Posts Tagged 'Top Down'

FO: My Monkeys

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you might have read about me knitting the Monkey pattern before. I knit a pair for a swap in lovely red.  I knit a teensy pair for (then) Miss 3, which are now worn and loved by her little sister.  I made a teensy-er pair for the little Miss, which are now really too small, yet I catch her trying to put them on still. I knit a pair for a Christmas gift.  Yes, it’s a great pattern to knit. What I wanted though was a pair to *wear*.

I tried. Remember this post? My first attempt. Frogged. My second attempt didn’t even bear photographing. It ended up in the frog pond too. It seemed I was destined not to have a pair of my own.

Until, on fondling my yarn stash one day (as I do!) I realised a skein of yarn I had some *issues with* might be perfect.  And before I could change my mind I wound it up and cast on. For the next 6 or 7 weeks, the socks travelled in my work bag, slowly being knit up over lunchtimes and meetings into my very own Monkey socks.

I knit two extra repeats in the leg to make them a little longer than usual, and made the heel flap an extra four rows longer for a better fit.  Other than that, it was all plain sailing. I love the way it is such an easy pattern to remember.  It is a tight fitting sock though, I believe that there are modifications on this pattern available somewhere for a larger size sock, which people might need if they have fatter feet than me (if that’s possible – why does having kids make your feet spread unattractively?).

The yarn… is Vintage Purls sock yarn, in a colourway called Gardenia.  I didn’t love it in the skein, but it’s knit up very nicely. Darn hard to photograph well though!! Here’s my best attempt…

There are light pinks and bright pinks, greens and even purple in there – a luscious mix of colours.

So, now I’m happy. And without a pair of socks for my work bag. Must be time to cast on another pair!

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Christmas Knitting Part 2

Today’s instalment was brought to you by the letter S, and the number two.

Yes, two pairs of socks today 🙂

I was a bit naughty when I was choosing my patterns for sock knitting for Christmas and chose patterns I had knit up before. First up were some Monkey socks.  Despite spending the last twenty minutes looking through my photos, I am can’t find a single colour picture of them anywhere. Sis? Any chance of a picture?  They are knit from a Limited Edition Vintage Purls colourway, and are super snuggly. One of these days I’ll knit myself a pair of Monkeys!

Something that I *do* have a pair of is Kai-Meis.  I chose another lovely LE Vintage Purls colourway for these socks – its exact name escapes me right now. Using the “I enjoyed this pattern the last time I knit it” logic seems to have worked this time too.  My sister, coincidentally,  also got the book with this pattern in for Christmas.

And apparently they fit a treat 🙂

Oops, this wasn’t quite the inspiring pic-packed post I was imagining – sorry about that!  Must remember to make a better record of things before I post them off!

Ohh, and my nephew (Mr 5.99999)  was rather surprised by his frog too. He got a knitted Ribbit in his parcel. I hope he enjoys living on that side of the pond!

FO: Bloom

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Miss 1 looks lovely in her new wee top. And so does Miss 3. (Yes, she was willing to try this on. Go figure.)

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Oh and so does the newborn size dolly…

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Amazing eh? I think I really confused my husband this afternoon taking these pictures of everyone in the same dress/top. But I just *had* to try out the amazing qualities of the “Bloom” that see it grow with your baby. This is the latest pattern from Aussie designer “Tikki”, and I was eagerly awaiting the pattern, having heard it came in multiple sizes and yarn weights – 4ply, 8ply and 10ply.  I had a ball of 4ply Wool Company yarn in Raspberry that I would be perfect. What I hadn’t realised was that each size has the same number of stitches exactly, it is just be changing needle size and gauge that the sizes varied. Clever, eh.  It  did leave me with a little problem though, as this size is meant to fit newborn to 12 months. But the pattern features Tikki’s daughter Lily who is nearly 4 wearing the 4 ply version, so I figured my petite nearly 17 month old would still get lots of wear out of this. And I think we now know just how much…

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Yes, I think it might end up being first up best dressed around our place!

So what are the magic elements to this pattern? It is knit in the round top down, so no seaming 🙂 The bodice is 1×1 rib which looks so teensy tiny – you can see it doesn’t stretch at all on the newborn dolls. Then there is a lovely increase which sits beautifully over Miss 1’s budda belly, and stretches out flat across Miss 3’s chest.  Clever.  Then the skirt is worked straight in a lace pattern, before heading to a more detailed border. I started to worry about running out of yarn – I had maybe 2-3 metres left when I cast off.

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While I enjoyed knitting this, it isn’t an idle knit once the rib is done – I needed to have a good amount of concentration for counting out the lace pattern. Of course I am not a natural lace knitter, so people who love lace will find this a complete doddle. And I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough when you consider it covers age newborn through to approximately 8 years. It would be terrific if you wanted to knit a gift for a girl whose measurements you don’t know, and you are guaranteed that the wearer will get lots of use from it.

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Even if they *do* run away from the photoshoot.

Something Small

I am stunned (and delighted!) at the number of friends I have who are expecting new additions at the moment. Many aren’t due until next year,  and I am hoping to keep up with creating gifts for each of them. This wee vest is for a friend who is due somewhat sooner than that, and is winging its way to her house as I type.

