Saturday, 29 April 2017

Me Made May 2017

So, May is nearly here and it's time for me to put in writing what I would like to achieve during this year's Me Made May challenge.  My aim is to wear something me-made every day during May which means having a bit of a blitz on the ironing this weekend.  I've finally got all my summer dresses out and washed and aired them, but there is still some ironing to be done!

These are all ironed and ready to wear

If the weather isn't so great I've got a good selection of hand knitted cardigans that I can wear, so it should be possible to get through the month with no repeats.  I'll try and do daily photos on instagram too.

On the making front I've got two cardigans on the go at the moment which I'd like to get finished,

Madelinetosh sock in Espadrilles

Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply in pink (or maybe it's called Baby Pink...)

and I'd like to sew four dresses.  I've already matched pattern and fabric for these two

And I'd like to make a couple of these up with one or two of the vintage patterns I blogged about here.  (I'd like to make up all this fabric obvs, but I won't get through it all in May!)

This should be possible because we have two public holidays this month - the first one being this weekend is a bonus as I'm intending to get all the cutting out done.  I've also got a couple of extra days off work as well, so with a bit of luck and a following wind I'll have six new garms by the end of May.  Fingers crossed!  Although not while I'm knitting or sewing. ;-)

Fleur de lis jumper

This is a jumper which I saw being worn by Sienna Guillory in an episode of the TV series Miss Marple (with Geraldine McEwan - A murder is announced - there's lots of great knitwear in this episode).
Rather grainy screenshot

It took me a while to track down the pattern and I'm not sure now how I actually came across it, but it's from the March 1940 issue of Stitchcraft magazine.  I first started knitting this last year with different yarn, but after completing two full pattern repeats (and having already reknitted it because the tension with the needle size given in the pattern was too loose - gah) I decided that it wasn't a pattern/yarn match made in heaven and unravelled it.  I think the pattern got a bit lost in the semi-solid yarn really.

Version one - frogged

So, that was that until Fyberspates brought out some new colours in their Scrumptious 4ply.  The jade colourway was perfect!  I'm really not one to knit up patterns so that they look like the photo (although actually the pattern photo is black and white), but I loved the colour as worn by Sienna Guillory and this was pretty similar, so when I saw it I knew I'd found the right yarn.

I can't honestly say it was a pleasure to knit - the k5tog stitches were a bit fiddly, but fortunately they didn't come along very often.  Also, I had to change the instructions for the flowers - as written the stems all sat to the right which didn't suit my desire for symmetry.  But I love it now it's done.

This is the second of my vintage KAL projects.  And now, 21 posts later,  that's this blog all up to date!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Donegal cable cardigan

I much prefer not to knit with aran weight yarn but I've had this wool (Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed) for a while and I really liked the look of the pattern, although it's designed for cotton.  The upside is that it knits up quickly!

I adapted the pattern slightly - I mirrored the cables, made the neckline a bit higher and did knitted on button bands and neckline, with buttons all the way down.  I also put some side seams in and knitted the sleeves in the round up until the point of joining them at the yoke.

The neckband stands up slightly, I'm not quite sure why, but I like it so it's a design feature ;-).  The buttons are from The Swagman's Daughter.

This cardigan is very warm so has had little wear since I finished it, but I'm sure I'll wear it when the weather gets colder again later in the year.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Starring stripes! jumper

One of the groups I belong to on Ravelry is running a year-long vintage knitting KAL this year which I decided to join -  my challenge is to knit four vintage patterns with a striped design using stashed yarn.  This is the first.

I'm not sure when or how I acquired this pattern - possibly from a work colleague who gave me a carrier bag full of vintage patterns several years ago.  Maybe.  It's a booklet called Two designs by P&B, number 635, and has a black, white and red checked / fairisle design on the front cover.  Anyway, this is a good stashbusting project if you have  lots of part-ball leftovers.  I used Drops Baby Merino for this.

Again, I altered the neckline so that it wouldn't need a button placket in the back, and I also made the sleeves slightly shorter to conserve the main colour.  As it was I used every last scrap for the neckband.

Apart from the multitude of ends to be sewn in this was a quick knit.  I've given it to my sister but I would quite like to knit another one for myself at some point as I really like the style.  I still have enough leftovers to do all the stripes but I'd have to buy more wool for the main colour, so, maybe next year...

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Olivetti cardigan

Like my Mica cardigan, this is another reverse engineered cardi.  I liked the look of the original, but again, the pattern was designed  for thicker wool than I wanted to use.  I'd bought this yarn a while ago (Uncommon Thread BFL light DK from Loop), it's the same as I used to knit an Audrey in Unst, and it's a dream to knit with.  I snaffled the lace pattern directions from a Drops pattern and the three-stitch cables are, well, three-stitch cables!

I did patterning on the back as well for this cardigan.

