Thursday, December 26, 2013

Leaf Scarf

I'm throwing together my notes of how I did this, for the people who asked. I really like how the scarf turned out. It is very versatile.

US 6 needles
4 skeins "Mesa Heather" Andean Treasure 100 percent alpaca from

Sport weight

Cast on 5.
Row 1 Knit
Row 2 Knit
3Inc 2nd st and 2nd to last w k1fb. 7sts total
4 knit
5 knit
6 Inc 2nd st and 2nd to last w k1fb.9 total
7 knit
8 knit
9 Inc 2nd st and 2nd to last w k1fb. 11 sts total
10 knit
11 knit
12 Inc 2nd st and 2nd to last w k1fb. 13 total
13 knit, adding pms btwn 8/9 and 9/10.

Now u r set up and on a RS row. The first 4 sts on the RS will b the garter edge. Maintain that. The one st btwn the markers will b the part that "grows" into the stockinette part of scarf. On EVERY OTHER RS row u will increase one st past the first marker w a k1fb. Maintain the area btwn the markers in the stockinette pattern throughout.

The last RS 8 stitches will b the leaf border section. U will keep repeating the 18 row pattern as written here.

Click on this link:


After first 31 rows, I have 18 sts. 6sts btwn the markers. (One full leaf is done)
22sts after 49 rows. (2 full leaves done). Are u with me? Continue on,as u've been doing.

I stopped increasing the scarf width when the scarf was 36 sts wide wo counting the leaf edging. The scarf wo the leaf edging is about 7 inches wide now. This happened right as I was almost finished with the first ball of yarn. I plan on continuing at this width for just under 2 balls of yarn n then decrease w the last 2 balls of yarn. (If u r using less yarn for a shorter scarf, just be sure to start decreasing a little before you are half way thru your yarn)

Not done w the second ball of yarn yet....this is gonna b loooong if I do all 4 balls, so I'm gonna increase the width a bit more. It's 27" long now, I'm gonna k1fb on EVERY OTHER right side row at BOTH the beginning and end of the stockinette section, 5 times, until there are 46 total sts.

Continue some more without increasing.

Just before finishing the second ball of yarn (maybe an 8th of the ball left) I started doing the reverse, of what I have done up till now. So that starts w reducing, every other right side row, to match the recent 5 increases on both sides of the stockinette. Ssk on the first side and k2tog on the second side, (just like they do in the leaf pattern).

Then knit about 7 inches without decreasing, just like u did on the other side. When u start decreasing again, use a k2tog every other right side row, (always the 5th and 6th stitch).


Once you are down to about 17 sts total (having just finished a leaf) it's time to think about ending the scarf. You don't have to do this just like I did, for it to be successful. At this point, you have two more leaves to do (18 + 18 more rows). You want to quickly decrease the rest of the stockinette. I did this by decreasing every row for the last few until I was down to only the garter stitches remaining.

This means I had the 4 garter stitches, no more stockinette here, then the 4 garter stitches that are in the actual leaf pattern. Decrease those first four garter stitches down to nothing now and you will then just have the final leaf to do.

THIS LAST LEAF WILL BE DONE DIFFERENTLY THAN ALL THE OTHERS. Just knit the leaf part and do not do any of the ws increases (k1f/b) that are in the leaf edge pattern. And decrease those first four garter stitches in the leaf pattern w k2tog on the rs, until they r gone.

Look at the photo I marked with yellow to see clearly where the stockinette ends, and the garter stitches are reduced. Worst case scenario, you frog the last leaf a few times before you get it right. That's what I did!

Sorry I didn't keep better notes! But I was figuring it out as I went. After doing so many leaves, I don't think you will have a problem understanding the end, once you get there. Of course, finish by blocking and weaving in the ends. The leaves need to be blocked to "open up" fully.
Clarification for the last leaf:

As I said, after i finished a leaf (8 sts remain for the leaf) and I had a total of 17 sts, I knew it was time to end the scarf. You don't have to match me exactly. You can have 19sts or 15 sts. Whatever. But at this point, during the 18 rows of the second to last leaf, you want to reduce those extra stitches down to as close to 8 sts as possible. The reason for that is, 8sts is the number you need to do the final leaf, w no "scarf" next to it.

So reduce the stockinette stitches. Then the first four garter and as u finish that second to last leaf, see how close you can get to 8. If u have 9sts or 11, you will just have to add extra decreases as you do the last leaf, no big deal.

But let's say you do get it down to 8 sts. Below is the leaf edging pattern, written out w the ws decreases taken out, and the first four garter sts decreased to nothing, quickly. If u find this confusing, do a test on scrap yarn and I think it will become clearer.

Row 1 k2tog, k3, yo,k1,yo,k2
Row 2 p6, k3
Row 3 k2tog,k3,yo, k1,yo,k3
5.k2tog, k3, yo,k1,yo,k4
6.p10 (now only the leaf remains)
7. K4,yo,k1,yo,k 5
16.p4 1,k2tog,psso,k1
18. P2tog, draw the yarn thru the last stitch're done!!

Good luck following my crazy notes and post pictures on ravelry please, if you make one.

If u have a favorite edging pattern that you like, you cud use the same scarf concept and substitute the edging of your choice for the leaf edging.

Also, if u are making a shorter scarf and thought of increasing every right side row, (to get the width without the full length) you can, but you will get a much steeper "curve" on the scarf tips, which you might end up liking.

Optional: if you look closely at the beginning of the scarf, I did some duplicate stitch by hand to extend the "stem" of the first leaf, since it didn't have one. You can do this when everything is done, if you feel like it.

Adele just finished a scarf and she offered these comments on how she did the last leaf, in case or helps you. Thanks Adele!

"As far as adding anything to the pattern, I did modify the ending just a bit, unfortunately did not take notes on it but basically knitted 2 sts together on the garter edge border (right side of scarf) during the yarn overs on the leaf side so that I ended up with just the leaf on row 9 (1st ssk row) of leaf pattern and then finished last leaf.
Since there are 18 rows to the leaf pattern, depending on how many sts in between each person uses for the scarf, they can basically determine the number of rows needed to start decreasing to end up with 1 last leaf. Or they can just tweak it at the end with decreases on the right side of the scarf until they are up to the last leaf.
Hope this is helpful."
AdeLe :D

Friday, November 30, 2012

Reversible Boatneck Sequin Sweater

Top Down Raglan boat neck sweater. Fitted at the shoulders and bust, floats over the stomach area, not touching. Feels like a seamless comfortable Tshirt when done.
US 10 circular needles. US 9 dpn for the ribbing at the edges.
Paton's sequin lace fingering weight yarn, in acquamarine. 3 skeins for long sleeves, 2 if you want elbow length sleeves.

This is the first sweater that I had ever done, on the fly, using the guidelines from Wendy Bernard's fabulously empowering book 'Custom Knits'. I'm not sure how well this sweater will wear (with the yarn I used) but it is incredibly comfortable, like a seamless t-shirt and I love the subtle little sparkle of the sequins. So, I thought I would share what I did.

I used Paton's Sequin Lace yarn, between 2-3 skeins. If you did shorter sleeves, you could definitely get away with two skeins. I would say this is a sized medium sweater with extra long sleeves. I am not big busted but I had a friend who is try it on and it looked good on her too. If I was making it for her, I would have just, at the fullest part of the bust, maybe 8 stitches in from both side seams, done about 5 short rows across the front, to give more fullness in the bust. You can google more info on that if you want to do it.

So the most difficult thing about this sweater was the STREEEEETCH. But luckily, when you are working from the top down, you can try it on several times and make sure you have it right before you get going too far. Make sure you get the neckline to the bust perfect for you, even if you have to rip it out a few times, because once that is perfect, the rest of the sweater is easy as can be and requires no special fitting. So, like I was saying....When you are using fingering weight yarn on size 10 needles the fabric you are making will have a LOT of stretch. I started this out many many times and the thing would stretch right off my shoulders. I had to keep redoing my gauge. This final gauge I give you is stockinette stretched as far as I can wide to measure it, because as you increase the number of stitches so does the stretch expand exponentially (or so I learned).

Gauge. one inch of streeeetched stockinette is 4.25 sts per inch and about 6.5 rows per inch.

