Category Archives: Flat knitting

New Pattern: Hira

Around a year back, when I saw the Quilted Lattice Stitch in one of the Barbara Walker’s Treasury books, I knew I had to use this for a girl’s cardigan. I was in love with the collared-open-look cardigans and this stitch seemed to be perfect for that. I made my first sample using sports weight yarn and was mighty pleased with the result. I worked on grading and released the pattern to testers. While the testers testing the smaller sizes were very happy with the cardigan, the bigger sizes had a problem of the raglan edge puckering up. It was so bad for the biggest two sizes that I was completely disappointed with my designing (or lack of) skills. As I continued to knit from other designers’ patterns and work on my own design skills, I realized what was the problem with the original Hira. I redid everything using fingering weight yarn, re-graded, got it re-tested and I present you Hira take two.

Ravelry Pattern: Hira by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Fine
Sizes: Chest size 18″ – 32″


I used SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Fine in Pomegranate colorway. The different shades of pink and purple in this colorway are soft and subtle. These pictures do not do justice to the amazing colors, but I had to be satisfied with these. Felicia of SweetGeorgia yarns is so sweet (is it why the yarn name has ‘sweet’ in it?) and agreed to send me some yarn for the sample. The yarn is buttery soft, has lovely stitch definition and the silk content adds a shine and drape to this. Knitting with this yarn was a pleasure in itself. The stitches just glide over the needles like butter.

I made the non-beaded version, but one of my testers, Steph, made the beaded one and I love it. Her choice of yarn color and the beads work so well, do you agree?

I am so pleased with this cardigan that I am planning to make one for myself. Do you think this cardigan will work in adult sizes? Would you do any modification to make this work for bigger girls?

New Pattern: Quilla Stole

I tried my hand at dyeing some time back and got two hanks of beautiful mohair yarn. I was very grateful to Di for hosting the dye-a-long and also for the moral support. When she announced she is moving to Kolkata, I decided I had to make something for her from the dyed yarn. She is a super talented knitter and crocheter, so I couldn’t just make a set of coasters, so I thought of coming up with something of my own. A quick skim through the stitch dictionaries gave me this beautiful lace stitch which looked great with mohair yarn. Thus, Quilla was born.

Pattern: Quilla Stole
Yarn: Lace or fingering or sport weight
Needles: Depends on the yarn weight you choose
Sizes offered: 10″ x 70″
Yardage: ~430 yards

I used laceweight mohair and I think it looks good. I might be biased, though! The lace pattern is open enough to accommodate the mohair’s halo.

One of my test knitters made this using Knit Picks Chroma Fingering and I think the stole looks beautiful, don’t you agree? The long color changes and the lace pattern go really well together. Quilla can be knit using lace, fingering or sport weight yarn. You can try heavier weights too, but the resulting stole might not have the drape that you see in pictures.

The lace is a simple 2-row repeat stitch pattern and is ideal for newbie lace knitters. If you can do yarn-over, k2tog and slip-sts, then you can knit this one. This is great for mindless knitting and the stole will be done in no time.

Happy Knitting! Hope you enjoy knitting this as much as I did.

New Pattern: Just Hatched Booties

Just Hatched Booties are designed to go with Just Hatched Cardigan. They both use the same stitch pattern which adds interest and texture. These booties knit up fast owing to the use of worsted weight yarn. They need so little yardage that they are ideal to use up left over yarn from other projects.


Pattern: Just Hatched Booties
Needles: US 9 (5.5 mm)
Yarn: Any Worsted Weight Yarn
Sizes offered: Newborn, 3 months, 6 months
Yardage: 60 – 90 yards

When I knit up a baby cardigan, I am usually left with some yarn from the skein which I use to knit up these booties. Hope you all enjoy knitting this one as much as I did.

New Pattern: Aviva

Aviva, Hebrew word for springtime, is a lacy spring cardigan. The elegant lacy body is accentuated by German rib collars and hems. Aran weight yarn combined with a simple 2-row repeat of lace pattern makes this cardigan a quick knit.
Aviva has a very different construction. The back is knitted up and the neck stitches are bound off. The two fronts are knitted separately and then seamed to the back. Collar is knit by picking up stitches along the fronts and the neck.

This was the first time I used a model for a photoshoot and had a great experience. Shristi, a friend and a budding model, graciously accepted to model for my cardigan. The photographer is Ajo who is again a friend and an upcoming photographer. The combination was perfect: designer, model and photographer – all amateurs and trying to establish in their respective worlds.

Here are the pattern details.

Ravelry Pattern: Aviva by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Knit Picks Swish Tonal
Needle Size: US #7 4.5 mm

Double Espresso

Double knitting has been on my to-do list since ages. The fact that it produces reversible fabric with reversed colors on either side intrigued me. I knew how it works theoretically, but wanted to try my hands at it. I finished working on Annis and wanted something quick and easy as a filler, so I decided to knit this pretty hotpad.

