Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Baby Afghan Pattern

I've had a number of requests for the pattern that I'm using to make baby afghan squares. It is really more a method than a pattern, and can be found many places on the web and in books and magazines. The one I'm using is based on the one Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting posted and the one at knitting-and.com (here's the stockinette version and the garter stitch version). Read Kay's post about sewing them together and see these other squares you can make to go with the simple mitered ones for variety.

Now that I've given credit where credit is due, I will tell you how I'm making the squares for my baby afghan, because you know every knitter changes things to suit her own requirements.

First of all, I am using yarns of 2 different weights. That is because I am trying to use up some yarns in my stash. This works because I make each square the same way. I knit the worsted and DK yarns in the same rows in every square. I change the colors but not the weight from square to square.

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton (Kitchen Cotton), Lily Sugar n'Cream or other worsted weight cotton or cotton blend yarn; Plymouth Wildflower DK, Tahki Cotton Classic or other DK weight cotton or cotton blend yarn.

Needles: I'm using size 6 US/4.25mm

Gauge: Not very important as long as all the squares are the same. Mine is about 18 stitches to 4"/10cm for worsted, 20 stitches to 4"/10cm for Dk as measured from the afghan square. My squares measure about 5 1/4 inches or 13.4 cm

If you need any help with techniques, visit KnittingHelp.com for great how-to videos.

Begin: With worsted weight yarn cast on 48 stitches.

Row 1: Knit 22, K2tog, K2tog, Knit 22; 46 stitches.
Row 2: Knit across row.
Row 3: Knit 21, K2tog, K2tog, Knit 21; 44 stitches.
Row 4: Knit across row.
Row 5: Change to DK weight yarn, Knit 20, K2tog, K2tog, Knit20; 42 stitches.
Row 6: Knit across row.
Row 7: Twist yarns at edge of work, Knit 19, K2tog, K2tog, Knit 19; 40 stitches.
Row 8: Knit across row.

Continue working decreases on odd numbered rows and knitting even on even numbered rows, changing yarns every 4 rows.

Row 41: Change to worsted weight yarn and cut DK weight yarn about 4-6 inches long; Knit 2, K2tog, K2tog, Knit 2; 6 stitches.
Row 42: Knit across row.
Row 43: Knit 1, K2tog, K2tog, Knit 1; 4 stitches.
Row 44: Knit across row.
Row 45: K2tog, K2tog; 2 stitches.
Row 46: Slip stitch purl-wise, Knit second stitch, pass slipped stitch over stitch just knit; 1 stitch. Cut yarn, leaving a tail about 12 inches long for sewing up later, pull end through stitch loop.

Make 60 squares to make a rectangle about 31.5 inches x 52.5 inches without borders. (you'll want to add borders)
Or make 36 squares to make a blanket 31.5 inches square that would be perfect for preemies or small newborns.
Or you can get really ambitious and make 192 squares for a twin-to-full sized blanket about 63"x84".

Weave in the ends of the DK weight yarn and the short cast-on end of the worsted weight yarn. Use the remaining long end of the worsted weight yarn to sew the squares together into larger blocks using matress stitch. Sew the larger blocks together using kitchener stitch.

Borders: I'll get into this in a later post.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Boxes and Needles and Squares

We're tripping over fewer boxes here but it feels like it's taking forever to find homes for all the things we unpack. I have finally found the main collection of knitting needles. Not to be confused with the little collections of needles from this or that group of projects. Or the pencil cup full of miscellaneous mismatched needles. I mean the drawer full of needles, you know, where they all belong but don't always get put away to. That one. Where you can always find something in the right size for the new thing you want to knit. So, now I have the needles I need to knit the new yarn into something wonderful, I hope.

Meanwhile there was substitute knitting done on a project that I could find with the needles intact in the bag-the afghan squares. The addicting afghan squares. The squares you find yourself knitting in your dreams. It's all Kay's fault, she started it.

With all this busy-ness around here to keep me, well, busy, I still haven't forgotten the deadline for Back-Tack. I did indeed mail my chosen fabrics to my Back-Tack buddy. I won't say who it is, and I won't post a picture (yet) because this is supposed to be a surprise and all that. I will say that it was a lot of fun choosing nifty stuff for someone else to work with.

I am waiting to receive my package, and I'm trying to wait patiently, but I am soooo excited about the project and I have so many ideas and I can't wait to get started! I have contented myself so far with lurking around everyone else's websites hoping to catch a peek of the packages that others have gotten. Oh drool. Oh, yes, and shopping of course. One must shop for notions and other lovelies in anticipation. Indeed.

Addendum: Here's the photo, now that the identities of participants have been revealed.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Settling in and Stash Enhancement

I must say that it has been very busy around here. Getting settled in takes a lot of work. We have found and unpacked enough of the gear of everyday life to begin functioning in our new digs. We're still tripping over boxes, but we can cook meals!

I heard some news that we may be having a new little one in the family. This demands one thing and one thing alone-a trip to the yarn shop! Yes, I know, I have a stash that could choke a horse. Yes, I know, I don't have room for the yarn I already own. But how could I resist A SALE!

Some bright yellow and white Plymouth Dreambaby DK and some multicolor on white Hobby Kids for baby things. A little King Tut cotton to make a summer top for me ;)

That should keep me happy for a bit until I can get my stash unpacked.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Toddler Badger Sweater

...is now complete. The Lion Brand Homespun yarn makes such a soft and cuddly fabric that a child simply can't resist a cozy thing made from it. You can be sure that I will be knitting many things to come from this yarn.

There are boxes everywhere in my new home and I wonder if we will ever get them all unpacked. The house is a little bit larger than our previous one, but to look at all the stuff we've packed and are trying to find homes for you'd think we'd downsized instead. Does everyone else experience this phenomenon when they move?

While shopping for various hardware and odds and ends that were needed in the house, we found a few things for the outside of the house as well. A few dwarf citrus trees and a beautiful jasmine to scent the patio area and some vegetables to grow in pots to entertain the little one. What fun!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Knitting While Moving

...doesn't really work very well. I do manage to find bits of time here and there to work on some simple repetitive knitting, however.

This is a modified version of Meg Swansen's Badger Sweater from Knitter's Magazine Summer 1988. (The pattern is available from Schoolhouse Press as Spun-Out #19. Go, buy it, it's only a buck.) I knitted the sweater all in one piece in a toddler size 2. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun in Seaspray color. The body has taken just a smidge more than one skein of yarn. I am working on the hood while waiting for the various services to be installed in my new home.

I do apologize for the infrequency of my posts right now. I am busy, busy, busy. Moving is such a chore!