Show-n-Tell, Baby Cable Ridge Blanket

One of my nieces gave birth to a sweet baby girl!

The minute I heard about the pregnancy, my hands were itching to knit a baby blanket. I couldn’t decide between light pink or variegated yarn. I checked with the mom-to-be and it was decided–I’d combine a cool, modern yarn with a traditional pattern (shout out to Patty, the owner of Wool & Grace, who suggested the yarn and pattern). I hadn’t knit cables in a very long time (maybe not since college?) but, after a quick reminder, I was ready to go. I love how this Baby Cable Ridge Blanket turned out!

Details:

  • yarn–Malabrigo Rios, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, color “276 Medusa”
  • finished size–approximately 24″ x 32″ but after blocking, the one I knit is 27″ x 46″

Sweater Weather

Loopy Mango Long-Sleeved, Cropped Cardigan and Pullover modeled by my daughters.

Last year, when I wanted to knit sweaters again, I got into patterns and chunky wool by Loopy Mango. I knit two perfect-for-Spring Loopy Mango Puffed Sleeve Tops: one in bright yellow and one in gray. I recently finished knitting two more sweaters. The forest green and gray, long-sleeved, cropped sweaters are perfect for sweater weather. My daughters modeled the chunky sweaters, gifts for two nieces, before they were wrapped. I’m so happy with how the sweaters turned out! The patterns were fun to work on, so I may knit more once I check out wool and colors at my favorite yarn shop, Wool & Grace.

Happy creating and giving gifts, hon!

Make Do and Mend, Hand Knit Market Bags Lined with Pretty Prints

“Make Do and Mend,” a philosophy of repairing and reusing clothes and material, originated in the UK during WWII. Though I often see alternate possibilities for household items and fabric (My family says I’m a pack rat. I call it being creative!), during quarantine the whole family was making do and mending. So, it’s no surprise that when I wanted to line my hand knit market bags (pattern below), I dug into our bag of bags and found the perfect liners:  pretty printed cotton shopping bags.

Steps to create liners out of cotton shopping bags:

  • Wash and iron bags.
  • Cut off handles.
  • Insert into knit bags and pin to fit.
  • Fold over and iron top seams.
  • Pin liners inside knit bags.
  • Sew.

During WWII, the British Ministry of Information released a pamphlet titled “Make Do and Mend.” It provided tips on how to be both frugal and stylish in times of harsh rationing. Readers were advised to create pretty “decorative patches” to cover holes in warn garments, unpick old sweaters to reknit into new styles, turn men’s clothes into women’s, as well as darn, alter, and protect against the “moth menace.”                                                    Green America

Pattern for Double Handled Market Bag from Plymouth Yarn.

DOUBLE HANDLED MARKET BAG

Yarn: 2 (3) 100g skeins of yarn

Gauge: 4.5 sts=1″ over st st on size 7 needles.

Needles: 16″ circular size 7. 24″ circular size 13.

Finished Size: Approx. 16 (20)” long. Bag will stretch.

BOTTOM: With size 7 circular needles, loosely cast 25 sts. Working back and forth in garter st, knit 46 rows or until square. Bind off loosely, leaving last st on needle. Do not cut yarn. Continuing with the circular needle, pick up and knit 96 its all around the base (24 sts per side). Place marker and join. Knit 1 round.

SIDES: Change to larger circular needle and begin pattern:

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: *(Yo, k2tog); repeat from* around.

Round 3: Purl.

Repeat rounds 1-3 9 (11) more times until there are 10 (12) sets of “eyelet holes” up the side. End with round 3.

Next round: Change back to the smaller circular needle.

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: Purl. Repeat these 2 rounds until there are 7 (8) ridges: 14 (16) rounds total. End with a purl round.

STRAPS: On next round: BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10. Working back and forth on these last 10 sts only–knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with a WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (1st set of knit sts) and holding and right sides together, work the 3 needle bind off–attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Reattach yarn to second set of 10 sts with WS facing. Knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (3rd set of knit sts) and holding the right sides together, work the 3 needle bind-off-attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Weave in all ends.

Abbreviations: K=knit, p=purl, st(s)=stitch(es), RS=right side, WS=wrong side, yo=yarn over, k2tog=knit 2 sts together, BO=bind off, st st=stockinette stitch

Knit Halter Top

Knit Halter Top

While looking through one of my knitting books, Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival, I came across this quick and easy halter top.  I decided to start right away, but needed yarn that was lightweight and washable. Here’s when–ummm–collecting and keeping odd balls of yarn comes in handy!

I combined a skein of blue and a skein of cream to create heathered fabric. When the blue was running low, I knit a stripe and then finished the top with cream. The pattern calls for an open back, but I wanted somewhat of a bottom in the back. After one failed attempt to knit in rib stitch the whole way around (it was too loose), I added two angled back panels that join with a button. Since the daughter I knit this for is quarantining in CA, I may re-work the back when she returns, removing the button and adding ties instead.

Hon, do you think about these would make cute gifts for my many nieces?

