Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Presents for Leo

I've been in a little bit of a knitting funk lately. It seemed like things weren't coming out right, or I had to redo everything several times (the hat and booties below are two examples), and I miss knitting with my knitting friends (although I love knitting with my mom and her cross-stitching).

This weekend, although not without some knitting frustration, produced these:

Reindeer hat, from the Yankee Knitter Designs "Pattern Hats"

Size: Children's

Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Superwash Worsted, 2 balls Baby Blue and 1 ball Deep Ocean (Baby Blue was leftover from the sweater, see below)

Source: KnitPicks

Needles: Inox 16" circular, US Size 5

Modifications: I knit the hat in the round instead of flat (subtracting two stitches from the cast-on number, since there would be no seam); I "redesigned" (didn't pay attention to) certain parts of the chart; I did parts in duplicate stitch instead of fair isle; I changed the decreases for the crown; I only did one row of single stitches above the reindeer instead of up to the crown. I also knit the entire thing on size 5 needles instead of switching to size 7 after the hem.

I'm still not thrilled with it because I'm a perfectionist and colorwork almost always has some issues (especially when knit by me). I just need more practice, and I think the hat turned out pretty good (and I won't have to look at it every day so it won't annoy me as much).

Child's Monogram Sweater from Hollywood Knits Style

Size: 4 years (and it came out smaller than I expected; I love Suss Cousins' patterns but I have yet to knit one without any issues--just a warning if you are not in the mood to play around with gauge and other aspects of the pattern)

Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Superwash Worsted, 4 balls (maybe 3) Baby Blue

Source: KnitPicks

Needles: Brittany Birch straight US Size 7, Crystal Palace Bamboo straight US Size 5

Modifications: I did a three-needle bind-off to attach the shoulders instead of seaming; I also made little adjustments here and there that I can't remember. As I said, her patterns are very cool and inspiring, but I always swatch and prepare to fiddle with the pattern (I even write in the book, something I don't usually do).

(I embroidered the "L" by hand. I photocopied and enlarged the letter from the alphabet provided with the pattern, traced it onto tracing paper, added interfacing to the back of the sweater for stability, used the satin stitch (a tutorial can be found here) and just stitched right over the tracing paper. After you stitch, you can just tear away the excess tracing paper. It helps to keep the tracing paper in place with an embroidery hoop. I am shocked at how easy it was and how good it came out).

Fat Baby Booties by Beverly Galeskas, from Interweave Felt

Size: Infant/Newborn. I originally made the toddler size, but after felting they were very large. If you substitute yarn like I did you might want to make a test swatch.

Yarn: Dalegarn Tiur, 1 ball green and 1 ball gold (when I made the toddler size, I just barely got away with one ball of each color with Dalegarn Heilo--there was just a yard or two of the main color left)

Source: The store closing sale at The Yarn and Fiber Shop two years ago

Needles: Susan Bates 24" circular needle, US Size 9; Susan Bates 16" circular needle, US size 8; Susan Bates 16" circular needle, US Size 10.5 (standing in as the bind off needle for a 10.5 DPN)

Modifications: On the first pair (which I will post pictures of soon) I didn't read all of the directions. The second time around I followed everything except the second bootie got turned inside out (before a really crucial point) and I didn't notice until the last step. I felted it anyway. It's on the bottom and not really noticeable--I love felting.

I finished the third clue for the Secret of the Stole KAL. I think they are on clue 6 now. Boo. Although I will have almost two free weeks before Christmas when school and work are done, to work on it; I guess I shouldn't stress about it.

Thanksgiving is almost here! I can't wait to make my pies from scratch, to curl up in front of a roaring fire, to sit and watch the Macy's parade with my knitting...

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