The beginning of a beautiful quilt

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I’ve been coveting Tiny Owl Knit’s Beekeeper’s Quilt for a long time now, but was a little daunted by how many “hexipuffs” were needed for a large quilt and the whole joining process. But with an increasing accumulation of gorgeous sock yarn left overs (or maybe I should call them shawl yarns since I never knit socks?) around the house, I decided that the time was right. I also had a hankering for one of those projects you can just slowly work on over a long period of time. I love that you knit, stuff and finish each hexipuff before moving on to the next, so you get a little bit of instant “finished project” gratification. I’m giving this preview because I’m sure I will be knitting this project for a while, but couldn’t wait until the quilt is finished to show off some adorable puffs. Now I just need to get my hands on some koigu . . . only 336 more puffs to go!

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My Charcoal Quill

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Here’s Quill (by Jared Flood) take two – a dark grey shawl just for me. I actually started knitting this shawl before I decided to knit the Quill Baby Blanket, but put it on hold to finish the blanket in time for the baby shower.

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I was already well into the Old Shale lace when I decided this pattern would make a beautiful baby blanket in white, and I loved the pattern so much that I didn’t mind starting on another one right away. That meant a delay in finishing my own shawl, but it was well worth the wait.

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This version is knit in the lovely Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in (you guessed it!) color number 4 – Charcoal. I knit this one on size 3 needles and made the small size again. I used a little bit over 2 balls of yarn – each ball is 50 g and I used 103 g (approx. 878 yds).

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I just love this pattern – the simplicity of the Old Shale lace and the beautiful knitted-on edging. The Rialto lace is so soft, and the finished shawl has a beautiful drape and sheen. I can’t recommend the pattern and yarn enough!

I was visited by an interloper during my photoshoot, so I recruited him for modeling. He didn’t really enjoy it.

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Blocking Baby Sophisticate

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I snapped this picture while I was blocking the new samples of Baby Sophisticate to show my technique for getting a nicely rounded shawl collar. While wet blocking the sweaters, I simply rolled up a paper towel and folded the collar over it so that it dried in the shape I would want when the sweater is being worn. This helps to avoid the really stretched out and flat collar that can sometimes happen with wet blocking.

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Stella

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Stella by Linden Down

Meet Stella, a baby Estelle! For a while now I’ve thought that, or course, Estelle would be pretty cute as a baby sweater and when I came up with calling the baby sweater Stella . . . well, it had to be done!

DSC_0300Stella has a slightly different shape than Estelle, with a more pulled in neckline (although the neck is still wide, mostly because I assume babies don’t like tight collars). The sweater is worked from the top down with a round yoke. The pattern is designed to be worn with two to three inches of positive ease. Stella comes in five sizes: 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months with finished chest measurements of 20 (21, 22, 23, 24)”/ 51 (53.5, 56, 58.5, 61) cm.

DSC_0293I’ve knit Stella in a wonderful fingering weight yarn from Sweet Fiber Yarns called Super Sweet Sock. The yarn is an 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon blend and comes in some lovely colors (I went with Bloom for the sample). The gauge for Stella is 7 sts/ 9 rows per inch in stockinette stitch. You would need approximately 305 (370, 450, 490, 545) yds fingering weight yarn, so 1 (1, 2, 2, 2) skein(s) if you’re going with Super Sweet Sock.

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Stella is available for 6.50 (USD) as a download in my Ravelry Store or through Paypal.  Just click below!

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Baby & Child Sophisticate!

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It’s finally ready! Here is the updated, improved and expanded version of Baby Sophisticate I’ve had in the works for a while. I’m so excited to have this pattern finally available in expanded sizes!

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The new pattern includes an updated construction, corrected sizing (since the original pattern ran small) and many more sizes. Baby & Child Sophisticate includes baby sizes of 3 (6, 12, 18, 24) months with finished chest measurements of 20 1⁄4 (21, 22, 22 3⁄4, 24 1⁄4)”/ 51.5 (53.5, 56, 58, 61.5) cm and child sizes 2 (4, 6, 8, 10) with finished chest measurements of 25 (26 3⁄4, 29, 30 1⁄2, 32 1⁄4)”/ 63.5 (68, 73.5, 77.5, 82) cm.