Original cast on looks like this (pm= place marker)
34pm 11pm34pm11
Start knittinng in the round, stockinette. I always knit one row in just plain stockinette to join it before I start any increasing that. We will call that, row zero.
Starting with row 1 and for all odd rows (until the sleeves are left on waste yarn), increase one stitch on both sides of the place marker, by doing a k1f/b.  Do NOT increase on the even rows. (I used an extra marker  that I would pick up when I was increasing a round and take off when I wasn't so that if I put the knitting down in the middle of the row, I would easily know where I was). So, first two rows look like this, for people who need it spelled out:
Row 1: (in the round) K 10, K1f/b, move pm, k1f/b, K33, K1f/b, move pm, k1f/b, K10, k1f/b, move pm, k1f/b, k33, k1f/b, move pm, k1f/b
Row 2: This is not an increase row. k13, move pm, K 36, move pm, k13, move pm, k36 move pm

(If you want to make a smaller size/neck opening you might start by casting on 28 pm 7 pm 28 pm 7pm and then follow the same increases above. Try it on after an inch or so to see if you like how the neck opening lays.)

After knitting as above, in stockinette for about 6.5 inches,  try it on to confirm that the neckline is looking good and that you have enough room under the armpits. If so, seperate out sleeves at this point and leave the stitches on waste yarn.  Next, join the front and back to continue knitting in the round. As you do so, add 2 sts under each armhole with 2 k1f/b and continue working in stockinette, over the bustline. There are 139 total sts at this point.(Increase if you have a larger bust)

Tried it on. Its almost under bust, maybe a few more rows. I k2tog on both sides of under arm marker and 2 spots on the back cuz the back was a lil balloony. Once past fullest bust, I then k2tog every 10 sts, so that’s about 13 st decrease, so about 3 inches decreased.

120sts at under bust now. Underbust Shud b narrowest part o sweater, add 3 inches as u move down the body, so it doesn’t grip the stomach area, since the chest and shoulder r very fitted.

I increased 6 stitches over 3 different rows, w k1 f/b every 20 or so stitches.
Continue til sweater is just above the hip bones, or desired length. Make sure u have an even number of stitches before u start the k2p2 ribbing that will keep the edge from rolling. After adjustin the stitch count, switch to US 9 needles and k2 p2 for 5 rows, then bind off in stretchy bind off in pattern.

Finish sleeves now. Put the stitches back on needles, from the waste yarn and knit in stockinette on dpn needles til 25.5” long (or however long your arm is).Reduce number of stitches a few inches above the wrist, down to 36 sts total (dec7 by k2tog) you need an even number o stitches for ribbing. Change to US9. K2,p2 rib for 5 rows. Bind off using a stretchy bind off. Same for other arm.


This sweater is seamless and reversible! It looks just as good inside out as right side out. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Top Down Baby Vest with Cables

US 5 circular needles and US 4 for the ribbed edge
2 skeins of Knit Picks Shine Sport Weight, in Hydrangea
Shine sport is 60% cotton, 40% modal and is washable.
I used just under 220 yards for this vest.
Size: This should fit my nephew at age 12-18 months.
Length is 12". Chest is 22". Armhole is 5", more or less. Crossback is 8"
Gauge 5.75 stitches, 7 rows per inch
k = knit 1
p = purl 1
st = stitch
PM = place marker
k1f/b = increase by knitting 1 in the front and back of the stitch
M1 = an increase between two stitches that creates a small decorative hole
RS = right side of the work
WS = wrong side of the work
inc = increase

Cast on 46 sts on US5 circular.
Knit in stockinette with non roll edges below, til the piece measures 4" endin after a WS row.
For the non roll edges, the first and last 3 stitches on each RS row look like p,k,p. (WS edges k,p,k)
Transfer these live stitches to another circular needle or to a waste yarn to keep on hold for later.

Go back to top edge and pick up 13sts on both shoulders, perfectly lined up with the 1st and last 13th sts. Use a new ball of yarn, working from both ends because you will need a different live yarn for each side of the front until we join in the round. (You left the first ball of yarn attached to the stitches on the back, I'm assuming) The 20 bound off sts in the center are the back neck, fyi.

Pick up sts working right to left with the tails on the right. Now starting on the wrong side, keepin the non roll pattern (WS=k,p,k) on the edges of the neck and sleeves, complete one row.
K p k, ppppppp, k p k is what it will look like from the wrong side. Add 2 PMs as you  do this WS row, one after the first 3 sts and the other before the last 3 sts. This reminds you to do the non roll edging each time AND it is where you will increase.

