Monday, 5 September 2016

The funky grandpa cardigan

My ravelry library has now 159 patterns and I just love the fact that I can actually have a digital library! Imagines you'd have to collect all of this in paper form. One of the patterns in my library is the funky grandpa cardigan by La Maison Rille. When I spotted it browsing, it was immediately clear to me that I had to make one for myself and pretty pronto too as it is knitted with fingering weight yarn so ideal for this time of the year.





I knitted in three different wonderful yarns. the light grey/blue yarn is the wonderfully named "Ghosts fading under cold Moon" colour way from DyeforYarn in Merino/Silk. This yarn has a wonderful elegant and subtle sheen to it from the silk. The strips are made using a Zauberaball 100 from Schoppel in the colour "Blaukraut bleat Blaukraut" and lastly the darker upper arms are knitted with SNO from Woolfolk in black/green. All are finger weight yarns but the wool folk yarn has quite a different texture to the other yarns. It is softer and appears thicker with a distinct hue that I particularly like on my upper arms as they cold easiest.




I order the Schoppel wool in Germany but all others are bought in London at Loop.





This cardigan is also knit down from the top like the last sweater I knitted. I already mentioned then that I was a convert and I still am. The pattern is incredibly detailed and has lots of tips and explanation. There were a few techniques here that I had not used before. German short rows and the wonderful i-cord bind off for the cuffs. All were well explained or links to explanations provided.





There are just two things I made different. The first is the lower arm stripe section (photo below). The arms are knitted with DPNs but when it comes to the narrow 2 row stripes the joining points grow further apart the longer the section grows and you end up with zickzack pattern which is very unattractive. I tried this section several times using a variety of different DPSs and also circular needles. And when I had given up, my lovely mother also had a go at it but we both ended up with the same problem, which by the way is visible in one of the images on the rarely pattern side but sadly it is not mentioned in the pattern at all. My solution in the end was not to knit in rounds for this portion but back and forwards and then stitch together the two pieces. After the stripe section I joined again in rounds. This worked really (image) below although the seam is visible but it is much, much less than it would have been otherwise. I think this is an overside in the pattern and should be mentioned as alternative or at least as potential problem or actually the technique to avoid it (if there is another to the one I used in the end).





The second change I made, is to knit the button wholes into the button band. The pattern instructs to cut buttonholes. I was slightly aghast seeing this techniques and really cannot imagine why anybody would willing cut into knitting. The techniques to do it, is very well explained but I find it not only dangerous but also a complication that is not necessary.



I knitted in size S and the sweater fits well although if I would knit the cardigan again (which is quite likely)  I would make the saddle a little wider than instructed. So maybe mix size S and the next higher up at this point. Apart from that, it is a much loved garment already and I have been wearing it a lot.


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Day to Remember Shawl

I took a break from knitting linen sweaters and finished a pretty scarf the other day. This is such an easy going knit and extremely portable which is a must for a frequent traveller.



The pattern is from Joji Locatelli and is called "A day to remember" . It basically is knitted throughout in garter stitch with a yarn over row thrown in between every 10 rows or so.




I am not the biggest fan of garter stitch but must admit it makes sense in scarves and shawls simply because you don't have a right and wrong side and it makes them a little more squishy.





I knitted in a heavy lace (the pattern is written for lace but easily adaptable in terms of yarn size) and used a wonderful merino/tussah silk yarn from Miss Babs in a light yellow called "Light Peeps". This yarn in hand dyed and Miss Babs has the most gorgeous colours in their repertoire.





The  yarn  is ever so slighted variegated and varies between a deep yolk yellow to a very light washed out yellow and all of this adds tons of interest to the scarf.





The scarf is meant to be around 72in x 16 1/2in after blocking but I kept going for a little while longer as simply wanted to use up both skeins I had. That added one more garter/yarn over block to it basically and probably extended it to 80in or something. It fits now comfortable twice around my neck which is how I like it best.





And another doughnut photo to finish up.




Happy stitching and knitting everybody.

Monday, 8 August 2016

A lot of Lotta - a finished quilt

This easy baby quilt that I started a few weeks back is stitched, quilted, delivered and was apparently very well received. Job done, I dare say!





























My quilt making this year has somewhat low in numbers owing to the re-emergence of my knitting obsession (which is still going very strong I'm afraid) but that does not mean I don't enjoy making a quilt. On the contrary indeed.



This is a happy quilt with lots of fresh colours that are almost all from Lotta Jansdottter's 2nd collection (more on this in my first post).



I quilted in a one inch grid including in the ditch to keep it all simple and allow the quilt to have a beautiful drape.



The back is also a print from stash but because I've had it for so long I can't recall where I got it from. But it is a happy addition as you see and works really well with the colours on the front too.




Binding was a fast and easy choice - I simply chose the widest stripe print in my stash and I love the bold frame it gives the quilt.


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.