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-

Amigurumi Animal

I keep seeing all of these cute little crochet animals on IG and I wanted to try and make some. Now that I have a child (and know more people with children) I figured these darling animals would make great gifts for birthdays and the holiday season.

I am not a real cat fan, but this one was just irresistible. The pattern I followed was from https://paintitcolorful.blogspot.com and I used Rowan Handknit Cotton with a 3.5mm hook. The modification I made were adding the stripes to the body. I couldn’t quite judge if I would run out of yarn so I added them to give myself a little more yardage with the lilac color. I sewed eyes on the face and added a pink nose to up the cuteness factor. All in all this kitty is quite charming.

Until Next Time, 

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,

New Addition

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.

Until Next Time,

Zigzagular Socks

The Zigzagular Socks are a free knitting pattern on Ravelry. The construction is top down with a textured heel flap. Along the sides of the socks runs a basic cable pattern that moves back and forth in a zig zag pattern.

I made the smallest size using my Daruma Superwash Merino wool yarn. This is a Japanese brand. I was first attracted to this yarn as it looked super soft and cozy. I have to say I wouldn’t use this yarn for socks again. It was too loosely wound for me. I like a very smooth yarn that is tightly plied and has at least 25% nylon. I like how the nylon helps keep a tight fit on my teeny tiny feet.

The pattern for these socks was well written. I liked that there were written direction as well as charts included. I also love a pattern with lots of pictures. It helps give me a better idea of what I am going to end up with.

I will not be wearing these sock for a looooong time. It will be 90° F/30°C for pretty much everyday for the foreseeable future. So no socks required 🙁. But, if you are looking for a sock pattern to stock up on your cold weather gear during the summer months I highly suggest the Zigzagular Socks.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Newborn Knitwear

Anytime I make knitwear for babies I second guess myself. No matter if I am following the pattern exactly or if l look up the measurements myself I always wonder… “Is this going to fit?” This is exactly what I did with my Baby Sophisticate sweater. I wanted to make the newborn- 3 month size. The first one I made looked way too small. Even after blocking. So I changed fiber and made the next size up. This one looks a little long for a newborn, but I would much rather it be too big than too small. My result is just too cute. It reminds me of a little Mr. Rodgers sweater.

I also knit up a hat. This pattern is called Bearly Bonnet. It is a free and an easy pattern to follow. I did make some modifications to the pattern. I used US 4 needles and adjusted my gauge from there. Check out my Ravelry page for more information.

This hat is darling! I wish that the pattern pictures had the hat modeled on a baby so I can get the full cuteness effect. I am hoping the future mommy and baby will take lots of photos for me. These two items will certainly be some of my go to baby gifts for future little ones. They are quick to knit and have a lot of variation potential.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Great Pattern, Not So Great Yarn

In May,  I was asked to test knit a sweater for Life is Cozy. I just happened to have 5 skeins of hot pink alpaca yarn (from my trip in Ecuador) that needed to be knitted up, so I said yes. I have test knit for this designer before and love her designs. They are simple constructions with interesting and delicate details. The Forever April Sweater was no exception. The design elements that caught my eye were the shaped waistline and the off the shoulder neckline.

The Forever April Sweater is a top down raglan sweater with bell shaped sleeves. I did bump up a needle size (US size 2 and 4) as my yarn was a little thicker than the recommended yarn. I didn’t want the piece to be too dense. The only other modification I made was to shorten the length of the sweater as the recipient is on the petite side. I ended up keeping all of the waist shaping increases and decreases and just began the ribbing 3 inches before my desired end length. 

So why does my title contain the words “not so good yarn”? Well this yarn was by far the worst yarn I have ever worked with. It shed EVERYWHERE! Anytime I worked on this sweater I would end up having a layer of hot pink fuzz covering me. This yarn was was also not very tightly wound. I have a pretty tight knitting tension so at one point I broke the yarn 4 times in one row 😫. To make matters worse I tried it on and it was SO itchy. Ugh! This “not so good yarn” made finishing this project a pain. 

