Wednesday, April 15, 2009

pattern doesn't always know best

And here's the proof. Last Wednesday at Close Knit knit night I invested in some Noro Silk Garden (worth it, thees two hats have only used about 2/3 of one ball). I didn't want to start a big project because I'm ready to start a full-sized cardigan for myself, so I thought a hat would be a good way to use this yarn. The turn-a-square pattern by Brooklyn Tweed would showcase the pretty color variation of the yarn as well as present me the challenge of doing my first knitted color work.

Anyway, the first hat was done following the pattern almost exactly. There are increases after the ribbing, and the top is done in the prescribed way which results in a top with almost corners (as per the pattern name). It also continues the striping pattern all the way through the top. The result is too wide, even for my large head, and a little short as well. The decrease technique that creates the corners makes the hat have basically a flat top. All in all, not so great. Hat #1 will be frogged and re-knit to follow my modifications that I made on hat #2.

Those modifications include: casting on 80 instead of 96, no increases after the ribbing, stopping the contrasting colored stripes after the first row of decreases, and decreasing by k2tog every few stitches every other row.

The colors of both hats a great, I can't believe there's so many different colors in one ball of yarn. I'm going to redo the first one to match the mods of the second and I'm sure I'll love it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The cutest thing I ever knit

My cousin Phaedra had a baby on Friday the 10th. Her name is Sirene Ava.The first girl on my dad's side since my little sister was born 16 years ago. Since then there have been 5 great-grandsons in a row for my grandma. We were all quite excited, and me especially because I wanted to make her something girly.

The result is not only my first complete clothing item, but also by far the cutest thing I've knit to date. This tiny little cardigan (deceptively titled the Five Hour Baby Sweater) took me about 2 and a half days to complete, and I got it done the same day I got the news that Sirene had arrived. It's cotton (another first for me, man is cotton yarn stiff) and delightfully berry colored. As a matter of chance it came out to be spot on 3M size, and since they will be visiting for a month in June I might even get to see my newest little cousin wearing it.

This pattern was great to knit, it's all in once piece. Starting from the top, the ridges of garter rows add some simple design flair. The only seaming that had to be done was under the arms. I didn't exactly follow the directions with the sleeves because they seemed too long, instead I did about 4 inches without any decreases and stopped at that. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to knit a sweater but isn't ready to commit to adult size. It took less than one ball of yarn and gave me a boost of knitting confidence.