Thursday, November 11, 2010

Divi Knit Hoodie

One more post before we leave for Asia (yay!).... This super cute (and free) sweater project is the Divi Toddler Hoodie, found here on

I wanted to try this pattern since I loved the texture, and especially wanted to learn how to add a hood. Turns out this was a little tricky since the pattern did not specify that you actually need to fold the hood in half and seam it up the bound-off edge. Then you attach the cast-on edge to the sweater. Would have been nice to know before I was up till 2am trying to figure it out!

In the end, it all worked out and I learned how to do a basic crochet chain stitch as well. I decided not to use the Caron yarn recommended, although I like the Spa yarn and have used it for blankets in the past. Instead, I bought some Samp'a Naturally Dyed Organic Cotton by Mirasol which I really loved. It is so super soft, and what could be better than organic for a baby? This happened to be very reasonably priced online at but I barely had enough to finish the 12–18 month size with 4 balls.

This is a great pattern since you don't have to pick up and knit anything and the pattern is really fun. One thing I should mention, I did alter the texture. For:
Row 1 (RS): * P1, p2tog, yo, k1, yo, p2tog, p1; repeat from * across.
I decided I wasn't up for any extra purling, so I changed it to:

Row 1 (RS):
* K1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, k1; repeat from * across.
Because wouldn't we all rather have more knits than purls?
I was happy with the way it looked in the end, but probably looks a bit different from the original design.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rainy Day Project

With all the rainy weather we've been having, this could be a perfect fall project. If you have a pair of cute wellies, like the hunter ones shown here, you can make these adorable cable-knit cuffs that fold over the top of the boot. It would be nice and soft on the top edge, and look great too.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Daisy Stripe Baby Blanket

For this blanket, I wanted to play with color and not worry about it being absolutely perfect. I simply picked out four juicy colors of Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton that I liked, and bought an extra ball of the green. Each of the five balls is 50g and requires a size US 8 needle. The cotton is super soft and works well for the summery theme.

This is a small newborn blanket (or travel blanket).
Final size is: 21" wide x 29" long

I used size US 10 metal needles. I am a tight knitter, so I went up in size to allow more looseness in the stitches to make the daisy pattern. I would recommend going up at least one needle size for this pattern and using a slick needle, like metal.

Lastly, feel free to switch up the colors whenever you feel like it, and don't worry about the stripes being exactly the same number in each color. You could simplify and just alternate 2 colors as well if you don't want to use four. Just remember that this daisy pattern really works best if you alternate colors as it makes the flower shape pop.

CO 81 sts (or a multiple of 4 + 1)
Border Rows 1-10 :: K all sts in master color (MC)
Blanket Pattern:
Row 1 (RS) :: K all sts in MC
Row 2 :: K1 *p3 tog and don't drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from *
Row 3 :: Switch colors. K all sts
Row 4 :: K3 *p3 tog and don't drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from *, end K2

Repeat Row 1-4, then repeat Row 1-2 (in your MC) to create 5 Rows of daisies.
K all sts for 4 Rows for the garter stripe in between daisy sections.

If you want to see a video on how to knit the daisy stitch click here.

For my colors, I switched them up every couple of daisy sections and made sure to end with the same MC again for the end border. Remember to carry the other color yarn up the side of the blanket by doing a simple twist of both yarns. Only cut that color yarn when you are completely done with it. You'll have much less finishing to do at the end this way.

When the blanket is the desired length, end K all sts for 10 rows again in MC. BO.

With right-side facing and your MC, pick-up and knit down one side length of the blanket. Only K one Row, then BO. Repeat on the other side.

Make sure to block when finished as the garter stitch is slightly wider than the daisy stitch and you can even everything out by blocking. Weave in ends.

Color chart for this blanket:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Braided Knit Headband

After many attempts at this, I've finally decided on a pattern that works best and is most time efficient. Initially, I though I would braid three strips of stockinette stitch pieces. Of course, this stitch curls significantly on the edges. So I thought I would create tube shapes, where I stitched them closed on one side which would also make the headband reversible. Turns out that would take lots of seaming and became way too bulky.

