Debbie Bliss

EBURY PRESS

LONDON

For family, friends and neighbours (particularly the Folkestone Rd Dining Club)

First published in Great Britain in 2004

13579 10 8642

Text © Debbie Bliss 2004 Photographs © Sandra Lousada 2004

Debbie Bliss has asserted her right to be identified as the author of this work under the Copyright. Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owners.

First published by Ebury Press

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A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Editor: Emma Callery Designer: Christine Wood Photographer: Sandra Lousada Stylist: Julie Mansfield Pattern checker: Rosy Tucker

ISBN 0 091 89598 7

Papers used by Ebury Press are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests.

Printed and bound in Malaysia by Tien Wah Press

Introduction 6 Knitting essentials 8

Nell

12

Hattie

88

Woody

18

Amy

90

Daisy

22

Theresa

94

Rae

26

Cassie

98

Jay

30

Cosy

104

Meg

34

Bill

106

Liam

46

Peg

110

Mia

52

Rosy

112

Pea

56

Ruby

114

Sid

60

Caitlin

118

Max

64

Bug

125

Molly

70

Beth

76

Yarn distributors 128

Sam

82

Acknowledgements 128

junior knits ivitroductioyi

Junior Knits is a collection of 25 hand knits for toddlers to teens. Older children can sometimes be overlooked when it cdmes to design and it has been a fresh challenge to create a range of hand knits that I feel will appeal to a wider age range of children. Also, with so many new knitters around, I have designed some of them, such as Woody and Nell, to be quick and easy to knit, perfect for a beginner who will appreciate a sweater completed before the enthusiasm flags! The cover jacket (Mia) is knitted all-in-one, to eliminate some of the seams that the less experienced knitter may prefer not to tackle in the early stages, such as the armhole and shoulder seams. All the accessories are simple and the garter stitch scarf with pompons (Hattie) makes a great first project for a child to knit. For those who would like to achieve colour without having to know complicated techniques, there are simple stripes in a hooded top (Bill) and hand and leg warmers (Cosy), while for knitters who like more of a challenge there is a multi-patterned poncho (Ruby) that can be worn as a skirt or body warmer. There are sporty knits with hoods and zips, and more feminine designs tied with ribbon or edged with a frill in soft cashmere mixes.

All the designs are knitted in my own brand of yarns, which have been chosen not just for their child-friendly handle but also for their easy wash and wear. The merino wools are gentle on the skin but stand up to tough wear and tear, the cashmere mixes add a touch of luxury to the designs, and for those who prefer to wear or knit in cotton, there is a soft double-knitting yarn.

Children sometimes need to be persuaded into wearing hand-knitted garments. They might like the colour or the design but are used to the lightweight feel of fleeces and sweatshirts, which also allow for plenty of movement. With this in mind I allow plenty of ease in my designs. Ease is the extra measurement allowed for comfort and movement that all garments have unless they are form-fitting adult garments. In the past, readers have sometimes queried the quoted measurements on my children's designs because they are comparing an adult's chest measurements with the actual measurements of a child's garment. I usually ask them to measure an existing garment that the child they are knitting for wears and they are often surprised to find that they match closely with the ones I have suggested. I also feel that a knit should see a child through more than one season, even if this means

the garment is larger initially than is strictly needed. If the reader is not happy with the measurements, it is easy to check the actual sizes quoted and knit a smaller size.

It can be a rewarding experience to involve the child in the garment that is being knitted for them. The choice of colour is such an individual one, but be prepared for disappointment if the tasteful shade you may have chosen is rejected in favour of a scary fluorescent pink! You may be starting to encourage a lifelong passion for knitting.

following pattern Figures for larger sizes are given in round ( ) brackets. Where only one figure instructions appears, this applies to all sizes. Work the figures given in square [ ] brackets the number of times stated afterwards. Where 0 appears, no stitches or rows are worked for this size. As you follow the pattern, make sure that you are consistently using the right stitches for your size - it is only too easy to switch sizes inside the brackets. One way to avoid this is to go through the instructions first and mark off the figures for the size you are knitting with a coloured marker or highlighter.

The quantities of yarn quoted in the instructions are based on the yarn used by the knitter for the original garment and amounts should therefore be considered approximate. A slight variation in tension can make the difference between using less or more yarn than that stated in the pattern. Before buying the yarn, look at the measurements in the knitting patterns to be sure which size you want to knit. My patterns quote the actual finished size of the garment, not the chest size of the wearer. The length of the garment is taken from the shoulder shaping to the cast-on edge.

Each pattern in the book states a tension or gauge - the number of stitches and rows per centimetre or inch that should be obtained with the given needles, yarn and stitch pattern. Check your tension carefully before starting work. A slight variation in tension can spoil the look of a garment and alter the proportions that the designer wanted. A too loose tension will produce uneven knitting and an unstable fabric that can droop or lose its shape after washing, while too tight a tension can create a hard, unforgiving fabric.

To make a tension square, use the same needles, yarn and stitch pattern quoted in the tension note in the pattern. Knit a sample at least 12.5cm/5in square. Smooth out the finished sample on a flat surface but do not stretch it. To check the stitch tension, place a tape measure horizontally on the sample and mark 10cm/4in with pins. Count the number of stitches between pins. To check the row tension place the tape measure vertically on the sample and mark 10cm/4in. Count the number of rows between the pins. If the number of stitches and rows is greater than that stated in the pattern, try again using larger needles. If the number of stitches and rows is less, use smaller needles. If you are only able to obtain either the stitch or the row tension, it is the stitch tension that is the most important to get right, as the length of many patterns are calculated by measurement rather than the number of rows you need to work to achieve it.

tension garment care Taking care of your knitted garments is important. If you have invested all that time and labour into knitting them, you want them to look good for as long as possible. Follow these guidelines for the best results.

