Category Archives: jumper

Spring Greens

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Green is my favourite colour, so I obviously tend to lean towards it when buying fabric and yarn. I don’t usually finish so many green things in a row as I have done recently though, maybe it’s the season!

First up is Hitchhiker, again by Martina Behm. Apparently the answer to the universe using Yarntopia Treasures 100% bamboo is 45 rather than 42, or maybe that’s just the answer of someone whose favourite numbers are those with 5’s in them and who hates to waste yarn!

008006The colourway is called Desert Locust and I just kept knitting until I couldn’t do another repeat. Again, no blocking as it won’t make a difference or stick with 100% bamboo.

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I finished up a few bits in the sewing room and decided to get another thing off the piles of crap waiting so I made another cushion. According to Ravelry I started the Babette Blanket in 2010 which explains why the bag was so dusty when I found it behind my sofa last month! I realised at that point that I was never going to finish it and when I saw that what I had done was the perfect size for a cushion I blocked it and ordered the filler to go in it.

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The colours on this are so wrong, it’s much brighter and limey and the dark green on the back is a forest green. I did a french seam with my walking foot to make sure it was well attached and so I didn’t have to turn over the edges on all four sides of the backing pieces! I love the way this turned out and I’m so glad it’s something rather than another annoying bag taking up space.

And, finally, a jumper I started in December, worked on furiously and then abandoned until recently when I worked on it furiously again! This is Gathering Stripes by Veera Välimäki using Sirdar Calico from Kemps. This is so very me right now, stripes, grey and green, I just adore it.

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This is such a well written and easy to follow pattern and using one of my favourite yarns in the round it was a joy to knit. I was sure I needed buttons and didn’t have anything right in my box and then I found these which I think work quite well.

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I added a few inches to the length as I like jumpers to hit my hip bones and cover my ‘mummy tummy’ completely. I got right to that last bit before I realised that I didn’t have the right size circular for the hem so I had to wait for that to arrive before I could finish. I love the hems, the just add something and the were very easy to stitch down t00.

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Just like me to finish a jumper right when the weather is warming up, but there you go, I’m sure it will get a lot of wear when I can!

Next up is lots of quilting, I’ve got one pin basted waiting to be started and two after that sitting in line!

 

Slowly Slowly

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I feel like I’m working away at things whenever I get the chance but that I’m not getting all that many chances! Anyway, I do have a few bits to share with you.

First up is Jim’s Weasley Sweater that I had on the needles forever. I really don’t enjoy knitting with more than one colour and I’m really not very good at it. I know if I tried it more I would improve, but the whole tangling balls of yarn just really pisses me off and no matter how I try to get the tension right and twist things in the right place it just all feels horribly messy and uneven.

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For some reason I got a bee in my bonnet about having the Scrap Vomit quilt top squares all over the place and decided that I needed to get the top done. I worked on it and worked on it and had to buy more scraps as I didn’t have enough variety to finish it. I finally got it done and now it will just sit there waiting until I can afford the batting and 6 yards of backing fabric it requires…

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It’s a really odd length, I almost feel like it’s a row too long but I will leave it as I did it. I am really happy with the mix of colours and the Kona Cerise which is such an obnoxious but pretty colour.

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As this quilt top is so blinding I am hoping that no one will notice that many of the rows aren’t actually squares any more. My early blocks all came out too small and once I figured out what I was doing wrong I was unable to do it wrong even on purpose so my later blocks had to be trimmed back about half an inch all around. It seems that instead of using the 1/4″ foot as a guide I was pushing the fabric up against it. That doesn’t matter too much in a block without many seams, but in blocks like this where there are tons of them you end up with a block that’s about half an inch smaller than it should be… Hopefully now I have stopped doing that my blocks should be better, we’ll see.

After getting the quilt top done I knocked out the last pair of winter pjs this year which were for Jim.

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I adore this fabric and it is so soft, inside and out. He’s very happy with them and they’re in high rotation. They’re the usual Kwik Sew 1557 in size 10 and the only change I made was to straighten the legs of the trousers as Jim is perfectly this size at the moment. This was the first fabric I’d ever seen with arrows on the selvage showing you which way up it went, useful!

And last up for this post is this month’s Siblings Together Bee block.

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This was another really simple block made even easier as 80% of the cutting had already been done by the lady in charge. I only had to rip out one seam which isn’t too bad!

