19 May 2010

Green Poppy Hat

I was in the mood for a quick project this weekend, so I dug around in my stash, found some old yarn that needed to be used up, and cast on for a Poppy hat. I was drawn to this hat by it's cute, retro style. I modified the pattern slightly by knitting 4 short rows (two at 5 sts from the end, and two at 10 sts from the end) and by not picking up any sts along the edge for the ribbing.
By not picking up any sts for the ribbing, I ended up with a little hole on either side of the hat where the edges come together. I am planning to find a cute flower accessory to pin on, and that hole be the perfect place to put it.
I was supremely lazy, and failed to do any sort of effective swatching, so what I intended to knit as an adult hat turned out decidedly baby-sized (I'm guessing 6-month-ish?).

Even so, I'm keeping it for myself, and adding it to the FBC (Future Baby Collection).

14 May 2010

Henry's Hedgehog Bibs

We seem to be in the midst of a mini baby boom right now. Our friends are procreating left and right - which means lots of baby knitting for me! I started a sweater for baby Henry back in January, but grew bored with the project. Since he is a Spring baby, a sweater probably wouldn't be the best gift anyway, so I set out to find something new.

At Yuzawaya (only my favorite yarn store in the whole world - and I'm not exaggerating about that whole world bit), I found 100% cotton yarn on sale for 98 yen per skein. Even though my stash is taking over closets in our apartment, I knew I couldn't pass up such a great deal. I bought 10 skeins in white, grey, aqua and pink. The yarn is fine, super soft and all the colors are pastels - perfect for baby knitting.

I imagined a onesie-type knit, but for a boy decided to go for overalls. I completely improvised this project, so I just took a shot in the dark and started knitting.

Here is the final project:

The straps are 8 sts wide garter stitch, knit at the same time using two balls of yarn. I put in three button holes so that this outfit can grow with baby Henry all summer.

The bibs ended up pretty wide - I just eyeballed the whole thing size-wise, and to be honest, the number of sts cast on to connect the front and back bibs was based more on how many sts I needed to fill the needle for knitting in the round, and less on actual baby proportions.

To fix this problem I used elastic cord, threaded through the ribs at the top, to gather the top, and then tied the ends together at the back. It's not the most professional solution, but it does add a little more adjustability, for when Henry gets bigger.

I may not have any children myself, but I have watched enough nieces and nephews to know the importance of diaper access. I knit the legs flat, and then picked up sts along the inside to knit a ribbed edge, sewed on a few snaps, and - voila - it's just like a store-bought onesie.

The finishing touch was a decorative patch (found at the 100 yen store). The blue flower picks up the grey yarn nicely without being too matchy-matchy, and the hedgehog is whimsical - perfect for a little boy.

50 Fabulous Knit Stitches

Over Golden Week I was back in the US. While my adorable and slightly geeky husband was browsing in Best Buy (why, I have no idea - the electronics stores in Japan are vastly superior), I wandered over to Michael's. I am not allowed to buy new yarn any time soon - my stash is enormous - but yarn is so intoxicating! To take my mind of the skeins of chunky wool that were calling my name, I made an impulse buy - 50 Fabulous Knit Stitches by Rita Weiss.

This is the very first knitting book I have ever purchased. I rely almost exclusively on Ravelry. Tante Relly gifted me a sock book when she was teaching me the ropes of sock knitting, but never have I purchased an instruction book of my own. It turns out I like this book-learning thing!

I am not much of a pattern-follower, but learning new stitches is fun (and gives me unending great ideas for how to modify other projects I have been thinking of). Right now I am devoting about an hour each morning to testing out a new stitch.

I imagine a funky cardigan knit bottom-up using these shell-shaped scallops and big, bright buttons.

Leaves are a great, classic motif, and I can see them running up a scarf or a sleeve.

This purple beauty was my introduction to bobbles - I think it would make a great hat (or even mittens)!

13 May 2010

Mama Jacket - Pattern

Here is my version of the Drops Jacket pattern. This is not my original pattern, but my modifications to the Drops pattern. Modifications include a straight collar, raglan sleeves, and one piece construction.

