martian mischief

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Location: Athens, Georgia, United States

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Zip Up The Back Sweater comments:

It is your knitting gauge rather than the size of yarn you use that determines size. I use the knitting standards sizing charts. So I ran a few numbers with this pattern, which is almost my favorite. I make a few changes in it.

As written, it is a size 12 month size sweater, that is 6 st. and 7.5 rows per inch.

At 5.5 stitches per inch, it is a size 18 mo.
At 5 stitches per inch, it is a size 24 months.
Primary difference between a 24 month and a size 2 is in length.

Now for the lengths use ruler measurements rather than the number of rows.

length to underarm, (underarm to waist) for a size 12 mo. is 3.5 and (3.5)
for size 18 mo is 4 and (4)
for size 2 is 4.5 and (4) Ahhhh.... go ahead, make it a 4.5

On the average another 2 inches is added to the length of a sweater for below the waist and then ribbing is added.

So now for your yarn, baby yarn will make a delicate light weight sweater, sport weight will make an average weight sweater with a soft hand. Worsted weight will make a tighter knit, warmer sweater. Choose whatever one you want and then work on your correct stitches per inch.

Note: difference between a 18 mo and a size 2 is 2 inches around the chest and 1 inch in back waist length. 3 inches in sleeve length.

Changes I make to pattern: knit until center front piece is 10.5 inches across. This will lower armholes about 1/2 inch. Measure for sleeve from center back down to cuff. Make it 17 inches and then add a 2 to 3 inch cuff. This will allow you to fold up the cuff at first and then lower it as the child grows. Benefit--another year of wear. This is the size being worn in the photo of my great grandbaby.

Other changes: I use a 2 stitch garter band on both sides of the zipper. Stitch the zipper in by hand with your stitches at the back of the 2 stitch band. Use a back stitch or picking method. This is the exact amount needed to cover the metal part of the zipper and help eliminate the yarn catching in the zipper. I also put a stitch between the increases along the raglan lines. That's just because I like it that way. Please note: the sweater in the picture is sewn together incorrectly. Match the sides of the sweater on both sides of the zipper. One side should not be longer than the other.

How do I know this stuff? You start with 3 children, then you add 12 grandchildren and follow up with 5 great grandchildren. I've knit more sweaters than I can count.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Here is the pattern I promised you. I will add modifications later. Since today is my birthday, consider it a birthday gift. There is a picture on my 1/21 /07 post, scroll down. I put a teddy bear and pocket on that one and made matching pants.

Zip up the back hoodie

Universal directions for sizes from infant to adult male. (infant, toddler, child, (woman, man, x lge) or 14, 16, 18, (20, 22, 24) inch head sizes)

Measurements needed:

Circumference of head

Circumference of chest at widest part

Back length from neck to waist

Sleeve length from center of neck, across back, down arm with elbow bent to small bone on outside of wrist.

Get yarn estimate for your size from add 1 skein for hood.

Purchase zipper before you start, you may have to adjust pattern depending on zipper.length

4 markers

ruler, tape measure can be used but hard ruler is more accurate.

2 sets of needles after sizes determined from gauge swatch

yarn needle for burying yarn tails.

Sewing needle for sewing in zipper.length

thread or yarn for sewing in zipper

Prepare your gauge swatch in stockinette stitch with needles desired. When you have a fabric you like with your yarn, write down the stitches per inch. You will need the needle size you used for your gauge swatch and needles 2 sizes smaller.

Use needles 2 sizes smaller than you used for gauge swatch and cast on head size times stitches per inch. This number should be divisible by 4 plus 2 extra stitches.

Work in k2, p2 ribing for 1 to 2 inches 1, 1, 1 ½ , (1 ½, 2, 2)

Continue in following sequence for pattern:

  1. k10, rib to last 10 stitches, k10

  2. p10, rib to last 10 stitches, p 10

  3. k10, rib to last 10 stitches, k10

  4. k12, rib to last 12 stitches, k12

  5. p12, rib to last 12 stitches p12

  6. k12, rib to last 12 stitches, k12

Continue in these 3 row sequences adding 2 stitches to the knitting section on each end until you have only 2 stitches remaining in ribbed pattern. End on wrong side row, Bind off loosely. You will have 1 stitch remaining on needle.

Pick up5, 6, 7, (7, 8, 8) inches of stitches (stitches per inch from gauge times No. of inches) along side of hood, cast on 2 inches for under the chin, pick up same number of stitches on other side of hood.

Work 1, 1 ½, 1 ½, (2, 2, 2,) inches of ribbing switch to larger size of needles.

Divide stitches into back, sleeve, front, sleeve, back. That is--knit 1/6 of stitches, place marker, knit 1/6 of stitches, place marker, knit 1/3 of stitches, place marker, knit 1/6 of stitches, place marker, knit last 1/6 of stitches.

First row and all subsequent purl rows—k2, purl across to last 2 stitches, k2

Second row *knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, slip marker, k1, m1*repeat for a total of 4 times then knit to end

Repeat these 2 rows until measurement across front equals ½ of chest measurement ending with a purl row.

On the next row, knit to marker, drop all markers as you come to them. Slip sleeve stitches on a scrap piece of yarn. Stitch holders will stretch out end stitches so I do not recommend them for this sweater. I just put smooth contrast yarn on yan needle and run it through, tying the ends together loosely.

Cast on 1, 1 ½, 1 ½, (2, 2, 2) inches of stitches under arm, knit across back to next marker, drop marker and place second sleeve on yarn stitch holder, cast on same number of stitches as on first underarm, knit to end.

Continue alternating k 1 row, and k2 stitches, purl to last 2 stitches and k 2 stitches until measurement from base of neck (below ribbing) to bottom is same as back length measurement. Now you will need to add the number of inches below the waist you want for your sweater. Some averages are 2, 2, 3, (4, 6, 6)

Work k2, p2 ribbing for 1, 1 ½, 2, (2, 3, 3) inches bind off

Place sleeves back on needles and pick up stitches on those stitches you cast on under the arms. If necessary, pick up extra stitches in the corners to avoid holes. These extra stitches can be decreased on the next row.

For a full sleeve (recommended for infants, toddlers, and children) knit sleeve to length minus one inch, work one row of k2 together, work k2, p2 ribbing for 3 inches. This gives them a little more grow room on childrens sweaters and will fit adult sweaters.

For a tapered sleeve; determine the size of your wrist times stitches per inch. Subtract this number from the total number of sleeve stitches to determine how many stitches you will need to decrease. Divide this decrease number by 2 to determine how many decrease rows you will need. Measure sweater from center back to end of sleeve while it is on yarn markers, and subtract this from your total sleeve length above. The difference will tell you how many inches you have left to knit. Divide this number by the total number of decrease rows you will have to make. This will tell you the spacing of the decrease rows. In most cases this is around 2 inches. OR......try the program below to do the work for you. If you are not familiar with it, you are in for a treat.

Place a marker ar the center under the arms and work in stockinette stitch.

Decrease row: knit to one stitch before marker, k2 tog through back side (needle from right to left), k1, slip marker, k1, k2 together the usual way (needle from left to right), finish row.

When sleeve is worked to length, work 3 inches of k2, p2 ribbing and bind off loosely.

Bury yarn tails

Inserting zipper Close the zipper. Pin zipper in place making sure that ribbing matches across the zipper. If you want the pixie look stretch hood stitches slightly at the top. If you want to avoid pixie look gather stitches at top of hood slightly. Alternately, stitch closed an inch or two at the top of the hood and insert the zipper below the short seam. When zipper is pinned into place......BASTE it. I just use contrast yarn and yarn needle for basting. Now nothing will slip and you can get rid of those sticky pins and concentrate on your stitches. Open up the zipper. Using a back stitch carefully stitch zipper into place with about 4 stitches showing on top per inch and 4 equal spaces showing on top per inch. (bring needle up from inside to outside, insert needle down 1/8 inch behind where you brought needle up, bring needle up ¼ inch in front of this stitch and repeat** I use yarn, matching sewing thread or embroidery thread to do this. Embroidery thread is very strong and comes in over 350 colors. It comes 10 yards in a skein which is enough.

