Thursday, April 09, 2009

Orange XOXO Cardigan

DD2's been looking for a long and roomy cardigan for a while. We could not find one in children's, teens’, or women's clothing stores around here or on internet. She has a relatively clear idea on how it ought to look and feel, and that makes it impossible to find the exact one. So, I decided that she needs my help.

We started with yarn selection: not scratchy wool, not a bulky yarn, soft and delicate, and in orange, her favorite color. We ended up with acrylic/wool blend in bright orange from Bergere de France. I purchased a pattern CD and ordered the yarn for her last fall.

Next, pattern. Not quite willing to design the whole cardigan from scratch, I looked for girls' cardigan/pullover patterns. Even if DD2 was not quite sure about the photos I've shown her, I decided to order a Phildar Enfants issue. There are two designs I thought might work for her ideas. Design 14 with lots of 1-by-1 ribs but roomy lower bodice and Design 4 with some interesting cables. Main issue is that I like to knit interesting patterns while DD2 does not like ‘fancy’ clothes for a special occasion. She wants everyday sort of clothes. Basically, she likes a lot of stockinet stitches. This is bad news for me. In order to make miles of stockinet stitches less boring, I added a variegated lace weight alpaca yarn from my LYS. It is called J. Knits Lace-A-Licious in pink color, Providence. It added a nice hand and color interest to the fabric without itchiness.

With DD2's desire in mind, I combined the two designs from the magazine: roomy lower bodice and fitted upper bodice of Design 14, XOXO cable pattern of Design 4, and ample sleeves but not too baggy. Even though DD2 resisted the idea of adding cables, she loved XOXO pattern. So, I happily knitted the orange XOXO cardigan.

She loves the result! Thanks goodness!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Puppy Yarn’s Braid Scarf

I saw this cute scarf made by a Japanese knitter, Ishi-san, who does such great jobs at anything she creates. I learned the pattern is from Puppy, a Japanese yarn company, and was made available free in 2003 to customers purchased their yarns. In other words, I don’t have the pattern.

Here is what I thought it might be done. It is okay, but something is not quite right. I used 5 mm crochet hook and Crystal Palace yarn Taos.

Later on, Yuri-san, a knitting friend in Japan, offered to send me yarns and the pattern. So, we exchanged knitting goods across the Pacific. She loves Norah Gaughan’s designs but Berroco booklets are not available in Japan and that’s what I sent to her. I now have the yarn and the pattern to crochet the braid scarf!

With the pattern and the same yarn used by Ishi-san, I tried the other day at Knitsmith. Initially, I was not quite happy with the results, but after playing with the location and the method of anchoring the chains at the bottom of the last double crochet, I think I got it. Now, all I have to do is to finish the project before next winter.