Mama Jacket
Gauge - 17 sts = 10 cm
22 rows = 10 cm
Needle - Size 8


Hips: 100 cm
Waist: 76 cm
below bust: 90 cm
bust: 98 cm
upper arm: 30 cm
elbow: 25 cm
fullest below elbow: 25 cm
distance waist/hips: 17 cm
distance waist/bust: 20 cm
neck opening: 50 cm


CO 100 sts.
Knit Double Moss st for about 20 cm.

Optional collar button: About 4 cm above the body, knit a button hole. (k2, p2, k1, cast off one, double moss st. Next row CO one st over the cast off stitch.)

Last row (wrong side), decrease 4 times (by k2tog) (total 96 sts)

Purl one row


Double moss st. 28 sts. Place moss marker. All sts before this marker will be Double moss.
Knit 2. Place marker. This marks where to increase for the right front panel.
Knit 8 sts. Place marker. This is the right sleeve.
Knit 28 sts. Place marker. This is the back.
Knit 8 sts. Place marker. This is the left sleeve.
Knit 2. Place moss marker. All sts after this marker will be Double moss.
Double moss st 20 sts. This is the left from panel.

Continue knitting Double moss on the front panels, stockinette st all others. Increase on either side of each increase marker on the right side by knitting in the front and back of each st.

Crochet a button loop about 2 cm from the top on the left front panel.

Knit a button hole on the right front panel, every 8-10 cm.

Increase until sts are:
Right Front – 55
Right Sleeve – 60
Back – 82
Left Sleeve – 60
Left Front – 47
(Total 304 sts)

Separate sleeves – hold on scrap yarn to knit later. (CO 6 sts, place marker, CO 6 sts) under each arm. (Total 196 sts)


Increase on the front side of the each marker (the side toward on the front of the jacket) every knit row until there are 214 sts. (18 times)

Knit one short row on right and left front panels.

Decrease on the front side of each marker every knit row until there are 202 sts (12 times).

Continue knitting, with Double Moss st on front panels.

About 15 cm below the short rows for the bust, decrease 4 sts, evenly distributed across the back of the jacket (at each marker on the back side of the jacket, and twice evenly distributed across the back, every 3 rows, until there are 178 sts (6 times).

Increase 4 sts, evenly distributed (on back of jacket), every other knit row, until there are 202 sts (6 times).

Increase 2 sts on the front side of each marker every knit row until there are 218 sts (8 times).

Knit Double Moss pattern for 14 rows.
Bind off.


Pick up 17 sts to be knit in the round (total 77 sts). Place 2 markers centered under armpit.

Row 1 – K6, K2tog, K2tog, K56, K2tog, K2tog, K6, K1 (total 73 sts)
Row 2 – K5, K2tog, K2tog, K54, K2tog, K2tog, K5, K1 (total 69 sts)
Row 3 – K2, K2tog, K2tog, K2tog, K52, K2tog, K2tog, K2tog, K2, K1 (total 63 sts)
Row 4 – Knit (total 63 sts)
Row 5 – Decrease one stitch on each side of marker. (total 61 sts)
Row 6 – Knit
Row 7 – Knit

Repeat rows 5-7 until there are 49 sts. (total 36 rows)

In the next row, decrease once (total 48 sts).

Continue knitting until sleeves are 7 cm short of desired length. Knit Double Moss pattern for 14 rows.

Bind off.

11 May 2010

Picot's Dog Sweater - Pattern

Based on Picot's measurements, I wrote up a pattern for the dog sweater. Again, this pattern borrows heavily from Esther Smith Bozak's Custom Fit Dog Sweater and Terri Lee Royea's Side Button Greyhound Sweater (mostly from Esther - thank you!).

Picot's Dog Sweater

Gauge: 10 sts – 7cm
15 rows – 7 cm

Needles: Size 8 Circular
Size 7 DPN


1. Neck – 44cm 64 sts

2. Chest – 79cm 113 sts

3. Leg (circumference) – 24cm 32 sts

Leg (width) 12cm 25 rows

4. Leg (length) – 10cm 22 rows

5. Front (Neck to underarm) – 33-34cm

6. Front (Neck to sternum) – 69cm 148 rows

7. Back – 77cm 165 rows

* * * * *


Using size 8 needle, CO 64 sts. Place marker, and join to knit in round.

