Monday, October 13, 2014

Hats for Veterans and Kids 2014

This year, we were asked to knit for Veterans and for "Caps for Kids."  Here are my contributions.

First for "Caps for Kids" which is organized by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  

Tiny baby bonnet knitted with cotton angora yarn.  This is such a cute little thing and I love how it turned out.  I think this pattern will be knitted many times over.  Its pattern is available free from here on Ravelry.  I knitted the ties and front edge band all together by using provisional cast on method.

Baby cap in wool yarn and child's cap in the same cotton angora yarn in a different color.  The pattern is also available free from here on Ravelry.  For the cotton angora version, I did not follow the pattern for the decreasing section and started the decreases by repeating k7, k2tog 8 times.  

And, my hats for Veterans.  The purple hat looks small but it is very stretchy.  Definitely large enough for adults and the pattern is Utopia Hat by Smariek Knits knitted with Karabella Yarns' Aurora 8.  The brown hat is knitted with wool-silk blend yarn and the pattern is Graham by Jennifer Adams.  These two hat patterns are available free.  The last one is a beret knitted with lovely Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn in Northern Lights and the pattern is Gretel by Ysolda, purchased.

I definitely enjoyed knitting all of these hats.  My DD2 loves Graham and I was asked to knit one for her.  We have yarns already.  Back to my regular knitting projects now.  

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

New Project

This cone of Silk Tsumugi yarn was waiting for me at my parents' home.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Warm Weather Knitting

This summer, I began with knitting a wool/linen three-quarter sleeve pullover. This was a success: love the yarn and the pattern.

Yarn: Leinen Los (70% wool and 30% linen blend) by Schoppel-Wolle 
Pattern: Gemini by Jane Richmond, from Kintty
Needles: 4 mm

I partially followed modification applied by the designer herself on her later version to transform the tee to three-quarter length sleeves. Also, I decided to use lace pattern throughout along the neck. 

To do lace pattern all around the neck turned out to be rather simple. First race round: yo twice, k2tog, k2tog, yo twice, k2tog … The first yo is for the last yo of the round. You will see when you try it yourself.  On the next round: One has to move the marker for the beginning of round every round and move the marker one stitch ahead so that the first yo will go to the end of the round. 

Following the notes from the author’s modified version with ¾ length fitted sleeves, I stopped increasing stitches once there are 66 stitches (for size M) for sleeves, while I kept increasing stitches per instruction for front and back bodice. The author recommends the following stitch count for fitted sleeves: 56 (60, 66, 74, 80, 88, 94) stitches. 

Sleeve shaping for 3/4 length sleeve knitted flat: Increase stitches at the beginning and the end of the 66 stitches for seam allowances. Knit even for 12 rows. Worked paired decreases on the next and every 10th row to 48 sts. Knit one more row. Switch to 3.75 mm needles and knit in 1 x 1 ribbing for 6 rows. Total of 100 rows were knitted for sleeves. Cast off loosely. 

Applied slipped chain stitches along the inner cast on edge along the neckline to reduce the neck opening.

It is too warm to wear the pullover outdoor now, but it is useful indoor where AC blasts.

Next, a cotton/silk peplum cardigan.  I used long-since-discontinued Fable yarn in red/orange color, named Goldilocks and the three bears.  I even had perfect buttons for the yarn.

Yarn: Fable (85% cotton and 15% silk blend) by Artful Yarns 
Pattern: Searing by Kim Harvreaves 
Needles: 4 mm and 5 mm

The design is for worsted weight yarn with 20 stitches per 10 cm while my yarns's gauge is 16 stitches with 5 mm needles.  I knitted the dimension of size M by following stitch counts for size XS and adjusted the row counts as I went on.  I did not have enough yarn to knit the full sleeve length and I knitted sleeves somewhat shorter.  The cardigan is intended for summer and I am fine with shorter sleeves.

And, next up will be Estonia dress!  I am all excited about this project.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Baileys Irish Cream Cardigan

Before I got busy with glove knitting, I finished Baileys Irish Cream cardigan.  The lace pattern on it is very pretty, and every detail appealed to me.  Naturally, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. 

Mine was knitted with a sport weight yarn with 20% cashmere, slightly thinner than the pattern calls for.  Hence, I followed instructions for a larger size. 