I had some NaturallyCaron’s Country yarn in two shades of brown, which was perfect for this coffee hotpad.  I looked at videos explaining how to cast on with two colors alternately. After going cross-eyed watching those videos, I decided to cast on with two strands held together. Clever, eh? On the next row, I treated each strand as a separate stitch, so I had the required stitch count for both colors.

It took me some time to get used to holding a strand in both the hands, but once I got the hang of it, it was a smooth sail. Working the chart was very addictive. After completing one row, I would be so eager to work on the next row and the just-one-more-row syndrome made this hotpad a very quick knit. Before I knew it, I was casting it off. To match the cast on edge, I cast off treating two strands as one stitch and knitting with both strands together. The small loop is an i-cord knit using two strands held together and attached to the hotpad later on.

The yarn is splitty and was a pain to work with. It was a wrong choice for the hotpad, I wish I had used some sturdy cotton instead. Well, lesson learnt.

My Ravelry Project Page
Pattern:  Coffee and TeaPot Holders
Yarn: NaturallyCaron.com Country
Needle: US 7 4.5mm

New Pattern: Just Hatched

When I made a baby blanket for my newest nephew, Atharv, his mother immediately asked me if I can make a newborn sized sweater to go with the blanket. Finding newborn size clothes that fit is hard enough and dear Atharv was a bit underweight at birth, so finding a good fitting cardigan for him was even more difficult. Atharv’s mother liked the soft green color and wanted a sweater in the same one.

I had this idea for a baby cardigan from a long time and realized if I don’t get around to making it now, then it will never get done. I like the simplicity and usefulness of raglan cardigans: top-down, seamless construction, try it on as you go, easy to modify length if need be. I added a wide border of ringlet stitch, a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker’s Treasury, to compliment the plain stockinette body. And that is how Just Hatched came into existence.

Ravelry Pattern: Just Hatched by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted
Needle Size: US #9 5.5 mm

A prayer for a baby

The last couple of weeks have been crazy, to say the least. A dear one is fighting a medical problem and there is nothing the rest of us can do, but stand and watch. It sucks to be helpless, right? While this loved one is fighting for life, a cousin of mine is due to give birth to a whole new life. It is great news that she is still carrying the baby inside her at 38 weeks, considering she had a premature birth scare two months back. She has been going through a lot of bad times on the personal front and it was saddening to see her face yet another emotional issue. Thank the almighty, it turned out to be just a scare and things are fine now, but when I heard the news, my decision on the spur was to cast on for a baby blanket with a prayer weaved in every stitch for the baby.

I wanted something mindless, so the focus is on the prayer rather than to keep track of what row I am on. Garter Rib Baby Blanket fit the bill perfectly. I wanted a bigger blanket than I usually make (so the baby can use it in its toddler years too) and hence cast on a larger number. A larger garter border was added to go with the larger blanket. Once the first few rows are done, then it is just one long, mindless knitting. The K3P3 ribbing could have gone faster if I knit continental style, but I was happy with the progress.

I used a new yarn this time. I was told by the Our Own Store guy it is Vardhaman, but our well trusted Rav knitters choose to differ. It is is acrylic, fingering weight for sure, so let’s live with that. I used this yarn held double and with 4.5mm needles, it gives a nice, airy, drapey blanket which is light enough to wrap swathe the baby, but thick enough to keep it warm.

I tried steam blocking acrylic for the first time and I am amazed by the result. I used my Philips Steam Iron which has the ability to give out constant steam. Though it was a slow and tedious process to steam block a big, bad blanket with a measly steam iron, it was all worth it. The uneven stitches evened out, the blanket became drapier and softer. I am wondering why I never treated my previous FOs with a dose of steam.


Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Garter Rib Baby Blanket
Yarn: Acrylic, fingering weight, held double
Needles: US 7 4.5 mm

 

Chocolate ice-cream

… with mango sauce and cream. That’s what this blanket reminds me of.

When my friend Anuradha broke the good news that she is expecting, I decided I will knit something for her baby. I was thinking of making a sweater and a hat – something small so that I can knit it in my busy schedule. To my surprise, Anu decided to take up knitting too. She started with a hat and made a cardigan and a vest. Now that she was making these stuff already and was a knitter herself, I couldn’t possibly give her a teeny-weeny sweater, could I? I had to make something good enough for a knitter. That’s how this blanket got created.

Crochet has been on my need-to-learn-this-skill-because-the-FOs-are-so-awesome list, but never got around to doing that. When I was finalizing a blanket pattern for Anu’s blanket, I decided it had to be crochet. One, if I don’t learn crocheting now, I probably never will and two, I have heard crocheting is way faster than knitting. I used the Neat Ripple Pattern by Lucy (or Attic24 as she is known in the crochet world) and loved it. She has detailed photos for crochet newbies like me. The photos were a big help!