Now on a RS row we will begin the cable pattern. Everything I tell you on the RS will be the opposite on the WS in order to stay in pattern. Increases will happen only on the RS and will happen every OTHER RS row (these inc will create the V-neck shape). All inc are M1's which will create a knit stitch with a decorative hole. (If you prefer no hole you could replace with a k1f/b-same difference).  ***If you want to do something different than what I did, you could make the right and left front panels wider at the side of the V's. Thats probably a good idea. To do this, you would just increase every RS row for the first several rows. You would end up stopping at the same place any, when the number of front stitches matches the number of back stitches and you join the V. This option is clearly for people who can wing it.***

So RS the pattern is this for the first 13 sts (right shoulder):
P k p, PM p p k k k k p , p k p

And the 2nd 13 sts (left shoulder) are like this:
P k p, p p k k k k p PM, p k p

On this first RS row you will inc with a M1 after the first PM and again before the second PM (the PMs should always be 3 sts from the edges, and this will keep them so).

The left shoulder, WS, is this:
K p k,PM k p p p p k k p ,k p k

Second row, which is a wrong side with no inc looks like this:
K p k,PM p k k p p p p k ,k p k (notice there r 14 sts)

This is how you continue in pattern, doing your increases every other RS row, and crossing your cables when necessary, as I'm about to describe. I'm not gonna give you row by row instructions because that would make my head explode.

On the next RS row, we are going to do our first cable cross. We will cross the cables, always toward the center front, every 8 rows and always on a RS row. (You can vary that as you like, just keep it consistant.) This is a 2 + 2 cable, set off by 2 purl sts on both sides (i.e. reverse stockinette). Since its only 2 sts, I'm not going to use a cable needle, just a little plastic sewing needle I have. So, as we know, the first 14 sts on the shoulder look like this
P k p, k p p (k k) k k p, p k p. Those (k k) sts will be held forward and knit after the next 2 knit sts, creating the cable cross. (Look at a 2+2 cable on youtube if you don't get it.)

On the other shoulder the knit sts will be held to the back of the work, until you knit the two sts that follow and then you will pull them forward and knit them. This will cross the cable in the other direction.

Here's what they look like P k p, p p (k k) k k p PM, p k p

( inc this row- only every other row, ***unless you have decided to wing it.)

Now continue building the pattern according to these directions until you have 40 front stitches  (20 + 20). Now start increasing on EVERY RS row (instead of every other.) until you are at 23 + 23 or 46 total stitches (same as the back panel) and the front panel measure almost 4.5", so it is longer back panel.

The V neck is now ready to be joined into one front panel.

When you are at the beginning of a RS row with the 23 + 23 sts, this is when you cut the yarn (leaving a tail to weave in) at the left side and join the two sides of the V neck together. The front of the swtr is 5 " long now. (The back side will have to b 5" long too b4 we start the shaping.)  Now we will do the armhole shaping by continuing to m1 every RS row at the PM. (We will do the same shaping on the back, when we pick it back up, before we join in the round).

Here's the math we are currently working with:
On the unjoined front and back now, we have 46 + 46 sts which equals 92 sts around, total. For a 22" chest we will need 126 sts around. So 126 minus 92 is 34 sts to increase! Oy. That is a LOT of stitches to increase if I would wait until we join the front in back, so Im going to slip some extra stitches in as I do the armshaping and then do exactly the same thing on the back. Here is what I did.

On this RS row I'm going to m1 incr in the regular place next to the PM (which makes+2 on the front) and then ALSO k1f/b 2 times on the next 2 knit sts. It will look like this:
P k p, PM(m1) (k1f/b)(k1f/b)k k k k k k k k p p k k k k p ,p k p
Also, this first time through, as I connected the 2 front sections, I changed the 2 center purl sts to knit sts instead, AND made that stitch a k1f/b. So, that means the p in bold and the one next to it (as you join), will both become a k1f/b. You will mirror image the other side and 8 total sts will be added to the fron by the time you finish this row.. (By the way....Originally, I didn't increase those center front stitches until after I had joined them, that is why the area of stockinette under my V doesn't look as pretty as it could)

Do WS row staying in pattern.
Increase another 6 sts across the front in the same way you just did (except doing doing the k1f/b's that you did at the center front again).