Next up on the sewing table is my Christmas quilt which I cut out over the weekend and then realised that I had hardly any white thread to sew it with. I am waiting for a delivery of Aurifil and then I will get sewing on it as I’d like to get it done by the start of December so it can live on the sofa, must remember to order some batting for it too!

I feel a bit scattered with these blog posts, maybe because my crafting is so scattered feeling. Maybe I’m working on too many things or maybe the change in the weather to really cold quite suddenly has slowed me down but I don’t feel like I’m getting much done, nowhere near what I’d like to. My sewing to do list is huge and my knitting projects are all over the living room. I must power on and get things done before it all becomes stressful and annoying rather than fun which is never good!

For the Boys

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The ‘summer’ pyjama sewing continues, if only we could have some weather to compliment these it would be great… We had about a week of warm evenings and we’re now back to cold nights, it’s gone well past dull and boring now. This is the fabric I bought for Piggle at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year. It was really wide and £8 p/m so I only bought one metre of it hoping it would be enough. It took some very creative cutting and some plain white fabric for the facings to get this short-sleeved version out of the fabric, that boy is getting big now. I didn’t widen the legs on these due to lack of fabric but they look ok on the leggy soon to be 6-year-old.

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Final pair for Piggle using fabric from Fabricland in Brighton. I’ve got the same in a different colourway to use for Jim this summer too, once again they picked to have ‘matching’ pyjamas, I keep thinking they’ll grow out of that soon but am always glad to find out they haven’t! The pattern for these pairs is the usual Kwik Sew 1556, I think there’s one more size left before he moves on from it.

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This is Tama by Kelly Brooker. I went to buy the larger sized pattern for the cardigan I made for my nephew and discovered that there was an Ebook for not much more that had this jumper pattern in it too. I have had this CottonEase for god knows how long and was planning on doing a jumper for Piggle with it anyway, this pattern just finally motivated me to use it up! I made the 6-year-old size for him (the largest on the pattern) and made sure that there was enough length in the sleeves and body for him to wear it for a good long while. It looks like there’s a pattern on the yoke but really it’s just that it’s knit back and forth and my gauge when I purl is looser and messier than when I knit in the round. It will even out a bit with washing (I couldn’t be bothered to block a kids jumper) but I wish I could figure out a way to make it less obvious as there are so many patterns now that have some parts knit back and forth and some in the round. Anyway, Piggle likes it, I like it and I can finally tick a jumper for him off my list and get rid of the last bits of this yarn to the charity shop.

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Jim only needs two pairs of pyjamas this summer and these are the first of them. Again there was some creative cutting on these as I didn’t have as much fabric as the pattern called for, I need to start buying 3m for him instead of 2.5 as I have been. There’s some mirroring across the front of the shirt which is a little annoying but nothing a 10-year-old boy would notice. The pattern is Kwik Sew 1557 and I moved up to the 10-year-old size for him.

A while back I saw on a blog that someone had sewn on buttons in a fun arrow way, I’ve wanted to do it ever since but haven’t used buttons with four holes until now.

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It’s not actually that clear in the photos but Jim and I find it amusing so that’s ok.

The pyjamas using the dinosaur print are going to be a cutting nightmare as it’s a directional print so I’m putting off working on those for a bit, I’ll get them done eventually.

Next up hopefully is a finished quilt. I’m doing the actual quilting at the moment so as long as I get on with it it should be done during half term, then I can move onto something else, this one feels like it’s been on the go forever for some reason!

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

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I have finally managed to find my sewing mojo, but it’s come back in a very scatter-shot way.  Instead of my usual start to finish on one project I’m doing a bit on one thing and then starting something else then finishing something then finding something new to work on. I’m not going to argue with it though, at least I’m sewing and making progress and I actually have a few things to show you!

First up is my Woodland Sampler which I’ve finally gotten up to date with thanks to the boys having chicken pox, I sat on the sofa and worked on this each afternoon.

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I actually enjoyed doing February the best, a solid block of stitching seems easier for my brain to understand than having to move here there and everywhere. There are few mistakes in this, and some mango chutney near the deer’s feet that needs to be cleaned off (don’t eat bread sticks with chutney over your cross stitch even if you think you’re being careful…) but I’m happy with what I’ve done so far and looking forward to next month’s pattern arriving.

