Posts Tagged 'clothing'

Holy Cow!

My blog has just passed 200,000 hits!

Thank you all for following me. I have websites linking from all over the world, from Italy to France to Japan, some in languages I don’t even recognize. I hope you enjoy my knitting and crochet patterns and you’ll keep coming back for more. In honor of achieving this milestone, I’m hosting a giveaway here: Leave a comment or link to my blog by November 10, and I will hold a drawing the next day. The winner will receive a free download of ALL MY PAID DOG SWEATER PATTERNS. I’ll announce the winner here on November 11, so if you win please contact me and let me know where to email your patterns.

Good luck, and thank you for visiting!

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Revised and Reissued: ‘Christmas Trees’

Notes and Changes

My most popular for-sale sweater design is the “Christmas Trees” fair isle dog sweater seen here on Willie.  I made the original sample back in 2007 before releasing the pattern, and it worked out fine for me.  Recently, I was commissioned to make the sweater again, this time for a little Yorkie in Germany.  I have discovered a few errors, and also have come up with some solutioxmas fair isle 4ns to make the sweater easier to knit, so I have revised the pattern. It includes a new chart and some differences in sizing and stitch counts.  The new pdf has been e-mailed to everyone who has purchased the pattern from me this year.  I do not have e-mail addresses for previous buyers, but if you’ll e-mail me (kaygraves@comcast.net) or message me here with your Etsy transaction number or a cut-and-paste excerpt from your original pattern, I will be happy to send you a new version of the pattern.

In knitting the pattern the second time around, I have knitted in the round as much as possible, except for the area where the leg openings go and the tail shaping section.  So much easier!  (I’m not brave enough with the fair isle to go straight across those leg openings and steek, but if you are, I want to know how it turns out so I can congratulate you!) You will have to use short, short needles for this if you try it.  I am using size 7’s in about a 16″ length.

This is a pattern that’s already quite elaborate, but you can dress it up even more.  I didn’t start knitting in the round until after the neck ribbing so I could leave that open and add a small button and loop to help with getting the sweater over puppy’s head.  I’ll also line the neck of the new sweater to prevent stretching as it is worn over time.  You can use a seasonal fabric or even a wide piece of ribbon or seam binding to line the neck.  Make a facing, just as you would when you’re sewing a garment, press the edges under, and tack it to the inside of the neckline.  A piece of ready-made lace trim peeking over the top would be lovely, especially for a little girl dog.

The small black dots on the first line of the pattern chart represent bobbles, while the multicolored dots later on indicate beads, bobbles or embroidered French knots to make “berries” for the holly.  Try cross-stitching over some of the stitches to add more interest.

About the beading:  The first time I made the sweater I just sewed on the beads with sewing thread, kind of randomly wherever I wanted them.  Some have started to come off  Willie’s sweater (though another sweater with pearl trim is intact), so this time I am knitting the beads on as I knit the sweater.  I got the smallest beads with the largest eyes I could find, plus something called a “big eye” needle for stringing the beads onto the yarn. (Even then, about half the beads will not go onto the yarn.) I cut the yarn in workable lengths to do the design and strung the beads directly onto the lime green yarn as I went along making the Christmas trees, pulling them up to place wherever I wanted.  This gives a much more secure beading for an active little dog.  I will probably go back and dot a few more beads around just to make the sweater really glitzy, but if you do this be sure to knot each bead on individually ~ if not, when one goes, they all go.

 The chest size listed on the pattern has changed.  There are three sizes: 10-12″, 13-14″, and 17-18″, and these are approximate.  It’s hard to be really exact what with people’s different gauges and the way the fair isle is done by different knitters.  Also, the sweater is stretchy when worn. 

My dog, for example, has a 16″ chest, but the sweater I made him is the middle size and it fits perfectly.  Don’t be worried, as the sweater looks good whether it’s stretchy and fitted or a bit loose, and don’t be afraid to go up or down with needle size as you knit to get a good fit.  For the sweater I am making now, I cast on with size 5’s, then started knitting the neck with 6’s and changed to 7’s for the body.

 This sweater is a challenge to make, but it’s worth the trouble.  A definite Christmas card picture and conversation starter.  My pup knows how darling he is when holiday season comes around!   Once you knit the sweater, you’ll want to take special care of it so it will last from one Christmas to the next.  Soak it briefly in a cold-water wash such as Woollite, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo or a wool soak such as Eucalan.  Rinse and gently squeeze, then roll the sweater in a towel to remove excess water.  Hang or lay flat to dry, then store the sweater in a safe place away from moths!

