Category Archives: Knitting

Willy the Wily….WOLF!!

****UPDATE**** I’ve received several requests to share the pattern since it seems to be no longer available on Ravelry. Unfortunately, the pattern is not mine to share. I’d recommend trying to contact the designer directly through Ravelry if you’d like the pattern.

Crafty Little Secret - Willy the Wily Wolf sweater -
It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to knit my nephew a sweater for Christmas. He’ll be 2 in February so this year I wanted to make him something that he would think was fun. I somehow got it into my head that I wanted to make him a little grey wolf sweater, and the closest thing I could find that was close to what I was imagining was the Willy the Wily Fox knitting pattern. Turns out it’s pretty easy to convert a fox into a wolf.

I really wanted a soft, washable wool that would be nice and warm and feel soft on his skin, but I also wanted flecks of different shades of grey in the yarn. That, apparently, is a tall order. The pattern called for super bulky weight yarn but I just couldn’t find anything I liked in that weight. Why do they make so many scratchy yarns??? I ended up buying something lighter and doubling up the strands as I knit it. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down what yarn I bought so I can’t share that with you. Just trust me that it’s soooooooooooooooooooft.

And expensive. This might be the last year Ben gets a sweater. The little dude grows so fast that I’m sure it won’t fit him next year and I wasn’t that happy with the fit from the pictures my brother sent me. (The hood seems small and tight around his face, though now that I look back at some of the photos of the pattern on Ravelry, I think I should have expected that) It’s a lot of money to spend on something that he’s not really old enough to appreciate and won’t last very long.

Willy the Wily Wolf Sweater - Crafty Little Secret  -

I’m also not sure that I really love knitting sweaters. I don’t know what it is, but I’m truly terrible at assembling them. This sweater looked, ooooooooh about a million times better before I assembled it and picked up the stitches to add the dark trim. I even went through the effort of carefully blocking each piece. I might be a scarf/hat/mitten kinda girl. Hey, kids need mittens too, right? Maybe we’ll be scaling down next year.

Crafty Little Secret - Willy the Wily Wolf Sweater - www.craftylittlesecret.comThe pattern came together pretty well, though it’s a little light on the definitions and instructions. For instance, sometimes the pattern will just jump from Row 17 to like, row 38 or something. That tripped me up and I thought rows were missing until I realized that meant I was just supposed keep knitting as before for those missing rows. But really, how hard would it be to add an extra line that said “18-37: Knit all even rows, purl all odd rows” or whatever? Just to avoid confusion for dummies like me. The pattern did include instructions for picking up stitches and sewing up seams.

Crafty Little Secret - Willy the Wily Wolf Sweater - www.craftylittlesecret.comI used the buttons that I bought in Portland just over a year ago. I think they look cute on a little boy’s sweater and I’m not sure what else I would have used them for.

So there you have it. Willy the Wily Wolf. Cute sweater for a cute kid and would definitely be a great pattern a little more adept at assembly than I.


WIPs and WIIs

Works in progress and works in imagination. Or maybe they count as in progress if you’ve purchased the materials????

Crafty Little Secret - WIPs - www.craftylittlesecret.comThe furthest along project first. I’m working on my first pair of dress pants! Well, okay, not my first ever, but my first since I started sewing seriously again and am trying to do things properly. I’m using some fabric I picked up in the NYC fabric district and an old sewing pattern (Vogue 7301). I’m going to have to improvise some pockets because pants without pockets shouldn’t be allowed to exist, but I’m not worried about that.

Crafty Little Secret - WIPs - www.craftylittlesecret.comAnd next….a sweater for my nephew. I’ve kinda started making him a sweater a year for Christmas or his birthday (whenever I finish it). Since it’s only been two years I guess that’s not much of a streak but I’m gonna try to keep it going. Can’t give away too much though because I think he’s parents read this blog and I don’t want to give away the surprise. I just hope they appreciate that I made sure to buy washable wool for a toddler sweater (hand washable still counts, right?)….

Crafty Little Secret - WIPs -

This final one is still very much in my imagination and still needs to go through its “experimental” phase. I’ve been turning an idea for a quilt over in my head (you can check out my Pinterest board here) that would be some sort of shibori-inspired blue and white quilt with embroidery. So when I was at Walgreen’s and saw some Rit dye calling to me, I remembered I had some old sheets at home that I could practice shibori dying! Yay mess!

And that’s all the projects I’ve got going these days, hopefully I’ll be sharing the finished pants with you sooner than later but I’m finding them oddly intimidating right now…..

Ben’s Birthday Sweater!

My adorable little nephew had his first birthday this weekend and while I didn’t get his present mailed in time, I at least finished it in time for his birthday!

Paton's Hooded Cardigan knitting patternI really wanted to make him a little hoodie so I chose the free Paton’s Hooded Cardigan pattern in size 12-18 mo. (fingers crossed that it fits him!). Clearly, however,  this sweater does not have a hood. I ran out of yarn.

Paton's Hooded Cardigan knitting pattern size 12-18 moI was commissioned to make a sweater for my nephew by a friend of my brother’s who brought some amazing lamb’s wool back from Australia, so I only had a finite amount of yarn. It was hard to guess how much I’d need since I was altering the suggested color blocking and I think I made the arms too long. Oh well, it’s still pretty darn cute without the hood too.

Paton's Hooded Cardigan no hoodI carried the stripe along the chest and back but didn’t include it in the sleeves. I’d never knit this pattern before (and this is only my second sweater) so I wasn’t totally sure about the construction and how it would all come together. I figured if I did the stripe on the sleeves and it didn’t match up it would make the whole sweater look wonky so it was better to just leave it off.