In fact I’ve been enjoying doing the cross stitch so much that I have started another one while I’m waiting for the next instalment of the sampler. It’s a pretty simple one so it shouldn’t take too long and I’m liking the way it looks so far. I seem to definitely have the cross stitch bug now and find myself spending ages on Etsy looking at different patterns…

I also managed to finish off another knitting project, this is the Bramblewood Vest

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I used Patons Cotton Twist Aran which I got from Kemps for 99p a ball (they still have some and I went back yesterday and bought more for 2 small projects…). It was a little splitty but really nice to knit with and i like the way it’s come out. I added a ball of yarn’s worth of length to it because by the time it stretched widthwise it was shorter than I wanted it to be. Besides that it’s exactly to the pattern and was a pretty simple knit.

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The only thing I don’t like is the difference in my knitting between when I knit back and forth and knit in the round, purling really messes up my work which is annoying. I’m hoping that when I get around to blocking it it’ll even up a bit. I do love the applied i-cord edging on this though, it makes it so neat and tidy.

I have been casting on a bit randomly with my knitting too. I realised that I want to give Jim the dinosaur I bought the kit for at the Knitting and Stitching Show for his Birthday which is in just over a month so I probably should get on with it. I’ve been working on it in the evenings so it remains a surprise. I also have been working on his Weasley Sweater and have finished the back and am working slowly up the front as he wants his initial on it and I don’t like doing colour work at all. I also cast on for Nori from the newest Knitty and a pair of plain socks using some Wendy Happy that’s stripey and pink (one sock down almost halfway through the second).  Hopefully none of these will stay on the needles too long, I seem to have projects everywhere!

Finally, a sewing project. My cat Lavinina set a live mouse lose in the kitchen a while back and it made itself a nice bed in the cupboard under the kitchen sink by eating the hot water bottle cover I had knit myself… I’d seen a tutorial for sewing a cover but hadn’t found any heat proof batting (although thinking of it regular batting would probably work just as well…) , I bought some to make oven gloves with at some point and also for this and it’s been sitting there a couple of months now. Yesterday I was printing off a few tutorials when I came across the one for the cover so I dug through the fabric, got cutting and came up with this.

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My quilting isn’t always that brilliant and it’s a little tight for my hot water bottle but the Koka cord is SO SOFT and I love the pink and grey combination and the fabric’s together (Madrona Road Haystack inside). It’s quilted with Aurifil 50wt in grey, I feel like I’m trying to see how many projects I can work on without changing the tread in my machine, I’m now on number 3 and thinking that I might start number 4 using the same colour later…

Anyway, I’m very happy with it and hopefully no mouse will eat it, I’m going to go and find that bit of thread in bottom right of the 3rd picture now and remove it…

Hopefully will have more to show soon if I can settle long enough to finish anything!

Gifts

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I realised I needed to get going on some of my Christmas sewing plans, I knew what I wanted to do and mainly what fabric I was going to use I just needed to get the work in so since I last posted I’ve managed to get two things off my list and pick fabric for another so I’m feeling like I’m making progress!

First up was this peg bag for my sister.  She asked that I make her one so when I found this coated cotton online I bought some for it.  This actually isn’t the print I was going to use, I ordered some polka dot for her and this for the boys but the seller left the polka dot out by mistake.  The listing said that the coated cotton would be suitable for sandwich wraps and as Jim’s are looking a little tatty I thought I’d make him a few more.  However, this fabric is coated on the outside rather than the inside which means that you’d have to use it inside out so it was probably a good thing I only got half a yard rather than having it sitting around without knowing what to do with it.

This was really easy to make using this tutorial as a guide, the only issue I had was with getting the coat hanger down to size, I snapped the end off one side and managed to gash my index finger quite severely, so I used scissors after that!

Next up was something that had been floating around my head since I made Jim’s iPod case. I decided to make my Mum a camera case using up some of the Liberty Lawn squares that I’d bought recently.  I wanted to do a mini patchwork so I worked out the measurements and got to work.

