Knit & Re-knit

I knit this sweater years ago then hardly ever wore it.

I love the yarn however, so I decided to unravel and re-knit it into something that suits the yarn better and that I will actually wear, like a cardigan.

This was how far along it was up until 2 weeks ago.

At last the body has been cast on, and I'm up through the waist decreases. (You can see one set of decreases below the blue stitch marker in the photo below.) Progress should move relatively quickly as it's a bulky yarn and a variation of a pattern I've used before.

The yarn is a beautiful wool tweed, sadly now discontinued, (Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky) but a pleasure to use, making it more likely that I will finish it sooner this spring rather than later. The pattern is a cardigan variation of a sweater design called Owls, by an amazing knitwear designer, Kate Davies. Her designs are so beautiful and I am especially inspired by her modern take on traditional colorwork designs and the beautiful details she puts into each one. There are so many designs that I want to knit! The Owls pattern is available through her site or her Ravelry pattern store. I've made the Owls sweater once already using Cascade's EcoWool and it's one of my most worn sweaters. I'm excited to get through this cardigan version and will have a show & tell here of the two sweaters when it's done.

The rest of my knitting (and crochet) this past fall & winter was smaller projects; several crochet potholders, including this kitchy spiral pattern, for holiday gifts, a lace-weight cowl for myself, and some hats. I recently returned to my local knitting group and discovered that they were knitting up winter hats for some young school kids. So I pulled out several leftover balls of worsted weight yarn and knit up a couple of striped watch caps to give thinking that most kids would wear a watch cap, especially the boys who are often hat averse. (Well, at least they are in my house until it's below 10 degrees or so.)

A watch cap is a great project for a beginner; you learn to knit and purl in the round, you learn decreases, and in the case of the hats I did, you can learn to create stripes which is a lot of fun and a good way to use up leftover yarn. The original black watch cap, above, is aran weight yarn and is in an adult size. The pattern for that is from a lovely book called The Joy of Knitting by Lisa R. Myers. The detail I like most about it is that the decreases at the top maintain the ribbing pattern in a really nice way. Many other watch cap patterns do not do this, some are even knit plain at the top! This pattern is a one size fits all adult pattern however, and I needed to make hats for small kids. My workaround was to substitute worsted weight yarn and use much smaller needles. I used the same number of stitches and the result was a small kid's sized version with beautiful rib pattern decreases. I have since found another watch cap pattern, called the Killick Cap, by a designer named Talena Winters. She has stores on both on Etsy and Ravelry. I love that it has the full range of adult and children's sizes and uses decreases that keep the ribbing pattern. Watch caps for all!

Next up will be tales of newly acquired vintage patterns from my mom's (now downsized) stash, a couple of vintage UFO's and some vintage fabric design inspiration! There have been a couple of other design and sewing projects going on as well. Lots of things in progress. For now, here are a few vintage patterns to enjoy from the 50's and 60's with some great details.