Ok moving back to the live sts that we left on waste yarn on the back. I left them on another circular needle, so I'm just gonna knit them back onto the size 5s and then purl a WS row and then start the arm shaping to match what we did on the front. So the front section before we did the armhole shaping was about 4.5" long and we left the back ar 4" long so, its good to add a stockinette row or maybe 2 to make it the same length as the front, before shaping. I'm going to leave the front a little longer because it looks fine to me (and because the arm hole is gettin larger than I want it. But I figure...its a vest, that doesn't matter that much. He will wear something under it anyway.)

So, once you start the armhole shaping on the back mirroring what you did in the front, you will have 4 rows (RS, WS, RS, WS--you will increase 8 stitch on the 1st RS row, 6 sts on the 2nd RS row for a total of 14 added sts) in the back before we join in the round. So, on this next RS row, I'm going do 2 m1's that will decorative holes, in the same spots as I did on th front, (I.e. After the 3rd st and then at the point 3 fr the end). And I'm gonna do the rest of the increases as k1f/b. You can spread them evenly over the length of the row, or do them at both ends like on the front.

Armhole shaping on the back, to match the front:
RS row 1: p k p (m1, k1f/b, k1f/b, k1f/b)...k a bunch...5 sts from the end k1f/b, k1f/b, k1f/b, m1 p k p.
WS row 2: Normal row in pattern, with no increases.
RS row 3: p k p (m1, k1f/b, k1f/b...k a bunch...5 sts from the end k1f/b, k1f/b,  m1 p k p
WS row 4: Stay in pattern, no increase.
You have increased a total of 14 sts, for armhole shaping, on the back. The chest will now measure approximately 22" when we join in the round.

Join front and back in the round.
Ok, join in the round. I'm on a RS row on the back section now. We have 60 sts on the back and 60 on the front. 120 total when join. To get a 22" chest we need 6 more sts.  So that is 3 under each armpit.
Hmmmm. I'm gonna do 8 with my fav k1f/b addin 4 total under each armpit . So since we no longer need the non roll edges (pkp) as I do this RS row I will knit all the stitches. And k1f/b for the first 2 and the last 2 sts on both the front and back sections. By the time I finish this RS row there will b 128 sts total and it will be joined in the round. As you move on to the front section notice when you hit the purl stitch that is the beginning of the cable pattern, don't forget it. Place a marker there to remind you. We will continue those cables down the front just as we have been doing.  The cable pattern now looks like this (RS), with the place marker
PMp  p k k k k p p k k k k k k p p kk k k p p. Note we have a new strip of stockinette at the center front for the sweater, between the two cables that are continuing. Also, the rest of the sweater is in stockinette, so now that we are in the round, its just a bunch of knit stitches, hurrah!

Continue knitting until the total garmet is 11.5 inches or your desired length. K2tog at any point, to bring the stitch count to down to 127, so that it works with the ribbing we are doing.

Switch to size 4 needles and do 4 rows of k2 p1 ribbing.
Bind off in pattern on the 5th row.
Weave in your ends.
This photo is the first vest I did of this style (for Easter...that's a bunny, not an alien on the back. alien bunny). It is a smaller size (6 to 9 months --20" chest) and done with Cotton Ease yarn. I will post the basic info on this later, in case you'd like to make a smaller size.

And here is our young model...and my inspiration :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Basic Top Down Wool Baby Sweater

Basic Wool Sweater

US 9 and US 8, for the ribbing. I used circular needles and double pointed needles both.
Knit Picks Swish Worsted Yarn in Lemongrass (100% merino wool, washable) This was really nice to work with. I used about 2.5 skeins.
Top Down
gauge 4.5 sts and 5.5 rows per inch.

I just felt like knitting some mindless stockinette, in a color that I think will be very good on my nephew. I tried several versions of decorative pockets, but nothing looked nice. I added the "J" for a little visual interest at the end, because my sister likes things personalized. This was made to fit a 12 to 18 month old. The finished chest measurement is 22". You can of course, vary the sizing by increasing more or less stitches at the chest and by making the sweater longer or short etc.