Baby cardigan knitting patternI used Moda Vera Pure Wool 8 ply, the blue is colorway 47 and the teal is colorway 37. Do you think I would keep track of how much yarn I actually did use in case someone wanted to replicate this? No, of course not. I definitely don’t knit as much as I sew so remembering what details I should be tracking is a bit of a learning experience for me.

The collar was relatively easy to add, which was nice because I’d never made an alteration like that to a knitting pattern before (wipes brow with sigh of relief). I just followed the pattern and cast off the neckline as detailed in the pattern. Instead of adding a hood though, I counted the number of stitches around the neckline (I think I had 62), then I made a K1, P1 [repeat] rib that was 6 rows long and sewed it on.Paton's Hooded Cardigan baby knitting patternIn addition to the collar alteration, another first for me with this project was blocking! I wrapped a bulletin board in a towel to use as my base then spritzed the sweater with a bit of cool water and pinned it in place on the board. I probably should have blocked each piece individually before assembling the sweater, but I didn’t think of it then. So instead I blocked in two stages; the body of the sweater first, then the arms in a second step. The blocking definitely helped keep the collar from folding over and corrected some wonkiness along the button placket.

[ASIDE: All this knitting talk reminds me – you can find me on Ravelry as CraftyLilSecret].

Happy birthday Ben! Sorry your present is late, but something tells me you won’t hold it against me…..

Knitting Pattern: Chunky Green Cowl

I really can’t go near my favorite San Francisco yarn store, Imagiknit, without buying something. The struggle is usually to limit myself to just one yarn, if I don’t have a specific project in mind!

On my last trip I picked up this gorgeous Malabrigo yarn. I’ve been thinking about making the leap into chunky knitting lately (up until now, I think the largest needles I had ever used were a US 10) and this yarn was enough to entice me!

solis_malabrigoRastaThese pictures really don’t capture the depth and gorgeous color saturation with this yarn. It’s a gorgeous aquatic swirl of lime green with the deepest teal blue. All the colors in this line were beautiful and it was almost impossible to choose just one! Luckily, a quick look in my wallet usually makes it seem a lot more possible…

Since this was $22/90 yards I could only afford one skein and had to make sure I made something that I would definitely wear. The yarn was also so incredibly soft I wanted to make sure that whatever I made would be worn right against my skin.

So, without further ado, I reveal my Chunky Green Cowl.

SAMSUNGOnce again, the picture above is washing out the color and not doing it any justice whatsoever. The photo below is really the one that is closest to what it looks like in reality.


I did a garter stitch on single point needles until I ran out of yarn. I put a single twist in it before I stitched it together to turn it into an infinity scarf.

2013-03-08 15.46.24

Here’s the pattern: Enjoy!

Yarn: Malabrigo Rasta (100% Merino Wool)
Yardage: 90 yards
Weight: Chunky
Needles: US 16, single point

CO 20.
Row 1: K 20.
Repeat until out of yarn.

Put in a single twist by joining the front side of one end to the back side of the other end to make an infinity scarf. Join using Kitchener stitch.

Decisions, decisions….

I haven’t been knitting much lately and I’ve been itching to get back into it, but haven’t had the inspiration. Before Christmas I was working on a second sweater for my much anticipated niece/nephew but about halfway through the project I realized it was going to be waaaaaaaaaaay too big for the kid and it has sat untouched since. Maybe I’ll get inspired to take it apart and restart it. Maybe.

Then I started thinking that I’d like to knit something for myself again. Scarf? Cowl? Boring. I knit my mom a really nice beret for Christmas last year and might make one for myself but that’s still not that exciting. I need a big meaty project. And then I thought to myself, what about a sweater?! And then I remembered that I’m halfway through making myself a sweater (I had so thoroughly forgotten about it that it’s not even listed in my “On the Go” post…). But once I finished the back and thought it might end up too big I just kinda gave up on that one too. I WILL finish it though, mark my words.

I thought about it though and don’t really feel like making a sweater. I’ve got lots of ’em. Then it struck me. A sweater dress!!!! As I trolled Ravelry for the perfect pattern it occurred to me that I didn’t want to pick something knit on the world’s lightest weight yarn this time (something I’m prone to doing) and that this might be the perfect project to delve into the world of chunky weight yarn!

Here are some of the patterns I came across that I’m thinking of.

The Diva Tunic

This one is the Diva Tunic. Cute (without the silly sleeves), and a length I’d like but knit on way too small a needle for such a big project I think.

Roam Tunic

The Roam Tunic has the same problem as the last, with being knit on smaller needles, plus I’m not sure that I like the neckline. It is too much of a classic turtle neck and I prefer a larger cowl if I’m going to do something like that.

The last two options are both from the same knit designer and I’m a little nervous to try either one. The Kangaroo Tunic is cute, but might end up being too bulky with the big pocket in front and large kneck. I’m also not sure why the girl is upside down in the post.

Kangaroo TunicThe one I’m leaning toward the most is the Shopping Tunic. It’s simple, stylish and cute and looks like it wouldn’t be too difficult to increase the length and make it a cute little dress to go with some leggings. Or maybe I just think it looks cute on the skinny girl in the picture.

Shopping Tunic

The other thing I’m a little bit worried about, speaking of skinny people, is the comments on Ravelry about this entire book, Twinkle’s Big City Knits. In general it sounds like these patterns are sized very small and contain a lot of errors. For instance, according to the book this pattern requires 10 skeins of yarn (7 in the addendum), but all the knitters have said it only takes 3-4 skeins. I guess I figure the upside of this one is that, on size 16 needles, it would knit so quickly that if it didn’t work out it’s not like I would have wasted much time and I can just use the yarn for something else.

Anyone have experience with altering the sizing on sweaters??????