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!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Eye Candy

Since I'm a little lean on knitting projects to share, I thought you might enjoy just seeing some pictures of yarn!  Some of them were birthday presents and some were just impulses.  With my husband still laid up and unable to do any shopping, it was great fun just getting whatever I wanted.  My friend, Kathy, who lives in Iowa and is affectionately known as just "Iowa Kathy" in my house, hooked me up with this wonderful dyer on Etsy. Not only does Jennifer dye beautiful yarn, but she's a lovely person as well.  I could (and have) spent lots and lots of time just admiring all her different colorways.  I don't know whether to thank Kathy or curse her!

I love this green, even if she did name it after a new lizard they acquired.  It's called "Anole".  I have a special project in mind for this so I can't talk about it yet.
Of course, my favorite shade of green is this one called "Lime Rickey":

I got this one with my grandson, Mickey, in mind since he loves blue. He told me the other day that he really NEEDS socks. He's the one that decided he only wanted to wear "grandma socks" when he was about three. Back then, his feet were small. Now they're huge and he's only seven.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I hope that's the case, since I totally bought this yarn because of Kathy.  She made herself some socks out of this colorway and I just loved them.  You can check them out on her blog here and here.  She's so talented!  The yarn is called "Jack O'Lantern" and you can see why!:
Finally, I found this great yarn for my youngest grandson, Marty.  Believe it or not, white is his favorite color.  His stuffed animal that goes with him everywhere has two favorite colors:  orange and yellow.  When I saw this yarn, also on Etsy, I knew I'd have to get it for him:
It's called "Jimmy Cracked Corn".  There's enough yarn to make him socks and fingerless gloves.  This dyer is here.  I don't want his head to be cold, so I also picked up this worsted weight yarn:
Can you see the name of this?  It's "Candy Corn".  How appropriate.  This yarn is by Gnome Acres and you can check her out here.
Now, I do have one project to share.  My boss has a new dog he rescued from a shelter.  He and his wife never owned a dog in either of their lives, but since their only son left for law school, they were lonely.  Max has taken over and is being thoroughly spoiled.  I thought he could use a sweater for his first winter:
It's an old pattern from a Woman's Day leaflet published in 1969.  I made sure the seams were sewn in nice and tight and wouldn't you know, it was too small!!  I ended up having to rip out the under panel.  I also decided to unravel all four inches of ribbing and add another couple of inches to the length.  Then I made the under panel twice as wide and lengthened the leg openings.  I don't know what kind of dog the designer thought was "medium", but it obviously wasn't Max!  The yarn is Cascade Superwash 220.
Max didn't like putting it on (or taking it off).  We had our first snow of the season the other day, so I'm hoping that when more of this cold weather sticks around, he'll change his mind!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tail A Wagging!

Here, as promised, is my birthday present to you!  Every year now for the past four years, I've posted a new pattern on my birthday.  I love getting presents, but I love giving them even more!
This fellow might look a little familiar to some of you.  He's a version of the pattern that I did for one of the past dishcloth calendars.  I tweaked him and he's facing the opposite way.  He also doesn't have the heart border.

I get requests all the time for the old version of this pattern and the two other dog and cat patterns that I did.  All three of the designs were exclusive to the calendar.  The rights to them have been returned to me and I can choose to do whatever I want with them.  It would be easy just to post them, but I really don't think that's fair to those of you who purchased the calendar just for my patterns.  (And I know a lot of you did, because you told me so!)  On the other hand, you might have noticed that I'm not in the habit of selling any of my patterns!  What to do? I think I've come up with a fair solution.  I've decided to post the old designs in a "new" format.  They won't have the heart borders and I may change them slightly.  If you want them with the hearts, then you'll have to buy a back issue of the calendar.  Otherwise, you'll just have to settle for the basic design, which I hope you'll still think is cute!

