Sunday, July 03, 2005

Toddler Poncho is Done!

Just too cute, eh? Here's the pattern with a lot of extra explanations. Hope it makes some sense!

Toddler’s Poncho

To fit: about a 12-18 months size (though she won’t outgrow it very quickly). Finished neck is about 12" wide. Length from neckline to lace tip down the arm is 7.5"; from centre point of neck straight down the front to lace tip is 8.75".

Yarn: Fingering weight. Sandnesgarn Sisu (80% superwash wool/20% nylon, 50 g = 160 m) in a variegated egg-yolk yellow/orange/red/green. Sandnesgarn Lanett (100% superwash wool, 50 g = 195 m) in matching egg-yolk yellow. I used most of one ball of Lanett and less than half of one ball of the Sisu.

Gauge: 6.5 sts = 1 inch over stockinette stitch

Needles: Don’t laugh. I used a whole bunch of different needles. I’m sure you could get away with only 2 or 3 different ones. Clover bamboo 3.25mm dpns, Aero metal 3.5mm 16" circular, Addi Turbo 3.25mm 24" circular, a single Aero 3.25mm dpn. The Addis and the single Aero dpn measure differently on my needle gauge than their marked size. They are actually 3mm. Go figure. I used so many different sets because was trying for a combination of comfort and the right gauge. The bamboos were only a set of 4 (instead of 5) and the stitches started slipping off fairly soon, so I switched to the Aero circular which was slightly larger but since I knit loosely on bamboo and tighter on metal, you can’t tell any difference in the gauge. Then I went down to the slightly smaller Addis when I got to the garter stitch area near the hem. And I used the slightly smaller single Aero dpn to help knit the lace since it’s the same size as the Addis.

With variegated yarn and 2 of the 3.25mm double-pointed needles held together, long-tail cast on 80 stitches. Divide over 3 or 4 needles (depending on how many are in your set) and join in a circle. Purl around, placing a marker before the 40th and 80th stitches. The poncho’s points will be the single stitches just after the markers, so don’t forget to continue the round one stitch past the last marker. At the beginning of the next (knit) round, make a left lifted increase. Continue to just before the next marker and work a right lifted increase. Knit centre stitch (the one after the marker) and work a left lifted increase. Knit to just before the last marker and work a right lifted increase. Knit the centre stitch. 84 stitches on the needles (increased by 4). Purl the next round without increases. Continue to knit in garter stitch (one round knit, one round purl) with the increases as established on the knit rounds for 3 ridges total.

Change to plain yarn by joining with a Russian Join. Tink (un-knit) back several stitches of the last round to complete the join and knit them up again. Your link between the two yarns should be right at the beginning of the next round. Continue in stockinette stitch (knit every round) increasing every other round as established until piece is 5” from the beginning measured on the straight grain. You’ll have to change to a 16” circular needle somewhere before reaching this point when you have too many stitches to stay comfortably on the dpns.

Change to variegated yarn (again with a Russian Join, as before) and a slightly smaller circular needle (mine measures 3mm by my needle gauge). Begin circular garter stitch as for the neck area and continue with the increases every knit round. Work 7 garter ridges or until desired length. It helps with the lace part if the number of stitches on the needle is divisible by 4 minus 2, though a little fudging is possible, I’m sure.

Change back to plain yarn (that Russian Join again) and reverse-loop cast-on 5 stitches on the left needle. Using a matching sized double-pointed needle (just because it's easier than trying to use the right end of the circular needle), sl 1, k 3, k last st tog with first poncho st on left needle. Turn. Begin lace pattern with Row 1. It took me almost half the way around to memorize the pattern enough so I didn’t need a “cheat sheet.” If you're feeling nervous about that hanging right needle point you can put a point protector on it. Doesn't need it though. You'll be working back and forth with the spare dpn and the left end of the circular needle. Lots of turning here, but knitting back backwards isn't really an option — all the exciting stuff happens on those "back" rows.

Knitted-On Lace Edging (“Eyelet Points” from Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein, p.70, modified)

Notes: Odd numbered rows are wrong-side rows. Slip 1 is worked as if to purl with yarn in front, yarn back before knitting next stitch. The double yarnovers are worked by knitting the first yarnover and purling the second. On row 8, sl the first st as established, knit the next st, and lift the sl st over it to bind off the first st. Bind off the other 3 sts as usual.

