Peekaboo

“Peekaboo! I see you!”

This classic crew-neck top-down sweater gets downright playful with its faux undershirt peeking out of it. Garter stripes offer endless customization opportunities while using up yarn leftovers, and cute faux seams add a nice polished touch. There’s even an option to add pockets!

DSC_1194_medium2

Peekaboo calls for worsted weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 8 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

Boy Sweater

Here’s one that I think every little man AND every little lady should have 🙂
Shawl collars are always nice and cozy under a coat — especially for children who, like mine, adamantly reject scarves… Designed to be relatively close-fitting, this sweater won’t add bulk under a jacket.
The twisted rib detail and a fun (and easy!) texture stitch add a bit of sophistication. Comfort and style!

main_boysweater_edited_medium2

DSC_0993

Boy Sweater calls for worsted weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 8 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

Tutu Top

Sweet and simple and super-swingy… The idea was to give that gauzy, “tutu” feel while keeping this top modern and practical.
The result is not too frilly but definitely girly!

DSC_0883_medium2

DSC_0923_medium2

Tutu Top calls for aran weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 8 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy 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.

Image

Image

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!

New Year Resolution #1: Selfish Knitting

So. New Year resolutions. Yea or Nay? (I almost wrote “yay”, ha)

I have a few resolutions floating in my head, nothing set in stone. Perhaps writing them down here will make them more likely to happen!

One thing I want to do this year, for my own sanity really, is to carve out some time for “selfish knitting.” My definition of this would include knitting more things for myself of course (rather than just for my children or for gift-giving). But also, and this is trickier for me to do: not always knitting with a potential design in mind, or heavily modifying an existing design that falls short of what I want.

Rather, the idea would to just knit recreationally sometimes, mindlessly really, from a great pattern that someone else has completely worked out. Trying to get back the feeling of meditation that you can get from the act of knitting, knitting in the round, stitch after stitch to create a sea of stockinette, or chanting the instructions to yourself as you work a lace repeat.

So: here’s my first Selfish Knit of the year, which I did as part of a Knitalong on Ravelry– A first for me! That was fun!!

Image

Image

Pattern: Sprig by Alana Dakos, a “preview” from the upcoming Botanical Knits 2 collection

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Birch Heather

Time to knit: about 3 weeks, but I knit most of it in 10 days.

My mods: I started with the smallest size for the neckline because I wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t gape. Then I increased until I got the raglan stitch counts for the second size, and added the number of underarm stitches of the third size. So I ended somewhere between size 2 and 3 for the bust and sleeves. My detailed mods are visible on my Ravelry page.

What I thought about the pattern: A really neat and clever design, surprisingly straightforward and pretty fast to knit. I loved working the neckline, I will definitely use this idea of working “attaching as you knit” in the future. I liked the little finishing touches, which make the sweater look really polished. I do think it fits well but I had to mix-n-match the stitch counts to achieve this. On the other hand I am not getting the boatneck effect, but honestly, even though it looks lovely on the model with nothing underneath, I wouldn’t love it as much with a bra-strap or t-shirt peeking-out of it.

What I would do differently next time: I wouldn’t use Cascade 220, which is one of the yarns that is suggested, the resulting fabric is a bit too stiff, lacking drape. I was hoping it would grow a bit during blocking but it did not budge at all, which is a good thing in general! The alternate yarn suggested is 50% alpaca, so the drape would be better, though I’d worry that the gorgeous neckline details might get lost in the alpaca fuzzies.

I think I might also skip the waist shaping altogether, it’s a bit snug-fitting at the moment (leftover pregnancy weight notwithstanding) and possibly make longer sleeves, though that might mess up with the balance of the design.

FO: Mr. Escargot

Escargot Front

Just in time for Spring…

Escargot Back

Mr. Escargot comes out of his shell…

To just, you know, check stuff out.

A couple close-ups:

Escargot collar

Escargot CU

Pattern: Mister Escargot, from Bergère de France’s Tricot Baby catalog

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK (about 3-4 balls in Nutmeg and 1 in Asparagus), and some leftover Debbie Bliss’s Cashmerino Aran (Denim)

Needles: Size 5

Modifications: I invented the size 3 years, so I didn’t exactly follow the instructions to the T.

Also, the instructions for the collar seemed like too much of a hassle, so I simply picked up the stiches all around the neckline using a circular needle, and did a 2×2 rib until I thought the length was good (about 8 rows). Then I did the same on either side of the neck opening and sewed the bottom edge of the two ribbed strips to the bottom edge of the opening.

I added two pockets with a repeat of the stitch used for the edges of the sleeves and body, Since there was no room left for the escargot, I just decided to put it on the back of the sweater to add interest.

Time it took: Off and on, I would say about 3 week? A month?

My opinion: Pretty straightforward pattern, a little boring to knit, the seaming felt like it took an eternity. *But* I’m happy with the result, the sweater looks comfy with a nice worn-in quality, the yarn is pretty soft and very pleasant to knit with. Makes for a neat little everyday sweater.

This is going to be a “pwesent” for Dil, Gabe’s 2-year-old nephew. It will probably be a bit big on him, but that’s not a bad thing. I’m hoping to get an action shot this week-end…