Friday, November 4, 2011

KAL - Day 4 Time for Sleeves

 This is front facing - I'm about halfway done with one sleeve 
So you've knitted the body........ all in one piece! Wasn't that cool!?   I bet you were wondering what you were going to do with those stitches that you placed on holders..... on each side? Remember those? Yep! Now we get to work on those! Those are the sleeves!

Pick a sleeve... any sleeve and slip those stitches on the holder, off onto two size 7 dpn's.

See the bottom row there? The bottom of the triangle? That's where you need to pick up stitches!
I usually divide it into half & place half on each dpn, but it doesn't really matter because you are now going to pick up 10 sts in the underarm with another dpn and a new ball of yarn and adjust it around later. *My size needs 10sts to be picked up*
 It's a little fiddly and difficult to see here, but just insert the tip of a new dpn into a stitch and loop your new yarn over the needle & pull through. Make sure you leave a tail! At least 6 inches!!
Wa-la! You just picked up a stitch!
Place a marker after #5 of the stitches you are picking up! This is your marker that ends (or begins) your rounds!
Finish picking up your stitches and then knit a row - all the way around to your marker. Now just adjust your stitches on your dpns to evenly space them out! It's a lot easier to have even amounts on each needle! Now.... just follow your directions and knit your sleeves!
I always try and start picking up stitches as close as to the point where the underarm meets the row where I decreased; it seems to help make my holes smaller.  There will be some little holes there and you just take your tail yarn & as you are threading it around to sew it in- just neatly sew up those holes! That's why I leave a tail!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

KAL Day 3

 I threw this pic in again just for a little inspiration! I work better when I have a goal!
Plus.. it is a really cute sweater! Now I have to mail it to the baby Momma before the baby gets here!

I wanted to add buttonholes on the front bands rather than adding the ties, but I forgot.
The buttonholes would have had to have been measured in and started right at the spot where I divided for the sleeves! Oops.... next time! I am not a real big fan of frogging!!
Here is what my blue sweater looks like now... oops. That was yesterday! See the increase lines running from the hood toward the bottom? You can also see what looks like triangles or little tubes ~ those are the shoulders and sleeves! When you divide for the sleeves and put those stitches onto holders, you work the rest of the body around and down!

Then you just knit, knit, knit........ or rather, knit a row, purl a row to keep in pattern!  Work in stockinette stitch for however many inches your size requires(mine is 9 1/4 inch). Measure from the top of the shoulder to the bottom edge (where your needles are)**** DON"T forget to knit the first 4 and last 4 stitches on every row!!****
You'll never guess who didn't!

 This is how I measured mine. I put the sweater down and folded it around to make it look like a sweater ~which it kind of doesn't unless it's for a snuffleupagus or something, anyway... then I  stretched it out a bit and measured! I have only 2 more rows and then I can put the edging finish on!

Have fun with your sweater! I am! I love the yarn I'm using....... so super soft and dreamy!
It's Baby Cashmerino by Debbie Bliss and yeah. It is ......... blissful!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

KAL -Day 2 of the Baby Sweater

What a boring name! IF You can come up with a better one I will definitely give you a prize! You must log in and leave a comment for me to see it and I will pick the winner on Friday, November 4th!!

