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 !

Monday, 31 October 2016

The first of the Autumn knits

My last post was titled the "The last of the Summer knits" but in the intervening 3 weeks it really has turned autumnal here in the UK. The leaves have turned and running along the river yesterday morning was a real joy. Wonderful earthy colours literally everywhere.

So it is time to move onto some warmer knits. The sweater I want to share with you today is knitted from a mixed yarn from the Pluck Knitter called "Lodge Fingering" It is spun from 60% Merino, 20% Cotton, 10% Silk and 10% Flax. Doesn't that sound great ? This will give warmth through the Merino portion, coolness via the cotton, a little bit of a shine with the silk and structure from the flax.

When I started knitting my mother thought it was not soft enough but by the time it was finished, she was quite smitten with the yarn and its softness and also with the pattern. I used a simple raglan pattern from the people of Purl Soho called "Lightweight Raglan Pullover" which by the way is a FREE pattern.

This pattern has several interesting features; a curved bottom made from short rows and rolled cuffs and neck which gives it a really professional yet relaxed finished. 

I have warn this gorgeous sweater several times already and could not be happier with the fit, its shape (which it keeps very well) and its feel.

The only design item I did not like was that it was difficult to try on as arms and body are knit separately before being combined from the underarm section upwards. This makes frequent checks on the fit quite difficult. And I can't quite help thinking that the same good fit could have been achieved with a topdown version of it. The yarn was a little thicker than the suggested from the pattern which made it important for me to check the correct sizing often (I knitted the smallest size).

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The last of the Summer knits

The sweater I want to share with you today is another linen knitted number and if you are counting then this will make it 3 linen jumpers this year ! (See here and here for the other two). I love each of them and have worn them a lot this summer.  But my favourite is possibly this one and that is saying a lot. Why ? Because I actually am not that fond of stripes (or maybe I am a closeted stripe lover as my "Funky Granddad cardigan has plenty of those too).

The pattern I followed is "Stripe Parade" from the Plucky Knitter . It is very easy to knit and the raglan sleeves make for a very good fit indeed. 

When I returned the leftover skeins from my other linen Quince&Co sweater to Loop, I spotted all these wonderful skeins and just could not resist to quickly grab a few and design there and then another project.

If you are interested, the colours are 2 skeins of Fundi and one skein each of Hibiscus, Blue Spruce, Banyon and Citron. Although I would normally knit for a chest size 36, I knitted in the smallest size available as linen "grows" during knitting and while worn. And the sizing worked out perfectly. 

I also altered the stripe pattern to adjust for my taste and yarn availability.