This pup is 37 stitches wide so it will fit in with most of the other patterns for those who'd like to mix and match.  The pattern also includes a chart as well as the written directions.  The pdf files are in the sidebar, or you can get the bib by clicking here  and the cloth by clicking here.
Now, I get to go and open up my birthday presents!  Of course, with my husband laid up and unable to do much of anything on his own, I "had" to do my own birthday shopping!  There's no wrapping paper involved, but I do get to open the shipping boxes!  There are a couple of new knitting books and some of my favorite stitch markers  (I can never have enough of them!).  There's a possibility that there might even be a new skein of yarn. . .or two.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Maureen sent me this picture of the beautiful blanket that she knit for her niece's new little baby, Henry.
It's it just gorgeous and didn't she do a wonderful job knitting it?  That is one very lucky (and warm) baby.  Maureen tells me that she used Berroco Soft Vintage in yellow.  She knit the hen by looking at the picture of the one I did for my Ruthie.  It reminds me that I still haven't posted those patterns yet!  They need to be tested and I have a slight recollection that someone offered to help me, but I haven't had time to go back through my messages to see who it was!  Maybe it was Maureen!!

I also want to direct your attention to this blanket pattern that was posted here on Ravelry.  It's a free pattern download.  She has used 27 stitches for each design block.  This would work nicely with many of my patterns as I use 37 stitches.  If you eliminate the borders, you have 27 stitches.

Finally, here is one more link of yet another blanket here.  Mandy put her blanket together by crocheting the squares.  (I think you may have to be signed onto Ravelry to see it.  If you aren't a member, you should be!!)

This has been so much fun for me to see all these wonderful blankets.  I love the distraction.  To update you, my husband came through his surgery just fine and is already off the pain meds.  Of course, he has to keep his leg in the cast for six weeks, so we'll see how he does once he starts physical therapy.  We may have to break out the pain pills once again!  For now, we're taking it one day at a time.  He can't really move without my help which means no work for either of us!  ("Work" as in gainful employment!)  Fortunately, we both have nice bosses so it isn't an issue. . .yet!  Thank you for all your nice notes and wishes of encouragement.  They mean a lot to both of us!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Slight Interruption

I wanted to let you all know that there is going to be a slight interruption in posts on my blog for awhile.  My husband had an accident while hiking in the woods in back of our house the other day and is having surgery this week.  At first, they thought he had broken his leg, but instead he's torn his quad tendons which are above the knee.  These are the tendons that let you lift your leg.  It's going to be a long recovery.  They tell us that the surgery isn't too bad, but the rehab isn't fun.  He's looking at three to four months before it's over.  He's an active guy and an experienced hiker, so why he chose to wear his sneakers this time instead of his hiking shoes, I'll never know!  Fortunately, he did have his cell phone so after he realized that he couldn't move, he called the police and told them to dispatch the fire department.  They had to hike up to him on the trail and carry him back down. The one humorous note about all of this is that he used to be the fire chief here in town and he had to endure lots of good natured ribbing!  After he called the police, he called me and asked if I happened to see the fire truck go by the house.  When I told him that not only did I see the fire department, but also the police!  I was expecting him to tell me what was happening in the neighborhood, as he often has a portable scanner with him.  I wasn't expecting him to tell me that they were coming for HIM!  We're fortunate to have such a dedicated volunteer fire department and ambulance squad in our town.  Even a crew from the neighboring town showed up to help!

In any event, I now have to do everything for him.  He literally can't move his leg, although he can hobble around on crutches once I get him up.  My husband is always puttering around the house doing laundry, emptying and loading the dishwasher, vacuuming, mopping, etc.  Now, I get to do everything, not only around the house, but also for him.  It's a lot of running and fetching!  With all of this, I've discovered that I just don't have time to knit.  I've only managed to knit a little bit when he was having a MRI.  This isn't good (for me!) but it's also going to put a damper on blogging temporarily.

I do have this yarn that I bought a month ago.  It's from Lorna's Laces and is called "London 2012".
I've always loved watching the Olympics, so when Jimmy Beans Wool came out with this limited edition, I had to have it.  They ran a fun promotion to go along with it.  For every gold medal that the United States won, the price dropped a dime, a nickel for a silver and a penny for a bronze.  The more medals, the cheaper the yarn!  Two reasons to root for the home country!!  The yarn was shipped the day after the Olympics ended.

It has all the colors of the Olympic rings, but I will admit that I was a little disappointed when it arrived.  The colors kind of blend together in spots and it looks muddy here and there.  I was hoping that the colors would be brighter.  Still, I think I'll make socks for my eight year old grandson, Jack.  He would call me up when he saw the Olympics were on and we would watch them together.  It was fun listening to his running commentary.  I think he'd get a kick out of having Olympic socks.

Now, I just have to come up with a pattern.  Any ideas?  I'm kind of leaning toward Aero. I know it's a pattern for ankle socks, but I think it would be easy to convert to regular ones.  I want something fairly simple that I can pick up and put down easily, as I'll be doing a lot of jumping up and down over the next few weeks!

In any event, I promise to be back as soon as time permits!  I always try to post a pattern on my birthday (next month) and I'll definitely be doing that!  I have it on my needles now!

Friday, September 14, 2012


I wonder if anyone had trouble accessing the patterns for a couple of days?  You might have heard that someone hacked the BigDaddy website and caused major headaches for websites everywhere.  I also use them to host my patterns through my website. Things seem to be okay for now and hopefully, they've taken steps to make sure that it doesn't happen again.  I apologize if you had problems, but for once, it wasn't my fault!

In any event, here is one of my new patterns.

 I seem to have a lot of trouble with cat patterns.  I don't know why, but they're just difficult for me to do.  I only have a few number of stitches to work with, so it's sometimes hard to get the detail that I'd like and still make the creature recognizable!! 

Since so many knitters are using the patterns in blankets, I'm trying very hard to keep the stitch and row counts the same so they can be easily mixed and matched.  Deb just posted a picture on her website of a lovely blanket she made using my patterns.  You can check it out by clicking here .  I love seeing all of your pictures, so keep sending them!!
Both patterns are in the sidebar, or you can grab the bib by clicking here.  The cloth is here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Free At Last!

I finally have finished all the obligated knitting I had and now I'm free to work on whatever I want!  Such a wonderful feeling!  I managed to knit yet another duck sweater, this time for a little girl in mint green.  I love the way this sweater comes out, but I just hate fighting with this yarn and I'm not crazy about having to sew up all those seams either.
This time around, I thought I'd get creative with the hat.  Since it was for a baby girl, I decided to knit a little ruffle for the brim.  How hard could it be to figure out?  Double the stitches, knit for an inch and then decrease.  Easy.  HAH!!  My first attempt was going along fairly well, until I realized that I had way too many stitches.  The hat would be huge, so I ripped it out and started over with fewer stitches.  When I was almost ready to begin decreasing, I noticed a large hole right in the beginning.  Since there was no way to fix it, I had no choice except to rip yet again.  Third time should be a charm.  I cast on even fewer stitches and this time I made it all the way to where I should begin knitting ducks.  I managed to get three rows done before the yarns all tangled up with each other to the point that I couldn't even pull them apart.  I looked at the mess in my lap, then I calmly picked up the hat, the yarn and my needles and threw them across the room!  My poor husband who happened to be sitting with me, just turned his head and said "feel better now?"  Actually, I did!  LOL!  I never have thrown knitting in my life, but it was actually a relief to just give up.  A word to the wise, don't try to invent a pattern when you have a deadline to meet.  I had wasted three whole days on this disaster!
At this point, I decided to just move on and start on some bibs.
I had to knit another duck bib and I thought it would be fun to knit my "Puddles" pattern.  You know, the one with the butterfly?  Anyway, I knit the whole thing and when I went to block it, I discovered that I had knit two eyes.  This would be fine, except that the duck was supposed to have one eye.  This creature looked like something Picasso would have drawn!  It was already done, the ends were all woven in and I was ready to begin bib #2. Grrrr!  I just decided to go back to the Quacking Up pattern and knit that instead.  You might notice that this duck is facing the opposite way.  Not only did I knit it in reverse, but I actually reduced the size of the bib so it conforms with the stitch and row count of all my recent patterns.  I'm wondering if I should write it up or if that would just confuse everyone.  You will notice that this duck does have one eye!!

