Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lacy Sweater for my girl.

Some time ago, a fellow Knitter’s Review Forum member made a very pretty Lacy Sweater designed by Zoe Mellor. I liked her version very much, so I researched this pattern some more on Ravelry to get a better feel for this project. There, I saw another wonderful version and I just knew that I had to make one for my own little girl. The pattern was available on the internet for free (it can also be found in Adorable Knits for Tots: 25 Stylish Designs for Babies and Toddlers by Zoe Mellor). I checked the errata. I bought some Knit Pick’s Shine Worsted Cotton in Coral, and merrily started knitting away…

lacy cotton sweater 3

Hmm… Well…. Making this relatively easy garment did not go as smoothly, as it could have…. Prior to starting this project, I made sure that I read other knitters’ comments and tips re. this sweater. Some had issues with seaming, some with fit, gauge, you name it. I made sure to make a large swatch (7X7”) – gauge was good. I thought I was set… But it is one thing to read about potential project problems and another to encounter them face to face.

lacy cotton sweater 1

The fit.

OK, the thing is designed to have a relaxed fit (check the finished measurements table). But somehow, when I was doing the lacy border, it started seriously growing sideways. The finished border part easily fitted me, and I’m not a small gal. The reverse stockinette part of the sweater was also too wide, despite good swatch gauge. Frog. Switched to smaller needles (US 5). From there, it was smooth sailing until the dumb me remembered that this thing, made in reverse stockinette, will need to be sewn together in the end. Yup! Please don’t judge me too harshly, this is only my second hand knitted sweater; I’m not an experienced knitter. I was waaaay too far into the project to frog and make some sort of a selvedge for easy seaming.

The seaming.

So, off I went all over the web in search of a method for invisible way of joining purl stitch pieces. Found it. The technique itself wasn’t too hard, although it was a bit of a pain to execute. But next, aaaargh, I had to join sleeves that had stockinette running perpendicular to the purl stitches of the sweater body. Never did that before and it was a bit sweat-inducing, too, but turned out relatively OK in the end. Phew!

lacy cotton sweater 2

Well… now it’s done and behind me. It’s still a bit large for my girl, but that was definitely my intent – I don’t want her to grow out of it too soon.

* This is the link to the free pattern for this sweater.

Here is the errata info: Where the pattern says to "work 8-row rep of edging 7(8:9:9) times", the number of repeats should be: 14(16:18:19).

My next knitting adventure (besides my other two endless WIPs) - the Curlicue Coverlet from Oat Couture, marking my first encounter with short rows.

On another note....

I finally got my hands on some glorious crochet cotton from Poland. My husband's uncle brought it for me from his recent trip and I couldn't be happier. I find it much better, softer, more lustrous than what I have available here, i.e. DMC's Cebelia and Coats' Opera, which feel too ropy to me. This is what the Polish threads look like:

Kaja - somewhere between the equivalent of size 20-30 thread:

kaja cream 2

kaja green 1

Aria - close to size 10 thread

aria cream 3

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Pig

Here she is, Lola Curly the Pig - my first knitted toy. I wanted to make a toy for some time, but I never found the necessary motivation or time. Then my little girl saw a photo of this pig when I had it up on my computer screen and immediately took a shine to it. Needless to say, I got the motivation right there and then, got some yarn and voila, a pig was 'born'.

This was a very easy toy to make, requiring little sewing in general. I would definitely recommend it for a first-time knitted toy project. It is also extremely easy to adapt to knitting in-the-round, if you're so inclined. I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solid in Dusty Rose (just a smidge over 1 skein) on US size 4 needles. The resulting fabric was very stiff at first, but I was assured by a more experienced knitter that when assembled into a toy, it will become nice and cuddly - and it did - not a hint of stiffness. The yarn itself was OK to work with. I was not impressed with its immense propensity to snag. It was as if the snags appeared out of nowhere - and I did protect my knitting project from sharp, protruding objects and other such elements. As a result, the pig looks somewhat rough/rustic. Still, my little girl seems to like her new toy - she just got it this morning, but already has managed to bestow hundreds of hugs and kisses on this piggy.

Here is the link to a (free) pattern for Lola Curly the Pig. If you're a member of Ravelry, check out other knitters' interpretation of this pattern.