Hello blog, its been a while. Since I last saw you…well, the most important thing I did was have a baby, little (BIG) Oliver–a whopping 9 lbs 11 oz at birth. He has kept me fairly busy. Aside from that we started kindergarten for Jesse and a new year of preschool for Charlie. Its been good times. I am getting to know the inside of my car like never before, thanks to the myriad of different carpool lines I’ve been navigating. Here’s a look at my boys right now (last picture day wasn’t our best…but here goes):
But I digress! I came here today to show that despite the lack of blogging, Tot Toppers HAS indeed stayed busy. A slew of new patterns are celebrating this fall. Check ‘em out.
In addition, I’ve been doing some revamping, revising & beauty makeovers to a few patterns. Probably the biggest was the kids version of Gramps Cardigan. This pattern has sneakily moved up the ranks to be one of my most popular and as such, its been knitted a lot, and a few things have been found that I felt like I could clarify a bit. I’ve done so it the pattern but I’ll go into a little more detail on a couple of things here for those that are interested.
Sizing. Reading through some of the Ravelry project comments, I saw a lot of notation that the “pattern runs really small.” Knitters everywhere, please know that I used the exact same set of standards to size this pattern than I do for all my others. My personal preference is for garments to be rather fitted. I do not like for my kids to be sporting big baggy sweaters–therefore, unless otherwise noted, assume that I have not built in a ton of “growing room.” If you want this effect, plan on making that adjustment to your sweater. The sleeves seemed to cause the most issue in this pattern, and I can think of a couple possible reasons for this. First, many of us tend to knit more tightly when working in the round then we do when working back and forth. So, if this is your tendency, your sleeves will come out smaller than intended because your gauge has shrunk up. To make up for this, you can size up a needle for the in-the-round portion. The second reason the sleeve looks small is because of how the cabling is worked. Its set on a reverse stockinette stitch background which makes 4-6 of the stitches seem to disappear under the stockinette portion of the arm as you are knitting it. This however can be solved by blocking and will not actually alter the size of your finished sleeve. Taking all this into account, I did make one substantive change to the pattern and I added a few stitches to the sleeves. It doesn’t hurt for them to be a little roomier, and hopefully this will alleviate concerns!
Cabling & specifically decreasing for the front neckline. I added a couple of notes in the pattern to try and guide you more clearly through this. If you make sure to perform the sleeve & body join when the cables match rows, it will be much easier to keep track of where you are in each cable pattern. Its worth the sleeves being a little longer in order to match them up. Second, I know that some of you would have liked for me to write out exactly how to do the decreases for the fronts. Unfortunately, it is impractical for me to do this. It would be different for every size, and potentially add more confusion instead of helping. I will say this, if the cable is heading toward the neckline, go ahead and let it fade out. If the cable is turning inward, try and maintain it. The best way to do this is by moving your stitches into their post-cabled position on the needle before performing the decrease. So you’d slip the stitches back and forth between your right and left needle instead of moving the stitches as you are knitting them. And if that last sentence confused you, that is just one of the reasons I didn’t attempt to write it out in the pattern :) This pattern is geared at experienced knitters, and thus I’m expecting you to be comfy making some judgment calls. Think of it as a challenge that will grow you as a knitter!
Other patterns that got tweaky makeovers were Dixie Lace Sweater, Sweet Tea Shrug, Carolinian. Still in the works are Betsey’s Braids (you gotta see these new pics!), Sarabeth, Checkered Square Cap, Paisley Patch Scarf. And, did you know that earlier this year Park Hoodie got several new options (including those to make it more boyish)?
Other things that have happened:
Both were lovely and fun and coming in October we have:
Stitches East (Booth 206)
SAFF (BIG NEWS, I’m INSIDE THE ARENA!)
So that was a pretty quick roundup. Excuse my brevity, but children are calling :)