My WIP (work in progress) this week is a cowl, one of several I’m auditioning to see if I can find a nice one to make as Christmas gifts. This is a free Ravelry pattern (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baa-baa-huey-handspun-gradient-cowl) which is written for gradient yarn, but I’m using bits of scrap yarn to make mine.
For this portion, I’m using #5 circular needles and Lion Brand Pound of Love #4 thin yarn. So far, it’s within my early-intermediate skill level and working out nicely. I’ll soon be going into a lace portion which usually gives me trouble.
My finished project for last week was another cowl made in a child’s size from a free Ravelry pattern, https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-green-elf-cowl. I used #7 circular needles and Lion Brand Pound of Love #4 thin yarn. I had my usual problems with lace but it’s a very nice, well written pattern – the problems were totally my fault. It’s not exactly what I was looking for but makes a good neck warmer.
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.
I enjoy going to thrift shops and looking for vintage collectibles and china, and since I’ve been knitting have found some good bargains in yarn. Since 90% of my knitting is for charity, I appreciate finding some nice yarn at a good price. I was thrilled to find a large plastic bag filled with 17 unopened skeins of Caron Premium yarn in off-white for only $10.00.
I envisioned soft, fluffy baby blankets for my Lakota Indian group and was disappointed when I made a trial swatch to find that the yarn was thick and rather stiff when knitted. So much for fluffy baby blankets and I made a dishcloth, a table mat and a floor mat. The yarn worked OK for these projects but I had a lot of yarn and didn’t want to make any more cloths or mats. Then, I thought it might make a good, strong market bag to carry all the fresh corn and melons I buy at the farmer’s market every summer. My daughter had a nice pattern for a seamless tote bag that is knit in one piece from the bottom up. The pattern called for 4mm (#6 US) needles and cotton or DK (baby/sport) yarn. I used #6 needles with my thick, sturdy yarn and following the pattern for the bag portion exactly, made a very thick, sturdy market bag. I changed the pattern a bit for the handle which my daughter had made and found to be stretchy. I made two long I-cords, doubled them and stitched to the center front and center back of the bag to form a shopping bag shape.
The design pattern is easy and the project is a good one to work on while watching TV or visiting with friends.
Using the thinner yarn would have produced a bag 13 inches wide x 14 inches deep. My bag turned out to be 18 inches wide x 17 inches long.
Here is the link for the tote bag:
…and here is a You Tube tutorial on how to make an I-cord. This is another project that is mindless and good for knitting when there might be distractions. I used the same needle and yarn size to make the I-cord as I used for the bag.
This is another pattern from designer Marianna Mel on Ravelry.com. The pattern was written to fit a baby of around 3 months, but I used #7 needles and Premier acrylic yarn (color – Cake) to make a dress to fit a baby 6-9 months old.
The dress buttons in the back.
The skirt in the pattern is a simple, pretty lace, but I wanted to try out a pleated look using a knit 5/purl 2 garter stitch.
My older daughter crocheted the small flowers for the dress and hat.
The hat is a basic pattern done in the knit 5/purl 2 design.
This is a good pattern for an advanced beginner and turns out so cute. It should do well going into the spring months for the South Dakota Pine Ridge baby who receives it.
See Ravelry.com for information on the Lakota group, The Children of Pine Ridge.
On December 6th, our family celebrates St.Nicholas with the exchange of small gifts, candy and homemade cookies. This year, my two daughters will receive dorm boots/slippers instead of stockings. I found a wonderful pattern on Needle Beetle called Aunt Alm’s Dorm Boots.
Instructions are given for various sizes and I started out making children’s slippers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children in South Dakota. Their Sacred Shawl project which helps young mothers and children in abusive situations, particularly asked for warm slippers for their very cold winters.
I consider them suitable knitting for an advanced beginner and made two more sets for my daughters. I made these with Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool) which makes them easy to wash and dry. I tried one on to be sure they were close to the size I wanted.
The ssk stitch (slip, slip, knit) forms the “V” shape on the front of the sock, which I like a lot. See the YouTube link below for a tutorial on this stitch. The pattern is written for double-pointed needles but I work better with circular needles and I found the pattern easy to adapt and the slippers easy to knit.
Several of my blogging friends have kindly asked if I am OK since my blog posts have been few and far between this year. I’m happy to report that I’m doing pretty well but moving very slowly and not getting too much done. I have spinal stenosis issues which have forced me to give up quilting (except for very small items) and experimental cooking (which I’ve always loved) but I’m doing fine for an octogenarian, I think.
One thing I’ve been able to do comfortably is to continue my newfound hobby of knitting. About 95% of the knitting is for charities and one of my newer ones is the Pine Ridge Children’s group in South Dakota. I found them through Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge They need and appreciate everything that is warm and comforting which gives me an opportunity to make a variety of clothing. I especially enjoy knitting for babies and preschoolers. These are some of the items I finished in the past couple of weeks which will soon be on their way to a home for mothers and children who have escaped abusive situations.
This vest is the largest size piece of clothing I’ve made so far – will fit a boy age 6-7.
This poncho is for a little girl about 4 or 5 and I hope she likes the doggy buttons.
I have some more projects ready to launder and, of course, a couple of things “on the needles”. I’m grateful that I can be doing something useful that I enjoy.
This summer, my younger daughter and I discovered a charity which accepts all kinds of cold weather items for their children on a Lakota Indian reservation in South Dakota. They have very severe winters and say they are under-served at this location, grateful for anything hand-knit or crocheted that will help keep the children warm. Unlike most of the charities we support, they accept not only acrylic but also wool and wool blend items and are currently trying to get enough scarves and mittens to supply each of their children in grades K-12. In August, we mailed some items I had made…four hats, four pr. mittens and two scarves.
In addition, my daughter contributed 11 hats, 12 pr mittens and 10 scarves.
As of this date, they have collected enough hats but still need lots of scarves and mittens. Today, I’ll be mailing 5 beautiful pairs of mittens from my daughter …
I contributed 3 scarves …
…one scarf/mitten set ….
…two neck warmers ….
…and one neck warmer/hat/mitten set.
We’ll continue to work on items for this project until they reach their goal, hopefully by November 1.
This is the link through Ravelry: