Thursday, August 31, 2006

Three new hats

Three new hats to enjoy. The periwinkle colored hat is from my second ball of Lion Brand Micro Spun. The baby green hat is from Cascade Cherub Collection, 4 ply, and the beautiful pink hat is also Cherub Collection, DK.
Don't go looking for that intense pink at your local yarn store, however. The Cascade Company changed their colors, and the new shade of pink is just plain pastel pink. You won't find this sassy, bright color any more. I used up the last of my pink DK, and my next girly hat for the babies will have to be simply pale and pastel if I want to use pink. I'm putting off the inevitable, and am currently knitting the next hat in lavender.
The green hat is knitted with SamplerM, pattern 8. The pattern doesn't show off well when the hat is in its natural state. If I put it over my hand and stretch it just a bit, the pattern shows up and looks very good. The pink hat is done in Waterfall, which I used earlier. I remembered to change needle sizes at the end of the ribbing, and this one looks like it would fit well.
The periwinkle hat is man or teen boy sized, with k1p1 ribbing for about 1 1/2" followed by plain k3p1 ribbing until the hat measured 5.5" from the beginning. The Micro Spun doesn't show the ribs well, but I feel k3p1 makes the hat fit better.
I followed the decreases found in Judy Gibson's pattern for Ribbed Caps. Her decreases are specially designed for k2p2 ribbing, and happened to work perfectly with my k3p1 ribs, too.
The two periwinkle hats will find their way to the knitters collecting chemo hats at Made by Hand. My husband loved this hat, and requested one just like it for Christmas. He only wears a hat when he is using the snowblower in winter, and it must be snug fitting, with no fold over brim. I won't argue with him, and I'll pick up some yarn when I go to the Post Office next week.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

SamplerM - Part 9

Falling Leaves uses no special stitches, but it was tricky to knit. I had to knit from the instructions line by line and counted each purl row to be sure I was maintaining my 40 stitches. I was able to switch to the graph for all of the earlier patterns, but I felt more comfortable knitting this one from the words.
My SamplerM is at least 20" long now. I'm surprised at how easily it has grown to this length, just adding a few inches at a time. I only take an hour or so once a week and the new pattern is done. My knitted sampler is like tasting little bits of exotic appetizers. I take just a taste of something new, then move on to the next new flavor.
My Milanese Lace Sampler is totally different. This sampler is about 7 inches long, the result of hours of struggling with threads and bobbins. This little bit of lace is meant to build my skills and is not the attractive showcase that SamplerM is. Since I've known how to knit for more than 40 years, and only began to learn bobbin lace 3 years ago, it's actually not fair to compare the two samplers. I can only hope that when the lace sampler is done I can see improvment over the length of the lace.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Chemo Hat for Made by Hand

I was reading blogs and following links the other day, when I happened to read about Made By Hand, a small group of knitters who intend to knit and crochet chemo hats and donate them to the Mollie Wilmot Radiation Oncology Center in Saratoga, New York. How can I resist? Especially when their FAQ specifically states ‘no store bought hats, hand made only’. (One of the Yahoo Groups I’m on has shifted focus so dramatically, I think of them as the ‘Shopping for Charity’ list. Why do people think they are doing someone a favor when they buy and donate stuff from the dollar store? Sheesh.)
I found some Lion Brand Micro Spun in a delicious color. The label says lilac, but I think it looks like periwinkle. It’s dk weight, and using #5 needles, I cast on 120 sts and started knitting. I finished the hat about 11:30 pm last night, just before going to bed. I have only 20 grams left from a 70 gram skein, what a good thing! Now I can knit another, and send them off to the gals at Made by Hand. Their deadline is October 31, so I can relax and take my time on the second hat.
I sent off my box o’sox yesterday! I met a woman through the Knit List who was making booties for a SW Indian reservation, and I offered my 5 pairs of toddler/child sized socks. She was delighted to add them to her shipment. After a brief vacation in sunny Florida, my socks will be put to work warming the toes of small children. I am delighted to send my socks to a place that has a need and will use them. I’ll start filling another box o’sox; as long as I have sock yarn, I’ll continue to make socks to warm the children.
Knitter’s details: 120 sts, #5 dpns, Lion Brand Micro Spun, about 50 grams for the hat. 21” around, and about 7” long with the brim rolled. It looks short, but fits me pretty good. I may use #4s or cast on fewer stitches for the next one, this one might be a touch large. Micro Spun is very soft, but had a tendency to split or drop stitches when my attention strayed.