The shaping is kinda based on Audrey in Unst, although I made this longer.  Buttons were in my stash, I can't remember where I bought them though.

I'm pleased with how this has turned out, although it's now been put away for a few months because it's not a colour I would wear in the spring and summer.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Plomo jumper

And... finally getting to this year's knitting!  I finished this in early January and it's a vintage pattern from Marriner's.  I can't remember now where I came across it, probably on Ravelry.  I used Malabrigo Arroyo in the Plomo colourway and I got exactly the right tension - this hardly ever happens!

Marriner's 291

I like the look of the rib stitch, although it doesn't have much 'give' in it.
The saddle shoulders are a nice touch too.

As written, the pattern has a 6" zip in the back.  I wasn't going to fiddle about doing that so I altered the neckline, making it lower and wider, and also making the saddle shoulder sections a bit shorter to accommodate this change.  I then picked up and knitted the neckline in the round.

I'm pleased with how this has turned out, the wool was a delight to knit with and is very soft next to the skin.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Toddler jumpers and 2016 sum up

My final knit of 2016 was this jumper for my grandson.  Yes, his name begins with 'B' ;-).  Despite editing, the colour isn't really right in this photo - the 'B' is navy and the red is a bit brighter, but every time I brightened the red the blue became even further from its original colour.

I used this pattern as a starting point although it has a lot of ease, so I measured an existing jumper and adapted the pattern accordingly.  I marked out the letter 'B' on graph paper and knitted using the intarsia method - my first, and so far only, time of doing this.

Whilst I'm catching up I also knitted him a stripey jumper earlier in the year.

This was loosely based on this pattern (although without the lace design obvs), which I'd knitted for my daughter when she was a tot.  I've been stashing knitting patterns for years ;-).

As I'm writing this in April 2017 I feel it's a bit been-and-gone to do a round up of 2016 really.  An eventful year, I was very glad of the creative outlet of being able to design and knit the ideas I can see in my mind's eye.  In summary, I made four dresses, two shawls, eight cardigans, four jumpers and two children's jumpers. I also ended the year with less yarn than I started with which I'm pleased about - I did a fair bit of destashing as well as knitting.  I'm not so sure about the fabric side of things, I think given that I only made four dresses I probably increased the size of my fabric stash!

And looking back to this post I see I only completed two cardigans and started one jumper from the projects I listed!  The others are still in my queue to be carried forward...

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Monochrome Breton

This is another Breton style jumper, similar to my grey and turquoise one but with additional waist shaping in the back.

I tried a few stripe sequences and decided I didn't like the large white stripe.

Wide white stripe was a definite no-no
The colours look different in these pictures because some were taken without the benefit of natural daylight - the trouble with taking photos in autumn evenings!

Also, I only had one ball of the mid-grey colour so that influenced the decision - I ended up using all of it bar a few yards.

I do like this style, it's the knitted equivalent of a sweatshirt in my book.  Also, stripes are good for using up leftovers!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Mica cardigan

Inspired by this cardigan, I made this with madelinetosh sock yarn (the pattern is designed for aran weight) which was an impulse purchase bought at same time as the Button Jar Blue DK for my daughter's Winter Breton jumper.  I liked the look of the colourway (another discontinued one) in the photo on the website and was pleased to see that the wool looked like the photo when it arrived!  It's always a bit of a leap of faith buying sight unseen.

This was an easy lace pattern to knit, I modified it slightly from the one used in Kristenhamn, and I only put patterning on the front of the cardigan, the back is stocking stitch.  There is some waist shaping in the back and at the sides and I picked up the sleeves and knitted them top down.

I've worn this a fair bit since finishing it, it goes with quite a few of my dresses and is equally at home being worn with jeans.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Forest Canopy and Cloud Illusions

Having not knitted a shawl for ages (the last one I knitted was in early 2013) two come along at once!

The first one is a Cloud Illusions to replace one which I'd knitted in a similar colour and subsequently gave to my sister.  The yarn (Posh Yarn Natasha) I used for this version popped up in a destash and I thought would be ideal to use for this, and it was.  This is an easy pattern to knit although the knitting slows considerably as the lace rows get longer.  It's worth it though, I think it's a very pretty pattern and this colour looks great with black, navy and royal blue (and probably other colours too).  I'm a big fan of mustard yellow.

The second shawl is a Forest Canopy.  My sister asked me to knit her a shawl which she could wear with a pale pink coat, so I had a rummage through my stash and she chose this (Skein Queen Wisp).  This is the fourth shawl I've knitted from this pattern - it's very easy to follow.  Since I don't have a pale pink coat myself I've photographed it with a black one.

Suffragette City

I'd been wanting to knit another Your Victory jumper for a while but not necessarily in red white and blue.  I love purple and green together so I tried a couple of stripe sequences and decided the one on the left looked better so that's the one I went with.  The name is a nod to both the colour combo and David Bowie.