Basically I took the 5″ squares and cut them into strips which I pieced together, then I cut the strips into 3 strips lengthways, flipped the middle one and sewed them back together again.  I then added some of the leftover Essex Linen I had to the sides and the resulting patchwork is one inch squares!  I quilted it by stitching near the ditch (I really must buy a stitch in the ditch foot soon) and then put it together as the tutorial dictates.  I did change the final sewing together order from the directions as I discovered with Jim’s case that my machine can’t pull through the fat bottom corner so rather than starting at the bottom of one side and going all the way around to the other bottom corner I started at the centre top (which has the added benefit of reinforcing the elastic) and sewed down to the bottom one side at a time and there was a lot less swearing and use of seam ripper!

I used three Liberty Lawn squares on the inside and the button was from my button box.  I adore this, it came out just how I’d pictured it in my head and I actually want to keep it for myself which I guess means digging out some more scraps and making myself one soon to ensure I do give this to my Mum!

And there’s another knit off the needles, this is King Cole 3528 made using Sirdar Calico.

I really like the way the pattern matches up the side seam, it’s a nice touch.  This was a really simple pattern, just two pieces with an easy pattern repeat on 4mm needles.  It didn’t take all that long once I got to work on it, again showing that if you actually work on your knitting you do make progress!  I can’t get the sleeves to lie flat even after a light iron but I’m thinking that when they have arms in them they will lie a bit flatter.

I cast off the neckline too loosely but rather than ripping back it was easier to do a crochet slip stitch around the inside skipping every fourth stitch, it’s now nice and firm rather than being all Flashdance!

So I’m now down to two projects left to finish from my list before the end of the year.  The Grenadine Cardigan is coming along nicely, I now have the back (which I finished before abandoning it), one sleeve and almost all of one front finished so I think I should be able to get it done quite soon as long as I keep working on it.  The other project is the crochet blanket which I’ve just started the final colour repeat on (I think there are 26 colours and I’ve done 1 1/2 so far).  I actually seem to have enough yarn to do another repeat but I think it will be far too long if I do that, it’s already going to be longer than I am tall which is surely enough!  Again, as long as I keep picking it up I should have no problem getting it done.  I’ve swatched already for the two projects I want to cast on when these are done which is good incentive to keep working away on them, hopefully I’ll have something else to show you soon!

Right, off to argue with a zip that I’m replacing in a bag for my sister.  The ‘heavy duty’ zip I bought for it actually has come apart at the stopper end which I was putting it in, so there’s going to be a lot of hand sewing to create a stop at then end as I’m not picking out 4 rows of stitching and buying another £5 zip, it’s been sitting there for far too long already!

Georgie Jumper

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Finished off the first of my WIPs this morning, the Georgie jumper from the Patons Nursery Days booklet for Washed Haze.  This is the DK version in denim which is leftover from my Amelia cardigan (somehow I used 4 balls less than that pattern called for!).  It was a pretty easy knit, basically the front and back are just squares and you’ve got to love a pattern where the sleeves are only 16cm long!

I had a hard time finding buttons for this which is stupid considering how many I own.  The stars are a little fiddly but I think actually the neck opening is large enough that they won’t need to undo more than the first button anyway.  Also it makes me laugh that they are on the shoulder which will make him a 3 star baby!  I made the 3-6 month size as from experience I know that most new parents go a bit OTT on the teeny tiny newborn things and then realise they don’t have anything for the baby to wear when it’s bigger!

I still have almost 2 balls left of this yarn so I’m thinking I will do the newborn cardigan from it as my sister informed me she’s not into really bright colours and the yellow I was planning on using is incredibly bright.  The sleeves are knit last on that one so if I am running short on yarn it can just have elbow length sleeves which won’t bother a baby at all I shouldn’t think.

I am making great progress on the socks, knitting the heel flap of the second one now, so they should soon be finished and another project will be crossed off my list.  Now that I’ve done the picking up and knitting of borders on this project I should get onto the picking up and knitting of borders on the brown cardigan really, that shouldn’t take all that long to finish off once I’ve done the collar, I just hate trying to pick up hundreds of stitches, I don’t know why I keep making things from patterns that make you do that.

Onwards!

Behind Again…

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I am still sewing and knitting away but I just don’t seem to be able to keep up with the posting, it takes away from the limited time I have to make things!  Anyway, these are the things I have pictures of on my computer at the moment, I know there are more on my camera and I will endeavour to get those posted sooner rather than later!

