Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jennie's Classy short jacket

Jennie used Aslan Trends Class (8ply viscose/cotton) to make this gorgeous summer weight bolero jacket. She modified the pattern of the jacket body from a ball band pattern originally from some older cotton yarn in her stash.

The crochet collar is a trim she likes, from another old ball band pattern - there are some gems out there! I like it too.
I am planning to swap lessons with Jennie, she will teach me crochet, and I will teach her smocking. Watch this space.....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Knit 5, Eyelet Cardigan

I have just finished the eyelet cardigan from Jo Sharp Knit 5. Whilst I am happy with the final result, I did not have plain sailing with this pattern due to fitting issues. I have described these in greater detail in my notes on Ravelry, but I admit to a lot of reverse knitting and work with the calculator at the armhole and upper sleeve. This is why I have been knitting this since April - sometimes knitting has to rest in the bag for a few weeks and think about its bad behaviour.

I particularly like the eyelet finish at the neck and waist. I think this gives just enough detail at the back to make the cardigan interesting. The closer fit of the single rib below the waist also appeals to me.
I made a few changes to the pattern aside from the fitting. I made full length sleeves, and used the eyelet stitch pattern within the rib buttoning band instead of making buttonholes. I like the effect of this buttoning band very much. It needed a lot more buttons, as the eyelet pattern holes are small.

My favourite part of knitting this cardigan was the luscious texture of the alpaca silk georgette yarn. I used colour 750, Briar. I think the texture of the cardigan will make it a staple of my wardrobe.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heirloom Baby Shawl

Jennie made this beautiful shawl whilst expecting her second baby. The pattern is from a now out of print Paton's pattern book, and Jennie has knit it in Heirloom 4ply baby wool, shade 460, cream, adapting the pattern to suit circular needles for the central portion.

I think it is a real heirloom, and in machine washable wool, which means it might last through the indignities offered to clothing by a new baby!
Jennie blocked this shawl by laying it out on a queen size bed, no blocking wires, and it turned out beautifully. Jennie's children wanted to be in the photo, so we don't have a really clear picture of the gorgeous border, but the children look sweet.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hannah's hand warmers

Hannah made these to use for early morning band practices at school (she plays the clarinet, saxophone and piano), and has worn them for this purpose all winter. She kindly agreed to bring them into the shop for a photo shoot, but has only just got around to it. She has just washed the hand warmers ready to put away for next year.

You may remember that Hannah only really started knitting this year. These fingerless gloves were her first project knitted in the round (double pointed needles) and her first project with a stitch pattern. This does not show up terribly well in the photo, but there is a wave stitch pattern that shows up very distinctly in real life.
The adjustments Hannah made to the pattern were to enlarge the hole for the thumb, and to make the hand portion slightly longer. Hannah thinks whoever wrote the pattern must have tiny hands.

The pattern is "Wave Hand Warmers" from "101 One Skein Wonders" edited by Judith Durant.
Hannah used one 50g ball of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in colour 128 Heather for her hand warmers. The pattern called for a 100g skein of worsted weight yarn. We think this much yarn would leave you enough for another pair. Hannah finds the Silkroad yarn very comfortable to wear, and it has washed well, with no fuzziness.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Knit 5 Sleeveless rib top

It is really warm here today, so I thought I would delay posting about Hannah's gauntlets (very warm and cosy, but a little winterish for today), and write about my purple spring weather top instead. It has been waiting in my wardrobe for 3 months after all!
This is from Jo Sharp Knit 5, and I really like it, despite the little problem I had falling into a trance during the middle single rib section and making it too long. Next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I will make the middle section a more flattering length. I am thinking of a green version.

The only changes I made this time were short row shaping across the bust, and garter stitch at the edges of the shoulder straps in order to prevent rolling in.
I knit this in Soho Summer DK Cotton, just like the pattern called for, in the gorgeous colour currant 234.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Smocked insert - BWOF 12-2008-130

Smocking is sometimes viewed as only suitable for children's garments. Whilst I admire a smocked square yoke party dress on a 3 year old as much as the next embroidery fanatic, I also think that smocking can be gorgeous in more sophisticated clothes.
This dress by German design house Schumacher was featured in the December 2008 Burda magazine - photo credit Burda World of Fashion.

I used this dress as inspiration for a dress with a smocked bodice insert. The Schumacher dress has a gathered chiffon panel that looks fabulous if your bust is A cup or less, as the panel falls softly across the bodice in this size. For more substantial figures, the gathered panel gives a distinct pouter pidgeon outline in an unadultarated state - smocking to the rescue!

Smocking the panel, and making the outer panel shorter than the lining panel, controls the pleats, and provides an opportunity for embellishment. I still had a little trouble with excess puffiness, but adding a few beads to the top smocking row, and a few stab stitches within the panel has made the front bodice fit well, and I am pleased with the silhoutte of this dress.

I kept the smocking pattern simple - a row of cross over cable, then several rows of diamond trellis, shaping to 3 Vs above the bust.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I think I have mentioned before how much I love knitting socks. They are such a convenient handbag project, and I can knit them whilst talking, or travelling or watching television.
Here are 2 of my latest pairs of my socks.
This pair is from Heirloom Jigsaw 4 ply.
I have made them with 2.25mm needles, using my own sock pattern, with a reinforced flap heel and reinforced toe. The self striping colourway is number 66, a most unimaginative name IMO.

Here is the much more imaginatively named Kaffe Fassett Regia sock yarn "Jungle Mirage"
( I used 2.25 mm needles for this pair too, and tried really, really hard to follow the pattern pamphlet that we can give away with the yarn purchase. I am very bad at sticking exactly to a pattern. This was my first time making a round ("German") heel, and I have to say, I am not an instant fan, it does not seem to fit my foot very well. Sharon, however, finds this a fabulous heel, so probably it is just my feet. I failed to follow the pattern when I came to the toe, my toes being less pointy than the pattern and requiring a less elongated decreasing section, and I finished the toes with kitchener stitch rather than a seam, so not too many changes.
The last sock I want to show you is by Elizabeth, who has been knitting socks for around 70 years.
She is unbelievably fast and accomplished, and will not pose for a photo with her sock for some strange reason.:). Elizabeth asked me to find her some very purple sock yarn, but thought she would try Heirloom Jigsaw number 78 whilst she was waiting. Unfortunately she does not care for this sock, finding the colour combination not to her taste, but as there is now a list of about 15 people who have offered enthusastically to take the socks off her hands when they are finished, I am sure her grand-daughter will like them very much as a Christmas present. All the eager sock recipient hopefuls will just have to knit their own.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jo Sharp Ultra Beret

My daughter needed a black beret for a recent dance performance, so I went looking for a pattern, but did not find one I liked, so I made up my own pattern for a simply cabled beret, using my favourite black yarn from the shop.

I am really pleased with how this turned out. I used Jo Sharp Ultra in 721 Nero. This is about a 12-14 ply, or category 5 yarn, so it knit really, really quickly - in one afternoon whilst also intermittently serving customers.

My daughter wore this with a black trench coat, for about 5 seconds at the start of a scene, so I don't have a photograph of it in action. Her favourite bit is the i-cord stalk at the top.