21 June 2010


Here is where I need to admit that I have been watching Glee. It came a little late to Japan - we are just now at the end of the first season - and I am really enjoying a little bit of added Americana in my life.

One of the things they do on Glee is take two different songs and perform them together as a mashup. The idea is that the songs may be very different from one another, but they find a common element and make a new, exciting combination of the two. And that made me think of knitting. (I know, I know, I'm obsessed.) What a great idea to take two great knitting patterns, and mash them up into a new and amazing project!

So here it is - my very own knitting mashup. I combined the Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet pattern that originally calls for chunky yarn and 1x1 rib edging, with the gull lace pattern from the ever-popular February Lady Sweater. Add in picot edging for spice, and the mashup is complete.

For a better fit I knit two short rows on each side in the front for bust-shaping. Otherwise, the shape is a straight-forward top-down raglan.

I knit this sweater on size 3 needles using a 100% cotton yarn I got at Yuzawaya for 98 JPY a skein. What a bargain! In total (not including labor), this shrug cost me about $2.50.

Picot's Dog Sweater - Body

With the go-ahead to forge on ahead after our fitting, the rest of Picot's striped sweater knit up pretty quickly. I started off casting off for the leg openings:

K10, Cast Off 9 sts, K71, Cast off 9 sts, K10. (I slipped the stitches onto some scrap yarn to make them easier to pick up later.)

Work belly and back back and forth at the same time (using two skeins).

Continue in stockinette stitch for 9 rows.

Double check your measurements to make sure the leg openings will be big enough for the dog's leg before casting the stitches back on. I used a provisional cast on - again to make picking up stitches for the cuff easier.

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

There - that was the hardest part of the sweater (until the trim). After the leg holes, knitting the rest of the body is just smooth sailing.

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

Cast off 12 sts, K85, Cast off 12 sts.

I slipped the “cast off sts” onto a piece of scrap yarn – these will be the “Belly sts." From now on, you knit the body back and forth, decreasing on each side.

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 (without decreasing) 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).

Instead of this garter stitch ending, I decreased on one side, slipped 10 stitches at the beginning and end of the row onto some scrap yarn until all the stitches were on the scrap yarn. This created a gentle curving back end.

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

The sweater should look something like this now:

It has the shape of a dog's body. Trim will make the finished product more polished, but the general shape is complete. This is the belly view, so you can see the slipped belly stitches and both leg holes.

I hope to finish up the trim this week, so Picot will have her turtleneck sweater just in time for July (only the hottest month of the year)!

14 June 2010

Picot's Dog Sweater - Neck and Yoke

Before I started knitting, I asked Nami what color pattern she wanted me to use. She had already purchased a happy collection of pink, red and orange yarns, so I asked her to send me an example of how she wanted me to combine them. This is what she sent:

I cast on the red yarn for the neck, and set to work.

Neck: Using size 8 needle, CO 64 sts. Place marker, and join to knit in round. Knit K2P2 ribbing for 30 cm.

Nami wanted a turtleneck with ribbing for Picot because her other dog sweaters tended to stretch out too much around the neck. If this neck is too long, she can always fold it down, and still see the pink detailing.


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

Row 2: Knit.Row 3: K1, M1, Knit, M1, K1Repeat 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).

This is the point where you would cast off for the front leg openings. Even though Nami sent fantastic measurements, I wanted to make sure that I was on the right track, so I set up a fitting with Picot. Before the fitting, I slipped all the sts onto scrap yarn, and marked where the pattern said to bind off for the leg openings with removable markers. That way, I could move the markers during the fitting to the actual placement of Picot's legs.

Lucky me! The sweater fit perfectly. I didn't even have to move the leg markers.

I am forging right along with the rest of the sweater, and will have it finished just in time for the hottest months of the year (go figure)!