Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red Cabled Baby Hat

Red can be a super challenging color to photograph (thank you new housemate!), but I love it for baby boys even more than the "traditional" blue. And this yarn is just right for the little boy in Texas it is intended for. It is made from a 50-50 blend of cotton and soy fiber, which was a new yarn for me. It is very soft and comes in great colors, from brights to softer tones.

Pattern: Cabled Baby Hat by Melanie Hoffman
Size: 0-3 months
Yarn: Queensland Collection Bebe Cotsoy
Yarn Supplier: Mind's Eye Yarns
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm

Modifications: I shortened ribbing by half and then completely made up my own decreases so that they would look more in pattern than the original. This was a free pattern, which can be accessed on the designer's blog (pattern linked directly, above) and is also available as a free Ravelry download.

Just a reminder! My birthday giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight EST. So if you would like to enter, comment on that post.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birthday Giveaway '10

It is that time again: time for my birthday giveaway. I love that my birthday giveaway has become a minor tradition. For my last 3 birthdays (2007, 2008, 2009), I have been happy to celebrate by doing a giveaway on my blog. And this year is no exception to that trend.

This year to participate, leave a comment on this post with your favorite birthday meal. If you could pick anything, what would you want? Make sure I have a way of getting back to you if you win! This year, our 3 winners will respectively receive a double pointed needle case from Baguettes by BBL, a skein of Calzino Color sock yarn in colorway 0366 (yes, poetic I know), and the lastest issue of Crochet! (the July 2010 edition). You have until the end of the month, Eastern Standard Time to join in.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Flower Headband

I am always on the lookout for fun projects to make with the little bit of leftover yarn from a project.

Flower Pattern: Crochet Picot Flower by Julie Armstrong Holetz
Yarn: Rowan 4 Ply Cotton in color 129, Aegean
Yarn Supplier: Wild and Wooly in Lexington, MA
Needles: US 2 / 2.75 mm
Hook: 3.0 mm

In this case, I had some fingering weight cotton left over from the Betty Lou lace cardigan, so I made a cute little flowered headband. It is super simple, just a 3 stitch i-cord and little crocheted flower sewn on.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Betty Lou Lace Cardigan

This summer the birthdays of my two nieces are coming up, to-be ages 1 and 3 respectively. So I wanted to have something handknit for the youngest, since has tended to get a lot of hand-me-downs from her sister. I wanted to make something just for her.

Pattern: Betty Lou Lace Cardigan by Kristen Rengren
Pattern Source: Vintage Baby Knits
Size: 12-18 months
Yarn: Rowan 4 Ply Cotton in color 129, Aegean
Yarn Supplier: Wild and Wooly in Lexington, MA
Needles: US 2 / 2.75 mm
Modification: omitted pom poms, made tie on the left

The original pattern had pom poms on the ends of the ties, which are absolutely adorable. I just couldn't convince myself that they would hold up well in cotton with frequent machine washing, so I skipped them.

I have been wanting to make something from this book from the moment I started seeing it reviewed on-line. Seriously, it is full of amazingly cute patterns for both girls and boys, but then I have always had a fondness for vintage patterns. And this book makes it super easy, since everything has already been translated into modern knitting terminology and needle sizes.

I adore this pattern, but it seems to run big. The sleeves are meant to be about 3/4 length based on the pictures on the model, which seems about right when looking at the stretchiness of the cuff, the lengths and circumferences. Due to the tied-closed construction though, you could use it on a younger child and let them grow into it. This last point is really excellent, because although I made the 12-18 month size and the gauge is correct, it could almost fit my older niece!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spiral Scrubbies

I have never really gotten into the whole washcloth craze. I know there are lots of people who get really into it, though. Recently I stumbled across these on XandraAnneww's Ravelry queue and got really excited. I love the idea of theses as an ultimately-compostable cleaning tool.

Pattern: Spiral Scrubbie by Judith Prindle
(free pattern, also with video instructions)
Yarn: Lily Sugar'n Cream Ombres & Prints
Yarn Supplier: Windsor Button
Hook: J / 6.0 mm

Theses are really clever and surprisingly addictive to make. It is probably a good thing I don't have that much kitchen cotton in my stash, or I might not make anything else for a while.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stripey Sweater

Salvbard has been traveling a lot more often to China for business. During a recent trip, he called me very excited as one of his Chinese coworkers' wives there was expecting a son. Could I make something? Sure, I love making baby stuff. I am always at a bit of a loss of what to make for baby boys, though. After flipping through a couple of baby pattern books on the shelf though, I had a plan.

Pattern: Nautical/Matelot Jacket by Lesley Stanfield
Pattern Source: Adorable Crochet for Babies and Toddlers
Hook: D / 3.25 mm
Yarn: a bunch of stash leftover fingering weight
Button Supplier: Windsor Button
Modification: stripes in different colors, hdc rather than sc

I absentmindedly changed the whole sweater to half double crochets rather than single crochets when converting from British abbreviations to the American ones. I really liked the finished fabric though, which is not as stiff as it would have been in the sc. (I believe the pattern described it as "sturdy.") Since the hdc is taller, that meant a little extra math to make sure that the deccreases happened at the right frequency.

I really like the concept of this sweater, but the proportions are really, really weird. After it was done, I looked up the measurements for different sizes, and the chest circumference is really huge, while the widest point of the sleeve is a little smaller than I would like in something like crochet which is less stretchy. Also the pattern has you seam the sleeves so that the cuff must be rolled up. This is fine (though I wish I had realized for the selection of color sequence), but it never tells you how long the finished-folded-back sleeve should be nor how long the cuff should be. Annoying! Fortunately the Craft Yarn Council of America has that information online here.

The pattern calls for this pattern to be a simple, classic two-color affair. For whatever reason the idea of doing it in all different colors sort of tickled my fancy though. Plus it makes it a great use for all those little bits of leftover sock yarn that you might not have enough to do much else with. The result was a lot more fun than it had any right to be.

Also the buttons on this sweater make me absurdly happy. I couldn't find 5 that matched that I liked for this sweater in the giant box of buttons at Windsor Button, but I like the whimsy of all different ones.

Final verdict: cute concept, but I would go with different proportions next time.

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