zondag 1 februari 2009

Lizard Vest

Ok, no handspun, but hand dyed this time. I got this beautiful yarn in a magic boll. At first I wanted to knit something for myself, but then I saw the way the colours matched my oldest son's eyes.............

So ofcourse, it had to be knit into something for him. He loves - like every boy his age - dragons, dinosaurs and reptiles. I decided to make a vest, a lizard vest!
Yarn: Aran, 240 grams. You might want to use a bit more. I used up all the yarn from the magic ball. I f I had more I probably would make the vest a bit longer (no complaining, dear magic boll friend!!!)
Needle: 5 mm
Fits my 120 cm 7 year old.
The vest is knit bottom up and circular up unto the armholes.
Cast on 3 stitches, knit an I cord just for 2 cm and after that start knitting in rib 1-1. Not longer circular (the I cord way), now you are using two needles. To make the tail a bit curved (yes you are making the lizard tail) start increasing the next 5 rightside row 1 stitch to left of the middle stitch. After these 6 rows, increase every right side row two stitches: left and right of the middle stitch. Do this untill you've got 15 stitches, then cast on 85 stitches. You have 100 stitches on your needle. Start knitting circular in 1-1 rib and ofcourse be careful not to twist.
After 7 cm stop knitting in rib. The rest of the body is knitted in stockinette except for the sides of the vest. The sides continue in ribbing 1-1. Start and end this ribbing section with a purl stitch, otherwise it looks like part of the stockinette knitting. I don't use stitchmarkers, but it can be helpfull to place a stitchmarker at the beginning and the end of the side ribbing. You have to divide the vest up in 4 parts: 2 sides, the front and back. The sides are 15 stitches in ribbing, 2 sides x 15 stitches is 30 stitches. That leaves 70 stitches for the front and back. 35 stitches each. Measure this out and continue knitting: front and back stockinette, sides 1-1 ribbing for 30 cm.
Before you create the armholes at 32 cm add 2 stitches of ribbing on both sides of the ribbing sides (ok that sentence is a bit weird...). Each side has now 19 stitches in ribbing. The armholes are created by simply casting off 6 stitches. The first armhole is created when you're knitting from back to front: knit 7 ribstitches, then cast off 6 stitches, knit 6 ribbingstitches and then the front follows. Then the second armhole will be made: knit 6 stitches in rib, cast off 6 and knit last 7 stitches of the side in rib.
At this point you are knitting back and forth, no longer circular. First the back, leave the front on a scrap yarn. From this point on you will add ribbing stitches to the side of the armholes. Adding ribbing stitches will be done in steps of 2 stitches each time (one knit and one purl ofcourse). Do this 3 times, in every 4th row. When done you will have added 6 ribbing stitches after binding off. Continue knitting the back untill it measures 18 cm from the armholes. Don't cast off, put the stitches on a scrap yarn.
The front: You will be doing two things from this point: making the collar and adding ribstitches. Adding ribstitches will be done in the same way as described for the back. Now for creating the collar: Continue knitting the front for 2 more centimeters. In the next right side row knit 28 stitches (including the ribstitches), stop and turn. This way you will make the collar and divide the front in two. When turned, knit 11 stitches in 1-1 rib starting and ending with a knit stitch (on this wrong side row), then knit the rest of this row the stitches as they present themselves (stockinette or rib). Sorry to say, but there is one more thing you will have to do in this front piece: make a decrease every right side row on the edge of the ribbed collar and the (small) stockinette part. This way the stockinette part will continue to get smaller untill the ribbing of the collar and the armhole ribbing come together. When this happens you will have 24 ribbing stitches. In my lizard vest this point was 8 cm after the split for the collar. Continue knitting in rib untill this front piece measures 18 cm from the armholes. Leave the stitches on a scrap yarn.
Then the opposite front piece: Pick up 11 stitches in the back of stitches of the ribbed collar of the first front piece. Yes, there will be an overlap. I'm sorry to say I don't know if you are picking up in a right side row or a wrong side row. I have written this down after knitting. So you might want to start with picking up the stitches in the ribbed collar, of start from the armhole. eiter way once picked up, this frontpiece is knitted exactly the same as the other one: adding ribstitches from the armhole, decreasing in the small stockinette part next to ribbed collar. When this part of the front measures 18 cm from the armhole the shoulders can be knit together. Take 12 stitches from the front and from the back and graft them together for the shoulders: see knitty for a great tutorial on grafting. Do this for the right and left shoulder (duh).
The hood! Knit the remaining stitches of the front in rib 1-1, pick up 5 stitches from the shoulder and knit these and the waiting back stitches in stockinette, pick up another 5 stitches from the other shoulder and knit the last remaining front stitches in rib 1-1. Do this for 10 cm. Pick the middle stitch and start increasing to the left and right of this stitch every right side row. Keep doing this for 35 rows or something. Decrease in the same way for 10 rows. Fold the hood and cast off with a three needle bind off. This makes for a strange looking hood, my son loved it. It was very lizardy according to him. But you can also make a normal looking hood.

maandag 15 december 2008

Thrummed Snowflakes

It's getting cold in Holland. Especially for a 1 year old in the front baby seat of your bike at 8 a.m. The kid really could use some thrummed mittens. So mommy made him some. No thumbs for easy knitting and easy fit. And ofcourse, an i cord attached to both the mittens in case the little dondersteen gets them off.

