2015, Baby, cable projects, Cables, hat, Knitting for Boys, Sweaters

And the set is complete!

After I made the pretty, little sweater and was still left with a good half ball of yarn, I decided to make a hat to go with the sweater. I wanted one which would go with the sweater – with similar cables. Luckily, I found just the right pattern: Cable Baby Hat. I tried looking for a pattern with earflaps, but when my search didn’t turn up a good one (with cables similar to the one in Sunnyside cardigan), I gave up and settled for this one. I could have used a plain, earflap hat pattern and added this cable myself, but that wouldn’t be mindless knitting, would it?

The hat was a quick and easy knit. I liked how the designer blended in the decreases with the cables. By the look of it, I feel the hat is too long, but that should be okay. Long hats can be worn with folded brims, short ones are a problem.

Like the sweater, the hat is warm and soft. Cables are much better on the hat, but still not sharp enough for my liking. That cute little pom-pom is husband’s contribution. He is the resident pom-pom expert.

Next came the booties. I didn’t bother searching for a pattern for booties with cables, because I knew what pattern I would follow. I have made Ruth’s Perfect Baby Booties atleast a dozen times now and they have never failed me.

They are seamed, which I can live with, but what I love about these booties are they stay on little baby feet. I made 3-4 pairs for my own baby and never once have I seen the booties slide down.

I did think of incorporating cables into the booties, but dropped the idea as I was aiming for mindless knitting.

With the booties done, the set is now complete.

My hands are itching to cast on for a baby blanket, but my mind likes to remind them that there is no way I can knit up a baby blanket in two month’s time. Not with all the things going around right now.

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2015, Baby, cable projects, Cables, Cardigan, Flat knitting, Gifts, Knitting for Boys, seamless, Sweaters

New Beginnings

Change is the only constant thing, said a wise man once. Some are welcome changes, some not so much. One change which always is welcome is the addition to a family, i.e. arrival of a baby. Don’t try to read something between the lines which doesn’t exist because I am talking about a friend. I have known him for over a decade now. I met him at my very first job, as part of a cultural event. We both are book lovers, so we naturally went onto become friends. Long after I quit that job and hopped onto a few more, we kept in touch, even if it is just for talking about books. He would buy gifts and books for my son, which was very heartwarming. Our friendship strengthened when he went on to marry a friend of mine. Two strong, independent persons coming together to start a new relationship, of which I was somehow part of. My joy knew no bounds. And when the couple called to tell me they are expecting, the first thing that came to my mind (even before I yelled Congratulations!) was what am I going to knit for the baby. I wanted to translate the warm relationship I share with the couple to the knitted items. I didn’t know how, but the knitted items needed to represent the relationships.

A quick dive through my stash turned up this yarn. The softest yarn in the most pleasant colors. I had picked this up on my visit to Singapore and was saving it for a baby to come by and claim it. I wanted this to be a relaxed knit, so my own design was out of the question. Sunnyside pattern seemed like a good choice. I see the twisting cables as the way our lives are twisted together, not in a messy, knotty kind of way, but in a way that looks beautiful and feels warm.

The stockinette part of Sunnyside is easy, and the cables keep it from becoming boring. Top-down, raglan construction with cozy, garter bands on the neckline, sleeve cuffs and the buttonbands.

As much as I love this yarn and can’t get enough of its softness, I did not like it for this pattern. The yarn is loosely plied, to an extent that it is splitty and the cables don’t stand out enough. I still like the end result. It may not be dense and sharp as I like my sweaters to be, but it is soft and warm, which I think babies will prefer.

I still have about half the ball of yarn left, so there will be a hat and may be booties in the near future.

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Sunnyside
Yarn: Patons Australia Big Baby 4 Ply

 

 

2014, cable projects, Flat knitting, New Design, New Pattern, pattern, seamless

New Pattern: Texo Shawl

This blog post is way too late, but better late than never, eh?

I was on cloud nine the whole of last week. My feet were barely touching the ground. And with good reason. I had a pattern published by Quince. drumroll. At this point in my designing career, this comes as a much needed opportunity to reach a wider audience and also to know how publishing works.

Quince and team (special mention to Jerusha for putting up with my too frequent mails) were so easy and helpful to work with. I was apprehensive since this was the first time I was working with them, but they never made me feel out of place. Jerusha, the lovely lady she is, always replied cheerfully to my emails, even when she had to give me a bad news.

This was also my first time working with Quince yarn and the experience was equally pleasant. Tern is perfect for texture and the color Quince chose for this design shows off the cable texture very well. Photos are gorgeous, as always with Quince.

Photo © Quince and Co.

