until Jean asked me how my sweater was coming along. At the time she wrote me, it wasn’t at all, but twelve hours later, I was ready to start the chart section. I should have called it a night there, but Damon was doing something funny with his eyes and I decided that I had time for more knitting and more episodes of The Vampire Diaries.

I love the way this pattern starts! I was doing just fine until I reached the chart portion of the back (so, you know, 3.5″ into it), and then things quickly spiraled out of control. It’s my fault for not using stitch markers, forgetting that I suck at counting, and for paying so much attention to episodes that I’ve already seen.

If there’s a way to lose a stitch between one row and the next, I will find it (the way, not the stitch; that usually takes several minutes of searching to locate). Once I righted my ship for the third time, I put stitch markers around the three charted portions of the pattern, which is where I was doing all of my stitch-losing. So far, so good, and I have already received several compliments on the color of this sweater. Having this many witnesses means that I’m going to have to work at this one and not procrastinate too horribly, but I still have my Halloween costume to work on, so this could get tricky.

I made this sweater and gave it to the littlest Wagner, who is ADORBS.

I crocheted the flower pin to break up the mistake rib pattern. I learned a lot with this sweater: how to do a hood, how to convert a flat pattern to one worked in the round, and that I should have factored in the whole “stitch picking up” thing into my construction of the early part of this sweater. I also learned that I never ever ever want to do toggle button thingies again without somebody else’s meticulously-written instructions to guide me. I did the sweater in one piece until I got to the armpits (see, I’ve learned!), but from then on things weren’t 100% symmetrical. The problem with such a stretchy pattern is that the two sides stretched differently. I’d do a ribbed bottom for 6-8 rows to rein in this pattern’s tendency to spread.

Still, I’m getting better at sweaters, which can only be a good thing.

I think I’ll try to make this sweater again, and incorporate the things I’ve learned and the things that occurred to me after it was too late to do anything about them (i.e. MEASURE everything don’t just eyeball it).

I feel like I’m about ready to do a sweater with steeks (intentional steaks, not the kind that are placed as an afterthought when I’ve goofed).


I was just zipping along with my Heather Hoodie, feeling inordinantly proud of myself and my first sweater. I’d even cleverly translated it into being worked in the round, since Nicole and seaming are not BFFs. So just when I thought that I’d need to borrow a hand to give myself as many pats on the back as I deserved, I realized that I hadn’t set aside stitches for my armholes. Oh. Hell. No.

So I had a couple of options. The first was to frog, just the thought of which made my girlnads shrivel up. The next possibility was to steek. And I’ve wanted to steek for so long!!! But I knew that this would be a dicier option, since I hadn’t included any extra stitches for a steek, so anything I would cut would technically be something that I probably wanted to keep. I went to my LYS and asked how I’d do a crochet steek, since I don’t 1) own a sewing machine or 2) know how to use one. Their suggestion was that I frog back to the point where I would have put in the armholes. I could see how this would be a reasonable and safe course of action to take, but once I explained that I preferred to try steeking, they gamely looked on youtube to see if they could find anything to help me.

The good news is that we found a video (although I’ve never been able to find that one again; humbug), and the bad news is that I think we misunderstood it. So I crocheted just one leg of the knit stitch that would form the edge of the steek. That didn’t seem exactly right to me, and I was unwilling to cut until I was as sure as possible that I was doing the right thing, so I put that aside and went back the evil socks. I finished those, and the final post will be up in a day or two (or whenever I’m over the 4.5 hours of end-weaving I did).

I had seen Eunny Jang’s steeking chronicles before,  but they didn’t make sense to me until I actually had a swatch, some contrasting yarn, and a crochet hook in front of me. I also found Jared Flood’s largely visual explanation of steeking quite useful.

My swatch, with the two crocheted line of stitches

My swatch, with the two crocheted lines of stitches

The first time I did this, I did it wrong. I know, you thought I’d do it perfectly right from the gate. Not so. The first time I crocheted my two sets of stitches, I left a leg of a knit stitch in between. Why? I no longer know, but it made sense four hours ago.

Even that provided acceptable results.

Look, not connected, and not unraveled!

Look, not connected, and not unraveled!

I just hated the fact that I’d unnecessarily burned a stitch. So I tried it again.

Second set of crocheted stitches.

Second set of crocheted stitches.

This time, there was no knit stitch between the two lines of crochet. Pulling apart the two sides looked like some sort of obscene grimace. Needless to say, I loved this.

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

You can see the purl bumps in between the crocheted stitches. This is what is cut.

Not that I’m an expert or anything, but I am now gaining confidence in my ability to crochet steek. I’m still looking for a way to shore up my cast on and bound off edges, as those are tricksy to secure. Both Jang and Flood mentioned this, so I know that there is an acceptable solution out there, and since the fabric of my sweater is bulky, I am not opposed to just adding to the bulk by putting in a million securing stitches. It all gets folded under anyway (or so I’ve heard, I haven’t gotten up to that yet)!

It’s late and I’m tired, so cutting into my actual sweater isn’t a good idea at all, but I’m glad that I now have a better idea about what I’m going to be doing.