This is such an easy pattern to knit.  My first version had long sleeves but this colour combination made me think of spring so I decided to do short sleeves this time round.  I had to change the rate of increases on the sleeves to get the right number of stitches at the point of casting off for the armholes, and I picked up and knitted the neckband in the round.  Other than that I followed the pattern.

I really like this and may well knit another one - there are lots of lovely versions on Ravelry with different colour combinations.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Patina cardigan

This is another self-designed cardigan - the lace pattern is from Arielle, which is pretty much the same as the Swiss Fan pattern in the second Barbara Walker Treasury book.

I used Malabrigo Sock which is sooo soft.  I only had two skeins of the ochre colourway so I decided to pair it with the navy (colourway name Cote d'Azure) and I love how it's turned out.  It really does look like it has an aged patina to it (well to me anyway!)

The buttons are from The Swagman's Daughter.

Winter Breton jumper

I'd seen a fair few designs for Breton jumpers appearing on Ravelry and decided I needed one!  Initially I'd though about using stripes in different colours, but in the end settled on using just one colour - Madeline Tosh Button Jar Blue.

The style was vaguely based on my Sparks in the Stream jumper, but I put some waist shaping into this one and also the stitchcount was different because this is knitted with skinnier yarn.  I've knitted quite a lot of garments with Drops Baby Merino and really like it - I found this colourway was not quite as soft as the others I've used though.  Only a marginal difference, but still different.  I used Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails for the stripes and needed just over three.  The cuffs, hem and neckline are finished with i-cord.

My daughter saw me knitting this and asked me to knit her one the same, so this second version is hers.  I already had the Drops Extrafine Merino in stash (DK, lighter shade of grey than mine) but had to get some of the Button Jar Blue in DK to knit the stripes.  Luckily Meadow Yarn came up trumps (and while I was there I bought some Tosh sock yarn shhhh...)

Because this was a DK version it knitted up more quickly than mine, particularly the sleeves were much quicker to knit than with 4 ply.  She is really pleased with it which makes me happy :-).

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Casbah cardigan

This cardigan came about because I decided I wanted to stripe the variegated yarn with the semi-solid.  I used my usual construction method for self-designed cardigans - bottom up, body in one piece to armholes then split for the front and back.  Sleeves top down.  I used a knitted on i-cord buttonband because the buttons I chose to use are small and I think would have got lost on a ribbed buttonband (and probably wouldn't have stayed done up either).

I bought the yarn from Purlescence, although she has very little in stock at the moment.  The buttons are vintage but I can't remember now whether I bought them at Camberwell or Hammersmith vintage fair.

I love fact that they are all slightly different from each other and I have enough left to use for another project.

Honeybee cardigan no 2

I love this pattern, I think the lace is just so pretty.  This is the second version I have knit - I knitted the first one in spring 2013 (pre this blog) and as far as I can remember followed the pattern to the letter for that one.  This time round though I just used the lace panel on the front and did the sleeves top down (rather than from the bottom up and then join at the underarms and knit up from there all in one, which is how the pattern is written).

The yarn is Madelinetosh Sock in Button Jar Blue - I absolutely love this colourway - it's a shame it's been discontinued.

I spent a while trying to decide which buttons to use - toning or contrasting.  As you can see I went for contrasting in the end - I bought these in John Lewis.

I love this cardigan, the colour just makes me smile :-)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Baila mi hermana cardigan

When I first came across this pattern I knew I would have to knit it - something about it just called to me.  In the end though, because I didn't use the recommended yarn, all I used was the lace stitch pattern.  Once I started knitting it became clear that, as written, it had mistakes (i.e. as far as I could tell the instructions didn't match the photos) so I had to spend some time working out what it should be in order to get the two fronts to be mirror images of each other.

Since I used the same yarn for this (Cascade 220) as for my red Ten of Hearts I used the same cast on stitch count, neckline shaping and sleeve construction as for that cardigan, although I think I made this one longer.  And because it was such thick yarn it was a quick knit.  I love the colour of this (Cyan Blue), but found it impossible to get accurate photos with my phone even after lots of editing.

Buttons from The Swagman's Daughter.

Trixie cardigan

And... another vintage pattern.  I spotted Trixie from one of the early series of Call the Midwife wearing the jumper from this pattern (hence the name).  The midwives have some lovely clothes in that show!

This was also another stashbusting project which is why the sleeves are a different colour from the body and also why the sleeve cuffs are striped.  I had to do some emergency surgery on the sleeves when I ran out of yarn on the second one.  I had to remove the cuff on the first sleeve and add in another stripe sequence.

The buttons came from The Swagman's Daughter.

I had to go down to 2.5mm needles to get the right tension so this took a while to knit, however I really enjoyed the process and may well knit another at some point.