Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

FO: Baby Cardigan and Tam

Written by: LindyBeir

July 28, 2013

Baby CardiganI have been working on top down raglans for my grandchildren this summer. My first project was a cardigan for my new baby granddaughter. I decided to make this sweater in size 18 mos. because that should be the size that will fit her this fall. Top down raglans are fairly easy to knit — once you get past the neckline, but the neckline is a bit tricky. I followed The Magic Custom Fit Raglan pattern by Danielle White as a guide. I say guide, because the pattern gives sizing directions for babies up to 12 months and then for children age 2 and up — but not for 18 months. So I had to do some guessing to figure out the actual measurements to use for the size I wanted.

I used Cascade 220 Superwash Yarn in Pink for the body of the sweater. I knit the sweater front bands, neck band, cuffs and the bottom band in seed stitch with the remainder of the body knit in stockinette stitch. I used Cascade 220 Superwash in Magenta for the edging, which was done in single crochet all the way around the edge to finish and then made ties by doing a crocheted chain for each side of the neck.

Cardigan & TamI then decided that I had enough yarn to knit a little tam to go with the sweater. I used the Magenta yarn to start the brim in 1 X 1 ribbing and then switched to the Pink. Baby hats are really quick knits, and this one was no exception. I washed the set up in the washer and then laid them flat to dry.

My notes and other details can be found in my project on Ravlery here: Baby Cardigan and Hat Project

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Book Review: Knitting Plus by Lisa Shroyer

Written by: LindyBeir

May 13, 2012

The subtitle for this book is “mastering fit + plus-size style + 15 projects”. The first two chapters of this book cover the basics of how to knit garments that fit. While the focus is on plus-size, the information is applicable to any knitted garment. The information in these two chapters is worth the price of the book if you are wanting to learn more about how to modify patterns so that they actually fit your body. Chapter One discusses the common elements of a sweater and “what they mean to you” and Chapter Two covers the use of measurements and how to redesign patterns for a custom fit.

The remaining five chapters cover different types of sweater styles: The Drop-Shoulder, the Set-In Sleeve, The Raglan, The Seamless Yoke, and The Dolman. There are three projects for each type and these are really lovely designs for us plus-size gals. Each project also has helpful notes for the knitter. So this book is both a “how-to” guide and a set of 15 plus-size patterns. And some of those patterns are the sort that makes a knitter’s fingers itch to pull out some yarn and needles and get started. The “Poppy Cardigan” on page 67 is on my list of future projects for sure.

If you are interested in this book, click on the picture at the top of this post. It will take you to the book on Amazon.com.

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Buttons! Who knew?

Written by: LindyBeir

November 29, 2011

I am making significant progress on my Color Block Vest. In fact, I am nearly done! So Saturday, I realized that I really needed to go buy buttons for this vest. And off I went.

Now, I must admit that it has been some time since I ventured into a fabric store to buy buttons. And usually when I am buying buttons, I am also buying thread and fabric to match. What I discovered is that in the time that I have been absent from the fabric store scene that things have really changed. Changed in a good way, actually. Oh my! the selection was enormous! And really wonderful. In addition to the standard buttons in rather standard colors that come in sets of four or five — there are all these unique and stylish buttons available. Who knew? Obviously, not someone like me who hasn’t ventured into the button section of the fabric store in a good long while.

I was enormously challenged — I had so many choices! Wonderful choices! And then…I found them! The perfect buttons for my vest!
Buttons for Color Block Vest

Aren’t these just wonderful? They have a lovely brown background with swirls of pink, green and darker reddish brown. They match the three colors where they will be placed nicely.

As wonderfully matched as these buttons are — I must also admit to sticker shock when I went to check out. They were on sale, fortunately, but even at that they were expensive. I paid $7.00 apiece for them. (ON SALE!) Who knew buttons could cost so much? Now, I was willing to spend the money to get these perfect buttons — especially since I have invested money in a high quality yarn for this project. Still I think that buttons should not be so expensive. Even if they are perfect…

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WIP: Colored Blocks Vest

Written by: LindyBeir

November 6, 2011

I am still working on the EZ Green Sweater. I have one sleeve finished and about two-thirds of the other one knit. Now usually when I am getting close to completing a project like this, I will work on it steady until I’m finished. But not so this time! I have temporarily set aside the green sweater because I simply fell in love with another pattern.