Despite my dislike for the yarn, the sweater came out quite lovely. I made sure to give it a long soak and it doesn’t seem as itchy.  Buster (my “fur brother”) seemed to approve.

I am a little bummed that my yarn choice was a let down, however, The Forever April Sweater is a great pattern. It makes a lovely sweater for the spring or chilly summer nights. I highly recommend you head to Life is Cozy and download this free pattern.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Mini Flax Sweaters

The babies are coming! The babies are coming! Well that is at least what I have been chanting in my head. May I present my latest baby gifts…

Mini Flax Sweaters by Tin Can Knits. Tin Can Knits does a lovely job with creating everyday basics for the whole family. The tan sweater is sized 0-6mos and the red one is 6-12mos. I really love this pattern as it is free, well written, and has so much potential for variations. 

I used Patons Classic Wool Worsted for both sweaters. I made no modifications except using an alternative color on the neck, cuffs, and bottom edge of the tan sweater. I will say I had a little trouble with keeping the stitches even as I picked up additional stitches at the underarms. However, I went back and did some tightening up of the stitches with a tapestry needle and spare yarn.If you are in need of a quick and easy pattern, I highly recommend the Flax Sweater. Did I mention that they have a lightweight version too?  

The babies aren’t due till spring, but I am glad I can check these gifts off the list.

What is your go-to baby sweater pattern?

Until Next Time, 

-Whit-

FO: Red Rosina Sweater

Whew! She is done. Actually, she has been completed since mid-December, but I procrastinated on photographing her. The Rosina Pullover has been something in my Ravelry queue for quite a while. Originally, the lacework sleeves caught my eye. I loved how elegant and feminine they looked. I immediately clicked add to queue and there the pattern sat until 3 months ago.

I have to admit this sweater took a long while to make. Two and a half months to be exact.  The fingering weight yarn (Cascade 220 Fingering in Burgundy) and size US 2 needles made this project a slow burn. The stockinette section made for great TV/knitting group work, however, the lace portions required some significant concentration. There was many a time when some frogging action occurred. Looking back I should have worked a sleeve, then the body, and then the last sleeve. It would have given my mind a little break…and I also could have better binge watched Game of Thrones (haha).


Construction/ Pattern: The good thing about this pattern is all of the different sizing options. There are 10 different sizes one can choose from. As a knitter who hates math, this was perfect for me. I loved not having to rework the pattern calculations too much to ensure a proper fit. On the other hand, the number of sizing options made reading the pattern quite a challenge. I had to go through the whole pattern about 5 times and highlight the directions for my size to make sure I didn’t get off track. Once I got that worked out, the pattern was fairly easy to read.

Modifications: I did make some modifications to the original pattern. I skipped the lace section at the bottom and the flared sleeves and just replicated the neckline’s 1×1 ribbing. Both the flared sleeves and the lace bottom were a little too fussy for me.

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Fit: I was a little worried about the fit of this sweater. If you look at the pattern pictures the sweater is intended to fit on the snug side. I pretty consistently have issues with armholes. My shoulders and upper arms like to have lots of space so usually, I knit an extra 1/4 to 1/2 inches under the arm. This pattern was ideal for checking the fit as it is a top-down construction. I tried it on as a knit to make sure I had room to move.


Since finishing I have worn this sweater twice and people are amazed that I made it. To me, that is always a sign of a  handmade sweater that has hit the mark!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

P.S. I decided to devote an Instagram account specifically to the blog :). Follow me at knitsbywhitsf 

 

FO: Kōpekapeka Hat

Finally done and photographed!

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Kōpekapeka Hat, by Francoise Danoy, is a pretty enjoyable knit. I love classic shape and  unfussy texture.  The zig-zag pattern keeps this easy knit from getting stale, while not making the hat look too busy. I can certainly see this hat becoming a fall favorite.

I did add one modification, which was that I added an additional zig-zag repeat to make the body of the hat a little longer. I like to pull my hat down real low when the weather gets cold.img_3795

Location: Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, NH

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Royal Purple (100% wool)

Needles: US Size 6/ 4.0mm (Knitters Pride Dreamz)

A big shout out to my lovely sister for taking amazing photos. 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-