Little snapshots

That was one of the longest unintended blog breaks I’ve taken – oops! I wish it was for some exciting reason, like gallivanting around the world or working on super exciting secret projects. Alas, I’ve just been very busy at work.

Fortunately, for my own sake, I’ve been able to carve a little time here and there to do some knitting. For starters, I’m nearly done knitting the Twisted Tree Pullover.

So far it’s looking somewhat taller and skinnier than I anticipated. Maybe I messed something up when I re-did the instructions for a smaller size, or maybe it will bloom and stretch once blocked. I’ll know soon!

I plan to give this cardigan the Budgie treatment, so I ordered some zippers from Zipperstop and picked up a few grosgrain ribbon options.

I may wait a bit to install the zipper, though, because I’m very close to finishing another zippered cardigan! Might as well do the two zipper installations together.

This is #982 Babies Neck Down Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. Yes, I plan to put a zipper into this one, too. Is it strange that I think installing a zipper is way simpler than dealing with a button band/buttons? I don’t mean it’s physically easier – a good zipper installation takes a bit of finesse – but it’s simpler to execute because there are fewer choices to make (how many buttons, what kind of button holes and how many stitches apart, which buttons, what kind of button band, etc.).

I’m using the hand-dyed cormo/nylon blend from Foxhill Farm that I showed you earlier, and it’s working out much better in this simple stockinette pattern than in a more complicated stitch pattern.

Not that the stitch pattern has to be that complicated to compete with the hand-dyed variegation! An insightful reader named Kata recently left a comment regarding this. She said, “I think that reverse stockinette by default is more pattern-like than stockinette and this competes with the color changes in the yarn.” I never thought about it this way, but I think she’s right!

Lastly, I’m excited to get crocheting on some potholders! That’s right: the third annual potholder swap is in full swing (on Ravelry, on Flickr), and I’ve got some new skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic calling my name.

I don’t know exactly what pattern I’ll use this year. There are a few classic and stylish options in the “Handmade Crochet Book” that I used last year (I bought my copy of the book here on eBay). I want to try a shape other than a square, though, which is what I ended up using last year and the year before. This is not the first time I’m making that resolution, so we’ll see if it actually happens ;).

19 thoughts on “Little snapshots

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  1. Seanna Lea

    I love the babies neck down cardigan. It is so simple that the color and variegation in the yarn get to show through (and it looks perfect for zippers).

  2. Linda Cannon

    Love the sweaters. I made the Realsimple baby sweater much the same way you did and put a zipper in it. Loved the way it turned out, it was for 2 little boys, the only thing I did a little different was put a ribbed band and then the hood, then I extended the zipper up in the band about half the length of the band. It helps the hood stay on without any ties. The 2 moms of the boys loved the way that worked. One of the sweaters I did in stripes and the other was a plain blue variegated yarn like yours.

    I hope your sweater ends up being the right size for you, I usually make everything too big.

    I am finally going to use the yarn I won from your drawing. I got the new book that uses 1 skein of sock yarn. Thank you again.

  3. Teish

    Ohhh, love the blue cardigan! I’ve only ever done one zippered baby sweater, but sewing in the zipper wasn’t as scary as I’d thought. :-) I’ll bet the green one will block out wider. Anytime I have traveling stitches or cables, my knitting tends to look pretty narrow to me until I block it.

  4. Terri

    I look forward to the potholders. I always need the and never thought to make them. do you have a pattern for a chemo cap made with fingering weight or cotton sock wool?

  5. Maryse

    Those two little cardi will be super cute with zippers! It’s a great alternative to buttons, I’ve never sewn a zipper… Great colors too!

  6. flaky

    I’ve converted to zippers, too. The “girls” tend to stretch cardigans & the button bands wind up all wonky.

    But I do love the pretty buttons out there. On a few of my cardigans that got stretched out, I’ve sewn the button band together so its secretly a pullover. No one has ever noticed while I am wearing them – and that includes my knitting guild!

  7. Sarah

    You’ll need to block the bejeezus out of the Twisted Tree to get the SS/RS transition to lie flat, by which time I think you’ll find it looks a little plumper. I did go back and build extra ease into the pattern because the prototype was for a skinny boy, but I couldn’t bring myself to make it as baggy as the Craft Council standard sizes suggest (yes, kids grow fast, but lengthwise more than widthwise, and it isn’t 1986 anymore…), so it will probably be a slightly slimmer sweater than some. For what it’s worth, I’m finding I erred on the side of too boxy in knitting for my daughter before she was born. She’s got longer arms and a svelter middle than I would have guessed despite being on the upper third of the percentile charts.

  8. Abby

    Beautiful sweaters! But the idea of installing a zipper terrifies me. I’m a pretty advanced knitter, but my sewing is greatly lacking. Good luck!!

  9. Lindsey @ Yarnia

    That Twisted Tree is turning out beautiful! And thanks for the ZipperStop link — I actually don’t have a good source for zippers now that I’m starting to add them to my work a lot more as well, so this is great to know about!

  10. Elaine

    Knitting Daily recently posted a video of Eunny Jang using a fabulous technique for installing zippers. (Can’t find the exact date) It involves a latch hook, but then it’s a really simple 3 needle bind-off. I have hand sewn all my zippers in, but plan to use this new method very soon. Love both your sweaters!

  11. sandra

    I was looking at last Novembers Knitting Simply magazine tonight and realised I hadnt visited your site that was featured in there on page 77. So glad I came to look. Its a smashing site and I will be visiting again. Looking forward too to seeing the tree of life garment when totally finished.

  12. Maureen

    When my kids were babies, my favorite sweater was a hooded one that zipped up the entire length of the back. So easy to put on and off, but I haven’t been able to find a pattern that’s the same. I should just get brave and steek and entire back…including the hood. The sweater is adorable, and is nice and “cozy” around the neckline…no wind or cold temperatures are going to get in there! :)

  13. Maureen

    When my kids were babies, my favorite sweater was a hooded one that zipped up the entire length of the back. So easy to put on and off, but I haven’t been able to find a pattern that’s the same. I should just get brave and steek and entire back…including the hood. The sweater is adorable, and is nice and “cozy” around the neckline…no wind or cold temperatures are going to get in there! :)

  14. WendyBee

    I can’t help but love the color. Green has always been my favorite! (Followed by coral, followed by cornflower blue.) I especially love the Budgie sweater. Beautiful!

  15. Pat

    Glad that you are back and that all is well. (Prolonged silences make one concerned) The sweaters are beautiful!

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