Category Archives: Sweaters

FO, after an eon!

After a long hiatus of two years (in which I almost never picked up knitting needles), my knitting mojo is back with a bang. I should thank my soon-to-be-born grandchild for that. You read that right, I did say grandchild. My niece is expecting and is going to pop any day now and I will be elevated to the much coveted grandmom (okay, grandaunt) position.

 

Sweater pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith
Socks: Rye by tincanknits
Hat: Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho

My niece wanted a sweater in gender neutral color, so most of my baby colors in my stash were ruled out. After much consideration, I zeroed in on the Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Platinum and Willow.

While the cardigan pattern is written to knit in stripes, I had to modify the socks and hat pattern to follow that. For socks, I changed the color every two rows, but stuck with MC for the heel flap until I joined to knit in round again. For the hat, I knit the ear flaps in MC color and when I knit a plain round, I changed colors every two rows.

I noticed that things move fast when I knit in stripes. Is that true or is my mind playing tricks on me!

 

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.

New Pattern: Felber

Just in time before the spring arrives, here is another pattern release from my side. Felber is a circular yoke sweater with asymmetric cable on the yoke. The name Felber means bent, twisted to indicate the suppleness and I find it apt for the cables used in this sweater. It is worked top-down in the round, so no pesky seams to stitch up.

I used a new yarn (new to me) Jill Drape Makes Stuff Hudson – Made in USA. The yarn is soft and yummy and oh the colors are so rich and vibrant. I requested for a brown color which will suit a boy’s sweater. Jill picked out this one and I must say, I couldn’t have picked anything better. The yarn is so well plied, the cables just pop.

Felber is available at a promotional price of $3 until Mar 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.

Ravelry Pattern: Felber by Anjali M.
Yarn SuggestedJill Draper Makes Stuff; Hudson – Made in USA
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm for the body

New Pattern: Warrior Sweater

Every boy goes through a phase where he admires soldiers and warriors and aspires to be one. My son is in one such phase and naturally, he requested me to make a chest armor for him. I play with yarn, not metal, so I convinced him to settle for a “sweater chest armor”.

The dense, textured body of the sweater protects your little one from cold and wind. Sleeves are plain stockinette and the elbow patch using the same textured stitch adds a bit of style and interest. The sweater is worked from the top down, using raglan sleeves. Body and sleeves are worked in the round. The texture stitch is a easy to memorize and knit. The aran weight yarn makes the sweater cozy and quick to knit.

Warrior Sweater is available at a promotional price of $3 until Feb 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.

Ravelry Pattern: Warrior Sweater by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Cascade Eco+
Needle Size: US #9 5.5 mm for the body

New Pattern: Grown-up Hira

Hira is light and breezy and is great for layering on a cold summer evening. It can be worn over a pretty evening dress or make it casual by pairing with jeans and a tee. The beads on the collar and the sleeves jazz up the cardigan turning the simple cardigan into a special-occasion-wear. I just love the beads on the sleeves, if I say so myself.

Hira is knit from the top-down with raglan sleeves. After the body-sleeves split, the body is worked flat with waist shaping. Sleeves are knit in the round. Stitches for the collar are picked and worked flat, knit to the double the width with a garter ridge, over which the collar gets folded and sewn in place. Don’t worry, the sewing is on the wrong side, so not publicly visible at all.

Grown-up Hira is women’s version of Hira, so you can make a mother-daughter cardigan if you like.

Ravelry Pattern: Grown-up Hira by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Madelinetosh Pashmina
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm for the body

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?

Sock knitting

I have been knitting only baby stuff these days. Continuing with the theme, I wanted to knit a baby cardigan. I received some sock yarn as gifts from Ravelers. We really don’t need socks in this part of the world, so I wanted to knit something else with the sock yarn. Guro’s Twinkle vintage baby cardigan pattern uses sock yarn, so was ideal for stash busting. It is also seamless, so that was another plus point.

I used Knitpicks Memories, Redwood Forest colorway, which was a gift from Jean. The pattern can be used as a template for a yoke cardigan. The body can be knit in plain stockinette or you can use any lace pattern of your own. I knit the vintage lace pattern given in the patterns page for the body. It turned out well but it is not clearly visible because of the multi-colored yarn. It would have looked better in a single colored yarn. I tried knitting the sleeves also in this pattern, but didn’t like the way it looked. Moreover, I thought the cardigan looked cuter without the sleeves, so I chopped them off. The cardigan now has a capped sleeves look which I hope is practical and actually looks like capped sleeves on the baby.
After the sweater was done, I was left with almost a whole ball of yarn. It was time for knitting baby socks. Judy’s Infant socks pattern looked good to me. I hadn’t knit socks before, so I wanted something simple and easy. The pattern is clear, but doesn’t explain the technical details like turning the heel, gusset and instep etc. I followed the Silver’s Sock tutorials which made it easier to follow the pattern. The first sock was done in less than an hour. Thankfully, I escaped from the second sock syndrome and finished the second sock in no time. The second sock is a bit smaller than the first one and I have no idea why. It is still a puzzle for me because at every step, I had the right number of stitch count and row count. Just a matter of gauge, may be?

