Monday, 25 July 2016

More linen - Quince&Co Sparrow

I finished another linen sweater a few weeks back and have worn it ever since (weather permitting).



The yarn is from Quince&Co and is of a different quality than the "El Linio" from Schoppel I used for this sweater. Whilst El Linio is a tape yarn with a flat structure, Sparrow is spun round. The former feels softer to the touch and is thus more comfortable to knit but that does not mean Sparrow isn't a joy to knit. On the contrary it felt great gliding through my fingers and visibly softens while knitting.




The pattern is also from Quince&Co and is called "Perkins Cove" . This was the first top/down knit I ever attempted and I must say I am an instant convert to the technique. I find it so  advantageous that I can frequently try on the garment while knitting and best of all there are no seams in the end.




There were only few changes I made. The pattern has raw edges throughout but I finished with a narrow moss stitch edge at arms and body. The only raw edge I kept was around the neck. I also knitted full length sleeves instead of 3/4.



I kitted between the two smallest sizes and ended up using only 5 skeins of yarn but as I bought 7 skeins, I traded the two I did not need in at Loop in London and bought other colours to knit my third linen sweater for the season.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

A lot of Lotta - part 1 -

A custom order for a baby quilt landed in my house  the other day which made me very happy. The shades of green quilt I started is going to be fairly large and with relative small squares on point a lot of work. So a quilt with 4 1/2 inch squares and overall on the small side with a sharpish deadline was just what I needed to get going.




The customer is my brother's girlfriend and we collaborated quite efficiently together. I send her via what's app 3 images of fabric collections and Annette settled very quickly on the Lotta Jansdotter fabrics. 



So I got on with cutting and designing just as quickly. I know its a somewhat lazy option to use an entire fabric collection but this one works just so well together. I did supplement a few of the bold pebbly stripes with other fabrics as I felt they were taking too much away from the rest.





This quilt has a lot of white in it which is fairly unusual for me but I am delighted with the outcome and ready to quilt - very ready indeed as this is always the most enjoyable part and I realise how long I haven't quilted.




Friday, 1 July 2016

Bauhin - a new summer scarf

When I was im my Caribbean holiday in February I made a start on my first lace scarf. I rise early if at home or in holiday and this precious hour or hours in case of a holiday before anybody else gets up are the best of the day for me.


So I found myself kitting the "Bauhin" pattern by Veronika Avery for Brookly Tweed every morning on the terrace of the little wooden house I had rented for two weeks and although I only finished the scarf recently, it will forever remind me of this holiday. 



I knitted in Madelinetosh's Prairie lace yarn in "Stovepipe" . This is a wonderful, soft 1ply yarn that knits very, very well. It really was such a pleasure to knit this yarn. The colour is almost like a faded denim and works perfectly with most of my wardrobe. 




The pattern was easy to follow but be warned, there is a lot of counting and referring back to the chart involved in the sections where the fan pattern evolves. This is not a knit you can do on the go.



Whilst I love the fan pattern, I made few changes to the overall pattern in that I included fans only on the increasing part and then once again on the decreasing part which leaves the entire mid-section in the more simple holy pattern. My reasoning for this change is that most of the middle section will be wrapped around my neck and I thought it was a little pointless to have this intricate pattern where its not really visible. And to me, to be honest, it makes more sense to just have it at the beginning and end.




I also lengthened the scarf by about 40 cm because I really wanted it to wrap loosely twice around my neck. 


After blocking it ended up in the region of 2.4 meters from top to toe and about 45 cm in width. 



This was quite a bit of work but despite this a really enjoyable knit and I can imagine to do this again in exactly the same way, just with a different colour. 

Happy crafting reader !

Monday, 20 June 2016

Shades of Green - part 1 -

Would you believe it ? I actually have started a new quilt. Sunday mornings very early I run along the river. I do this all year and pretty much in any weather and there really isn't a season I don't like (though Winter is of course....well Winter) but my favourite time is May when the green left and right of the toe path is so incredibly riotous in colour and quantity that I sometimes can't actually see the river right next to it.



So I thought I must make a quilt that has all those shades of green in it. Got home, dove straight into my stash and pulled out everything I have that is green or yellow/green (you know that typical early spring green that doesn't know if it wants to be yellow or green). I recon I have easily 60-70 fabric pieces in various shades of green.



There is all sorts in there, from K. Fassett and Philip Jacobs via Flea Market Fancy to super contemporary "First of Infinity" - the motto is, if it's green and in the stash it goes into the quilt.


But all that pattern needs a little bit of order in my opinion so I am choosing squares on point in long columns for what will be a pretty large quilt.


Friday, 10 June 2016

El Linio sweater - a finished Summer knit

Time flies so fast when yo are busy. This wonderful sweater has been finished a few weeks already and been worn by myself a couple of times too and with every time I fall a little bit more in love with it.



You may recall my first post about this project in which I introduced the yarn. A 100 % Linen from Schoppel. It knitted wonderfully and is for a linen unusually soft from the start. Linen softens with time unlike any other wool and is often a little rough while knitting. But not this yarn.




The pattern I used is from Schoppel too, from their "Knit the Cat" magazine No. 7. Whilst this is an easy and relaxed knit, I had a lot of trouble with the yarn quantity that was indicated and with the seizing. For the smallest size it was indicated to use two skeins for the arms and holy pattern but this was way to little. I ended up using 3 1/2 skeins and that although I made the sweater even smaller than indicated. This is meant to be a lose fit but if I would have cast on the stitches that were given for the smallest size, it would have turned into a tent.... I did use a needle size 3.5 instead of 4 but that does not justify such quantity problems.



Luckily my mother is kitting one too in the red and I was able to get half a skein from her left over. I love knitting with linen, but it is not for everybody. You really need to embrace it's imperfections.




More details on yarn etc can be found on my ravelry page

Monday, 16 May 2016

A Cosmic Summer Sweater

On Sunday I finished my Cosmic Sweater and wore it right away on Monday to work. My colleagues are well used to me wearing a LOT of colour. I think it is fair to say, although I work in the City that I do not comply to the dark suit uniform ( I also have a yellow suit and love wearing it).


The wool is 100% Peruvian cotton from the lovely people from Wool and the Gang  and is super, super soft. I used to knit a lot with Cotton years ago but have never come across such soft fabric before. And the yellow! What can I say about this yellow? It is the yellowest of the yellow you can find and just brings joy (called yellow Brick Road)




The pattern is all from the Gang and was very easy to follow and accurate. 



The only changes I made to is was using a kitting needle of 6 instead of 6.5 as I felt this would get to loose and I chose the knit side as my front rather than the purl side. I just think it looks a bit more finished.


I love the way the hems are rolled ( I rolled them to the outside) and the entire sweater is sewn together with (more or less) invisible stitches to reduce bulk which I think is quite clever.


What's great about the sweater is that I can wear it with just a bra under it or with a contrasting vest and I look instantly dressed either way.



Am rather tempted to make another one but there are so many different patterns that are just as attractive.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Daybreak Scarf I

While knitting yesterday in the glorious sunshine in my garden I mused about the difference between my knitting and my quilting. When I quilt I usually work on one singular project until it is finished and then I start another. There are very few exceptions to this and those are my long term projects. I would hate having multiple WIPs lurking in unsuspecting corners.


But when I knit I behave totally different. I am happy to have four projects on simultaneously and often find myself knitting an hour or so on one project and then switching to another. I find this opposing behaviour rather amusing.

I have indeed been knitting up a storm and am very happy about it. Quilting inspiration and ideas pop on a regular basis into my head but for now they stay there and don't make it to the cutting table. And that is fine, I just go with the flow. (although there really are two baby quilts for recent new arrivals to make....)

My latest finished knitting projects is the Daybreak Scarf by Stephen West. This scarf has caught my eye for a long time but I struggled to decide on the right wool until I came across the Zauberball from the German company Schoppel. Zauberball is a wonderfully vibrant variegated yarn that comes as a 75% wool/25% Nylon option or a 100% wool and both in a fingering and lace option.



It just so beautiful and combines so many colours. When quilting I love using variegated thread and its the same in knitting. I ordered Zauberball in 'Papagei' from Didadu in Germany but there several online stores also in the UK that carry this brand. The accompanying contrasting yarn that is required for this scarf is Madelinetosh Light in the colour Antler which I bought at Loop in London.

 

The scarf knitted beautifully and much easier than I originally thought. And the variegated yarn made it fun to do as the scarf constantly changed character with every new colour emerging from the Zauberball.



This particular colour combination has yellows, mustard, blue-green, turquoise and red morphing into pink.

 


I added at each beginning row a drop stitch as the scarf would otherwise be difficult to block. I knitted the large size which really isn't that large and just right for early spring weather. My lovely colleague Xia to whom I gifted it will hopefully get much use out of it.





Happy Monday, knitting and stitching !