Let’s Knit for Hitty!!!
Hitty Jean is breaking protocol today and allowing me (Martha) to take over the blog!!! I have had so much fun this winter, knitting for Hitty…I cannot seem to put the 0000’s down! But it’s no fun to knit alone….would anyone out there like to knit along with me?!? Here is the tale of my backwards journey to fun and enjoyable knitting for Hitty that results in a useable sweater *most* times. You will soon read that I started out with patterns in 1/12 scale that were very fiddly. I will tell you how to avoid this!
I have knitted before for Hitty, but it all started big time when a friend introduced me to another friend last Fall. This new friend, L, was knitting oodles of gorgeous Hitty sweaters and gave me some pointers…she sent me on my merry way and I gave it a go. Below is my first project as I was putting it together. I had seen one made by L at my friend’s house and I was keen to try it.
It was a labor of love, for sure…and in subsequent conversation with L, we compared notes. I had made mine with 5-0 needles and #8 thread. Her’s was made with 4-0 needles and #12 thread. Both fit! Her’s was more open and airy and we both agreed that was prettier. Below is a photo of the two sweaters…L’s on the left, mine on the right (I did add buttons later…)
Lesson I learned: knitting for Hitty is a highly experimental, process oriented hobby. If you get a nice finished sweater that actually fits Hitty, that is a bonus!
I went on to knit this sweater…which needed alteration in the neckline to fit over Hitty’s head…It barely fits over her head, and at the same time the body of the sweater is too big. (But Hitty Jenny loved it so she got to keep it.)
Having knit a pattern once, you would think it could be knit again to fit…..right? Well…not always. There was the second cable attempt…I dropped a needle and thread size, and skipped some repeats of the pattern. It was coming along perfectly….except the darned neck hole!!! I had to ruin it to put it on Hitty….and when I took out the neck stitches to try making it bigger…disaster! And *poof*!!!! It was unsaveable! I ended up binning it. Two weeks of knitting. And I enjoyed every minute of it, but have no results! (Another lesson learned…keep trying!) How can that be fun, you may ask?! Because my brain is chock full of ideas about that neckline…I learned quite a bit…and when I finally am ready to knit another cable sweater for Hitty, I am pretty certain I will end up with a sweater that fits and I love! Here is the ill-fated attempt:
I needed something easier…something I could play around with without such a large time commitment from start to finish. There are *maybe* half a handful of published patterns for knitting a Hitty Sweater. The above two are upsized from 1/12 scale patterns. You can find about a handful of those out in the world. It seemed I had come to the end of the road as far as available patterns were concerned, and these are fiddly, not too easy patterns. What I really wanted and needed to improve my tiny knitting skills, was a simple, quick to knit (but still to a good scale) pattern. Hmmmm….
We got together again and L pointed me to a pattern called Little Greenup (this is a Ravelry link) – a human baby sweater. Wait…what?! Yes, it is true! L had discovered that when knit on 4-0 needles with size #8 cotton, this sweater would fit Hitty! The floodgates opened! I knit one! It fit! I knit another…with short sleeves and a slightly different pattern on the bottom. It fit! I knit two more…and completely changed the pattern on the bottom. They all fit!!! Short sleeves, long sleeves…whatever I wanted, this pattern delivered! Yahoo!!! Here is my first gray one…and my second, the blue one:
This is a perfect starter pattern for Hitty sweater knitting! If you have a Ravelry account, the link above will take you the Little Greenup pattern, which you can purchase directly from the site. Follow the directions for the smallest size which is 0-3 months and you *should* end up with a quick-ish to knit sweater for Hitty! The only caveat I must put here is that we all knit differently and though this has worked for L and myself, it is possible that your knitting will be tighter or looser and fit differently. This is part of the fun! Knitting is a process…if it doesn’t work, try again going up or down a needle size!! It gets easier every time! And if you love to knit, a failed attempt means you get to knit more!
Here’s what you need to get started:
Knitting needles. I used a size 4-0 for the Little Greenup. You will need double pointed needles for the sleeves. You can order from your local yarn shop (preferred method) or online. Amazon sells them, or a Google search will turn up some options.
Size 8 Perle (some call it Pearl) cotton. DMC is a good brand to start with as it isn’t super expensive. It comes in a small ball. Joanne’s sells it in-store in limited colors. Lots of places to purchase online. I suggest making your first project in a lighter color, for your eyes’ sake!
GOOD MAGNIFYING GLASSES! I use the cheaters you can buy at your local pharmacy….you will need these. Get the magnification that works best for you.
You will want cute buttons! I buy mine here. (I love the 3mm shank buttons.)
Lots of patience – I cannot stress this enough. Sometimes, you will be able to pick up a dropped stitch, or correct a mistake. Other times, the best solution is to bin it and start over. I never consider this time wasted…I get better at knitting tiny with each stitch.
Find me on Ravelry! My username is Mundane. I have now tried several baby sweater patterns and I have started to put up projects as I have had success with them. This means you don’t have to buy a pattern that turns out to be completely wrong for Hitty, since I have only put up the ones that work. (Be sure to read my project notes.) My “Little Greenup” for Hitty is there on my project page with pictures. This is the best pattern to start with because it is easy and customizable.
Join the Hittygirls Yahoo group! Then you will have access to the HittysKnittys Yahoo group which is all about knitting for Hitty! You can show off your results there, if you like, among kindred spirits! Yippee!!
And please do let me know how you get on!
‘Til Next Time…