Check the yarn label for washing instructions. Most yarns can now be machine washed on a delicate wool cycle. Prior to washing, make a note of the measurements of the garment, such as the width and length. After washing, lay the garment flat and check the measurements again to see if they are the same. If not, smooth and pat it back into shape.

Some knitters prefer to hand wash their garments. Use soap flakes specially created for hand knits, and warm rather than hot water. Handle the knits gently in the water - do not rub or wring, as this can felt the fabric. Rinse well to get rid of any soap, and squeeze out excess water. You may need to get rid of more water by rolling the garment in a towel, or use the delicate spin cycle of the washing machine. To dry the garment, lay it out flat on a towel to absorb moisture, and smooth and pat it into shape. Do not dry knits near direct heat, such as a radiator. Store your knits loosely folded to allow the air to circulate.

needle conversion chart

This needle conversion UK metric US sizes chart covers all the 2%mm size 2

knitting needle sizes 3mm size 2/3

used for the patterns in 3%mm size 3

this book. 33/mm size 5

UK metric

US sizes size 6 size 7 size 8 size 11

standard abbreviations

alt = alternate

picking up loop lying

ssk = [slip 1 knitwise]

beg = beginning

between st just worked

twice, insert tip of left

cm = centimetres

and next st and working

needle into fronts of

cont = continue

into the back of it

slipped sts and work

dec = decreas(e)ing

p = purl

2tog

foil = following

patt = pattern

st st = stocking stitch

in = inches

pk = purl and knit into

st(s) = stitch(es)

inc = increas(e)ing

next st

tbl = through back of

k = knit

psso = pass slipped st

loop

kfb = k into front and

over

tog = together

back of st

rem = remain(ing)

yb = yarn to back of

kp = knit and purl into

rep = repeat

work

next st

skpo = slip 1, knit 1,

yf = yarn to front of work

m = metres

pass slipped stitch over

yon = yarn over needle

ml = make one by

si = slip

yrn = yarn round needle

types of yan/us wool Wool spun from the fleece of sheep is the yarn that is the most commonly associated with knitting. It has many excellent qualities, as it is durable, elastic and warm in the winter. Wool yarn is particularly good for working colour patterns, as the fibres adhere together and help prevent the gaps that can appear in Fair Isle or intarsia.

Some knitters find that a simple stitch such as moss stitch or garter stitch can look neater when worked in a wool rather than a cotton yarn.

cotton Cotton yarn, made from a natural plant fibre, is an ideal all-seasons yarn, as it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I particularly love to work in cotton because it gives a clarity of stitch that shows up subtle stitch patterning, such as a moss stitch border on a collar or cuffs.

cotton and wool Knitting in yarn that is a blend of wool and cotton is particularly good for children's wear. This is because the wool fibres give elasticity for comfort but, at the same time, the cotton content is perfect for children who find wool irritating against the skin.

cashmere Cashmere is made from the underhair of a particular Asian goat. It is associated with the ultimate in luxury, and is unbelievably soft to the touch. If combined with merino wool and microfibre, as in my cashmerino yarn range, it is perfect for babies and children as well as adults.

buying yarn Always try to buy the yarn quoted in the knitting pattern. The designer will have created the design specifically with that yarn in mind, and a substitute may produce a garment that is different from the original. For instance, the design may rely for its appeal on a subtle stitch pattern that is lost when using a yarn of an inferior quality, or a synthetic when used to replace a natural yarn such as cotton will create a limp fabric and the crispness of the original design will be lost. We cannot accept responsibility for the finished product if any yarn other than the one specified is used.

substituting yarns If you do decide to use a substitute yarn, buy one that is the same weight and, where possible, has the same fibre content. It is essential to use a yarn that has the same tension as the original or the measurements will change. You should also check metreage or yardage - yarn that weighs the same may have different lengths so you may need to buy more or less yarn. Check the ball band on the yarn. Most yarn labels now carry all the information you need about fibre content, washing instructions, weight and metreage or yardage.

It is essential to check the dye lot number on the yarn label. Yarns are dyed in batches or lots, which can sometimes vary quite considerably. Your retailer may not have the same dye lot later on, so try and buy all your yarn for a project at the same time. If you know that sometimes you use more yarn than that quoted in the pattern, buy more. If it is not possible to buy the amount you need all in the same dye lot, work the borders or the lower edges in the odd one since the colour change is less likely to show here.

Debbie Bliss yarns

The following are descriptions of my yarns and a guide to their weights and types. All the yarns used in the designs are machine washable. (See page 128 for yarn distributors.)

Debbie Bliss merino double knitting: a 100% merino wool in a double-knitting weight. Soft to the touch but hardwearing. Approximately 110m/50g ball.

Debbie Bliss merino aran: a 100% merino wool in an Aran or fisherman weight. Ideal for outerwear. Approximately 78m/50g ball.

Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran: a 55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, 12% cashmere yarn in an Aran or fisherman weight. A luxurious yarn with a beautiful handle. Approximately 90m/50g ball.

Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino: a 55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, 12% cashmere lightweight yarn between a 4-ply and a double knitting. It is perfect for knitting for newborn and small babies as it is gentle against the skin. Approximately 84m/50g ball.

Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere: an 85% cotton, 15% cashmere yarn in a double-knitting weight. Soft but still has the crispness of cotton. Approximately 95m/50g ball.

Debbie Bliss cotton denim aran: knits to an Aran or fisherman weight. A soft and light, non-shrinking denim-look yarn. Approximately 68m/50g ball.

Debbie Bliss aran tweed: a 100% wool in an Aran or fisherman weight. A classic tweed with bright flecks. Approximately 92m/50g ball.

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