It’s the Bold Blox pattern in Issue 103 of the Knitter’s Magazine. There was just something that totally intrigued me about this vest. I am not usually someone who knits straight from the pattern in the book or magazine — but here I am, knitting way on this pattern. I did make some modifications to the colors, choosing a different combination that the original — but I did decide to use the yarn called for in the pattern.

This is another unusual choice for me — I almost always subsitute the yarn called for in the pattern with something similar but more likely to be in my stash or available locally. But this time: I took the plunge and splurged on Malabrigo Worsted in six colors. (Yep – 6.)

I finished the yoke of the vest last evening and am now starting on the body of the vest. This is knitting up quickly and boy, oh boy, do I like this yarn! It is simply scrumptious. Lovely feel, wonderful stitch definition — it has it all.

The second picture shows the front of the vest. The yoke and the first sleeve is complete. The sleeves are knit in 1 X 1 rib and form a cap-style sleeve.

The third picture is of the back. I love the color combinations! I am especially in love with the raspberry pink colorway (Geranio). {I would knit something in just this color if I found the right pattern.} But I also am very pleased with how the different colored blocks in the yoke knitted up.

Pattern: Bold Blox — available on Ravelry. See link below.
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted – Colorways: Geranio, Cypress, Pink Frost, Pearl Ten, Emerald and Red Mahogany.
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 8 (5.0 mm)
Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches.

Bold Blox Pattern on Ravelry
My Project in Ravelry

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WIP: The EZ Green Sweater

Written by: LindyBeir

June 26, 2011

I have been knitting recreated Green Sweater from the pattern recreated by Sunday Holm from the original sweater knitted by Elizabeth Zimmerman. (Schoolhouse Press Pattern #13, Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Green Sweater). This sweater pattern has a charming history and you can read the story here: Channelling Elizabeth.

Now, I am a “sometimes knitter” when it comes to sweaters. I start them and I knit on them “sometimes” — for some reason, I tend to knit on my sweater projects in between other projects. This means that I take a long time to finish a sweater project once it’s started. So, I started this project over a year ago — and I knitted a portion of the lower body and then I set this project aside.

A couple of months ago, I took this project up again and knit on it quite a bit. It’s a very intriguing pattern. The sweater is knit in the round using steeks. Yes, I said steeks. Steeks are that technique that many of us knitters avoid — but one Elizabeth Z embraced and used extensively. I decided to do this sweater specifically because of the steeks — I figured it was time for me to master the use of steeks. In this pattern, there are four steeks. The first one is up the center front (the sweater is a cardigan), then there is a steek for each armhole/sleeve and the fourth one is the neckline. You basically cast-on extra stitches, in this case I cast on five for each steek, and knit them up with the sweater. Then you cut them apart in the middle. Yep — I said you cut them apart. That’s what’s scary about steeks.

Here are some pictures of this sweater in progress:
EZ Green Sweater, Center Front
This is the center front, showing the center 5 steek stitches and the beginning of the armholes for the sleeves.

EZ Green Sweater, Steeks before Cutting
This shows the sweater with all the steeks knitted, before they have been cut.

EZ Green Sweater, Steeks crocheted
I used the crocheted method for fastening the steek stitches on each side.

EZ Green Sweater, Center Steek CutEZ Green Sweater, All Steeks Cut
In these two pictures, you can see the steeks, all cut and awaiting further work.

I am now working on the first sleeve. I am about two-thirds done with it. The sleeve has a unique design, and I really like how it is knitting up. I’ll post more pictures of this sweater once I have the sleeves and the neckline knitted.

Some details: I am using Frog Tree 100% Merino Yarn in Colorway 909 Teal and using circular needles, size US 8 (5.0 mm).