My OAL Dress Bodice

For awhile there I was wondering how embarrassing it would be to not finish an outfit for an outfit-along that I was cohosting because I kept making plans to start my dress and then life would happen and I’d have to put things off. This weekend I actually got sewing, and things went really well.

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I finished the bodice, which is really the most complicated bit of this dress. Unfortunately I ran out of thread at that point, but I ran out and got more on Sunday before I went and did family stuff. When I got home, I started to think about how I could finish my dress and get to bed on time that night if I left out the pockets and if I skipped this or that. I was really excited to get the dress done, but I realized I was too tired to do it properly if I was already thinking of corners to cut, so I ended up putting everything away. Getting the bodice done was good enough for one weekend because I still have next weekend to finish the dress and do it right.

P.S. I have a guest post on Rock + Purl for designers on what to blog about when you can’t blog about what you’re currently working on. Check it out! 

An Easy Baby Blanket

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I knit a blanket! It might just be a baby blanket, but blankets are one of those projects that I never though I’d knit. I couldn’t imagine having the patience to get through one, but Tuts+ asked me to do an easy baby blanket pattern to go with their knitting tutorials for beginners, so I decided to give it a try.

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I can’t believe how much I loved knitting this thing. It was so relaxing and soothing to just knit a ton of garter stitch. The blanket is knit from corner to corner so it grows really quickly at the beginning and really quickly at the end, and it never got boring for me. I’m very pleased with myself for finally knitting a blanket, even if it isn’t a big one. The pattern is available for free on Tuts+ and you can add it to your queue on Ravelry.

New Pattern: Piperita

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I’ve got another great summer pattern for you! This pattern for light, lacy fingerless gloves is called Piperita, named after their mint color. They’re a small portable knit so you can take them on your summer adventures, and when you’re done knitting them, they’re light enough that you can wear them on cool summer days to add a bit of lace to an outfit.

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They start with a strip of i-cord, which gets fold back  and sewn down at one end to create the button loop. Stitches are picked up and knit from the cord, and the glove is knit from the bottom up in a diagonal lace stitch pattern with a stockinette thumb gusset. To finish things off, the top of the fingerless gloves get a scalloped edge treatment that’s worked sideways so you end up binding off stitches as you work.

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My gloves were knit using Sincere Sheep Equity Fingering in Aegean on 2.75 mm needles. These gloves use very little yarn and would be a great project to use up partial skeins. They come in three sizes, and include the palm circumference and gusset height measurements so you can pick the right size for your hands. The pattern is $5, and you can check out Piperita in the Untangling Knots pattern shop or on Ravelry.

Weaving in the Ends on Myrna

The last parts of making a sweater are always my least favorite because they’re not actual knitting. Weaving in ends and attaching buttons are not super fun in my opinion. You have my permission to grumble at your project while you do this. I always do.

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I use two different tools to weave in my ends. I typically favor the crochet hook. It’s slower to do the actual weaving with it, but you don’t have to fiddle with threading yarn through a needle, and it’s great if you didn’t leave yourself long enough ends. The yarn needle is the more traditional way to go about doing things. The weaving process goes faster with this guy, but I dislike threading the needle, so I generally don’t use if for projects with a lot of ends to weave in.

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With seamless projects, sometimes it can be hard to figure out where to hide the ends, but it’s easy on Myrna. I weave all of my ends into the selvage stitches that end up on the wrong side after you pick up stitches. Like seams, these selvage stitches are the perfect place to hide your ends.

FAQ: Why use circular needles to knit a cardigan?

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I’m combining two questions into one for this edition of FAQ. On my patterns I generally specify circular needles. That has raised the questions, “Is this cardigan knit in the round?” and “Can I use straight needles instead?” The answers to both questions are both yes and no. The body of a seamless cardigan is knit flat (unless there are steeks, but none of my patterns feature those), but the sleeves are knit in the round. You can knit the body on straights, but you’ll need different needles for the sleeves.

Why use circulars for the body? When you’re working seamlessly, you end up with a lot of stitches on your needles, and it can be hard to accommodate all of those stitches on straight needles so circular needles are recommended even though you’re not knitting in the round and could technically knit the body on straights. It’s just harder to see your work when the stitches are bunched together like that, and when you can’t see your work, mistakes are more likely to happen. Plus, for some knitters, the uneven distribution of weight that happens with straight needles becomes an issue for their wrists.

When you get to the sleeves, you won’t be able to use straights anymore. You could switch to DPNs or a small circular needle here, but you will need a different set of needles. If you use a longer circular for the body, you can actually use the exact same pair of needles to knit the entire sweater. You simply use the magic loop technique to work the sleeves.

But what’s important is what you’re doing, not the tools you use to do it. To knit a sweater, you can use any style of needles that will accomplish the task. You just might need more sets and styles of needles if you’re not a fan of using circulars.