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Yep, it’s another wee Milo, and I suspect I’ll be churning them out with regularity over the next wee while. I chose to do the aran cable on this one.

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This is the 3 month size, and it used a paltry 66g of DK weight yarn. Fabulous! The yarn I used was Cleckheaton Country, an oatmeal sort of shade. I was gifted two balls of this yarn in a swap I did, and it was intended for dyeing. I cast this on fully intending to dip dye it when it was done, but I lost my nerve. It was so cute the colour it was. And as my friend didn’t find out the sex of her baby, I was worried that it might not suit if I used my purples, or my blues. Annnnyway, I held off on the dyes, and I think it’s super cute as it is.

FO: Miss Milo

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As I was thinking about what to cast on for next, I realised Miss 2.9 hadn’t had anything knit for her in a while. I asked her if she would like a vest like “Bubby’ub’s” and she said yes. We had a look through my stash together, and she chose some raspberry 4 ply. No!  Thank goodness it’s an 8ply knit. Her second choice was some coral/pink Wool Company 8ply, and there was plenty there, so I cast on for her. She asked me how her ‘teddy’ was coming along. Teddy? I said vest!

It was quite fun to get her to look at the pattern and choose which cable pattern she wanted (there is a choice of five). And, thanks to her cheerleading, it was finished last night. I forgot to block it (read – good telly last night, so I sat on my arse and knitted instead… always fun to cast on something new the instant you cast off something old!) and she found it this morning. So the vest has had its first wearing unblocked today.

It met with her approval, and she has enjoyed being able to take it on and off herself. She even took it for a spin on her wheels this morning 🙂

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The cable of choice was the horseshoe cable, which is a simple 6 row repeat.

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Even though this is a size 3, I was still able to knit it in just a couple of days – I am falling more and more in love with this pattern. The perfect gift knit 🙂

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Big sister insisted little sister wear her vest (again) today too.  I’m not one for matchy-matchy children (although they do own some clothes the same), but, hey, why not 🙂  DH thinks Miss 1 looks decidedly corporate in her vest.  Maybe so, but I don’t know any execs with cute love-heart tights and fat cloth bottoms!

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It has been a spectacular day here today, the third day of sunshine after a week of rain, and the girls have been playing so well together. We were meant to go to playgroup this morning, but instead stayed home for Miss 1 to have a morning nap while Miss 2.9 did playdough and dancing. Idyllic.

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And I got some time to knit a few rounds on a beret for me, and made (and unmade) some progress on my first sock club sock.  I’m up to the final few rows of the final chart, and then I just have to knit to my desired length.  I must remember, when there is a chart – follow it!

FO: Liesl

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I’ve had my eye on Ysolda’s pattern Liesl for some time now. Knit in 12 ply yarn, it was always going to be a quick knit – I think that lots of NaKniSweMoDo participants will make at least one Liesl this year 🙂  Of course I wasn’t motivated by the speed of the project (much!) But it is an extremely economical knit, my version knit for the 46 inch bust size took just 750m of yarn – a tiny bit over 10 balls of Shepherd 12 Ply 100% Lambswool Felted. The shade ‘106’ was one of two on sale at Knitworld in January and I bought 14 balls, intending to knit another Shalom. However the fact that I could knit the Liesl with sleeves meant that I changed plans for the yarn, and I’m glad I did. Another cardigan is going to be perfect for this autumn and beyond. And at $3 a ball, this meant a 100% wool cardigan finished for under $35.

Now, you would think that since I wasn’t trying to get DH to take photos in a public space, he could do an okay job, right? Wrong! Every single shot is on a funny angle… Can’t wait until my usual photographer (DS 11) is back home… at least he can point and shoot straight! And next time I’ll not wear a patterned t-shirt underneath either (Doh!)

 

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That aside, I hope that you can see the beauty in this project. I adore the undulating line that the feather and fan lace pattern creates at the hemline. The pattern is great, giving lots of options: a high neckline, or the lower one I chose, button hole options  ( I am thinking of buying a fourth button though, it’s a wee bit gapey… and I think the garter stitch band will stretch to admit a button), and lots of different lengths.  It is knit top down in one piece, so no seaming is required – this has got to be my favourite sweater construction method! I chose to make mine with long sleeves, but I can see myself knitting another one later on with short sleeves. For the record, there are 20 lace repeats on the sleeve, just in case you’re knitting one and want to know how many you might need.

I was impressed with the pattern too. Ysolda is a young, independent designer who self-publishes her patterns. The layout and accuracy of her pattern was fantastic, and the photographs to illustrate the pattern were fabulous, I found that they were clear and helped me when I was struggling with the inital rows (silly me – obviously I should just read the pattern!). It was great to see the garment modelled in a size other than the smallest size too – very inspirational.  This particular pattern was cleverly designed with minimal counting and easy increases. No stitch markers or head scratching required (once I had the pattern sorted out). From cast on to cast off, it took 8 days – including time to knit and assemble a teddy bear and knit a sleeve and half a back of the Whisper cardigan. I think the fact I got gauge on 8mm needles might have had something to do with that though!


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