She Knits: JB’s Flax Sweater

I’ve kept to my plan for each child of mine to have a handmade sweater and hat each winter. This one is JB’s for 2018-19 winter.

Pattern Info
Flax by TinCanKnits
Size: 4-6 years, 24″ finished bust

TinCanKnits is one of my favorite knitwear designers. Their patterns are clearly written, usually intuitive, and easy to follow. This sweater is one of their most basic patterns. The only “interesting” detail is the garter stitch panel along the outer sleeves.

I wish I had thought ahead and added either a reverse stockinette stitch design on the front (like an evergreen tree silhouette) or added the garter panels along the sides of the body. As it is, it is rather plain.

I knit the 4-6 year size to give him enough positive ease to wear this over a shirt in the winter. However, the sleeves and body are about 2″ too long, right now. I hope he might have a growth spurt in height before winter, so I decided not to pull out the edges and shorten them.

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted
100% wool
3.68 skeins = 404.8 yds used
Colorway: evergreen

This is a basic worsted wool yarn that holds up very well and is warm. This sweater will be great to wear outdoors over a long sleeve shirt or as a layering piece with a coat on very cold days.



She Knits: Presley’s Rainbow Fish

A rainbow hat for a “rainbow baby” is all well and good — but it being a winter item, I thought Presley could use a rainbow something for her earliest days. A fish just seemed to suit.

Progression Info
Started – February 20
Completed – February 21
Duration – 1 day

Pattern Info
Knit Fish by Kathy Lewinski

This pattern was interesting. It is sufficient — obviously, I have a fish, after all! But I found it lacking somewhat in direction. The pattern is not clear regarding how the tail should be sewn up or how, exactly, to pick up stitches for the fins on an already-stuffed fish! I figured out a way, but I’m not sure if there was an easier one I missed. I ended up leaving the tail open. I seamed along the place where the body and tail meet.

I made the stripes even by counting the total number of rows and dividing by the number of colors. I was able to get 13 rounds of each color besides green, in the main body. I used purple for the tail and fins.

Yarn Info
Arctic Yarns Merino Sock
75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
Colorway – rainbow mini skeins
0.23 skeins = 106.5 yds used

still have some of these rainbow colors left. Ha! I have less than a gram of red or purple, but about 11 grams between the orange, yellow, blue, and indigo. I’m still pondering what to do with the rest.


She Knits: Presley’s Rainbow Hat

My dear friend is due the same day as me… also with her third… also a girl. 🙂 She miscarried a baby last year, so this one is her “rainbow baby” (a successful pregnancy after a loss). I wanted to commemorate this by knitting something in rainbow colors.

This is my first gift knit of the year!

Progression Info
Started – February 15
Completed – February 19
Duration – 4 days

Pattern Info
Basic Hat Pattern by Ann Budd
The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (Amazon)

I used the “6-18 month” size for this hat so that it would fit next winter. I modified the pattern significantly to knit it top-down instead of bottom-up. I simply cast on the final number of stitches and worked the pattern backward, substituting a kfb increase for every k2tog decrease. I also lengthened the crown shaping by working an extra row between increase rows. If the pattern said no plain knit rounds, I knit one; if it said 1, I knit 2. I also worked the main body a bit longer, about 5.5″ between the crown shaping and the ribbing (I have found Budd’s basic hat to be too shallow). I knit 12 rounds of ribbing (about 1.25″), and bound off with JSSBO.

I used the slip stitch method of creating jogless stripes (slip the first stitch of the second round of each color), and I’m very happy with how that “seam” looks in the hat.

I’m happy with the final outcome and hope it fits well next winter. 🙂

Yarn Info
Arctic Yarns Merino Sock
75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
Colorway – rainbow mini skeins (7 colors)
0.29 skeins = 134.2 yds used

I won a set of 7 mini skeins (10 grams each) in rainbow colors in a knit-a-long a couple of years ago. I am not much of a rainbow person, and with such a small amount (just 70 grams, compared to the usual 100 grams used in a pair of women’s size socks), I didn’t know what to do with it. It languished in my craft storage, nagging at me to find a use for it. Well, I did! I’m happy I saved it so long because this was a great project for it.

I already used some of the green in my Frasier Fir Socks, which is why that stripe is so small. But my friend thought the hat would look better with a small stripe of green than with no green at all.



these colors are difficult to photograph — especially the blue/purple ones!

She Knits: Squirt’s Pink Dress

I found this really cute pattern for a baby dress, so I knit it for Squirt for this summer.

Progression Info
Started – March 14
Completed – March 21
Duration – 7 days = 1 week

This was a quick knit. 🙂 I probably could have knit it in 3-4 days, but I don’t think I knit at all over the weekend during that span of time.

Pattern Info
Clean + Simple Baby Dress by Purl Soho

This is a great pattern. The top section is done in linen stitch — this was my first experience with that. It is basically the eye of partridge stitch pattern I like on my sock heels, except the yarn on the slipped stitches is carried in the front, not in the back. It makes a tight, woven-looking fabric.

