Thursday, April 30, 2009


Satisfaction is a finished 14 point tee that turned out just the way I wanted it to. Strictly speaking, this isn't really a tee anymore. I lengthened the arms and the body from what the pattern dictated and it's made of wool rather than cotton. But I've been calling it the 14 point tee for a month and a half, so I'm sticking with it.

The weather was perfect for our photo shoot this afternoon. The outside shots are from right outside our house, where I've been doing a lot of gardening the past several weeks. The inside shots were taken in our greenhouse.

I love this sweater. I love this sweater. I love this sweater. I also love the fact that there was so little finishing work...just a few ends to weave in really, and no blocking was necessary. I finished it at 11 pm last night and wore it to work today! This will be a well worn and well beloved wardrobe item, hopefully for years to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Barb's hat

I can take no credit for this hat. Barb, a friend from work, made it for another kiddo, and asked me to try it on Silas to see how it fit. I'd call it a success, Barb!
I just got Barb set up with a Ravelry account, where you can find her as grandmax, so this hat may just be the first project she posts...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Divide and Conquer

A few posts back, I was working on this sweater, the 14 point tee, and you may recall that I was uncertain about how the ruffled yoke would look once I divided for the sleeves and body. Well, see for yourself:

Personally, I am pleased with it and am very much looking forward to finishing and wearing it (just in time for summer, naturally). I decided to alter the pattern just a bit for the body. First of all, it was meant to be a straight body, with no shaping. I thought that would make the garment too boxy for me, so I decided to decrease after the bust line. In order to keep the continuity of the knit 4/purl 4 pattern, it was necessary to decrease 8 stitches on each side, for a total of 16 stitches decreased.
There's definitely some shape to it, and so I'm glad I did it. I have enough yarn, so I will also make the body longer than the 10 inches called for. It's about 11 inches as pictured above, and I will go at least 2 more. I know cropped is "in," but I hate having my midriff freeze during the winter months. I have a long torso, so adding some length will be a good thing.

Tonight, after the gardening is done for the day and the boy has been put to bed, I'll start on the sleeves. I'm hoping to have this completed soon, though I'm not sure what I mean by "soon." In my head, I think it may be defined as "Amber really wants to start on about 5 other projects and is really sick of basket weave, so let's get a move on."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Choo-Choo Cap

Thus named because I think it resembles a conductor's hat. This is the way-cute "Kiddie Cadet Cap" available free through Ravelry. I used Rowan All Seasons Cotton in a denim-like colorway. This was yarn from my stash, left over from the Eyelet Skirt I made about 4 years ago. The All Season's Cotton is perfect for Pacific Northwest weather. He literally can wear this all year round, but really, I made it so that he'd have something hand-knit to wear during the summer months. It will be a great hiking hat. I made the toddler size, which, surprise surprise, since he is a toddler, fits him very nicely. I was convinced it would be too small, however. Then, when I was just a few inches in, I thought it would be too big. I did take a gauge. I did, I really did! But it wasn't until I could plunk the partially finished hat on Si's head that I realized my fears were groundless and I could stop doubting both my gauge and the pattern. The garter stitch rim is a bit wider than the stockinette portion and were I to do this again, I'd go down a needle size for that part.

Other than that one minor thing, this was a great quick project. I love the short rows and the doubled over brim, and the overall look is great. He'll be a stylish young chap this summer.
Oh yes, and Silas also loves his Choo-Choo Cap. He even insisted on wearing it at the breakfast table this morning. (Man I love that misty-eyed, tousled-hair, just woke up look).
You know, I always feared that since I love to knit, I'd have the kind of kid who refused to wear what I made for him, especially hats. Another ungrounded fear, as you can see :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Something for the April (or May) baby

It seems that when the economy tanks, people stay home and make babies. Maybe that explains why I've got four babies to knit for this year. Three of them, including my sister's, are due in September, but my friend Anna's baby is up first, and is due this spring. The baby shower is on Saturday, and I just finished the above pictured hat and sweater set.

Silas is modeling the (way too small for him but isn't it still cute) Baby's cabled milk-silk cap from Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders. Instead of the milk yarn, I chose a luscious cotton/Tensel yarn from my stash. It is wonderfully soft and I'm so happy with the f/o. Cables. Gotta love 'em.

Below is the finished Baby's Pure and Simple Pullover from Weekend Knitting. This is a garter stitch sweater, but is constructed from side to side. In order to create the rolled edges, the pattern switches to a smaller needle and the last 4 stitches on the rs are purled. I found it a bit awkward to switch to the smaller needle every single row. I often forgot and damned if I could keep the smaller needle from sliding out all of the time. The effort was worth it though, as the effect is quite nice. Unfortunately, there is seaming involved in this sweater, but I really enjoyed the design otherwise, so I will overlook it. Oh, and lest I forget to mention it, the yarn used in the sweater is from my birthday gift stash. I almost went with the Hemp for Knitting yarn called for in the pattern. I had it in my hands and it was a lovely blue similar to the yarn I ended up with. Alas, it just didn't feel right. I know from all of those macrame hemp bracelets and necklaces I used to make "back in the day" that hemp gets much softer after repeated washes. And I wanted to use hemp, really I did. But I'm not going to wash this sweater 20 times before I give it as a gift this Saturday. I just can't imagine knitting something as a gift for someone else's baby that doesn't feel soft. So, regrettably, I put the hemp yarn down and found instead Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK, which is a cotton bamboo blend. It's a good color, knit up nicely, and most importantly, feels soft to the touch.

Hopefully, once Anna's baby makes his way into the world, and grows a bit, I'll be able to post a picture of him wearing this outfit.

One baby down...three more to go!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

16 point 14 point tee

Although I've temporarily set this project aside in order to whip out a couple of baby items in time for a fast approaching shower, I thought I'd write up a quick blog post about this sweater, which is about 15 % completed. As soon as I saw this design, the 16 point tee by Cathy Carron, in the winter/spring 2009 issue of Knitscene, I knew I wanted to use the Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed I'd been squirreling away for a rainy day. Unfortunately, the gauge was totally different from the suggested yarn, which means that I was forced to use my rudimentary math skills to adapt the pattern (casting on 72 stitches instead of 96, for instance).
This pattern is meant to have 16 increases in a round for the yoke; hense it's name. However, due to my alterations, I only need 14 increases a round.

I am uncertain as to how my slightly thicker yarn will affect the ruffle look that is inherent in the pattern. Will it be too much? Will it look too bulky, or just off a bit? There's really no way to tell until I am far enough along and can divide for the sleeves and start on the body. I am cautiously optimistic at this point. If it doesn't look right though, I will say a big fat thank-you to the top-down sweater gods that I only waisted several weeks, rather than a whole month on this. How bad would it suck to make the whole thing, only to have it look awful, because I wasn't able to try it on as I went along.

This yarn is really special to me. Tweed is my favorite, first of all, and this yarn is so very lovely. I also used some of it for my kiddo's farmland (the pasture area) and it creates the feeling of being in a warm meadow with a spring flower here and there. So, if it doesn't work out for this sweater, you can bet I'll be spending an evening ripping it out and re-balling it. Let us hope it doesn't come to that!