Bib #2 was my Heartbeat pattern.  I love this design.  It always comes out cute no matter what color it's knitted in.
For Bib #3, I went back to one of my early designs, Rhonda's Delight.  This is such a neat pattern for using up those pretty variegated yarns.
It's fun to knit (in my opinion) and seems to go pretty quickly.  This design is named after Rhonda White who first published the DW Washcloth .  The bib was published in the 2009 Dishcloth Calendar.  It also is in need of a serious update!  I think it's good for me to go back and actually knit some on my old patterns so I can see what needs changing.  Those old pattern writing skills were a little shaky!
Back to the hat.  As I was knitting on the bibs, I decided to give it one more try.  Since I only had one day left before my deadline, I went for a simple rolled brim hat and only knit one duck in the center.
I cast on 72 stitches and knit in the round for about 2 inches, then I knit a couple of rows.  To begin the design, I cast on one extra stitch and knit back and forth so I could knit the duck with intarsia. When the design was completed, I started knitting in the round again and decreased the extra stitch.  When the hat was about 5 inches in length, I decreased the crown as follows: " k6, k2tog" to end; knit one row;  *k5, k2tog* to end; knit one row; *k4, k2tog* to end; knit one row, etc. until I ended up with four stitches.  Then I just knit an I-cord for about two inches and tied it into a knot. 
I just had to sew up the couple of inches in the back.  It's only slightly noticeable.  By adding the extra stitch, it made up for the seam.  (I'm aware that there is a method for doing intarsia in the round, but I didn't have time to try and learn a new skill!)

So there you have it.  All the baby presents for a shower I'm not even invited to.  I told my mom she could take credit for the knitting if she wanted!  She's almost 87 so let her have a little fun!

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME FOR THE DUCK SWEATER PATTERN!!!  As far as I know, this pattern is still protected by its copyright.  I don't have any proof that the pattern is no longer available, but if you really want it, perhaps you could try contacting Sirdar.  Ebay has a lot of vintage patterns and there are a lot of other companies that specialize in old patterns.  If it was my own design, you know that I would share it in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Forced Knitting

Last month, I was chatting with my mom, who'll be 87 next month.  She was lamenting that she had been invited to a baby shower for her neighbor's daughter and she just didn't know what she was going to get.  This actually translates to "would you knit something for me to give to the baby?".  I would do almost anything for my mom, so I decided just to go ahead and knit a sweater for her to give.  Mind you, at the time, I wasn't working on anything in particular so I was happy to help out.  I have a favorite sweater that I've knitted at least eight times over the years.  It's an old Sirdar pattern.

I've had this pattern for almost 15 years and the yarn has long since been discontinued.  When I heard that they weren't going to make it anymore, I bought up as much of it as I could find.  I even ordered some from England.  It's a pain to knit with, but when it's done, it feels and looks just like a light weight fleece.  It's incredibly soft.

In this picture, the blue almost looks gray, but in person it's a very pretty shade of blue.  I even found duck buttons for the back.

After it was done, I thought I might as well knit a hat so it would be a complete set.  I didn't have a pattern, but I just charted some small ducks and "winged" it.  It looked pretty big to me, but I measured it and tried to remember that babies almost always have huge heads!

This made for a cute baby gift, but then my sister chimed in and said she wanted to go in on the gift with my mother (my parents live with her) so I thought maybe I should add a bib.

This is my Quacking Up pattern and I thought it was appropriate with this whole duck theme.  I suggested that they finish it up with a little rubber duck and maybe even a duck book!

My mom was just thrilled and was very grateful.  Personally, I was just happy that it was done so I could move on to other things.  My sister, however, was really happy, so much so that she informed me that she needed another sweater for a little girl that was going to be born at the end of this month.  Not only that, but she had already bought a duplicate book and duck!!  I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am to have to knit another identical sweater.  I guess because she doesn't knit, she doesn't realize how boring it is to knit the same thing over and over.  I'm dragging my heels on this second one, first because I just don't want to do it, but also because I just finished charting up two brand new bibs and I want to work on them instead! 

On a personal note, I lost my wonderful aunt a couple of weeks ago.  It was so unexpected and sudden.  She lived alone and they found her on the floor in her apartment.  I was really close to her and I've had a hard time dealing with the loss.  I was her flower girl over fifty years ago!  We always had a special relationship and we shared a lot of the same interests.  I remember when I was young, someone gave me a little kit of embroidery pictures of nursery rhymes and she offered to show me "how to do it".  I sat right beside her while she stitched. . .and stitched. . .and stitched!  I kept begging her to let me "try it now", but she kept telling me that I should let her just do a "few more" stitches.  Well, as you might have guessed, she ended up stitching the whole thing.  I don't remember actually learning much, except that she did tell me that I had to keep the back nice and neat.  I've always remembered that and, to this day, I still keep the back of my work neat.  I really miss her but I have lots of wonderful memories.