Monday, August 21, 2006

SamplerM - Part 8

I finished the 8th pattern for SamplerM while at the knitting social. The owner of the LYS is knitting the sampler, too. We had a nice time comparing samplers and we agreed the SamplerM Yahoo Group is an incredible opportunity to learn lace knitting from the beginning. She is going to use her sampler as a scarf and intends to crochet around the outside edge. I don't know what I'll do with mine. I may pick the patterns I like best and make a scarf with lace weight wool.

I did as Carla suggested and changed the first SKP to K2tog. I'm happy with the way it looks and appreciate Carla's suggestion. Clivia is a beautiful pattern, and I wonder how it would look on a baby hat done in 4 ply. I don't know if it would be as stretchy as the other hats I've knitted, but maybe that wouldn't be a problem.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another Baby Hat

I turned in 2 baby hats to the LYS yesterday. I knitted this hat with Cascade Cherub 4 ply, size 2 needles and 84 stitches. It looks a bit small because I forgot to change to size 3 needles after the ribbing. There is a lot of stretch, so I didn't rip it out. I think it will fit a 5 - 7 lb baby, someone will love it.
The stitch pattern is 'Waterfall' (Jan 12 from the Calendar of Stitches). I had to translate it to the round for my dpns, but it worked out to be a nice pattern for a baby hat. I will be sure to use it again.

Friday, August 18, 2006

SamplerM Update and 2 Baby Hats

I finished a hat to match the 5HBS, using the pattern from Gail's site. Since I am pompon challenged, I decreased to 9 sts and knit 3 I-cords, and tied them together.

I kept thinking that a little red hat with 8 I cords would be so cute for hockey season. Do you know the Red Wings start their pre-season training at Traverse City next month?

Here's an update on my SamplerM, patterns 6 and 7. These patterns are so interesting. While I am knitting, I keep thinking what I can learn about knitted lace from this pattern. I wonder how M chose the patterns, is there a progression in difficulty? Did the patterns come from a leaflet or book, or is this a way of documenting her Mother's or Grandmother's patterns for future reference?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

5 Hour Baby Sweater - Help

I am trying to show some detail of the pattern stitch on the 5 hour baby sweater. I have knitted some stockinette rows, then per the pattern knitted 2 together across the row. Now I am on the purl side, and my directions say to knit 1 stitch, insert needle under next horizontal loop of row below (between sts) and knit this stitch. Repeat across.

You can see the k2tog on the previous row leaves a bit of a gap. I have already knitted the first stitch, picked up and knitted the loop in the row below and knitted the next stitch. Just to give you a point of reference. I have the knitting stretched a bit, and you can clearly see the loop that goes from one needle to the other. This is the loop you need to knit up.

Here you can see I've put my needle through the loop, and am ready to wrap the yarn around my needle and pull it through.

The stitch is knitted and now I'm ready to knit the next regular stitch on my left hand needle.

I would suggest you keep your knitting relaxed on the row where you knit 2 together. This will give you a loop that you can easily identify and pull the yarn through.

It's really not that hard once you give it a try. Hope this helps!


Monday, August 14, 2006

6.5 hour baby sweater

The 5 hour baby sweater is a myth. However, I would admit the existence of a 6 1/2 or 7 hour baby sweater.

I've knitted several 5HB sweaters, but not Lorraine Major's Quick Baby Sweater. On the web page, she says she made some changes to the 5HBS, and I like what she did. She added some length to the body of the sweater. This sweater doesn't looked short and unfinished, one of the characteristics of a 5HBS that I don't like. She added an extra 2 rows of pattern and a nice wide garter edge at the bottom. The sleeves are also longer, and decreased slightly before the garter cuff. Both are good decisions, IMHO.

I used #9 (US) needles and knitted very loosely. My sweater measures 21" (54 cm) around the chest and 9.5" (24 cm) from neck to hem. This will probably fit a baby for almost 6 months. This is good, since it is a gift for a baby to be born in October. She will be able to wear it through the winter, and maybe as a light jacket to fight the chill in late spring.

I have enough yarn to knit a hat and booties to round out the ensemble. I started with a 6 oz (170 g) skein of Red Heart Fiesta, and after the sweater, I have 62 g. The original 5HBS was designed to use one 4 oz skein, but this version definitely needs more. That's fine with me, I can use the extra for the hat and booties.