Skirt: Christine Jonson’s Pencil skirt
Tank Top: New Look 6068 View B

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Ms. Marie Wallin

Sometimes I do not pay much attention to the designers of my knitting projects, especially when they are from magazines.  Last winter, though, I noticed that I was knitting two of the designs by Marie Wallin.   Over all, I've knitted five of her designs: namely BronwenGelsey, Harris, Curio, Orkney and Harmonie.  Not only that, four of my to-do projects are by Ms. Wallin.  If you are on Ravelry, you will see which one I am talking about: Kintyre pullover, Rannoch dress, Glade pullover, and Dietrich cardigan.  Obviously, I love Ms. Wallin's work.  I wish her well in her health and her creative career.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Gold Jacket for Prom

For her prom, my daughter chose a pair of wide-legged and loose pants in sheer material which comes with built-in shorts, a tank top, and a heavy gold chain necklace.  The necklace has been in the dress-up costume drawer since my daughters were in kindergarten.  I thought she may need a cover-up of sort in case the weather turn cooler.  So, we went to our local Jo Ann to look for fabrics.  She chose a gold laminated cotton blend, the loudest gold fabric we could find at the store.  Her choice of pattern was Butterick 6029.  

We made several changes: Increased the collar height by 1 cm, Used the top layer of the jacket only, and re-shaped the front decorative piece.  The fabric was difficult to deal with since stitches could not be removed without damaging the fabric and the ironing had to be done very carefully.  Still, we are both happy with the result.  To be honest, I was not so sure about her pattern selection initially.  Being Mom, I decided to go along with the daughter's wish and intuition.  I am glad it all worked out nicely.  She's got an eye for style and fabric.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Herringbone Gloves


Compared with Sanquhar gloves, they fit better due to its smaller hand circumference and better shaped thumb gusset.  Still, I love the geometric pattern of the Sanquhar gloves.

My next pair of gloves will be a variation of the herringbone gloves: same construction in hound's tooth pattern.  There are several versions on Ravelry knitted in hound's tooth pattern.  I already have yarns for the pair.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Herringbone Gloves Update

One more finger to complete for the right glove.

Monday, May 26, 2014

New Project and New Bag

I was not planning to start another pair of gloves so soon, but I got excited about the pattern and I cast on almost immediately.

See my new project bag?  It is made by Alexis, a fellow Knitsmith.  It is just perfect for my new addiction which is Glove Knitting.

I am using the leftover Legacy Lace from Duke Design Sanquar gloves.  Since I have less in Pinot Noir, I reversed the color scheme.  The original pattern is written for fingering weight while mine is a lace weight.  I am revising the pattern to accommodate the gauge difference as I go along.  So far, I've used 0000 and 000 needles.  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Finished Gloves

My first gloves are completed.

As I inspect each glove, it is clear the first one, the left glove, suffered multiple unknitting and knitting as well as unevenness of tension.  In comparison, the right glove went much smoother.

The right glove on my hand.

I am encouraged with the experience and planning to knit more gloves.  The next one in my list is Herringbone Gloves.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Taming Uneven Stitches in Round

As reported in the last post, it was my fourth start that was successful and it went well until I began knitting fingers.  Those small tiny circumferences are tricky.  I ended up knitting too tight or too loose, requiring unknitting and knitting here and there.  I may have knitted 10 fingers or more to get them right.  I need to check my knitting regularly it seems.  

I also noticed, depending on the thickness of the yarns which is not consistent, my stitch size varied.  What can I say.  I would love to find a wool/silk blend lace weight yarns for the next pair of gloves.  Any suggestions?  

With Lisa’s advice, I decided to place the little finger a bit lower than the other three fingers.  I slipped stitches for the little finger onto safety pin 7 rounds before starting the other fingers (on the fifth round of the fifth pattern repeat): Knit 11 stitches and transfer them to a safety pin, continue knitting 68 stitches, and transfer the remaining 9 stitches to a safety pin.  To complete the round, cast on 9 stitches for a gusset and join.

The rest of the glove was knitted per instruction, except the number of rows in checkerboard pattern at the tip of the middle finger: I knit 1 row only instead of 3.