Row 1: sl 1, k1, yo, yo, k2tog, k 1, turn.
Row 2: sl 1, k2, p1, k1, k last edging st tog with next poncho st, turn.
Row 3: sl 1, k3, yo, yo, k2, turn.
Row 4: sl 1, k2, p1, k3, k last edging st tog with next poncho st, turn.
Row 5: sl 1, k1, yo, yo, k2tog, k4, turn.
Row 6: sl 1, k5, p1, k1, k last edging st tog with next poncho st, turn.
Row 7: sl 1, k8, turn.
Row 8: Bind off 4, k3, k last edging st tog with next poncho st, turn.

I apologise for their not being a nice chart to follow. I wasn't able to create one that would transfer over to the blog properly. I tried 2 different ways! I'll have to work on this for future patterns. I prefer charts myself.

Continue with the lace edging as established until you get to the first point. To help the lace ease over the point, I worked an extra short row (Row 6) by knitting the last stitch instead of knitting it together with the next poncho stitch and then turning to begin Row 7.

Now carry on until you get to the last point. Work the last repeat over the point with an extra short row as you did the first point and graft the last 5 stitches to the cast on row as invisibly as possible. It will be worked on the wrong side.

Hide the beginning end in neckline. Block completed poncho. Pop over head of recipient.

Note that although I carefully worked a point of lace over the poncho point, it still ended up looking more like a swallow’s tail. The lace has a bias which you can’t block out in this instance. The yarn is superwash wool and the fact that it’s knitted on makes it a little more full than it would be if you knitted it separately and sewed it on. I think it looks just fine though and, apart from the tiny graft (which is nothing if you've done a few sock toes), there’s no sewing up!

Since this poncho is a first birthday present for my granddaughter, I still have until August 7 (the birthday party, the day is actually August 9) to make a hat to go with it.

Other Items
Today is our 34th wedding anniversary! No, we aren't doing anything special but that's OK. We spent most of yesterday on one of our long long walks in the city. North down the hill from our house to the seawall, around the end of the seawall past Science World (or whatever they're calling it these days), continuing on along the downtown side of the seawall to the Plaza of Nations, over the pedestrian overpass and down Robson Street to the public library (which looks like a Roman coliseum). We had a lovely time on the 6th floor hunting for craft videos: Thom for lampwork beadmaking and harmonica lessons, me for charkha spinning and exotic yarn spinning. I also found an interesting book on stitched chenille which would be a great way to use up some of the heaps of fabric I've got around here. You layer them from 4 to 6 layers deep, stitch rows at a 45º angle and then clip through all but the last layer. After massaging in slightly soapy water and drying in the dryer, the cut edges bloom into a thick soft fabric kind of like wide wale corduroy. Cool.

From the library we went down Robson to Tsunami Sushi because I was starving by this point. The more I exercise the hungrier I get! We sat at the bar with the boats going around and I grabbed dish after dish. I was actually surprised that the bill came to under $30! It helps when you don't order saki but drink tea instead. You can even grab the red dish which is the most expensive one. Yum.

Next it was back east on Robson to Chapters book store where I found 2 magazines I had to have plus Yarn Harlot's bookbookbook which I passed up the last time I was in Chapters. I hope she forgives me for my grave error. From Chapters, I had to go see if there were any sci-fi/fantasy books I needed (can't miss one of a series, you know) at the Granville Book Company. They know me so well in there that I get a 15% discount. Twenty years patronage (matronage?) and hundreds of books purchased has to count for some respect, don't ya think? And it's a locally owned cooperative business, not a big chain store. I love those guys. And I added 3 pocket books to the pack.

We staggered home with our burdens across the Granville Street Bridge. By the time we were up the hill past Broadway, we were on a beeline for home. We ran out of water in the communal water bottle, but managed to sweat our way the last few blocks. Home, the back deck in the shade, and a bottle of beer (for him) and pear cider (for me) felt awfully good by that point! Thom's pedometer made it out to be almost 12 kilometres total and 4 1/2 hours, including lunch break. Whew.

Vancouver is so beautiful but there's still a lot of construction and land that's waiting for development. Still some sleazy areas too. But if you move people out of one area they just move down a few blocks to the next, so it takes a lot of fixing up and "gentrification" to get things looking good again. And somewhere else goes downhill at the same time. It's kind of a moveable problem. Gee, you don't have to be rich to throw stuff into the trash instead of on the street. But you have to care about things to do it. How do you make somebody care about anything when they are poor and sick and alcholic and drug addicted? Nobody really knows the answer to that conundrum. It's very sad and frustrating. Meanwhile I don't give money to panhandlers but I will speak to them kindly. Don't hate me. Most panhandlers make more money than I do. I just spend it differently. And I have my patron of the arts, who kindly shares his paycheque with me and in return I cook his meals, make sure he has pressed shirts and clean underwear, and keep most of the cat hair off his pillows.

Happy 34th year with me, Thom!

No comments: