Archive for the ‘We Call them Pirates’ Category

Hello again, Blogland!

I’ve been both lazy and busy with real life with some knitting thrown in.

Like what? Something for my Gryffindor swap partner…

This is the first non-garter back and forth thing I’ve ever made. Partner, I hope you realize the sacrifice involved!

Then some washclothes a’ la Elizabeth Zimmermann to use up some scraps:

The one on the left is EZ’s  (February) double knitting pot handler from Knitter’s Almanac. The one on the right is 2 garter triangles I grafted together. I called these my technique towels- now I know the theory of double knitting and garter grafting.

Then there was planning and ordering yarn for my next [huge] project. Remember the twin Fishtraps I made this spring?  Their father now wants a matching sweater. This will be an adventure!

I’m going to do it as a seamless Saddle Shoulder to eliminate the steek and seaming.  With a base number of 268 I’m looking to minimize labor any way I can…  More EZ love, think I’ll ever get tired of it?   uh, no.

Then there were the last minute socks for my mother:

Just a generic cuff-down sock on 64 stitches with an adapted chart from HelloYarn‘s We Call Them Pirates. The yarn is Sunbeam St. Ives 4 ply sock and a bit of leftover Tofutsies for the skullys. US sz. 0 / 2mm needles. Gauge was 8 sts/in.
I offered to make Mom some socks for her first day of school (college at 51- go Mom!) and got a request for pirates. It seems I’ll never be finished knitting pirates!  I finished them up at 1 o’clock this morning. It should not have been hard to finish up a pair of ankle socks in 4 days but…

…I went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Fest….  that will be it’s own post tomorrow.


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Before I was a mother I looked rather askance at mothers who dressed their children in matching clothing. Too Cutsey! Little did I know…

Last winter after hearing my fellows argue and argue about who got to wear what I broke down and bought them matching jackets.


There we are in April, exploring the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.  Those blessed jackets have prevented many a squabble amongst the restless natives.

Now we’re doing it again, but now it’s the matching Knitwear:


The set is complete. Each boy now has Pirate hat, sweater, and socks.  I’m done knitting pirates for awhile.

[I hope you will all forgive the orange shorts.  Gabriel is quite decisive about his clothes and refused to change for the photoshoot. And that grey thing he’s holding is his beloved t-shirt he had to take off for the shoot.]

Project Specs: Saddle Shoulder Pirate Sweater version 2.0 – for Gabriel
Pattern: Seamless Saddle Shoulder recipe from Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  Skull chart from HelloYarn.  Original idea from ZigZag Stitch.

Yarn: KnitPicks Telemark colors Mineral Heather (4.5 skeins) and Black (less than 1 skein)

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 4 / 3.50 circular and double point needles.  Approximately 5.5 sts per inch – 25″ finished chest.


Verdict: A bit on the small side for a rapidly growing kid. Oh well. I think Gabriel is always cute. Does it matter what he’s wearing?


I still can’t decide if the yarn is Grey or Purple. Opinions?

PS: Love love love love Elizabeth Zimmermann.  Her sweater designs are so useful and brilliant!

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Sorry I haven’t posted.  I’ve been wanting to finish everything in sight, so blogland was (shockingly) brushed aside. Well, I had to knit it before I could show you! So without further ado…


Nikolai asked for a Pirate hat to go with the Pirate sweater and Pirate socks… I’m getting really sick of pirates.

The pattern is We Call Them Pirates by the amazing Adrian of HelloYarn.

Yarn is KnitPicks Telemark in colorways Brass Heather and Black. One skein (50gms) each color.

Knit on US sz. 2 / 3 mm – 16 inch circular needle, and dpns for the top.

Gauge was 5.75 sts per inch. This spent 40 minutes in the dryer to shrink down enough to fit Nikolai. I love wool. 

Modifications: Very few. I knit the panels negative to each other, because I thought it would be fun and also omit the little rectangles beside the skulls.

Can I show you something similar to those first socks?

I knit the black and white pirates last winter, it was my first colorwork project.  I intended to give the finished hat to my brother, but it came out only 16 inches around.  After much grumbling about wasted work etc. Gabriel adopted it, stretched it, and loves it to death.

It’s interesting and gratifying to me how much my knitting has changed and improved over the past year. Last December I knit 8 sts per inch using sz. 4 needles. Now I’m knitting less than 6 sts per in on a sz. 2 needle with comparable yarn!  My gauge is also much more consistent and predictable. My hands and wrists are thanking me!

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Minus a good wash and block, it’s done!

What a fun knit. Once you get everything joined it goes so fast. I’ve heard “like a house on fire” used to describe the knitting of this sweater and that pretty much sums it up.

Saturday afternoon at 2pm I cast on the second sleeve. At 12:30am I was finished with the knitting, and of course this includes time for playing with the kids, supper, bath, bedtime…

I finished up the rest this morning while the boys were out – grafting the underarms, tacking down the neck stitches, weaving in ends. This is what I love about Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sweaters. They look fantastic straight off the needles. The hems are such a classy finish, and the shaping fits wonderfully.


Project Specs: started August 3rd, 2007, finished August 19th, 2007

Pattern: The Saddle Shoulder Pirate Sweater. Recipe from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop, skully chart from HelloYarn. Mucho inspiration from Zigzag Stitch.

Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark in colorways Brass Heather (7 skeins) and Black (1 skein). Camelia superwash in charcoal for hems.

Needles: US sz 3 / 3.25 mm for hems. US sz 4 / 3.50 mm for all visible portions.

