Archive for the ‘Finished Knitting’ Category

Checkerboard Hat

A few weeks ago I saw this awesome hat on Jane Brocket’s blog that she made up one weekend.  Immediately I wanted to make it but sadly, she did not post a pattern.  The part of me that is lazy and wants someone more clever than I to tell me exactly how to achieve the results I want was very bummed.  The other part of me shrugged it off, said “challenge accepted”, and began to plot the making of what was sure to be my new favorite hat.

A couple of weeks and one trip to the yarn shop later, meet Checkerboard Hat (more commonly known as my new favorite hat):

Checkerboard Hat

I worked it out the pattern using a few different hat patterns as starting points.  The hardest part for me to get right was the crown–figuring out how to keep the pattern going as well as how to shape the top of the hat so it had the right amount of (but not too much) ease.  I had to rip it and redo the crown once but I think I really like what I ended up with.

Checkerboard Hat - Back

This hat is so super easy and held my interest while knitting because of the fun color changes.  Plus I finished it in just one weekend.  I really love the way it turned out.

Just so you can see how cute this hat is on different people, I asked my sisters to model it for you too.  They of course said yes (they are cool like that.)

Checkerboard Hat - BriBri rockin’ the Checkerboard!

Checkerboard Hat - KaraKara’s turn!

Side note: My sisters are really pretty.  (Just saying.)

Now, I really can’t claim this as my pattern as it is a blatant copy of someone else’s knit but in case you desire your own Checkerboard Hat I am including what I did.  I really hope it makes sense.  Enjoy.

Yarn: Dalegarn Falk (24×30=4″, sport weight), I bought one skein each for the main color and the 5 checkerboard colors. I think it would also be fun to try one solid color and a hand-painted yarn that changes color for the contrast yarn.

Needles: US 4 & 5


Ribbing: With main color and US 4 needles, cast on 112 stitches.  Join to work in the round and knit in 2×2 rib for 1 inch.

Main body: Switch to US 5 needles, join first contrast color, begin checkerboard pattern (knitting 2 stitches in the main color and 2 stitches in a contrast color) and at the same time work one round of *K4, M1* repeat until the end of the round. (140 stitches)

Continue in checkerboard pattern (first two rows identical and second two are switched) switching out the contrast color after a full repeat of the pattern (in other words every four rows).  Knit until hat measures 6 1/2 inches.

Crown: Begin decreases while keeping stitch pattern. (Note: In order to keep the look of the stitch pattern, sometimes the decreases result in one stitch for that color.  Give it a few rounds and those single stitches will meet up with its partner again.)

Round 1: *Knit 12, K2tog* repeat to end. (130 stitches)

Round 2: Knit one round in pattern.

Round 3: *Knit 11, K2tog* repeat to end. (120 stitches)

Round 4: Knit one round in pattern.

Round 5: *Knit 10, K2tog* repeat to end. (110 stitches)

Round 6: Knit one round in pattern.

Round 7: *Knit 9, K2tog* repeat to end. (100 stitches)

Round 8: Knit one round in pattern.

Round 9: *K2tog* repeat to end. (50 stitches) Note: The pattern now switches to a one color each stitch repeat.

Round 10: *K2tog* repeat to end. (25 stitches)

Round 11: *K2tog* repeat to last stitch, Knit last stitch.  Cut tail and pull through remaining stitches.

Weave in ends.

Checkerboard Hat - Close

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Carp. Done.

I was discussing the carp sweater the other day with a family friend.  He asked me how much something like it would cost to buy–meaning a hand-knit sweater like it.  I told him my estimate of how much time the sweater has taken me (160 squares with each square averaging 1 hour to complete = 160 hours at least.)  So he took that and factored in $50 an hour for my time (it would have to be worth my while after all if I was knitting for pay) which resulted in him declaring that if I sold the carp I would have to charge $8,000.  Um, yeah.  So if anyone is interested in seeing what an eight thousand dollar sweater looks like…

Okay, I love it.  Not, “I love it except for this wonky bit in the back” or “I really like it but in an ideal world it would be a few inches longer” or “It would be better if I had paid better attention to my row gauge.”  No buts.  I just love it.

For those familiar with the saga of this sweater you may remember my being nervous because I had no idea how it would fit.  Because of its crazy construction (knit in metered squares forming long diagonal strips of fabric that eventually sync up and form a sweater) I had no indication of how it would turn out.  I often have to change a pattern to fit my body and with this pattern I couldn’t alter anything without majorly confusing the pattern so I was forced to knit it as written and trust it would work out.  It did.

I was lucky that the yarn I choose matched the gauge close enough that I didn’t have to worry too much.  If you are doing a yarn sub that gives you a very different gauge I would recommend doing all the math to make sure you are making the right size.  This sweater invests way too much of your time to NOT do your homework.