First up is the Callie Bib Tee which I had been working for what felt like forever.  I bought the yarn for it when the magazine it’s from was new out which means that it was in my stash for about 2 years before I even cast on.  Then it took me almost 11 months to make it…  I used Patons DK cotton which is really hard on the hands at the best of times, but considering that I had carpel tunnel in both hands it’s not really a surprise that it was slow going for me, or that I found my knitting not to be as neat as usual.  I made a lot quicker progress on it once I had had surgery on my right hand (left hand will be done in August) and then stalled when it came to the bib…

A good steam blocking under a wet tea towel took care of the rolling edges and evened out the stitching a little, I think it will even out a bit more after its first wash.  I seem to have different tension for purl rows than knit, it shows up more in 100% cotton than in a  blend.  I’m going to wait and see if it still happens after my hand is fixed before deciding whether to do anything about it, I’ve read of people using a different size needle for the purl row to sort the problem but for now it’s not so bad that it bothers me too much, it’s just something I notice and it usually does block out.

Anyway, the bib part.  I cast on for the first one about three times and could not for the life of me figure out the pattern.  The instructions give you one row of pattern and then tell you to carry on with the lace rib (which is a 4 row pattern), on top of that vagueness the bib increases by about 10 stitches in the first 4 rows and then by a stitch in every other row until you have the right number of stitches before decreasing again at the neckline.  My brain had issues with figuring out the lace pattern even though I’d done it for the ribbing on the rest of the jumper and it took a great deal of concentration, note taking and swearing to finally get it right.  Once I’d got it written out row by row I finally got the hang of it.  I’ve knit some pretty complicated lace in my time and never had issues like this with something before so it was incredibly frustrating.

It sewed in much more neatly than I was expecting which was nice after fighting with it!  The buttons are from my bottomless button box and I’ve had them a while as they’re shell and I haven’t bought shell buttons since I went vegan 8 years ago!  I didn’t bother with buttonholes, I mean how often am I really going to need to unbutton this?  I originally sewed the top one shut but it was a little tight on my neck so I took it off and sewed it so the top was open which I think looks ok.

I’m really happy with the way it came out, I was pretty down on it during the time I was making it and just got it done to get it off my WIP list and out of the way as it was making me feel guilty sitting there.  It also fits quite well, although with the rain and cold I’ve not worn it yet as I have an outfit in mind which involves a skirt and sandals and not wearing a long sleeve t-shirt under it, maybe next week will be warmer (my constant mantra this ‘summer’…).

A simple sewing project to wrap up the post.  The boys and I went through their clothes and the box of clothes under Jim’s bed with things waiting to be grown into and we sorted out what they need and what was too small etc.  Piggle only had one pair of jogging bottoms and my boys like to wear them after school to relax in the house so I whipped him up a second pair which got worn the day after completion!

Everything was in the stash already and the pattern is a single piece so dead easy.  I’ve used this pattern before for him (he’s the next size up now, I think there are 2 more sizes for him to grow through), it’s Simplicity 8946 which dates from 1978.  The sweatshirt fleece is nice and thick and very soft on the inside, I only had a small piece so I needed to use it for him soon or it would have been only suitable for shorts!

When I was in my sewing room today I thought to myself that I really should get going with the boy’s summer pyjamas.  Then I realised that this is actually summer and I’ve made them already.  Feels like they should be wearing winter ones though (and some nights they do, the summer duvets are still stored away, far too cold at night for them).  I will hold off on the next set of flannel pyjamas though as they’re both having a bit of a growth spurt at the moment and I don’t want to make them and only have them last half the winter.  I’m excited to work on them though as I have some cracking flannel (robots, sharks, monkeys, not all on the same fabric!) ready to go.

And finally, speaking of fabric and pyjamas, I bought a yard of Cars cotton (with the cartoon film characters on it) for pyjama bottoms for Piggle for next summer.  Showed it to him and he was happy with it, washed it and stuck it in the stash.  A few nights later when we were getting clean pyjamas out of the drawer he said he didn’t want to wear any of the ones in there, he wanted to wear his Cars pyjamas!  He obviously likes me making things for him still, but I don’t approve of the sweatshop conditions he’d have me working in!

Couple of Things

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I’m not feeling very well this week, Piggle brought home some kind of virus from school and very kindly passed it to me as he likes to sleep in my bed when he’s not feeling well.  Yesterday I kept listing to the right whilst walking, it made for an interesting day…

Anyway, I’ve finished off a couple of things and I never did my WIP update so I thought I’d get something posted.  First up is a finished knitted thingy.

