Monday, 19 June 2017

Light as a feather

I realise that this is really not the right time to write about my finished mohair jumper (finished about 4 months ago) but we all know that eventually the weather will turn and then it will come in handy. Yesterday I was sitting in the kid's pool with my 2 nieces in 30 degrees heat. Just humour me....

So in December last year I had given a mohair jumper I knitted years ago finally to charity. I had worn it plenty over the years but stopped wearing it and according to my rule that anything that isn't worn more than one season must go to the charity shop, I found myself without a mohair jumper.

Oddly enough it bothered me a bit and I thought to one day make new one. Then I found myself at Liberty buying buttons, literally walking into this gorgeous special edition vintage inspired kidsilk haze mohair by Rowan. The blue mohair (colour way 'Smalt') is spun around a white silk threat which gives it this amazing vintage colour. To top it all they had this jumper as a sample in a different colour displayed and it's a free pattern. Needles to say the buttons weren't all that was purchased that evening. Four little balls of mohair came home with me at almost 10 GBP a ball!

So far so good. I cast on and front and back knitted like a dream (although I disliked that it is a bottom up pattern). The arms were a different story. Mohair doesn't knit easy at all and frankly is probably best knit simply and without much pattern. The pattern used for the arms isn't difficult at all but it is fiddly.

I also made a mistake on the second arm and attempted to unravel my knitting....Anybody who has knitted mohair before will know that it is a nightmare and one which I abandoned very fast.

Fortunately I had enough wool to finish but the arms came up a little short. This wasn't an enjoyable knit at all. I do love the result though and absolutely loved wearing this lightest as a feather sweater in the early spring days.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Poppy - the finished quilt

This quilt for my goddaughter Poppy has been finished a while and it makes me and hopefully her very happy. I love the contrast in the colours and the symmetrical pattern with all the small figurative items that will give her plenty to point out.

To make it extra special I fussy cut all the trees and the dancing girls in the middle and corners. All the other gorgeous patterns are randomly cut.

It's fairly densely quilted in a crosshatch pattern every inch.

I quilted in a bright red Gueterman Sulky 28w threat which I absolutely love and it I think it works really well with the back too. This little piggy print has been sitting in my stash for several years now waiting to be used. I have the same in blue too but I guess that has to hang around on the shelf a bit longer.

Isn't it the cutest!

For the binding I used again a text print that allows you to read little wisdom phrases along the edge of the quilt.


Its a funny thing, I really hate seeing wise phrases on Tees or posters but here in the form of quilt binding I actually love it.....maybe because it's not quite so demonstrably in your face.

And the last picture...promise.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A new peachy sweater

When I go in holiday in February I like to take some knitting with me because my Winter holiday is a real relaxing one in which I am almost criminally lazy. Before going to the beach in the morning I like to sit on the terrace of my hut and drink coffee, contemplate and knit. Last year I started this wonderful scarf but this year I took something a little less taxing with me....even more lazy than usual (mind I do swim 30 min every day in the ocean...)

I knew I wanted to knit this pattern because I loved the wide raglan feature on this jumper but was very unsure about what colour. So I went to Loop with no real idea and found myself attracted, quite unusually might I say, by a few skeins of Madelinetosh in a peachy pink. The colour is called "Pink Clay" and I chose the Light Fingering yarn.

The pattern is called "Walk Along" and is by Annestrick. The sweater from this pattern is knitted with two different colours but I literally was only interested in the wide raglan so concentrated on this feature alone and basically adopted everything else to my taste.

Neck and cuffs are similar finishes but I adopted again the same finish I used in this sweater.  I love the lightly rolled finish. It's not to formal but still a "proper" finish rather than a raw edge.

This was an easy and relaxing knit altogether. The instructions were well written and a pleasure to knit.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Poppy - a new work in progress

I became a godmother for the third and forth time a while back. My new gauddaughters are almost approaching their first birthdays so it was high time to make that all important first quilt for them. Goddaughter number 4, Poppy, is the first to receive a quilt. 

I still have a sizable quantity of Annela Hoey's first two collections for Moda and saved these for something really special. 

I love the whimsical, playful, very girly pattern and fussycut some of the designs, such as the trees and the playing children for maximum impact. 