Oops I didn't tell you to sew up the seams. That's because there are none. If you wish you can work sleeves on straight needles and then you will have a seam to sew up. You can also knit this sweater and simply sew up the back seam instead of putting in a zipper or switch it to total circular knitting after stitching up the back of the hood. In those cases I would eliminate the 2 stitch garter rows along the center back.


Monday, November 09, 2009

Here she is! Kahlia was born Friday, November 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm weighing in at 6lb 3 ox and 19 1/2 inches long. She arrived by C-section to Andi with Great Grandma in attendance.

Another view, sitting on Great Grandma's lap. That hospital bracelet, Gaa Gaa is wearing means that she is allowed to visit and take the baby from the nursery. Look at all that hair!

A close up of a pretty face.

A delighted big brother.

When no one was looking, he whispered in her ear: "Now don't you worry, I'll take care of you."

Check out these two photos. Not the best photography, but the first one is Kahlil born three years ago. The second is Kahlia, born Friday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 is definitely not my best year. I've just been discharged again after spending another month in the hospital and in rehab so that I am mobile again. My energy level is zilch and I have physical therapy at home three times a week. I am improving gradually and hope to be more active soon.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I've been silent for a long time.

At first I was getting ready for Christmas and getting to know my new great granddaughter. Then between Christmas and New Year's Day, I went into respiratory distress and was rushed into the hospital where I began a serious battle with pneumonia, which almost won. I could only breathe with the help of machines and while propped up on my left elbow.

This was followed by a serious bone marrow depression and I became so ill that I literally saw God. Fortunately, I do not remember much about this time. I do remember looking at my hand and seeing a pale, waxy yellow color with no veins showing. After multiple transfusions and discontinuing all the medications I had been taking, my bone marrow began to grow again slowly. They determined thatI had a reaction to Humira that caused my bone marrow problems and stopping all meds allowed my bone marrow to start to regrow. So slowly they added back the meds I need to survive. The key word here is survive. I am allergic to all the meds known for treatment of arthritis and I have 5 or 6 different types of arthritis. I am surviving but in a great deal of pain. The only things I can take are steroids and Vicodin. This frightens my family because of all the news stories. They say they are afraid I will become addicted. I'm not worried about it. In order to get addicted, you have to take medication beyond what you need for the pain. I never get rid of the pain, so as long as I watch the clock carefully, I will be okay. I also have a few days with minimal pain and I go through them without medication and without withdrawal symptoms.

I also had another admission in February for the flu but that only lasted 3 days. Not the best 3 days of my life, however......LOL

I have lost my ability to walk and now can only take 7 or 8 steps doing the old age shuffle. I don't know if I can learn to walk again. This would be the 8th time I have had to retrain to get upright and I'm not sure it is worth it any more.

I also had a couple of compression fractures in my spine, so no wonder it hurts all the time. There was more going on in there than simple arthritis. It has been 2 months now and the pain is lessening, but I tire so fast. I can only sit an hour or two and can only stand a few minutes.

For the good news, the tremors in my hands are so much less that I can knit again. I haven't been able to do so for over 9 months, but I've managed 4 hats and a pair of mitts since I was discharged. Perhaps now I can knit something for the new babe. She is such a pretty little thing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Daddy bonding with Ty. He stood this way for over an hour, his cheeks damp with tears and stared at his daughter. I think he likes her.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Here she is! TyAjiah June Hayes arrived September 8. Guess who is holding her. I used matriarcal privilege. After all June is my middle name too.

Here are the birthday girls. When asked to be godmother, Cousin Tierra didn't know the baby would be born on her birthday.

Andi is first time Auntie and also the mother of Kahlil.

Here is the family, grandpa, auntie, grandma, dad, mom and babe. Missing is Uncle Tracy who doesn't like hospitals, especially when his sister has surgery.

Who did my hairstyle? I want a redo!