This is the Radian Yoke, brought to you mainly by my watching Castle from start to current!  I used RYC Bamboo Soft in the Pepper colour and it took me just over 8 balls.  The pattern is in Knitscene Summer 2011.  Knitscene is the only knitting magazine I buy and there are always at least 5 things, usually more, that I want to make from each issue.

My yoke isn’t as loose as the one in the pattern photo so I’m thinking maybe the model was wearing one that was too big for her.  The stitch for the yoke was easy but effective and it flew, I thought I had another section to do and was totally taken by surprise when I realised I was done with that bit.

There are darts front and back for a bit of shaping, garter stitch around the edges and vents too.

You can see how my gauge changed from knitting in the round to knitting back and forth.  There really wasn’t a lot I could have done besides changing needles all the time as you go from back and forth to in the round a lot on this pattern so I’m hoping it will even out over time.

I loved the Bamboo Soft, it was lovely to work with and knitted up really evenly.  It is stretchy and drapy but on 3.75mm needles it doesn’t feel like it’s going to grow and grow.  There did seem to be quite a few knots, but that’s Rowan yarns in general from my experience, I have to stop being lazy and cut the yarn rather than trying to get away with just ignoring it and carrying on.  Where I’ve sewn the ends in shows a little bit at the moment but normally that evens out with wear and washing too.  I have more of this yarn for 2 more projects and I’m looking forward to knitting with it again.

I had to dismantle my sewing room so they plumber could fit an immersion heater as our boiler broke and it could be a few weeks before we get a new one (of course the weather has changed from warm to autumnal since it broke).  Once I got the table set up again I whipped up this sweatshirt for Jim using the same pattern I made his pajama top from, Ottobre 4/05 #20.

This is stretch terry again and I used the fabric on the bias for the neckband and also added 2cm to the width of it as I thought it would look better for a sweatshirt.  This was really fast and he likes it so it’s a win.

So, the WIPs:

Sewing – I am working on a Vogue shirt at the moment, I got about a third of the way in before I got too ill to work on it more.  It is a slippy fabric and has french seams so I need to wait until my brain really is working again before I try again. When that is done I’d like to finish the Lisette trousers I got halfway through and gave up on and then see what else is on the pile I’ve been making.  I have some dress patterns out but I need to have a dig through the stash and see what I can find to use for them so they’re suitable for winter.

In the knitting and crochet I have started yet another crochet blanket which I really didn’t need to do as I already have 2 on the go but what can you do when you get an idea and want to get on with it?!?  I realised I had a lot of odd balls of bamboo and soya yarn in my stash so I pulled them all together and found a pattern.  I’ve been doing either an octogon or a square each day and it will continue to keep growing slowly.  I am using a smaller hook than the pattern says so I think I’ll have to do extra rows and I probably don’t have enough yarn yet but it’s in progress and will get there one day!

Once I finished the Radian Yoke I cast straight on for the Seaweed Cardigan which is an Interweave Knits pattern I snagged during their big sale.  I am using Sirdar Just Soy which was given to me by a Ravelry member a year or so back.  I found a pattern that specified this yarn and then I fell out of love with it and came across this pattern and the two matched.  This yarn is so soft and is knitting up so nicely, I’m really enjoying it, although I haven’t been able to work on it the last few days due to the foggy head.

I’m past the heel of my first October sock and the foot should hopefully not take too long.  It’s an easy pattern I just need to put in the time to get these done.

I haven’t worked on my Granny Stripe Blanket or on Callie or Link.  I really must get on with all of them but they just aren’t holding my attention at the moment.  I’d like to finish Link this month if I can but until my head works right again there’s no way I’m picking it up!

The main reason I want to finish Link is because I cast on for my next shawl project already!  I bought some Color Changing Yarn from Wolle’s Yarn Creations (ads are on Ravelry all the time) and have cast on for Citron using a green and grey mix.  I’ve done the first 2 sections but of course it gets bigger and bigger so it’s going to take a while, but I’m enjoying it and I’ve wanted to make it for ages but didn’t have the right yarn until now.

So, I think that’s it, all up to date.  I’m off to do a few more squares of the new blanket and the see what takes my fancy next!

