Quilt Gallery

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Fresh Start to the New Year

Each member of my family skis with a distinctive style that reflects his or her personality. Steve skis athletically and elegantly, skis chattering in his narrow old-fashioned stance, Eva skis gracefully and always solidly in control, and Isabel is fast, with a wide racer's stance, impatient to get down the mountain first. I tag along behind, somehow getting the job done, enjoying the company, the scenery and the freshness of being in the outdoors. I have occasional moments where everything clicks and I can glide effortlessly through new powder or swoop around a big mogul, drop smoothly down the steep side, and then repeat again and again until the burning in my legs makes me stop. What a rush!

Looking back along the route to "The Crags"

Last month Jackson Hole served up the best Christmas skiing conditions I can remember. Days of low visibility but lots of fresh powder where we stuck near the glades for their enhanced perspective alternated with sunny days in which we carved up open slopes.

In spite of all the great skiing, my most vivid and enduring memory of the week was waking early to watch the snowy peaks of the Teton range brighten in the morning light. As Annie Proulx might have described it, "I stepped out into the grinning morning" and took a few photos.

Teton Sunrise

I brought home some of that exhilaration and energy and am using it to work through projects and chores at home in addition to working on quilts and various pieces of needlework.  One of those projects was the pile of mending that has been nagging at me for months. It turned out to be a matter of less than half an hour to deal with the entire thing. This old pillow case with a hand-crocheted edge, one of a pair my mother gave me years ago, needed only one long seam to repair the edge that had frayed completely through. I love that I am able to continue to use it and know I will sleep well when I put my head on a pillow clothed in that beautiful and crisply ironed pillowcase.

As promised in my last post, here is the pattern for knitting in the round a tiny sweater for a toy bear.  I made the one pictured here for my daughter's roommate, who was recently accepted by the University of Chicago.  Congratulations Noa!

Top Down Knit Sweater for Beanie Baby Bear:

  • Worsted weight yarn in white, cream, or color of your choice (I'm not sure how much you really need, but it isn't much).
  • Worsted weight yarn in contrast color (scraps should suffice).
  • Set of five US 4 double point needles.
  • Stitch holders.
  • Small button (optional).
  • Needle for weaving in ends.
  • 6 stitches per inch.
  • 8 rows per inch.
Begin by working back and forth (not in the round).
  • Cast on 28 stitches in main color.
  • Rows 1 - 3: work in Knit 1, Purl 1 (K1 P1) rib.
  • Row 4 (wrong side): Purl.
  • Row 5 (right side): Knit.
Arrange stitches on four double point needles as follows, with the first 5 and last 5 stitches on the same needle:  5 - 4 - 10 - 4 - 5.  The first 5 and last 5 will be the back, each set of 4 will be a sleeve, and the 10 in the middle will be the front.

Join the stitches to knit the remainder of the sweater in the round.
  • Round 1: Knit, increasing 1 stitch at the beginning and end of each needle (except for the middle of the back) as follows:
    • K4, M1, K1 (half of back)
    • K1, M1, K2, M1, K1 (sleeve)
    • K1, M1, K8, M1, K1 (front)
    • K1, M1, K2, M1, K1 (sleeve)
    • K1, M1, K4 (other half of back)  - 36 stitches on 5 needles
  • Round 2: Knit.
  • Round 3: Knit, increasing 1 stitch at each end of each needle (except for the middle of the back) in the same manner as Round 1 (44 stitches).
  • Round 4: Knit.
  • Round 5: Repeat Round 3 (52 stitches).
  • Round 6: Knit.
  • Round 7: Repeat Round 3 (60 stitches).
  • Round 8: Knit.
  • Round 9: Repeat Round 3 (68 stitches).
  • Round 10: Knit to end of 4th needle (end of left sleeve).
Divide 14 left sleeve stitches onto three needles; place remaining stitches for back, front, and right sleeve on holders.

Left sleeve :
  • Join stitches into round . 
  • Knit 8 rounds.
  • Join contrast color and Knit 1 round.
  • Knit 1 round with main color.
  • Knit 3 rounds in K1 P1 rib.
  • Working in K1 P1 rib, bind off loosely.  Cut yarn, leaving several inches to weave in.
Right sleeve:
  • Join main color yarn and work same as for left sleeve.
  • Place remaining 40 stitches on 3 needles and join into round.
  • Work same as sleeves.
  • Weave in ends. 
  • Using contrast color overstitch letter of your choice on the center of the front.
  • If desired, sew a button to the back neck edge and work the yarn tail into a small loop.

No comments:

Post a Comment