Last night was my knitting group's third annual ornament exchange. Each member makes an ornament to exchange within the group. The ornament does not need to be knitted, but it does have to be handmade.
The purple and red button ornaments below were my contribution to the ornament exchange. (You can find the directions to make all four of these ornaments on my Hubpages!)
In exchange, I received this sweet and cozy snowgirl ornament from Jennifer. I don't know if Jennifer used a particular pattern to knit her, but I'll ask and let you know.
She's adorable, and right now I've got her on display with Rambo, my stuffed lamb, in the center of our wreath:
I've finally had a chance to put in some serious knitting and get the body of my Cotton Candy Cardigan done - but I still have the sleeves to go (sad face). The sweater is based on the Alice Blue Cardigan, a free pattern from Red Heart and I've made many modifications to create what I hope will be the perfect cardigan.
These photos show the body unblocked, but so far I'm really happy with how this cardigan is coming along. I have notes all over the place on my modifications. I'll try to pull them together and post them along with photos of my finished sweater. I hope to have this whole thing done and blocked in time for Christmas. I just need to finish two sleeves and lay off the ice cream so this cardigan will fit when I'm done. Wish me luck!
Yes, it's getting to be that time of year - when most knitters turn their creative minds to holiday knitting. For me, the first project to tackle is my decoration for my knitting group's annual ornament exchange.
This year, I started playing around with yarn - layering it inside Christmas balls, wrapping it around Christmas balls, and turning Christmas balls into yarn balls. I came up with four different designs, and I'm not sure which one to use for my ornament exchange:
Want to make your own yarn ornaments? Check out my Hubpages for the directions for all four designs!
This time of the year, lots of yarn companies release FREE patterns for little sweater ornaments. I've already have plans for my submission for this year's ornament exchange (more later), but I wanted to share some of these little patterns for little sweaters:
First up, these little cuties from Berroco, available for download here. I love the little fair isle sweater and hat. These would be great for dressing up stocking stuffers like little toys or candy canes.
Vogue Knitting also has a free pattern for this sweater garland (available here). This would be a fun way to use up some scrap yarn while making a colorful garland for your tree or mantle. These sweaters could also be knit as separate items to use as ornaments.
Red Heart has this charming cardigan pattern, which would also be great for doll attire. You can find it on their website.
And a lot of sweet knitters have shared their patterns for little sweaters for free on Ravelry or on their blogs. Ravelry has a lot of patterns to choose from. Here are just a few:
Emily of Greens and Jeans has a tiny raglan design that can be modified in a number of ways.
Lori of Bird's Eye View also has a sweet little pattern that would look great in variegated yarn or using an array of scraps.
My favorite type of sweater is what I like to call "a classic cardigan." I love cardigans that have kind of a classic 1950's shape, with tight ribbing at the hem, a flattering fit, and buttoning up the front with some interesting design around a crew neckline.
I came across this free Red Heart pattern, the Alice Blue Cardigan, and thought it was almost perfect. Just one major problem: the pattern's smallest size is a 36" chest which is a little too big for me. So, now I have a new project - to alter this Alice Blue Cardigan into a great fitting "classic cardigan".
First up: the yarn. I fell in love with this Jojoland Splatter Dash merino dk yarn in a beautiful variegated pink-rose-lilac color. This yarn is a little more pricey than I usually like to pay, but I wanted a pink cardigan and I love the subtle color change of this yarn that makes it a little more sophisticated and interesting than just your basic pink.
1. Change the rib hem to a tighter k2, p2 ribbing.
2. Knit this cardi in one piece to armpits, then break into front and back pieces.
3. Change the button band to garter stitch so I can knit it along with the rest of the sweater, instead of picking up stitches when I'm done. I like to have as little finishing as possible.
4. Cast on for my wider hips, but then add shaping to bring the chest down to 34".
5. To narrow the chest, I'm going to have to omit one column of lace detail on each side of this cardigan. I'm also going to probably raise the lace detail by not starting this design until I'm past my waist shaping.
I'll be posting my mods and photos as I go. To be honest, I haven't figured out the calculations for the lace yet, so I've got some work ahead of me. Wish me luck!