Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pine Tree Raglan

Another exercise to practice stranded knitting. 



This one is my own design and knit for my middle grandson, Gavin, who is 4 years old.  Intended for his 2015 Christmas sweater and hoping he won't grow too much before December.  But, if he does, his little brother will have it and I will knit another one bigger for the G-Man.

Using a simple top down raglan design, I added a band of trees near the bottom and added a third color in purl stitches above and below the design. 

This came out to be about a child size 6-8 and is worked top down.

Needles: Size 6     Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch

Cast on 76 joining to work in round. Knit K1 P1 rib for about 3 inches. Fold over and knit cast on stitch with working row to create double thick fisherman neck. Begin increasing for raglan with stitch marker dividers as 14 for each sleeve and 33 each for front and back.  Keep increasing to measure 7 inches from top of neck to under arm. I had 66 stitches for each front and back and 46 for each sleeve.

Place sleeves on holder, cast on 6 stitches underarm, continue to work in round about 5 inches.  Knit one row alternate color, then 2 rows purl and then knit one more row. Change to white for the back ground and knit one row.  Knit the tree pattern and one more row white at the end.  Do the alternate color purl 4 row combo again (knit one row, purl two rows, knit one row).

I also did a second purl bump 4 row combo in green underneath the tan one.  Knit a few rows, then switch to K2, P2 rib and bind off. 

Knit each sleeve separately by picking up the stitches on the needle and pick up 6 stitches from the under arm.  Knit straight to about 3 inches prior to end. Knit an alternate color purl bump 4 row combo. Knit 2 rounds, decreasing 10 stitches to 36.  K2, P2 rib for about 2.5 inches, bind off. 

Block if needed.

Super easy if you like working top down raglans!

I still need to get the tension right with my right hand.  You can see there is discrepancy between the trees when tucking the floats. But in this case, it almost enhances the design and actually looks like snow falling within the tree line.  And for a boy who will be playing in the snow I think it came out just fine and will serve the purpose of keeping him warm.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Zuni Cardigan

I learn something new with nearly every project I knit, which is something that I think is amazing, since knitting really is only 2 stitches... Knit and Purl.

But there are so many, many ways to put them together that the end results are endless.  And the techniques in putting them together seam endless as well.
I knew when I started the Zuni Cardigan (pattern is in the 2015 Winter Issue of Interweave Knits) that I would learn a lot during this one.  Mainly seaming.  This sweater is knit in pieces, then knit together using the mattress stitch.  Now, this mattress stitch is not so hard, in fact it is quite easy to do and creates a nearly invisible join in pieces.  Well, that is true when sewing straight up the sides.  I had a bit of fiddling along the shoulders and arm openings.  I guess I need more practice at these points! But overall, it came out well and it won't be falling apart at the seams.

So, I've never done pockets before and I'm pretty sure that with this project I've learned how not to do them.  These are picked up along the bottom, knit straight up, then sewn on the top.  I think there is a way to do them from the inside, which I think would have been a lot neater.  I will definitely try a different method with my next project that requires pockets.

And of course, I am trying to master fair isle or stranded knitting.  This project was great for that as it just has some here and there. The trick is keeping track of every row so they line up properly.  (another reason I am determined to try STEEKING in the future, but that is another story altogether)

The shawl collar was fun with over 400 stitches to pick up.  This was not hard, just took along time.  I would put a stitch marker every 20 stitches so I didn't have to recount each time I lost track.

Anyway, it came out acceptable, could have been better, but I'm sure Sara will love it.  And I love the fact that I have 3 Christmas gifts done and it is only March!