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Monday, October 31, 2011

Dinosaur Skeleton Sweater

I recently completed my first adult sized sweater!  I've been knitting for some years now, but each new project is a challenge and I learned a lot from this one.  It started because I wanted to use up a bunch of skeins of yarn that I've had for awhile.  I narrowed it down to a group of analogous colors: blue, purple and turquoise green.  I wanted to make a sweater that I would probably never find in a store,  so I came up with a combination of two of my favorite things: skeletons and dinosaurs.  I gridded out the dinosaur design and lined it up with the knitting pattern. Since I was trying to use yarn I already had, I ended up mostly using Paton's classic wool.

Once I got through the first panel (the back), I was already running low on some of the colors. Since all my yarns were from different and old dye lots I knew I would be hard pressed to find matching ones.  Luckily since I already had the stripe pattern incorporated in it was a little less obvious when I had to substitute colors on the remaining panels.

Not getting enough yarn wasn't my only mistake.  I ended up making 3 sleeves, since the first 2 weren't identical due to not lining up the stripe pattern correctly. I used the wrong size knitting needles,  so the sweater is a little snugger than I had anticipated.  Even with all those mistakes, I'm happy with the outcome. Now that I made it through my first sweater, I'm a little more confident and I might take on another.

Here is the pattern that I used:

Women's Day 101 Sweaters You Can Knit No. 3
Copyright 1970

Saddle Sleeve Cardigan

Sizes: Misses' 10 [12-14-16-18-20]. Garment width around underarms,  buttoned,  34 1/4" [ 36"- 38"- 40"- 42"- 43 1/2" ]

Misses and Women's measurements-
Size:      8              10             12               14          16         18
Bust:     31 1/2      32 1/2       43                36         38          40
Waist:   23             24             25 1/2         27         29          31
Hips:     33 1/2      34 1/2       36               38          40         42

Materials: Columbia-Minerva Nantuk Sports yarn, 6 [7-7-8-8-9] 2-oz. skeins. Knitting needles No. 4 and No. 6 or size required to knit to gauge. 7 buttons
Gauge: 5 sts and 7 rows = 1" (stockinette st on No. 6 needles)
Back: With No. 4 needles, cast on 84 [ 88-92-98-102-108 ] sts. Work in k 1, p 1 ribbing for 2", inc 2 [2-4-2-4-2 ] sts on the last row -- 86 [90-96-100-106-110] sts. Change to No. 6 needles and working stockinette st (k on right side, p on wrong side) until 15" from beg, or desired length to underarms, end wrong side.
  Shape Saddle Armholes:  bind off 2 [2-3-3-4-4] sts at beg of next 2 rows. Dec Row (right side): K 1, sl 1, k1, psso, k to the last 3 sts, k 2 tog, k 1. Repeat Dec Row every right-side row 2 [3-4-5-4-5] times more, then every 4th row 6 [6-6-6-7-7] times -- 64 [66-68-70-74-76] sts. Work even until armholes measure 5 1/4" [5 1/2"-5 3/4"-6-6 1/4"-6 1/2"] above beg of armhole shaping.
Shape Shoulders: Bind off 5 [6-6-7-8-9] sts at the beg of next 2 rows, then 7 sts at beg of next 4 rows -- 26 [ 26-28-28-30-30 ] sts. Place sts on holder.
Left Front: With No. 4 needles, cast on 47 [49-52-54-56-58] sts. Work in k1, p1 ribbing for 2", end wrong side. Change to No. 6 needles. Next row: K to last 8 sts and place these 8 sts on holder for buttonband. Next row: cast on 1 st, p across -- 40 [42-45-47-49-51] sts. Work in stockinette st until the same length as back to underarm, end wrong side.
Shape Saddle Armhole:  Bind off 2 [2-3-3-4-4] sts at beg of next row, k across -- 38 [40-42-44-45-47] sts. Next row: Purl. Dec row: K1, sl 1, k1, psso, k across. Repeat Dec row every right-side row 2 [3-4-5-4-5] times more, then every 4th row 6 [6-6-6-7-7] times -- 29 [30-31-32-33-34] sts. Work even, if necessary, until armhole measure 4 3/4" [5"-5 1/4"-5 1/2"-5 3/4"- 6"]  above beg of armhole shaping, end right side.
Shape Neck and Shoulder: Work 7 [7-8-8-8-8] sts and place holder for neck, work across. Dec 1 st at neck edge every right-side row 3 times; at the same time, when the armhole measure same as on back, bind off 5 [6-6-7-8-9] sts once, 7 sts twice.
Buttonband: With No. 4 needles, work in ribbing on the 8 sts from holder, until piece fits from to neck (slightly stretched). Place sts on holder. Sew band to front. Place markers for 6 buttons, the first 1" from beg, the 6th 2 3/4" below neck, others evenly space between. The 7th will be worked on the 4th and 5th rows of neckband.
Right Front: With No. 4 needles, cast on 47 [49-52-54-56-58] sts. Work in ribbing as on the left from, working buttonholes opposite markers as follows: Beg at front edge, work 3 sts, bind off next 2 sts work across. Cast on 2 sts over bound-off sts on next row. Work even until ribbing is same as on left front, end at front edge. Next row: Work 8 sts and place on holder for buttonhole band. Change to to No. 6 needles. Next row: Cast on 1 st, k across -- 40 [42-45-47-49-51] sts. Work to correspond to left front, working buttonholes opposite markers as above.
Sleeves: With No. 4 needles, cast on 40 [42-44-46-48-50  sts. Work in k1, p1 ribbing for 2 1/2 ", inc 4 [4-4-4-6-6] sts on last row -- 44 [46-48-50-54-56] sts. Change to No. 6 and work in stockinette st. Inc 1 st each edge every 8th row 7 [7-6-6-6-4] times, every 6th row 1 [1-3-3-3-6] times -- 60 [62-66-68-72-76] sts. Work even until 17" from beg or desired length to underarm, end wrong side.
Shape Saddle Cap and Saddle: Bind off 2 [2-3-3-4-4] sts at beg of next 2 rows. Dec row 1: K1, sl 1, k1, psso, k to last 3 sts, k 2 tog, k1. Repeat Dec Row every right-side row 9 [10-11-12-13-15] times more -- 36 sts.  P next row. Dec Row 2: K1, sl 1, k 2 tog, pass slipped st over the k 2 tog, k to last 4 sts, k 3 tog,  k1. Repeat Dec Row 2 every right-side row until 20 sts. remain, end wrong side. Place marker each edge for start of saddle. Dec 1 st each edge every 4th row 4 times -- 12 sts. Work even until 4" [ 4 1/4"-4 1/4"-4 1/4"-4 1/2" ] above markers. Place sts on holder.
Finishing: Block pieces. With markers at shoulder edge, sew sleeves in place. Sew sides of saddle across shoulders. Sew side and sleeve seams.
Neckband: With No. 4 needles,  beg right front with right side facing, pick up and k 79 [83-87-91-93-93] sts around neck edge, including sts on holders. Row 1 (wrong side) p1, * k1, p1, repeat from * across. Row 2: K1, * p 1, k 1, repeat from * across. Repeat row 1 once. Continue ribbon as established working a buttonhole over next 2 rows, until 1 1/4" from beg. Bind off in ribbing. Blanket st around buttonholes.
Sew bottom in place on right front. Steam press seams lightly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Snail Sale

