Tag Archives: ravelry

Friday Favorites V: Soakers and Longies

Today I want to talk about my favorite soaker and longies patterns.

Woolies are my favorite type of diaper cover and I have nothing but great things to say about my experience with them.  We haven’t had issues with compression leaks, even in the carseat.  I have found that this is the most satisfying of projects- something so useful and functional.  Using them on such a constant basis is gratifying.

First I’ll talk about the soaker patterns I’ve made and been satisfied with.

The first is Adaptation by Connie Stults.  This has sentimental value to me because it was the first project I knit.  It’s knit flat and in garter stitch, so it was a fantastic beginner project.  It’s the best nighttime soaker ever, basically bullet proof.  The garter stitch makes it stretchy so it accomodates the doubled up prefolds underneath.

The Frantic Mama Knitted Soaker by Rebecca Krolikowski also has sentimental value to me.  After finishing 4 Adaptations, I was ready to move onto knitting in the round.  Frantic Mama is my favorite basic soaker pattern.

The next soaker I’ve made a few times is the Curly Purly pattern by Marnie Ann Joyce.  For those that loathe I-cord, this is a good choice.  Ribbing and a high rise make this soaker fit a baby well.  I like this pattern because it fits for a long period of time.  It’s also the first pattern I made with short rows and I like short rows on the backside of woolies very much.

I sort of wished I had a little girl to knit for so I can make some sweet skirties.  I don’t know if that will ever happen.

I have had rough luck with longies.  The first pair I made were for my newborn, but I made 2 sizes bigger so he could wear them for a long time.  I followed the pattern measurements for the elastic, and even though I made them too big, the elastic was so tight around his belly.  Not only that, but he has short legs so the longies were much too long.  It made me sad.  I didn’t like the pattern since they were knit from the legs up and then joined.  It was a very poor design.

Longies in general have not been well received by me.  Yes they are functional, but it took me a while before I thought they were cute.  I know why, it’s because just about everyone on Ravelry who makes longies makes them with the loudest, most obnoxious variegated yarn they can find (as did I, see above picture).  I have come to the conclusion that I strongly dislike the way variegated yarn knits up, but oh it looks so beautiful in a hank.  A very subtle variation in one color is beautiful, but I hate when it changes colors completely.  I wish I had known that before I bought so much of it.

While I have so far not really liked longies patterns, there is one that I adore.  It’s Leapfrog by Annika Barranti.  I love the cables, I love the short rows, and I love the pictures of her sweet baby in the longies.  They are gender neutral and the example was knit in a solid color that is visually appealing.  I will be making these.

Photo by Annika Barranti

I am currently working on the second pair of longies this season.  It’s my first time doing any sort of colorwork if you don’t count stripes.  I did a Fair Isle chart from a pattern in the book, Son of Stitch and Bitch.  They are nearly finished, but I got burned out working with the wool.  After one evening of working on a project with baby alpaca/slik  yarn, I’m ready to finish the longies.  They will be done soon.

A lot of knitters, including myself, don’t like knitting i-cord.  One day my husband and I were at Jo-Ann’s.  We saw a french knitter on clearance for $1.  He insisted that I try it, and if I didn’t like it I could throw it away since it was so cheap.  Knitting 40 inches of i-cord isn’t fun.  Knitting 40 inches of i-cord on this French Knitter was really fast and easy.  I was really happy with it, and thought I would share in case anyone else out there purposefully avoids knitting i-cord.

You may or may not have noticed, but all patterns I have talked about are free.  This leads me to a serious pet peeve I have, paying for woolie patterns.  Seriously, there are some on Ravelry for $12!  Just for the pattern!  The same day I put my Hootie Pants pattern on Ravelry, another person put a longies pattern up too.  The only thing that made it special was that it had a Jack O Lantern motif on the bum.  Cute yes, but seriously, people can’t just look at it and make it without buying the pattern?  The pattern is $8.  It claims to have some detailed instructions and tutorials but unless someone is fairly new to knitting, this stuff is generally already known.

I have come to a place in my soaker and longies knitting where I can look at the pattern and make it without looking at the instructions.  I know a lot of other knitters that do the same, so charging for woolie patterns is pointless unless there is something really special about it.  This is just my opinion, and I don’t mean any offense to anyone.  I will happily pay for patterns that are special and unique and willingly support designers.  But I have to say, I really appreciate when patterns are free.