I was looking for a 4" neck opening and then the slit in the front will give extra ease for getting the sweater over the baby's head. Cast on to US 9 needles like this (pm = place marker) 9pm6pm18pm6pm9pm. At first you will be knitting back and forth until the slit is long enough and then you join in the round. In order for the slit to lay nicely and not roll, the first and last three stitches on the row look like this from the right side -p1, k1, p1.

So, I will give you the first right side row and the first wrong side row and then you continue like that.
Row 1 P1, k1, p1, *knit til one before the place marker and k1f/b move pm, k1f/b, repeat from * until there are three stitches left. P1, k1, p1.
Row 2 k1, p1, k1 *purl without any increases at the placemarkers until three stitches remain k1 p1 k1.
Further rows: Continue like this, increasing on all the right side rows until the slit in the front measures about 3 inches long.
Then on a right side, join in the round.
Continue the pattern in stockinette, (but no more purling because we are in the round now) and increase every other row until the 'sleeve portion' (which was the 6 stitches on cast on) equals 32 stitches. On the next round, separate out the 32 stitches for each sleeve onto waste yarn to do later.
Join the front and back sections to work in the round. Under the arms, as you are joining K1f/b twice so that you create two new stitches under both armpits. (4 total)

The rest of the sweater is knit in stockinette until the ribbing. We are now at the chest and must increases the stitches so that the chest measures 22 inches around or whatever measurement you have decided on. 102 stitches equals 22" around in my gauge, so that means I have to increase 10 stitches. 10 stitches is a little much to increase in one row, so I increased 5 stitches in the next row by doing a kf/b about every 18 stitches. Then I knit a row plain and on the next row, increased another 5 stitches using k1f/b increases about every 19 stitches.

Knit even in stockinette for 12" (My sister wanted it extra long. If you don't, you could stop at 11"). Change to US 8 needles for the ribbed border. Start under an arm, where it will be less visible and do 4 rows of k2 p1 ribbing.
Bind off during the fourth row.

Finishing the sleeves.
Pick up the sleeve stitches and put them back on US 9 dpn needles. Pick up two extra stitches where we added them, under the armpit, for a total of 34 stitches. Knit in the round, stockinette, until the sleeve measures 6 inches from underarm to cuff. K2 together on the next round to bring the stitch count to 33. Change to US 8 dpn needles and do four rows of ribbing, binding off on the fourth row, k2, p1. This will give you a 6.5 inch sleeve, if you prefer longer, you can change it. Repeat for the other sleeve.

Pick up 44 stitches evenly around the neck on US 8 dpn needles. K2 p1  (wrong side is p2, k1) for as many rows as you like to make the collar. I stopped at 8 rows and bound off in pattern and the collar stands up. More rows and I imagine it would flop over.

Detailing. I just embroidered a J on the front chest in a different color for an accent.

Weave in ends, block and you're DONE!

(PS- Actually...I thought more about that collar comment. If you want to make the collar flop over I think you would have to increase the stitches evenly around at the point you want it to flop over. I'm not sure about this but I will try next time increasing every fourth stitch with a k1f/b at about the 5th row. I would GUESS that that would make the collar flop over to the outside and then you could just continue for another 5 row or so before binding off. If someone tries it, please let me know if it works.)

Exotic Variation Alert!

If you like the look of this, more textured stitch pattern, better than simple stockinette, it would be easy to substitute it in.

This is called Crossed Stockinette stitch. On normal back and forth knitting it looks like this:

Row 1: knit thru the back loop
Row 2: purl

If you use it, keep the edges of the neck slit as p1 k1 p1 to control the roll still and then, when you start knitting IN THE ROUND to maintain this pattern row two would become a simple knit row.

Crossed Stockinette in the round:
Row 1: knit thru the back loop (in the round)
Row 2: knit normal (in the round).

Add a place marker under an arm to designate the change in rows. I wouldn't do it center front if I were you, too noticeable.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Convertible Travel Scarf and Shrug.

I travel a lot and I like to travel light. So I invented this convertible shrug/scarf which is great if you are traveling to a summer place in September or October. It is very easy to make.
I used Knit picks Stroll Glimmer yarn, in fingering weight. Its a nice yarn, but I would have liked more sparkle in it. Any fingering weight would work great I imagine.
US11 needles so that it looks lacier and fits almost anyone because it stretches a lot.
Cast on 40 stitches. (or any multiple of 6 +4 so that you begin and end with the 4 knit stitches)
The pattern is Knit 4, Purl 2.(wrong side rows will be purl 4, knit 2).
Continue in pattern until the entire skein is used up. Bind off in pattern.

