Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Knitting Again Finally

Just didn't have the urge to knit for a long while since I was busy pattern drafting and sewing, sewing, sewing.  Finally I picked up a pair of socks I was knitting for A and before I knew it, they were done:

These were knit on Size 1 needles using Trekking (XXL) color 100 from the deep, deep stash. For the first time, I made no attempt to match the uneven stripes which seemed to be pretty random.  It felt so good to finish a knitting project that I immediately started another sock.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Knitting for Fall

Now that the construction work is done and the garden is in, the hot weather season will soon be here.  In spite of this, the knitting mojo has come back unexpectedly.  We have been traveling to a wedding and for business, but once we got home again to stay put, I started knitting the ribbings by hand for future sweaters:
 I don't like ribbings knitted on the machine much so I do them by hand and then seal them up in a quart-sized zip lock bag until I get around to hanging them on the machine and knitting the rest of the sweater.  The ribbings in the picture will all become cardigans.

Then I remembered that I meant to make some more pullovers.  I have sewn together the pink pullover, and the black and the aqua, but the purple pieces are still waiting.  In the meantime, I started a sage green pullover with a patterned front panel.  After the front ribbing is knit, I pick up the middle section, add seam stitches to the sides (and seam stitches will be added to the center edge of the machine-knit side portions), and then I knit the patterned panel by hand.  This is fun to do, and I get to try out some of the stitch designs in my Japanese pattern books.  Here's another sweater that also had the center panel done the same way:

The original pattern had lots of twisted stitches, but since I don't like knitting those, I just used regular stitches.  I also added a small cable to the sides, and it is turning out very well.

We have been having one of those peculiar cold (but unfortunately not wet) California springs, but most people are really glad.  News reports say that El Nino is coming back to the coast, so the chances of good rainfall next fall and winter are good.  I hope they are right.

Update:  Finished up the purple V-neck pullover! Also cleared off the table in the sewing room and set up the LK150 that has been boxed up since the construction.  Ready to knit.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Still Here

It has been about a year since I wrote anything here, but I have been making things here and there.  We have been doing some upkeep and construction on the house, and we also took a big trip last fall, so I found my opportunities for knitting were put on the back burner.  I have been sewing together some sweaters lately, and finished up a pair of socks:

I have a yellow cardigan that just needs the buttons to be sewn on, and I still have to set up the knitting machine again after it was boxed up during the construction.  In the meantime, I have been getting the garden in and sewing a lot. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

More Baby Sweaters

This little Wonderful Wallaby has been around for about 10 years or so.  I originally made it for a girl at the office but forgot to send it off.  It languished in the sewing room for years before it turned up again.  Now it is in the Baby Gift Box.
I have been tinkering with this pattern to make it doable on the knitting machine since knitting this one by hand.  The dark red sweater in the last post is the pattern I came up with.

This next sweater is also an old old sweater.  I made it back when I was knitting items for a Christmas boutique, and it was supposed to have a zipper up the front.  The front edges had been crocheted to get them ready for sewing the zipper, but I never got around to putting the zipper in.  It seemed to me that the zippers now have a section of plastic with sometimes sharp edges at the corners on the top area of the zipper, and I didn't want that anywhere near a baby's face.  Finally, I ripped out the crochet, which was a finicky and lengthy job, and added a regular button band.
A sweater like this is a good way to use up scraps of yarn when there is not enough of one color for the whole sweater.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

More Items For The Baby Stash

There has been a little clean up in the sewing room, and I unearthed about five unsewn baby bibs that can be finished off and added to the baby gift stash.  In addition to that, a few sweaters have been finished up.
This was a first design version of a pullover hoodie.  My goal is to use up a lot of leftover yarn scraps.  This version is usable, but the slope of the raglan is too steep and the hood is not tall enough.  The front opening depth is good though.  This was knit entirely on the machine except for the garter stitch border and the ribbing.
Here's version two, a success except that the front opening needs to be deeper.   I miscalculated the row count for the opening but it still works.  It just made it impossible to hang the whole hood on the machine at the same time, so there is a seam up the back.  The seed stitch was also done on the machine which is possible but finicky though it didn't take as long as I expected.  I always test the baby sweaters (these are all Size 2) by pulling them over my own head.  If the sweater neck opening is big enough for me, it will certainly work for a toddler.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Baby Gift Box

I've always thought it would be a great idea to have a box of completed baby gifts ready to go for showers or new baby gifts instead of rushing around at the last minute.  I've thought about this idea for at least 20 years and am finally doing something about it.  My daughters are at the age when lots of friends or co-workers are having babies, and it can be expensive to buy all those gifts.  I have lots of leftover yarn, lots of patterns, and a current baby item mojo, so I have started making items for the gift box.  First thing completed was a sweater from the book Kids Kids Kids:

This makes a cute sweater and an interesting knit.  The shape of the sweater is very different before it is assembled, but it all works out in the end.  Next I tried out some baby booties patterns and ended up crocheting some accidentally large footwear:
These were from a pamphlet I have had for years, but ended up big enough for a really large toddler.  I tried another pattern and produced a short, fat bootie that was a frogged failure.  After that, I decided on baby socks and had success:

 There are still three pullovers in the sewing room that need to be sewn together and a cardigan waiting for its buttons.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Light Blue Pullover

This pullover still needs some blocking to stretch out the lace pattern and make the sleeve caps smooth, but at least it is finished.

The lace portion should flare out more since form fitting the midriff is not an attractive look at my age, but this yarn usually relaxes quite nicely after a few washes.

In spite of the three unassembled sweaters sitting in the sewing room, I am thinking of making a lot of baby sweaters for the long-planned stash of future shower gifts.  My girls are also at the stage of life when friends are having babies so it would be nice to use up the scrap yarn from all these sweaters in a useful way.  I found a really nice baby sweater pamphlet this week at the thrift store with some nice basic sweaters including a patterned round-yoke cardigan that would be good for using up leftovers.