Express lane socks

IMG_20200203_201311Sometimes you just need to knit socks – or is that just me?

I scored a lovely ball of Paintbox yarn at a charity shop on a recent stay in Malvern. This was in a basket of mixed balls but clearly hadn’t been opened/used and at ¬£2 seemed like a good buy.

I’m absolutely committed to knitting toe up socks as my grafting skills leave much to be desired! Being a bit lazy I decided to use my usual Lacery sock pattern but transfer the lace section from Express Lane to the pattern. Both patterns are free on Ravelry, and though I chose to use my familiar pattern I can’t see any difficulties with the other.

The lace pattern was sufficient to maintain an interest, but not so complicated that it wasn’t easy to memorise. I’m really happy with these socks, although the pattern may be more obvious if I’d used a plain rather than tweedy yarn.

My sock drawer is looking pretty healthy now but I can’t see a time when a new pair won’t be welcomed ūüėČ.


Patrones coat finished

At long last I have finished the Patrones coat. This was cut out in late October/November, and has been leering at me from the cutting table for longer than was reasonable. Having determined in my last post to spend the following day making some solid progress on it I can confirm that this was enough to make me get stuck in. I was slightly shocked at how long it took to complete – but completed it now is. Check this out!

 

The pockets have been hand stitched on the inside so that they look like they are attached by magic. This was hard on the fingers with this thick felted wool but I’m very happy with the results.

In the interests of keeping this looking very simple I decided not to machine top stitch the fronts and collar but to hand stitch¬† this too. Had I learned nothing from the pockets! It took ages but I’m very happy I spent the time – the layers needed to be anchored and this makes them look really good.

I was slightly disappointed that the buttons I bought specifically for this coat turned out to be too big. Amazingly I found a good alternative in the button stash ūüėĀ.

I will get a picture of me wearing this at some point but in the interests of getting it posted I’m relying on Bessie to model.

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Buried under the pile of fabric and pattern pieces was a scarf I made some time ago (and had completely forgotten) from a pattern given to me by my lovely sister. It was knitted in the yarn given to me by nana kathy in my Stitching Santa parcel . I loved the way the colour works with the Chartreuse green of the coat so I’m sure it will be well used – and more visibly than socks. The pattern is Hitchhiker, and is available here in Ravelry. It was a particularly good pattern to use as you can keep knitting until you have used up the available yarn. Genius!

My next sewing project is planned but it might just take a while before I get going. Enjoy whatever you are doing!

Kim


Knitting…… but no sewing

I haven’t done any sewing since my last post – I had every intention of starting to sew my coat for this winter but I got diverted. I’m blaming the lovely Sheila¬†from Sewchet who I follow on Instagram

More explanation needed. Sheila posted a beautiful book that she had made. Yes – made. She gave the link to the LearnBookbinding site where she bought the materials and instructions. I love a new challenge, and this looked intriguing.

Well with a solo day coming up that I knew I could use to concentrate on this I made my order and settled back to wait for delivery. And wait. Sadly the kit didn’t arrive until after my intended day but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience once I got another free day after its arrival. Check these out! (Sorry if you’ve already seem them on Instagram)

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I was thrilled with the results and have every intention of making more. They are fairly time consuming but I wouldn’t describe them as particularly difficult. Addictive perhaps.

I also finished a jumper I had been knitting for what seemed like … ever. It is the¬†Sunray Ribbing Jumper by Susan Crawford which I found on Ravelry and is something of a departure from my style but I liked it so……

This is a vintage style, and as such it is a fairly close fit. I don’t really wear close fit so though I’m pleased with the results it feels a bit strange. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but for the minute you get flat lay photos. One of the things I loved was the points round the neckline. I didn’t change anything much though I did omit the short back buttoned opening.¬† Very much of its time so perfect in the design but I was sure I could get this over my head without and thought this colour might prove a challenge to get buttons I liked.

 

The yarn was bought in that massive haul I brought back from WRE which was a while ago so it felt good to use almost all of it. There’s more yarn to be used¬† from that day but we’ll gloss over that. This was a cashmere mix that is a discontinued Rowan yarn and is lovely directly against my skin – just as well since that’s how this is designed to be worn. The design looks very impressive and wasn’t anything like as difficult to knit as it appears.

Hopefully I will get that coat started now and have some sewing to show you next time.