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, friday favorites, knitting

Friday Favorites IV

Today I’m going to talk about my latest obsession- shawls. 

In my opinion, shawls are so beautiful.  Usually knit with lace or sock weight yarn on larger needles with a lace sequence.  The larger needles and the lace create an airy, yet warm texture.  Here are a few of my favorite designs.

My most favorite is Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

Photo By Ysolda Teague

This pattern even has a matching Beret

Photo by Ysolda Teague

Ysolda Teague, for now anyway, is my favorite designer.  She’s only 25 and her designs are absolutely amazing.  I was listening to some older episodes of Never Not Knitting, and she was talking about her almost unhealthy obsession with Ysolda’s designs.  I feel the exact same way!  They are just breathtaking!

Another Favorite: Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante.  This calls for Malabrigo Sock, which is my favorite sock weight yarn.

Photo by Feministy on Flikr

This week one of my friends, raelynne01 on Ravelry and blogger at Drip Drip Drop, finished her first Shawl.  I think it is simply amazing.  She did a wonderful job knitting it. 

 

Photo by Rae Lynne Chase

I have yet to knit my first shawl.  I am going to start it soon, I’ve chosen the pattern and have the yarn.  I’m very excited about it.  Shawls are so beautiful.  And, in my opinion, a test of knitting skills and patience. 

There are so many other shawl patterns I want to talk about, but these are my most favorite. 

This week my husband and I bought an album on Amazon.  It’s called Dragonfly Races by Ellis Paul.  Since having a baby, we’ve discovered children’s music and much to our surprise, we really enjoy it. 

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Hootie Pants

The weather in Florida turned cold overnight!  All my baby has is soakers and t-shirts from the scorching summer.  I needed to make longies, and quick.  The trouble was, I can’t say I’m too crazy about all the longie patterns on Ravelry.  I have so many ideas for longies in my head.  I put one on paper, and knit it up.

The pattern is now available as a free Ravelry Download

I have a slight obsession with owl cables, so I incorporated them into the pants.  I think they are so cute, and even cuter on my baby’s fluffy bum. 

I made the pants for use with cloth diapers.  I used Cascade 220 Wool in color 8400, slate gray.  I think the color is very owlish.  For more information on using wool covers with cloth diapers, see this post.

 I can’t not smile when I see this picture.  This one’s going in a frame.

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Little Black Clutch

This Pattern is Available as a free Ravelry Download.  It is also available for free, instructions in this post.

When my mother in law was visiting, we stopped in the local yarn shop.  She’s a quilter and I’m a knitter.  I didn’t expect her to think too much about the yarn shop because she’s more into fabric.  Upon entering, a felted clutch that was on display immediately caught her attention.

“I love this!  Will you knit it for me?”  She asked excitedly.

“Sure,” I replied.  It didn’t look very hard.  I asked the girl working what pattern and yarn were used.  She didn’t have an exact pattern and gave me very vague instructions about how it was made.  I inspected it and got a good idea about how I would make it.

Meanwhile, my mother in law was combing through the variety of wools, trying to find the perfect color for her clutch.  Finally she settled on Lamb’s Pride Bulky in black.

I was thrilled to see her so excited in the yarn shop.  I had fun showing it off to her and I almost expected her to be uninterested.  It went so differently than I had imagined.

The pattern came together really easily, and it was nothing like the vague instructions the girl at the LYS gave me.  At first I made a wide clutch style, but I wasn’t totally sure that was what she had in mind.  I made another one using 2 strands of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.  It was smaller and longer.  The instructions are for the smaller one first, and the wider one in the parenthesis. (I just wanted to come back and add that project notes on Ravelry say they don’t really like the wide, short purse, instructions in parenthesis.  It’s not very practical which is why I made a different version.)

Finished Measurements:

9 x 6 1/2 inches felted (10 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches felted)

Gauge:

3 sts and 4 rounds/ 1 inch before felting  (Gauge is not really important, just make sure it’s nice and loose for easier felting.)

Materials:

125 yards of bulky weight wool yarn (Or 220 yards of worsted weight wool, with 2 strands held together throughout)

size US 13 16 inch circular needles

stitch marker

Instructions:

Using long tail cast on, cast on 60 (80) sts.  Place marker and begin working in the round.

Work 6 rounds of garter stitch (purl one round, knit one round)

Next round: K 8 (10) sts, bind off 14 (20) sts, K 16 (20) sts, bind off 14 (20) sts, k 8 (10) sts.