SO, break out your cable needle for a braided cable that creates the same effect but all in one piece. (Thanks Amy for the idea!)

I used an alpaca tweed yarn that requires a size 8 needle. I pulled from 2 balls of yarn together and used #15 needles. This will curl a bit on the edge, so best bet is to block once you are done knitting, ideally before seaming. I've also alternated K and P stitches on the edge to help it stay a bit more flat.

CO 11 sts

Start Braid Pattern (multiple of 9 +2):
R1 (right side) :: K all
R2, R4, R6 + R8 (ws) :: K1, P9, K1
R3 :: K1, Slip 3 sts on cable needle and hold in back, K3, K3 off cable needle, K remaining sts
R5 :: K all
R7 :: K4, Slip 3 sts on cable needle and hold in front, K3, K3 off cable needle, K1

Continue in pattern until it measures slightly smaller than your head.
BO and seam ends together in mattress stitch.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lulu..... Quilts?

When I went to visit my parents in Boston, I was so excited to use my mom's new sewing machine since I don't have my own. We took a trip to the local fabric store and searched for some fun, modern, cotton prints that would be cute for a baby quilt. I wanted them to stay within the color palette, and avoid anything sappy sweet that you would typically use for a baby, like bunnies or pastel hearts.

Although I had some difficulty sewing straight to begin with (that glass of wine didn't help things either) I eventually got the hang of it and it became much easier and faster to sew each strip. I learned that by tearing fabric, you are more likely to get a straight piece. And I also learned that you should pin the pieces in place before sewing.

It was fun to add details to these as well, like a random patch sewn in place, or an area of wide stitching in the contrasting thread.

The back of each quilt is a solid piece of super soft flannel in a bold dot for the boy's quilt and a subtle pale pink and white polka-dot for the girls. For the quilting, I chose to use a contrasting thread color and designed abstract wave shapes. I drew each line on the back in chalk and then followed them as closely as possible for the finished result. It was great to take a mini-break from knitting and play with textiles and color in a new way. Plus, it's so much faster to sew a quilt than knit a baby blanket! Now back to my needles...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Super Cute Headband

I'm in love with these Anthropologie headbands, but of course a knitter could never actually purchase such a thing! After studying them intently in the store (with the sales woman eyeing me suspiciously) it looks very do-able, (dare I say) maybe even easy! I think I just need to figure out the right gauge and then would knit three strips of stockinette stitch. Probably next I would bind-off each strip, then braid the three together. Then you would have to mattress stitch seam each one in order to ensure the whole thing doesn't come undone.

Hopefully I can post a pattern for this soon :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Diagonal Garter Stitch Blanket

Although I was undecided about this yarn at first, I finally chose to create this diagonal garter stitch blanket pattern and was fairly satisfied with the result. If you're looking for a really easy pattern that you can have a glass of wine and watch TV while you work, this is the blanket for you.

I used the pattern from the Lion Brand website here.

I used larger needles, at US 10.5, and only had 4 balls of yarn total. It's easy to make this bigger or smaller... once you get halfway through your yarn, make sure you have a multiple of 4 stitches on the needles (I think) and start the decrease row till the end.

The pattern is as follows:
Cast on 5 sts.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K3, yo, k2.
Row 3: K3, yo, k3.
Row 4: K3, yo, k to end of row.
Rep last row until you have 144 sts on needle.
Next (decrease) row: K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k to end of row.
Rep last row until 5 sts remain. Bind off.
Weave in ends.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Cool Sweater

I'll have to keep an eye out for a similar pattern to this cute cardigan worn by Sienna Miller. Love the gray, the three-quarter sleeves and love the ribbing detail around the collar!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Which hat is better for a little boy who is just turning 2 years old? I'm not sure if they are too girly, or if one is better than the other.... Help!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tumba Shawl Jacket

This was my second sweater project and it was so much fun! I love this pattern and it went quickly on the larger size needles. This pattern is free and can be found here at

I used the specified yarn in a different color, Ocean Spray, and made the 18 month size. I love the way the collar looks and was happy I didn't have to pick up and knit any stitches at all! I wonder a little about the yarn. Personally, I really don't like working with Acrylic, although this had some Merino Wool in it too which helped to soften it.