I've started a bonnet type hat, but am not sure that I like it. I could use Gail's version of a round hat (link in my previous post). DD, do you have a preference?

This sweater is seamless, my favorite! After the yoke is finished, put the sleeves on a holder or waste yarn and knit the body. The sleeves are knit in the round on dpns, leaving a little bit of weaving at the underarms. I am so chuffed because there are no ladders on my sleeves, and I knitted with 4 dpns instead of 5. I would guess that's because the sweater is knitted so loosely the ladders simply blend in.

Here's a thought. Why couldn't you make this a v-neck sweater. Cast on fewer stitches at the beginning, and change the increases to include a v shaped neck. When the v is deep enough, start knitting in the round, then divide for the sleeves and body. Continue knitting the body in the round, and finish the sleeves in the round. I would have to decide how deep to make the v, but it would be nice to slip over a baby's head and not fuss with ties or buttons. hmmmmm. I'll have to think about that. I'll have to discover the proportions for a V-neck to get a good fit. The 5HB V neck sweater sounds enticing.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

5 hour baby sweater

My DD was here yesterday, and we had a wonderful time together! We did a little shopping and a lot of talking. She left some RH Fiesta baby pink yarn and after some consultation, I started on a 5 hour baby sweater. It's been awhile since I've knitted this one, and I'm having lots of fun. I'm also keeping track of my time, just curious to see how close to 5 hours I get. So far I am 3 hours in, and have knitted the yoke and 3 rows of the body. I think I will knit the sleeves in the round, if I can do them without loose stitches at the ends of the needles.

Do you know how many 5 hour baby sweater patterns are on the internet? I was amazed to find so many. Some versions are identical, others have only a tiny change here or there. Even the names are changed. Some are called Quick or Quickie Sweaters, some are Weekend Sweater or 5 Hour Sweater.

The biggest difficulty in knitting this sweater is understanding the difference between increasing in the next stitch and M1. This pattern uses both kinds of increase, and you will mess up your stitch count if you don't use the kind of increase the pattern states.

I am using Lorraine Major's version, Quick Baby Sweater, and have had no problems.

Here's a very complete version on the Fiber Gyspy Page: 5 Hour Pattern complete with matching booties, hat and optional hood. This one is very good, and includes a good explanation of the different increases, and a bit of the pattern's history.

Here's one that's a pdf version Quickie Baby Sweater with a very nice picture.

Bev's Country Cottage has a version posted here: Weekend Sweater or 5 Hour Baby Sweater with links to more versions of the sweater.

If you've seen all the pictures, and want a simple plain text version, try this one from, 5 hour Sweater

Gail has a nice hat knit in the round to match here:Hat, and a version of the sweater that is a bit more masculine here: Boy Sweater.

This sweater is easy to knit, once you understand which increase you need to make. It was originally developed to use 1 skein of worsted weight yarn. Since skeins are now 3.5 oz instead of 4 oz, I would suggest you start with 2 skeins and indulge in a hat or hood and booties to complete the set. The finished sweater looks a bit boxy, but will actually fit a baby for quite awhile.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Sixth pair for the Box o'Sox

I've been busy knitting on another pair of socks with my Opal yarn intended for charity. I originally thought I would ditch the 2 soxs on 2scircs this time, but as you can see, I gave it another try. This pair has been the easiest; I've knitted on the wrong needle only once. So far. I've never had to work so hard to get a new technique to click for me. I'm amazed that I keep returning to the circs to give it another try. Normally I would have decided this is not going to work, and I would have used the circs for a different project. Perhaps I'm getting (more) stubborn in my old age.

I just finished the gussets and am ready to turn the heels and knit the heel flaps. This part usually flies for me, since I knit one sock at a time. This is another pair of toddler socks, 60 sts, adding 10 sts for each gusset. I am using k3p2 ribbing, and those dratted size 0 circs.

I did finish a baby hat this week, but gave it to a co-worker of my DH. He is a Grandfather-in-waiting, and wanted a baby hat for his new grandson. I finished Part 6 of SamplerM, and will take a combined picture of 6 & 7 next week.

My DD is coming to visit Saturday! Should I beware of daughters bringing gifts of yarn? Not really a gift, but she is bringing yarn, so I can knit a baby gift for one of her friends expecting in October. Can't wait to get started!

Free web counters
Free web counters