Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lookie what I finished!

I have always wanted to make a sweater for myself. Ever since I first learned to knit 17 years ago, as I sat there becomming more and more frustrated with each row because I kept finding mysterious extra stitches, then I would think of how cool it would be to make a sweater I could wear. Then I decided it wasn't worth it because I just couldn't seem to figure it out (I was very young at the time, give me a break).

Then I came across a beginners sweater pattern on, (I just found the link again, here's where I found the pattern )and just had to try it out. It didn't go seamlessly (no pun intended), I nearly re-wrote the pattern to get it to fit, but as was stated in the pattern I used it was more if a guide anyway. And it got me to finally make the sweater I've been waiting so long to make. So the only thing I have to say about the pattern was that it didn't fit me. It's still a great guide!

So I'm very happy to FINALLY be able to show off a sweater that I knit! I really like it! It fits me just like I wanted it to, I think I'll wear it everywhere! I bet you'd like to see some pictures of it huh? Well, first you have to look at the first picture I took.

When I tried it on at this point it was apparent that it was going to be WAY too big! So, the next day I frogged the whole thing! :( It was sad, but luckily I hadn't gotten too far. So I started over with smaller needles, and with WAY fewer stitches than the pattern called for, and ta-da! It fit! And I love it.

I made a lot of changes to this pattern. So many in fact that I thought I'd type up my pattern for anyone who may want to replicate this sweater the way I have. I, however have VERY limited pattern writing ability at the moment, so to keep things simple I will just type out the instructions for the size I made, and allow you to adjust for your size. I wear a size 6, and have a 36" bust and 27" waist (I have 5 kids! Not everyone can have a 24" waist forever!) just to give you an idea of what sized person this fits. So, without further delay, here is the pattern that I made:

Top Down Raglan Sleeve Sweater Pattern

written by Michelle of Designs By Michelle

size: Woman's Small


Yarn: 1 skein Caron Simply Soft in country blue, one skein of Caron Simply Soft in gray heather.

Needles: one 24" circular needle size 6 US

one 24" circular needle size 8 US

one 32" circular needle size 6 US (for using the magic loop method for the sleeves), OR a set of size 6 US DPN's

one 32" circular needle size 8 US (for using the magic loop method for the sleeves), OR a set of size 8 US DPN's

4 stitch markers

1 yarn needle

Gauge: 16sts/25rows=4" in stockinette stitch on size 8 US needles

Special instructions: Each stripe is 13 rows long, however instructions for color chage are not always indicated. Remember to change colors as needed. Feel free to make your stripes as wide or narrow as you wish, or add cables to a solid color sweater.


Kf&b=knit into the front of a stitch, then without sliding the stitch off your needle knit into the back of the same stitch. (one increase made)

K= knit

P= purl

SSK= slip slip knit

K2tog= knit 2 together

M1= make one increase

st st= stockinette stitch (knit all stitches in the round)

St(s)= stitch(es)

MC= main color (blue in this pattern) CC= compilmentay color (gray in this pattern)


Using size 6 US 24" round needle and MC, cast on 120 sts, join in the round being careful not to twist sts.

working in K2, P2 ribbing place a stitch marker after 39 sts (these sts just worked will be the front), continue in K2, P2 for another 21 sts, place marker (sleeve), continue for another 39 sts, place marker (back), continue again for 21sts, place marker (2nd sleeve).

continue to work in K2, P2 ribbing for 2 1/2" slipping markers as you come to them, break yarn leaving a tail to weave in later.

Switch to CC and size 8 US 24" circular needle. K one round slipping markers as you come to them.

Increase round: Kf&b, *k to 1 st before 1st marker, Kf&b, slip marker, Kf&b* repeat from * to * to end of round.

next round: K all sts

repeat these two rounds 11 times more, K 3 more rounds.

Try on sweater: Slip half of your stitches onto waste yarn or onto another round needle, and try on sweater. If the sleeves meet under your arm then continue, if not you may need to adjust the pattern by doing more increase rounds.

K to first marker, remove it. Slide the stitches between 1st and 2nd marker onto a stitch holder, or waste yarn, slide 2nd marker as usual. K to 3rd marker, remove it, slide stitches between 3rd and 4th marker onto waste yarn or stitch holder, slip 4th marker as usual. continue in st st until piece reaches 3" from underarm.

Begin decreases for waist as follows:

*K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1* repeat one time more.

K 4 rounds

repeat these 5 rounds 4 times more

K 4 rounds (Try on sweater again, you should be to your waist by now)

hip increase round: K1, M1, K to 1 st before marker, M1, K1, slip marker, K1, M1, K to 1 st before marker, M1, K1.

K 4 rounds

repeat these 5 rounds 4 times more.

Using size 6 US 24" round needle and MC, work in K2, P2 ribbing for 2", bind off loosly.

Sleeves: (make 2)

with 32" size 8 US needle or size 8 US DPNS put sleeve sts onto needle, and pick up and knit 3 sts, place marker, pick up and knit 2 sts under the arm to close the gap. working in the round, K 1 round (50 sts on needle)

decrease round: K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1

K 2 rounds

repeat these 3 rounds 2 times more (44 sts on needle)

K 2 rounds, switch to size 6 US 32" circular needle, and working with MC work in K2, P2 ribbing for 2", bind off loosly.


