and sometimes things just work out!


Earlier this week, I was able to knit with some friends of mine from knitting guild, which was a lot of fun. The only thing I had left to do on M’s cardigan was the button band, and of course, the thought of counting stitches and doing a bunch of math while knitting with my buddies didn’t seem too appealing, so instead, I just decided to wing it (yes, I know, this was crazy). I started knitting the row in which I’d be putting buttonholes, and just eyeballed it. I figured 5 stitches in from the bottom looked good, and thought a 4 stitch buttonhole looked nice, and thought that they looked right if I put them 12 stitches apart. And guess how many stitches I had left over when I knit the 6th buttonhole? 5 stitches! I couldn’t have gotten more perfect spacing if I’d tried!

Almost done! Just gotta weave in ends and block. (And find 6 hot pink buttons.)

I don’t actually recommend the “just eyeball it!” approach – I’m not sure what part of my brain thought that the ripping and reknitting that would likely result would be LESS fun than doing a bunch of math while chatting with my friends (the better plan would’ve been to bring a project in a state that did not require full attention!), but I’m super delighted that it worked out this time. It’s kinda neat to see that my intuitions about spacing are actually pretty solid.

Very happy with the reknit bottom hem and the garter stitch button bands w/i-cord edging.

Before knitting the button bands, I implemented the bottom hem reknit plan that I described in my previous post, and it worked great. More stitches, a bigger needle for the corrugated rib, and a smaller one for the standard rib/tubular bind-off. The whole thing lays flat now – there’s no awkward pulling apart at the fronts. Hooray!

Now all that’s left is weaving in ends, blocking, and finding 6 hot pink buttons!


two steps forward, 3 steps back?


Sometimes that’s the way of things, ain’t it? I finished sleeve number one on M’s Stripes! cardigan, but the entire time I was knitting it, I had a sinking feeling about the bottom hem on the body:


See how it’s pulling in at the bottom? It’s not supposed to. The corrugated rib at the bottom is pulling in even more than I anticipated, and there’s also some weirdness at the tubular bind-off, which has a larger effective gauge than the rib.

It’s even more obvious in this photo of the opening at the front (I’ll be adding a button band):


And you can get a better sense for the gauge compression that happens in the corrugated rib but not the standard rib/tubular bind-off in this photo, I think:


And yet, the sleeve cuff seems to be working out quite lovely:


Why the difference? I think it’s a few things: for one, the cuff is in the round, which doesn’t provide as much opportunity for weird “flipping”. The other thing that I think is affected by it being in the round is my corrugated rib gauge in general – I strongly suspect that I knit that particular sort of rib tighter when knitting back and forth than when knitting in the round on DPNs, so there wasn’t as much compression. But also, there’s the fact that you kind of DO want a sleeve cuff to pull inward, just a bit, whereas that’s less desirable in a bottom hem (I mean, it can be a deliberate design choice, but it isn’t, here).

So, I’m going to rip back to just before the vikkel braid and reknit. Here’s my plan:

1. On the final row before the braid, increase MORE than I did last time. I had used the increase ratio that I’ve used in babyStripes!, both those are different yarns at different gauges on different needle sizes, and clearly I need to increase a bit more here. I increased after every 7 stitches before (turning 7 stitches into 8) but I think what I actually need is to alternate increasing after every 5 stitches and increasing after every 6 stitches (turning 11 stitches into 13)

2. Use a larger needle for the vikkel braid and the corrugated rib, before switching back to the “normal” needle size for the regular rib/tubular bind-off.

Wish me luck!

another sweater for M


Man, poor Skógafjall keeps falling by the wayside (I’ve got the body and most of a sleeve already knit, at least) while I knit sweaters for smaller people. I just finished one knit for my daughter, and already there’s another one on the needles (it was literally a matter of hours between finishing her red Cobbler and casting on for this):

new Stripes! cardigan for M!

Yep, it’s a Stripes! cardigan. M picked the colors herself from yarn that I had in my stash: Cascade Eco+ in Summer Sky Heather, and Noro Kureyon in color #95. I’m loving how they look together!

Color + Texture.

I can’t get enough of the texture created by doing the contrast color stripes in garter stitch in the yoke. So great!

Already finished with the yoke!

I’ve already finished the yoke, and am knitting the body down first, before knitting the sleeves. I really enjoy making these top-down – not only do I get more of a say over what color is closest to the face this way, but I can also let her try it on as I go, and it makes the way I add the pockets possible.

