Monday, April 18, 2011

Pants! (not a problem anymore)

The third time's the charm. Ok, so I was frantically weaving in the ends while my breakfast was cooking this morning but they are done and Tadpole was all decked out for our errands.

Pattern: what pattern? These were made up on the fly.

One day when Tadpole was pretty relaxed and in a good mood after being changed, I measured her hip circumference. I added another inch and a half or so for ease (and room to grow). Then I started crunching some numbers for the yarn I had chosen: Dream in Color Classy on size 8 needles. Knowing, rather than merely guessing, my gauge would have been helpful and saved a bit of heartache. Let's just call version one a giant gauge swatch and move along.

I multiplied my gauge by the desired hip measurement to get the circumference of the body section of the pants. Then I reduced this figure by 10% for the ribbing and cast on. I wanted a nice long waistband that could either fold down or be left up so I worked about 3 inches in twisted stitch 1x1 rib. After the ribbing, I increased evenly around the piece, adding in my missing 10% of the final stitch count. I worked a couple of rows plain and then added short rows along the back side. When the piece measured about 5 inches, not including the ribbing, I worked a couple more short rows along the back.  I worked another round or two and then it was time to divide for the legs.

I decided to throw in a gusset and that was definitely the way to go - the fit is great. To do this, I knit across one quarter of the stitches (the front of the first leg) and placed the stitches for the second leg (50% of the total number of stitches). Then I provisionally cast on two and a half inches worth of stitches and knit across the remaining leg stitches. Every other round I knit until one stitch before the newly cast on stitches, worked a ssk, knit to one stitch before the end of the cast on stitches, and worked a k2tog. Repeat this until all of the stitches you cast on have been decreased away and you have a gusset.

The rest of the leg is a piece of cake. Knit until the leg is long enough and then bind off. I added an inch of garter stitch at the bottom for decoration.

For the second leg, join a new strand of yarn and start working the stitches you had put on a holder earlier, decreasing away the cast on stitches as before. Then knit the second leg so it matches the first and bind off.

Throw a baby in it and you're done. Tadpole was delighted to model her new pants after we got home.

I've got one more baby handknit to share: the aviatrix baby hat. It's the only hat that actually stays on her head! And it stays on even better now that I managed to sew buttons on yesterday.

Pattern: Aviatrix baby hat by Justine Turner
Yarn: Anzula Cricket MCN (really lovely stuff but no decent website where you can see it). I used less than a quarter of the skein. I think.
Needles: size 4 addi lace circs for the ribbing and size 5 addi lace circs for everything else
Size: I made the newborn size and it fits Tadpole really well at 6 weeks old but there is still room for her to grow.


Jacey said...

My favorite part? "Throw a baby in it". Awesome. Cute pants. Genius!

Sel and Poivre said...

Have an idea or need, knit something fabulous to fill it - isn't that what being a knitter is all about? I love the waistband and that fit really is fabulous!

That tonic neck reflex or fencing posture in that fourth photo really takes me back - its so satisfying and reassuring when they hit those developmental marks right on time!

Brenda said...

How absolutely wonderful to see tadpole all decked i=out in her hand knits. The baby photos are adorable and so is your very creative knitting.

Gale said...

Look at all that wiggling. So cute. And the pants too.

Rachel said...

OK, so your pants are quite cute (and ingenious)...but I still think Tadpole needs a pair of pink and black striped bell bottoms!

Look at that baby in hand-knits from head to toe!!

Anonymous said...

Those are so cute! Maybe if I knit some for ME, I can be that cozy when I sleep!

Anonymous said...

Both intuitive and cute!

Guess this means it's time to start Rock Island, right? Good luck!

elizabeth said...

That might be the cutest baby hat (and baby) I've ever seen! I am so impressed with all you're getting done. When I was home on maternity leave, I lived on PB&J sandwiches (made with one hand since the boy lived on my left shoulder for the first 3 months of his life) and taking a shower was a monumental achievement!

Anonymous said...

I'm with rachel - love all the handknits!

She is just a cutie pie. I bet people would grab such a great pattern on Ravelry. Just saying... since you're on Ravelry at night anyway, just one hand type up the pattern... you know, something to fill in all your idle hours....

tentenknits said...

cutest all dressed up in knitting baby ever!! love the pants.