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I’ve knit this new version of the pattern in Knit Picks Swish Worsted (the samples are Squirrel Heather) which is 100% Merino wool and superwash (so, perfect for babies and kiddos). The gauge for the updated pattern is 4.5 sts/ 6 rows per inch in stockinette stitch.

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The free version of Baby Sophisticate will always remain available so that everyone will have access to the extensive notes of those who have knitted the pattern before and the wonderful translations made by fellow Ravelers. This pattern is simply an extension of the original for those interested in more sizes, improved sizing for the 3 and 6 month sizes and construction updates.

DSC_0399Both the baby and child sizes are included in the new pattern. The new pattern follows the same general logic as the original, with a few improvements such as more accurate sizing, as I said, a better fitting underarm, more detailed instructions on the construction of the collar and improved instructions for the buttonholes.

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Baby & Child Sophisticate is available for 6.50 (USD) as a download in my Ravelry Store or through Paypal.  Just click below!

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Quill Heirloom Baby Blanket

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One of my best friends from high school is having a baby in about a month. They are not finding out if it’s a boy or a girl until the big day, so I was a little bit unsure about what to knit! While there are a lot of great gender-neutral patterns out there, I tend to like baby sweaters that fall in the “super-girly” or “little-man” camps. Once the wee one is here, I may make him or her a little outfit, but before that I wanted to get something ready for my friend’s shower.

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Then it occurred to me that my friend has always had a love for the traditional. I started thinking that maybe I wanted to knit a beautiful heirloom baby blanket – one that could wrap up all of her future children as well – in a traditional pattern and in a beautiful natural colored yarn. Admittedly, this realization was probably brought on by the fact that I was knitting a Quill shawl (by Jared Flood of Brooklyntweed) for myself out of a gorgeous gray yarn (almost done, pictures soon!), and the pattern suggested that the shawl would work well as an heirloom baby blanket. So, I ran out to the local yarn shop and picked up a couple of balls of Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace, a lovely mix of alpaca and silk, and started knitting another Quill!

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This is a beautiful pattern with the traditional structure of a Shetland Hap Shawl. I knit the smaller size, which ended up blocking out to about a 40 inch square. I love the Old Shale Lace pattern, which I happen to think looks like rows and rows of little tiaras (like the one Kate Middleton wore?), and the edging is just gorgeous – takes a while – but is just gorgeous! Here she is blocking.

DSC_0374The Silky Alpaca Lace worked really nicely with this pattern. I bought two balls initially, but had to run back to the store to get a third ball (the day I had to finish it for it to make it to the shower!) because I just didn’t have quite enough yarn to finish the edging! I weighed the third ball before and after, and determined that I used about 35 yards (out of 440 yds in the ball). Anyone need a mostly unused ball of Silky Alpaca Lace? :) It was all worth it in the end, though, because I think this blanket is beautiful. The fabric is light and delicate, but very warm thanks to the alpaca. We’re all excited for your arrival in the world, Baby O, and I’m so happy to contribute something to keep you warm and snug.

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Turned Hem Tutorial

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My latest pattern Jacqueline features a turned stockinette hem on the sleeves and body and since this isn’t the most common technique I thought I would post a small tutorial on how to do it! Let’s dive right in!

Start by working a provisional cast-on with waste yarn. I typically use a crochet cast-on. Begin by chaining a couple of stitches.

DSC_0321Next you will start chaining onto your knitting needle. Place the knitting needle on top of the working yarn, hook the yarn and pull it through the loop on your hook over the knitting needle.

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DSC_0324Move the working yarn back so that your knitting needle is again on top of the working yarn and continue until you have cast on the correct number of stitches.

DSC_0325Once you have the correct number of cast-on stitches, chain a few more stitches off of the needle. Your needle should look something like this.

DSC_0327Now you can start knitting with your project yarn into the cast-on stitches.

DSC_0331Jacqueline calls for you to work 5 rows in stockinette stitch, a turning row in which you break up the stockinette stitch with a row of purl bumps and cast-on additional stitches for the ribbing panel, and then 5 more rows in stockinette stitch (plus the ribbing section). So in the case of this pattern, your work should look something like this.

