Updated patterns!

I'm in the process of updating my old patterns, particularly the bibs, to include charts. I'm rewriting some of the directions to make the patterns even easier and including alternative methods for beginning the bibs and for making the ties. Look for these patterns in the sidebar to see which ones have been added. It's a slow process, but eventually, they'll all be there!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Soaker or Two

I'm having so much fun knitting soakers. These things are so addictive! I hope Marty takes his sweet time when it comes to learning how to use a potty!! (Just kidding, Emily!) I wanted to make one with some color and so I just made this one up myself. I found the stitch pattern in one of Barbara Walker's books. It's a simple repeat, but because the yarn is stranded, it makes it doubly warm and, hopefully, doubly absorbent. I just started from the waist down, split for the legs and grafted it at the bottom. I just hope it will fit! I used my old faithful Cascade 220.

I also came up with another pattern of my own and made a soaker out of some Malabrigo worsted that I spotted at Webs. (When I die, I want to be buried with a skein of Malabrigo, and some needles.... just in case!) This is called "lime blue" and the colors are so much nicer in person! It's hard to get a picture with the true colors. I've made ribbed soakers in the round before, but I always started with the crotch and then joined front and back and worked my way to the top. This time, I started from the top down and, again, split for the legs and then grafted the bottom. I like this version much better. I think there is also more room in the backside than the others.

Next up, a really neat pair of pants with cables!

An Irish Baby Sweater

My sister needed a baby present for a friend who has a new little girl with a very Irish name. (I can't even pronounce it! ) Anyway, I offered to make this little set for her. Since I was going to Webs, I was able to look at all their organic cotton. This yarn is by Sublime and is a dk weight. After knitting bibs with dishcloth cotton, this was a welcome change. The yarn is so soft and has a nice drape. It says it's machine washable but you shouldn't put it in the dryer. I did both with my swatch and found that it didn't shrink hardly at all. The pattern is by Naturally, FC38. The directions called for shoulders to be seamed, but I found they were too bulky so I ripped them out and just grafted them together.
In the back, I decided to knit in a little shamrock. The picture of the back came out lots greener that it actually is. The picture of the front is the true color of the yarn.
Of course, because I had yarn left over I decided to make a summer hat too. I found this great pattern on Ravelry called Ruffled Baby Hat. It was very easy except for the first two rows. There are four times the number of stitches you need (in this case that was 416!) and you have to knit two together for both rounds. The cotton made it a really tough job and the stitches twirled around on the needles so much that I discovered after my "first" attempt that I had twisted them. It would have been nice to have discovered that after the first round, but I didn't realize it until the fourth round!! The second attempt was successful, but if it hadn't been, I might have just chucked the whole thing. I also decided to add a band of ribbing. It looks like a hat band and so I crocheted a shamrock to accent it. I can't follow a crochet pattern to save my life, so I just doodled around and came up with this one. I think it looks pretty cute and it's in keeping with this whole "Irish" theme
Then, since I still had yarn left over, I decided to make some baby socks to go with it. This is just a generic sock pattern, but I added the moss stitch to coordinate with the baby sweater. They are so cute. My sister wants me to make a pair for her too. That won't happen as I'm one of the few who doesn't enjoy making adult socks! Besides, I'm finally out of yarn!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


As promised, here is the new dinosaur bib. I drew it the same time as the other one, but I wasn't too happy with the design, but I went back and tweaked it a little. I'm fairly confident that this really is a stegosaurus, but I guess I should run it by two-year old Mickey. He corrected me the last time, so who knows! The directions are in a pdf. My brilliant son (well, actually I have two brilliant sons) helped me set up the file. I just hope the link works. As long as I don't lose the paper with the directions, I think I'll be able to transfer all the patterns to pdfs...eventually! Anyway, here's a picture of the front. It's knit out of Cascade 220 Superwash wool.

