Friday, November 23, 2007

Baby stuff

Knitting a baby set is the main fibery project around here right now -

Sweater -

I finished the Garter & Honeycomb Stitch sweater from the Greeting From the Knit Cafe book. Easy enough to knit, I did 2 things differently from the pattern was to use waste yarn for the armhole openings (instead of casting off then on the armhole stitches) and I did both straps together at the end.

Using the waste yarn meant the sleeves had to be done in the round, in a way, that's not a bad thing because it meant the only seams were the top of the shoulders between the armhole and the neck, instead of neck to wrist. On the other hand, doing the Honeycomb Stitch in the round meant being REALLY careful not to change tension on the slip rows - which I didn't do well on the first sleeve, but had it ok on the second sleeve.

Here's the sweater laid out, as best as possible, the way it's knit - you start with 6 stitches and knit the flap (left side of pic) increase for one side of the cross-over, then the rest of the sweater, decrease for the other side of the cross-over (the slit is where the cross-over fits into) and do another strap (on the right side of the pic, right where the pic ends, iow, no pic of the 2nd strap)

Doing the straps together at the end was simply because when I started I wasn't sure I had enough yarn. I did a provisional cast on for 6 stitches and did the last 2 rows of the first strap, then the sweater, then 2 rows of the 2nd strap - at that point I knew I had enough yarn to do both straps in the same yarn. (Or if I had run short, at least both straps would match) One thing that hadn't occurred to me when I started was that by doing both straps at the same time, the ends would match since they're both cast-off ends. Next time, I'll follow the order of the pattern, and just cast-on with a crochet cast-on that looks like a bind off chain edge (and the chain of a slipped-stitch selvedge).

I also was careful to do a slip-stitch selvedge on the edges that would show and a garter-stitch selvedge for the edges that were part of the shoulder seam. The schematic of the sweater was clear enough that it was easy to figure that out. It's a tiny detail that I'm positive no one would ever noticed, but I like having all the visible selvedges match. I don't always manage to, but I try.

Booties, Mittens, and hat continued...

Booties -
I'm doing these and they are really quick & easy. One takes about 45 minutes. I finished one pair, and I'm planning to make another pair. The only thing I'm going to change on the 2nd pair is to start from the top - do the same pattern, just start with the ribbing and end with the garter sole. That way the starting tail is at the top, and the ending tail is at the toe (well not really, since one or the other will be used to sew up the seam, but one's at each end). The way the pattern's written, the starting yarn tail is at the back heel and the ending yarn tail is at the top. I also did a double centered decrease instead of the 2 decreases 1 stitch apart, it made a nice line in the top of the foot, I don't think I can replicate that knitting top down with a double increase, but that's ok. A little variation is a good thing.

Mittens -
I used the baby mittens from the baby set in the Homespun, Handknit book. Another quick knit - I think an hour, including sewing up the seam. The top of the mitten is garter stitch and I wanted to have an invisible seam, so on the last row, I just knit half the row and then kitchenered it closed. The kitchner is doing in garter stitch so there's no break to the garter ridges. On the first mitten, I did the ribbing as the book says but then there's a ridge instead where the seam, it's a tiny ridge (about 10 rows, and it's a soft barely-dk weight yarn) but on the second mitten, I did the first & last stitches in garter and the rest in ribbing. When I sewed the mitten closed, the garter stitch seam was flat, no ridge, and it's not really noticeable that instead of K2P2 all the way around, one set of p2 is actually 2 stitches of garter. I don't think it's all that noticeable. I hope. I'm going to make at least one more mitten - "a pair & a spare" set.

Hat -
I haven't decided what kind. I'm thinking of the hat from the same baby set as the mittens. Or maybe a plain hat with an icord knot like this one but without the intarsia designs. I should decide really soon though, the shower's next weekend!


ROZ said...

I love to knit baby sets, too. I like the way you explain changes you have made in the written pattern. Actually, I think that you are designing as you go along. I often do that too, so my pattern has a lot of sticky notes on it at the end. I often make a copy of the pattern I'm working on, so I can carry it with me, and I can write my notes right on there.

Lillian said...

Thank you so much!