Happy knitting!

Knitting Pretty’s description of the piece–

This cool cotton halter is perfect for those days when it’s just too hot for a T-shirt. Since you will be working with a double strand of yarn in two different colors, the halter knits up quickly and is a unique creation.

Knit Halter Top

Materials:

  • 4 skeins (50 grams each) cotton/acrylic blend worsted weight yarn
  • 1 size 9 circular needle, 24 inches long
  • 1 pair size 7 needles (straight or circular)
  • tape measure
  • scissors
  • yarn needle
  • gauge aid (optional)

Pattern:

  1. Working with a double strand of yarn, make a stockinette stitch swatch with size 9 needles, and check gauge. If it’s not 3 1/2 stitches per inch across, change needle size to match it.
  2. Cast 54 (60) stitches onto the size 9 circular needle. Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbon until the piece measures 2 (3) inches.
  3. Knit in stockinette stitch for 2 inches. Your entire piece should measuure 4 (5) inches. You will now begin to decrease.
  4. Row 1:  Knit 1, knit 2 together, knit until 3 stitches remain on your needle, slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over, knit last stitch. Row 2:  Purl. Repeat these two rows 19 times until 16 (20) stitches remain on needles. You will decrease 2 stitches every time you repeat row 1.
  5. Bind off.
  6. Make the 4 halter ties by using size 7 needles to pick up 3 stitches per tie from the edges if the halter. Knit each tie in garter stitch, using a single strand of yarn, until it is 11 inches long (I made the straps 15 inches.)
  7. Weave in and trim loose ends.

Angled back panels.

Pattern photo from book.

Halter top shown in book.

To Add Angled Back Panels: I picked up 2o stitches on each side towards and knit in stockinette stitch, decreasing on every right side until I reached the middle of the back and bound off.

Show and Tell, Loopy Mango Puff Sleeve Top

Hannah wearing Loopy Mango’s Puff Sleeve Top.

 

Hon, there must be a knitting or needlepoint project in the house at all times! Make that several projects. I just finished knitting two of Loopy Mango’s “Mohair Puff Sleeve Tops,” but instead of LM’s mohair I used their Merino No. 5. Hannah gets the gray and Morgan gets the yellow. Once Darcy picks a color, I’ll knit one for her, too.

I’m almost finished knitting two of Loopy Mango’s chunky sweaters (future post), have finished weaving in ends on an infinity scarf, and am finishing up a knit market bag and needlepoint pillow. See, many projects?

Upon hearing about the gifts reserved for future birthdays and holidays, a friend asked how they’re being stored. Good question! The answer? In a bin of aromatic cedar blocks!

Thanks to  Wool & Grace for curbside pickup during quarantine. I actually squealed when they answered the phone!

Hannah wearing my version of Loopy Mango’s Cropped Sweater.

Unfinished Business

Needlepoint canvases, knit infinity scarves and market bag.

I’m a WOABOPP!

Do you finish one book before starting another? Clean one room before heading to the next? Eat dinner before dessert? Apparently, I’m the opposite of all that. I was picking out yarn for patterns and also looking at needlepoint canvases when someone in the yarn shop looked over her glasses and said, “You’re a work-on-abunch-of-projects-person.” Is that a bad thing?

It’s not just knitting and needlepoint. I work on several writing projects at a time:  one manuscript might be up for review by my critique group; one manuscript might be in its infancy; one manuscript might be ready to query. And, of course, I like adding new posts to Bmore Energy.

I wasn’t always like this.  Then I had triplets! If this was one of my picture book manuscripts and I had to identify the moment when the change occurred, it would have to be the day all three triplets shared a bassinet together for the first time.

Baby B left the hospital at 10 days, Baby C was released at 12 days, and Baby A stayed in the NICU for 6 1/2 weeks. When Baby C came home, she was on a completely different feeding schedule than her siblings, and the first two babies weren’t thrilled about the new face. (The sisters could not be placed next to each other! Think head to toe.)

Three babies who needed to eat eight times a day meant preparing twenty-four bottles while doing constant laundry while changing countless diapers. Dinner for me and Hubby? Lots of pasta. Gifts? Piled up unopened for a long time. Sleep? Very little. There was no learning curve–it was a lion’s den!

I wasn’t multi-tasking; I was MEGA-tasking!

So, to the person who called me a WOABOPP…yes, yes I am. And I’m off to revise a manuscript, pick up a kid, try a new recipe, finish knitting a market bag, read one book, listen to another, bathe the dog…

Which camp do you fall in? One-Project-Person or WOABOPP!?

No judgement, hon!

Hand Knit Market Bag

I don’t know why, but I wanted to knit a market bag. I guess I figured if it was enjoyable to make, I’d knit more. Finished my first, and started on a second! I found the free pattern for this Double Handled Market Bag on Plymouth Yarn.

Happy knitting, hon.

DOUBLE HANDLED MARKET BAG

Yarn: 2 (3) 100g skeins of yarn

Gauge: 4.5 sts=1″ over st st on size 7 needles.