Texo Shawl is knit using fingering weight yarn and is knit from the top down, starting from a garter stitch tab. The shawl shown in the photo is 60″ deep with 26″ wingspan. It is perfect for chilly summer evenings. A knitter on Ravelry is knitting this as a nursing cover! You can buy a copy of Texo Shawl on Ravelry or on Quince’s website.

cable projects, Cables, Cardigan, Knitting

A weekend well spent

We had a long weekend over here in India, owing to October 2nd being a national holiday. I had planned to get a lot of things done over these holidays (one of them being taking long naps, which I did to the fullest) and I am happy I could finish many of those things.

My Bernina had been giving me angry looks every time I caught a glimpse of her and rightfully so. I have hardly put her to use ever since I got her home. I decided to set things right and planned to make a fitted bedcover for a foldable bed we have. I used this tutorial which is very clear and helpful for sewing noobs like me. Even though I followed the rule of ‘measure twice, cut once’, I still ended up with a cover which was too loose. I am guessing my elastic turned out too short for the length/breadth of the cover. I had to add some strings for a good fit. I will not show you the ugly side, but leave you with the beautiful one. It does look good, eh?

I wanted a cable for a new design I am working on. I swatched some 3-4 cable stitch patterns before finding something I liked. Found the cable, got the gauge, crunched some numbers, cast on and the garment is half done. Good progress!

I finally, finally, finally finished the body and started working on the collar on my Big Hira, which is the adult version of Hira.

Yarn is the yummy Madelinetosh Pashmina in Winter Wheat colorway. I got these pearls from Itsy Bitsy and I think they go really well with the yarn.

I have been wanting to make some stitch markers of my own since ages. I got all the material long back, but never had the time to sit down and make some markers. Hubby taught me everything from holding the pliers to twisting the wire. I am very happy with how these turned out. This deserves a separate post, so leaving you with a sneak peek.

After the well spent weekend, I am back to work with a lot of energy. I wish we had more such weekends in the future. How was your weekend?

cable projects, circular knitting, Finished Object, Flat knitting, Gifts, Knitting

Mrs. Redjeans

I am very lucky to have a supportive family. Be it my decision to work after having a kid, or taking up a new exercise regimen or my hobby – my family is very supportive. My mother-in-law especially loves the fact that I knit. She does a bit of crochet here and there, but she thinks my knitting skills are really good. She hasn’t seen any projects from other knitters who are far more better than me, so she is blissfully ignorant and I don’t want to correct her. When my biggest admirer requested for a sweater, I just had to do it.

I looked through a lot of patterns and finally decided on Mr GreenJeans by Amy Swenson (ravelry link). I liked the way cables add shaping to the cardigan. I thought this will be flattering on a typical Indian woman (read pear shaped). A very well written pattern, seamless (yay!!!) and is generous on the different sizes. For those with little girls, the same pattern is available for little girls too.

 

I have knit raglan cardigans before for babies, but was not sure how it will look for an older woman. When my mom tried this on, all my doubts vanished – it looked great on my mom. The neck is too deep for my taste, but looks good. I added buttons all the way down to make the cardigan more practical. The only problem I had with this cardigan is the button band. The bands are knit after picking up stitches along the edges of the body and are worked in 2 x 2 rib.  Since this rib is stretchy, it pulled the body stitches along with it and the cardigan looks like it is crunching up its nose and making faces at me. The buttons try to keep the ribbing in place, but it doesn’t help the look.

Yarn is from Surya Emporium, Commercial Street. It’s a 4-ply Vardhaman acrylic yarn. I held double to get the gauge. The yarn is soft and squishy and has great stitch definition. I had bought this yarn to make a baby blanket and chose this color because it was neutral, yet cheerful. I have been using this yarn over and over again, but it still doesn’t get over. I have another 100 gms of yarn left! Buttons are from Pydal. I think the yellow ones add a bit of variety to the monotonous red color.

The sweater was a Diwali gift to my mother-in-law and she loved it. Mumbai has been especially cold this winter and she is making a good use of her gift.

Pattern: Mr. Greenjeans by Amy Swenson (Rav Link)
Yarn: 4-ply Acrylic in Red bought at Surya Emporium
Needles: US 5 3.5mm. Straights for the body and DPNs for sleeves
Buttons: 4 numbers from Pydal
Ravelry Project Page

 

cable projects, circular knitting, Finished Object, Flat knitting, Knitting, Sweaters

The Lazy Syndrome Pullover

Scene: Surya Emporium, Commercial Street
Date: 3rd December 2008

After going through hundreds and thousands of men’s pullover patterns, I pick some patterns which I like. I finalize one pattern which is liked by me and my hubby. With a tummy which looks more like an overgrown watermelon, I and hubby go to Surya Emporium to buy yarn. I have 8-ply yarn in mind so that the knitting will go faster and have one particular shade in mind. The store guy gives us the sad news that all the newly arrived yarn is tucked away in their storeroom which happens to be on the fourth floor. ‘Can Madam manage?’ he asks eying my tummy sideways. ‘Oh yes’ I declare and off we go for a trip up the stairs which go on endlessly. I pant and heave and finally reach the storeroom. I buy the yarn I want and head back home.

