As I was finishing this sweater, my kiddo kept saying "I like your sweater Mom". She was so happy when I gave it to her! It's a little big on her, but this way it will last a while. This sweater pattern lets you make it almost any size, you just have to do some math. The pattern has you measure a sweater that fits and you fill out a chart that guides you through the math to get to how many stitches to cast on, how to place the center pattern, etc.
This sweater project is the first time I have done steeks. Steeks are scary. Who would want to cut their knitting!? There are some lovely patterns that use steeks though, so I think they are worth it to overcome that fear. Plus you can check that box on your knitting accomplishments list!
This sweater has steeks at the armholes and in the front for the neckline. The most important thing is preparation. After you have your pieces knit, block them. You want the fibers to relax and stick to each other a little.
Use a contrasting color to out line the steek, pierce the stitches as you go (like a split stitch) to lock them in place. The outline will not show, use any color you like.
Use a sewing maching to trace over your outlined steek. The pattern didn't call for this so when I started picking up stitches for the sleeve, I had a few threads coming loose and immediately got out the sewing machine. Go over your outline several times. In this picture you can see the sewing stitches and that I've cut the neckline steek!
After that it's not that bad. Pick up stitches for the arms, and you're on to the next step in the pattern.
Here I've cut the arm hole steek, and am ready to pick up stitches.
Here the sweaters right arm is complete, on to the left.
I don't love steeks, but they aren't something to be dreaded either. For writing a pattern I think I would make arm holes in the pattern, but steeks would not stop me from knitting a pattern I liked.
My sister asked me to knit her a cowl/scarf. You know people take your knitting skillz seriously when they ask you to make things they want to wear, you know, in public. The cowl/scarf she had in mind was very large gauge, and long, long enough to be wrapped around three or four times.
We picked out yarn together and I was left to figure out how to make it. The gauge is big, bigger than any of my needles. My first thought was to use my biggest needles and an elongated stitch. That would have worked, but I knew there was an easier way. Her friend said she used her arms to make a similar scarf. It sounded easy enough. The tricky part is that you can't turn your "needle" when you get to the end of the row. You have to knit backwards, mirroring what you normally do. This scarf is 12 stitches wide and uses 2 skeins of Knit Picks Swish Bulky, with 2 strands held together. To finish it off, I first tried a giant Kitchener stitch, which did not turn out that even, so I crocheted the ends together. Before being looped, this scarf is about 8 feet long, but was a fun and very quick knit.
On the way home today I thought I'd stop at the fabric store and buy some cute fleece to make a poncho for my kiddo. It's getting cold here and we were running errands, and in and out the car a bunch. Well, carseats and big fluffy coats don't play nice with each other. (Seriously, you don't want your kiddo wearing a fluffy coat in their carseat. Not just because it is difficult to buckle, but not wearing the coat is safer if there were an accident.) So, I bought a yard each of some cute fabric, thinking I'd make a no sew one like I made for myself last year. Last night I added a seam and snaps to the neck hole for the baby, since I'd like to be able to wear it and not have my back get cold if I'm not wearing a baby. I was thinking about that poncho and that it is made with 2 big rectangles. Surfing on my phone for patterns in the parking lot didn't work, so I just bought the yard of each and called it good.
Then I found this reversible hooded poncho, which is super adorable! The only problem was that I didn't have enough fabric to make that big, 23 inch radius, circle. So I made 2, 19 by 30 inch rectangles in each fabric.
I folded my fleece long ways, not the usual way, and that gave me enough space to cut out the hood pieces. I followed the hood directions as is, including making sure my bird pattern was upright on the hood.
Sew the short end of one rectangle to the long end of the other.
Then, with right sides together, I sewed the short end of one rectangle to the long end of the other, and repeated for the other side of the neck hole. I did it again for the second layer. You have to do them separately. Then I put the rights sides of both body pieces together. The seams of the rectangles will not line up, but the whole pieces will. Line up the two corners. I decided I didn't want fringe, so I sewed the two sides of the bottom edge together, turned it right side out through the neck hole and stitched around the edge again, just like on the hood.
Then I jumped to step 5 and put the hood between the body pieces.
My finished measurements are neck to point: 25 inches, neck to side (along short edge seam) 18 inches.
I've been doing some larger projects lately. My latest project is a stranded colorwork sweater. It is Kelly's Ski Sweater from Knit Picks. In this picture you can see the detailed pattern on the chest of the sweater. It looks funny with live stitches sitting on that cable needle, because that is a steek. I will (gulp) cut that open and pick up stitches for the collar. This is my first project with steeks so I'm nervously looking forward to that part.
This is the whole body of the sweater. It doesn't have arm holes. More steeks, I will cut those open and attach the sleeves. It looks like a lot of the same pattern on the body, but it is a simple pattern and went pretty quick. After the first repeat I didn't need to look at the pattern except to check how many inches further I was supposed to knit.
Here is the three needle I-cord bind off on the shoulders. The patterns says to knit the sleeves before joining the shoulders, but it also says to join the shoulders before cutting the steeks, so it doesn't matter if I switch that up. I figured with the toddler and cat around, the fewer live stitches just chilling, waiting for me, the better.
This is something that has been in the works for a while. A few of you may have seen me carrying it around and knitting it. Well, exciting news is here. Knit Picks published my pattern on their website today, and it is available for purchase and download!
You don't want to miss this! And check out http://www.beneaththetree.info/ for more information and a map. It's such a fun event and so many people worked very hard. I'm at house #6. I'm working there Friday afternoon and then I'll be touring the other houses.