Yarn: blue yarn GB Wolle Jil 50g/125m
Needles 2.25 & 4 mm
Gauge : 22 stitches = 4 inches / 10 cm. This pattern asks for a specific gauge. You need exactly 36 stitches to make the pattern fit. Ofcourse you can use thicker yarn and make your own thrummed snowflakes, but if you intend to make the mittens for a toddler the gauge has to be right.
Cast on 36 stitches. Slip on a stitchmarker and start knitting in the round. Knit in 1-1 rib for 6 cm with needles 2.25 mm. Change to needles 4 mm and knit two rounds. Start knitting the pattern. The black blocks are the thrums. This website explaines how thrums are made:
"Pull off (do not cut) a 7.5 cm (3") length of fleece or roving (using 4 strands of the roving). Twist this length of fleece or roving slightly in the centre so that it is about the same thickness as your yarn ........ Insert the needle into the stitch. Slip the folded thrum over the inserted needle so that the ends are to the inside of the mitten. Now wrap the knitting yarn around the inserted needle and beside the thrum. Complete the stitch by pulling through the thrum and the yarn together" When you knit the thrummed stitch in the next row be sure to knit into the back of the loop of the thrummed stitch and knit both the thrum and the yarn at the same time.

Finished? Now the decreasing starts. I tried to figure out where to put stitchmakers, but the easiest way for me to explain is to take the 18 and 36 stitch and decrease on both side of these stitches every row. Looking at this 'center stitch of the decreasing part' the two stitches to the right are knit together and the two stitches left to the center stitch are decreased with a Slip One, Knit One, Pass the Slipped Stitch Over decrease. When there are 12 stitches left seam them together with a kitchener stitch. See here for a great tutorial. Knit another one, knit an I cord (also shown on knittinghelp.com) and attach the cord to both mittens and your baby has some warm comfy mittens!

zondag 13 juli 2008


I got this lovely handspun yarn from her. The yarn was 2 colour plied and had a pretty repetition of colours . I wanted to accentuate the way the colours worked in the yarn, they had a kind of rythm to them. So I came up with summerbreeze. A very simpel knitted in the round top or dress. That all depends on how much yardage you have!

Yarn: aran weight probably, wool. I guess any yarn will do but I like the way the stitch sets off the self striping pattern and two colour plying in this particular yarn.

: circular 4 mm /6 mm

Yardage: 120 meter (131 yards). This is enough for a top for a 4 year old. I wanted to make a dress, but ran out of yarn. So more yardage makes a dress, less makes a top. Both cute!

Measurements: I made this summerbreeze for my 4 year old girl

Use smaller needles. Cast on 96, place stitchmarker. Start knitting in the round
Knit 7 cm (2,8 inches) in 1-1 rib.
Use bigger needles knit the following four rounds untill you run out of yarn
Round 1: *yarn over, k2tog*
Round 2: knit all
Round 3: knit one*yarn over, k2tog* knit one
Round 4: knit all

Bind off.

I used elastic biasband to make the straps and used buttons for decorative use. Offcourse you can also knit I-cords and use these as straps. I crossed the straps in the back, that's why I liked the elastic biasband.

dinsdag 1 juli 2008


My first yarn spun on a drop spindle. Dyed by my daughter (pink ofcourse!). But what to make out of it? The only thing that comes off my needles and she wants to wear are hats. So obviously it had to be a hat. But not the same old same old hat. No a SCARFHAT!

Yarn: Any yarn that feels soft to the face. This Scarfhat was made with mystery sheep wool. In Holland that's usually Texelaar. So not so soft at all. I spun a worsted single is my guess.

Gauge: This patterns doesn't call for a perfect matching gauge. Just use needles, yarn and gauge that add up to the measurements of your liking. I used needles 4 mm with a worsted singles, that makes a very loose knit. 10 cm = 12 stitches

Measurements: for my 4 year old girl: from the top off the head to the end of the scarf is 75 cm (30 inches). Width of the scarf: 25 cm (10 inches)

Yardage: Sorry, I just started knitting, without even knowing if I had enough yardage.

Pattern: This pattern is so easy, it has to be out there somewhere. The Scarfhat is made of two identical rectangles of each approximately 75 cm long (30 inches). Below are my own notes while knitting, but it can be made with any stitch, lace pattern, yarn, lenght etc. This pattern leaves plenty of room for your own adjustments, fantasy and experiments.

In this Scarfhat I added shells randomly. Shells are made by knitting in one stitch 10 times in front loop, back loop, front loop, back loop etc. In the next wrongside row you purl all these stitches together.

Cast on 30 stitches
Work 2,5 cm ( 1 inch) in 1-1 rib stitch
1. Right side row: slip first stitch purlwise, k2, yo, ssk, k, yo, ssk, knit till the last 8 stitches, k2tog,yo, k, k2tog, yo, k3
2. Wrong side row: purl all stitches, slip first stitch purlwise.
3. Right side row, slip first stitch purlwise, knit all stitches
4. Wrongside, slip first stitch purlwise., purl all stitches.

Repeat these four rows untill you reach the length you need. Throw in the shell-stitch where ever you feel like it.

When the rectangle is as long as you want it to be, leave the stitches on the needle and make a second rectangle. When finished with the second rectangle seam them together with a three needle bindoff, wrong sides facing eachother. Get you kid, boyfriend or a friendly stranger, try it on and seam a small part in the back of the hat together. Voila, you're done.