Sunday, 17 January 2016

Family knit: Caramel cardigan

Woke up to a (very) light dusting of snow this morning and decided to use it for an excuse for a (very) lazy day and starting s new project. I am knitting Caramel by Isabel Kraemer, a blanket style cardigan. The pattern is available to download free from Ravelry and is very popular. My mum and sister are knitting along with me and I am trying to resist the urge to rush ahead.

We are all using Rowan pure wool superwash DK. I have chosen gold and shale, using the gold at the top with bands of grey near the bottom. I haven't fully decided  which bits will be grey, but I really like this (much copied) version by Kleinformat. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Silkwings' crocheted sheep

I started this sheep on New Year's Day. I never imagined that I would knit novelty items as I never saw the point of knitted carrots and the like. It turns out I was wrong, probably not about the carrots, but that I would and more surprisingly enjoy knitting a toy.

I saw this pattern on Pinterest and was instantly taken in by its cuteness and bemused expression. I bought the pattern without even realising it was crochet and no idea what amigurmi was. Luckily I like a challenge.

I found the stitches, including the bobble stitches relatively easily. I found it difficult to know where the rounds began and ended on the fleece. I couldn't decide how to incorporate the slip stitch and chain stitch at the end of the row. For the head, I skipped over the slip stitch from the row below, and did the slip stitch and chain stitch into the previous chain stitch. I think this means I had an extra stitch in each round, but I found it was easier to see what I was doing and count my stitches. I used a paper clip to mark the chain stitch. 

When I moved onto the body I was more confident and started doing it properly (at least I think so) and skipping over both the slip stitch and chain stitch. 

I made a practice head and realised I needed to maintain tighter tension for the face and legs etc, so I didn't end up with large holes that the stuffing would poke through. 

The pattern was excellent, with lots of pictures  showing how to do the different stitches and sew it all together. It is designed by Kristi Tullus and can be downloaded on Ravelry here

I stuffed the toy with wadding. I embroidered the eyes as it is for a newborn. I used two balls of Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK in snowdrop and one ball in zinc. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Dyeing to be different

 Excuse the cheesy title, but today I want to discuss dying woolen clothing you have knitted. Part of the appeal of knitting your own garments, for me at least, is that you can spend time perusing (and if you are me, squeezing) balls of wool in the shop to ensure you have just the right yarn.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Bloomsbury Jumper

I cannot believe it has been a year since my last post, although if I think about it it does feel like a year and not too surprising as I have swapped sewing for DIY, Equally creative, but a tad dustier. 

I have however found time to knit a few things, most recently this Bloomsbury jumper by Svetlana Volkova which I downloaded from Ravelry. The pattern has a lace panel down the back and lace sleeves. I like how the sleeve lace comes across the front of the shoulders creating a round pattern on the front that echos the curve of the collar.

The pattern is knit top to bottom in one piece. Having always knitted bottom up, I found this quite unnerving to begin with and I couldn't understand what I was doing at all. At the point of realising the arms are knitted completely seamlessly I was fully on board and convinced of the benefits top-down knitting as I hate sewing up; although I am not quite a convert yet.

This is a great pattern and since I didn't know what I am doing it is a testament to the instructions that I did not make a mistake. I knitted the extra small as I wanted to to have negative rather than positive ease so it is tight fitted rather than skimming. For the sam reason I did not wet-block it as called for, instead I gave it a light press.

It is knitted in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, which makes it lovely and warm. The only issue is deciding what to wear under it that both shows off the pretty lace pattern, without letting a draft in.

I will definitely be making another, perhaps in Rowans super fine merino aran.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Kim Hargreves Aislin Jumper

I finished Kim Hargreaves Aislin in 13 days- which is definitely a personal best. The pattern in quite simple especially once you get past the flounces. 

I ordered the yarn from Deramores. It looked quite a bit darker on the website, but I liked the colour so decided to continue. I also made a mistake not realising the pattern called for kidsilk Aura rather than kidsilk Haze.Kidsilk aura is now discontinued, so I made up for it by holding the yarn triple as I knitted, as I worked out from the yardage that kidsilk Aura was 2.8 times heavier. It seems to have worked out well and the flounces still fall nicely. The neck edging does not curl over as it does in the pattern book- not sure if this is to do with the yarn. 

