November 22, 2013

Neckwarmer for chilly weather

Filed under:AW Wardrobe '13,Finished Objects,Knitting,Shawls,Stash Down — Aileen @ 14:51

It’s turned decidedly more wintry in these parts lately, with biting wind and low temperatures. It’s a good thing, so, that I finished this up recently.

I’m not sure exactly what got me on to the track of wanting to knit something like this but down the rabbit hole I went.

The pattern I used was September Set, or 150-19 from Drops. The pattern also includes a matching beret and mittens.

I used Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester in DK from This is Knit. I decided to change the grey in the pattern to brown and matched most of the other colours to the pattern. If I remember correctly, I got two balls of the brown and one each of the other colours (dark pink, light pink, white). I ended up needing just a tiny bit more of the dark pink and light pink and so now have more than enough to make a matching hat of some description.

What I really like about it is a slight adaptation I made, which was to knit the ribbed neck until I ran out of yarn. It is super long and very, very snug.

I don’t like a draught on the back of my head so I often tuck my hair into a scarf and pull it right up to my ears.

I blocked this by steaming it with the iron. It worked surprisingly well. The only thing I regret is perhaps not using a slightly bigger needle size – colourwork is pretty inflexible when it comes to stretching over the shoulders and sometimes this rides up. It’s not grave and certainly something I can live with. I think I used a 3.75mm. I probably should have used that for the rib and gone up for the colourwork. Oh well! It is still toasty and warm for weather like this.


November 14, 2013

Chuck reknit

Filed under:AW Wardrobe '13,Finished Objects,Knitting,Sweaters — Aileen @ 22:12

This technically isn’t new. I made it last winter but never wore it as I was unhappy with a few things. Firstly, I made many errors in the front chart. Then, the sleeve caps were both different and misshapen. I finally got around to ripping it out and reknitting it.

The pattern is Chuck by Andi Satterlund (Ravelry link). I was more attentive second time around and am happy with the result!

As you can see, it’s fairly cropped so is better with high-waisted skirts and dresses than trousers. Managed to get those cable crosses right this time! Overall, the pattern is clear (when you actually look it) and it’s a pretty quick knit.


November 13, 2013

Pleated Moss

Filed under:AW Wardrobe '13,Skirts,Stash Down — Aileen @ 22:11

I mentioned the other day when I showed my first Moss skirt that I’d already made another. Well, here it is.

I love the shape of the original but riding a bicycle in it is a precarious situation. I added a pleat both in the front and back.

I went for the very plain and simple way of adding pleat, namely cutting an extra rectangle and folding it into position. If I’d really thought about it, I could have cut the pleat in a way that it was mostly part of one side of the front, like a kick pleat. Never mind – it worked out perfectly fine. It was a good lesson in remembering to consider all options first.

You may notice that the front pocket protrude a little. This is on purpose, to make them extra hand-friendly. One of those neat little additions that endears Grainline patterns to their makers!

As before, I used scrap fabric for the facings and pocket linings. I finally got to use the flowery bias binding I bought for this very project. I bought it at least six months ago.

A quick round-up: the pattern is the Moss mini skirt. I used navy cord that I bought at the 2012 K&S show. I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to use this. I finally realised that there is no situation imaginable where I have too many navy skirts. This was brought on by washing my navy wool/cashmere skirt and finding myself suddenly stumped for outfit ideas. Clearly, I wear it more than I realised. Anyway, this has filled the gap. The bias binding, I found at Rubanesque. I haven’t been in a while but last time, they still had a lovely, varied selection.


November 11, 2013

Dotty Renfrew and Knit Scout

Someone went away for the weekend and I did some sewing. I did other things, too, but Saturday was mostly spent sewing, knitting and drinking tea. It was one of those perfect November days: calm, sunny in the morning, foggy in the afternoon, low light, damp air. I often feel like November gets forgotten about in the Christmas bustle.

I did quite a lot. Some slow sewing on a silk blouse I’m working on that requires a lot of concentration. A random cushion cover I had been putting off. Then some quick fixes – another pair of jodhpur leggings like these and two tops.