My favourite must be those chasing dogs though closely followed by the cool scootering girls.

The squares are 4 1/2 in which made the whole process quite easy and fast. I am planning to quilt in a nice straightforward 1/2 quilt pattern in a bright red threat. And I also have something really special planned for the quilt back. Watch the space !

Friday, 31 March 2017

Storm Door in green

Time for an update on my knitting which is still going strong. We siblings don't do Christmas presents anymore but we do do birthdays and my sister's was at the end of December. And what do you get a girl that has everything (don't we all !), of course something knitted. Anja has already plenty of quilts so I thought it was high time for a knit. 

This scarf is one of many, many scarf pattern that are in my Ravelry library. It's called Storm Door and is by Plucky Knitter. It's a gorgeous pattern and versatile in that you can make the scarf smaller or bigger. I used the softest merino mix wool I have ever had the pleasure gliding through my fingers. It is Casbah from Hand Maiden in fingering (80% merino, 10% Nylon and 10% Cashmere). The yarn is as soft as a 100 % cashmere yarn would be. Quite astonishing to be honest. 

The yarn was purchase at loveknitting and I used two full skeins. The pattern called for less but I made the scarf bigger.

The colour is called Cedar and as you can see in the close-up shots its ever so slightly variegated which makes it just gorgeous and sumptuous. Needles to say my sister was very happy indeed. And so was I. So much so that I already started a new one but this time for me. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Shades of Green - a finished quilt -

A finished quilt.... at last. That did take a while indeed but I am truly happy with the result. So prepare for lots and lots of pictures. My original inspiration for this quilt were Spring greens and it is kinda apt that I have finished it when we are once again moving into Spring.  For all those in London, the quilt is on show at the Village Haberdashery from tomorrow onwards for a while.

The quilt has about 30 different fabrics in various shades of green cut into simple squares and arranged on point in a uniform way. I love that it is riutuos in its colouring but still ordered and organised.

I had some pretty fabric in my stash that lend itself to fussy cutting and these little flowers create a real focal point in the quilt.

To combat all the vertical and diagonal lines I decided to quilt in a concentric circle that I so love and I think this worked out really well. Quilted circles always get me!

It has been quilted densely with barely a half inch between the lines which gives the quilt its typical texture.

I used an off-white Aurifil 40w thread for the quilting rather than a 32w given the quilt is quite densely quilted. But either would have been fine. It's just what I had a hand to be honest. Generally I prefer to quilt with a thicker thread and never quilt with a 50w for example. Though I use 50w or 60w for piecing.

The quilt is 70in x 60in and thus big enough for a good cuddle on the sofa or a double bed indeed. I prefer my bed quilts not to be the entire length of the bed but to just cover 3/4 of it.

The back fabric is a gorgeous and fun print by Riley Blake and I have the same glasses pattern in a deep yellow in stash too for another exciting quilt.

I so enjoyed playing with those greens (and the occasional pink popping up) that I am actually thinking of making 3 more seasonal quilts in this way, one in yellows for the Summer, one in deep reds for the Autumn and one in white/greys for the Winter.

Well, let's see if my enthusiasm will translate into actual quilt making or being hampered by more knitting....

The quilt will also be listed in my Etsy shops in a few days time.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Shades of Green - part 2-

It's been a while and it certainly isn't Spring any more but my inspiration is certainly at the moment in that season. This weekend I finished the quilt top I started back in June.

And the colours make me smile and inject a dose of much needed happiness (so did by the way "Fantastic Beast and where to find them" that I watched Friday night !). There are so many Spring and a few deeper Summer greens in this quilt, all of which not so much take me back but forward to the next Spring.

And true to Spring there is the odd bit of bright pink, yellow and some pale blues and whites coming through.

I love working on a quilt like this. It is simple from a cutting point of view, just squares, but you need to think about the arrangement of the patterns and colours and you need to lay out the entire quilt before it can be assembled as the piecing is done on the diagonal rather than row by row. This by the way, in case any of my students are reading this post, is a very good skill builder quilt still using the humble square but with a more advanced piecing techniques and with a bigger design challenge.

I might baste this beauty today but quilting will have to wait a while as I have a very busy week coming up.

Happy crafting everybody !