Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Retro Baby

After I finished knitting this cream coloured hoodie, there were a few things about it that I thought could be better ... so, not to let it beat me, I did some tweaking to the pattern, and came up with this blue stripey (and much improved) version :-) ... really!, I'll use any excuse to do some more knitting!! The main thing that I wanted to change was the front neckline, as it came way too high, making the top button sit scarily close to mouth level (the top button is undone and flipped back on the modeled photo). I also tapered the sleeves on the first one, but then found it hard to get them on over his other clothes ... sooo, the new and improved hoodie now has, a scooped out neckline, non tapered sleeves, and I also made it a bit bigger to allow for a wriggly baby! :-D

RETRO BABY ... (so named because it made me think of my Mum's patterns from the '60's!)
I made it to fit a 6 month old, which the cream version does ... the blue one knitted up bigger, just by upsizing the needles. Basically, the two patterns are the same (other than the parts mentioned before) The cream one was knitted Top Down seamless, and the blue one was done Bottom Up seamless ... there was no real reason for this, guess I just needed a change! :-) The hood is not seamless, but I'm sure that it would be fairly easy to change ... soooo, here's the improved pattern :-)
The pattern I am writing is for Top Down, but changing it to bottom up is easy ... just start with 80 stitches for the body, and23 for each sleeve.

The size is roughly 6 months
The gauge is 13sts x 24 rows to 4"using 6mm needles with 2 strands of yarn held together (cream), and 12.5sts x 18 rows to 4" using 7mm needles, again using double yarn (blue)
I used 3 100g balls of Carnival 8 ply acrylic (gotta love Big W!)

Using yarn double throughout, cast on 18 stitches.
Knit the first row placing markers after stitch 1,2,16,17
Working in stocking stitch, increase both sides of the markers on every knit row, work 7 rows
On next row, also increase at beginning and end of row
Purl 1 row
Remembering to increase still at the raglan seams, cast on 8 stitches at both ends
Keeping the first and last 4 stitches in garter stitch throughout, work 3 more rows in stocking stitch
Buttonhole row, knit to last 4 stitches, k2tog, yfwd, knit 2
Work 5 more rows stocking stitch
Work stitches to first sleeve, put sleeve stitches on holder, cast on 4 stitches, work to the second sleeve, put sleeve stitches on holder, cast on 4 stitches, work to end
*sorry! there seems to be a mistake here ... it should read 20 rows of stocking stitch and 6 rows of garter stitch before the cast off* Work 13 rows stocking stitch, keeping garter edges, placing buttonholes at rows 25, 35, and 45
Cast off
Return sleeve stitches to needles and cast on 2 stitches at either end
The sleeves can either be knit flat and then seamed, or knit in the round (I did mine in the round using magic loop)
Work 26 rows stocking stitch
Work 4 rows garter stitch
Cast off
For the hood, cast on 63 stitches
Work 4 rows of garter stitch
Work 5 rows stocking stitch
Decrease one stitch each end of next row, then every following 3rd row 5 times
Work 1 row
Cast off
Close up any underarm holes, sew the back hood seam together, sew the hood to the jacket neckline, and finally, sew on the buttons :-)
The hood turns out pretty big, but I like that because his other hats still fit on underneath it, (and I think that most of the time, the hood will just be for show). If you wanted to change the size of it, just cast on a few less stitches, but work the same amount of rows to make sure that the hood and neckline match up.
Don't forget to post any finished piccies on Ravelry! ... would love to see them :-)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Quickie Mini Mitts

I wanted some baby mittens to match the hat that I made a couple of weeks ago ... I tried about 4 or 5 different patterns, but none turned out how I wanted them to look ... so I thought I would try taking the parts of each pattern that I liked, do some knitting pattern fusion, and this is what I came up with :-)

Quickie Mini Mitts

This pattern fits about a six month old, but with it being a top down pattern, it's really easy to adapt to whatever size you want (just continue the increases until it's the right width, and then just keep trying them on until the length is correct).

The yarn and gauge don't really matter either ... I used Moda Vera Harmony with size 5mm needles, which knitted up to 18 stitches and 24 rows.

Using Emily Ocker's cast on, cast on 8 stitches.
Knit 1 round.
Knit front and back into every stitch.
Knit 1 round.
Kfb, k6, kfb, kfb, k6, kfb.

Knit 1 round.

Kfb, k8, kfb, kfb, k8, kfb (24 sts)
Continue knitting around on these stitches for about another 13 rows (I used the magic loop method).
K1, yarn forward, k2tog across the next row (eyelet row).
Knit 4 rounds.
Purl 1 round.
Knit 1 round.
Purl 1 round.
Knit 1 round.
Cast off.
Make two wrist ties to thread through the eyelets, and one long connecting cord to attach both mitts. I found that the easiest and neatest way, was to do a simple crochet chain, but an i-cord or ribbon would do the same :-)
(Emily Ocker's cast on is awesome ... I've been trying to get my head around it for ages, ever since I read about it from Elizabeth Zimmermann ... I just couldn't figure it out from Elizabeth's instructions, so googled it, and came up with the above link ... really it's heaps easy and really effective ... I also found a version used for starting crochet circles, which is pretty much the same thing ... it's called the
Magic Adjustable Ring)