If you have not made a sweater before than this one could be a really fun first attempt. You'll learn a few new techniques that I think any intermediate knitter could pick up with the help of some you-tube videos.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Bad Juju Blanket

I am obsessing. I have started and then pulled out a blanket at least a dozen times. So many times that even my husband commented that I've been "working that yarn for awhile now." Sometimes it's impossible to find the right balance of fun and relaxing with challenging and interesting. Sometimes the cheap, junky yarn you bought just doesn't help things either.

When I was a kid, I was addicted to the Legend of Zelda video game. I would play as much as I was possibly allowed, and then lay awake in bed thinking about it most of the night. Strategizing. Figuring out how I was ever going to be able to beat that leader of the fifth underworld or whatever the current dilemma might be. And this sort of reminds me of that game. Will I do a chunky cable-knit, or a simple lace? A complicated knit and purl pattern, or just a stripe or rib? What is 8 times 4, plus 16 times 2, plus an extra 10 for the border stitches? Maybe I'm just really OCD, but each time I'd get about 10–15 rows into it, I would rip it out and start over.

So I give up. I'm making a diagonal garter stitch blanket and that's the end of it. I need to get this yarn out of the house and never think about it again!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sweater Pattern Search

I am completely in love with this super chunky Twinkles sweater from InStyle, but cannot seem to find a similar pattern anywhere. Has anyone seen anything like this lately?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Custom Labels

In a past post I showed my custom hangtag, which gives washing instructions and shows the yarn content. When I started making sweaters, I was bothered by the fact that there was no label, like normal clothes would have. I began looking into ways I could get a custom tag made at an affordable cost.

Turns out, the cheapest and nicest option I found was getting a custom ribbon made. Usually these are used for weddings or parties, but if you order a roll for your tag, you can just snip one off at a time and sew them in place. There are lots of color and font options as well and mine happens to have the decorative loops along the edge.

One tip that helps is to slightly coat the edges with some sort of Elmer's Glue so they will not fray once cut from the roll. Then I sew each edge under to give it a neat look, and sew it into the piece, being careful not to let those stitches show though to the back of the sweater. These would also be nice for the corner of a scarf or blanket as well.

Check out for a really good selection. I chose the 3/8" satin loop edge shown here. You can often find coupons online for this company as well, so my order ended up costing about $17 including shipping.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Baby Sweater

I know it's been awhile, but I've been obsessing over sweaters and am now finally sitting down to post them. I was originally terrified of the finishing work that sweaters require, so I decided to take a basic class. But guess what? It really isn't so bad, and it's fun seeing all your pieces come together to make an adorable little sweater.

The key is learning the mattress stitch and maybe the three needle bind-off. Once you can do these techniques, you can pretty much make any basic sweater.

This pattern was assigned to us for the class, although I think there are better first sweater patterns out there, that I will post. This one is more tricky since it involves picking up stitches to knit the ribbing around the neck and buttons, and adding the button holes within the ribbing band.

This pattern is called the "Classic Baby Cardigan" for double-knitting weight yarn. It is by Theresa Gaffey Designs, #46 if you are interested in making this sweater. I'm not really supposed to post it, but the other patterns I made following this one were free and online. I used Sublime baby cotton kapok dk in yellow no. 0152 which is a really soft yarn to work with.

One of the more interesting things we learned in the class is how to make a gauge swatch. It's actually much easier than I thought it would be. Turns out, I'm a pretty tight knitter so I now I know that I have to go one size bigger in needles to make my pieces the correct size.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blanket Put to Good Use

Wow, a baby is actually getting some use out of one of my blankets! This is the first pattern on here, the basket weave blanket. Little baby Alexander looks nice and comfy for his car ride :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ocean Cable Knit Blanket

I wanted to create a timeless, creamy baby blanket in a simple cable pattern that would be perfect for a baby girl or boy. The organic cotton is extremely soft and makes for a nice San Diego climate blanket.

