Wednesday, July 25, 2012

And Finished

Just wanted one more shot of the finished sweater.  I just found out about another baby boy on the way so I'll definitely be using this pattern again.

Sorry, for some reason the photo wants to be upside down!  There's no fathoming the ways of mobile posting.  We're knitters, though, so we can adjust.  Ha!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baby steps

For some reason, I'm finding it very hard to focus on blogging lately.  It's not that I've forgotten you. I'll try to do better.

In the meantime, here's the next step in the baby stuff.  This one's for wee Mason in Florida.  It's probably going to be big for him right now but hopefully will be ready for him as things cool down a little.

The yarn is Plymouth Yarn Jeannee. 51% cotton and 49% acrylic so it can be washed and dried easily and it will be a little better for the warmer climate. I don't know if the yarn is even still made because I've had this in the stash for quite a while and I only had 1 skein each of the 3 colors.  Not really sure why I had these particular colors but I ended up with just a few yards of 2 of the colors left over and none, really of the dark green left over.  It still needs button but I wanted to get a quick photo done before I go on my next trip.  I may add pockets, which was in the original plan, but I think I just like it like this.

If you could see it in person, you would see that it doesn't have button holes.  I've decided since this yarn is pretty thick and is half cotton, buttonholes would tend to stretch.  So I'm going to put snaps on and just sew the buttons on top.  I think they're easier to manage like that anyway but it will also mean I can do fun buttons that don't always work well with buttonholes.  I do plan to write this pattern out and will probably just publish it here instead of doing a proper pattern for it.  We'll see how much time I get to formalize the pattern. I actually went through several different iterations of this with different yarns.  I just couldn't get happy about the other yarns I was trying and finally came across these in the stash.

It's actually pretty easy.  I cast on 96 stitches (with US size 5 needles) and did K2/P2 ribbing for about 8 rows.  I don't know what the gauge is but the yarn is worsted weight.  After the ribbing, I knitted stockinette stitch until the piece was 7 inches from the beginning.  To shape the armholes, I knitted across 20 stitches, bound off 6, knitted until there were 26 stitches left, bound off 6, and knitted 20 stitches.

From this point, each section had to be worked separately.  I decreased stitches at the armhole twice on the knit row and at the same time started decreasing on the neck side.  I continued to decrease on the neck side until there were 12 stitches on the needle and then I knit straight until the armhole was 3 inches and then I bound off the 12 stitches. 

On the other front, do the same thing, On the back, I did the 2 decreases each side of the back (4 stitches decreased in all) and then knit straight until the back matched the front.  On the last 2 rows of the back, I bound off 12 stitches at the beginning of each of the rows and put the remaining stitches on a stitch holder ready for the band.

I sewed the shoulder seams and picked up for the band.  I didn't count but I did a strict pick up 3 stitches on 3 rows and skipped a row.  This is a pretty good way to make sure it lays properly.  When I got to the stitch holder, I knit those off and picked up the same number on the way back down the other side.  I did K2/P2 rib for 6 rows but I wish I'd done it for 8 to match the bottom band.  See what you like.  Then I bound off in the stitch pattern.  Remember, I didn't use buttonholes so if you would rather include them, I would recommend no more than 3 or 4 along the band, evenly spaced, inserted on the second of the K2/P2 rows.

For the sleeves, I cast on 40 stitches and did the ribbing for 2.5-3 inches.  I like to have the band longer on the sleeves so they can be rolled up if necessary and still look well.  After the ribbing, I increased 4 stitches along the first knit row then I increased 1 each side of the sleeve every 6th row until I had 50 stitches.  I knit the sleeves until they were 6 inches from the middle of the ribbing section.  In other words, I folded the sleeve at the ribbing and used that as my beginning point.

I did the same sleeve decreases as for the body (3 on each side followed by 1 decrease each side on each of the next knit rows).  Instead of knitting the final purl row, I bound off on that last row.  On my model, one more purl row was going to make the head of the sleeve just a little bigger than I wanted.  To adjust this in future, I'll probably do the sleeve increases to 48 stitches and include the final purl row (if that makes sense).  I think the sleeve with fit a little better that way.  It's okay but I think it would lay a little better with that little adjustment. 

After that, I just sewed the sleeves in and worked all the ends in and it was done!  Very quick, very easy and would look great with a little fair isle pattern or worked in a variegated yarn so you don't have all the ends.  Just a fun, basic sweater.  I hadn't planned to put all this in tonight, but might as well since it's all fresh in my brain.  Have fun with it.

That's 2 babies down (the other one is getting delivered this next week) and now for the next one.  I'm glad I've got some time to get the things done I've got planned.  Hehehe.