Thursday, May 29, 2008

Webkinz "Halter"

M loves her top and asked for a matching top for her Webkinz.

Here's what I whipped up today. (Should I post the pattern?)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Free Pattern: Girl's Cotton Babydoll Halter Top

Front: (pop star pose) Back:
Materials: Worsted Weight Cotton (Sugar N Cream or Peaches N Crème -Each ball: 2.50 oz / 70 g, 120 yd / 109 m) One ball in an Ombre'. The other is a solid.


Yarn A: Sugar N Cream, Summer Splash (1 ball)
Yarn B: Sugar N Cream, Hot Green (1 ball)

Needles: Size 7 circular needles (32-inch long)

Gage: 18 stitches per 4 inches in Fan & Feather. 14 stitches per 4 inches in Stockinette

Size: 5 years (but my girl is a size 7 - this is a tight fitting top)
Final measurements:

Chest measurements: 24 inches

Body of halter: 13 inches

CO = Cast on
K = Knit
P = Purl
K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together
SSK = Knit 2 stitches together from the back
YO = Yarn Over


We'll start from the bottom and knit up. The skirt part of the halter is a fan & feather pattern knit flat.

Yarn A: CO 108 stitches

Row 1: K all stitches
Row 2: P all stitches
Row 3: *K2tog 3 times, [YO, K1] 6 times, K2tog 3 times* 6 times
Row 4: K all stitches (This row puts in a ridge on the Right Side)

Repeat Row 1 through 4 one more time.

See the photo below. It only shows two ridges on the bottom. This makes it look like it has ruffles.

The rest of the fan & feather pattern is knit without the ridge - continue Fan & Feather using the following rows:

Row 1: K all stitches
Row 2: P all stitches
Row 3: *K2tog 3 times, [YO, K1] 6 times, K2tog 3 times* 6 times
Row 4: P all stitches (by purling this, you will not be making a ridge on the Right Side)

Knit these 4 rows until piece measures 8 inches long. The last row 4 should be a ridge row (or you knit it). See the next photo as an example.

Next, we need to decrease 24 times across the fabric to make the total number of stitches cast on to be 84 stitches.

Decrease Row 1: (K4, K2tog) 18 times (90 stitches on needles)
Decrease Row 2: (P15, P2tog) 6 times (84 stitches on needles)

Switch to Yarn B, K all stitches and join in the round. Place marker. Knit in the round till the stockinette part of the halter measures 3 inches.

Next, you need to work on the front halter part of the top.

K63 stitches, Bind off 42 stitches.

Now you'll knit flat again.

Row 1: K1, SSK, Knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1
Row 2: Purl all stitches

Repeat these two rows until halter measures from the bottom CO edge, 13-inches.

Next we need to make the Picot edging

Picot Row 1: K1, SSK, (YO, K2tog) to last three stitches, K2tog, K1
Picot Row 2: P all stitches
Picot Row 3: K all stitches
Picot Row 4: BO in Purl stitch.

Next, sew the BO edge to the back of the fabric to make the Picot edge. See photo below

Next we need to make the straps. Looking at the back of the halter, count 10 stitches from the side & pick up and knit 5 stitches. Knit these stitches in a garter stitch (k5 each row) till the strap measures 15 inches.

Make a button hole: K2, YO, K2tog, K1.

Knit two more rows and make another button hole.

Knit two more rows, then bind off.

Do the same thing on the other side (count 10 stitches from the other side, pick up and knit 5 stitches, etc.) The photo below shows the beginning of the strap.
Sew two buttons on the inside of the picot edge (see the picot edge photo).

Weave in ends and you're done!

ETA: I made the top 24" in circumference. M's been that circumference for quite some time From the site, this size would put her squarely in the size 5 category - but she's very long and has been wearing size 8 for the past year. The top needs to be snug to fit. If the top is a little big, it does look cute with a tank underneath (see Gea's top - her daughter is wearing a tank under it and it's still cute) and can easily grow with your girl.
Thanks for all the great feedback!

Note to Amy: Whenever I mention "sew", I do mean to use a needle and the yarn (hand sew). Also, give me your 8 year old's chest measurement and I'll see if I can whip one up. M is now 9 and would probably like another one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

WIP - Girl's Halter top

I'm currently designing a girl's halter top - we live in the D/FW area and it gets hot. I'll probably write up the pattern once I have it all figured out.
It's pretty simple. My DD is 24-inches wide (and has been for at least the past two years), so I cast on enough stitches to knit a fan and feather pattern for the skirt part of the shirt. (In my case, it was 108 stitches). I knitted that part flat. Once the skirt part measured roughly 9.5 inches long, I decreased across the top for 84 stitches and joined it. I then knitted the top in the round for a stockinette top. I knitted that for about 3 inches. Then I cast off 42 stitches in the back and started the halter part. (These are just rough notes for myself). I decreased on the knit side, purled the wrong side until the top looked long enough to cover DD's chest. I then did a picot edging and cast off. I'm currently knitting the straps in a 5 stitch garter and plan on having those cross in the back and fasten in the front with a button located inside the halter.

Of course this is being knitted in cheap kitchen cotton!



The skirt part of the shirt has an open seam in the back that stays open.

What do you think? Would anyone else be interested in knitting this? I can easily see this being done in pinks, too. I wanted to knit the top in the blue, but my local Joann's didn't have that color when I went shopping there over the weekend.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Geeky stuff

I subscribe to the Bad Astronomer Blog and Tom's Astronomy Blog. I'm not one of those super knowledgeable types when it comes to astronomy. Truth be told, I like reading them for the photos - it's sort of how most everyone "reads" National Geographic.

But I digress. Both of them posted this photo.

The child of the 70's in me remembers when all my mom's friends did free form wall hanging weaving and this photo reminds me of that time - Orange was HIP.
The modern art fan in me feels that this photo can even be framed and hung in a modern art museum. (I'm one of those weird people who likes Jackson Pollock's stuff.)
The geek in me is really amazed. It's a photo of the red dot on Jupiter - it's a huge storm - and it shows at least four more "dots". According to Tom, the small dot close to the large dot is being predicted to join together in August.
How cool is that?

FO - Baby Sweater

Yes, another baby item! J's family keeps getting larger. . .

Sweater Pattern: Green Zebra Stripe Baby Sweater (free) for size 2 yrs
Yarn: Pound of Love
Thoughts: I'm trying to knit through my stash and I have two skeins of the PoL. The pattern was easy to follow, but the construction of the sweater was a little weird - it's a bottom up raglan top.

ETA: The construction was strange for me because I had to stop in the middle and knit the arms in the round separately - then join them. After they were joined, it took some mental aerobics for me to grock what was going on. Like I mentioned, the instructions in the pattern were really good. I just wasn't trusting them while I was knitting it, but it came together quite nicely.

Sock Pattern: Socks Three Ways (free)
Yarn: Pound of Love
Thoughts: I did the kids sock but heavily modified the pattern. The whole leg is a 2x2 rib and the foot is 4 inches long. The size given on the pattern is wrong. It says to knit for 6.5" - my sock it to me guide said a kids size 2 is 4". I also don't like to knit dutch heels.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FO - Lucy Bag

I must admit that I've been terrible about keeping the blog up to date since Ravelry started up.

Here's my latest finished project.

Pattern: Lucy Bag by Two Old Bags

Yarn: Plymouth Outback

I won't be the one

to blink. . .

J is playing a weird game of not wanting to turn on the air conditioner so we've been wearing shorts, tanks and sandals at home. The thing is, it gets SO nice at night - upper 60's - and it is just wonderful in the mornings. First thing I do when I get up in the morning is to open up the house and get the fan blowing to cool everything down.

But then it gets hot.

I mean really, really hot. We're seeing low 90's outside. The house is staying somewhat cool at 83 degrees downstairs. Upstairs where we work is at least 10 degrees hotter because of all the computers.

I am trying really hard to play along with this game. J's always quick to say that we can turn on the AC, but I'm just a little too competitive to turn it on. *He's* going to have to do it.

Then I win!

What I win, I have no idea. The strange games we play. . .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Surreal Evening

Last night, J & I got a babysitter for M and went out on a week night.


Well, Roy Zimmerman (warning, the link goes to You-Tube and the volume is on) was in town and J wanted to see him live.

Roy Zimmerman is best described as being a liberal satirical song writer/singer. He was playing at J. Gilligans last night and it was great fun, if not a little strange.

We listened and laughed. During intermission, I went up and spoke to him. While I was talking to Roy, a big bald guy came up to him from behind, grabbed him by the elbow while muttering "F*ck you, man. Just f*ck you." Roy was really great at brushing it off, but I could see that he was a little shaken up. He mentioned that the guy was in the back of the room during his set flipping him off while he sang.

He started up singing again & I noticed the time - it was 9:30 - we needed to leave in order to get our baby sitter back by 10 pm, which is what I had committed to the babysitters mom. While trying to get the bartender's attention, an angry old guy (I'll call him AOG from now on) was behind the bar and started yelling at Roy. He then stormed around the bar and ran up to the stage. I was at the bar and the bartender started telling a buddy of his, "Hey, man, watch this, watch this, watch what he's gonna do."

Well, AOG pulled the plug from Roy's guitar. J, being the defender of the small, saw what was going on and followed AOG up onto the stage and proceeded to move AOG away from Roy by shear virtue of his size. Two more guys got up and did the same thing on the other sides of AOG and they backed him into a corner - no fists swinging, just a simple bumping AOG into the wall. The bartender then got into gear when more people started getting up on stage and basically told everyone that there weren't going to be any fights that evening.

Roy, like a true professional, mentioned that his songs were meant to be funny jokes and no harm was meant.

As we were leaving, Roy called out to J, "Why are you leaving? You're a big guy - I need you here, man!"

J hated leaving early, but said that we had to get back to the babysitter.

It was fun. Roy's abstinence song made my stomach muscles hurt from laughing so hard.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My HUGE Computer

J has been working so hard to make a new computer for me and he's been able to cobble together the computer for around $850. I must admit that it's screamin' fast. Today is the first day I've started using it.

It has four processors. That's a lot. Most machines only have one. Here's proof:

There are four boxes for the CPU Usage History!

I tease J that I now have the biggest weenie :)

It's a guy thing.


I have an uncle who I've lost track of over the years. We sort of connected via email and it's been really nice to hear what's going on in his world.

Uncle Butch is my big jolly uncle who always played with us when we were little. I also shot my first gun with Uncle Butch. He worked for the IRS for years and is now retired and doing a little consulting work - forthe state of Georgia - as in former USSR!

His emails are remarkable and wonderfully descriptive. I got one this weekend that detailed a side project of his.

He set up a children's relief fund for the orphans of Georgia!


And it was really formed because he was appalled at the conditions that the orphans lived under. I've emailed him to see if I can get a knitting charity program together. I just was really touched that he did all this - but not terribly surprised. He's just terrific and so is his wife, Edythe.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008


My local Walgreen's had a free photo development day and we took advantage and finally got our photo's printed from our trip to Cozumel, Mexico.

M with a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri

M with a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri
Mom & M with flowers in our hair.
Green lime smile.
J's position pretty much the whole trip.
M's photo of me.
Mom & M getting ready for dinner.
M looking very grown up.
Happy J & I.

We found out that we're going back to the same resort the week before Christmas. Should be fun.