Babies and Bears Cardigan, super sized

I’ve made the hooded baby version of Cottage Creations’ Babies and Bear Cardigan many times. Check it out here and here. It’s sweet, quick, and babies look super cute in it. This is Cottage Creations Babies and Bears Cardigan, super-sized. Not so sweet, not so quick, and I don’t pretend I look cute in it. But it’s a well-designed, easy-to-execute pattern. The sweater is very comfortable and I’ve already worn it a lot.

Babies and Bears is knitted here in Plymouth Yarns Coffee Beenz, a 25% wool, 75% acrylic that’s part of the Encore line. The XXL size was supposed to take 1800 yards. Mine used 1520 yards (just over 7 skeins). The only significant modification I made was to add 8 more decrease stitches just after the pick up row on the neck band, to tighten up the neckline. I don’t think that would have been necessary with a yarn that was of a more firm construction than Coffee Beenz. About two inches less sleeve length would have been better for me, but I just cuff the sleeves. And, instead of leaving any sewing for the band all around the sweater, I took a lesson from the baby version and used a 42″ circular to handle the band all as one section, mitering the corners in front.

Another “Babies and Bears” sweater

Over the years, I’ve made about a half-dozen of these.This time I used the simple fair isle insert rather than the gurnsey-style knits and purls insert. Both are very sweet.This pattern, by Cottage Creations’ Carol Anderson and Kristi Williams, is a wonderful almost no-seam design. This time it’s knit in Cascade 220 Superwash. About a skein and a half, 330 yards, is all I needed for the six month size. Size 7 US needles worked for me.

My only modification is that I do a 3-needle bind-off on the hood, rather than try to graft garter stitch. I find getting the tension correct on that particular graft is very difficult and I only rarely can get it to look perfect.

Check out the gurnsey style insert here.

“Try it, you’ll like it.”

Rambling Rows, again

It’s been a bit quiet lately in the knitting corner of the blog. That’s because I’ve been working on a large-sized Rambling Rows afghan. This wonderful pattern is from Cottage Creations’ Carol Anderson and Pat Penney. It satisfies all the garter stitch lovers among us. Garter stitch is the first stitch we learn as young knitters. Every time I return to it, it feels familiar and soothing.

This afghan has 55 mitered sections and is a major project for sure. This is my tenth Rambling Rows, the fifth full-sized one I’ve made. It is photographed above on a queen-sized bed. This one is knitted of Plymouth Encore. Easy care seems like a good idea with a project of this size.

I am a bit unsure of my color choice. But maybe cranberry, tan, brown, peach and green sort of work well, especially because this afghan will be living in a room with a cranberry accent wall.

Cottage Creations’ booklets are not available (yet) in downloadable form. But lots of on-line shops carry the Rambling Rows booklet as well as many local yarn shops.

Baby’s cardigan hoodie

This is “Lillie’s Little Sweater,” another Cottage Creations pattern by Carol Anderson, with Joan DeBolt this time. I almost took a pass on knitting this because it seemed too simple to be worth the effort. Not so. It’s simple, but keeps your attention and comes out super cute.

It is worked top down, starting with the folded-back edge of the hood. I chose the garter stitch hood (stockinette directions are supplied as well) with garter stitch borders on the sleeves and at the bottom of the sweater. The raised stitch increases for the raglan sleeves add a subtle decorative touch. This is a super quick knit, worked up here in worsted weight Plymouth Encore. The six months size seems a tad large but that’s fine. It used up all but about 10 yards of two skeins.


Baby blue

This Cottage Creations old stand-by is Babies and Bears, designed by Carol Anderson and Kristi Williams. It’s sized for newborns to toddlers (and teddy bears). The change in sizing is accomplished by the yarn selection. Mine is knit in Cascade 220 Superwash on size 7 needles. My somewhat educated guess is that it will fit a bear approximately the size of a six month old baby.

This pattern is a great knit, with surprises along the way. In fact, the designers credit Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise pattern for their inspiration. It’s knit from the wrists in to the center, first one half then the other. Graft the two pieces together. Add the hood. Toward the end you’ll be knitting button bands and the garter stitch framing at the bottom. For the detail panel on the front and back, you choose a gansey raised stitch pattern or an easy fair isle. This, of course, is the raised stitch pattern.

The solid color shows off the construction in a way I find very appealing. I’ve also knit it in variegated yarn and in a tweed. Both were cute and well-received by the recipient mom. But from now on I may stick to solids. This one is my definite favorite.

I am feeling rather smug about my button choice. Mom’s old button jar really produced some vintage gems for this piece. I know that parents now have safety concerns about buttons on baby sweaters. I’ve sewed them on well with very sturdy thread. But I’ll save some yarn and I could always remove the buttons, stitch up the buttonholes, and…  I’m not sure what the and would be. Snaps wouldn’t be good. Maybe sewn-on I-cord ties. For now, I’m imagining a teddy bear wearing this.