  1. At the start of each finger, two dark colored stitches are picked up at the beginning of the round.  Pick them up and knit by inserting a needle into stitches.  When inserted between stitches, a hole was visible.
  2. Hold the right needles below the needle with stitches just finished.  It is easier to control tension when held in this manner.
  3. On last two rows at finger tips:

    • Distribute stitches so that all three needles have the same stitch count and the stitch pattern:  BWBWBWBWBWB. 
    • Next round: ssk in B, ssk in W, k2tog in B, W, ssk in B, k2tog in B: Choose ssk and k2tog so that the stitch on top has different color from the stitch to be knitted.  
    • Last round: ssk in B, ssk in W, k2tog in B. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sanquhar Gloves by SWRI Dumfries Museum

This is what I am knitting.  Its geometric pattern is so pretty.  

My pattern came from Scottish Women's Rural Institute some years ago.  They have four variations available: Midge & Fly, Duke (the one I am going to knit), Shepherds Plaids, and Prince of Wales.  The pattern can be purchased at SWRI (here).  If you are interested in more information you could read on at Dumfries Museum.

After swatching and getting used to 1.5 mm needles, I began casting on for the left glove.   It was not a smooth sailing.   After the fourth trial in knitting the actual glove, I finally got the satisfactory result!  As they say, practice makes it perfect.  

Here is what I did which is a bit different form the last post and I used stockinet stitches only on lighter color.  I cast on 81 stitches in 1-by-1 ribbed cable cast-on method.  The first stitch was purled in the rib pattern.  Do not join.  Knit the next solid color row flat in the rib pattern until one stitch remain.  Join by purling the last and the first stitch together.   The ends of the first row will be sewn together later.

  • R1: Knit in the rib pattern in dark color. 
  • R2: Start Fair Isle.  Rib in dark color while stockinet in lighter color. 
  • R3-5: As in R2. 
  • R6: Knit all the stitches in stockinet this round onward.

The cast-on edge is slightly curled, but it does not have the thickness observed on the second swatch.  So, I am happy with it.  

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Taming Curled Cast-On Edge

I did another swatch ...

As you can see, the first one on the right is curled up at the cast on edge when not pinned down.  My second swatch (on the left) is not! 

I used a cast on method with one-by-one cable pattern described here.  The rest of the instruction is written as if to knit in round while the swatch was knit flat.
  • Knit the first round in solid dark color in the rib pattern. 
  • Knit the next Fair Isle round in the rib pattern using Elizabeth’s purl-when-you-can method (the stitches in lighter color in stockinet).
  • Knit the next two Fair Isle rounds in the rib pattern.
  • On the next round, knit stitches in lighter color in stockinet and those in darker color in the rib pattern. 
  • On the next round onward, knit all the stitches in stockinet.
The second one is better than the first in terms of curling, but it is a bit uneven and actually look a bit thicker at the bottom.  It is because of the ribbing on Fair Isle rows.  When I used the rib pattern over a few rounds only, the edge was still curling.  Thus, I continued in the rib pattern for four rounds. 

I am ready to cast on for real! 

Monday, May 05, 2014

Next Projects

Over the last weekend, I finished Bailey’s Irish Cream by Thea Colman.  What I like about this cardigan are: the front bands where she uses rolled edges very effectively; the lace pattern which is not over-the-top; and raglan sleeves.  I used luscious cashmere blend Lana Gatto VIP in beige tone.  I hope it does not pill too much.  This is such a cute cardigan and I may knit another one.  If I were to use a yarn with similar weight, i.e. sport weight, I would widen the sleeves or knit one size up in 42”, and knit the bottom facing with smaller needles.   

So what is on my needles now?  None at the moment, but I am having two projects swatched: Gemini pullover from Knitty 2012 with a wool/linen blend, Lienen Los from Schoppel-Wolle; and Duke Sanquhar gloves by Scottish Women’s Rural Institute. 

The yarn for Gemini was purchased from Gather Here in Cambridge where a store sample of Gemini with the same yarn was displayed.  I will make the sleeves longer. 

Duke gloves have been on my to-knit list for ever.  I purchased the pattern years ago through KBTH.  When the latest issue of Knitting Traditions (Spring 2014) featured Sanquhar gloves, I shared the magazine with my Knitsmith members.  One of the members, Lisa, who has knitted several gorgeous gloves in the past, asked me if I want to knit a pair with her.  Of course, I agreed.  Her experience in glove knitting will be very helpful to me.  As some of you may be wondering why someone who struggle with small circumferences would knit gloves, it will be a challenge for me for sure.  With such small needles, 000 or 0000 (they are 1.5 mm or 1.25 mm), and thin yarns on gauge 12 stitches per inch, I am hoping the result would be somehow different and my stitches will not be as wonky as in larger needles.  We shall see.  I am currently swatching in order to get used to the needles and the stitch tension.

