Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cross cultral knitting for boys - a pitfall

I am sure that most knitters have run up against the boy-clothing dilemma of intense conservatism combined with extreme pickiness.
Sharon wisely had the designated recipient look at the pattern books, and select his own yarn.
Having the common non-knitter difficulty in imagining a particular pattern made up in a different yarn, the boy chose Sirdar Crofter Chunky 0053, Hound Dog, to make the cabled hoodie, Design B, from Sirdar Book 362, Crofter Chunky. There is a very nice photograph of a boy wearing this hoodie, in this yarn in the pattern book.



Sharon is a very experienced knitter, and likes to knit in the round, so she started off this pattern from the bottom, knitting the back and the front at once. Unfortunately, she had not remembered that the pattern repeat for the fair isle effect has been worked out for the pattern as written - when knit across the front and the back at once, the fair isle effect was lost, so she had to rip it. Annoying.

Fortunately, making a size 61/66 chest jumper, using Chunky yarn, is quick. This did not take Sharon long to knit, even with the hood.

Unfortunately, the boy took one look at the finished hoodie, and said "There's pink in it!" (you will have to imagine the tone of deep disgust). He must have missed the very small amount of pinkish red visible in both the photograph, and the yarn in its ball. He insisted that the jumper be given to his (female) cousin instead.

However, after he reluctantly agreed to model it to check the fit, he asked for one just the same - in a different colour.


The next one had better be plain navy blue.
Maybe he should knit it himself.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Baby Bamboo 370 , Happy Little Stripes

The next Christmas gift completed is a cardigan for a 6 year old niece. I have used the pattern Stripey caridgan B, from Sirdar 370, Little Stripes and Brights, making a size 6-7.


I used the same colours of Baby Bamboo as the last cardigan, as this present is for the older sister of the previous niece, and I think it is pretty to have a common theme in sibling clothing for occasional use.


The finished cardigan looks quite plain, but I am happy with this appearance. I think my niece will be able to wear this cardigan with a dress, or jeans, and this will give her more use from the garment.
In the pattern, there is a knitted flower attached to the cardigan. I have made this flower, but cannot take a photograph of it today, as the camera battery has inconveniently gone flat. I have made a pony tail ornament with the flower, and will make another few as brooches, so that the cardigan can be dressed up or down.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sirdar Baby Bamboo Ruffly Bolero

I want to write a few posts about my Christmas Present knitting. Every year, I try to have a few things knitted well in advance, but I always knit presents through November and December.
This year, I am hoping to knit a few summer cardigans for as many of my 8 nieces as time allows. Here is the first cab off the rank.


This cardigan is from Sirdar book 352, Seaside Babies.

I have knit a short sleeved version of the Ruffle trimmed bolero pictured on the front cover. I have deviated only slightly from the pattern, making a size 4-5 for a 5 year old niece, using stripes in the ruffle and sleeves of the short sleeved version, and choosing blues and greens (133 Willow, 138 Waterbaby and 143 Playful) in the Baby Bamboo DK.
This is a very quick knit, just right for whiling away the time whilst spectating at cricket practice. This is just as well, as there are 7 niece garments to go - and my mother wants a glamorous scarf to wear in the evening....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Knit 8 Side to side cardigan, version 2

Today I have asked Hannah to write a guest post about the cardigan she has just finished. Hannah has been knitting for 2 years, and is working in the shop part time.

Pattern description:

The pattern I used is the side to side cardigan, from Knit 8. I made Version 2.
This pattern is for a short, sideways knitted cardigan with three cables. The cardigan ties with an eye cord that runs through one of the cables.


Why did you chose this pattern? Did the finished garment turn out as you expected?

I chose the cardigan pattern because it looked fun and quick to knit and had quite a few techniques that I hadn't used before. When I finished the cardigan it looked exactly like the picture in Knit 8, but with different colours and a longer i-cord, which were my changes.


Did you find any errors or tricky places in the pattern?

Right at the end of the pattern there was one minor error, the knits were called purls and the purls were called knits, but I found it before I knitted that section, thank goodness. :)


What yarns and needles did you use? Did you like the yarn texture and colour? Did the yarns work well for the pattern?:

For the cardigan I used Alpaca Silk Georgette 751 Pebble and Soho Summer DK Cotton 234 Currant. I used Currant instead of Soho Summer DK Cotton 216 Sapote, which is the yarn used in the pattern instructions, because I preferred the colour combination of purple and steel grey to the suggested brown and steel grey, which seemed a bit dull to me. The needles I used were 5.5mm and 10.0mm single pointed needles, a cable needle, a stitch holder and 5.5mm double pointed needles.

The two yarns together feel soft and make the pattern look slightly lacy, because they're knitted together on large needles. The two yarns worked really well for the cardigan, I love the combined colours and the yarns feel very soft. The cardigan is also a perfect weight for Queensland, it gives some warmth but isn't too hot, because of its lacy texture.


How long did it take you to knit the garment:

I knitted the cardigan on and off for about 2 months, not doing much knitting each time. The actual knitting was very quick though, and sewing up barely took any time at all. Probably the most time consuming part of the cardigan was knitting the i-cord.

Was it a difficult knit for you? Did you use any new techniques?:

This wasn't a very difficult cardigan to make, the instructions were quite easy to read and follow, even though there were a few techniques I hadn't really used much before, like the moss stitch and the whole experience of knitting "sideways." The instructions for the i-cord weren't as clear but I found very user-friendly instructions for it in Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley

Are you happy with the garment? Where and when are you planning to wear it?

I am very happy with the cardigan, it turned out almost exactly like I thought it would, and I think it is very flattering to wear. I plan to wear the cardigan in spring, autumn and maybe on warmer winter days. So far I've worn it with a dress during a breezy day at the beach and at work over a blouse, with a skirt. I am really satisfied with the cardigan, hopefully I'll be able to wear it a lot. I think it will dress up a jeans outfit, or look smart and casual over a more formal outfit.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Knit 4 sweater, Enid's version

There are few things more useful in a winter wardrobe than a classic cream jumper. Enid had a old favourite that had been worn to death, and needed to replace it. She chose the gorgeously soft and fine Alpaca Silk Georgette yarn with which to make her jumper, then spent quite some time considering the many patterns available.
Her choice was one of the jumpers from Knit 4.

This pattern book has several jumper options, and several cardigan options for Alpaca Silk Georgette, Enid's is a combination of sweater version 1 and sweater version 2 - Enid has knitted a medium length for the body, and altered the neck to fall between the high and crew styles. She has also chosen to double over the rib neck, for a more robust and clean looking finish.


Enid generally liked the pattern, but felt that there was a nasty error in the shoulder section. She had to increase the length of the shoulders by approximately 10 cm further than the pattern described. Fortunately, she had no difficulty with the relatively small amount of reverse knitting that was needed.

The final jumper is a great success, and will undoubtedly be loved to death, just like the first classic cream jumper. Using a fine yarn for a jumper gives a good fit without excess bulk.