 

Dots and Stripes

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I love my red shirt that I made from Simplicity 7181 (1975) and I wear it quite a bit.  I have been wanting to make another one but I could never decide on the fabric to use or whether I wanted another plain version or a patterned version.

For quite a few years (4 or 5 at least) I’ve had a lovely piece of Japanese cotton in my stash with a print I adore.  I’ve pulled it out over and over again to use it and it hasn’t been enough for the pattern I’ve chosen or I’ve decided that I don’t like the pattern enough to ‘waste’ my lovely fabric on it.

You can see where this is going can’t you?  It only took me a few months to mentally put the 2 together and then less than 24 hours to make it happen (the idea occurred to me at bed time or it would have happened sooner!).

Yep, just right, even with the ‘I’ve been folded for years along this line’ crease down the front!

Look, I managed not to get 2 circles right on top of my breasts, didn’t even think about it until I was taking the pictures so total fluke!

The only changes I made from the previous version were to not bother with french seams as this fabric was thick enough to not show overlocked edges through and I had to take a little length off the sleeves as I didn’t quite have enough fabric for the pattern as printed (we’re talking about 3 inches less).  The sleeves are still long enough to have a folded cuff though and I think they look fine.

I know I’m going to make this shirt over and over again.  The pattern is sized 41″ which is actually smaller than I am at present so I have room to wear it for a while even if I do managed to lose weight.  Should I lose too much weight I will be buying the pattern again in a smaller size!  I still have the dress to try from it too at some point, I’m wondering how it would look in the lightweight cord I have in my stash, hmmmm.

I finally finished off my Portland Sweater last night.  There was no reason on earth this thing should have taken me so long to make as it was really simple.  There is a whole lot of knitting in it thought I guess and 12 balls of yarn!

The only change I made to this was to knit it quite a bit longer than the pattern suggested.  I like my garments to hit me at the hip bones, I think it’s the most flattering length on me, and with a larger bust in it the length the pattern called for wasn’t enough.

I used Knit Picks Shine Sport in Cloud for this.  It was a nice yarn to work with and not as fluffy and sheddy as the Worsted, although I was still covered in fluff after working on it.  The only issue I have with this yarn is that it doesn’t hide the join between balls well at all.  You can see where I’ve sewn in every single end which is annoying as the knitting is really smooth and even (especially for a cotton, I’m using a 100% cotton at the moment and my normally oh so even gauge is looking awful in places).  I don’t know what to do to remedy this but as Knit Picks don’t ship over here and the only UK supplier of their yarn is charging the same price in £’s as the yarn costs in $’s I probably won’t be using it again anyway.

The notes on this pattern from other knitters informed me that this is a knock off of a Noro pattern.  The sleeves are knit in the round until the underarm and then back and forth in the garter ridges.  You then pick up stitches around the bottom of the garter ridges and under the arms and knit down until it’s the right length.  The pattern itself is very basic, a single sheet, but you don’t really need too many instructions for this!  I knit a smaller size than I normally would as the sleeves in my size were coming out huge.  Also with the garter ridges and the weight of the cotton it is going to grow a bit over time anyway so smaller was the best choice I think.  I will be happy if the body grows a bit but the sleeves are currently the perfect length for me, which will mean that by the third time I wear it they will have stretched so much you won’t be able to see my hands!

I spent this morning cutting and sticking together the Sorbetto top pattern from Collette.  Yes, it’s suddenly turned to autumn here and it’s a sleeveless top.  Yes, everyone else got on this bandwagon months ago.  I guess that’s just the way I roll and I figure I can wear it under stuff for a little while.  I had one hell of a time sticking it together, I’d get it lined up perfectly, let go to grab the tape and it would all move.  Then I’d be really cack-handed and stick the tape on at a wonky angle making the markings not line up at all.  There is one piece that has a big crease in the corner and just doesn’t fit right at all, but the pattern markings line up so I will just have to make sure I smooth the edges and ignore that whilst cutting out.  It has put me even more off using Burda Style patterns that you print at home though, if one simple tank top can frustrate me that much I’d hate to see myself doing a dress or anything else more complicated!

