Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meet the newest addition

I wanted to introduce the newest addition to my family.  This is my Harrisville loom I brought home yesterday.  It has a 36" weaving width and it's so beautiful.  It was owned by my new friend, Darlene, who got it back in the early 80's.  She decided that grandkids were more fun than weaving (and who could argue with that?) so it has gone unused for a number of years.
I already have some perle cotton pulled out to start winding the warp and I'll get Laurie to help me get that first warp on.  I can hardly wait except I'll be out of town for a week or so.  So I will wait but I'll be busily planning for my return!
I think I'm finally going to become a weaver.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Too cute to count

I had no idea it had been so long since I've posted.  There's just too much to keep up with. 
Here's one thing I've been waiting to share.  I didn't want to post this until the expectant mommy got her care package. A friend of mine is having a baby very shortly and I've been working on things since I first found out.  There was a blanket (of course, from a vintage pattern) and then this little outfit. 

The jacket is my take on a vintage baby pattern that I call Baby Seed Jacket.  The original pattern was written using Berroco Comfort but since I couldn't find any of the Berroco, I decided to use Encore.  It's the same weight, fiber makeup, etc.and it proved to be a successful substitute.  I think the Comfort gives better stitch definition and I would still chose to use it if I had a choice but this was fine.  You can't tell from this picture but this was a variegated heathered yarn that went from a light pink to a light grey and I was concerned about how long the color changes were.  I still prefer the shorter changes of Berroco but, again, this was fine.

There were supposed to be 2 rows of buttons but the button holes were too far down so I decided to add a faux row.  That is, I sewed the buttons on top and added snaps underneath.  I like using snaps near the neck because the buttons can come out of button holes with the moving baby and the snaps just make it a little more secure and less fussy.

I had only written the pattern for the jacket.  But I'd bought 2 balls of yarn and used only a little bit of the second ball.  I decided I had to have a hat.  So I cast on and made the hat.  I still had yarn left over so I decided I had to have booties.  And, ya'll, I love these booties beyond all reason.  the cuff can fold up or fold down, and they're actually shaped more like a little shoe.  I decided to work the heel a little differently.  I'm sure someone will jump up and say, "That's a so-and-so heel!"  But I just made it up because I thought it looked more like a shoe than a sock and this method seemed to work the best for that. 

I decided to knit the heel straight down using the stitches from 3 of the 4 needles (3/4 of the stitches, if you're using circs or magic loop).  Once I got to the bottom, I knit the stitches of the back needle in garter (for the sole) and at the end of each row, I knit 1 stitch from the back needle and 1 stitch from the side needle together.  That bound off the stitches of the side needles and that was my heel turned.  Then I started knitting in the round again by knitting the sole stitches in garter, picking up stitches from the side edge, knitting the top needle stitches and picking up stitches on the other side.  That gave me my heel turned and my foot stitches.

On the toe, instead of decreasing like a sock, I decreased on the top only, which gives a shaped toe but leaves the sole flat, like a shoe.  I really love how they came out.  If you want to try the Baby Seed Booties, here's the pattern.  At some point, I'm going to add the bootie and hat pattern to the jacket pattern but I haven't gotten that done yet.  In the meantime, enjoy:

Baby Seed Booties

2 skeins worsted weight yarn like Encore                  1 set US size 4 (3.5mm) straight needles
1 set US size 4 (3.5mm) double pointed needles      Tapestry needle (for finishing)
2 buttons (for cuffs)

Using straight needles, cast on 32 stitches.  Knit 10 rows in seed stitches (K1, P1, repeat across)
Left bootie: Bind off 6 stitches and knit across row, distributing stitches on double pointed needles this way: needle #1 – 6 stitches; #2 – 6 stitches; #3 – 8 stitches; #4 – 6 stitches.  (needle with 8 stitches forms the heel and, eventually, the sole)
Right bootie: Knit to end.  On next row, bind off 6 stitches and distribute remaining stitches on double pointed needles this way: needle #1 – 6 stitches; #2 – 6 stitches; #3 – 8 stitches; #4 – 6 stitches. (needle with 8 stitches forms the heel and, eventually, the sole)
Knit 16 rounds.

For the next section, you will use the stitches from all the needles except needle 1 (top of foot where flap is).

Distribute the remaining 20 stitches on 2 needles (10 stitches each).  (You can leave them on 3 needles but I find it easier to manage on 2 needles.)
Work 10 rows in stockinette stitch.

Knit to end.

The next section is going to form the heel part of the sole and turn the heel.  The sole of the bootie will be in garter stitch and the rest in stockinette.

Row 1: P6, K7, K2tog.  Turn.
Row 2: Slip 1, K6, K2tog. Turn.
Repeat Row 2 until all side stitches have been used. (8 stitches remaining)

You’ll now begin working in rounds again.

Round 1: K8 on one needle.  With the next needle, pick up 7 stitches along the side of the heel.  On the next needle, knit the 6 stitches that were being held in reserve.  On the last needle, pick up 7 stitches along the side of the heel.
Round 2: P8 on the “sole” needle, knit around.
Round 3: K8 on the “sole” needle to maintain the garter stitch pattern, knit around.

Repeat Rounds 2 & 3 five more times (12 rounds in all).

Begin decreases for toe.  You may find it easiest to keep sole stitches on 1 needle and divide the remaining stitches between 2 needles (10 stitches each).

(Remember to keep the sole stitches in garter.)
Round 1: Knit (or Purl) 8, next needle - K6, K2tog, K2, next needle – K2, SSK, K6.
Round 2: Knit (or Purl) 8, next needle – K5, K2tog, K2, next needle – K2, SSK, K5.
Round 3: Knit (or Purl) 8, next needle – K4, K2tog, K2, next needle – K2, SSK, K4.
Round 4: Knit (or Purl) 8, next needle – K3, K2tog, K2, next needle – K2, SSK, K3.
Round 5: Knit (or Purl) 8, next needle – K2, K2tog, K2, next needle – K2, SSK, K2.
Round 6: Knit (or Purl) 8, next needle – K1, K2tog, K2, next needle – K2, SSK, K1.
Round 7: Knit (or Purl) 2 together, K6, SSK, next needle – K2tog, K2, next needle – K2, SSK.
Kitchener the toe stitches together.