Thursday, January 14, 2010


In answer to a question perhaps I should elaborate on the little pink sweater from my last post.
I have the habit of making a personal copy of patterns I really love and wish use again and again. This is one of my favorites. I make the copy and place it in a Journal I keep. Writing in the same Journal what I did that deviated from the original. In a hurry always to cast on I sometimes forget just where I found this gem. So I did my research and here you go. This wonderful sweater is by Irene Kubilus and is called "Baby Delight". It is found in issue #45 of Knitter's Magazine, winter 1996. (Yes I have every issue of this magazine from 1 to the present) Here I am a bit more organized and my magazines are kept in order believe that one or not. When Nancy Thomas was the editor they published an index to patterns. What a glorious idea, it covered issues from 1984 to 1998. Keep your eyes peeled for one of these for sale it is something I use often. But I digress. This darling little sweater pattern was also featured in the book published by XRX called "Babies and Toddlers a Knitters Dozen".

I used a DK yarn for the pink one, however it adapts easily to heavier yarn and a larger needle making a bigger sweater. How large you might ask, well here is the "knitty gritty". This little tutorial works for all sweaters. Many of you are experienced who read this so please disregard. It is something to always think about when casting on. The front of this sweater at the underarm has 27 stitches, the back 41, and the other front 27 making a total of 95.

The following numbers should help:
At 5 stitches per inch you have a chest of 19" = 18 month size
At 4.5 stitches per inch you have a chest of 21" = size 2
At 4 stitches per inch you have a chest of 23.75 " = size 4

Naturally as the size increases it is necessary to knit a longer sleeve and body length.

This is an easy way to decide just how large a sweater is going to be. The total body stitches divided by your gauge. I always use this little formula when making sweaters. Try it and you might find out a size small for women will run from 32" finished to 42 ", that is enough to make your head swim and I feel it accounts for so many sweaters you knit not being the size you thought it would be. When using this system be sure to check and re check your gauge. After all 200 stitches at 5 to the inch is a size 4o, but at 4 stitches to the inch you have a 50" chest. The more stitches on the needle the more critical this becomes. No wonder patterns stress check your gauge. Also be sure to count fractions of stitches per inch it makes a huge difference as well.
Happy Knitting to All

I have also thought of converting those lace panels in the sweater to cables and it would be fantastic for a little guy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I survived the holiday season and now it is back to more normal things. I am expecting to need a couple of baby gifts in the next two months, so no time like the present to get things going. How blessed I am to have this wonderful stash. Our weather is dreadful very cold below zero and wind my goodness a smaller body than mine would blow away. So here is what I have been working on.

I love knitting the little pink outfit knit from some Patons Simply soft. The pattern from an old "Knitters". One of my favorite ones to knit. Top down and fun to make. I did make a couple of changes. I Slipped the first stitch of each row to achieve a chain stitch edge on the front borders. Knit the sleeves in the round, and when the body was finished did my favorite flat bind off. You slip the first stitch as if to purl, bind off until 2 stitches remain and knit 2 together and bind off. Nice square corners! On the hat I began with a waste yarn cast on and then just wove the live stitches together. Means no seam when baby is placed on its back. My other hint is for the ties. The pattern calls for crochet. I don't like the way they curl, or if you make more than one row they tend to be stiff. I cast on the number of stitches called for for the tie, knit across these stitches, knit up stitches across the back and then cast on for the other sided and knit a few rows and bind off. Yup no sewing here at all.....

My favorite cast on these days is where you place a slip knot on a crochet hook, hold it above the knitting needle, wrap the yarn around the knitting needle and make a slip stitch, when you are one short of what you need, place the loop on the crochet hook onto your knitting needle. What I love about this is that the cast on and bind off look exactly the same.

When I need a waste yarn cast on I use the same system with scrap cotton yarn. When I have all the stitches cast on, I place the loop that remains on the crochet hook on a coiless pin and pin to the edge. Now when it is time to remove the waste yarn, unpin this loop and it will zip right out to leave you wonderful live stitches.