I made a couple more Snail Mail plush toys and they're now available for sale on etsy
Check them out here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alec's Hat

The original hat
The replacement hat

Alec used to have a blue hat with red wings on it.  He sadly lost it on the subway in New York a few years ago.  For his birthday he wanted a replacement.  Instead of trying to search one out,  I made him a replacement since I love to knit.  I knit the cap out of blue wool yarn and made the wings out of red cotton flocked fabric.  I only had one reference photo of the original but it was most likely made of double layers of acrylic yarn.  Instead of making it double,  I made the whole thing in a 1x1 rib knit. So both inside and out it looks the same, and it's stretchy and comfy.  I think I did a decent job mimicking the original but also making it a custom hat.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wizard Robe

 Halloween is approaching fast, and it's my favorite holiday.  Last year,  due to a recent move and being sick, I didn't participate.  This year I'm trying to make up for it.  Alec is going to be Dumbledore,  because it's the last year he will have his epic beard.  I'm going to go as Hermione,  so we compliment each other.  I'm going to go as polyjuice mix up  cat Hermione so it's extra fun.

When Alec and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last January,  they had all the house robes,  but they were over-priced and cheaply made.  Instead I picked up an official Hogwarts crest patch so I could make my own custom robe.

I created the robe pattern by expanding a tent sloper to full length and adding bishop style sleeves and a hood. This is not a replica of the movie robes by any means.  I didn't fully line this robe,  it just has facing pieces to finish the opening.  It is a generic Hogwarts robe, as it doesn't have any of the house colors for the lining. This way it can be any character's robe.

 To make it, I was trying to use material I already had around the house.  I didn't have the right kind of buttons in black, so I just found the right size in my button collection and covered them in the same fabric as the robe.  I used a lightweight woven cotton that I had found at a fabric re-use place in Portland.  I would recommend a heavier weight synthetic that resists wrinkling if I was going to make it again.  There are in seam pockets on the sides for wands and chocolate frogs.

If you would like to make a robe similar to the one I made,  here is the rough pattern.  Print this out and blow it up until it is the size of the measurements stated.  This is a very roomy robe that could fit a large range of sizes.
*Addition April 18, 2013*
Here are the really rough instructions on how to put the pattern pieces together. If you've never sewn before this isn't enough information for you to put the robe together correctly, it's just a loose guide for people who've sewn from patterns before.

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