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-