Knit K2P2 ribbing for 30 cm.


Row 1: Knit. Increase 15 sts evenly across round. (K6, M1, *K4, M1* K6)
Row 2: Knit.
Row 3: K1, M1, Knit, M1, K1

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until you have 113 sts. (until Row 35)

[NOTE: To make a better fit, I ended up making two short rows; one in Row 16 and another in Row 28.]
Continue knitting until sweater measures 32 cm from the neck as measured along the increase line. (until Row 69).

Leg Openings:

Row 70: K10, Cast Off 9 sts, K71, Cast off 9 sts, K10. (I suggest slipping “cast off sts” onto a piece of scrap yarn.)
Work belly and back back and forth at the same time (using two skeins)
Continue in stockinette stitch for 9 rows (until Row 78).


Row 79: CO 9 sts over leg openings, and join to knit in round. (total 113 sts)

Continue in stockinette stitch until sweater is 50cm from neck ribbing.

Cast off 12 sts, K85, Cast off 12 sts. (I suggest slipping “cast off sts” onto a piece of scrap yarn – these will be the “Belly sts”.)


Continue in stockinette stitch, decreasing one stitch at the beginning (SSK) and one stitch at the end (K2T), for each Knit row until there are 60 sts remaining (25 rows).

Continue in stockinette stitch until sweater is 72 cm long.

Decrease one stitch at the beginning (SSK) and one stitch at the end (K2T), Knitting in between, for 5 rows (This will be garter stitch).

Cast off. (I suggest slipping “cast off sts” onto a piece of scrap yarn. These will be the “Back sts”.)


Using Size 7 DPNs, slip/pick up leg sts. Work in the round 2K2P, decreasing evenly in first round to correct for rib.

Continue 2K2P for 22 rows.

Repeat for second leg.

Belly Gusset and Finishing:

Slip Belly sts onto a circular needle. Place markers on either side of the Belly sts.

Pick up 1 sts per row along the sides, and slip on Back sts, so that bottom edge of entire sweater is on needles.

Row 1: Wrong side. Work ONLY the Belly sts – 2K2P rib, beginning and ending with P. Decrease twice evenly spaced to correct st count.

Row 2: Turn piece, and work right side. Slide 1 side st (outside marker) from right-hand needle to left. K2T (one st outside marker, one st inside marker). 2K2P rib until st before second marker. SSK (one st inside marker, one inside marker).

Row 3: Repeat Row 2, but on wrong side.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until gusset is 5cm long.

Begin working in rounds on right side.

Round 1: Slide 1 side st (outside marker) from right-hand needle to left. K2T (one st outside marker, one st inside marker). 2K2P rib until st before second marker. SSK (one st inside marker, one inside marker). Continue 2K2P for side and Back sts. Decrease evenly as necessary for ribs to match up.

Round 2: Slide 1 side st (outside marker) from right-hand needle to left. K2T (one st outside marker, one st inside marker). 2K2P rib until st before second marker. SSK (one st inside marker, one inside marker). Continue 2K2P for rest of round.

Repeat Round 2 until ribbing is 2 cm long. Bind off.

Sew in all loose ends.

Mama Jacket

I finished my first, real-deal, adult-sized sweater over Golden Week. It is the popular Drops Jacket, knit in one piece, top-down, as inspired by CanarySanctuary.

I used nine skeins of KnitPicks Cadena yarn, a nice alpaca blend, in neutral. The yarn bloomed a bit when washed, but generally held its size and shape (and also accepted some gentle tugging to make the body longer).

The buttons are wooden toggles that look like bamboo, purchased at Tokyu Hands. Michael helped me with button selection - and thank goodness for that. I had my eye on some beautiful shell buttons (that were about 1600 yen a pop), but Michael convinced me they would just blend into the creme wool, and encouraged me to get these dark beauties. It definitely helped that they rang up at 105 yen each!

I didn't even try to make gauge - I knew that I wanted to add some modifications and wanted to strive for a custom fit. SO - I wrote out my own pattern. I have found that I am terrible at following patterns (ditto on recipes - it must be a personality flaw), but I find great delight in writing my own patterns based on patterns I find on Ravelry. I changed it up a little as I went along (per usual), but I'll be posting the final result on the blog.