Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hypothetical top-down knit hat pattern

After the first hat I made for Baby N turned out way too small, and then repeatedly starting (and frogging) a second hat because it was either too small or too big, I decided that top-down was the way to go, because you can fit it as you knit it. It was difficult to choose a pattern, though, because naturally I must consider all patterns available either online or in library books to determine the very best one--which I was ultimately unable to do. So I made one up using bits and pieces from several different sources.

This is for a simple cap in stockinette stitch with half an inch of 1x1 ribbing.
Cast on 6 sts using the figure 8 (aka wrap) method. *K1, M1* all the way around (12 sts). (For this purpose, M1 = knit in the back of the loop then the front of the same loop.)

Rnd 2: K.
Rnd 3: Increase 6 sts evenly spaced.

Repeat rnds 2 and 3 until the circumference looks almost big enough.

Now do the following calculation:
1. using what you've knit to this point, determine your gauge, G sts/inch;
2. measure the wearer's head circumference, H inches; and
3. the number of sts needed for the circumference, C = 90% x H x G.

Continue repeating rnds 2 and 3 until you have C sts.

Now, measure from eyebrows to the base of the head, L. The length of the hat (from cast-on to cast-off edge) should, in theory, equal 1/2 x L.

Knit straight (no increases) in stockinette st, until the piece measures (1/2 x L) - 1/2 inch.

Switch to knitting needles that are 1 size smaller, and knit 1/2 inch of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1).

Cast off tubularly.
So, that is the hypothetical pattern. Now I just have to test whether it works.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Baby sling M5678

Five years ago when Little M was an infant, and we were living in downtown SF and carless (not a typo: we didn't have a car), we carried him everywhere in this NoJo ring sling:
(As you can see, he was very comfortable in it.)
But it was quite bulky, and not ideal for wearing when the weather's warm. You can make a sling quite easily. There are free instructions on the web. I used McCall's 5678 (only I made it single-layered instead of double). Here it is in size Small (for reference: I'm 5'7" tall):
Baby and mom are both comfortable, but it's a slight bit of a challenge getting him into the pocket. Size Medium works perfectly (and even my 6' tall 200-lb husband can use it).

I made single-layered slings (M5678 calls for 2 layers of fabric). There is just one, curved seam. For strength you should double-stitch it. The edges are narrow-hemmed. Also, to make it even easier to put on (you have to fold it in half lengthwise and match the edges, before putting it on), you can stitch the two sides together at the shoulder so that it's always pre-folded and ready to don.

Fabric used: Thrifted duvet cover.

(Addendum: If you get stuck at step 14 of the instructions, check out the tips in the Comments below.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

S3874 nursing top

This nursing top is based on another idea from Rostitchery. The top part (the overlay) is from Simplicity 3874 (now OOP), which, conveniently, has an underbust seam. I put on the dress I made from this pattern to confirm that I could cut the back piece on the fold and get rid of the zipper. The underlay is a simple rectangle.
After taking the above photo I tacked the underlay to the overlay's armhole seam allowances, to keep the underlay from getting pulled down whenever I sat down.
Fabric used: a thrifted super soft, all-cotton sheet.
It's cute, but I should have adjusted for the larger & lower mammaries.
By the way, I overcame my lazy tendencies and fixed the nursing T by taking in the underbust elastic--it looks much better!
In non-sewing news: I got Baby N to smile at me today!