I started with a medium at the hips and worked to a small at the waist, by working 2 extra rounds of decreases, which also lengthened the jumper by 5cms. I also lengthened the sleeves by 3cms each, although I wish I had made it 5. 

This Jumper has already had a few outings, including Christmas day. I realised when making this, how much I like Kidsilk Haze yarn. I am now knitting Kim Hargreaves' Precious from the same heartfelt book as a coverup for a friends upcoming wedding.


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Pootling along

Me and my husbands moved into our flat just over 4 months ago and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about tiles and paint colours whilst bashing things with a hammer. The countless hours of researching wall insulation and scraping paint from the bannister means I have had little time to invest in sewing activities, not to mention that the new study/sewing room is piled high with power tools and sandpaper (sigh). 

I have managed to find time for a few projects including this bobble hat that matches a scarf I knitted last year. It is a fun hat, but I cannot seem to find a way to wear it that doesn’t make me look like a giant mushroom. Might have to knit another less mushroomy style soon. I also finished piecing the top of a quilt for our bedroom, but the rest of that project will have to wait until I have finalised the colour scheme, I already spent several hours removing about 15 squares I decided I no longer liked.

Last night I ordered some Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a rich dark purple which I will use to make Kim Hargreaves Aislin pattern. I am experimenting not watching TV so I have more time for life’s gentler pursuits, which will hopefullylast long enough to knit at least one decent jumper and maybe read a book. 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

All systems go

Life has been pretty busy but exciting over the last few months. Me and my husband have bought our first home, adopted two beautiful kittens and now entering a slightly daunting phase of DIY.

Excitingly we now have a space that can be used as a sewing room/study. It isn't big so I am looking for ingenious ways of storing fabric and my other sewing paraphernalia. It is currently housed in a chest of drawers, but I would prefer something more organised with everything in easy reach. 

The kittens make sewing and knitting interesting as they like to pounce on everything. Luckily they take rather long naps. 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Mother of the bride/ Vogue 1108

As promised here is a post of the dress I made for my mother for my wedding last summer. The pattern is Vogue 1108 made in shot silk dupion, which has a green/orange shimmer and is similar to the fabric on the pattern sleeve. The dress has a pleated  front and back and bow on the side. We made the bow slightly smaller than the pattern as my mum did not want it getting in the way of any dancing and rightly so. The pattern includes an interlined section with plastic boning which help keep the pleats in place. I liked the detail of piping at the neckline. This is quite a bombshell dress and really suits the dupion. I think it would look rather nice in red or navy.

I really like sewing with silk dupion as it stays where you put it and you can finger press the seams and pleats in place.

My mum used the left over fabric to make her own matching hat (she is the source of my craftiness).

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Beautiful Bridesmaid

Continuing on a wedding theme I thought it was about time I posted the dresses I made for my mother and sister for my wedding, that was only a year ago, tut tut.  I will post my mothers dress next.

We batted a few ideas about before settling on the 50s inspired design which featured a boat neck, full skirt and peplum at the waist. The fabric is a pale mint/turquoise silk dupion from Silk Society in Soho. The skirt was underlined with silk organza and the bodice is self underlined with plastic boning. The dress was lined with Bremsilk cupro lining and there is a concealed zip in the side seam.

The dress was apparently comfortable from morning until night and I think she looked beautiful, but that isn't surprising.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Nigerian bridesmaid dress

My sister was recently bridesmaid at a wedding where the groom was Nigerian. Before the wedding the bride chose a traditional Nigerian fabric that all the bridemaids and guests could use to get outfits made. My sister asked me to make her dress and provided me with the inspiration from which I drafted the pattern. The dress is lined with plain yellow cotton that is also used for the contrast panel. The dress turned out quite well, I was especially pleased with my pattern matched seam down the back.