Day 2 of our KAL - the Baby Sweater (totally submit a new name please!) brings me to the end of my hood and on to the yoke! That part that starts at the bottom of the hood and makes room for the shoulders!
After you are done knitting the hood to it's required length, you need to decrease a certain amount of stitches all the way around - evenly! That just means to not bunch them up all in one spot! Space them out and make sure you do some on each side. I just did a simple decrease by knitting two together (K2tog) and it looks fine!
Next row......... now you have to increase! What?! Why did I decrease!? Geez! Oh well... it makes the hood look really nice! Increases are pretty simple too - especially with the way this pattern is written! After you've placed your markers where you are told too, you knit up to one stitch before the marker and increase, slip the marker and increase again! This way there is an increase on each side of the marker! It will make it look really cool later - you'll see! Oh wait.. you want to see now?
See those lines? (blue on top) running from top to bottom, by the markers? That's the rows where I've increased.
The pic on the bottom (yellow) is the same sweater.  I finished a while ago - you can really see the increase lines running from shoulder to underarm! I think it looks pretty cool!
With this pattern, look on first page in the paragraph "abbreviations", the writer has written ............
"inc - knit into front and back of next stitch".
Now, I know this means to increase and if I knit into the front and back of a stitch, it magically becomes two! How simple is that! I was a little worried that both stitches that I've increased (one on each side of marker) would then lean the same way.... but.... the first time I made this sweater I really didn't know that so I just followed directions and I was happy! The next time I made it I tried a different increase, making sure each side of the marker  leaned in toward the marker.  Well.... that was okay and required a bit more thought, but like I said the results were okay. Just okay.  Now I'm just going to follow those increase directions just like they are written! The results were the best if I followed the directions... imagine that?!
Following the directions;  knit to within 1 stitch of the marker, k into the front back of the marker (increase made), slip marker, inc~! Easy enough!
Just to make it a little more clear............Each stitch has two "legs" of the yarn hanging on the needle - those little loops that wrap around it! To kfb (knit front and back) you do just that. Knit into the front leg *without taking it off needle* and then knit into the back leg *now slip it off* this makes the one stitch 2! Magic!  I tried to upload a video of me showing you how, but..... you don't see it?! Right. You don't. It's not there! Grrrrr
This is what we are shooting for!! A simple little hooded sweater! No button holes, no zippers and knit in one piece from the top down! I've already made some changes to mine... I'm doing the Provisional Cast on at the beginning of the hood (the center of the hood) so I can Kitchener stitch it together later for an almost invisible seam... and I'm thinking about how I can add button holes to the front. Hmmm.....
First I have to get to the point where I can make those buttonholes! Right now this is where I am! Finished with the hood and increased to the number of stitches my directions have listed. I'm pretty sure if (IF- ha!) I mess up, I can correct it by just decreasing or increasing to make sure I have the right number of stitches between the markers.
     Next up is dividing for the sleeves! You can see on the picture (from right to left) there are 4 markers...... when you divide for the sleeves you take the first marker off, k1 and then put all the stitches that were between the 1st & 2nd markers onto a stitch holder ~ a piece of scrap yarn works better! It's easier to manipulate! Do that for the other side and now you get to work on the body stitches! You will come back to those sleeve stitches later and work them into the round (as tubes) down to the wrists!
If you have a problem kfb'ing....
try watching this video *ignore her pattern stuff, just pay attention to the kfb part*

It's simple! It really is. Just looks a lot harder than it really is!
Have fun & I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, October 31, 2011

KAL Day 1

Yay! You've decided to hang out with me to knit a baby sweater!
Just in case you forgot or you can't find it... here is the pattern...........
click on resources in the upper right corner and then on free patterns! It's the simple baby cardigan shown in pink!
I've changed my mind what yarn I'm using! I decided to splurge a little (a lot) and go with Cashmerino Baby by Debbie Bliss.  I've bought a yummy soft pretty blue ~there isn't a color name. Just a number; 340032. *If you're spending $money$ on yarn try and get the same dye lot for all your skeins! Sometimes they are different dye lots and it does show up. Sometimes not! BUT if you're spending $10 a skein... go for it & get them all the same!
I love how this Baby Cashmerino feels and so far it's knitting up oh so yummily!
With this pattern you need to use a circular needle and dpn's!!  You don't knit in the round with the circular, but at times you will have so many stitches on that you need the cable to hold all those babies! You will use dpn's (double pointed needles) to knit the sleeves in the round! It's easy! If you haven't worked with dpn's.... this will be a good place to start! I'm using my clear, acrylic Knitpicks needles #7 and a 24 inch cable.  For my dpn's I have bamboo! 
Are you ready to start? Got all your yarn? Your needles, your pattern? Good! Me too!
So....... the pattern says to cast on 60 stitches (I'm making the 6 month size) and I knit fairly tight so I know this size will be a good one for a new baby and get him through the first couple of months! Which may buy me some time to make some more stuff!
It's okay to follow the pattern exactly. In fact... that's probably what we should do, but my friend Christen has encouraged me to try and branch out a little! Try something new!
If YOU want to change things up a bit .... here we go!!
Cast on........
you can do the regular ol' cast on that you usually use - it will work out well....This sweater starts off at the top of the hood - the part that frames the face! Once you get the whole sweater done.... you head back up to that hood and seam the rectangle into a hood! You get a seam right down the center of the top of the head. Which is cool.......... BUT if you don't seam so well....... not that great!
Well...... I cannot. Not well at all! My seams end up looking all wonkity and weird and I just don't like them! This time I'm trying something new!
 I'm doing a provisional cast on!   *click on that link for a quick definition and tutorial*  I'm casting on my stitches using the provisional cast on method so I end up with live stitches when I'm all done! That way no seaming! Just grafting.  Seriously! The Kitchener stitch for grafting is really pretty simple!