One of these days, I want to go back to my own top-down Stripes! cardigan. I realized kind of late in the game (like, after knitting the entire body and part of a sleeve) that the proportions just weren’t working great on it, the yoke wasn’t fitting all that well (too baggy, but awkwardly so) and I didn’t like the bind-off I used on the bottom hem either, so I really need to rip it back pretty much to the very beginning. That’s a bummer, but I’m always going to vote for “rip and reknit” over “finish a sweater I won’t actually wear”. And I’ve gotten better at doing top-down yoke math (it’s just the inverse of bottom-up yoke math, but somehow that confounded me initially!) and figuring out the best spots for short rows for my body, so the next go at it should be better.

things i make for maddy: a RED vest! (plus a design brain-dump)


I mentioned in a previous post that I was not going to be buying any yarn for myself for the forseeable future, but would make an exception for yarn for my daughter, especially RED yarn, which I had none of in my stash. I’m not a fan of red, but it’s M’s favorite color, and she’s such an appreciative knitwear recipient that I can’t say no to her requests! Here’s the red item she wanted most:

Doing a pocket quality-control check.

It’s a bigger version of her “Cobbler” Vest, so named because it was inspired by Jared Flood’s Cobblestone sweater. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Ravely Red, which I can attest is VERY VERY red – so red that it’s actually hard to get the camera to focus!

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: from my head, but hopefully will be published sooner rather than later
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in “Ravelry Red”, just a touch over 2 skeins
Needles: Size 7
Time to Knit: 11 days (some of which I was injured and not able to knit)

I’m so delighted with how it turned out – it fits her perfectly! (I don’t know why I’m always so surprised about this, given that I measure and do math and whatnot, but still it’s always a delight!)

She saw her new vest drying on the porch and wanted to put it on while she checked the mail :)

As you can see, the bottom hem is split at the sides, and the back extends lower than the front does. The front actually gets folded up to create a kangaroo pocket, thanks to i-cord:

Hooray for squishy kangaroo pockets!

Here’s the whole thing, not obscured by my daughter’s hair/hands/etc:

It's blocking!

As I mentioned above, I’m really hoping to publish a pattern for this design. What I’d really like, though, is to put out a collection of “Parent-Child” knits, because I’ve actually knit quite a few things in both me-versions and M-versions, and when I counted them up yesterday, there are something like 8 different designs, most of which I’ve already knit a test version of for me and/or M, that I could put in that collection. My problem, though, is that I’ve not actually published a single pattern since 2011 (observant readers will note that as as the year M was born, which is not a coincidence!) so I don’t really know or remember how to take a design from my brain to publication, and I *certainly* don’t know how to do that with a whole collection of them! There’s also the time factor – I can knit and design a fair amount in the summer, but once the school year starts and I’m teaching full time, that kind of goes out the window.

Basically, here’s my list:
1. Cobbler Vest (which also could have a long-sleeved variant)
2. Garter Rib Cardigan (which also could have a pullover variant and needs a better name)
3. Stripes! Cardigan, top-down (this one could go all the way down to baby sizes)
4. Bohus Yoke Pullover (needs a better name; I’d base the colorwork of the grown-up version on what I did on M’s sweater because I like it better than my original one!)
5. Top-Down Set-In Sleeved Striped Pocket Pullover (*definitely* would need a better name! Also still torn on whether to do adult version in sport weight or worsted, though I suppose if I do variants on other patterns, why not both?)
6. Curvilinear Hat + Mittens (this pattern is virtually ready to go; it also would pair really nicely with the Cobbler pattern, I think)
7. Sullivan (adult version already published through BT’s Wool People but I retain rights to it; I have ideas both for a sport-weight kids’ version AND a worsted-weight tunic with a kangaroo pocket)
8. Vahtralehed (I’ve already published the adult version; my thought for kids’ version is to do maybe one with a single maple leaf at the back and top-down set-in sleeves, in sport weight?)
9. I also have a design that I’ve never had a chance to knit up that involves roositud and nupps.

So looking at it, I have things that involve garter stitch or garter rib (1, 2, 6), I have things that involve yokes (1, 3, 4, 8, 9), I have things that involve top-down knitting (1, 3, 5, 6), I have things that involve Estonian techniques like nupps and roositud and vikkel braids (3, 7, 8, 9) but these are all intersecting sets. I also notice that all but the last 3 are potentially unisex patterns, which I think is super cool. I’m open to any and all advice about how to make these things a reality!