Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DC STATE FAIR, and the winner of the Knitting Competition is.....

 This weekend I found out that I won the DC State Fair's Knitting Competition! Oh yes, I was excited. I did a victory dance, gave a few cheers....ok...so maybe I just smiled really big. Afterwards, I had a few people ask me where they could buy their own knit DC t-shirt or if I had a pattern available for them to make their own. I promised to write up my pattern notes and make the pattern available here on my blog, so here it is. If you interested in buying an already completed t-shirt knit by me. You can message me at vania@knitwhilehenaps.com or keep an eye out on our Etsy store where I will have a listing available for it soon. And just in case you missed my prize winning performance at the state fair here are is a picture....
Ooooh! A gift certificate to Looped Yarn Works...and a first place ribbon? 
Why yes please, thank you very much!
The entries on display at Looped Yarn Works, my favorite LYS in the city.
As you can see the competition was limited but fierce. :) Many many thanks to Looped Yarn Works for sponsoring the knit/crochet competition and the prize.

And since they did not let me make a winner's acceptance speech (darn!) Here it is....

I would like to thank the little shop on the corner of Florida Ave and Connecticut Ave for always displaying their souvenir shirts on the sidewalk and thus inspiring my design for the competition. I thought...cotton souvenir shirts? It's getting cold. Why don't they have their sweatshirts out..or even better....why don't they have wool knit souvenir shirts? That'd be awesome....OMG....best idea EVER!

Looped Yarn Works for sponsoring the knit/crochet competition at the fair and providing the fabulous prize AND for selling so many colorways of the Malabrigo Worsted and thus providing me with materials needed on a last minute notice. 
I'd like to thank the crafty people of the District for keeping handmade work alive and beautiful in a very urban setting. We make the craft revolution possible! And all the small business that brave the high city rent to make supplies available to us. 
But most importantly I'd like to thank my Grandmother and Mom for teaching me to knit and sew, my sister for teaching me crochet, and all of them for teaching me that the love and time that goes into a handmade item makes it infinitely superior and lovelier than store bought. 
And of course all this could not be possible without the support (financial and spiritual) of my encouraging and patient husband.
Let's also not forget as well that without my son (and all the other babies in my life) none of this fiber inspiration would even take place. Also, he makes an adorable model and it's just so easy taking measurements from him that I need to write my patterns! :)

And without further blah, blah, blah....here it is.


Size: 2T
(More sizes coming soon….Message me if you need a specific size and I’ll see what I can do)

5-5.5 inches per inch, stockinette in the round


-400 yards of a Lightweight Worsted Weight yarn in a main color (MC). I used Malabrigo Worsted in Natural.

-approx. 20 yards of Worsted Weight yarn in a contrasting color (CC). I used Malabrigo Worsted in Ravelry Red.

-Thread, embroider floss, or light weight yarn in a color matching CC yarn.

- 18“ or 24” circular needle in a US size 6 (or whatever you need to knit to the guage. I knit very loosely so I actually used a US size 4)

- 10-12” circular needle of DPNs in a US size 6 for sleeves.

- 2 lengths of stitch holder cords or waste lengths of yarn (to hold sleeve stitches while working body)

- yarn needle (bent tip ones work best)

- 4 stitch markers (one in a different color  or size to mark beginning of round)
Pattern Notes/Techniques Used:
Recommended for Advanced Beginners, Intrepid Newbies, and Advanced Knitters with small children and in need of easy projects.

- Knit from top down, increases,  knitting in the round, duplicate stitch/swiss darning, tubular cast off (optional), basic sewing stitch

Let’s begin….Remember we are working from the neck down.

- Using the longer circular needles cast on 76 stitches in a stretchy cast on. I like Twisted German cast on but others abound on the internet.
Join for working in the round, placing the different stitch marker to mark the end of the round.

-Knit 8 rounds of 1x1 ribbing.
This is so your neck will match the tubular cast off edge which is usually done in a 1x1 rib. If you will be doing a regular cast off on the hem, you could work a 2x2 or other stretchy stitch  pattern here.

Set up for raglan shaping:

-Knit 12, PM, knit 26, PM, k12, PM, knit 26

Now you will alternate an increase row with a knit row to begin shaping the raglan shoulders/sleeves.

Rnd 1: M1, knit to marker, m1, slip marker, m1, knit to next marker, m1, slip marker, m1, knit to next marker, m1, slip marker, m1, knit to next marker, m1.
So basically sandwiching each marker with an increase.

Rnd 2: Knit 

Repeat these two rows 17 more times, until you have a total of 220 stitches.

-Knit one round

-As you work this round, remove all markers except the one marking the beginning of the round.

- Place the first 48 stitches onto a holder (you’ll be working on this sleeve later).

- M1,  knit to marker, M1, slip marker, M1, place the next 48 stitches on a holder (this will become the second sleeve),  M1, knit to end of round, M1, slip marker.

Knitting the body:
- Working the remaining 128 stitches in stockinette (knit every stitch, every row) until your t-shirt measures 13-15” from cast on edge. Mine was about 14” in length, my son is about 32” tall.

Hem & Casting off:
I am a HUGE fan of TechKnitting’s blog. HUGE. I especially admired their series on “Knitting better bands and cuffs”.  This inspired me to do a Cast off hem for my DC State Fair entry. I highly recommend it. If you are interested in learning a useful new knitting skill then knit 8-10 rows of 1x1 ribbing (I love a nice deep ribbing on the hem) and then proceed here

If you, like me at times, find yourself with way to much on your plate (kids, school, activities, work, LIFE!) I completely understand.  Give yourself a break and
-Knit 8-10 rows of 2x2 or 1x1 ribbing (whatever you used on the neck ) and bind off using a stretchy bind off. I like Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, Russian or Lace Bind off, or a sewn bind off for the patient knitters.

Detail on inside sleeve and words
- Pick up the first 48 stitches on a holder, and pick up about 5 or so extra stitches where the body stitches used to be, underarm area, and place a marker if you would like to mark the end of the round.

- Knit 15 rows in stockinette.
-Knit one purl round (this will be the turning edge to do the facing hem for the sleeve)
-Knit 1 round, and then switch to your contrasting color for a nice hidden pop of color, knit about 5 more rows and bind off loosely and not with a bulky cast off edge.
- Fold sleeve edge inward (color should be on the inside). Using thread, laceweight yarn, or embroidery floss in a color matching contrasting color, sew bind off edge to inside of sleeve. Make sure you don’t pull sewing thread too tightly and that it doesn’t show through to outside.  You can do this by just barely catching the edge of the cast off and a little of the yarn on the inside of the sleeve.

-Pick up the stitches for the other sleeve and repeat.


Detail on DC flag on front
Words on back:

Using the letter chart shown below carefully embroider the words onto the back of the t-shirt. I used duplicate stitch (sometimes called swiss darning). It is like cross stitch but using the V’s (instead of little 'x's) made by the knit stitches. Tutorials abound on the internet. If you do a google search I’m sure you would get better instructions than I could compose here. Make sure you center the words to the center of the back of your t-shirt. Using the picture above as a guideline.

Flag on front:

Now turn the t-shirt over and over the right breast of the t-shirt (where a polo shirt’s logo would be) duplicate stitch a row of 10 “v” stitches in the CC.
 -Directly underneath it duplicate stitch another row of red “v”s.
-Skip 2-3 rows (this makes the white row between the DC  flag's red stripes)
-Duplicate stitch another 2 rows of 10 “v” stitches below this. You should now have the two wide red stripes of the DC flag.
- Above these two stripes embroider 3 red stars. I did this making a V then an upside now V, the a little stick I in the middle of the top V.  If you try to embroider an actual star shape it doesn’t seem to look right when it’s as small as this.

AND TA DA! You are all finished. Admire your beautiful handmade t-shirt and show off that DC pride.

I know some of these instructions can seem a bit complicated so please, please, please do not hesitate to email me with questions. I also have not had time yet to remake this t-shirt and check my notes with errata (for which I apologize in advance) so if you notice anything amiss please feel free to message me and I will check it out.


Not that you especially need it, but permission is given to make and sell items made with pattern. All I ask is that you please credit me as designer and link back to my blog (www.downtownvania.com), Facebook page (facebook.com/KnitWhileHeNaps), and/or Etsy store (vmacjen.etsy.com, store name Knit While He Naps) in your listing or in the displaying of your finished items to sell. Please feel free to print and share copies of this pattern with your knitter friends and groups! And if you feel so inclined, you can always "Like" us on Facebook.... because...well, just because you like us. :)

PM- palce marker
RND- round
M1- make one, use backwards loop or knit front and back-KFB, or any other preferred method.
MC-main color
CC-contrasting color

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