Next round: K 8 (10) sts, using backward loop method cast on 14 (20) sts, k 16 (20) sts, cast on 14 (20) sts, k 8 (10) sts.  Begin working in round again.

K every round until it measures 10 (8) inches from cast on edge.

Divide sts evenly, with the first st from where the stitch marker was placed.

Finish by grafting (kitchener stitch) live sts together.

Felt as desired.

Adorn with decorative pin, ribbon, buttons, ect.  Use your imagination!

Resources (click on the links to view instructions on the techniques used in this pattern):

Backward Loop Cast On

Kitchener Stitch

Hand Felting

Machine Felting

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Friday Favorites

My friend Rae Lynne at Drip Drip Drop does a weekly blog post about her favorite things on Friday.  I really liked the idea because it could incorporate anything favorite- knitting, sewing, food, photos, movies, the list could go on and on.

First of all I would like to share two sock patterns I’ve been obsessing over.  The first is Destin by Carson Allen.  I want to knit this in memory of our summer here.  We live so close to Destin and go there every weekend.  Spending time on the beaches, shopping, eating out, even rented a boat with my parents and saw the waterfront side of Destin.  It’s been an amazing summer and while I’m excited to move at the end of the year, I will always treasure the memories made here.

Photo by Carson Allen

The next sock pattern I have been in love with is from the Fall issue of Interweave Knits.  It’s the Alpen Socken by Judy Alexander.  I have a recent obsession with cables, and this looks like a really fun knit (Sorry no pic- the one on Ravelry is just a scanned pic of the magazine and is very low quality).

My favorite Ravelry friend project is Gathersnomoss’  Adam’s Dinosoar Hat.  I love the colors she used, and the picture of her son is just adorable. 

I watch a lot of movies while knitting.  My favorite this week was Children of Men.  While the CGI baby was a little creepy, the story line was great and it was a great movie both my husband and I could appreciate.

I guess that’s all for today.  I’m not sure how this Friday Favorites is going to go, but today I had a lot of fun with it.

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WIP Wednesday 9/15

This week all I have on my needles is still my husband’s socks.  I usually knit socks two at a time, but since this is my design, I knit the first, and the second is a test knit.  I’m just about to turn the heel on the second sock.

Yesterday a large portion of my day I was actually writing the pattern.  I’m not familiar with making my own PDF files for download, so I was researching all about that.  I was able to create a cable chart, which was very exciting.  Thanks to the design group on Ravelry most of my questions were answered without even having to ask them.  It’s great knowing the information is out there, all I needed to do was look.

For the most part the pattern is written, it just needs minor tweaking and it will be available soon.  I need to finish the second sock so I can put some pictures in it too.  I am very excited about this!  I can’t decide whether to ask for test knitters or not because it’s going to be a free pattern.  If there is anyone out there who would like to test knit it, I can have an unofficial draft ready by Friday.  Please let me know if you are interested. 

I’m currently not working on anything sewing related.  We did clean the room up so I could sew with a cruising baby so I will be getting back to my sewing soon.

I suppose that’s all for WIP Wednesday today.  I don’t even have pictures to share.    

I hope everyone is enjoying their current WIPs as much as I am enjoying this one.

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Thank you Melissabear!

Yesterday’s blog post left me feeling quite drained.  I generally avoid confrontation and rarely engage in arguments.  However, there are some things I feel too strongly about to just ignore.  I suppose all of us have opinions that we are too passionate about. 

After I got off the internet yesterday the doorbell rang.  I opened the door and a package was lying there.  I opened it, and it was from my friend Melissa at Knitting a Baby.

Melissa and I have been friends for several months now, corresponding through blogs and Ravelry.  I feel we have become very close and an opportunity came up that I was going to be able to meet her… in person!  I was so excited, planning and researching what we could do together in the area.  About a week before the trip, my husband became very ill with pneumonia.  We weren’t able to make the drive to meet her.  I was severely disappointed.

Melissa had made Dylan a special present, which was what was in the package I received yesterday.  It is the cutest patchwork elephant.  She sewed it out of recycled felted sweaters.  We are both in love with this sweet present.  I just want to share it with everyone and to thank my dear friend for being so kind. 

Dylan especially loves the elephant’s tail. 

I love the elephant because to me, it represents kindness, selflessness, and that positive energy can go a long way.  There is good in the world, and I am lucky enough to have great friends.

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