Then hand sew on the edging, what I call 'dingle balls'. I got mine at JoAnn's Fabrics. Make sure that you get ones that are delicate. If you get the ones made for upholstry, they will be too heavy for the scarf. The idea was for them to look like those rows of a million buttons with tiny button holes that you see on wedding dresses and things. Once you sew them on, you instantly have a scarf, ready to wear. If you want to convert it to a shrug you simply fold the scarf in half and moving about an inch out from the center line and start 'buttoning' the pompoms thru the knit holes. Use tinier knit holes rather than the larger ones and it will stay buttoned. Then you can take it apart again, when you need a scarf.

Voila! The perfect travel item or one skein birthday gift!

(Excuse the not-so-great photos.)

If I knew how to crochet well, I would have crocheted a thin scalloped border along the sides of the scarf. I think that would look nice and be even better for button holes. It would also be nice to try some interesting color combinations, but since I am making this first one as a gift I wanted it to be easy to wear, it is!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

On-the-Fly Baby Girl Raglan Sweater

On-the-fly baby girl sweater

I am publishing this pattern....just because I want to share it! I have never published a pattern before (which will become obvious to you) so if you like to blindly follow well-written patterns....turn back now! You will certainly be frustrated with me. But if you enjoy winging it a bit and like to improve on patterns that you see, please continue with me.

This sweater came out of my exploration, on a mini scale, of learning to design sweaters on the fly, using Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits book (which is GENIUS!) I set out to improvise a mini cardigan in stockinette with raglan sleeves, from the top down, making design decisions as I went. My goal was to understand the full process without investing the time for an adult sweater. I'm sharing it with 'you' the public because I would love to see the innovations other people make on the design and any feedback on how to write directions more clearly.

Needles:US 5
Patterns: stockinette, k1, p1 ribbing, knotted open work (see youtube video below), single crochet finish on the front.
gauge:6 sts x 8 rows per 1" x 1"
yarn: precious pink. Paton's beehive baby sport.
size: newborn

I imagine if you want to make it larger than new born, you could use size 6 or 7 needles with this yarn. Or use a slightly heavier yarn and size 8 or 9 needles. I would love to see if someone could make that work...because this sweater is not going to fit the baby for long!  It is definately newborn size.

I based this sweater on a 3” neck opening.
US 5 gauge 6sts x 8 for 1 x 1 stockinette stitch (6 stitch per inch gauge multipled by the 3 inch opening that you want equals 18 stitches for the back neck opening)

Working from the top down, first cast on looks like this:
1 PM 6 PM 18 PM 6 PM 1  (PM = place marker) If you wanted to make it bigger you might add an inch to the neck opening...i.e 6 stitches and make it 1pm8pm24pm8pm1 -- see how the math works?

Begin knitting stockinette stitch. On every RS row, increases on both sides of every place marker with a k1f/b. Starting with the 2nd RS row, also start increaseing at the first and last stitches on the row  with a k1 fb(which would be the shaping on the neckline beginning). This means that you are increasing 8 stitches on the first RS row and 10 stitches total on the 2nd RS row and every following RS row. Stop when you reach 18sts each on front right and front left (which will be equal to the 36 back sts).

Continue in stockinette, increasing ONLY on both sides of the PMs now (8sts every right side, total). In other words, no increases at the neckline now. Then, stop all increasing and separate out sleeves onto waste yarn when the right front sts equal 26. Next work a few rows of the main body connected (without the sleeves) Total sts should be 113. If your stitches are not 113 subtly increase or decrease on the armpits with a k1fb or k2tog until you have the right number. If you have changed the original cast on number just be sure that your stitch count at this point is a multiple of 3 + 3, for the knotted open work pattern PLUS 2 extra stitches for selvage, if you like. I don't think selvage is absolutely necessary here...your choice.

So...we are now going to make 8 rows of the 'knotted open work' pattern (with one stitch of selvage --p1-- for the first and last stitches on the row). We will also use 8 rows of this pattern at the bottom edge and will later pick up stitches around the collar and use 4 rows of this same pattern.

