The French Macaroon Sweater is a really simple baby sweater. How simple? If you know how to cast on, knit, and bind off you will pretty much have yourself a sweater. French Macaroon is a boxy design that can really act as a base for a more advanced knitter to make endless modifications. For my first French Macaroon I kept pretty much to the pattern.
Instead of using two colors, I used three so that I could do a little stash busting. The yarn is Rowan Handknit Cotton and I really liked working with this yarn. It is super soft considering it is 100% cotton and comes in a variety of colors. Instead of making the sweater as two pieces, I worked in the round until the arm holes. At this point I put one side on a stitch holder and worked the sleeves for the front and back separately. By working the project this way I cut down on 2 seams! That saved about 20 minutes of working time.
With my second sweater, I used the pattern as a guide for the math. I worked with some StyleCraft yarn (sorry I lost the label) that was bulky weight so the gauge was completely different than my first sweater. My aim was to create a cropped sweater for a toddler. I used the math for the smallest sizing. The sweater seems a little wide when laid flat. However, it is a boxy design so I am sure it will not look as wide when worn. I had some yarn left over so I made a simple bow headband to match.
The French Macaroon Sweater is a great choice for a simple baby sweater mostly due to the endless design possibilities. I am not one who likes to do math so I enjoy using basic patterns such as this to act as a creative jumping point. I can certainly see some more French Macaroon Sweaters in my future.
In 2013, I went to Hoi An, Vietnam with my then boyfriend on a 8 week Southeast Asia backpacking trip. The town continues to be one of my favorite in Vietnam. The old section was a mix of history and beauty. The beach was such a relief in the oppressive heat. We rented bikes for $1 and had the time of our lives. One of my favorite memories was sitting at a local restaurant, while it rained, watching life go by with a “fresh beer” (beer from a keg) and a bowl of rose dumplings. Hoi An holds a very special place in my heart.
When I came across Hoi An Top I knew I had to make it. A beautiful lace tank that was inspired by the lanterns of Hoi An? Pattern sold ✅.
Sandra from Nomad Stitches made a well laid out pattern that included different colors for the different sizing options. My gauge was slightly different so I went with the large sizing. The lace chart is easy to work with and eventually I had it memorized. I repeated the chart four times as I wanted a shirt length top rather than cropped. The part of this pattern that dragged out for me was the I-cord bind off for the armholes and neckline. This is not my favorite bind-off method, but in this case I went with the designer’s judgement.
This was my first experience with Rosários 4 Alfama Eco Friendly 100% linen. The color of the yarn is such a lovely lilac. This yarn was easy to work with, but it did shed. I had to be careful about knitting prior to work so I didn’t end up a linty mess. Like any linen yarn there was a loss of fiber flexibility while knitting so I made sure to keep my weaving ends on the longer side. I used about 3 skeins for this project. Originally, I thought of making a tunic length so I overbought on yarn. Midway through the project I decided to keep it simple. I have several skeins leftover so I may make a mini version for the baby if I can get the math figured out.
The Hoi An Top was a rewarding garment to create. The construction was interesting and the lacework was right up my alley. Only order of business now is to find a nice occasion to wear it outside of the house.
Part of the reason for my blogging hiatus was that I was expecting my first child 👶🏽. Well she is finally here! She is about two weeks old and we are adjusting to our new lives bit by bit. Thankfully my mom is here so there is someone in the house who has an idea of what to do (hahah). We also have this great “manual” that has really helped answer the thousands of questions I have had about things. If you are expecting or know someone who is I highly recommend it.
Since the week before baby arrived, I have had a knitting slow down. Due to this, I am going to backtrack a little bit and show off some projects finished during my pregnancy. You may have seen this item on IG if you follow me (@knitsbywhitSF). We didn’t know the gender of the baby until birth so I made quite a few things in gender neutral colors.
One of the first items I made for baby was the Linnie Cardigan. I used the remaining cashmere yarn blend String Theory Casper Sock in Beach Plum I purchased in Vermont many summers ago. Such a dream to work with! The cardigan knit up quick as lighting as I made the newborn size. So tiny!
I made no modifications to the pattern except to shorten the sleeves as I was running short on yarn. The buttons are simple wooden ones I purchased online. I like the simple geometric shape on them. Interesting but not too fussy.
The temps here have been 95°F+/ 35°C everyday. Way too hot to wear cashmere. She could possibly wear it when we are in the A/C but looks like this may be a photos only FO for now.
