Friday, April 19, 2013

T-Top, Sideways Knit Bodice and Sleeves

(Click on photos to enlarge)
I’ve been intending to make this top for a long time.  I just knew it would be something I’d like and wear and it is, so much so that I made 2 of them.  What inspired me was a knit-along sponsored by the Machine Knitting group on 
It’s modeled after ‘T-Time’ from, made on a Bond USM. dissolved a couple of years ago but the wayback machine was able to pull an archive file.

This is a basic T-top that’s knit from cuff to cuff for the sleeves and bodice.  Then the body is knit in 2 pieces from the bottom up, sewed to the bodice and seamed on the sides.  Several knitters have joined the Ravelry knit-along and we’ve all been able to personalize it to make it our own.  I knit mine on my midgauge SK860 machine with DK weight yarns and added a crochet edging around the cuffs and bottom hem to control the curl on my first one and knit a 1” 2x2 ribbing at garment tension at the edges on the second one.   Hung hems could easily be done.  For this crocheted edge trim, I single crocheted around the entire piece, decreasing over the ladder stitches for the mock rib.  Then I used a larger hook and worked a sc, chain, sk 1 sc around on the first row. On the next and subsequent rows, I worked a sc into the chain space of the previous row and continued as in row 1 with a chain, sk 1 st and a sc into the space. I put 3 rows on the sleeves and 4 on the bottom.  KangaMooKnit's pattern is perfectly lovely as it is if you don't mind the curl at the edges.
I also added a couple inches to the length of the sleeves and didn't want to do the math so I used the calculator at to determine the number of increases/decreases required for my altered length. 
The bodice can be knit longer by casting on desired amount of stitches (where the pattern instructs you to mark for the sleeves) on each side after the first sleeve is completed, then binding off the same number of stitches after the bodice is knit and before starting the second sleeve.  See my last schematic.

I must add that as I made this on my midgauge machine with DK weight yarns, I transferred every 6th st instead of the 5th as in the pattern on the denim colored top and transferred every 7th st in the teal top to make the 'mock rib' effect.
The top can be made for any size with any machine and yarn.  Swatch, launder and dry your yarn as you would the finished garment to get a good gauge.  Use the schematics below to fill in your measurements, stitches and rows, decide on your edging treatment, if you want to control the curl and you’re ready to knit a T-top following the written pattern from KangaMooKnits. 

This is my 2nd T-top knit with teal Berroco Vintage DK on my SK860 and ribber.  On this one I began each body piece with an inch of 2x2 ribbing knit at body tension.  I like it just as well as the first one and with less finishing.

AFTERTHOUGHT:  I wore the teal top today with the ribbed edge trim.  It was wonderful, except that if I make more with the ribbed trim, I would increase the tension (decrease tension dial) of just the bottom edge by up to a full number instead of knitting at body tension.  It had a tendency to stretch out as the day wore on.  The sleeve trim at body tension held up well. 

ANOTHER AFTERTHOUGHT:   This T-top pattern was used during a Knit-A-Long in the Machine Knitting group on  This is good because it sparked conversations along the way on how others made their tops.  One of the conversations led to a nice improvement on how to attach the body pieces to the bodices.  Instead of  making the body pieces separately and seaming them afterward, the body piece was knit after hanging the bodice on the machine which leaves no seaming after it's off the machine.  So for future tops, I intend on hanging the bodice on the main bed, knitting one row, transferring the stitches to make the mock rib design and continue to knit the body piece.  Easy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brimmed Chemo Sun Hat
(Click on photos to enlarge)
Machine:  Bulky
Yarn:  Peaches and Crème worsted cotton, 3.5 oz
           1 strand of 10/2 cotton in brim only, small amount
Gauge:  4 sts, 7 rows = 1”
Tension:  T8 for brim, T6 for crown
Size:  Woman’s Medium, 21” circumference

Begin with the brim:  Make 2.  (See note below)
1.   Scrap/ravel cord, CO 70 sts.
2.   T10++, K1R.
3.   Use one strand of Peaches and Crème and 1 strand of 10/2 cotton, threaded thru separate tension units on the mast.  T10+, K1R.
4.   T8, K2R.  (RC004)
5.    *  Dec 9 sts evenly across, starting with ndl L2.
6.    Use a garter bar, multiple stitch transfer tool or scrap off
       and rehang to move stitches together after the decrease
       rows so there are no empty needles. *
7.    K4R.   (RC008)
8.    Repeat from * to *.   K4R.  (RC012)
9.    Repeat from * to *.   K3R.  (RC015)  (43 sts remain)
10.  T6, K1R.  (RC016)
11.  Scrap off.

12.  With wrong sides facing, hang the 2 brim pieces side by side onto 86 needles.  Remove scrap yarn.
13.  T6, K1R.  (without the 10/2 cotton)
14.  Beginning with needle #3L and keeping the empty needles in work, make an eyelet row by transferring every 3rd st to its neighbor to the right.  (Make an even # of eyelets)
15.  RC000, K18R.
16.  *  Beginning with needle #3L, evenly decrease 9 sts total across.  Use a garter bar, multiple stitch transfer tool or scrap off and rehang to move stitches together after the decrease rows so there are no empty needles.  K2R.  *
17.  Keeping the decrease stitches on the same needles as the previous decrease row, repeat decreases from * to * 8 times total til 14 sts remain.
18.  K1R, cut yarn and gather live stitches and secure.

Note:  The CO edge of the brim flares upward a bit too much for my liking.  I might suggest casting on, K1R, then turn by garter and continue with the hat. – OR -  Begin with 3 rows of garter stitch before beginning the decreasing.

1.   Use a flat Bickford type seam to sew the back and brim seams.
2.   To finish the brim, with the purl side up, begin at a side opposite a yarn tail and use a latch tool to loosely pull one stitch thru the other around and fasten off.  Remove scrap yarn.
3.   Machine wash and dry on cool water and warm heat.  Dry only until damp dry.  Fit to head or wig form and allow to finish by air drying.
4.   Steam press the edge of the brim to correct curling. 
5.   May use a fabric stiffener, spray starch, hair spray, sugar/water, etc to stiffen the brim. 
6.   Weave a ribbon, I-cord, braid, etc thru the eyelet row. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bootie Pin or Needle Cushion

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Are you always searching or fumbling for a needle, pins or your double eyed transfer tool?  Or maybe you need a quick little giftie for a needle crafting friend.  Here is a cute way to be able to find your needles or pins easily when you need them.  I make one baby bootie, cut a sole shape from a piece of cardboard so it sits flat, amply stuff the bootie with scrap yarn ends or fiberfill and tie the bow at the top.  Any bootie pattern can be used. 
I have one sitting beside each of my machines.  Or they can be taken to knit-ins, to a favorite easy chair or on a road trip.  I knit these on my standard machine with bits of odds and ends of yarn but they can be made on any machine because size isn’t a concern. 
Cute, huh?