On a more positive note, when I finish this sweater, I'll start on the new patterns.  One good thing is that I won't have any more of this yarn when the sweater is finished so I won't have to make another.  For a girl anyway.  I do still have lots of blue. .

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cheep Feet

You may remember that my grandson, Jack, has a parakeet (Fred) that he just loves.  I thought it would be fun to surprise him with some parakeet socks after I found this chart on Ravelry.

I changed the pattern slightly by eliminating the yellow and by adding an extra space between the birds.

I needed to go back and add the yellow beaks, but I just duplicate stitched them.

I think it's really tricky to strand socks, as there's no stretch, so you have to make them large enough to pull on or be super careful about leaving enough slack.  Unfortunately for me, the first sock was way too tight.  I had to just cut the yarn and start all over again.

Usually I cast on between 52 and 54 stitches for his socks, but the only way I could get the pattern to work in this case was to cast on 66 stitches.  I made up for all the extra width by ribbing the foot.  I also made them a little longer, so they'd last.  My thought was that if they were larger, I might not have to make another pair. . . ever!

The yarn is Holiday Yarns Flock Sock in Ice Bear.  It's almost the same color as Fred.  I had some leftover Bamboo Regia that was mottled just like his head. (Fred's, not Jack's!)  I like having the varying shades of gray. The white was Cascade Heritage.

Jack just loves the socks and his mom says that he wants to wear them ALL the time.  Sigh, looks like I may end up having to knit another pair after all. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Long Sleeved Tee!

Wow, I'm overwhelmed by the response to this little t-shirt.  Fortunately, I have some very nice friends, one of whom is my pal, Tim, who has worked very hard on helping me perfect the Sweet Tee pattern.  You can check out his shirt by clicking here. Tim has a good eye and was able to catch some little confusing bits in the instructions.  He also had some excellent suggestions which I have now incorporated into the pattern. 

In addition to Tim, I've made a new friend, Barbara, from Italy!  She sent me some pictures of her shirt and graciously agreed to let me share them with you.

Don't you just love it in blue?

As if this wasn't exciting enough, she also knit it with long sleeves!

When I was knitting this myself, I thought it would be easy to make with long sleeves, but I just hadn't tested it yet.  I wanted to work out all the bugs with the original pattern first.  It's really simple to add the long sleeves though, so I think I may add those instructions to the pattern at some point.  I also have the boy's version ready to go, but I'm waiting for my yarn to arrive from WEBS .  (They were having a sale and I couldn't resist!) 

I want to urge all of you to go to Barbara's designer page .  She has some amazing baby patterns.  She's so talented that I was really humbled when she wanted to knit my little pattern!  I love her Leaves of Garter Stitch and I think one of those will be making its way to my Ruthie before long!  Barbara is also going to be translating the pattern into Italian, so when I have the link, I'll share it with you.

Thank you Tim and Barbara for all your help!  And, I haven't forgot all my other friends who are testing the revised version.  Eventually, I'll be able to heave a sigh of relief!  In the meantime, if you want to help out too, the revised version is posted in the sidebar.  All you have to do is click on the picture and it will take you right to the pdf file.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Testing Sweet Tee

I thought I better clarify, once again, that the Sweet Tee pattern HAS NOT BEEN TESTED.  I tried to think of someone to ask/beg to help me out, but it didn't happen.  Now, I have lots of knitters offering to help.  My friend, Tim, has already started and it didn't take him long to discover a mistake in Row 4.  I have corrected that row in the pdf and have highlighted it in red.  As you may have noticed, I have a separate picture of Sweet Tee at the top of my right sidebar.  As I learn of each mistake (hopefully, there won't be too many!), I'll post the date of each correction (and I'll highlight it in red), so you'll know you have the latest version.  Once I know that all the bugs have been worked out,  I'll post the fully corrected pattern.  In the meantime, a huge thank you for all of my friends who have offered to help.  Please if you find any errors, email me so I can add those!