The shaping and construction is fairly straight-forward. There was a lot of casting on using the cable cast-on, which I don’t enjoy doing. But it is the most sensible thing to do in those places, so I didn’t consider any alternate methods.

The dress is intended to be worn with the buttons in the back. I made the 0-6 month size, though, and at that age, babies spend the most time on their backs! I think buttons would be uncomfortable in that case, so I put cutesy ladybug buttons on, and she will wear it with them in front. 🙂

Yarn Info
Włóczki Warmii Lenka
100% linen
Colorway – koralowy róż (coral pink)
0.7 skeins = 229.7 yds used

Monaco Ombré Crochet Cotton #8
100% cotton
Colorway – pink
1.2 skeins = 229.7 yds used

I held the linen yarn (left from my Asagi blouse) double with a crochet cotton thread I was given by a very dear friend. The thread is a bright, variegated pink. The solid pink linen helped to tone down the variegation and brightness of the pink. It is a nuisance to me to knit with two yarns together, but I am happy with the outcome. Plus, a linen cotton blend is perfect for summer. She may even be able to wear this as a swim suit cover-up at the lake this year.


She Knits: Pink Asagi Blouse

I was given the yarn and pattern for this project by a dear Polish friend. I was really glad because choosing patterns for yarns is sometimes stressful for me. This came all ready to go, decisions all made for me! Just what I needed. 🙂

Progression Info
Started – November 18, 2017
Completed – March 13
Duration – 115 days = 16.4 weeks

The friend who sent me this yarn and pattern jokes about how fast I knit. She really did not expect this blouse to take me so long and has apologized a few times. 😀 However, it’s been (mostly) fun to knit. The sleeves and yoke were all interesting and quick to knit; the hem, neckline edging, and armhole edgings I knit in just a few days. The miles and miles (OK, so only actually a couple feet) of stockinette body was the least pleasant part.

Of course, I did not knit exclusively on this for the entire 4.5 months, and I let it languish some of those weeks. So there is no telling how much actual knitting went into this. Except, I can say that each round of the body required 10 minutes, and that works out to about 25 hours on just the body itself, from armhole to hem.

Pattern Info
Asagi by Bristol Ivy

I made the XL size for a finished 55 1/4″ bust, which is about 6 1/4″ positive ease for me. This blouse is intended to fit loosely this way.

This design has an interesting construction that I enjoyed working. I could have made one size smaller if I added length to that size, as it fits rather generously under the arms. It does not have quite the V-neck I was expecting — it fits more like a boat-neck. That’s not a bad thing, just different.

I made one major modification to the pattern. It is designed for the front hem to be many inches shorter than the back. With a large bust, I knew it would be even shorter on me, and wouldn’t look very good. I modified the design by adding short rows at the front under the yoke, to add some length there before beginning the plain knitting for the body. However, I did try to stay true to the spirit of the design by not adding so many short rows that the front hem would be equal in length to the back.

(For my non-knitting friends… “short rows” refer to a technique of adding height/length to a piece, without adding width. And I’m going to go into technical detail about how I did this, so you may want to skip down to the Yarn Info section to avoid all the boring details.)

I worked the short rows using the German short row technique. Instead of a traditional wrapped stitch, a nick-named “double stitch” is formed in this technique. For explanatory purposes, I’ll call this the GSR stitch.

I joined the front yokes and back as indicated in the pattern and knit 3 rounds of stockinette. I marked the start of the round (at the bottom of the left armhole), the center of the front, and the middle of the round (bottom of the right armhole). I worked the short rows over the front of the blouse only.

I knit 3 stitches past the front center marker, turned, created the GSR stitch. Then knit to 3 stitches past the front center marker again (on the WS), turned, created another GSR stitch. Then, I knit to the first GSR stitch, worked it according to the German short row technique, then knit 3 more, turned, created a new GSR stitch. I repeated this until I had worked short rows across the entire front of the blouse. (There is a visible “seam” where the short rows were worked, shown below.)


This added about 4 inches to the front of the blouse. It is still longer in the back than the front, as the designer intended, but accommodates my shape better.

Yarn Info
Włóczki Warmii Lenka
100% linen/flax
Colorway – Koralowy róż (coral rose)
3.88 skeins = 1273.0 yds used

This was my first time using linen yarn. It is similar to cotton, in that it is very inelastic. It has no give at all and is very smooth. This is a light fingering weight, which made a lightweight, airy blouse — perfect to wear over a camisole in summer time.

As I knit with this yarn, I worried that it would feel scratchy against my skin, but it doesn’t at all.

I washed this by hand, used the washer to spin the excess water out, then machine-dried it as I do any other clothing. I’m curious to see how the yarn wears over time, whether it softens or “blooms” at all. However, it is perfectly comfortable now!


I didn’t take any pictures of me wearing this because it doesn’t fit, now, as it will in a few months. 😉 But it does fit, even over my baby bump, and is loose enough to lift for breastfeeding, so I expect it will be worn a lot this summer.