A Diversion: the Lippitt Halter

Since I am a notorious project starter and chronic unfinisher, it is probably problematic to have allowed myself to cast on for another project already.

However, I had a couple hundred yards of a rather lovely green yarn which I’d purchased as an alternate for the Cabled Baby Set, and I was itching for a cute summer knit. (Color is of course way off in these photos)

Enter the Lippitt halter, a pretty sexy Y-neck tank from Berroco.

This is totally out of character for me in every conceivable way, since I almost never wear sleeveless shirts, let alone ones that reveal all of my shoulders and arms. I guess this is a bit of a carrot for my upper-arm workouts and motivation for continued vigilance in dieting.

At this point I am 9-1/2 inches up on the back, and it seems to be moving steadily along.

I’m intrigued by the structure and I sincerely hope it will fit well without too much alteration. I think it will look really lovely with a dark wood ring at the neck, giving it a kind of earthy flavor. I’m also debating using a slightly larger ring to show more of it, though I worry what kind of structural effect that may have.

My only question is to do with the name. Some internet research revealed a family of senators from Rhode Island and the Lippitt Morgan breed of horses, neither of which scream halter top to me.

I joined a KAL

One of the reasons I was so excited to start a knitting blog was that I could join knit-a-longs, and in particular I was stoked to join the Cable-Down Raglan KAL.

The pattern by Stefanie Japel is from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits, and from the moment I saw it I was in love.

Like so many well-designed things, the beauty truly is in the details. The shaping looks really flattering, and I can’t get enough of the gorgeous cables.

I’m doing mine in a cream color, and I’ve already cast on and knit the first few rows of the neckline.

Since I’m not terribly experienced with cables, or top-down knitting in the round… or really even sweater knitting, I know I have to be incredibly careful.

It’s tempting to wait until the errata are published on the IK site, but I want to try as much as I can to figure it out and make some progress.

Beginning of Booties

Experienced knitters would probably find this to be the slowest-moving layette set ever created, and indeed, I’m impatient with my own progress as well. Grad school is leaving me with very little to no knitting time of late, but I did manage to start the booties of the Cabled Baby Set.

How ridiculously cute.

I knit this one entirely, though I have not sewn it yet. I was charmed by the way the top of the foot transitioned into the toes, then became a three-dimensional shape with a bottom and heel. My only point of contention is the two little holes from picking up stitches after knitting the foot flap.

I tried stretching the booties out a little, with my fingers approximating a baby foot, and I was more than a bit dissatisfied with the way the holes look, so I will probably come in through the back to close them up when I am seaming the backs.

I love the way they have a fold-over ribbed cuff. When they’re finished, they’ll look like very cute little socks I think.

I’ve started the ribbing on the second booty, and I look forward to finishing these soon. I found that the rows of the heel flap and the rest of the shaping flew by on the first one.

I also noticed these use very little yarn, so I’m thinking that since this pattern uses worsted weight, I could easily put some leftovers to use making hat and booty sets for charity or friends.

As for the baby, still no word of his arrival. A few days ago the father said he was three days late, which is good for buying knitting time, but for the mother’s sake, I hope our little guy comes along soon!

I made a hat!

I’ve been knitting merrily along on the hat for the Cabled Baby Set (the mother was due Monday, and I haven’t heard news yet). As I approached the shaping for the crown, it occurred to me that I’ve never made a hat before!

The instructions said to decrease 6 stitches evenly spaced over every other row, 6 times. Of course, I had to figure out how to space the decreases, so this is the math that I did:

Decreasing 6 stitches over a row of 80 stitches involves 6 x k2tog=12 stitches. 80-12=68. I then divided 68 by 6, figuring that I should put 11 stitches between each decreasing pair, splitting the remaining 13 stitches at each end, as follows:

7 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 -(2) – 6

where the 2 in parentheses indicates a k2tog and the regular numbers indicate knit stitches.

For each subsequent decrease row, I then had to reduce one stitch from one of the ends (I alternated these), then one stitch from each middle section. The next decrease rows went like this:

6 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 6
5 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 6
5 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 5
4 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 5
4 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 4

Then I was to decrease 6 stitches evenly spaced over the next 6 rows, every row. I used almost the exact same pattern, though because I was turning the work between the rows, I alternated back and forth on how I decreased, reading through the lines as if it were a snake.

3 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 4
3 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 3
2 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3
2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2
1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 2
1 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 1

The last row basically involved knitting a stitch, then 6 k2tog’s, then knitting the last stitch.

Really rather elegant I think.

It made a lovely set of decreases with a sort of scalloped look before I sewed it together, a snowflake-like expanding shape once seamed.

Seaming it was a little tricky, and I was a bit unhappy with the first go at it. As I was weaving in ends, I decided to reinforce the seam, and that made it a lot neater. I was hesitant about a baby hat that had a seam running up the back, thinking it would be uncomfortable, but it’s a 12 month size hat, so in theory by then, our baby should be able to hold his head up without trouble.

Next up, seaming the sweater and knitting some booties!

Some Nice Harmony

I really like when my knitting matches my reading.

I’ve finished knitting the pieces of the sweater of the Cabled Baby Set, but have not begun to sew them together, nor have I even thought about how to pick up the neck stitches and knit that part.

I moved onto the hat instead. It’s good to have engaging reading to break up what has become the mind-numbing tedium of garter stitch.