Bad to the Bone

Not enough time on your hands to make the felted dog collars on my Free Tutorials page?  Now they’re available in my Etsy store, custom-made to fit your pup’s neck measurement. bad to the bone dog collar 2 collar

The collars ~ hand-felted in high-quality 100% wool, decorated with imported ceramic Peruvian skull beads, and lined in 100% cotton fabric ~ come in 1/2″ (for tiny dogs) and 3/4″ (for medium-sized dogs) widths and have safety parachute buckles and D-ring for the dog’s ID tag. They’re durable and long-lasting (Willie has been wearing his for over a year!), and a real conversation piece, especially if you have a tiny bruiser like mine.

The Cherry on Top

I can’t lie: I was so excited this summer to get my hands on some Spud & Chloe, Blue Sky Alpacas’ new yarn line.  I’m a BSA addict from way back, so what could be better than more yarns from this outstanding company?  Finally got to see ~ and touch ~ some S&C at Knitting Addiction when I was in Nag’s Head, N.C., in early August.  TO. DIE. FOR.  The colors are splendid, and the yarn, which comes in three weights ~ fine, sweater and outer ~ is divine.  S&C Fine is a sock-weight superwash yarn, 80% wool/20% silk; Outer is super bulky weight, superwash 65% wool/35% organic cotton; and Sweater is worsted weight, superwash 55% wool/45% organic cotton.

For my first project, I was inspired by two shades of Spud & Chloe Sweater: Rootbeer, a dark, rich brown, and Ice Cream, a soft vanilla tone. 
The result is a little dog sweater I’ve created called “Root Beer Float,” a sweet treat for your best friend.  It’s an easy ribbed pattern with a simple but striking loop-stitch collar and yummy cherry on top (made of Spud & Chloe Sweater in Popsicle).  I must say this is my favorite dog sweater design ever!  It turned out exactly as I’d envisioned it, and the yarn behaved … know what I mean?    

The sweater is designed to fit dogs with 12, 16 or 20″ chest and is suitable for an intermediate-level knitter.  Gauge is 5 stitches to the inch in K2P2 rib on a US 7 needle.  For the medium size, the sweater requires approximately 140 yards of the main color, 100 yards of the collar color, and just a smidgeon for the pompom. The pattern is available in my Etsy store (click on the link to your right).  I love this little sweater, and so does my dog.  Hope you do, too!

        

Those “Compliments”

WHAT NOT TO HEAR

I just walked through the TV room when somebody on some show like “What Not To Wear” was telling his victim that “That sort of dress makes you look like you have a waist.”  Reminds me of the compliment I got from my mother by phone yesterday when I sent her a few pictures of myself in my newly completed “Flicca” coat (designed by the remarkable Anna Bell of My Fashionable Life).

“I love your coat ~ it makes you look like you’ve lost weight.” 
“Well, I haven’t.” 
“Then you should wear it all the time because it makes you look like you have.”

I know she meant well, but, well, I’ve long since come to terms with my weight, something I guess my mom will never do, and I’m not trying to lose ~ or even look like I have.  Anyway, here’s the coat.  What do you think?

          

Now, I love this coat.  I made it with RYC Soft Tweed in slate blue, and it didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would.  Despite the yarn’s bulk (3 sts to the inch), it’s amazingly lightweight, so wearing the coat is a dream, even in Savannah, which hardly has any winter at all.

 This is my other recent creation, “Dinah” from Rowan 42, made in Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk and GGH Soft Kid instead of the called for Rowan Wool Cotton and Kidsilk Haze.

This is my absolute favorite garment I’ve ever made.  I was drawn to the beautiful, completely coincidental matching of the two yarns made by two different companies, and when I found out the gauges on both worked with the pattern, it was mine!  I just loved working on this sweater ~ both yarns are so nice to stitch with.  Then I set about to find a ribbon to match ~ good luck.  I picked the silk satin one from M&J Trim and ordered it, sure it wouldn’t even be close to the color it was on my monitor.  As you can see, it’s a perfect match.  I was thrilled.

SOME ETSY FAVORITES

Seller Treehouse28‘s wonderful custom clothing, priced right and so perfect for my life, in comfy knits.

Wide Strap Dress or Top   wide-leg-pants.jpg  organic-hemp-top.jpg

I am crrrrazy for this over-the-top crocheted dress by Pink Willow Designs. It makes me think of all the wonderful times I’ve had in the islands, gets me in the mood for spring and summer like nothing else I’ve seen lately, and ~ to be honest ~ sets the wheels turning for how I can turn out a knockoff for myself (sorry, Pink Willow).

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And these fabulous Valentines from the frantic meerkat. I bought the first for my daughter (who just finished studying evolution vs. intelligent design, etc.) and the second for my husband, who is just wonderful and will get it.

darwin-card.jpg

 big-eye-card.jpg

AND NOW …

I’m off to JoAnn’s to pick up a few items to complete something I’ll share with you next time.