Here’s a link how to do the pattern:

Here’s the written pattern for these 8 rows:

Knotted Open Work:

Row 1: (Right Side) K2, YO, K3 - then pass the first stitch over the second and third sts Repeat from * to last stitch, K1
Row 2: Purl all stitches
Row 3: K1, K3 - then pass the first stitch over the second and third sts, YO Repeat from * to last two stitches, K2
Row 4: Purl all stitches
Repeat these 4 Rows for pattern. Do the pattern two times for a total of 8 rows to make this waistline band. (Now would be a good time to read the 'oddity' note at the bottom of the pattern.)

Remember to include a purl 1 selvage stitch at the beginning and end of each row, if you'd like one. I put PM's after the first stitch and before the last stitch on the row, to remind me of the selvage stitch.

I started the pattern on a RS row. When I got to the end of the row…having done the pattern right…there was no final k1 available! So, I had to do a M1. Im not sure why….I am the worst counter ever. It looks good though, after doing 8 rows…so I stopped and made it a middle band. I had orignially thought of making the rest of the sweater in knotted open work, so, if its working out for you, continue on by all means and show me a photo of how it comes out! But I stopped after 8 rows and then I knit about 6 rows in stockinette again and then placed 3 new place markers.

1PM centered under each arm and one at the center back (at 51/52st). Then, I did increases on both sides of those PM’s (k1f/b) on every RS row, (purling each wrong side without increases).
Once I reached 143 (I actually reached 142…but I threw in an extra k1f/b to get the stitch count right for the can do the same. Under the arm is a good place to camoflague it) not to mention that the first row i increased, i only increased 4sts instead of 6….so...your stitch count will come out different most certainly and you will have to organize that somehow.

Now that I see the effects of that way of increasing in the paragraph above (where definiate 'lines' are shown where the place markers were) next time…I would just divide up the increases over the row -say, one every 10 stitches--so the increase ‘line’ isnt obvious. live and learn. The whole point here is to increase the the sweater from teh waist to the hips, so that it flares out a bit...that can be done in many ways, as long as you wind up with the right amount of stitches to start the knotted open work edging, which is where we are now.

So, with 143 its a multiple of 3 + 3 for the pattern + 2 extra stitches for the p1 selvage. Lets see if it works. Yep. I did another 8 rows in this pattern and then bound off. Be sure to bind off as loosly as possible. Because its nice to get a little stretch in the lace when you block it, to open it up a bit and if the bind off is too tight (like mine was) it doesnt open up as nicely.

Now, back to finish the collar in knotted open work.
Pick up stitches around the collar and make sure there a multiple of 3 + 3. I'm sorry, but I forgot to write down how many stitches I picked up. Then do 4 rows of the ‘knotted open work’ pattern and then bind off. ( Btw, on the neck this pattern is ADORABLE!)

Now, finishing up the sleeves that we left on waste yarn.
Take the sleeve stitches off of the waist yarn and put them back on dpn US 5 needles. Do 2 rows of k1 p1 ribbing and then bind off on the third row. Do this with both sleeves. Then weave in the ends and you will probably need to do some fancy footwork under the armpit to tighten up some stitches. Now the sleeves are done!

Add a single crochet finish to the front edges. You could always do another edging, but I wanted something simple and fast. Depending if you want to add a button or two and where you want to add them, this would be a good time to crochet a little single crochet 'loop' to serve as a button hole. I was too lazy to do this so I just put sewed on two buttons at the same level, one on each side, and then fashioned a bit of yarn to loop one button to the other, which might not have been the most elegant option.

But, we are done!
So weave in the ends and block it. Take a picture and show me :)


Two out of four times that I did the 'knotted open work' pattern repeat, when I got to the end of the first row of the pattern there was no final k1 there to do. If this happens to you, don't panic. I don't know why, but it lined up right anyway and looked good. And, if there is no k1 then you will probably find that there is no final k2 at the end of the 3rd row pattern repeat. didn't seem to matter, but that is why I didn't do more repeats of that pattern. I didn't want to push my luck. It probably won't happen to any one else....I am a notoriously bad counter, but if it looks fine anyway...who cares!  ;)