Recently, I have been super focused on getting our personal finances in order. I want to make sure we are being smart with our money for the long term. Through all of my research, I keep hearing this term “Debt Snowball. ” Essentially, you begin paying small debts first then move to large ones. Think like a snowball headed down a mountainside. Yesterday it struck me that I don’t need to snowball my money, but I do need to snowball my knitting.
There are a lot of WIPs going on in Casa de Whit. So much so that I needed to take a hard look at myself and commit to finishing some projects before even thinking of casting on one more item. So far I have 7 WIPs that range from sewing in ends to partially complete.
This is so unlike me. I am a pretty monogamist knitter. I like to keep focused and get the finished object (aka I am a product knitter). Nevertheless, I just can’t keep focus on a single item lately. I start something and then *poof* my attention has gone elsewhere. So a dedicated plan is in order. The first step of my knitting snowball is to list all of my “debts” from ‘almost there’ to ‘needs some TLC’. Here we go:
Unnamed design hat- add pompon ( I am working on samples for a design I am trying to publish)
Big Flax Sweater- I am making Christmas sweaters. My husband’s has been approved by him in terms of fit and needs the ends woven in.
Hoi An Top- When it came to making the icords for the arm holes I stalled. So I have an armhole, neckline, and ends to weave in.
Medium Flax Sweater- My sweater has 1/3 of a sleeve and ends that need weaving in.
Unnamed design baby hat- I got inspired by a colorwork mosaic and had to dig in. This project is 50% there.
Sweet Lady Blue – This chunky sweater is so close. I have one sleeve left and I am making 3/4 sleeves due to limited yarn.
Vanilla Socks- I bought a ball of Cascade Heritage Prints this past July and embarked on some toe up vanilla socks. I am trying to think of something a little spicier than 2×2 ribbing for the leg section.
Okay step one done! Tomorrow’s mission is… make a pompon and take some photos. Easy enough right?
These socks should have been completed ages ago, but many factors blocked them from coming to fruition. The first being I could not find a yarn that I liked. As you can see the Whitecap pattern has a raised texture pattern that goes around the leg and over the top of the foot. All the yarns I was choosing were too fuzzy or lacked stitch definition. I wanted the texture to pop and I wasn’t getting that. Despite how much I wanted the other yarns to work I ended up frogging them and putting the pattern away for another day. Finally, I found Cascade Heritage Sock yarn on China’s Amazon equivalent and knew I could rely on it to achieve the definition I desired.
This was the first Kniterations pattern I have ever knit. The pattern was well formatted and included written instructions as well as charts. However, once you went through about two rounds of the pattern it was super easy to memorize. The only modification I made was to the heel flap. I changed the stitch pattern as I like the appearance of this texture more. I believe I now own a hand-knit pair of socks in every color of the rainbow. Too bad I live in a hot climate and can only wear them 2 months out of the year. Socks with sandals anyone? 😁
The Peplum Top by Morgan Woltersdorf (@Morthunder on IG) was promised to be an “insanely simple knit” and it certainly was.
The pattern was straight forward and included diagrams. Best part? No need to go through the pattern and circle your sizing numbers. Morgan made a separate PDF for each size! I used a needle size down from the recommended US Size 9 needles as I wanted the stitches to be a little more compact. The US size 9s were making my top a little too see through for my liking.
I used DROPS Cotton Merino in Powder Pink. This was my first time using this yarn. It is really soft and lovely during and after knitting. I have worn my Peplum Top in two different hot climates (California and China) and the merino wool does not make it too hot to wear at all. The yarn also has notable stitch definition. I am curious about using it with texture knitting. I bet it would really show off cables well.
My only issue with this cute top is the volume of the skirt/peplum. There is a little too much material for my frame. I could have done with using the medium sizing to create the top and the small sizing to create the skirt/peplum. Nonetheless, I am extremely overjoyed with this top. It makes my collar bones and shoulders look awesome!
I spotted Abalone on Ravelry and knew that it was perfect for the Morris & Sons cotton (color: Onyx) I had purchased in Australia. The construction fit my knitwear basics criteria (versatile, simple construction, short sleeve).
The main feature I really liked was that the cardigan was meant to not close completely. I don’t know about you, but I really hate when you wear a cardigan unbuttoned and the front panels flap around as you walk. Abalone’s shape made this issue virtually obsolete.
Warnings: 1) The pattern is more of a guide. So if you are not a size small be ready to do some math to calculate the number of stitches you need. 2) Be careful with the edging section. There is a high risk you can make it too tight (i.e., not casting on enough stitches) and the result will have the bottom of the cardigan not laying flat against your body. Therefore, the back of the cardigan may look like it is greatly enhancing your booty.