Catch Up post: Summer Into Fall

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This design has been in my head, pretty much exactly as you see it above, for years. The ruffles on the straps, the V-shape of the straps at the back (cute but also ensuring the straps do not fall off of the shoulder!), the side tabs and A-line shape…

I am not sure why it took me so long to knit it and write it up. It’s the perfect instant-gratification project: a very easy knit, it also includes a few “tricks” to make it look polished and practical. It calls for aran-weight yarn, so it knits up extremely quickly, and uses very little yarn. It’s a versatile garment, which could be a worn as a back-to-school jumper/pinafore dress over a shirt and tights, or as a simple summer dress.

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I was so impressed with the versions that my test-knitters made that I made a little collage (the photos were used with permission): doesn’t it look completely adorable on all these sweet little girls?

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Credit (Ravelry user ID) from top left clockwise: cbahler, buttons29, Cellybelle, Serendipitystitch, LauraPNW, JuneK, blogiete

Summer Into Fall calls for aran weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 6 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

Catching Up post: Silverfox cardigan

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I don’t usually knit cables very much, let alone use them in designs, I’m not sure why, I think I might carry this impression from my beginner-knitter days that they are an expert skill (like fair-isle, steeking etc).

But I do love the look of cables, especially when they don’t overwhelm a garment (well, sometime, cablepaloozas are fun!). I’m particularly fond of garter stitch and cables together, which you don’t see much of for some reason. I think there is a nice contrast between the squishy garter stitch and the disciplined cables imbedded in it, particularly for children’s clothing.

The cable here is very simple and repeated everywhere, so the charts/written instructions aren’t really needed after the first repeat (I really dislike having to constantly refer to a chart, it takes me out of my knitting groove!). I also wanted to do a variation on the raglan yoke, something that looked a bit like a saddle shoulder, featuring that pretty, tight cable. I also used this same cable along the button band and used its natural properties to my advantage: since it pulls the fabric a bit, it naturally lowered the front neckline, meaning no shaping was needed. It stiffness also made the front bands lay very nice and flat.

Finally, I wanted to pay extra attention to the finishing details, including some more intermediate techniques that I haven’t used very much in my patterns: I-cord edgings, I-cord bind-off, grafting (a tiny amount of that only, I promise!!).  The cardigan is worked from the bottom up, completely seamlessly, which I also don’t tend to do, but it was the best option for this design.

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So here’s the result, which I am so proud and happy with. This is another one where my tech-editor and amazing test-knitters were beyond helpful. It’s also one of the handmade things that my daughter has worn the most. For those who are curious, I’m working now on a matching bonnet as well as a beanie. Coming very soon, stay tuned!

Silverfox calls for dk weight yarn and comes in sizes 6 months to 6 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

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Two more leafy patterns

To complete my mini-collection on the leaf theme, I recently released two more patterns: most recently, the Petites Feuilles Vest, and a couple of weeks ago, the Petites Feuilles Boots.

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The idea behind the vest was that it had to be truly unisex, with a simple yet well-thought-out design. There are a couple of techniques in there that even more experienced knitters might enjoy. I thought the addition of an optional secret pocket would allow knitters to have fun with color pairings as well as use up small amounts of leftover yarn. I like that the pocket bind-off hints at the color of the hidden lining. Also, little kids are usually enthusiastic about pockets, and I’m always thinking about what they’d like, too :)

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When it comes to the boots, the main idea was to make booties that would stay on little wriggly feet, so that meant that ties were a must. In my experience that’s really the only way a bootie will stay on a tiny foot.

I chose garter stitch for the bootie because picking up stitches is so easy and clean with garter stitch (you need to pick up stitches around the sole to work these booties seamlessly), and also, garter is very stretchy, which means that the booties should get a maximum amount of use.

Finally, I wanted the booties to be tall, not only for my leaf motif to fit, but also to make them extra warm and easy to put over pant legs. I also had a vision of my daughter wearing her boots with striped stockings underneath and a short skirt :)

I have to say I am not 100% satisfied with the photos I took for the pattern page, my daughter is constantly on the go and it was very difficult to get a decent shot that would show off the boots properly. Some of my testers, however, made some adorable versions and I made a little montage because they are just too cute (photos used with permission, clockwise from top left, boots by marthajane73, serendipitystitch, sweetbasil and t-a-n-y-a):

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These two patterns, as well as the Petites Feuilles cardigan and the Petites Feuilles bonnet, are available individually and also as part of a 4-pattern bundle with a discounted price.

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All patterns are available in my Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy stores.

 

Petites Feuilles Bonnet

Check out this little cutie — well, the bonnet isn’t too bad either ;)

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This is another riff on the leaf pattern, and I’m pretty pleased with it. I like bonnets because they stay on when the baby moves his head in the stroller, and provide nice head coverage (thanks to the garter stitch portion this one is especially warm around the ears).

This bonnet is completely seamless, knit flat for the garter portion and then in the round for the crown. Stitches are picked up for the ties.

I used some delicious Mellifera Yarns cash dk (Capri colorway) and this yarn is so wonderfully soft. The color is really vibrant, too.

This little bonnet comes in sizes Newborn to 12-18 months, and it’s now available in my Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy stores.

New pattern: Petites Feuilles cardigan

I’m a bit late to the party here, since my latest design, Petites Feuilles cardigan, went live a little while ago.

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I knew I wanted to do a spring-themed cardigan with some leaf motifs (“petites feuilles” means “little leaves” in French). Then when Mellifera Yarn‘s beautiful merino dk showed up in my mailbox (Mel came up with the gorgeous “Lawn” colorway when I asked whether if she could come up with a fresh, crisp light green colorway), I felt really inspired and went to work.

And boy this one turned out to be quite a bit of work! But I’m thrilled with the result. My test-knitters were so great in helping me work out kinks [Thanks guys!]

One of the cool things about this cardi (I think) is that the leaf motif is the right side up (stem towards the bottom) AND the body is knit top-down (which I think is a pleasant and practical construction for long-sleeve sweaters). There are quite a few leaf-themed garments that are knit top-down but all of them seem to have the leaf pointing down. Also, I wanted a garter stitch background for those leaves, not reverse stockinette, because I think garter stitch is just more fun to knit and super squishy. Finally, I wanted the leaf motif to be embossed, not flat.

Well, with all of these pre-requisites, it turns out that I had to come up with my own design for the leaf motif, which involved a LOT of trial and error. I also thought I should offer charts in addition to written instructions for this pattern, and there was a bit of a [ahem] learning curve there too!

So, in summary, I pushed myself with this one, and I’m excited about the result. In addition to the cool way it’s constructed, there are also cute details (elbow patches, optional pockets…) that make it a super fun knit.

I am planning on coming up with 3 more designs based on the leaf theme, so it will be a mini-collection if you will! Stay tuned for more leaf-y knits very soon!

A bouquet of daisies

Now that my latest design, Miss Daisy, is available in my Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy stores, I thought I’d share a few of my test-knitters’ versions. This round of test-knitting was a real treat, and I’m so pleased with how the pattern works out in all different sizes! (all photos are used with permission. Clicking on photographs will take you to each project page on Ravelry).

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Photo courtesy of ViolettaIvanova. Yarn used: Spud & Chloe Sweater.

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Photo courtesy of MelliferaMel. Yarn used: Mellifera Yarns Merino Aran.

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Photo courtesy of Madamour. Yarn used: Malabrigo Merino Worsted.

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Photo courtesy of deepgreenandblue. Yarn used: Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran.

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Photo courtesy of Emma-Saru. Yarn used: Malabrigo Merino Worsted.