Yes, I am working on a boy's version, but that won't be posted until we get this one straightened out!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet Tee

At last, here is the pattern for the little t-shirt.  When I first posted the pictures, I had no idea how difficult it would be to write up a pattern!  It's a very easy  to knit, but not so easy to explain!  I hope that in my efforts to make it understandable, I haven't complicated the issue.  Please note that this has not been test knit!  I'm hoping that some of my dedicated followers will be able to help me out with the testing!  I've knit it about six times, but the real test will come when another brain tackles it!

The shirt is knit in the round and the only finishing, other than weaving in ends, is a little button loop at the neck. You begin by knitting back and forth forming the placket as you go and then, when you reach the required depth, you switch and knit it in the round.

The placket is made by making seed stitch borders and, after joining to knit in the round, the stitches are tapered down to a point.  It lays nice and flat without any bulk.

The pdf file is located in the sidebar under "Miscellaneous" or you can just click here.

I do have lots of ideas for variations, but I haven't included them in this pattern.  I want to wait and make sure that the pattern is correct, before I start offering other designs!  I hope you enjoy it and will help me out with testing it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I bet some of you were wondering if you'd ever hear from me again!  I'd like to have a good excuse for not posting earlier, but the truth is I was just burnt out.  I had absolutely no desire to knit anything.   I didn't feel like reading about knitting or writing about it!   I think a lot of it was an accumulation of failed projects.  Everything I tried to knit, I ended up ripping.  Remember the ladybug soaker?  Too small.  My daughter-in-law did squeeze poor Ruthie into it, but I think it was just for my sake and just for that one day.  It was pretty obvious it didn't fit. Add to all of this, a root canal to just add to my lousy mood!

This was going on for a couple of weeks, when my youngest grandson came to visit.  Marty has a little stuffed animal that he calls his "baby".  It's not very big, but he was dragging this huge crocheted blanket around in case his baby was "cold".  I told him he needed a smaller one, so he said maybe I could knit him one!  Oh dear, how could I say no?  He told me his baby's favorite color was yellow, so we checked out my stash and came up with an intense egg yolk yellow.  Since he was spending the day, I started on it.  It was only about 14 inches wide, but Marty said it was too big, so I had to rip (again) and start over.  This was actually a good thing, because I only had to make it 12 inches, so it went a little faster.  Not fast enough for him though.  We were sitting on my front porch and he remarked that it sure was taking a long time!  Fast forward to dinner.  I was trying to bake something in the oven, I had food on the grill and something on the stove.  Older brother Jack was calling me to go outside on our deck, while Mickey was calling me from the bathroom.  In the midst of all this, Marty marches into the kitchen and demanded to know "Why aren't you knitting, Grandma?"!!!  Too funny.  The blanket did get finished the next day, but I didn't get a picture, since it was snatched up immediately.  I think this was the kick I needed to get going again.

As for that tee shirt, I started writing up the pattern, but I discovered that I didn't take enough notes.  I promise that it's really simple to knit, but not so simple to explain.  I also had a great idea for knitting and finishing the placket at the same time.  It's so much easier than trying to crochet around the edge.  I don't crochet well, and I know that I'm not alone.  The knitted placket looks nicer and lays nice and flat.  I have no choice but to knit another and try to clarify the instructions.  This afternoon looks to be quiet, so I'm hoping to be able to get going on it today!

Finally, here's at least one picture of a recent project that worked out!

This is Kathleen Taylor's pattern called "Purl When Ready" from her Big Book of Socks .  The yarn is Lorna Laces' Solemate.  Basically, you pick out a color and whenever you come to it,  you purl that one color.  It makes an interesting pattern.

You do have to pay attention though.  If you're engrossed in watching a tv movie, it's easy to forget that you're supposed to be purling a specific color!  I left the feet solid so it would be smooth inside shoes.  I did an eye of partridge heel and they are just fun, quick socks.  Jack wanted a rainbow and this meets that request.

I'll start to work on the shirt this afternoon.  I'd ask if anyone would like to test knit it, but since I intend to offer it for free, maybe I'll just post it as is and wait for feedback! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


First, I need to apologize for my last post if I gave the impression that I was going to permanently stop posting bib and cloth patterns.  I only meant that I was moving on to other things temporarily.  Apparently, this caused some confusion judging by the number of comments and personal emails I received.  I'm flattered to hear from so many of you, but I'm sorry if I scared you into commenting!