I think I’ve found the fabric I am going to use and some bias binding to match it but I want to check what the wastage will be like before making a final decision.  It’s a pity I can’t get it out of a yard of 45″ wide fabric as I have 4 or 5 yards that I could use.  I don’t think it would even fit on a yarn of 60″ in my size though.  Anyway, I’m going to add an inch or so to the length (hipbone length people, hipbone length, disguises the 2 c-section never lost the baby weight tummy or so I tell myself) and see how it comes out.  I actually don’t have much fabric in the stash I could use for it from a quick look earlier, but I’ll have a deeper dig later this afternoon.

Now, lunch!

Like Buses…

Standard

I was waiting to show you a shirt I made until I had another FO to go along with it as I think that posts about one thing can be a little bit dull.  All of a sudden I’ve got 4 things to show you!

So, first up, the shirt.  This is from Simplicity 4179.

The fabric is lawn and it has given me problems finding a pattern that would use up most of it but didn’t need more than I had.  Finally I matched this one up with it and I thought that it would look great.  Sadly I’m a little ‘meh’ about the finished shirt.  I still love the fabric, I love the buttons and I like the style of the shirt, I’m just not sure that they all work together well.  Maybe I just had really high hopes for it and it’s turned out nicely but not brilliantly like I wanted it to.

I can’t remember where I got the buttons now, I’m thinking maybe Duttons in York but perhaps not.  Definitely a labour of love to sew 6 on by hand though, I avoid hand sewing as much as I can as you know.

The floor in my sewing room is not flat at all which is probably why the dressform lists to one side in all the pictures and makes it look like I can’t sew a straight hem to save my life…

The shot from the back shows the peplum a little bit better.  I used french seams on this and it looks lovely and neat and tidy inside.  The armholes and neckline are finished with bias strips of the same fabric (the pattern provides the pieces). The pattern is drafted well and goes together easily so it wasn’t a sewing issue that made me feel down on it.

It’s a little tight for me at the moment (maybe another reason that I’m not super excited about it) so maybe when it does fit me I’ll have gotten over the way I feel about it.

Sometimes you’re knitting and knitting and knitting away on something and you are surprised that suddenly you’re almost done.  That’s how it was with Bloom.  It felt like it went on forever and then I was on the last bit of it.

It’s a very simple pattern from Rowan 36 and I used just over 7 balls of Stylecraft Sirocco which is a slubby cotton linen mix.  It’s knit side to side and the sleeves are formed using short rows.  The back and the front are exactly the same so 2 pieces and 4 seams and it’s done.  You can see the sleeves a bit better when it’s laying flat.

The yarn texture really adds to the garment which is nice as the khaki is a little plain (on purpose, I wanted something plain to go over brighter shirts and t-shirts).

This is another one for the ‘almost’ box.  I kind of knew it wouldn’t fit as the pattern only went up to a 40″ chest.  It won’t need a lot of weight to come off to fit well and I’m looking forward to wearing it, it will be really useful I think.

I started some trousers after finishing the shirt and they’ve been sitting upstairs half done all week so I finished them off this morning.  It’s really hard to take a picture of trousers as you can’t put them on the dressform but I will wear these as soon as the weather complies so you can see them better on the ‘what I wore’ blog (link on the left hand sidebar).

This fabric is a kind of linen cotton mix but I have no idea exactly what.  I also can’t figure out exactly what colour it is.  Sometimes it looks like black marl, sometimes grey and sometimes blue.  I sewed it with dark grey thread which blended in quite well but finding buttons that worked was an issue.  I almost put yellow buttons on but decided against it when I realised I really liked the yellow buttons and wanted to use them where they’d be seen, these buttons will most likely always have a shirt or t-shirts over them as I don’t tend to tuck things in.

Useful patch pockets and belt loops.  The pattern is Simplicity 2367 and I am sure I’ll use it again in the future.  Oh, and you probably can’t tell from the laying down shot but these are cropped trousers (maybe 3/4 length).

Finally I cast on last night for a dishcloth using some dishcloth cotton from my stash and finished it after lunch today.  It’s just moss stitch on 47 stitches using 5mm needles.  I love it and it went right into the kitchen, I must do a few more as the old ones I did years ago have holes and the shop bought ones I have are decidedly grey and dingy.

I have 5 more balls of the dishcloth cotton stashed so there’s no reason not to get a few more done sooner rather than later.

Next up sewing wise is the last pair of Jim’s pajamas which I’ve put off for far too long, off to cut those out now.

Have a great rest of the weekend!