Baby Sophisticate Cardigan

I made this cardigan ages ago. My friend was having a baby and I convinced myself that this sweater was going to be too small for a new baby. So it sat without buttons for over a year. Cut to me just having a baby and I realized how silly I was. Babies are small…duh!

My now two month old is just fitting into this sweater. I made it using a cotton mix so it is perfect for the now cooler temps we are experiencing in the morning. If you follow me on IG (@knitsbywhitsf) I was in a bit of a button pickle. I just couldn’t decide on which buttons to use. The giraffe ones are so cute, but as a follower pointed out they can be a pain to actually use. Considering babies are super squirmy I decided on being 50% practical (hehe).

I swear I have become hooked on making baby items. They are just so quick to make. Good old instant satisfaction! I think making baby sweaters is going to replace my previous love of hat making.

Until Next Time,

Chunky Knit Pullover

Grey is such a versatile color. You can pretty much wear it with any other color, which in my mind makes a grey sweater an essential wardrobe staple.

I purchased this yarn in Tokyo over a year ago. It sat in my stash in waiting for the day to be made into a sweater as I didn’t have large enough needles to make anything with it. This summer, I purchased some US Size 15 Knitter’s Pride Dreamz. These are my favorite needles! The colors are fun and the slip is perfect for my personal tension. They have an interchangeable set that I am resisting buying.

I used Natura Just Cotton XL yarn in Nuage and the pattern Sweet Lady Blue from Drops Designs. Since I only had 5 balls of yarn I modified the pattern. I shortened the body of the sweater as well as the sleeves. I knit the body (to under the armholes) to 12”. The sleeves were made from the cuff up to make sure I had enough yarn. To do this I worked out an even spacing pattern to increase the sleeves to 32 stitches. The other modification I made was skipping the crochet edge on the neckline.

I can’t wait to wear this sweater! I have many ideas about how to fit it in with the clothing I have. It is still unbelievably hot here so I have a few more months to wait.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Deux French Macaroon Sweaters

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.

Until Next Time,

Abalone Cardigan

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.

Until Next Time,

Huatau Cardigan

It has been a long while since I have posted, but I am back and ready to continue sharing my knits and adventures.

For the last few months, I have been working on trying to build up my knitwear basics. Guangzhou, China is incredibly hot (think 30 degrees C/ 90 degrees+ F) for 9 months out of the year. I mostly wear tank dresses, but often need a light layer when I am sitting in the office. My preference is a short sleeve cardigan that is easy to throw on or off. I also like a solid color so I can wear it with a variety of outfits.

Enter the Huatau Cardigan. My initial thoughts were that I loved the basic construction of the piece and the added detail along the spine of the cardigan. It looked like the perfect piece to wear with casual wear as well as something to go with professional wear.

The Huatau pattern recommends using wool, but that would be waaaaaaay too hot. So I decided to take a chance and use a new to me cotton blend called Drops Belle in Valkoinen (or white). This yarn is cotton mixed with rayon and linen. Drops Belle was not my favorite. It had good stitch definition; however, when working with the yarn it shed a lot. While knitting, if I was wearing any dark colored clothing I would have to lint roll myself if I planned on going out afterward. I am hoping that since I have blocked the sweater there won’t be anymore shedding going on.

I am 90% happy with my final garment. Things I love about it:

  1. The yarn is light to wear and I since I choose white I can wear it with basically anything in my wardrobe.
  2. The pattern was well-written and easy to follow.
  3. The cardigan fits me well lengthwise.

Not my favorite:

  1. The cardigan is too loose in the shoulder and neckline area. Therefore, the back of the neck begins to pucker as I wear it because the shoulder area slides around a bit.

I am going to attribute this issue to the fact that I used a cotton blend of yarn, which is prone to not hold its shape as well as wool. If I were to make this cardigan in cotton again I would make the small size to get a closer fit in the shoulder area.

I continue to be a fan of Francoise Danoy over at Arohaknits. Her patterns are well-written, keep any level of knitter interested, and I just really enjoy how she incorporates texture into her patterns.

What are some of your favorite knitwear basics to knit?

Until Next Time,

Growing Yarn Stash

Is it me or is a large portion of the knitting community working on something with amazing colorwork? All over Instagram and the blogs I keep seeing a rainbow of color in everyone’s knitwear. It got me thinking it has been a hot minute since I have knit anything that wasn’t a solid color.

What to make? What to make? Well the first thing that popped into my mind was the Blue Snowdrop Sweater by Life is Cozy. The yoke looked challenging enough, but not too tough and I loved that the sweater fits snugly through the torso. So I headed to my LYS to procure some wool goodies.

From Life is Cozy website

One of the LYS I go to in Guangzhou is a little hole in the wall shop inside of a fabrics market (Highsun (Haiyin) Fabrics Market- Donghu stop Exit D). They sell mainly Chinese brands and are pretty affordable. My biggest qualm with going to this store is all of the yarn is in plastic and stacked from floor to ceiling. However, the sales lady is really nice and tries to be as helpful as possible considering she speaks very little English.

So what did I get? Well too much really. My colorwork sweater will be grey (main color) with navy, hunter green, and white. I can’t decide on the fourth color. I am between the fuchsia and the pink. I also found this lovely cotton yarn (green and white yarn) that I think I will use to make another Edie top. I also found bulky yarn! This can be pretty rare in China. I don’t know what I will do with it but I just loved the color so I had to have it.

All and all I am happy with my purchases. I spent 410RMB or $61USD. All of the yarn is predominantly wool. Not bad right? I CANNOT buy yarn for the rest of the year. I am not one to keep a lot in her stash and I have about 4 sweaters worth of yarn in addition to other random yarn that I need to handle. I better get knitting!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Gemini Top

Fist off I am in love with this color. I really love jeweled tones and this yarn was such a rich shade of teal I couldn’t resist using it twice! (See my Bankhead Hat). The yarn isn’t a natural fiber, but it passes the ‘pet test.’ Meet my newest finished garment Gemini.

This pattern features a lace yoke panel that can be worn to the front or back depending on your mood. The pattern was very straight forward and the yarn/needles size combo made for a quick knit. I worked the small size and have about 2-3″ of positive ease. I did modify the length of the body as I am petite and have a shorter torso.

Another short sleeve top to add to the stack! Since my Gemini top isn’t straight cotton it will make a good layering piece when the weather does finally cool down. I am thinking a collared shirt might look cute underneath. The endless possibilities that come with creating your own wardrobe!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-