The St. Louis Connection
Last Christmas, I made hats and mittens for my son and his family in St. Louis. My son said he doesn’t wear hats often but did like having this warm one for walking the dog or shoveling snow. He said he would like to have ear flaps on his hat – not dorky ones with long string ties but something that would cover the ears well without pulling the hat down over the eyes. My younger daughter found the perfect free pattern for me:
I asked for head measurements and favorite colors and had a hat made for each one when they visited in October. I’ll have to say the hats are not flattering, but they’re very warm with a double thickness of garter stitch around the brim and 2-inch ear flaps.
When they sent me the measurements, they also included one for their dog, Sugar (as a joke, I’m sure). I found another free pattern which is basically a tube with ears. The pattern is called Humiliating the Dog and they do all look a little humiliated. But they will all have warm ears this winter.
My WIP (work in progress) this week is a child’s scarf made in a favorite pattern, #147 on the New-Stitch-A-Day site. This is an easy slip-stitch pattern that can be changed by count or color to give different two-color designs. Free pattern is found here: http://newstitchaday.com/how-to-knit-the-ridge-check-stitch/
I’m using #7 needles with a #4 white sparkly yarn and Lion Brand Lb. of Love #4 Bubblegum yarn.
Finished last week:
Used bulky #5 Premier Deborah Norville Collection yarn in a variegated Spring color and #9 circular needles. The turtleneck collar is turned down halfway in this photo. This is a free Ravelry pattern:
I also used the same pattern and needles to make another neckwarmer from bulky #5 Premier Deborah Norville Collection yarn in a variegated Gold color.
The cowls feature a new-to-me crocheted bind-off.
My WIP this week is a pair of Santa mittens for the Pine Ridge children. I saw a picture online of cute, easy mittens with a Santa face – no pattern – but it will be easy to adapt my favorite mitten pattern. I’ve completed the hat portion and part of the face, doing two-at-a-time. I’m using #4 worsted yarn and #7 circular needles. My “go-to” pattern for easy mittens is here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/handy-mittens—with-fingerless-option
I completed the lace portion of the cowl that I started last week and, as I feared, the lace work was not up to par. I unraveled it and finished off the piece as a short neck warmer.
I’m still looking for a good pattern for a neck warmer that extends down onto the chest (without lace).
I found a really cute, free, easy pattern on Ravelry.com for a baby sweater and used it to make 3 different versions for the Children of Pine Ridge.
The pattern is very clever in making a simple sweater with narrow sides and then adding a detachable panel. Buttons are sewn on the sweater portion and buttonholes are knitted into the panel. The first attempt was a 6-9 months baby sweater in a pretty “creamsicle” color, using the lace panel shown in the pattern. I’m not very good at knitting lace but this one turned out pretty well.
It’s very easy to make up another panel with a different design. I used a really nice cable bunny pattern to make this panel.
The second sweater was made with denim and light blue yarn for a 6-9 months boy size. In this case, I used snaps for the closure and just added a couple of buttons to the top of the panel for decoration.
The third pattern was an adaptation of a favorite baby sweater in which I made the sides narrow to accommodate the panel and used the bunny cable again along with nice buttons. This is for a 12-18 month child and has short sleeves for the spring/summer season.
This was an easy and fun pattern to use and adapt. A sweater along with several spare panels would make a nice gift.
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.
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).
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.
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.
This is a great, easy pattern for 5 basic shawl shapes: Square, Circular, Triangular, Semi-Circular, and Heart-Shaped. http://www.laylock.org/?s=5+basic+shawl+shapes
Each style begins with casting on three stitches and is worked to a full-sized shawl or stopped at any point for a smaller scarf, which I did. The pattern calls for garter stitch but can be made in any stitch or pattern you choose (be sure to knit 5 stitches on each end of each row to keep edges from curling). The size will depend on what yarn/needles are chosen.
I made a child’s size triangular scarf out of scraps of baby yarn (above) and an adult sized scarf with a vintage button added.
Note that the scarves are worked top-down and the beginning three stitches will form a part of the top of the scarf.
This is a fun project and a good way to use up small amounts of yarn.
My daughter recommended this pattern to me and I love it. I enjoy doing Fair Isle patterns and this one seems to go together especially well. It has become my favorite heart pattern, found on Ravelry.
I tried the pattern first on a hat in grey and peach worsted (pictured at the top). This is destined for the Pine Ridge Lakota drive that is held every fall to provide winter wear for the school children.
The second hat is in the required yarn/colors of the Iowa Special Olympics. I hope this will help a little girl keep her ears warm while competing.
I’ve made up my own chart for making this heart pattern in different colors because I know I’ll be using it often in all kinds of hand-knit items.
I like to work in color when knitting and early on found a good, free slip-stitch pattern that forms a brick design. The pattern was originally written for a dish cloth but was easy to convert into a soft, sweet baby blanket .
More recently, I used the same pattern for a scarf for the Arkansas group of Special Olympics. They specify the use of Red Heart yarn in colors of red, grey, black and white and I designed a scarf using these colors and incorporating the brick pattern.
This group asks for scarves and headbands and I included two headbands with Fair Isle patterns.
The free slip-stitch pattern is available at Ravelry.com
Knit Freedom offers a good class on slip-stitch/mosaic knitting for a fee: http://knitfreedom.com/classes/double-knitting