another bear

Two years ago, almost exactly, I posted about a bear vest that I knit as a baby present (for my first cousin twice removed, or whatever, I don’t even know if that’s right). To remind you, this is the one I knit two years ago. It says “paxtyn” but it’s hard to read because he’s narrow in the waist.

i knit for bears

Well, there was another baby this year, and another teddy bear came to live with me for a while and left with a personalized sweater vest. It took me a while to get started on this project but once I got it on the pins all went smoothly. There were no gauge issues this time, and therefore no steek was needed. It’s a simple vest, but cute, I think. My Aunt, who commissioned the vest for her great-grandbaby, says that it’s “displayed” with the other bear. No higher praise for a knitter, right?

This bear vest says “conley” and is knit in the same pattern and yarn so they’re matchy-matchy brothers. I never wrote the pattern down or anything, so when it came time to knit the second vest I referenced the pictures from the first vest. Check him out!

I knit for Bears II

I knit for Bears II

Cute, right? Part of the cuteness is definitely the bears, which I believe were handmade by my Aunt! These guys are family heirlooms and I’m honored to be a part of their story.

the suspender sweater

new sweater

What you need to know about the pattern:

The pattern, Suspender Sweater, is from Knit One Knit All (scroll down), the posthumous garter stitch frenzy book by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  I started this sweater over a year ago. Maggie was smaller then, but there were just a few adjustments needed to make it work with her current size without starting from scratch.  The pattern is written as a regular pattern (with regular directions like, “cast on…sts”) but also has all the information necessary to adjust for any gauge and any size. I figured out my gauge using Nature Spun Sport on size US 4 and went from there.

I experienced a lot of trouble with various aspects of this project, none of which were anyone’s fault but my own, I assure you. First I had trouble picking up stitches. Then I misunderstood the meaning of the word “center”. Next I knit the first sleeve too narrow and didn’t admit this until the sleeve was almost fully knit. After that I knit the second sleeve too long, and really there is no excuse for that sort of thing when you have the first sleeve (complete with easy-to-count stripes!) to compare it to. Finally, I had to unsew one of the woven (garter stitch kitchener) side seams and re-do it because apparently the direction in which you do that trick matters.

But from the very beginning of this project I pictured the finished sweater and thank goodness because that is a lot of roadblocks to overcome. I knew this sweater was going to be The Cutest. And finally this morning I saw the results of all that knitting, unknitting, reknitting, ad nauseum. It’s exactly as cute as I hoped it would be.

What you need to know about the pictures:

Maggie likes the sweater much more than she likes modeling the sweater for pictures. I really wish you could have heard the monologue she performed during our 10 minute photo shoot. It was a lot of “Wouldn’t it be good if we went on the tire swing?” and “I’ll be right back, I need to get my bird!” and “Let’s go over here!” and “I’ll put on this bonnet!” until I was exasperated and had to remind her that I was in charge of the pictures and please do what I say!

Maggie did her own styling, including props.

I took a bunch of pictures and a lot of them are posted here. There are even more in the Suspender Sweater set on flickr.

First, a picture of the underarm; the sleeve (top) is a sewn seam and the side (bottom) is the woven garter stitch. Details. They matter.

new sweater

And now the model, my Maggie.

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

One last picture. When I was ripping out the first sleeve Maggie drew me a surprisingly accurate schematic in order to help me get it right the next time. I was sort of blown away.

Maggie's surprisingly accurate schematic of the sweater I knit her.

I got it right, Mag! Finally!

two shawls

I can’t even remember if I told you about my finished Thalia Shawl. OK, I just did some quick clicking around my blog and did blog about it, but in a post titled Trunk Show, which doesn’t make any sense at all. In that post, I also mentioned the Mystery Shawl I had started.

Yesterday because it wasn’t too hot (just kidding, it was definitely too hot!) I asked my mother-in-law Noreen to model the shawls, both now finished and blocked. She obliged, even without knowing her payment would be wool. And not just any wool, but wool that had already been knitted into a shawl. And a stunning shawl, at that!

Here’s Noreen in the Thalia Shawl, previously blogged about, but only shown blocking on the bed. Now with live human being! And so pretty.

Thalia Shawl Pattern (or buy all three of the Three Graces) on Ravelry
my project on Ravelry

Thalia, modeled

Thalia, modeled

Thalia, modeled

Thalia, modeled

Thalia, modeled

And now for the Mystery Shawl, the one the model got to keep.

TTL Mystery Shawl 2012
my project page on Ravelry

The yarn in this is Rowan Felted Tweed. It could not be a more perfect yarn for this pattern. It’s my favorite yarn ever (sure, I’ve said this before of other yarns, but this time I really mean it!).

Mystery Shawl

Mystery Shawl

Mystery Shawl

And when I told her she could have it…

Mystery Shawl

I should mention that Noreen is not comfortable AT ALL with having her picture taken. Of course, I understand, but I am so happy she agreed to help me out. Shawls look much prettier on people than on beds or picnic tables. Thank you, Noreen!