Knitting

Pink Poof Dress for Barbie

Barbie needed a new outfit — and I needed a sense of accomplishment, so I set out to make this dress for her this evening.

Barbie Pink Poof DressIt was easy enough to make, and I’ll probably (maybe) make a pattern for it soon, but in the meantime, here are the basics:

The pleats are made by alternating panels of stockinette and reverse stockinette stitch, which I decrease by one stitch on either side of each panel at regular intervals.

The bodice is cut straight across, and the sleeves are attached to the sides of the bodice, with the seam completed to the end from the bodice. If I do make a pattern out of this, I probably will place the sleeves further in, toward the middle of the bodice.

I made this from my stash, and it took less than 50 yards of yarn. I knit it straight across, with a seam in the back and a snap (or two) to hold it together (I’ve discovered there’s no need for a lot of snaps — the little ones playing with the dolls don’t care, and it takes a lot of time to sew them on, not to mention snapping and unsnapping them as you dress the doll.)

Even if I never do make a pattern, and frankly, I don’t sell that many, so it’s a lot of effort for minimal return, it’s nice to have these Barbie clothes lying around. The last time I gave some away, it was to a little girl whose family lived in an abandoned storefront. The child was going through counseling for sexual abuse, and had nothing to call her own but a few dolls her mom bought at Goodwill. She was thrilled with the new clothes.

If you think you have nothing, there’s always someone worse off.

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Knitting

Colorado Hat

I’ve been going a little bit hat crazy lately and making a number of knit caps for charity giving next winter. The watch cap pattern has gotten lots of use, and since I’ve already posted a couple of times with Watch Caps, I’ll refrain from boring you and doing it again.

Speaking of boring…those Watch Caps can get tedious to make. I HAD to try something new, and I wasn’t in the mood to forage through all of my patterns and find just the right hat for the yarn in my stash. Instead, I found some designs in one of my oh-so-valuable Vogue Knitting Stitchionaries, this one, Volume III, Color Knitting.

Colorado HatOf course there had to be the right number of stitches in the pattern repeat, and I struggled a little with that one. I finally ended up decreasing two stitches before working on the main design, which they’d named “Colorado” (hence the name of the hat).

(You may be thinking it would have been easier to find a pattern that was already written rather than doing all this calculating, but in this case, it was so much easier to pull that Stitchionary out and put it in my lap rather than search online or go through all my pattern books.)

There are 20 stitches in the pattern repeat, and I had cast on 102 (multiple of six). I did the border at the bottom in a multiple of six, kind of winging it as I went along, but I’m pleased with the results. After finishing that border, I decreased the extra two stitches.

Of course with stranded knitting you end up with a tighter weave than straight stockinette stitch, so the hat was a little on the small side, but still within the range for a woman’s hat. Hey, it fits me, and I usually need a larger hat size. Well, sort of fits me. An extra inch or two would fit better.

I used Ella Rae Classic Solids in a Worsted Weight (Red) as well as Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (Off White), also in a worsted weight. Now, this was a stash project, and I didn’t have two superwash yarns to use, so this hat will have to be hand-washed. I hesitate to donate hand-wash items to charity since I don’t have care instructions on them, but if I do give this one away on our Giving Tree, I’m going to trust that most adults don’t need to wash their hats too often.

I didn’t use all of either skein, in fact, I would guess I used about ¾ of the red and less than half of the off-white.

The ribbing was 1 ½” of twisted rib. I love the look of twisted rib!! I also took a cue from my last sweater project and had a rolled border above the ribbing — since this was knit in the round, that would be Knit 2 rounds, Purl 2 rounds, Knit 2 rounds.

The hat was 7″ before I began the decreases, and generally I’m partial to working at least 8″. However, I’ve discovered a lot of hat patterns have you work only 7″, and I was able to pull this one down over my ears when it is was finished — my all-important test!!

Overall, I’m pleased with the results. This may go in my “gift” pile and not “charity giving” pile! I’m low on gift hats.


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Knitting

Easy Knit Hat for Charitable Giving

My latest design — a modification of an earlier pattern for children, now sized for adults and teens.

Orange HatThis is a super-simple,quick-to-knit pattern I designed specifically for charitable giving. My church has a “giving tree” each year at Christmas, and items donated there are distributed to those who visit the food bank. Over the year, I try to knit up several hats for this project, and they go quickly.

This one is so bright and fun, I expect it will be popular. The yarn I used was Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, and while I prefer to use machine washable yarns for charitable giving, this one distinctly is not superwash. However, adults are less likely to need to wash their hats, so I decided to take a chance.

Besides, the yarn was given to me by a relative who has given up knitting and was clearing out her stash. This seemed like a good use for it.

I added a pompom by creating my own pompom maker. I learned something in the process — don’t add the different colors in layers, or you’ll end up with stripes, like I did. I liked the look well enough to keep it, but it’s not a traditional multi-color pompom.

Making a pompom is easy, although I need to learn a better way to attach it. This one doesn’t feel very secure.

You can download the pattern here or find it on Ravelry as “Millie’s Kids’ Cap for Adults.”

Knitting

Red and White Toque Part 2

Well, the first attempt with this pattern (see my last post) was less than successful, and never one to stay away from a challenge, I tried again with different yarn. I also held the white yarn on my left side this time, since it appears that’s my dominant color side in stranded knitting these days. Somewhere along the line that switched…hmmm….

red and white toque woolAnyway, I used Cascade 220 Superwash (worsted weight) this time, with much better results. Still, there are other fair isle patterns I’ve made that are so much prettier. I had a post last December in which I compared different yarns I used for one pattern. Hopefully I got the image problems I was having before with that post corrected! If there are still problems, please let me know. I’m not sure I can correct them at this point, but I’ll try.

I went up a needle size because the pattern was pretty small — finished size of 18″ diameter, that’s small for an adult woman, — and lots of ladies in my family wear larger hat sizes.

I will add a pompom, I think. This hat really needs one. I’m not generally a pompom gal, but I think I’ll make an exception here.

I’m not sure if this will end up in the donate pile with the other one or not. It’s a very pretty hat, I’m happy with the results, it’s just that there are other hats I’ve made that I’m happier with. It would make a great “giving” hat. It’s machine washable, warm and pretty.

The pattern was in the Fall 2015 Vogue Knitting. It’s really easy, I mean really easy, one of the easiest fair isle patterns I’ve ever done.

 

Background Image Credit: © Hasloo Group Production Studio — Fotolia