A provisional cast on is a method of way of casting on your stitches and beginning a knitted project so  the cast on is invisible (love that!) and can be knit from either direction. You can use this cast on if you want to add some sort of knitted trim at the end (how about a furry trim for a little girl?) or you want to be able to end up with live stitches that I can be graft (Kitchener stitch) together for an almost invisible seam!  Because I don't like how my seams end up when I sew them together... I'm using the provisional cast on method!!
How can you do it too?
Well....... I could show you........ or....... you could watch this here video....... this one right here!
*click on the link to go to a youtube video on how to do the provisional cast on!*
Lucy Neatby shows you exactly how I do it - because I learned it from watching her! I figured it was easier just to plug a video in from someone else! Easier to watch that way too!
Here's what mine looks like! I used a hot pink so it was totally noticeable!
Now I'm off to the races! Or off to knit!! Have fun!!
Just follow the directions like they are written in the pattern and you'll be fine!
IF you get stuck..... just ask!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode of the KAL Baby Sweater..........

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Knit Along a Sweater...........

The newest addition to the Cupcake Clan will be here in December! NOT mine, but my grandson!! The very first one and the very first great grandchild and (oh my gosh I just realized this!) first great-great grandson! Wow. All on my mother's side of the family. I repeat myself...Wow! We must have all started early. Tee-hee! I know some of them did!!
Anyway, the new bitty cake (man, I gotta come up with a cupcake-ish name for this kid!) is supposed to be here right around Christmas! His birthday is supposed to be December 23rd so that gives me a little time, but......... if you know me..... it may take a little while to knit up something for my new guy! I've known about the bitty cake since spring, but haven't gotten around to making him anything yet.
Really? How long should it take to knit a baby something? It's small right?
Yeah... I've been thinking about it all summer and now that it's fall... well... I better get my rear in gear!
I think I've finally decided to start with a sweater..... I'd love to whip out a sweater in a day, but... I get distracted with everything else around me and usually I'm off starting something else!

The hardest part of any knitting project for me is which one? Which one do I pick? I get stuck looking at all of my patterns I've printed, borrowed, stolen (lol) and then I get beyond the starting process and oh no!! I've got all these ideas in my head and I haven't picked a darn thing! What the heck?
Yeah. That's me...... going in 17 directions at 18 different times!
Anyway..... rather than going off into another direction..........
I am going to make my favorite baby sweater! It's really simple and doesn't take long ~which is good for me to keep track of myself with! I found it online a couple of years ago for my favorite price... FREE!... and have made it several times and have loved it each time I've made it! - click on the link and you will go right to it!

Imagine that! Another picture of Boy!
I really like the patterns from and the things I've made from here are all really easy to follow and knit up fast! The silver sweater I made for Boyo is a sweater I bought here!

AND guess what else! I even have the yarn! No kidding! No more procrastinating! I can start today!!
I'm using Lion Brand Yarn A Pound of Love in a Denim Blue! It's not my favorite yarn by any means, but it isn't too bad! It softens up the more you wash it and YES you can wash it!! Perfect for baby! PLUS with a pound of this stuff I can make a sweater and a small car seat blanket! Go me!!!
I've decided to do this as a knit along! If you wold like to join me - please do!! You can add comments to the bottom of this blog post and/or email me with the info at the right! I would love to post pictures of what everyone else is doing on here and definitely be here if you need a little help!
This pattern really is sooooo simple and I don't think you will need much help at all!