Needles: 16″ circular size 7. 24″ circular size 13.

Finished Size: Approx. 16 (20)” long. Bag will stretch.

BOTTOM: With size 7 circular needles, loosely cast 25 sts. Working back and forth in garter st, knit 46 rows or until square. Bind off loosely, leaving last st on needle. Do not cut yarn. Continuing with the circular needle, pick up and knit 96 its all around the base (24 sts per side). Place marker and join. Knit 1 round.

SIDES: Change to larger circular needle and begin pattern:

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: *(Yo, k2tog); repeat from* around.

Round 3: Purl.

Repeat rounds 1-3 9 (11) more times until there are 10 (12) sets of “eyelet holes” up the side. End with round 3.

Next round: Change back to the smaller circular needle.

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: Purl. Repeat these 2 rounds until there are 7 (8) ridges: 14 (16) rounds total. End with a purl round.

STRAPS: On next round: BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10. Working back and forth on these last 10 sts only–knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with a WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (1st set of knit sts) and holding and right sides together, work the 3 needle bind off–attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Reattach yarn to second set of 10 sts with WS facing. Knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (3rd set of knit sts) and holding the right sides together, work the 3 needle bind-off-attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Weave in all ends.

Abbreviations: K=knit, p=purl, st(s)=stitch(es), RS=right side, WS=wrong side, yo=yarn over, k2tog=knit 2 sts together, BO=bind off, st st=stockinette stitch

Bay Laurel Knit Tunic

Bay Laurel Knit Tunic

Reasons I haven’t knit a sweater in years?

#1 The gorgeous, royal-blue, mohair sweater so hot to wear, it could serve as outerwear in Antarctica.

#2 The chunky, off-white, cable-knit sweater so large, I nicknamed it “The Horse Blanket.”

#3 The cute, turquoise, cotton top that stretched right off my shoulders.

#4-10. Not enough patience. Not enough time. Not sure of my skill set. Etc, etc, etc!

That’s why when I decided to knit something I could wear other than a scarf, mittens or a hat, I opted for a straightforward body shape. I still had to learn a bunch of new stitches, but this Bay Laurel Knit Tunic is my breakthrough!

The pattern has way too many steps to share in this post, so if you want to check  it out, click Ravelry. After setting up an account, you can search “Bay Laurel Tunic” and the pattern’s maker, Julie Turjoman, and you’ll find it.

Happy knitting, hon!

 

Squishy Soft Knit Cowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Air

The minute the season turns from summer to fall, I can’t wait to knit new projects. Here’s an “easy, fast cowl that looks more complicated than it is” from Studio June Yarn.

Happy knitting, hon.

Yarn: about 120 yards

Needle: 18″ to 24″ circular, sized to work with yarn

Finished Size: approximately 30 inches in circumference and 6 inches tall

Directions:

  1. Using a long tail cast on, cast on 87 stitches.
  2. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist your work.
  3. *K4, P4, K4, P4.* Continue in pattern until about 3 yards remain.
  4. Bind off in Purl.

Source: Jill June at Studio June Yarn, studiojuneyarn@sbcglobal.net

Handsome Knit Men’s Scarf

No-Purl Ribbed Scarf
No-Purl Ribbed Scarf.

I used Merino Superwash so this scarf would be easy to wash and dry.
I used Merino Superwash so this scarf would be easy to wash and dry.

Inspiration piece from pattern posted on Ravely.
Inspiration piece shown with the pattern.

Cartridge Belt Rib

Searching for a handsome, masculine scarf, I found this pattern on Ravelry where credit is given to Purl Soho, a gorgeous yarn shop in Manhattan. This purl-less stitch is known as the Cartridge Belt Rib and is considered a classic stitch pattern. Purl Soho says,

This robust rib stitch produces prominent columns of elongated knit stitches separated by broad valleys of dense texture. The juxtaposition is not only fascinating; it’s beautiful too.

Happy knitting, hon.
MATERIALS:

Suggested on pattern–4 (5) skeins of Purl Soho’s Alpaca Pure, 100% alpaca. I used Sueno Worsted by HiKoo’s Merino Superwash, color Evergreen.
US #8 straight or circular needles – 5.0mm

YARDAGE:  436 – 545 yards (399 – 498 m)
GAUGE:  22 stitches = 4 inches in stitch pattern

FINISHED SCARF SIZE:  8 ½ inches wide x 64 (80) inches long

NOTES:

Slip all slipped stitches purl-wise.

This stitch pattern is worked over a multiple of 4 + 3 stitches.

PATTERN
Cast on 47 stitches.

Row 1: K3, *slip 1 wyif (with yarn in front), k3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: K1, *slip 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1 wyif, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 64 (80) inches from cast on edge or until desired length, ending with Row 2.

Bind off in a k3, p1 rib. Here’s how… K2, slip the first stitch over, k1, slip the first stitch over, *p1, slip the first stitch over, [k1, slip the first stitch over] 3 times, repeat from * to end of row.

Weave in ends and block as desired.

Source: purlsoho.com