Since the cast-on edge is curling, I am still tinkering with swatches....

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Guess where I was...

It was a gorgeous day and the view was just spectacular.
I wish I could live near here!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


When the snow disappeared, I saw these little pink flowers at the base of my azalea bush.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Top-Down Sleeve Head Puzzle

I dislike top-down sleeves knitted off of bodice. This is so because I cannot make a neat and tidy pickup row. My stitches are so wonky and unpleasant-looking when I tried. So, I went ahead and attempted to convert top-down instructions into flat instructions. That was when I began wondering. 

The top-down instructions would have you pick up X stitches around the armhole, work short rows starting symmetrically around the shoulder point, and arrive at the underarm with the same number of stitches, X, for the underarm circumference. This seems odd to me unless the armhole size and underarm circumference are the same. Should not we pick up more stitches along the armhole and reduce the stitch count while knitting sleeve head with short rows?

Since I dislike top-down sleeves, I have not paid close attention to this matter in the past. Has anyone seen a top-down sleeve head instruction involving decreasing stitch count?

I knitted my sleeves flat and set them in. They looked okay on a flat surface, but the sleeves had tendency to swing backward on my dress form. Upon inspection, I found out the reason: sleeves were set-in a lot forward than they ought to be, hence swinging backward at sleeve hems. Why did this happen?

My arm holes are made up with four sections: two vertical straight sides, one on stitch holder and another on a white chain cable, and horizontal curved top and bottom. The pattern instructions have you work short-rows around the center of the horizontal curved section, indicating that the shoulder point ought to be there. On my dress form, however, the center of the true sleeve head needs to be located at the top of the vertical armhole section on the back as you can see in the second photo on my previous post.

So, my sleeves were set-in about two inches too forward and lower than the shoulder point on the dress form. No wonder! I must have been blind and failed to think more critically. Had I inspected the bodice carefully without sleeves on the dress form first, I could have noticed the potential problem. Shame.

So, I had to remove the sleeves, and re-set them properly. At least, I did not need to re-knit the entire sleeves.   Here are the final result. 

I love the lightness and warmth of the coat, or the cardigan, not to mention the color!   The ribbed cable is really nice looking on both inside and outside. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Garter Stitch Triangle on Mirrored-Cable Swing Coat

While I was still working on Harris from Rowan Magazine #52 last year, I began tinkering on Mirrored-Cable Swing Coat pattern as I needed a simpler project to knit besides Harris.  I purchased a gorgeous dark green shade of Louisa Harding Millais yarns last summer and I wanted to use them for the coat.  As I mentioned before, the difference in gauge was too much between the pattern instruction and Millais, and modifications were rather involved. 

At that time, besides the gauge difference to accommodate, I was also interested in reducing the bulkiness of the coat in case using less bulky Millais may not be enough.  In the end, I did not use any of the additional ideas to reduce the hem circumference.   However, I started knitting from the center back towards fronts and changed one feature.
In the original version as shown below, there seems to be a gap at the center of the garter triangle.

I decided to eliminate it.

I noticed that this triangle is not just a pleasant design on the back, but it did reduce the hem circumference quite a lot, a very clever design component.  I am so glad that I did not do excessive tinkering on the design. 


I love Bronwen by Ms. Marie Wallin.

The original version is knitted up with a gorgeous yellow green called Hubberholme, as well as lighter burgundy, yellow, and brown edging.  Although I love these colors, I thought I need something to go with my navy blue work clothes and changed colors.  I am quite happy with my color choices: Askrigg, Wensley, Burnsall, and Gunnerside.

A friend of mine said the cardigan reminded her of a Chanel jacket.  Now, that is a compliment.  Then, another friend said that this is the best garment I've ever knitted.  Oh, my!

In stead of requiring two balls each of the four colors, I needed a third ball of the three colors used in stripes.  I think it is because I knit relatively loosely and I may have knitted sleeves longer than instructed.  At any rate, with such compliments, I cannot complain about this garment. 

I am wearing Christine Jonson Pencil Skirt with Bronwen in the photo above. The skirt was made with a black wool jersey, and I added a two-inch wide elastic to the waist band since my wool fabric does not have the required