Friday, April 29, 2011

A little unspun fun!

Well, it's been 3 1/2 months since I set up my new blog.  Have I blogged on it?  No.  Have I moved forward with a name change to my store?  No to that too.  I'm still not sure on the name change for my online shop.  Regardless, I feel the new name for at least my blog is very fitting to me!

I have, however, been weaving and knitting up a storm.  I have 3 new patterns I'm working to write up.  I've joined a new Congo, Bitty Fluff.  And, just yesterday, I started spinning.  My wheel should arrive Tuesday, but for now, I'm playing with a spindle.

Before my spindle arrived, some fiber arrived on Monday.  I was excited to work with it, and thought I could use some practice in drafting.  So, I decided to knit up something little and quick with some of the unspun BFL top I received.  I drafted out the fiber a bit, to about pencil roving thickness, and cast on wildly.  Here's the little item I came up with!

fun 003 by freckle432

fun 004

fun 005

Definitely an unpolished and very simple item.  Although, Jackie has declared I must make her one too, since Ella's doll is wearing this one.  And, it must be made in "cute colors too!"  So, I'll be repeating the process soon with another color.

I shared these pics on Hyena Cart Forums and was asked if I had a pattern so the other mom could knit one for her daughter's American Girl Doll.  Since I just did a quick raglan knit, I don't think a true "pattern" for this is warranted.  However, I am happy to share a quick on-the-fly pattern for the bitty sweater.  So here it is.

~~~~ Freckle's Unspun Dolly Cardi/Jacket ~~~~

Required Materials
• Size 11 16" Circular Needle
• 4.5-5.5 mm Crochet Hook for weaving in ends
• button that is small enough to fit through knit stitch (no button hole is created)

• 1.5-2 oz BFL Top Spinning Fiber drafted out to pencil roving thickness or just a touch thinner (or start out with Pencil Roving from your favorite Fiber shop, or use a bulky/chunky yarn)

3.5 spi and 5 rpi

Doll.... shown here on a 14" Waldorf doll.  Also fits a regular sized Build a Bear, only a bit more tightly.  Here's a pic on the Build a Bear.

CO - Cast On
K - Knit
P - Purl
SM - Slip Marker
KFAB - Knit Front and Back
BO - Bind Off Loosely
P2tog - Purl 2 together

And the pattern:
CO 24
Row 1:  K 5, PM, K 3, PM, K 8, PM, K 3, PM, K 5
Row 2:  Purl
Row 3:  *Knit to one stitch before the marker, KFAB, SM, KFAB* repeat to end
Row 4:  Purl
Repeat Rows 3-4 until you have 80 stitches (or 22 stitches in the back section)
Row 5:  K 12, Remove Marker, BO 17, Remove Marker, K 22, Remove Marker, BO 17, Remove Marker, K 12
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: (P 1, K 3) x 5, P2tog, K 3 (P 1, K 3) x 5, P 1
Row 9:  *K 1, P 3* repeat to last stitch, K1
Row 10: *P 1, K 3* repeat to last stich, P1
Repeat Rows 9-10 7 times.
Bind Off in pattern.

Use a crochet hook to weave in your ends.
Add a button just above the start of the 3x1 ribbing.
Wash and block (or don't.... the sample has not been).
Give to your daughter to adorn her dolly or teddy bear!

**** Use this pattern for whatever you like.  If you chose to sell one of these sweaters, please just give me credit.  And if you'd like, send me some chocolate.  ;-) ******

Freckle Soaker Sack

While I was at it, adding the Unspun Cardigan, I thought I'd go ahead and share my Freckle Soaker Sack pattern.  I've shared it via email to any who have asked in the past, but have never polished it to Adobe format for publishing.  So, here it is.... quick and dirty!

zesntring stocking 002 by freckle432

Freckle Soaker Sack

Approximate Measurements:
Waist: 12”
Hips: 15 ½”
Length:  10”

Waist:  15”
Hips:  18”
Length:  12-13”

Stitch Counts:
Waist – “waist” x “gauge” – round to multiple of 4
Hips – “hips” x “gauge” – round to multiple of 4

For the Preemie/NB size, use Double Points, 2 Circulars, or Magic Loop.  For the NB/Small size, 16” circulars will work fine.

Determine gauge and calculate stitch counts.  Since sleep sacks may be used at night, and new babes pee a lot and are on their back a lot, a slightly denser fabric than you would normally use for diapering woolies might be helpful.  For example, if you are working with a worsted yarn you’d normally work up on 7’s, you might size down to 6’s.  Or, use a bulkier weight yarn and knit at whatever gauge you normally would.

Cast on, using needles 2-3 times small than those you used to find gauge, “Waist” stitches, join being careful not to twist.  Work one round of 2x2 rib, place marker at beginning of the round “A”.  This will be the left hip.  Continue to work 2x2 ribbing for 1”.  Work an eyelet round (K2, YO, P2tog around.)  Continue with 2x2 ribbing for another inch.

Set up Hip/Body:
Begin working in stockinette this round, increasing evenly to “Hip” stitches.  I like to use a bar increase as it’s hidden by the ribbing.    Switch to larger needles by knitting onto them.  Place stitch markers ¼ of the way around “B” and ½ of the way around “C”.  You now have the center back “B” and right hip “C” marked.

Work about an inch of the body.   Work 1 set of back and forth short rows (aka EZ short rows.) 

To do this knit to 5 stitches past B, wrap & turn (or your choice of short row method), purl back past B to 5 stitches past B, W&T, knit to 10 stitches past B, W&T, purl back past B to 10 stitches past B, W&T, continue in this manner increasing 5 stitches past B each row until you reach the hips.

Continue working in stockinette until the front of the Sack reaches 8(10)” from cast on row.

Bottom Ribbing:
Switch to smaller needles.  Decrease 4 stitches evenly around.  Work 3x1 ribbing until Sack reaches 10(12-13)” from beginning.  Bind off in pattern using larger needles.

Weave in ends, make a drawstring and work into eyelet round, wash/block, and find a babe to wear the sack!