Weave in ends

Show it off!

I'd love to get feedback on this pattern if it makes sence and if it works for you if you use it. This just happens to be what worked for me. I hope it'll work for someone else as well!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The quilt 4 years in the making!

Greetings! Today I would like to share with you the journey that I took to get to a completed quilt.

One day about 4 years ago I met a lady who loved quilting, and she was working on a beautiful quilt with butterflies on it. The moment I saw it I thought that this would be perfect for my oldest daughter (she was also my only daughter at the time). So I got the pattern, and the fabric, and cut it all out. I was sooooo excited about how beautiful this was going to look in my daughter's room. She loved butterflies, and I was planning to stamp her room with butterflies. It was going to be the most beautiful butterfly themed room that a little girl could ever have. However, after cutting for what seemed like days I realized that maybe this wouldn't be as quick as I had origonally thought. But it was all straight seams, how hard could it be right!? I mean I'd had 12 years of sewing experience for heaven's sake. Straight seams were as easy as it gets! (Let me take a moment here to add a side note. The pattern that I was working from was for a wall hanging sized quilt, I had to make 6 of these wall hanging sized panels and add some borders so as to make it big enough for a bedspread. This added tremendously to the task. The picture I had didn't seem so time consuming until I realized that I was multiplying it by 6!)

Anyway, so there I was with all my pieces cut out, I was ready to start sewing. And start I did. I got almost one whole block put together. It only took me a day to get that done. I'd be done with this thing by the end of the week! Only then life happened. I had 2 young children to take care of, and tiny quilt pieces are not child friendly. So, I stuck all the pieces safely in a shoebox along with my pattern, thread, and pieces that I'd sewn together so that I could grab it at any time that I had to sew, and work on it. Well... it sat in that shoebox for 4 years! I did pull out what I'd done from time to time to look at them, but the fact that there were over 600 pieces still needing to be sewn together was overwhelming, so it always just went back into the box. Then in October of 2007 I decided that I was not going to just pull out those pieces and look at them just to put them right back anymore. I needed to clean out my craft room, and all the materials for this quilt were taking up a lot of space! If I just got that thing done then I would clear out one more unfinished project from my craft room, and my daughter would finally have one more piece to complete her perfect room. And she wasn't getting any younger. By now she was 7! This thing was so much work that I wanted her to get as much use out of it as possible before she outgrew her butterfly infatuation! Plus it'd make a great Christmas gift. So I set to work. I sewed, and sewed, and sewed, and... well you get the idea. I think I sewed for miles to get that quilt top done. By this time I'd discovered Craftster, and as luck would have it there is a great quilting forum there. I had asked a bunch of questions about machine quilting (because let's face it, if I was going to hand quilt this thing it'd be another 4 years before that thing was finished!). And I came across a quilt frame that can be used for machine quilting on a regular old sewing machine. The only problem was that it was way out of my price range. So I talked to my wonderful husband, and he decided that he could make me something like it for quite a bit less. He's so handy that way! So several weeks later it was finished! The picture above is the quilt on the frame DH made. It was ever so handy. I had the quilting done in 2 days! Ahhhhh.... it was great to finally have this thing finished. I hope to never again take this long to complete a craft item. But I can't make any promices. I do have 5 kids after all!

Anyway, sorry the pics are all at the top. I need to learn how to format my posts better. The first one is obviously a close up of the butterflies (it's kinda hard to make out, but the butterflies are quilted with metalic thread), the 2nd one is of the quilt in DD's room, and the 3rd one is of the quilt on the frame made by DH.


Friday, January 18, 2008

I've been kitting up a storm!

While I plan to post on fewer than 15 items in future posts here are the pics that I have of my somewhat recently completed knit projects.
Also, I have made some new year's resolutions. One of them is to write something on my blog more often than I did last year. That should be easy because last year I had a total of about 3 entries! Another of my resolutions was to use up most of my yarn stash before buying yarn, unless it was needed to complete a project that I was making from my stash. Ummmm.... I already broke that one! LOL!! I couldn't help it! There are just too many great projects on Craftster that I want to make, and one only gets a limited number of 50% off and 40% off coupons to Michael's and Jo-Ann's in a lifetime! If you don't use them you loose them right!?
While I did buy yarn, at least I have been widdling away at my stash. I think I've been using it faster than I've been buying it. I bought 3 skeins, and I've used about 5 or so. I got some caron simply soft for a cute sweater that I hope to be able to finish and post about b-4 it gets too warm to wear it, and some bernat's cotton tots for facecloths. I have discovered that I love to knit facecloths because they're quick and can be so cute! And I love to wash my face with them. I've also knit up a sweater on my Ultimate Sweater Machine that Santa brought me for Christmas (I was a good girl!), a hat also on the USM (it's a little big), 2 purses, nearly 3 pair of slippers, hats for all the kids and my neice (plus one that was going to be for my sister that turned out too small), 3 sweaters for the girls, mittens for my 2yo, and a washable pad for my swiffer wet jet. I think that's all I've knit since I last posted.
And DH thought this would be a passing phase! LOL! I think this new found obcession is here to stay!
Have a great day!