Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lovely Lucy

Shelly K. has made an absolutely stunning version of the Chronicles of Narnia Baby Cardigan! Here's her version, in really classy colors, and sized up to 18 months by using size 8 (5mm) needles:

Just beautiful work, Shelly K! I think that it looks even nicer than the original. I love the way she used coordinating colors for the insides of all the flowers. Here's her Ravelry page, if you're on.

If you'd like to take a look at some other finished projects using my patterns, here's a list -- everyone has done such an awesome job!

In other news, my free baby patterns are now available as PDF downloads from Ravelry, and you don't have to be a member to get them. If you are a PDF-loving kind of person, there are links now on all the pattern pages, but here they all are in one place too:

Meanwhile, thanks for the kind comments on the previous post. I was a little huffy myself when I wrote it, so sorry about that!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Errata, and some huffiness

Since I neurotically check my blog stats, I noticed there was a little flurry of commentary about the eyelet yoke baby cardigan recently on livejournal. I have fixed a few superficial math errors in the pattern and reposted it. Thanks for the careful proofreading, people -- math is clearly not my strong suit.

I can't help but notice that the tone of a few of those comments was a little judgmental and huffy. I certainly don't claim to be posting free patterns that are perfectly proofread -- that's one of the reasons I offer them for free. I apologize for the confusion, but remember that I am human after all (meaning I make mistakes and also that I take comments to heart).

If you have a question or concern, please, email me and ask! I'm always totally happy to help you out!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ludicrously cute.

The Baby Surprise Jacket is finished, and it is absurdly, ridiculously cute. I want one of my own.

Anybody out there make the Adult Surprise Jacket? I've looked at the pictures on Ravelry and am abivalent: does this kind of thing just not look so hot on adults? Or is it a sizing question? I haven't seen one that was particularly form-fitting.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Well, old habits die hard, and so I have gone back to my old starting - and - finishing - other - things - when - I - should - be - working - on - the - fair - isle - cardigan ways. This time the project in question was the Baby Surprise Jacket, which took me exactly three days to knit and which is freakin' cute. It's also freakin' heavy -- knitting worsted weight wool in garter stitch on size 6 needles results in quite a dense and squishy fabric. Luckily, the friends for whom I knit this jacket are super chill about their kids and won't think twice about putting a relatively heavy sweater on their baby.

EZ is awesome. As promised in the Spun Out pattern, the finished project looks "like nothing at all" when laid flat, but folds up into amazing cuteness. Here's the "before" shot:

I am going to wait to sew up the shoulder/arm seams until I show it to my mom this weekend when I go home for Easter, because she's the kind of person who'd take some pleasure in the way it all comes together.

I had avoided the BSJ phenomenon because I am not a fan of striped or variegated yarn and thought that some of the finished jackets I had seen with a lot of stripes looked kind of tacky. However, having recently seen some more subtle ones like Flint Knits's lovely brown striped one and Knitty Gritty's lovely pink one led me to think that it was possible to make a BSJ that retained the EZ coolness factor while not being quite as dated-looking. I think all in all I was quite successful. I also think that, given the wide variation in the dye job of this bunch of skeins of damaged Aurora 8, I don't know what else I could have knit with it. But the modular mitered shape of the BSJ turns a flaw into a design feature, I think. Go Zimmermann!

Of course, now that I've done one of these and saw how fun it was, I am tempted to do more. I still think that my top-down raglan or yoke cardigans will remain the go-to baby sweater, but when I'm looking to shake things up, the BSJ is a cool alternative!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Classics

It's a beautiful, partly sunny Saturday morning, and I've been spending it working on some classics:

Currant scones

Button bands on fair-isle yoke sweater (have to be ripped out because too short)

EZ's baby surprise jacket, for when the button band frustration becomes too extreme. This is my first time working with this pattern, and it's been fun -- although knitting what is basically a big rectangle could be boring, my interest has definitely been piqued by trying to figure out what part of the jacket I am knitting at any particular moment. Plus, this is a nice use for some variegated Aurora 8 I bought on sale at School Products a while ago -- I think that this was actually a botched dye lot, but I liked the subtle differences in color.

Here's the recipe for the scones that I adapted from one in Gourmet Magazine:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 Tbs) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 Tbs baking powder
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1 and 1/4 cups 2% milk

Preheat oven to 425. Cut butter into tablespoon-sized slices. Put flour, butter, sugar, salt and baking soda in your food processor and process until it resembles coarse crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, you could use a pastry cutter or your fingers. Dump in milk and raisins and process until smooth (or until your processor starts having difficulty with it). Lightly dust a countertop with flour and turn out dough onto it. If it's not totally mixed, knead in whatever crumbs are at the bottom of the processor bowl. Knead dough very lightly, adding flour if necessary, just until the dough holds together and does not stick to countertop (the less handling of the dough, the better). Pat dough into a rectangle about 9x12 inches big. Use a knife dipped in flour to cut dough into triangle shapes. Place triangles on baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Monday, March 10, 2008



The body of my fair isle yoke sweater is finished, and it is perfect! I decided it block it before knitting button bands, collar, and sleeves, because I wanted to be sure I didn't need to make some modifications to the sizing -- it was starting to look suspiciously boxy and I had visions of "steeking" the two fronts or of picking up my button bands 4 or 5 stitches in from the edges -- but this was perhaps the first time in my knitting career that blocking worked like magic to fix all those flaws I was nervous about! I wet-blocked it and pulled it quite tight in the vertical direction, fixing length issues while pulling in the width, and it actually worked! It's hard to see the individual stitches, but blocking also puffed them up so that it's a little less obvious that this is the last of the pieces I began knitting (and therefore continued knitting) with inadvertently twisted purl rows.

Blocking, you rock my world.

Now on to the rest of the sweater! Seeing this beautiful result has definitely lit a fire under me to get the arms done -- but I think I'll make the button bands first -- might as well make the torso fit exactly right before I bother customizing the arm lengths!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

retro genius!

Jen at folkcatart is a genius! She made herself a Tinker Toy swift that is just so cool I had to try one of my own.

It is just awesome -- not only does it work wonderfully, but it is adjustable to different skein sizes and can be taken apart and stowed away. I've been wanting a swift for a long time but had neither the cash nor the space -- this one cost me $21 plus shipping and takes up very little room. Plus it's fun to have an excuse to play with Tinker Toys!

Monday, March 3, 2008


What is that almost imperceptible change at the top of this picture? That's right, it's ribbing. And what does that ribbing mean? That the body of my fair isle yoke sweater is almost finished!

Fair Isle Yoke, we've been through a lot this year, and there were times when I was not sure that we would make it. But we stuck it out. I had faith in you, Fair Isle Yoke, and you stayed true to me. When I strayed, starting and finishing another cardigan while you were on the needles, you didn't say anything. When I became infatuated with another kind of yoked sweater, you were there, sitting on the arm of my couch, gently reminding me of the promise I had made to you, Fair Isle Yoke. And now, with only another inch of ribbing and two sleeves to go, I can see that you are truly the sweater for me, and I'm in it for the long haul. I may not finish you in time to wear you this winter, but we don't worry about transitory things like seasons. Ours is a love that transcends weather.