I store all kinds of things about cooking, knitting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Category Archives: Knitting

 

In the fall of 2017, I found a pattern on Ravelry that has become my favorite for a baby or toddler sweater. The free pattern is here:  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-sophisticate-2. I bought an additional pattern for children’s sizes and there is also a pattern for purchase for adult sizes.

It’s just a nice, practical, comfortable-looking sweater with a shawl collar. I have only been knitting for two years and often run into sections of patterns that are difficult, but this one was manageable from start to finish.

I made one sweater in the three-month size in a pretty seafoam color and added a matching hat, pictured above.

I also made three toddler (2-3 years) sweaters in dark blue …

…a tan and brown with a checkerboard panel …

…and a red one with fuzzy white trim. On this one, the white, fluffy yarn was so difficult to work with that I just used it as trim and didn’t make the large collar.

On a pattern like this with a lot of increases, I type out a chart like the one below that will tell me how many stitches will be in each section and a total for the end of the row. In this case, when the increases are finished on row 7 there will be 6 stitches on the right and left sides of the sweater, 14 stitches each for sleeves and 26 stitches for the back – total of 66 stitches. In this case, there are 32 rows with the correct number of stitches.  Taking the time to type up this reference and have it with me as I’m knitting saves me from making errors and cuts down on frustration.

INCREASES:
ALTERNATING 8 AND 10 INC – ODD ROWS
EVEN ROWS PURL

R1      2 8 20 8 2                                  40 STS
R3     3 10 22 10 3                               48 STS
R5     5 12 24 12 5                                58 STS
R7     6 14 26 14 6                                66 STS

This is a really nice pattern, enjoyable to knit, and makes good, warm sweaters for the Pine Ridge children.


From the day I started knitting two years ago, Ravelry.com has been an important source of information, patterns and guidance. The one Ravelry benefit I did not use was logging my projects for my present and future reference. I liked reading other people’s project notes but it sounded like too much trouble when I was already struggling with knitting something usable.

Now, that I make 5-10 “usable” items a week, depending on size and how complicated they are, I thought it might be worthwhile to start logging my new projects on January 1, 2018, and started with a very easy baby bib and washcloth pattern – free on Ravelry.

I used this free pattern to make a bib in yellow and in a blue/pink blend, cotton yarn (pictured above).

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mapledr61/grandmothers-favorite-baby-bib/edit

The charity where I send my baby items mentioned particularly liking to receive washcloths so I used another free pattern to make one to match the blue/pink yarn.

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mapledr61/baby-washcloth/edit

Both of these are quick, easy items to knit and would make a nice shower or baby gift.

I have several more projects in various stages that are logged into my account.  If I’m careful to note all of the details, it will be an invaluable source of information for me.  Another good reason to be a Raveler.

https://www.ravelry.com/

 


I made the slippers pictured above (one of each pictured) for my two daughters last year and liked the pattern so much, I made many, many slippers in various sizes throughout the year for the children of Pine Ridge in South Dakota. This is the basic pattern:

http://www.needlebeetle.com/free/aadb.html

This pattern is very easy to adapt to other sizes using your preferred yarn/needles by changing the size of the sole of the slipper. The length of the slipper leg can also be changed.

In the past month, I’ve made 5 different sizes for children …

I even made a pair of moccasins for my American Girl-type doll which my daughter had dressed for Thanksgiving…

This is an easy pattern and easily adapted using your stitches per inch gauge and the measurement of the foot. I also made a change to make the toe less pointy and impish. In my design, when doing the decreases in the foot, I stop 4 stitches before the center marker, knit two together, knit two, move marker, knit two and SSK (slip/slip/knit). This makes a rounded toe.

Depending on your busy schedule, there may still be time to knit up a pair of slippers before Christmas.


This is a really cute, free pattern I used last Christmas with less than a year’s experience in knitting. I had no problems and thought they turned out well – something a little different from the usual holiday decorations.  Here is the link:  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jolly-old-elves

I used two difference sizes of yarn and needles to get two different sizes from the same pattern.

The larger elf (about 8 inches tall) was made with #4 worsted yarn and #5 circular needles.


The smaller elf (about 6 inches tall) was made with DK or sport weight yarn #3 and #3 circular needles.

I gave one to each of my daughters along with a gift card for a special Christmas morning gift.


I have a lot of beautiful shawls which my younger daughter has made for me and I struggle a bit with shawl pins which tend to get caught in the knitting and snag.  I happened upon a YouTube tutorial which shows how to sew two buttons back-to-back and make a button toggle closure which will slip in and out of existing spaces in a shawl without any snagging.  The  shawl can also be worn open and the button is a pretty accessory.
The button that goes on the outside of the shawl can be any size you like.  I have a great assortment of vintage buttons and picked out four to demonstrate.  The button underneath needs to be small enough to pass through an opening in the edge of the shawl but big enough to hold it in place.  This can be any kind of plain small button.  The buttons are sewn together with strong thread, leaving a small amount of “give” in the center.
I asked the daughter who has made these gorgeous shawls to pose for photos to give an idea of how the buttons look, installed.  First, a dark pink shawl …
…a lovely blue one …
…a maroon version …
…and a big, comfy orange one.  (I think daughter was getting tired of posing by this time.)
This tutorial gives clear instructions of making these closures which would be nice additions to any holiday shawls and scarves being gifted this year.

 

 


Finally!  A summer’s worth of knitting has been washed, dried, tagged and is ready to mail to the children of Pine Ridge.  Every fall, there is a special drive to gather enough items to give each of the K-12 school children a warm hat, scarf and mittens.  This year, I made 5 large teenage scarves, 9 children’s scarves …
…4 hoods with neckwarmers …
…3 large teenage hats, 1 child’s hat, 2 ear warmers, and 2 pair of mittens
Now, they’re on the way to the Pine Ridge children for the long cold winter in South Dakota.
https://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge

A few years ago, I made a fabric box, quilted and embroidered, for my daughter who is an avid knitter, cat lover and Chicago Cubs fan.  Her old cat, Snickers, has grown more eccentric as she ages (as we all have) and now insists on positioning herself on the box.

 

The box has suffered a bit …

…but Snickers shows absolutely no shame.