The top uses two colors of yarn.  I tried to pick two shades of green that are close enough to each other in shade so when you look at the sweater from a far it gives the illusion of being one interesting color and you can only really see it is made up of two different colors when you get close.  I think I did a pretty good job of pulling that off.  One of the yarns is a little more shiny and the other more matte but both are kind of sage-y green.  I am pleased with how they work together.

One of my favorite parts on this top are the sleeves.  If you look closely you can see how the two sleeve halves mirror the mitered squares by alternating which yarn has the purl ridge.


Pattern: the carp

Source: Japanese Inspired Knits

Yarn: Karabella Vintage Cotton & Reynolds Sunday Best

Needles: US 2 & 1 1/2

Size: 39

So I love it, and I have little interest in giving it up…but I should say, if anyone loves the sweater $8,000 worth, give me a shout.  I bet we can work something out. 🙂

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So yeah, this was supposed to be my great winter sweater.  I was going to be trekking around with it on in the snow and some fun boots.   Looks like I will have to wait a while to fulfill that dream but at least I finally finished it.  Even if it is May.

This is not a light jacket.  It has a whole lot of yarn and makes for a VERY warm sweater coat.  Hands down my favorite part of this sweater is the hood.

One thing you should know before starting this sweater:  Watch your gauge.  I didn’t realize it until my first sleeve was done but my sleeve gauge was off from the gauge for the body of the sweater.  This resulted in VERY long sleeves that are not as slim fitting as I would ideally like.  As you can see I have cuffed the sleeves and kind of like them that way so at least that works.  It is such a new experience for me to have any knit that turns out too long.

I did add length to the bottom of the sweater (before the waist.)  I keep debating if I like the length as it turned out longer than I envisioned.


Pattern: Vivian by Ysolda Teague

Source: Twist Collective

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky, Wine

Needles: US 8

Size: 38

Mods: As mentioned earlier I lengthened the body of the sweater before the waist.  I also “embiggened” the hood by following the mods detailed by felinity.

I must admit that I wasn’t thrilled with this sweater when I first put it on.  It is not perfect.  But I think it is growing on me.  Maybe by the time next season rolls around I will forget all about the parts of it that bug me and be able to enjoy it while tromping around in the snow.  A girl’s got to dream.

A better view of the sleeve.

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Maggie’s Dress

As I have mentioned before, my baby sister Bri is pregnant.  I can’t remember if I mentioned that she is going to have a girl.  Maggie.  Cute right?  Even though we have only met via the few kicks I have felt her give through her mom’s tummy, I can already feel the bond she and I have and I can’t wait to officially meet in around 5 weeks.

So of course, Maggie needs some hand-knits and thankfully she has two aunts who can deliver such items.  Early on, Kara chose a super cute hoodie pattern for the baby and I really wanted to knit a dress.   It was hard for me to choose a pattern because there is just so much cuteness to be knit.  It came down to a debate between this and this and finally…

This.  Vintage Baby Dress.

I have mentioned this before but I will say it again.  I sure do enjoy a good baby knit.  Everything is so wee.

Wee little sleeves:

Wee little waist with wee little ribbon:

Wee little everything:


Pattern: Vintage Baby Dress

Source: Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2009

Yarn: Madil Eden, 100% Bamboo

Needles: Size 6

Size: 6 Months

Mods: None

Raveled here.

In about 7 months time I promise to take a picture of Maggie with her dress on and show her off. Now all I have to do is wait for her to be born.  Can’t. Wait.

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After the rush of Christmas knitting, I’ve been knitting again for my favorite recipient (that’s me.)  I have gotten quite a bit done on Vivian and am hoping to be done with this sweater in February so I have some time to wear it before spring.  I am loving how it is turning out so far and enjoying knitting it BUT…there comes a time when you just want to finish something, you know?

(And yes, I know the color of the picture is a little distorted but I hope you can still see the hat.)

Enter the Wood Hollow Hat.  I saw this on Ravelry and knew it would be a perfect FO to fit in.


Pattern: Wood Hollow Hat

Source: Kirsten Kapur (get it on Ravelry)

Yarn: Berroco Blackstone Tweed

Needles: US 6

Mods: Inspired by cute versions seen on Ravelry I made a tassel for the top instead of a pom pom.

This is a relatively fast knit and I love the yarn I made it with.  Just a great, classic pattern that is super warm and perfect for cold, snowy days.  Okay, that is all.  Back to my regularly scheduled knitting.

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In fact, I have been a knitting fool in December.  Just as I thought it would, once I moved into my new place and started feeling a little more settled, my knitting genes started kicking in.  Most of the month has been spent working on Vivian (for me) but the desire to gift knit crept up on me and about a week and a half ago I put everything aside and knit up some last-minute gifts.