Yet another Renfrew top. Though this pattern really lends itself to many, many iterations, I have exhausted my fascination with the cowl neckline. Long sleeved jersey tops are my most worn item. Usually I buy them from Gap but have recently noticed that their quality and longevity has taken a serious downturn. So, I decided to explore the crew neck version of my pattern. I raised the neckline 2″ at the front and wish I had done the same at the back. It looks ok though.

The (rather wonderful) fabric I received in the post on Friday. I decided to try out a new vendor on Etsy – Land of Oh. They’re based in Korea and what attracted me to them was their combination of reasonable prices with reasonable postage. Sure, I can buy for cheap from the US but postage tends to be crazy. It is pretty difficult to find good jersey in Ireland and the UK. Sure, it exists, but it’s about €20/m and often isn’t very good quality. So I ordered this cotton interlock and a light chambray to try this shop out and was really happy with the service. They say to allow 3 weeks for delivery but I had mine in about ten days. They messaged me straight away when they had dealt with my order, and my order was exactly as described on the site.

Other than raising the neckline, I lengthened the body by 7cm and left off the hem band. I used Bondaweb hemming tape, the kind where you put it in between the hem and then use the iron to glue it all together. I did that so the hem wouldn’t go all funny when I twin needled it. It worked pretty well. The other thing I did was make the cuffs narrower. I took off an extra 2cm.

I was really disappointed with my neckline initially. It was sticking up all straight, even though I topstitched it. I left it to one side and then, last night, I decided to get over it and read up all about knit necklines. Turns out I just didn’t press it enough! I used the Megan Nielsen tutorial.

While I was on a roll, I decided to make something I’ve been meaning to do for ages and ages – make a knit Scout.

I got this green stripe jersey at the 2012 K&S show for cheap and figured it was time to stop hanging on to it and just make it up! I used my modified pattern – I raised the neckline 2″ and my bodice has some waist shaping included. I also made the sleeves longer.

I was talking to Alb when I took the photos so I didn’t notice my sleeve was flipped up there! I ended up taking the whole thing in about 2cm at the side seams. The neckline was a micro disaster but it turned out ok-ish. I think I may cut another binding and resew it. There are a few wibbly bits.

Considering that this is more of a wearable muslin than anything I was expecting to turn out well, I’m pretty happy with it.

As for the knitting, all I did was watching movies and crank out that teal Larch cardigan I was telling you about. The good news is that I’m already at the armholes so hopefully I’ll have something interesting-looking to show soon.


November 9, 2013

Saturday Socks

Filed under:Finished Objects,Knitting,Socks — Aileen @ 08:00

It has been a long time since I shared any knitting here but that’s not to say I haven’t been doing any. The truth is that even though I still knit every single day, a lot of it is pretty perfunctory stuff. And I suppose one must face the fact that, after many years of sweater knitting, you don’t need that many jumpers. I wear handknits constantly (particularly Salina, my red hoodie, my Graystone sweater…) but haven’t felt a particular need for anything new now in a while. I cast on for a Larch cardigan last weekend in a teal merino. At the moment it’s just a big square but I’m hoping to get to the armholes over the next few days. It is perfect tv knitting.

Otherwise, I’ve been knitting socks. Lots of socks.

For these I used Katia ‘Darling’ from This is Knit (see here). I bought two balls but only used maybe a third of the second one. Obviously there was a bit of wastage (sort of) by making them as identical as I could but I have very small feet so I knew I had yarn to spare.

I tried out an afterthought heel on these and it worked really well. It meant I could just plough on knitting my tube and think about the heel much later. I think Elizabeth Zimmermann talks about it in at least one of her books, and I found actual numbers and directions in Lucy Neatby’s ‘Cool Socks Warm Feet’. I couldn’t knit just one pair, so I tried a different colourway.

I love these! They’ve already gone a bit bobbly from being worn around the house.

The downside to the afterthought heel is that without reinforcement (like nylon or whatever), I doubt they’ll hold up to the test of time. We’ll see!

I finally finally finally knit myself a boring plain pair of socks. Need I mention that these are the ones that get the most wear?!

You’ll have to take my word that they are, in fact, the same length. Have a great weekend, one and all!