Candy Stripe Dishcloth is live!

Remember those dishcloths I knit up and blogged about on Knitvent Day 1? The pattern has been written up, test knit by 4 very helpful knitters, tech edited, with illustrations for the crochet cast-on created by the very talented 16yo knitter I taught 2 years ago.

Candy Stripe Dishcloth – now published on Ravelry

As I created the pattern to knit items for my son’s school Annual Holiday Fair, proceeds from this pattern will goto the school as my son will be leaving at the end of this year for a sports highschool.

I’ll still knit up a few dozen cloths for the holiday market though. That was one of my favourite things.

Knitvent Day 10 – Playing with math

Quite awhile ago I created my own pattern for seamless baby booties to match a hat I had designed nearly a decade previous.  It’s my goto personal pattern for baby gifts.  I had the booties test-knit, the pattern tech edited, but never got to publishing it, thinking I wanted to do something more.

Last year I thought these booties would make great slippers.  So I’ve been playing with yarns, needles, math to upsize the bootie pattern.  This past weekend I’ve knit a mens’ small in Drops Eskimo wool, and a ladies medium in Premier Appalachia.

I like how they look, but there’s more work to be done before I’m ready to test knit, pattern write, etc…but these are quick gift knits!

Knitvent Day 3

I easily get distracted during the month of December.  I usually have a ‘plan’ for my gift knitting but I see some wonderful ideas from following others on Instagram and Ravelry.

Yesterday was a distraction day!  I’ve seen a number of these knit stars popping up in my feeds, so it gave me the idea I could “whip up” a dozen of these for the school holiday market.

I made 2 failed attempts before my gauge seem tight enough for stuffing – and managed 2 stars in one afternoon. I am faster now that I know what I’m doing with these, but the distraction is now deluding me into knitting a bunch for my own tree and maybe extra gift knits.

Pattern is Stjarna and is a free download on Ravelry

Not so tense gauge…

I have finally given in to checking gauge and doing gauge swatches for every project I make.  Partly because it is an easy way to keep ‘spare yarn’ for my projects if I ever need to mend them; and partly because recent projects weren’t turning out as I had expected.  I learned some lessons in the last few months:

three gauge swatches for the Must Have Cardigan

  1. I beta-tested a new circled hat pattern by Woolly Wormhead.  Previous to this beta test, I had knit Dulcie and the hat was slightly larger than I expected.  I didn’t do a gauge swatch for Dulcie, but for the beta test, I was going to be accurate…it took me 3 tries to get gauge.  I didn’t realize that I knit so loosely!  I was shocked.
  2. I wanted to knit a shawl with a handpainted yarn I recently purchased, and I swatched with a smaller needle than asked for, assuming that I was knitting loosely so would need smaller needles.  Wrong again, I actually had to go up a needle size from the suggested size to get gauge.
  3. I’m having my Twin Rib Baby Hat pattern tech edited next week because I’ve designed a matching bootie set to go with it.  My original design in 2011 listed a different needle size and stitch count than what I am using now?  My knitting has changed?  Both hats used the same yarn though!  Maybe I made a typo on the original post(?)  I’ve double checked my current swatch but the original hat has long since been given away.

So the lessons I learned was I knit more loosely than Woolly Wormhead; I knit tighter than Karie Westermann; and I’m now knitting looser than I did 6 years ago.

Designers and experience knitters have always said to “Do gauge swatches”, and its finally sinking into my brain.  Its crazy to think needle sizes and stitch gauge will be standardized across all patterns and yarns when even your own knitting tension may change over time!



img_2169Knit pumpkins seem to be filling my Pinterest feed, and I must admit, they are irresistibly cute.  Years ago (2009!?) I made a felted pumpkin for our ‘nature table’ and it has been our fall decoration ever since.  It’s been a lonely little pumpkin, so with all these pins, I thought it time I knit some companions.

First off, “Autumn Pumpkin” by Jan Lewis – I used leftover gold yarn from a Dr. Who scarf I had knit, figuring I could make a Dr.Who themed pumpkin table.  Quick knit, but I found the closings tough on the hands. Pulling 30 stitches tight makes a nice gathered look for the top & bottom of the pumpkin, but its hard on the hands depending on the yarn & needle you use.

Next up, I found a popular pin that kept redirecting, after many tries, I finally got one that worked without redirecting, and read through this pattern – I have yet to make it, but its another closure that I think will hurt my hands…but don’t they look adorably cute?

img_2171Ravelry has a bunch of others, but I created my own pattern by increasing and decreasing like I would the top of a hat.  I know those smaller openings makes stuffing it difficult, so I’m still playing with how it works.  I like neat crown increases (if you’ve ever seen my purple hat pattern), so its still an experiment requiring me to make some more 🙂

Happy knitting!



Twin Rib Baby Cap

As mentioned, earlier today, I’m knitting purple baby caps (to see why look here). So, to add some variety, I came up with a pattern 🙂

I love the twin rib stitch pattern because it is very stretchy, yet looks wonderful even if the stretch isn’t needed. The top crown is decreased to create a ribbed star pattern on the top but I’m still playing around with it to have it decrease ‘in pattern’ since I prefer a universal look to a hat, rather than a slanted or plain crown. I’m likely going to update the pattern with child sizes (skull caps)
NOTE: Aug 25, 2012 – edited to add Gauge/Finished size – oops! Sorry about forgetting that…

Yarn: Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly Baby Sport
Needles: size 3mm dpns
GAUGE: 30st to 4″ in pattern flat – ie unstretched

Size for newborn
Finished size: 5″ wide flat – ie unstretched by 5+” high

Twin Rib Pattern:
row 1: k3, p3 to end of row
row 2: k1, p1 to end of row

K = knit
p = purl
Sl2k = slip two stitches as if to knit together
Sl2p = slip two stitches purlwise
psso = pass slipped stitches over stitch just worked

Cast on 72 stitches
Join in round (careful not to twist!!)
K3, P3 for 6 rows

Follow Twin Rib Pattern for 4″ (27 rows) ending with a row 1

Decreases for Crown:row 1: (K3, sl2p, p1, psso) repeat to end of round
row 2: k1, p1 to end of round
row 3: k3, p1 to end of round
row 4: (sl2k, k1, psso, p1) repeat to end of round
row 5: k1, p1 to end of round
row 6: (sl2k, k1, psso) to end of round

Break off yarn, thread through remaining stitches, draw to a close & weave in ends.