After an initial swatch, I had enough confidence that I can finish this blanket. Next step was the choice of colors. I had bought this yarn from Pydal’s for what would have been a vest for my hubby. I soon realized that this yarn is too flimsy and has no stitch definition, so the most natural choice was a baby blanket. I had lots of brown and just one skein of yellow and off-white. After a bit of calculation, I decided to do a row each of yellow and off-white for every five rows of brown. I knit until I ran out of the off-white yarn.

There are so many mistakes in there that I can’t count. For starters, the edges are wavy and uneven. Expert crocheters tell me that the edges are meant to be wavy, so one less mistake to worry about. The starting rows are too tight, so the blanket is narrower at one end and wider at the other. Since it’s a blanket, I hope it’s ok and I hope the baby doesn’t  mind.

I worked on this blanket for an hour everyday for 3-4 weeks. It would have taken even lesser if I wasn’t so new to crochet. So, it is true, crocheting is definitely faster. My next blanket is going to be a crochet blanket.  I have even bought yarn for it. Going off to look for patterns. Crochet ville, here I come!

Link to Ravelry Project.

Itsy Bitsy – Knitting baby stuff

It’s been ages since I have talked about any FO. That does not mean that I haven’t done any knitting, but just didn’t have the time to write about it. Well, what have I done during the hiatus? Lots of things actually.

It’s difficult to choose a pattern when it comes to baby sweaters. All the patterns look so cute. One pattern that stands out is Baby Sophisticate. It is cute, no doubt, but it also has a distinguished look to it which gives babies that grown-up look. I personally think kids look cute when they act all grown-up. I almost made this for Anya, Rima’s little princess, but when Rima knit the same one for her, I decided to knit something else. I am keeping this one for a baby to come along and claim it. The yarn is 3-ply yarn from Pydal. Really soft and has a nice sheen to it. The only problem is the yarn is so thin that I used 3 strands held together for this cardigan.

I decided to make this Pebble vest for Anya. Just when I was about to sew the buttons on and mail it to Rima, she too made the same vest for Anya. I didn’t want to send this vest, but since the day of Anya’s arrival was nearing, I decided to send it anyway, consoling myself that the one Rima made is bigger and mine is smaller, so can be used immediately. The DK yarn is from Pydal and is soft and squishy.

The vest looked so adorable, I made another one for Ninad. I modified the pattern to make it a bit bigger and knit the body in round. This vest looked great too, but I realized that this yarn was not the best choice only after I started using it. The yarn is so squishy that it doesn’t hold any shape at all. Anya’s vest can be easily used by a 2 year old, that’s how stretchy the yarn is. Now I am feeling guilty for using this yarn for Anya’s vest. I should have used a tried and tested yarn. Sorry Anya and Rima if the vest turns out to be unusable.

The moment I saw this pattern on Knitty, I knew I would knit it some day. Kids and ice-cream go well together, don’t they? I was waiting for an opportunity to knit it and I got it when my mom asked me to knit a sweater for my brother’s kid. I finished the front part in just 3 hours. Intarsia was addictive. It’s another matter that I took 2 days to finish the back and 2 weeks to finish the sleeves. One cute sweater and a great pattern. The only drawback is it is not knit in round, but intarsia can’t be knit in round, so that’s how it is. The 8-ply yarn is leftover yarn from Ninad’s blanket. I love this yarn. It’s strong and has good stitch definition. It’s thick, so knits up fast.

So, this is what I had been upto. I also made a adult size sweater for my husband, but that’s for another blog post, when I get to write it.

Pretty sweater for a pretty baby

My friend was impressed with the Feather and Fan blanket I gave her and asked for a newborn sweater. We knitters are just waiting to knit something, so I readily agreed. I love the delicate, lacy sweaters which look so cute on girl babies and I always wanted to knit one of those. Unfortunately, I didn’t know any girl babies to knit for. Sanskriti came along and has opened a lot of doors for me. Time was a restriction, so I made this simple, yet pretty sweater for the pretty Sanskriti. There is something wrong with this photograph, the edges are jagged. Because of the black background? The sweater in reality is much better. Really.

I am impressed by the construction of this sweater. You start knitting from the neck edge, knit the yoke, divide for body and sleeves, knit the first sleeve (flat, not round), then close the sleeve seam back up so that you are back at the underarm join, knit the body across, knit the sleeve, back at the underarm join and then finish off the sweater. Umm, did it make sense? Never mind. It means you don’t have to break yarn and rejoin yarn for sleeves and body. You have only one loose end to weave in apart from the cast on end. You need a bit of crochet skills for closing the sleeve seam. Hey, does this count as my first crochet project? I guess not.

On other knitting stuff, remember that kimono and Twinkle sweater I made? The kimono doesn’t fit yet and the Twinkle is not all that practical. I had to sew on press buttons for the sweater to make it useful. It doesn’t really help in keeping my baby warm, but it does look cute. Sweaters that Rima and Sanhita gave are big and won’t fit yet (intentionally so) so what this means is my little fellow needs a sweater. I search for patterns on Ravelry and the only ones I like are all girlish. I want to knit something that looks like a sweater meant for a boy. Any suggestions?