Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Me made May week 3 round up

Well May seems to be speeding by, and it's already time for a round up of week three! 

Day 15 - Primroses for Spring cardigan and rtw t-shirt and skirt - I had an early start for work and it was a bit chilly, so out came a wool cardigan.

Day 16 - Bluebirds dress and rtw cardigan - I made this dress for OAL 2015, a knitting and sew along to make a complete outfit, OAL 2018 starts on 1 June and I've already got my plans in place.

Day 17 - Hummingbirds dress and rtw cardigan - I made this dress for last year's OAL.

Day18 - Art Gallery birds dress and rtw cardigan


Day 19 - Vintage Vogue 8728 dress - from their reprint range, and rtw cardigan

Day 20 - it was a lovely sunny Sunday, so it was maxi dress time! - Turquoise Anna maxi 


Day 21 - Back to work again - Green daisy Emery and rtw cardigan


Thursday, 17 May 2018

Me made May week 2 round up

Running a little late with this update as I have been away with work for a few days, but I'm back now, so here it is.  Apart from one chilly, wet day (12th), the weather was reasonable for week 2, so it was mostly me-made dresses for this week.

Day 8 - Today I wore my pink birds dress and an rtw cardigan.

Day 9 - Another bird print dress today, this is from a vintage pattern and fabric I bought in Ikea several years ago, plus an rtw cardigan.

Day 10 - Today I wore what is still one of my favourite me-mades, my lime roses Elisalex and an rtw cardigan.

Day 11 - Today I wore my red daisy Emery dress and an  rtw cardigan

Day 12 - There was a definite nip in the air today, so I wore my most recent knitted finish which I have yet to blog about (I'll link to it once I've written about it).  This is a lightweight wool top which I started last autumn and then put to one side for the winter.  It's from a vintage pattern and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  The skirt is an rtw from Lindy Bop.

Day 13 - Today I wore my Anna La Paloma dress which I made during Me-Made-May 2016.  I love this print, it's very Josef Frank inspired I think.  I paired it with a cardigan I knitted last year from a vintage pattern with Malabrigo sock yarn.  I'm knitting with this at the moment and I love it - it is so soft.

Day 14 - This is another of my 'Top Ten' dresses (I haven't actually got a top ten, but if I did, this would be one of them - the other one in this post would be the lime roses Elisalex).  It's the Happy Homemaker dress and an rtw cardigan.

And that's it for week 2!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Me Made May 2018 - week 1 round up

Well the UK weather was all over the place for the first week of May 2018!  I went from wearing wool jumper and skirt in the early part of the week, to floaty maxi dresses at the end.  So, without further ado, here are the first week's outfits.

Day 1, not terribly warm, so a wool cardigan which I knitted last summer, with a cotton dress (and tights).


Day 2 was freezing, and this was the day when I wore a wool skirt, given to me by a friend and one of my most worn skirts during the winter, and a me-made wool jumper.


Day 3 - polka dot dress made from a vintage pattern, and me-made cardigan, also from a vintage pattern.


Day 4 - rtw dress and handknitted wool cardigan which I made last year.


Day 5 - warmer weather, so a lemon print rtw dress and one of this year's handknits


Day 6 - the weather was lovely and so it was time to break out a maxi


Day 7 - lovely and warm again, so another maxi, this time an Anna which had been languishing in my alterations / mending box waiting for me to finish top stitching the neckline which I have now done, so this will get quite a bit of wear this summer because (i) I love it and (ii) it feels like having a new dress because it's been waiting so long for me to fix it!



And that was the first week that was.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Home Fires Knitting Project

I have both series of Home Fires on DVD and have recently re-watched them.  It's such a shame ITV cancelled it, I really enjoyed it - good storylines, great cast, and it had some brilliant knitwear!  However, all is not lost as Simon Block, the series creator, has continued the story in book form.  Already available in e-book and audio formats, the written version is due for publication tomorrow, so I hope it'll be landing through my letterbox soon.

I've decided I'd like to recreate some of the jumpers featured in the show, although not necessarily in the same colourways.  This is going to be a long term project and will fit in around other knitting (and sewing).  Mustn't forget the sewing.  Anyway... below are some screenshots from the show and photos of the patterns and yarns I'll be using.

Firstly a feather a fan top - I spotted four in the show, all slightly different

I'll be using  Sirdar 1140 and some Koigu wool which I've had in my stash for quite some time.


Next on the 'to knit' list is this top - two versions in the show, Steph's (on the left) has longer sleeves.  This will take a while I think as the top part is moss stitch.

I'll be using  Patons 182 pattern and Cascade 220 Fingering


I'm keen to try this wool - there are several knitters on Instagram who use it for knitting vintage patterns, they wax lyrical about it and the results they get are stunning.

Also on the list are these two tops - the top one is Patons 607 and the lower one Bestway 1480.  These will also be knitted in Cascade 220 Fingering.




I'm also going to knit a 'bunny ears' top



Although I haven't made a decision on which wool to use for this yet - it may end up being 'make do and mend' knitted with leftovers!  The pattern I'll use is Weldons 528.

For the cardigan below I'll use Bestway 1027 which has a slightly different stitch pattern, but the overall effect will be similar I think.  I've got some green Madeline Tosh sock in my stash which I'll use for this.



Next is this short-sleeved top - I haven't found this exact pattern online so I'll use Patons 820 which is slightly different - no wool allocated for this one yet.


And finally, I love this fairisle top which Claire is modelling in the telephone exchange, but I don't have a pattern for this yet, so I'm still searching.

Plenty here to keep me busy for years I think!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Me Made May 2018 - plans

Well, it's that time of year again!

I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, with some initial thoughts.  I now have some firmed up plans.

I will wear something me-made every day.  (I hope it will be a cotton dress, but if the weather this year is anything like it was last year it may be a wool cardigan or jumper instead - quite likely, today has been freezing!)

However, in order to challenge myself, I am also going to get the sewing machine out.

Firstly, I'm going to finish a dress which I started last year - this is a mash-up of Emery bodice and Cambie A-line skirt.

Finishing this is also part of my 2018 Make Nine pledge so this will kill two birds with one stone and give me sufficient impetus to actually get. it. finished.

I'd also like to alter / mend two things from my 'these need attention' box.  I'm not sure what because I haven't actually opened the box yet this year, so it will be a good opportunity to review what's in there and take a reality check on what I might realistically never get round to fixing up and therefore pass on.  However, I'm pretty sure everything in this photo is in there...


Finally, on the sewing front, I will also make two dresses, from start to finish, in May.  I haven't quite decided on pattern and fabric combos yet, but one of them will definitely be from one of the Paris-themed fabrics in my stash.  (I've bought another Eiffel Tower dress length since I took this photo...)


The other will depend on the weather - if it warms up it may be something summery, if not then something that doesn't scream summer.

I've also got two (knitted) cardigans on the go which I would like to get finished - I have some train travel coming up later in May, so I should be able to get a good chunk of it done while on the move.


I discovered that I'd made a mistake in the one on the left and had to unravel and reknit 48 rows of the smocked pattern section because, having spotted the mistake I couldn't just leave it there - not sure whether anyone else would have noticed it, but I knew it was there...!  Happily this is all reknitted now and I've split for the back and fronts and done the back, so I've got the fronts to finish, sleeves to knit and then button / buttonhole band to add.  I haven't made as much progress with the one on the right, but fingers crossed I might get that one finished too.

I hope these seven things will be achievable.  I already have quite a few time commitments for next month so I don't want to set myself unrealistic targets, but equally there has to be an element of challenge.  And I also plan to take daily outfit photos and post them on instagram, with a weekly round up post here.  Here's hoping...



Sunday, 15 April 2018

Spring is (not) in the air

Or at least it wasn't when I wrote this post.  Now that I've uploaded the photos though the sun has come out at last and it's actually quite warm!

I first saw this pattern knitted up by Lucy and decided I'd like to knit it.  However, it is one of the few vintage patterns that I have which is too big for me as written - size 38" - 40" bust, most vintage patterns being in the 32" - 36" size range.  (Although perhaps more accurately most patterns that seem to be readily available on the internet, rather than most patterns ever written.)  So some adjusting of numbers was required.


You will see that my version doesn't look much like Lucy's, or the picture on the pattern itself.

This is because I found the fancy ribbing quite time consuming to knit, and I knitted the body on 2.5mm needles, so the stocking stitch wasn't exactly quick either!  I decided to forego the fancy ribbing at the top of the yoke - ultimately what I wanted was a green cardigan to wear sooner rather than later, not a faithful vintage reproduction garment.
Fancy ribbing

I used Wollmeise lace in the Petersilie colourway which I've had in my stash for a while.  I absolutely love the colour and it was lovely wool to knit with.  It's the perfect yarn for a lightweight cardigan and I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.


Other changes from the pattern - I didn't knit the pockets - I might well knit pockets on a longer line, relaxed fit cardigan, but I didn't think I would ever use them in a waist-length fitted cardigan. I also did top down sleeves, knitted the body in one piece up to the armholes and did short-row shoulders.  I also did a picked up and knitted on button band rather than a narrow strip to be sewn on - I don't really have the patience to knit these types of button bands...  I made twelve 3-stitch one-row buttonholes (another change from the pattern) simply because I had twelve buttons.  I don't think I'm ever going to do them all up though.  The buttons are glass and I bought them at a Hammersmith Vintage Fair last year, or maybe the year before.  I bought them on spec hoping they'd go with this wool... Aaand I've just noticed that they're in the header photo at the top of this blog, still on their card!

Vintage glass buttons

I've already worn this a few times and am so pleased that I finally got around to knitting it.  I think it's going to get quite a lot of wear.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Ultramarine cardigan

This cardigan is knitted with the last of the Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply in my stash and it's a lovely deep, rich, purple (the shade colour is Ultramarine).  I started it in January and finished it in February.


The ribbing is 1 x 1, I used the stitch pattern from Baile, a pattern I've already used for this cardigan (and which I have subsequently found in my Second Barbara G Walker Treasury - the twin leaf panel and fancy shell rib look very similar, if not actually the same), and there is some shaping at the sides.  I decided to do a v-neck, it was knitted in one piece up to the armholes, with fake side seams and seamed, short-row shoulders.  The sleeves are knitted top-down and I worked eight two-stitch, one-row buttonholes.  So pretty much standard shaping and construction for me really.


The buttons were from Textile Garden, my supplier of choice for modern buttons.  I think I bought them when they were exhibiting at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival last year and with a different project in mind, although I don't now remember what... (initially I was going to put red buttons on this cardi), and they're a great match colourwise.

I'm very pleased with how it's turned out and I can see it getting quite a lot of wear all year round as it goes with both winter and summer clothes.