Size and Gauge: 5.31 stitches per inch. 168 sts around for a 31 inch finished chest. I took measurements from one of Nikolai’s favorite sweatshirts. You can imagine how gratifying this was.

Stuff: I did a lot of hemming and hawing about the sleeves. I first learned about EZ through Meg Swansen’s Knitting, in which she gives the upper arm EPS as 40%, but EZ’s original number was 33%. It took a ridiculously long time for me to reach a decision, but I eventually decided to go with 40% since kid knits and ease go so well together.

When you reach the sleeve join the pattern in Knitting Workshop directs you to knit one inch plain before you begin decreases. My guess was this was extra ease with the 33% sleeve, since I already had that ease I started the decreases directly after the join and it worked out great.

The epaulet and neck-back saddles I had to make considerably smaller than called for because I was running out of stitches too rapidly. I finished the neck at 45%.

Verdict: Nikolai loves it. I love it. And Gabriel needs one too.



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The last of our guests trickled out the door today. It’s very quiet around here!!

I got deplorably little knitting accomplished, turned on the computer infrequently, and had a wonderful time with the extended family. Now that I’ve had my family vacation I’m ready for a knitting and blogging vacation!

I do have a little something to show you…
The beginnings of Nikolai’s Pirate Sweater. The wool is quite a bit more golden than that picture. Personally I think the color is stunningly beautiful, but I could see some folks finding it a bit overpowering. It’s KnitPicks Telemark in Brass Heather.

I’m not sure I’ll have enough wool. I’m well into my 3rd of 6 skeins and not even close to the armpits! Eeek!! Should I order more now so I have it when I need it? or just wait and see? I’m very tempted to order more now because it’s just so nice to get wool in the mail!

I’m copying/borrowing quite closely Mandy‘s Pirate Sweater that she made for her son last winter. It will be a seamless saddle shoulder sweater following EZ’s directions in Knitting Workshop and The Opinionated Knitter. The skull and crossbones chart comes from Helloyarn.

All you Harry Potter people- Did Dolores Umbridge had the Horcrux when she was at Hogwarts? I don’t want to excuse her evilness, but was it a factor?

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I promised scads of socks and real life inconveniently got in the way for several days. Yesterday we welcomed the first of 11 guests coming for a family reunion over the next couple weeks. This could mean 2 things- extra babysitters = more knitting time or many family outings = no knitting time

Who cares?? I never get to see these people, I’m going to go enjoy myself!

Anyway…. socks. First Nikolai’s pirate sockies from HelloYarn‘s We Call Them Pirates chart.


And Gabriel’s pirate sockies to help curb the sibling rivalry (sorry about the fuzzy pic)

Both pairs were knitted using leftover sockie handdye for the cuffs, and Camelia Superwash by Garnstudio for the rest. Both were knitted on 42 sts to accomodate the chart. To get sizes appropriate for the kids Nikolai’s were knitted on sz. 3 / 3.25mm needles, Gabriel’s were knitted on sz. 2 / 3.00mm needles.

After those were out of the way I was able to get some work done on the first Ladies Lozenge Stocking- adapted from the Gentleman’s Lozenge Sock in Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.


I had to do some major resizing which involved a calf shaping panel in the back. It doesn’t look the greatest, but it did what I needed- fit over my calf while not being too baggy around the ankle and foot.


So there you have it. Five new socks and a purple mate on the way. For now I’m going to relax and enjoy my extended family, so I’ll see you whenever I can!

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Oof. I’m beginning to think I’ve gotten in over my head. Let’s see, what am I doing?

Squirrel and Squirrel Mittens from Hello Yarn, and a Squirrel Hat based on the mitten chart. Both for Nikolai.

Squirrel HatSquirrel Mittens

“Fixing” Nikolai’s Wishbone Sweater. I didn’t like how long it was from armpits to shoulder so I ripped it out today, to within a couple inches from the underarm, and doubled the rate of decrease. I did something similar to Lindsay’s Wishbone but I haven’t seen her wearing it yet, so I’m not sure how well it worked. I think it’s working, the sweater looks more “right” now.

Wishbone Re-do

The triangle shawl. It’s getting bigger slowly. I had to rip out several inches last night since some of the yarn was off-color. Grr.

Last night I cast on a shortened Norwegian Stocking for my Mom. I’ve owed her a pair of socks since November, so I decided it had better be something really cool. Luckily for me she is a very buff runner/biker and so she can’t wear socks over her calves… her pants wouldn’t fit. My god, you should see this woman’s calves! Anyway, so I’m starting with the below-calf number of stitches, doing the top stars and proceeding directly to the decreased pattern. I hoping it will be a quick knit.

Norwegian Stocks

Gabriel just got my new We Call Them Pirates Hat and thinks he needs the Mittens too. He wears that hat everwhere, it’s just way too adorable for his mother’s soft heart.

WCTP-Back ViewWCTP- GabrielWCTP-GleeWCTP-with Pepere

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I learned to knit in September and now I’m totally addicted. Thank goodness people have been giving me yarn for the past 2 years. Here we have some of my latest adventures in knitting:

A garter stitch triangle shawl. Except I got bored and put in some basic texture design. Shawl Progress

A sweater for Miss Lindsay’s 3rd Birthday. Modified from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Wishbone sweater, with stranding. Peppermint Patty Peppermint Patty

A golf club cover for the We Call Them Pirates KAL. Still in the boring part. Ho HumClub Cover Ribbing

I also recently started a Pippin scarf from Lord of the Rings. My colors are way off, so I’m not sure I’ll finish it.

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