It all started when I found out I was going to be the Aunt to a new baby girl.  I have known for months about the baby but two weeks ago I found out about the girl bit.  Baby sister Bri is the pregnant one.   (Side note: Can you believe how much Bri has grown up since I started this blog?  From a carefree, newly college graduated singleton who wears really awesome hoodies to a blushing bride and now a mom-to-be.  I can hardly stand how happy and excited I am for her–and you too Adam.)  Now I would have been just as happy if they were having a baby boy but I have to admit that knitting for a girl is a wee bit more fun.   So really, you can hardly blame my excitement to get started and give this little unborn (but already deeply loved) baby a little something for Christmas.

I love baby booties.  I mean really, how cute are these?  Ysolda’s pattern is easy to follow and is perfect for using up spare sock yarn as it uses hardly any yarn at all.  I happened to have two perfectly complimentary colors of sock yarn in my stash that resulted in the idea to make the soles of the booties a different color.  I love the two toned look.  The other thing I really like about these booties is the cute eyelet looking pattern on the toe.  Oh, and the buttons!  They really do look like mini-shoes.

Pattern: Tiny Shoes (raveled here)

Size: 0-3 months

Yarn: Leftover fingering weight sock yarn

Needles: US 2 1/2 double points

Mods: Knit the soles in a different color.

I kept with the shoe theme for my next gift knits which were made for my sisters for Sister’s Night (The super cool holiday I made up when I was 12 that lands every year on Christmas Eve).  I decided to make this ballet flat pattern that has been in my queue for ages.

These are, in a word, awesome.  If you want more words I have compiled the following pros list for your reading pleasure:

  • The perfect gift knit, you could make a pair in a long afternoon.
  • They don’t use a ton of yarn so one skein is all you will need.
  • They are SO comfortable and fit on the feet well without slipping around too much.
  • A nice alternative to wearing socks, they are both warm and not too constricting.

After one pair I had the pattern memorized and am hoping I am not too bored of knitting the same pattern so I can make a pair for my Mom and sister-in-law.  Not that it is a boring knit, I am just not good at repeat knitting projects.

Pattern: Pleated Ballet Flats (raveled here)

Size(s): 9 (Blue), 10 (Green), 11 (Orange)

Yarn: Blue and Green flats are Berroco Blackstone Tweed, Orange is Rowan Rowanspun Aran

Needles: US 7

Notes: You could make the flats a little more durable by adding a leather bottom but I opted to just put puff paint on the heels and soles so they wouldn’t slip around too much.  It works perfectly!

As for sizing, if you are at a half-size, I’d recommend going to the higher size.  I am a 9 and 1/2 and the size 10 fits me perfectly.  Don’t freak out if you think the flat fits too tight though, it will stretch.

Hope your holiday and gift giving (whether it be homemade or not) went as splendidly as mine did.  Now back to knitting for my favorite recipient…me.  🙂

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I still knit folks.  I swear.  And this proves it.

It is Rosa!

Remember this pattern?  Yeah, I know, it has been a while.  I got this kit last May when I visited Kara in London and promptly cast on, knit the bottom ribbing, and then totally lost interest.  A couple of months ago, I was feeling the excitement of needing a new project.  I chose a (completely different) project, ordered yarn, and while I was waiting, I picked up Rosa again.  Well, my new yarn came but by that time I knew that I needed to finish this sweater or I never would.

Even not counting the months and months this project lay dormant, it still took me longer than it should have.  I am not entirely sure why but I suspect it has something to do with the color.  Knitting with black yarn is just not fun.  I wouldn’t think it would make that big a difference but it really did.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the end product and am glad I choose the color I did to get the finished look I got but, black yarn just doesn’t excite me as it is being knitted.

The fun part of knitting this sweater came in the form of ruffles.  Sure there were like 300+ stitches of kidsilk haze on each–they were time consuming and a little fiddly but the ruffles were at least fun to make.

Project Stats

Pattern: Rosa

Source: Kim Hargreaves

Size: 38

Yarn:Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4-ply, Black & Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Slate

Needles: US 1 & 3

Mods: I added about 3 inches of length to the bottom of the sweater–just adding rows evenly between increases and also adding some rows to the straight knitting at the waist.

I am really happy with the end result of this sweater.  If the two sweaters I have made from Kim Hargreaves patterns are any indication of the rest, I feel like her style and fit is a very flattering one and I highly recommend her designs.  For your information, I believe Rosa is now a pattern in Kim’s book Thrown Together so you no longer have to order a full kit from England to get the pattern.  Just in case you are interested.

And yes, I know I look like I am mad. I’m not.

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