DSC_0346You now need to transfer those provisionally cast-on stitches to a needle so you can work with them. To do this, unravel the last stitch that you chained so that you can “unzip” your crochet chain and begin to pick up the live stitches that are now exposed.

DSC_0350To join the hem, fold the fabric at the turning row so that the wrong sides of the work are touching and the live stitches on both needles are aligned. On the next row, you are going to purl across, purling through the stitch on both needles for each stitch.

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Here’s how the hem should look after you have consumed all of the provisionally cast-on stitches. There will be one less cast-on stitch than your working stitches, so you will purl one stitch from your working needle by itself (i.e. there is no cast on stitch for you to purl with it).

DSC_0359And from the front . . .

DSC_0361Here is your hem after a few more rows of knitting in pattern.

DSC_0363DSC_0364I hope this is helpful for anyone struggling with the hem for Jacqueline (or any other hemmed pattern for that matter)! Let me know if anything could be made clearer.

Oblique

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You may remember (but probably don’t) when I started a beautiful sweater years ago out of Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The pattern was Oblique by Véronik Avery from Knitty Fall 2007. I had some really cool buttons with an old coin design that I thought would look great since the buttons are so important for this pattern.

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Well, I finished the sweater! I love this pattern and think it makes a gorgeous sweater – the only problem for me is that the one I made was way too big! I decided to modify the pattern to be seamless instead of knitted flat, but my main problem is that the alpaca yarn stretched like crazy. The sleeves and body both ended up way too long (especially the sleeves . . .). I thought about ripping back and reknitting some of the sweater, but luckily I have a very tall friend and it just felt better to give it to her instead! Tada – instant Christmas present for Kristen! And it fits her perfectly!

DSC_0324I’m definitely going to have to knit this again for myself (paying particular attention to sizing!) because I love this sweater and want to wear it. The pattern is very well written and really fun because of all of the stitch pattern changes. I also think the style is very flattering!

DSC_0327My modifications mainly consisted of knitting the fronts and back together from the bottom up to the underarms, knitting the sleeves in the round up to the underarms and then joining them and working a traditional raglan yoke. I’ve just realized that I think this sweater was also my first exposure to twisted ribbing – oh what an influence it turned out to be! :)

 

Basketweave Baby Blanket

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DSC_0258 As a part of my baby knitting spree, I decided to make another basketweave baby blanket like the green one I made for my cousin’s son a couple of years ago. This time (since the baby is a girl!) I decided to go with a really soft pink called Shell in the same Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton as the original blanket. I love this basketweave pattern and think it’s perfect for a cozy baby blanket. (I also made a simple little stockinette hat from a pattern in my head; if you’re looking for a similar pattern try the Umbilical Cord Hat by Jennifer Jones).

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I’ve had some requests for the pattern used to make my basketweave baby blanket, and since it’s pretty much just a simple stitch pattern with a garter stitch border I figured I would just post what I did here instead of making up a pattern pdf. I used 4 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton with a US size 6 needle, but I’m a very loose knitter so I would suggest going up a size or two (the ball band calls for US 7-9). My blanket ended up approximately 28″ x 28″.

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BASKETWEAVE BABY BLANKET
CO 111 sts (using crochet cast on if you would like it to match the bind off edge).
Knit 10 rows.
Pattern Row 1 (RS): K5, p1, k3, [p5, k3] to last 6 sts, p1, k5.
Pattern Row 2 (WS): K6, p3, [k5, p3] to last 6 sts, k6.
Pattern Row 3 (RS): Knit across.
Pattern Row 4 (WS): K10, [p3, k5] to last 5 sts, k5.
Pattern Row 5 (RS): K5, [p5, k3] to last 10 sts, p5, k5.
Pattern Row 6 (WS): K10, [p3, k5] to last 5 sts, k5.
Pattern Row 7 (RS): Knit across.
Pattern Row 8 (WS): K6, p3, [k5, p3] to last 6 sts, k6.
Repeat pattern rows 1-8 until your blanket is the desired length (ending with row 1 so that the pattern matches that at the cast on edge) or until you have just enough yarn left for the 10 garter stitch rows for the top border.
Knit 10 rows.
BO all sts in knit.
 
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 Please let me know if you have any issues with the pattern!

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