YARN :: Lion Brand Organic Cotton in Almond, approx 4 balls
FINAL SIZE :: 28" x 20"
NEEDLES :: US 9 (5.5mm)
PATTERN :: Multiple of 8

CO 88 sts.
K1, P1 in a seed stitch for 5 rows (knit the purls and purl the knits)

Row 1 :: Seed st (for border) 4 sts, place marker, K80, place marker, end seed st 4 sts

Rows 2, 4, 6, 8 :: Seed st 4 sts, P80, end seed st 4 sts

Row 3 :: Seed st 4 sts, * slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in back, K2 sts then K2 sts from cable needle, K4 * end seed st 4 sts

Row 5 :: Seed st 4 sts, K80, end seed st 4 sts

Row 7 :: Seed st 4 sts, * K4, slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, K2 sts then K2 sts from cable needle * end seed st 4 sts

Repeat rows 1-8 until desired length
Remove markers, K1, P1 in a seed stitch for 5 rows (knit the purls and purl the knits)
BO and weave in ends

Monday, May 10, 2010

Simple Fingerless Gloves

After I made the heart hat, I wanted to make the coordinating striped mittens from the Pickles website. However, after talking to Amy, we decided there wasn't much need for mittens in sunny SoCal, and that I should make fingerless gloves instead. My first attempt was to imitate the stripes on the original mitten pattern, but then I realized I would never ever wear the clown-ish mitts pictured below. Instead, I opted for a solid from the soft merino wool leftover from the hat base color and knit some simple cream gloves, which I love.

The first attempt to match the heart hat mittens

To make the solid fingerless gloves, I used the malabrigo merino wool yarn leftover from the hat in natural #63. I picked up some amazing KA brand US 8 needles in only a 9" circular so that I could knit these in the round instead of DPN which was really fun. These needles seem to be very hard to find but I got them at Knitting by the Beach in Solana Beach, or it looks like you could order them online here.

Start by CO 32 sts (I used the Cable Cast-On method for this, see post in March)

Join the round being careful not to twist the sts.

Work in a rib stitch, K2, P2 for 22 rounds, or until the piece is about 3"

K all sts for 2 rounds.
(Here is where you can continue in St stitch, knit every stitch, in the round for a longer length, if desired. I wanted mine to be fairly short and just cover my wrists, so I only knit 2 rounds before moving on to the hand section.)

My gloves just cover the wrist.

Make 1 st (M1), K6, M1, K to the end of the round.
You should have 34 sts at the end of this round.

K all sts for 3 rounds.

M1, K8, M1, K to the end of the round.
You should have 36 sts at the end of this round.

K all sts for 3 rounds.

M1, K10, M1, K to the end of the round.
You should have 38 sts at the end of this round.

K all sts for 3 rounds.

Here you'll make the thumb hole:
K2, Bind-off 8 sts, K to the end of the round.
This part is tricky because you really need to K4 at the start of the row so that when you begin to bind-off, you leave 2 sts at the start of the round and bind-off the following 8 sts.
You should have 30 sts at the end of this round.

K2, Cast-on 2, K to the end of the round.
You should have 32 sts at the end of this round.
When you cast-on here, you want to use the Backwards Tail method. It is show here under "Single Cast-On, also known as Backward-Loop Cast-On"

K all sts for 8 rounds or until the section after the thumb is approx. 1.5"

Switch to the rib st, K2, P2 for 5 rows or until the rib section measures about 1"

Bind-off and assemble ends.

The other glove is made in exactly the same way, just flip it over. This pattern was based on a pattern from Lion Brand Yarn, shown here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Heart Knitting Hat

This hat was my first attempt at fair isle knitting, and it was cool. I got the pattern from Pickles but decided to modify the patter to make it on US 8 needles instead of 6, and only have 3 rows of hearts instead of 5.

For the cream background color, I used malabrigo worsted in Natural, with the colored hearts in Cascade Heathers. Ideally, the entire hat would be made in the same yarn. Since I have such a large head, I still CO 100 sts on US 8.

