Something about winter....

I apologize for having been MIA for the last several weeks.  The Holidays had me quite busy.  It has been unseasonably cold up here, even for Minnesota.  Below zero temps mean that my sewing room is a bit of a chilly place to hang out.  That's ok though, because something about winter makes me want to create things with yarn anyway and so I can hang out elsewhere in my house where it is warmer. :)

Part of what has kept me busy during this Holiday season has been making these two sweaters.

I made them as gifts for two of my nieces.  The blue one was crocheted using this pattern.  The pattern was simple enough, but my choice of yarn was not a great one for this project.  I used a baby boucle and it was just hard to work with because it split and frayed a lot.

I had intended to make both nieces sweaters by the crochet pattern, but after making the first and fighting with that yarn the whole time, I decided to change things up a bit for the second one.    I pulled out some lavender Jamie yarn that had been in my stash for a long time and decided to use it up.  I used The Knitter's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters to design this little sweater.  This book is a little tricky to use until you get the hang of it, but once you understand it, it is a lot of fun to sort of have a blank slate pattern to work with. I also love that it has a wide range of sizes and that I can use basically any yarn I want to use and any size needles I have lying around.  I found a pattern stitch from the alphabetical listing at knittingfool.com and used it on the front, sleeves and back.  I left the sleeves 3/4 length.  I made the hood in basically the same way you would turn the heel of a sock.  I picked up an even number stitches along the neck starting 4 stitches in from the front edge and ending 4 stitches from the other front edge.  Knit a flat piece in stockinette about 10 inches or so (this is a girl's size 10) and then short rowed it to turn it just like the heel of a sock.  I broke my yarn when I was done and picked up and knitted 4 rows of knit one, purl one ribbing along the front edge of the hood.  I finished it off by attaching the ends of the ribbing to the neck edge along the 4 stitches that I left when I started the hood.  I thought it turned out pretty cool!  I liked that it didn't leave a seam down the middle of the hood.
So, as you can see, I have been keeping myself busy.  I am currently finishing up a pair of socks that I started more than a year ago... I know, I know.... LOL.  They were started as a gift for someone, but a big boo boo later, I decided to keep them for myself.  :/ My inspiration for finishing them up is actually another idea I have for another pair of socks, and well, I needed the sticks and I needed to clear the stitch count on my counter app on my phone, LOL.  I'll post more on my sock adventures later, but for now... I'm off to graft the toe together for the second sock of this pair to get them finished up! :)

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