Scene: My Living Room
Date: 4th December 2008

I have the pattern printed out, yarn wound and the needles ready. I decide to make a swatch, the very first time in my life. After going up and down some needle sizes, I finally get the desired gauge. With this big achievement, I cast on for the sweater and knit a few rows.

Scene: My Living Room
Date: 6th December 2008

My tummy realizes that it can’t get any more bigger and decides to spit the little one out. The little boy arrives and the sweater is long forgotten.

Scene: Home
Date: December 2008 – September 2009

The hubster’s attempts at reminding me of the pullover I was planning to make for him were met with ‘Sweater? What sweater?’ Sometimes it was , ‘Hubby? Who hubby?’ He gave up after a few futile attempts.

Scene: Home
Date: October 2009

Bangalore is getting colder by the day. Hubby decides enough is enough. He fishes out the abandoned sweater, prints out the pattern and handing over the yarn, gives me a stern warning, ‘Make this for me… or else’. I knit on endlessly. I modified the pattern to knit the sweater in round. Who likes seaming, right? The cables, twists and turns are very beautiful and keeps my interest piqued for the entire duration. I complete the body in a month. It was an achievement, considering I have a 10-month old baby coming in the way. I looked at the pullover without the sleeves in awe and imagine how it would look like with sleeves.

Scene: New Home
Date: November 2009

20th is hubby’s birthday. I promise myself that I will finish the sweater for him and gift it to him on his birthday. I procrastinate over how to make the sleeves. Should I pick up stitches at the armhole and knit in round? Should I knit the sleeves in round separately and then sew them on? How about just following the pattern and knit them flat? Days were lost in making this decision. Birthday came and went and not a single stitch was added to the sweater.

Scene: New Home
Date:  December 2009

Another stern warning from hubby and I say ‘Let’s get it done with’. I finally decide to follow the pattern and knit the first sleeve flat. The sleeve is done and is admired. I mock attach the sleeves to the sweater and imagine how the second sleeve would look like. Another few days of laziness and another request from hubby ‘It’s really cold now. Can I have my sweater now?’ I sit down and knit like crazy and finish the second sleeve. Lest I lose the steam, I sew the seams, finish the neck band, wash and block. Phew. The pullover, ladies and gentlemen, is finished.

This is a beautiful pattern. Kathy Zimmerman loves cables and it shows. The main cable panel in the middle looks complicated, but is so easy to knit. The smaller, running cables at the sides add a border like look to the main panel. The sweater has the same cable pattern on the back too. The K1,P3 ribbing adds texture to the body and the sleeves. On the whole, one awesome pattern to knit and wear.  I personally don’t like wearing cables, but that’s a different story. My husband, on the other hand, loooooves cables, so he is happy and so am I.

Baby, cable projects, Finished Object, Flat knitting

Baby Blanket

After knitting booties, socks, hats and sweaters, it was time to knit a baby blanket. I started making Tetris blanket but had to frog it. It was time to search for a new pattern again. After scanning through all the patterns on Ravelry (thanks to advanced search feature, it is so so useful), I decided I will have to make up my own. For some reason or the other, I didn’t like any of the readily available patterns. I liked the honeycomb stitch pattern of Sarah’s Honeycomb vest. A swatch turned out well, so the stitch pattern for my blanket was finalized. I decided to do a seed stitch border because I thought it would go well with the honeycomb pattern. Yarn was bought at Surya Emporium, Commercial Street. They have the widest range of 8-ply yarns. A swatch or two, a little bit of math and I had all the stuff required to knit up the blanket.

It took me a month to knit this blanket. I did knit some baby stuff in between, so I knit the blanket on and off. The pattern stitch was easy to remember, only two cable rows in one repeat and most importantly, the cable is easy enough to knit without using cable needles. Knitting Help’s video was really helpful. Now that I finally managed to learn swapping stitches without using cable needles, I don’t want to knit cables in any other way.

The finished blanket measures 29″ x 35″ and it turned out well. I love the texture and the color is perfect for this stitch pattern. There is one small complaint, though. The honeycomb stitch is elastic where as seed stitch is not. So, the blanket is wider at the edges and it looks a bit out of shape. I should have cast on lesser number of stitches for the border and should have increased for the honeycomb pattern. Or else, I should have opted for an elastic border, may be ribbing. I will keep that in mind, but for now I can’t stop ogling at the blanket.