October WIPs

As we re-enter lockdown here in Ireland, I thought that I might share with you some of the fun things that I have been working on! Autumn is definitely in full swing here and I have been really inspired by the beautiful colours changing around me. I might not be able to do anything about our 5km radius restriction, but there’s nothing to stop me enjoying the lovely things within it. I hope that you are able to find something similar. The last lockdown got me thinking about my gigantic bountiful stash and since then, I have been thoroughly enjoying diving into it and putting it to use. This is one such example:

I have always been drawn to this golden mustard colour! This yarn has been in my stash ten years now (!!!). I started knitting Hélene, a design by Veronik Avery for Quince and Co, but the yarn was a bit too dense for the design. (I subsequently did make that pattern, but in a thinner linen – you can read it here. It’s a great pattern! I still have the top and it is one of my most favourite warm weather makes. I still have the skirt in the photo, actually, I love it too and wear it all year round!) Anyway, this yarn is a DK weight, hand-dyed by the lovely Laura of Ellie and Ada. Because I had gotten the yarn to make the Hélene top, I only had 300g of it, so I was reluctant to start anything else in it, in case I ran out. I realise how silly that is! When I was organising things, I pulled it out and decided to just make something from it. I went on to Ravelry, had a search for a top-down sweater, so that I could maximise every last centimetre of this lovely stuff, and I found Summer Halo, a free pattern by Drops. Perfect! The lace yoke is simple enough not to detract from the amazing colour, but interesting enough to want to keep knitting.

Isn’t it nice? And that’s it unblocked! I love the stitch definition in the yarn, and the subtle variegation in the colour. I have been ploughing through this. Figuring that I would just make a short sleeved tunic, I decided to just keep knitting until most of the yarn had run out, and then add little cuffs to the sleeve edges at the yoke. But… I think that I might actually have enough yarn for sleeves if I don’t make the body too long!

You can see how far I am already on the body, and I’m knitting from the biggest ball on the right. The other two balls are 50g balls – one for each sleeve. I might just squeeze it! I think that, since I am already at the waist on the body, I will pause on that and knit the two sleeves. That way, I’ll be able to see how much longer I can make the body. It’s all so exciting – who knows what will happen!!

In other news, I have been reassessing my collection of jumpers. I love all of the jumpers that I have knit. Some of the very old ones now live at home in my parents’ house. Some that are now far too big, or whose colour no longer encourages me to reach for them, I have given to friends (that’s a super thing to do, by the way, if you have some forgotten knits – it is so lovely to see them wearing an old hand knit and being snug!). I have two jumpers lined up to be ripped out and reknit – more on that another day, because that is an interesting process in itself. Following a short conversation with the aforementioned Laura about the length of jumpers and making them as snuggly as physically possible, I was reminded about just how fantastic the tunic length jumper is. I have only one in my wardrobe, the Altheda that I knitted last Christmas. The fact that you can wear it over leggings and be super-snug is very compelling indeed. I considered adapting my other two Plotulopi knits (I knit two plain round yoke sweaters in dark purple and light blue last winter, just as basics for knocking about in), but decided that I have enough leftover to eke out another Altheda.

In the meantime, however, I decided to cut the hem off another old knit and adapt it into a tunic.

I knit this quite some time ago. I recall stalking the colour for perhaps a year before finally deciding on this yarn, Cushendale’s Mohair Bouclé. What a colour palette! As yarns go, it is a little on the expensive side, on the face of it. However, I would point out that its yardage is excellent, at 200m per 100g, and its bouclé nature means that you can knit it at practically any gauge. You could probably get a cardigan out of two balls, if you used something like 8mm needles and an open lacy pattern, such as Old Shale. If memory serves me correctly, I bought 5 balls of this to make the jumper and had two and a bit left over. I knit it using 4mm and 4.5mm needles as well. So it does go far!

In taking these photos, I realised just how much I have worn this cosy, cosy make and how the colour always makes me happy! So, after trying in vain to unravel the rib (not sure why I even bothered to try to unravel mohair bouclé…!), I just cut it off and picked up my stitches. That took a little time, because it is easy to miss a stitch in such a fluffy dense fabric. I am now half a ball through a ‘tunic extension’ and I am very much looking forward to having this back in my jumper drawer! I will definitely have enough wool left over to add a turtleneck to the collar if I want to. I’m not convinced about that. My Altheda is very warm and I think this mohair is even warmer than the Plotulopi, so it’s possible that a turtleneck would end being overkill. I could always knit a separate cowl to wear with it? That way I could take it off when necessary. Hmm. I’ll let you know.

Before I sign off, you might be wondering about the little label that I sewed in. I am quite lazy when it comes to these things, but my annoyance at repeatedly putting my jumper on back to front won out over my sloth. I made the label using one of Katie Green’s beautiful rubber stamps. You can find the full selection here. I used fabric ink and stamped it onto a cotton grosgrain, then sealed it with heat. I’m not sure just how wash-resistant the ink is, because the labels I have used on clothes have faded, but I may not have set the iron hot enough.

Anyway, I wish you a bon weekend! I will be back soon with a catch up on a very special knitting project that I was beavering away on all the last month that has now been delivered, as well as with an update on what I’ve been sewing lately. See you soon!

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