Sunday, June 23, 2013

Miss Marple

Several months ago, when I was knitting her a purple cabled jumper, Tadpole informed me that she would like a yellow sweater. Happy to oblige, I picked out some buttercup colored Cascade 220 from my local yarn shop and cast on for Miss Marple

I don't always have the most cooperative knitwear model but she was thrilled to do a photo shoot for this one. 

I can't speak to the other sizes but the sleeve caps and armscyes still seem too big to me on the 4T size. Perhaps it was a gauge issue - I might have knit more loosely on the short row sleeve caps than elsewhere. But if I were to knit this again (and I very we'll might), I'd make the armsceye smaller and reduce the number of sleeve stitches at the upper arm accordingly. 

Otherwise, this was a great pattern. The lace was simple but just enough to keep things interesting. I always like short row sleeve caps. And there was minimal finishing (especially because I worked the neck and button bands at the same time, rather than doing the neck band first as the pattern suggested). 

I'm calling this one a winner!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Operation stash down - the baby knits edition

I have another trip coming up on Monday so it's time to start thinking about baby knits again. Quite a few of my friends either just had babies or are busily growing new ones, so I think my new de-stashing effort here will be baby knits. They're fun, quick, and make great travel projects!

While I'm at it, I figured it would be a good idea to capture all of my favorite baby patterns all in one place (hopefully one that is quicker to find than going through my haphazard ravelry tags).


Sweaters are perhaps my favorite item to knit for babies. They're such a fun way to try new techniques and styles without putting in the time necessary for an adult sweater. Think of them as mini swatches.

Coastal Kids has some great selections. My little oak was a huge hit at the shower last weekend. (Sorry, I forgot to take any measurements before wrapping it up. Call it "baby sized" - it'll fit the baby at some point). And Wee Wildflower has been on my list for some time. Other favorite sweater patterns include (in no particular order):

Good for Girls
February Baby Sweater (EZ),  Marguerite (short sleeved with a lacy bodice), Half Past (cables and a bit of lace), Entrechat (short sleeved, nice texture, and a peplum hem), Lilleput (garter stripes, 'nuff said), (Petit) Artichaut (textured shrug), Korrigan (cabled yoke), Goldilocks (dress with mock cable bodice), and Maile Sweater (botanical lace).

Good for Boys
All in a nutshell (squirrels!), McDreamy Jumper (textured raglan), Oscar (great shawl collar and textured body), and Cervide (sideways cabled yoke).

Gender Neutral
Baby Surprise Jacket (EZ), Babe in the woods (pine lace and garter on the yoke), Pomander (interesting cabled yoke), Bilbo Cardigan (big cables and a cute tasseled hood), Latte Baby Coat (nice textured panels), Little Fisher Pullover (LOVE the honeycomb cables), Temari Kimono Jacket (great cables on the body), Livingston (subtle cables on the body), Tadpole's Purple Sweater (shamelessly pushing my pattern here - textured asymmetrical cardigan), and Sunnyside (cabled cardigan).

Or you could adapt an adult sweater for baby (often just by changing to a smaller yarn, although there is still a bit of number crunching involved.

Tea leaves looks great tiny.

And so does Leaflet

Vests are also a great choice when you're worried about yardage. These patterns all look tempting: Anemone (lace and garter stitch), Louise (more lace), and Little Pearl Vest (garter yoke). Of course, you can turn almost any sweater pattern into a vest if you're running short of yarn.

Dresses are lovely, too. I can't wait to try these: Paulette (subtle texture and pleating), Sproutlette Dress (leaf lace detail), and Muti Dress (lace yoke).

Hats are great quick baby knits. I've knit Aviatrix Baby Hat several times now and highly recommend it!

Pikku-Pete is next on my hat list.

And if you're feeling truly ambitious, you could always do a blanket. Some blankets are made to be used and actively loved.

While others are heirlooms - fun to knit, great to look at, and too delicate for day to day wear.

Patterns I'd like to try include Olympic Forest Baby Blanket (tree cables), Orion's Belt (stranded colorwork!), Reversible Celtic Patterns Baby Blanket (double knitting - not for the faint of heart), Twinkle Twinkle Blanket (subtle texture), Norma (lace square), Undercover (pine cone lace square), Baby Blanket Latvian Garden (more stranded colorwork!).

Hopefully this list sparks your interest as much as it does mine. It's time for me to go dig through my stash and see what I should start next (just as soon as I finish sewing the buttons onto Miss Marple).