Tag Archive | knitting

A couple of finished projects

Lovely and warm!

The holiday cardigan was finished a while ago but today is the first time I’ve actually worn it. I’m pleased with myself for two reasons. Firstly,  I was adapting a pattern on the fly, to suit my sizing and what I wanted for this cardigan. I knitted this in the round rather than in pieces, which meant a fair bit of head-scratching maths when it came to splitting the body for the sleeves, and calculating the Raglan decreases. I took out the eyelet detail on the Raglan decreases from the original pattern and added a bit of lace patterning just after the ribbing, instead, for interest.

Secondly, I was using buttons that I made myself!!! I took a pottery workshop at the Farnham Maltings on Buttons and Beads, two years ago, and I made two sets of buttons, these and some smaller ones. These were decorated with a fern press. I’m keeping the others for the time I nerve myself to make a shirt or shirtdress.

It’s really tricky capturing that texture!

The cardigan is proper toasty and such a glorious berry colour that I can see myself wearing it a lot over the winter months.
The second finished project is a top, which has been in the Work in Progress pile for months! All it needed was hemming, and I finally got round to it at the weekend.

This top is made in the same aubergine ponte that I used for the stretch skirt I’ve been wearing since March. They were always intended to go together.  I used the same self drafted pattern that I used for the Cairo top. It works but it feels very plain. I might try to tart it up with some beading, or possibly embroidery.

Matching with the skirt

I’ll have to wear it layered with a cardigan for the next few months, since we’re moving into Needing Sleeves weather. I’m determined not to wear tights until the start of October though!

Ready for the cold weather

And finally… a bit of holiday knitting

Once I was finished with the Holiday Sewing, I had my final project to deal with. A couple of years ago, I started on a Hetty cardigan, which I got almost all the way through knitting (and I knit *really* slowly), before realising that it didn’t work for me and my figure, and I don’t have the knitting skills to grade on the fly. It just didn’t look right. So this summer, I bit the bullet and ripped the whole thing back. The. Whole. Thing. I was gutted.

But I had another pattern to work with, for a straightforward raglan cardigan, one which I have already used, so I knew it reasonably well, and would feel more confident adapting to my own particular shape. And I really love the colour of this yarn, so I’m glad it’s going to be becoming a better thing.

And I was doing some hard-core adapting! The pattern is drafted for a pair of needles, and I’d only brought a circular needle (because that’s what the Hetty had been knitted on), so I was pulling together all the body pieces, to knit them as one piece, from the bottom up, and then I had to work out how I was going to add the sleeves, which again, I was knitting in the round rather than flat. That took me a while to figure out, but I got there. I was also knitting a smaller size than I’d used before, because my last one of these cardigans was very slouchy and loose, and I wanted something a bit more close fitting. I had to do a lot of maths to get it to all work out.

A little over half way

A little over half way

I decided to take out the little bit of raglan lace patterning that is in the original pattern, because I didn’t see the point, I like a nice clear raglan decrease. But I added some patterning in the body and sleeves to make sure it wasn’t all plain.

I generally get very bored with knitting because it’s so slow, but I can quite a lot done on holiday. The challenge is to keep going once I’m back from my hols. I managed to get about 4/5 of the body & sleeves done while I was away, including while I was waiting at Calais to be let into the check-in queue at the Eurotunnel.

Car knitting

Car knitting

I’ve now finished the body, and I need to get the collar and buttonbands done. I’ve got some lovely buttons lined up for this, so I’m posting this very much as a driver towards me actually finishing this cardigan.

Wish me luck!

Another cardigan under way

I’ve started knitting another cardigan today. It’s one of Andi Satterlund’s patterns, Hetty.

Pink knitting

Pink knitting

This is my first attempt at knitting with circular needles. They feel a bit weird! I’m getting more used to it, but it still feels rather strange having little tiny needles in hand rather than long ones.

The lace pattern’s nice and easy to follow. Although, having said that, I’ve still managed to cock it up a couple of times. Fortunately I noticed in enough time not to have too much to undo. Things will get trickier when I have to start adding the fronts to the back. This is another first- I’ve never done one of these Top-down all-in-one patterns. It’s all an adventure!

The photo isn’t showing the colour faithfully, and I’m too lazy to futz around with editing it. It’s a darker pink- think of blackcurrant sorbet and you’d be in closer territory.

A long Me Made Weekend

Day 27 already and I can’t believe I’ve got all this way through Me Made May and have managed to wear something I’ve made or refashioned every single day. I’d been slightly dubious about it, hence I’d hedged my bets with a 5-days-a-week pledge, but I’ve surprised myself. A full Reflections and Lessons Learned post will be forthcoming once May is properly finished.

Onto the photos… As previously noted, we’re well onto repeats now, unless I surprise myself and manage to make something new in the next two evenings.

Day 23 – Friday

A bit grungy!

A bit grungy!

Friday I was at my volunteer job, and it’s generally very casual. I was wearing my pre-blog long tunic-y t-shirt dress. Styled with yoga pants and a hoodie. I thought it was all a bit grungy and down at heel, but my volunteer boss said I was glamorous because I was wearing animal print!

I was *this* close to saying “hang the photographing, I’m tired” on Friday evening.

Day 24 – Saturday

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

Aha! A new item! The previously mentioned Me Made Cardigan. I should have known better than to say it was too warm for using in May. That was just tempting Providence, wasn’t it? It turned cold over the weekend, so although I didn’t think I’d be wearing it much for a few months yet, I pulled it out of the cupboard. It’s a bit formless and unflattering, but it’s toasty and it’s the first jumper I’ve knitted for myself in a good 20 years, so I’m cutting myself some slack, and calling it “slouchy” rather than shapeless.

The leggings are also me-made, repeated from Day 9.

Day 25 – Features one of my lovely nieces

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertant colour co-ordination

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertent colour co-ordination.

My eldest niece*, Sophie, is off to the far end of the planet in the next couple of weeks, she’s flying to New Zealand for a year or two. Or maybe more. I can’t help fearing that some hunky rugby player will steal her heart and keep her there. Her leaving party was on Sunday. Although I didn’t realise it when deciding what to wear, I wore the perfect dress (repeated from Day 14), as the colour scheme for the party was lime green and blue (hence the pompoms).

Most of the guests were the nieces’ friends, it made me feel very old as they were all in their teens and early twenties! But they’re all such nice kids. Eldest niece already knew about MMM as she’d taken the Eurovision evening photo, and, bless her, she was telling her friends all about it.

Day 26 

Selfie Fail

Selfie Fail

Monday (being traditional British Bank Holiday Weather) ended up being a stay in and hunker down day. I wore jimjams for much of it! But I acknowledged that my pyjamas are not me-made. Lesson learned. Next MMM, I’m going to need a cosy onesie or something like, so that if I need to take a duvet day, I can do so within the terms of the challenge.

So I got dressed for the afternoon. Another repeat for the easy-peasy floral hi-lo circle skirt. This is turning into my go-to comfy weekend wear.

I totally failed to photograph myself in it.

Day 27 – Back to work

Total outfit repeat!

Total outfit repeat!

This is a complete repeat from Day 12. In the same outfit too, only the shoes are different. I feel like I’m letting the side down! I love this skirt but today has been a trifle windy, and the walk to my office is a passageway up a hill which acts like a wind tunnel, and I’ve had a fair few Marilyn Monroe moments- eeek!

I just spotted I have “orbs” in this photo. Indeed I have orbs on my orbs. How ghostly! Some say these offices are haunted- it’s an old school, and there’s rumours of a ghost of an especially fierce headmaster, but this particular office is apparently the old lavatory block, and I’ve never heard of a haunted lav!

 

Only four more days to go! Thursday, Friday and Saturday are going to need some planning, because I’m off to France for the weekend.

 

* I am very blessed in the Niece department. I’ve got eight of them, and two nephews. Eldest niece is 22, and Youngest Niece is 5.

Pretty Summer Splodges Skirt

I finished hemming the skirt last night. Hooray, another thing for Me Made May!

The Pretty Summer Splodges skirt

The Pretty Summer Splodges skirt

And another shot, because I like it

And another shot, because I like it

 

I hadn’t realised when I bought this fabric, that it’s got a bit of stretch. Not that it made any difference to what I wanted to do with it- the fabric shouldn’t get any significant stretch-age in use. It did mean that where the shopkeeper ripped the fabric along the grain to cut off my bit of it, it had puckered a bit, but I don’t think it affected what I was doing.

This skirt is “self-drafted”, as I don’t exactly need a pattern to cut fabric in half lengthways, sew the sides together, put in a zip, gather the top and whack on a waistband.

It did involve a ridiculous amount of hand sewing. I hand-picked the zip, because I like the control that it gives me. I did the gathering by hand and I finished the waistband off by hand, because I haven’t mastered stitching in the ditch convincingly. And of course, I sewed on the hook and bar by hand. And then I hemmed it all by hand. I went for a deepish hem, as I wanted the skirt to be a bit short and summery, and I like the weight that a deeper hem gives (all the better for twirling!). I used invisible thread, to avoid the wrong colour showing through, and I’m happy with the results. I did find the threading of needles and tying knots were a bit of a challenge though, with my appalling eyesight!

While I was sewing, I was thinking about how I could style this skirt. I knew this grey top would go with it perfectly and I think I’ve got a couple of pink t-shirts that would tie in with the pink elements. But I can see a need for a couple of plain white tops to go with this now. Or red maybe.

I do love this skirt! It’s so pretty! And Twirly!

Twirly!

How do you get twirly skirt shots to not be blurry?

 

In other Makey news… I finished the Teal Cardigan. It’s lovely and toasty, but not really a thing of beauty. It’s a bit shapeless and not particularly flattering. It’s quite tight-fitting in the sleeves, but it’s unshaped in the torso, which doesn’t really do much for my body shape. It will be very snug and warm for the Winter. Not much use to me in May. Since it’s the first jumper I’ve knitted in at least 20 years (baby clothes don’t count) I’m treating it as a getting-back-into-it exercise. I’ll have to find a way of wearing it that doesn’t make me look like a sack of potatoes.

And this morning, I received a Parcel Of Joy! I was lucky enough to win SewMuch2Learn‘s Ultimate Blog Challenge Celebratory Giveaway. I won the pretty chambray with coloured dots. When I opened the parcel it was even prettier than her photo. It’s a beautiful cloudy bluey grey and its SO soft to the touch! I’m going to be making something with it very soon, because I don’t want it to simply shift from one person’s stash to another- it needs using and wearing and enjoying and being seen.

Beautiful chambray

Beautiful chambray

And now I have to crack on with the selfless sewing for littlest niece.

Driveby…

I have bought enough wool to make a cardigan with (two giant balls of Wendy’s Aran), and I’ve just realised that the teal/petrol blue colour is almost exactly the same as a cardigan I knitted for myself when I was about 18. That one was much more interesting as it had exciting colours added in, in slightly Fair Isle stylee.

Wool, plus a cd case (very topically Kate Bush) for size comparison

Wool, plus a cd case (very topically Kate Bush) for size comparison- it really is a ginormous ball of wool

I have started knitting it up, but I’m a slow knitter, so expect a “finished” post some time around Winter 2016/17-ish.

Edited to Add – I’m on Ravelry with this.