I'm still working on the t-shirt pattern.  I've knit a couple more, including this variation with a butterfly and an eyelet trim:

Check out the cute button:

I also did a plain version with a ladybug:

It's hard to see in this picture and I'm not as thrilled with it as I hoped I would be.

Both were knitted with Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme.  This is a worsted weight and may just be the softest yarn I've ever felt!  It's 100% cotton and is put up in 180 yard skeins.  It's wonderful to work with and each shirt only took one skein.  I didn't have a lot to spare when I was done, but I didn't feel like I was cutting it close either! 

I was inspired to make a ladybug soaker to match.

I found the pattern on Ravelry here.  It was so much fun to knit. Sandra has so many cute patterns and I can't wait to try a few more!

You only use two colors at a time.  I used Cascade Sport 220 which might not have been the best choice for a soaker.  However, because the yarn is stranded, it adds an extra layer to make up for the lighter weight.  When I reached the crotch, I needed to keep the thickness so I used the same method I do for the heels of socks.  First row is "slip 1, k1, etc" and the next row is purled.  I was pleased with the results and it's just a fluke that the butterfly shirt also matches the soaker!

As for the shirt pattern, I'm still trying to work out the kinks.  I can already tell that it needs to be longer, however, before I go any further, I need to have Baby Ruth (or "Babe Ruth" as she's known in our family) try it on.  It might be important to have a shirt that actually fits, don't you think?? 

Finally, I want to address a question that Ally left me in the comments.  She said she was having a problem with her I-cords looking neat.  I  have a couple of suggestions.  First, after you're done knitting them, give them a couple of good hard tugs.  Also you can do what I do and pin each end to an ironing board and stretch them out, then give them a good steaming.  Don't let the iron touch the fabric, but hold it above it and really hit it with steam.  This is also how I block my bibs.  Of course, you could always try using my crochet method.  Crocheting the ties is pretty easy and so fast.  I will admit that you almost always have to steam them with this method.  They look like curly fries otherwise.  Hope this helps!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Well, judging from the underwhelming response to my last two patterns, I guess I should just move onto something else.  Like baby t-shirts.  I searched for a pattern that would match up with the one I had in my mind, but nothing really came close.  As is the case for most of the things I do, I decided that the only way to get what I wanted was to do it myself! 

I hate sewing seams, so I knew I wanted a top down shirt, but I also wanted to be able to slip it off and on easily over baby's head.  This would require a placket.

Of course, I had to add a little design to the front.

And to the bottom:
I think it came out really cute.  You start at the neck and work back and forth, while also working the design on the front until the placket is deep enough, and then it's worked in the round until the depth of the armholes is reached.  You then slip the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn to work later and knit to the bottom.  I wanted small sleeves, so when I picked up the stitches, I just did the tiny ribbing at the edge to finish them off.  It was really simple.  The tricky part was figuring out how many stitches to cast on in the first place.  I was trying to avoid a Flashdance look!

I have tons of ideas for other designs, but one that popped into my head was this lacy one:
I love this version!  The lace will make it nice and cool on a summer day!  It's not completely finished as I haven't found the right button for it yet.  I finished the placket off by just single crocheting around the edge and making a buttonhole at the same time.  I thought it made more sense to finish it once I knew how big the button was.  I didn't want to have a loop that wouldn't stay on the button or one that wouldn't fit over a button!

The peach version has fewer stitches around the neck so it isn't as floppy.  I can see lots of things I'd like to improve upon.  Both versions are knit with cotton.  The aqua shirt is made from leftover yarn from the blanket.  (Jeannee by Plymouth).  The peach is Aslan Trends Pima Clasico.  It's supposed to be machine washable, but I haven't put it to the test yet!

I'm contemplating trying to write up the pattern, in case anyone else might be interested, however, I've never written a "sweater" pattern before so I'm not sure if I'd be any good at it.  I know what I did, but can I explain it well enough so you'd know too?  I can see that it would be fairly easy to adjust the size up or down, but if I decide to do it, I think I'll just stick with one size.  I've learned that I can't please everyone!