Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mystery Lace Pattern

I just found this photo and I don't think I ever posted it. It's dated September 3, 2006! And, I can't remember where I got the pattern. Oh well.
Does anyone have a clue?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My first Christina Shiffman One-Piece Baby Kimono

Here's the little kimono I made in April and gave away in May as a new baby present. I love the ribbon which I found at AC Moore. Before using it I tested it to make sure it didn't run. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the ribbons, actually.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Variation on Christina Shiffman's One-Piece Baby Kimono

All I have to do is sew it together. I love how it turned out. I prefer the stockingette version because garter makes a pretty bulky version which seems out of proportion for a tiny baby. Not that they can move around so easily -- and do so love to be swaddled. The thinner fabric appeals to me more.

My adjustments
1. Because garter stitch is horizontally stretchier than stockingette, I cast on 10% fewer stitches (36) and increased evenly across the last of the 4 garter ridges to achieve the 40 stitches called for.
2. Chain edge stitch for all edges that will not be part of a seam. See the sleeve edge and front edge below.
3. To prevent the sleeve edge's rolling over, knit the last 6 sleeve stitches in garter rows. Begin on the 7th sleeve increase. Of course, the last stitch is the chain edging.
4. Back of neck. After the 8th and last sleeve increases are completed on both sides, on the next WS row: 1 edge stitch, knit 5, purl 28 , place marker, knit 20, place marker, purl 28, knit 5 , 1 edge stitch. Increase the knit stitches between markers by 1 on each side every second row until there are 26 stitches between markers. On the next row, bind off the center 20 stitches, using a purl bind off so the bind off chain stitching will be on the inside. My own preference -- can be ignored if you don't care about that detail.

5. Front edges. I used the optional YO (yarnover) increase to make this cute column of holes, (a.k.a. "lace") before a garter ridge of 4 stitches, the last of which is the chain edge stitch. The yarnover is on the RS row and purled on the WS row.

6. Bottom edges: On the last 2 rows of the front edge increase (39 stitches on needle): RS, knit 34, YO, knit 3, chain edge. WS: Begin bottom garter edge: 1 chain edge,* knit 6 (including the YO), k2tog*. Repeat *xxx* 3 times. There are now 36 stitches for the edge. Continue with chain edge until there are 4 ridges. Bind off as desired. Sew together.

More Tricks
A. Chain edge stitch for all outside edges because my edges are awful otherwise
B. For garter version: edge increase: with 2 sts left, pick horizontal yarn between sts, leaning left; k1, chain edge
C. Bind off for sleeves. To avoid the gap between the 3 stitch decrease sections. Cast off first set of 3 stitches as usual. For the next 7, k to last stitch, keeping the yarn in back, pick up last stitch as if to knit, place it back on left hand needle, wrap yarn around stitch on left needle and turn the work, pick up wrapped stitch as if to knit, DO NOT KNIT IT, knit next stitch, bring the first, unknitted stitch over the knitted stitch and proceed to next cast off.
D. I figure out how to increase by dividing the number of stitches ultimately desired by one more than the number to add. So, 40 divided by 5 equals 8. That means, every 8 stitches make or increase 1 stitch. This will center the increases, leaving the same number on either side. If the total doesn't divide so tidily, distribute the "carryovers" evenly over the row. For example That is: 42 divided by 5 is 8 with 2 left over. So, decide where in the row to knit 9 (twice) before increasing.
E. I haven't figured out the formula for decreasing but I'll let you know when I do.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Plying the Koigu

Jenny Backriges and Aldos Amos have both emphasized how different plying is from spinning. Well, they're right. Even with an already-spun and plied yarn, I found it challenging to get an even ply. But, it's good enough and it will look lovely as blanket stitching on the baby blanket (see previous post).

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Layette Blanket Almost Finished

Well, I've finally finished the main part of this project. I used 6.75 balls of Karabella Supercashmere Bulky. Of the seven skeins used, 3 had joins in the middle. Considering that this yarn at full price costs $55 per skein (not what was paid, thank goodness), and is only 81 yards long, this is totally unacceptable.

My daughter bought the yarn and asked me to knit this pattern for her, from Linda Morse's Luxury Knitting. I followed the directions for washing the blanket, putting it in a mesh bag and washing it with cool water on the delicate cycle. I even followed the book's advice to put it in the dryer on low for 5 minutes in the bag. I lost courage and took it out at 3 minutes, tho'. What had been a rather grayish yellow cleaned up beautifully. The hand is incredibly soft now and feels luxurious. I'll snip all the joins after I add the blanket stitch border.

Initially I used a #10 circular needle but at the rate I was going would have needed 2 more skeins to complete the project. Using a #9 needle instead I was able to get to almost the dimensions called for. My blanket is 26.5" x 31" .

Now I have to do the blanket stitch border. I don't have the directions from the book and am somewhat concerned about all the joins unless I use a very long tail. My daughter chose the Koigu KPPPM colorway from my stash. Although Kersti, a dk weight is called for, I don't have any. This week I wound the two skeins together. If the ply is too loose, it won't work. This weekend I'll run the doubled skein through the spinning wheel. The color in the photo above isn't really true -- on this monitor it's too blue.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Layette sweater

I’m not sure whether I bought this sale yarn at the Yarn Loft (in Sparta before it burned and moved to Newton). This is a pattern I first made for my daughter when I was pregnant with her in 1973. It’s a great little sweater for new babies as it can button either in front or in back. My daughter has rejected it as she doesn’t like the acrylic yarn. No problem, actually as this yarn isn't very soft. But, it will make a great baby prsent for a colleague who’s having a baby next month.

I really do love this pattern: Baby's Cross-over Coat in Mon Tricot, 1973. It has five variations and I plan to make them all!

Materials: I'm using a ball of King Cole Big Value Baby Dk, 316.0 yds in white and #3 circular needles.