Knit a rib stitch, K2, P2 until the piece is 2"

This link from has a great video under knitting with two colors (stranding method) on how to knit something with two colors like this. The key is not pulling the new color too tight to avoid the entire thing puckering.

Knit one round and start the pattern. Change colors every time you start a new row of hearts.

As soon as you've finished the third row of hearts, start decreasing.

If you want to make the larger hat size (like mine) decrease like this:
1st round: *K2tog, K 18* Repeat from * to * throughout the round.
Knit one round.
3nd round: *K2tog, K17* Repeat from * to * throughout the round.
Knit one round.
5th round: *K2tog, K16* Repeat from * to * throughout the round.
Knit one round.
7th round: *K2tog, K15* Repeat from * to * throughout the round.
Knit one round.
9th round: *K2tog, K14* Repeat from * to * throughout the round.
Knit one round.
Then continue the decrease pattern (subtracting one stitch off the one you're knitting every round) until you have 12 sts left.

If you want the hat to be a smaller and less baggy, omit the "Knit one round" in between the first several decrease rows and just decease every row.

When 12 stitches remain, use a needle to thread the yarn through the stitches and pull. Assemble.

Coordinating fingerless gloves to come.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Domestic Goddess

For the perfect Mother's Day gift I've decided to make three dishcloths to send my mom. My grandmother has always used hand-knit dishcloths in her house, knitted by her sister in Nebraska. At first these seemed odd, but after using them there I realized they are really nice and soft. Plus it's a fun way to try out a new pattern!

For all three towels I used size US 10.5 needles and cast-on 30 stitches in the cable cast-on method. You can use any 100% cotton yarn and for these I knit with two strands of yarn held together. Most of the yarn is the cheapy Sugar 'n Cream brand (only 1.99!) while one teal-blue color in the first towel was Paton Pure organic cotton left over from Atom's baby blanket.

Checks and Ridges Towel

To get this stripe effect, I pulled from both white and teal-blue yarn for 2 sets of the pattern and then did one set of the pattern with a color that changed from dark teal to lime green. I did this 4 times and then ended with 2 sets of the white and teal-blue colors.

This pattern is a multiple of 4 + 2
My pattern was using 26 sts and I added a border of K2 on either side of the towel.

CO 30 sts
R1 :: k all
R2 :: k all
R3 :: k2, p2 * k2, p2 * repeat from * to * and end with the k2 border
R4 :: k4 *p2, k2 * repeat from * to * and end with the k2 border

When the piece looks like an approximate square, knit all stitches for 2 rows and BO.
Weave in ends.

Ribbed Towel

For this towel I pulled from both a solid blue color and another strand that changed from tealy-greens to lime to light blue.

CO 30 sts
R1-3 :: k all
R4 :: k2 * yo, sl1, k1 * k2
R5 :: k2 * yo, sl1, k2tog * k2

Repeat row 5 until the piece is approximately a square shape.

To end:
R1 :: k2 * k1, k2tog * k2
R2-3 :: k all

Bind-off and weave in ends.

This pattern based on the site here.

Garter Steps Towel

This towel was probably the least successful, but was a great learning exercise for me to try the "pick up and knit" technique. By making the towel a little longer than wide, I could go back in with a solid blue color and add a contrasting edge. A sample of the pattern without the borders can be seen here. If I made this again, I would start the pattern with the solid blue yarn and knit 4 rows as well, then switched to blue and white so that all four sides matched.

This pattern is a multiple of 8 and I added a k3 border on each side.

CO 30 sts
R1 and all odd rows :: k all
R2 + R4 :: k3, * k4, p4 * end k3
R6 + R8 :: k5 * p4, k4 * end p4, k5
R10 + R12 :: k3 * p4, k4 * end k3
R14 + R16 :: k3, p2 *k4, p4 * end k4, p2, k3

Once the shape is more of a rectangle, BO. Go back along the vertical edges, picking up stitches and knitting a garter stitch border for 4 rows. I learned how to do this by watching a video on here. The corners are pretty sloppy, but next time I'll have the hang of it!