Knitting socks was fun. After knitting the first sock, there was a feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Knitting socks is like nothing else – you have to knit socks at least once. The technicalities involved – the way you make the heel and then turn it, the way you join this longer heel with the rest of the sock and then knit as one entity – this is almost like magic. I am in awe of the knitter who came up with knitting socks seamlessly. I must say knitters are the smartest people on earth. Whoever said knitting is for old women didn’t know anything about knitting socks.

Knitters' meetup and knitting update

I am now fully convinced that knitters do exist in real. After interacting with knittersĀ  only online, I had begun to wonder whether knitters are a species which exist only virtually. Only my eyes have been trained to read knitting related words, so it was a thrilling experience to actually ‘hear’ words like Ravelry, stockinette stitch and blocking. Wow, what an experience it was.

We met at M G Road and spent some time in Hard Rock Cafe. We were a bunch of chatty knitters who loved to talk about everything under the sun – from Obama, BJP and RSS to ghost writing and pets. And of course, lot of knitting stuff too. Rima had gifts for all of us – a bag full of lovely yarn. I have been ogling at it ever since she gave it to me. I am looking forward to more such meetups!

Continuing with knitting baby stuff, I made this cute baby kimono. I loved it the moment I saw the pattern. I had some pink 6-ply acrylic yarn I bought from Raja Market. The pattern calls for 100 gms of 8-ply yarn. I had a little more than 100 gms, so I assumed it should be fine. Boy, was I wrong!

By the time I reached the sleeve separation part, I had used up half of my yarn stock. That is when I realized I am going to run short of yarn. Luckily, I had some candy floss pink yarn in the same guage and I decided to use that. I haven’t really done color work earlier, so this was a great opportunity to learn a new skill. After some head scratching and calculation, I decided to alternate 6 rows in both colors.

It was not easy to do color work, especially the sleeves. I did not want to have too many loose ends to weave in, so I decided not to cut and rejoin but to carry it up (I think that is what it is called). I don’t know if that was the best thing to do! The yarns loved to get tangled up and I had a tough time untangling them.

The only problem I have with this kimono is the neck edge. It does not have a garter stitch border and hence is curling up. I am taking expert advice from Rima and Sanhita on doing a crochet edge to fix this problem.

Looking back at the knitting experience and the finished sweater, I am glad I ran out of yarn. The kimono would have looked plain and boring in one color. I think this is the best knitting I have done so far. The individual V’s of stockinette stitch are clearly visible (which I couldn’t achieve earlier) and the kimono has a ‘proper’ finished look. The kimono is already a hit among my cousins and I am expecting requests from them very soon!

Next up is Tetris baby blanket. This is the first time I am doing intarsia and I hope I can manage it.

The amputated Daisy sweater

I plan to visit my in-laws this April. I am always trying to impress them (aren’t we all?) and I wanted to flaunt my knitting skills. I decided to make a sweater for my nephew-in-law (errr…).

This is my first sweater. I chose Daisy because the pattern is simple and beautiful. This sweater is knit in one piece for the body and then divided for front left, front right and back.

I know oh-so-boring grey is not really for kids, but I still used it for two reasons: One, I didn’t know this sweater would turn out well enough for it to be gifted. Second, I wanted to use that yarn. I had loads (and still have 2 skeins left) of it and wanted to use it up.

Once the sweater was done, it looked so plain and boring! I had to spice it up by adding a few daisies (as given in the pattern) and a few borders on the sleeve. I also added buttons made of yarn. These are just decorative – I am going to added “press buttons” for the sweater. Now the sweater is see-able.

Before
After

One daisy out of the three didn’t come out well: I amputated one of its petals. The duplicates stitched border on the sleeves almost represent the Indian flag which was completely unintentional. One border row is so off the track, as if it is drunk – it goes up and down, and up and down. Or was I drunk while knitting it?

As usual, lots to learn. Seed stitch, dividing stitches, raglan shaping, mattress stich for seaming, backstich for the daisies, duplicate stitch for the sleeve border.

All in all, end result: an ok-ok sweater. I think it is good enough, so I am going to give it, after all.