Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Update 2 and Reveal: Knitted Cable Tee Turned Vest

It seems like forever, but I think its only been a month that I've been knitting and modifying this cable tee by Gayle BunnIn my last update, I said I might turn this tee into a vest.  Well, obviously, I did and I'm very happy with it.  

This change was easy to do, but would have been even easier if I had known from the beginning that is what I would do.  Here are all of my notes, some which I've posted before:

1.  My gauge in this Berroco Vintage was way off so I did my own calculations for my cast on and decreases.  My gauge was 5.5 sts per inch, so I cast on 186 sts to knit this top in the round.

2.  I did 10 sets of decreases (4 decs each time - 2 front side, 2 back side) to bring the chest size down, then did 1 increase round for shaping.

3.  I followed the hem directions and cable chart from the pattern.  I omitted the ribbing on the back since I didn't like how it looked.

4.  Followed the chart directions to row 31 or until my vest was 15 inches long, then bound off for the underarms.  Bound off 4 sts on each side of my markers (left and right) for a total of 8 bound off sts for each underarm.  Then knit the front and back separately.

5.  On the front, I continued to follow the cable chart.  To complete my underarm shaping, I bound off 1 st on each side of my knitting for the next 6 rows (3 bound off sts per each underarm on the front side).  Once my stitches were bound off for the underarms, I continued to knit straight, following the cable chart.

6.  Followed chart through row 56, then bound off center stitches as indicated in pattern.  On the next 12 rows, I bound off 1 st per side of the neck to shape the neckline.  When done, this left me with 16 stitches on each shoulder.

7.  I knit these shoulder straps straight until my armholes were 8 inches deep, then held my stitches and began working on the back.

8.  Working the back, I bound off the underarms in the same pattern as the front - I bound off 1 st on each side of my knitting for the next 6 rows (3 bound off sts per each underarm).

9.  Then I knit straight until my back side was about 1 inch shorter than my front.  Next, I bound off the center stitches, leaving me with 18 stitches per shoulder.

10.  For the next 4 rows, I bound off 1 st per side to shape the back of the neck (2 sts per each side for a total of 4 sts).  This left my with 16 sts on each shoulder.  Then I knit straight for 3 more rows.

11.  I joined the front and back of my shoulders together with a three needle bind off, then blocked my vest.

12.  When dry, I picked up stitches around the neck and armholes and knit 4 rounds, then bound off to create a rolled neckline.  I could have also done a garter st border instead.  Either would have been fine.  I'm happy with the rolled neck.

A couple of last thoughts:

1.  Gayle Bunn's chart for this pattern is real well written and easy to follow.  I expected to find some small mistake in it, but didn't.  It's excellent.  But I would recommend color-coding the cable symbols on the chart to keep them straight.

2.  This top knit in this Berroco Vintage would definitely be too heavy and hot (for me) to wear as a tee.  I'm glad I changed it into a vest.  I think I'll get a lot of wear from it.

3.  If I had known from the beginning that I was going to make this pattern into a vest, I would have made the bottom band wider by knitting more garter rows.  As it is, the hem turns up and I had to iron it to make it lie flat.  Small issue but I thought I'd mention it.

4.  If I were to knit this again, and had the yarn to do it, I'd repeat the cable pattern on the back too.  It's so pretty and would definitely make an eye-catching detail.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Two Free Knitting Patterns for Spring: Confetti Fringe Pillow and Cup Cozy

I'm excited to share my latest free knitting patterns, available on my Hubpages!  These colorful accessories, my Confetti Fringe Pillow Cover and Cup Cozy, will add cheer and a bit of fun to any room or occasion. Great for stash-busting, both patterns are included on my Hubpages.

First, the Confetti Fringe Pillow:  This colorful pillow cover features a playful fringe that holds the side seams of this pillow together, resulting in little finishing at the end. Designed for a 16 inch by 16 inch pillow insert, this pattern can be resized easily.  Great for stash-busting!!

And the Confetti Cup Cozy:  This pattern uses the same fringe design, but is a small and quick project.  This cup cozy would make a great gift idea or stocking stuffer at the holidays!

I hope you like these new patterns!  I've had a lot of fun designing and knitting them :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Free Arm Knitting Pattern: Huge Easter Bunny

bunny arm knitting pattern & photo by Anne Weil
When I was about 5 years old, I had an operation on my leg.  When I woke up from the surgery in the hospital, my parents presented me with this rather large stuffed lamb.  This stuffed animal was about 18 inches long (more than half the size of me), and had a head that was about 12 inches in diameter.  I loved that stuffed lamb and still have it at my parent's house.

I tell this story for no reason, other than this huge knit bunny reminds me of my old stuffed lamb.

bunny arm knitting pattern & photo by Anne Weil

How adorable is this?  I haven't gotten into the arm knitting craze, but this bunny pattern has almost made me a convert.  This arm knitting pattern by Anne Weil is available on the Sweet Paul website for FREE.  It looks like this bunny can be knit in two sizes.  The free pattern for both sizes can be downloaded from the website, or you can buy a kit from the site too.

Anne Weil also has a book about arm and finger knitting, Knitting Without Needles - A Stylish Introduction to Finger and Arm Knitting.  I haven't seen this book yet, but it sounds interesting. 

Have you tried arm or finger knitting?  Tell me about it!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Update 1: Knitted Cabled Tee Turned Vest

As I mentioned before, I've been in a bit of a knitting doldrums lately.  For a while, I just didn't feel like knitting.  But I rallied myself, and now I'm hard a work on two different knitting projects - which means I haven't made much progress to show on either.

That said, I do have some info and notes to share on my Swingy Knitted Tee.  As you can see from the photo above, I'm a few inches away from splitting the front and back at the armpits.  The cable pattern on this top is even more amazing in person and relatively easy since you only do it once on the front of this top. 

The rest of the pattern has not been so easy for me - all of my own doing and because I'm making a bunch of changes:

1.  I'm knitting this in round to the armpits instead of in parts.  Not a big deal - I really don't know why this pattern wasn't written to be knit in the round.  It's so much quicker.  I'm also deleting the ribbing from the back and just knitting it in straight stockinette.

2.  I'm using a light worsted weight Berroco Vintage yarn (in denim) for this project.  Although it's a light worsted weight, it isn't really dk as the pattern calls for, so my gauge was off enough to cause some calculations.  Sadly, even the small size cast on listed in the pattern was going to be too big with my gauge, so I did my own math based on my body measurements, then added 6 more stitches to the front side as the pattern had for each size.

3.  I doing 10 sets of decreases then 1 increase to shape my top and to match my chest size.

4.  I had originally planned to cast on for a wider looser bottom to create a swingy shape to my top, but it was going to require too many decreases to make the chest fit and I thought it would look weird.  It was also going to require more yarn than I have.

5.  I may still have a yarn storage issue and I've (almost) decided to knit this garment as a sleeveless vest instead of a top.  One - I think to knit the sleeves, I would need another skein of yarn.  And two - this worsted weight yarn is light, but still a little heavy for a short-sleeve top.  I doubt I'd ever wear it as a tee.  I think I will wear it more in colder months as a vest over another another top or blouse.  But... I haven't made up my mind completely.  I will make my final decision when I get to the armpits and see how much yarn I have at that point.

Stay tuned :)