And the reverse side:

Here's a picture of the finished Noro Kureyon soaker, nestled amongst the geraniums for my flower boxes! I sure hope this soaker softens up, because it feels pretty rough right now, but I love the colors! The pattern is Curly Purly. It's a very easy knit and I've made it a few times. It does have lots and lots of ribbing, but it goes quickly. The pattern doesn't call for a drawstring, but if it starts to stretch out, it will be easy to just weave one in, provided I can remember where I put the leftover yarn!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Baby Surprise

I was really excited to try out the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I saw so many neat pictures of it and thought it would be great fun. I even bought the dvd so I could have the variations. Then I knitted it, finally, and found that the real surprise was how boring it was. All that garter stitch. I didn't think I would ever finish it! It was supposed to be a sweater for my grandson, but I never felt motivated to sew up the sleeves so it just sat in a pile. Of course, he has now outgrown it, however, it is going to a good home. My mom needed a baby gift and so I did finish it. I used Beatrix Potter buttons and it did look pretty cute. I'm thinking that I might give the pattern one more try, but next time, I'll use a heavier yarn and maybe throw in some stripes. Notice I said I "might" give it another try! I used Sirdar's Magic Stripes which is now discontinued. It's a dk weight and does wash nicely.

I also made another soaker for Marty. He's getting so big that I moved up to a medium. Small would have been the more logical choice, but since he can't even fit his chubby legs in the hole of some of the other soakers, I thought I'd just skip ahead. This is the punk knitters pattern. I had to add a few stitches to make the pattern divisible by 12, but it was only 4 stitches so it isn't even noticeable. I also added the leg cuffs. It was a quick knit as most soakers are. I'll be curious to see how the fit compares to the others I've made. This one was knit with my old standby, Cascade 220 which is still on sale at Webs until the end of this month.

I've also noticed on Ravelry that quite a few knitters have made soakers out of Noro Kureyon. I came across this in my stash and thought I would give it a try. I just can't believe that it will soften up enough for a baby, but they all say it does. It's so scratchy. I love the colors but I'm not crazy about knitting with it. The trick is going to be not having the yellow stripes end up across the bum. My daughter-in-law doesn't like me to use yellow or light orange for soakers. I'm trying to think how to put this delicately, but it makes it hard to tell if they are "soiled". There is a little yellow in this skein, but it's mostly shades of green with a little purple. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that it works out! He should be able to wear lots of different colored t-shirts with it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Baby Hats and More!

When my good friend Alli posted a message about her local hospital needing hats for the newborns, I couldn't resist! Studies show that caps help to prevent newborns from dropping their birth weight. Well, I'm all about babies, in case you haven't noticed! Alli has the basic pattern on her blog, and I just tweaked it here and there to break up the monotony! I used Baby Teri by Red Heart. It is so soft and I used size 8 U.S. needles so the hats knit up really fast! They wash really well too as I discovered after I spilled food on the yellow one I was working on. Eating and knitting don't always mix! Here's a group picture:

Some of them have little bears for the top:

Some of them have stripes:

Some of them have ridges, vertical and horizontal:

And, some of them are definitely for baby girls!

I have yet another hat on the needles. If you decide to make one for your newborn, I hope you'll also consider making one for charity. Alli's pattern is done flat and then seamed, but because I hate to sew, if I don't have to, I did mine in the round. You can use 16" circulars until your second decrease, then you'll have to switch to either magic loop or dpns to finish them off.

I've also been making some more bibs. Here's a picture of Bert and Ernie that I did just on a whim. Because the characters are copyrighted, I won't be posting any directions, but I thought you might like to see it. I was really limited by the size so I know it isn't great, but at least my older grandsons know who they are!

I have another dinosaur bib too, but I won't be posting that until I check the pattern...again. I'm finding it very difficult to post directions, because the stress of wondering how many mistakes there might be is keeping me from enjoying sharing patterns. Thank you to all of you who have pointed out errors. I'm also really grateful for those of you who have also told me when you haven't found any!