2012, Child, circular knitting, Colorwork, Knitting for Boys, New Design, New Pattern, seamless

New Pattern: Filo

FILO are FIngerless GLOves with a simple and attractive all-over colowork pattern. FILO keep a toddler’s hands warm, leaving the fingers free for the child’s busy exploration. These unisex fingerless gloves are ideal for knitters who want to attempt colorwork since every row is knit with a single color. These are great stash busters to use up the left over sock yarn from other projects.

Ravelry Pattern: Filo by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Knit Picks Palette
Needle Size: US #3 3.25 mm

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2012, Baby, Baby Blanket, circular knitting, Finished Object, New Design, New Pattern

400+ stitches…


After working on a large project for a good 40 days and when you bind off the last row with 400+ stitches with a mixture of relief and anxiety, only to realize your bind off row was so tight it is making the blanket’s edge flip over and you have to frog the 400+ stitches, pick them up and reknit them with a stretchier bind-off, I am not sure whether you should feel sad that you wasted an hour on this project or happy that it is over. I am going with the latter because thank Bob this blanket is done.

 

Also, when you are working on a center-out blanket, when the initial rows fly off the needles, do you tell yourself ‘wow, I have reached half the size already, so I will be done with this in 1 week’ even when that little voice in your head is telling you, ‘but every row will be longer by 2 sts, so there is no way this will be done in 1 week’, you ask it to shut up anyway? Yeah, that would be me. There is the little voice again saying ‘I told you so’. Shut up already!

2012, Child, circular knitting, Finished Object, Flat knitting, Knitting, Knitting for Boys, seamless

Wonderful Wallaby

Some patterns get very popular in the knitting world and before you know it, every knitter you know is working on that pattern. EZ’s Ferbruary Baby Sweater and her Baby Surprise Jacket are some of the evergreen projects which find new admirers everyday and the project count just keeps going up. I never felt any special pull towards these two patterns, but what did catch my eye was the Wonderful Wallaby. The cheerful and chubby model might have had some hand in pulling at my heart strings, but the pattern itself is neat.

Even though the Ravelry pattern page says this is available for US $7, there is no way you can buy it online, even if you are willing to shell out that money. The pattern is carried only by LYSs, so there was no way I could get a copy. I had lost my heart completely for this pattern, so I had to have it no matter what. RAK group on Ravelry came to the rescue and a wonderful knitter sent me the scanned pattern.

The pattern is nothing like the ones I have seen before. It does not follow a format and does not have sections like ‘Gauge’, ‘Materials’, ‘Yoke’ etc. It is written in conversational style as if the pattern creator is chatting with you over a cup of tea. There are hand drawn pictures of kangaroos knitting which adds to the pattern’s charm.

The pullover is knit from bottom up. Body is knit upto yoke, sleeves are knit separately and then joined and decreased to form the yoke. There is a group dedicated to this pattern, Wonderful Wallaby KAL, where there is an ongoing KAL and people can join whenever they want. This group has a wealth of knowledge on Wallaby. People have pooled in their modifications, tips, errata they found in the pattern and are always eager to help a newbie out. Some veterans on that group have made multiple Wallabys and are experts on this pattern.

I used the group as a resource and made a lot of modifications myself. I used seed stitch border instead of garter stitch. There is a kangaroo pouch (hence the name Wallaby) which I knit seamlessly, following a fellow knitter’s helpful instructions. My pullover turned out big (I started this in that ancient era where I used to be a bad girl and did not swatch, ha!), in fact so big, that even though it is a year since I knit this, it still does not fit N. I am hoping it will atleast be useful come next winter.

N is thrilled that it has a pouch and that too, an open one in which his hands meet. He is making plans on what to hide in his secret pocket.

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Wonderful Wallaby by Carol A. Anderson
Yarn: Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Needles: US 5 3.75 mm

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

 

Baby, circular knitting, Finished Object, Gifts, Girls, Knitting, Lace

Gifted!

I hardly find time to knit these days and even less for blogging. When Elena blogged about needing test knitters for her latest designs, I decided to sign up. One, her designs are adorable and who wouldn’t want to knit them? Two, working on a deadline will pack in a few more minutes of knitting time into my daily schedule. Three, I had to knit something for a little girl as a gift.

French Me is adorable. I liked it the moment I saw the photos on Elena’s blog. The top knits up quickly and looks very cute. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I love the construction technique in this one. The neckband is knit in round and the stitches are divided for front and back pieces. These are knit flat separately and once you are done with armholes, join them and knit the rest of the body in round. Isn’t that clever? The top has a lacy and plain version. In my opinion, the lace one adds that French look to it. The pattern comes in many sizes. If you are looking for a quick gift for a little lady, look no further. Gosh, I am sounding like those old ads on radio!

Remember that adorable girl who was the recipient of the Feather and Fan blanket? And also the pretty pink sweater? She turned one recently and I had to give her something handmade. The top I test knit was the perfect choice because her mom likes to dress her up only in sleeveless frocks. This top can be worn as a single garment (over tights may be) or can be a good layering element also. When I gave this to Sanskriti, she went bonkers. She liked it so much, she was carrying it around like a toy. When her mom wanted to try it on, she just wouldn’t let her touch it. This was the best ‘thank-you’ I got from a kid! It really feels good when you are efforts are appreciated.

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, circular knitting, Finished Object, hat, Knitting, RAK, short rows

The RAK Hat

When I took up knitting as a hobby, I never realized it will affect and touch my life in so many ways. Ravelry (for those who don’t know, it is a site where knitters come together and knit and chat and do all sorts of things) has increased my friends circle. I met other talented knitters in Bangalore who motivate me to challenge myself in knitting and who urge me to learn crochet. The local group of knitters, fondly called The Bangalore Brigade, meet quite often, though I miss out on most of the meets. Whenever we meet (invariably in Cafe Coffee Day), we gossip, knit, show off our knitted objects, admire others’ work of art and drool over recent yarn possessions. Some sweet ladies even bring gifts for others. In short, my life is rocking, thanks to knitting and Ravelry.

Another important change that knitting has brought in is to bring together knitters across the world. A group called Random Acts of Kindness on Ravelry is especially responsible for this. It is a group of knitters who want to do small gestures of kindness by fulfilling other knitters’ wishes, knitting-related or otherwise.  Non-acrylic yarn is a luxury in India, so a common wish from Indian knitters is yarn. So, when I posted a wish for yarn around 2 years ago, many knitters sent me packages with yarn. Yarn in all possible colors and hues, in hanks and skeins and balls. The yarn that I used to make this hat comes from the same pool of RAKed yarn. The pattern is a RAK from Terri (Azlynn on Ravelry). No prizes for guessing why I call this The RAK Hat.

I was treasuring the yarn all this while and finally and thought it right to use it for this pattern. The Rushty hat looks cute on Ninad and keeps him warm.  The pattern is quick and well written. The earflaps are made using short row techniques and I thought it was really cool. No seaming, just knitting in round and the ear flaps sit snugly on the ears. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a pattern for kid’s hat.

Three unrelated knitters across the world came together to make this hat possible and that is the beauty of knitting and Ravelry.