Until then keep sewing/knitting/or whatever floats your boat ūüėĀ

 


I suck at stashbusting

Yup. It’s absolutely official after yesterday. But I do have mitigating circumstances M’Lud.

Ok, I need to explain myself. After The Management retired he started to volunteer at our lovely local museum and was given the job as the person in the air raid shelter who explains how the war affected Bewdley and the surrounding area. He did all of last summer wearing ‘civvies’ but it was discussed and decided that he really needed to wear something not exactly period but more in keeping with the time. And it’s often freezing in there so he needs to be warm too. So we were thinking something a bit like this maybe….

1940s men's fair isle sweater vest

Well…. maybe not exactly like that but you get the idea. I did find another image which was full length but he looked a bit of a ‘spiv’. Anyway, the air raid shelter was originally built for the Post Office staff so maybe he would have been a Post Office Clerk, or since he’s The Management a Post Office Manager. This is getting a bit off topic.

Well I have wanted to use one of Elizabeth Zimmermans patterns for ages – Kate has been making some wonderful jumpers for herself here at Fabrickated¬†. I managed to buy one book from Amazon, and got another from the library – EZ’s Knitting Workshop – which has a sweater that pretty much fits the bill for himself – check it out on Ravelry! And I get to use EZ’s methods. Score!

Well, I started looking for the shetland wool I wanted to make this in, located it online and costed the project, but left it unbought for now. Then¬†what should happen but I get an email from the Worcester Resource Exchange to say they had lots of yarn for sale. It would have been rude not to go and…can you believe it!¬† The exact same yarn at a third of the cost. Well, I couldn’t turn that down could I?

The colours go brilliantly with a tweed jacket we found in a local Charity Shop, and a tie bought from E-Bay (I can’t believe how difficult it has been to find a suitable tie!). All we need is a pair of shoes and suitable trousers to go with the sweater and he will be done.

While I was there some sock yarn jumped into my bag too. I couldn’t stop it! Honestly – just look! How beautiful is that? I’m hiding that for the time being.

I’m up to the armhole divide now on my Botanical Yoke sweater if I use the length given on the pattern. I’m tempted to add a little extra length but will try the red one on again before making a decision. I will have to put it to one side for the moment so that I can concentrate of getting the Fair Isle sweater ready for the museum season starting in March.

Better get a move on!

 


Bye bye Larry

Remember Larry, the wonderfully warm and useful sweater knitted way back in September/October 2014 which recently developed a hole right in the front? Well, with great regret I spent an afternoon when I wasn’t really able to do anything else ripping it to it’s component parts – viz, Rowan Wool Aran. This had cost me a fair amount way back and I’m nothing if not thrifty so I wasn’t prepared to just bin this.

I really liked Larry and if it hadn’t been too big for me now I would have repaired that hole and saved myself a bag load of work. However, I have also been going through the pictures ripped out from magazines that I like (we all save these, don’t we?) and found this….VINCE Sweater

…lovely isn’t it?

The picture hasn’t got a date on it but seems to have been late last year, and is by a brand called VINCE (pulled from Porter magazine). I love this so I’m planning to adapt another sweater from Ravelry. I have found the Berocco Bell Rock turtleneck¬†which I think I can adapt to look much like this.

The yarn is now washed and wound¬†into balls. Thankfully the ‘kinks’ all smoothed out after washing. The Management said it looked like I had shaved a poodle before that ūüôā .

It wasn’t until I was looking for the date when¬†I knitted Larry that I realised just how much knitting I do! I knit to relax so this may reduce now that I’m not sewing for clients.

What do you prefer to do – knit, sew, or something else completely?

Look out for progress soon РI am missing my warm brown sweater.

Kim

 


Relaxing, and getting things done, is soooo good!

Yes, it’s official – I’m retired ¬†so don’t ask me to do a darned thing!

Actually not quite true yet as I still have a very small amount of client work outstanding – but it’s all work that has no deadline so I can actually do it when I feel like that sort of work rather than feeling obligated. How happy am I! I promise this is the last time I gloat¬†‘coz ¬†I’m retired . Honest.

Anyway, my last post was a frantic dash to get the Jungle January garments posted before Ann slammed the gate closed so I didn’t tell what else I had been doing so I will start here..

In with my lovely knitting ‘Stitching Santa’ parcel from Jo ¬†was a skein of sock yarn in lovely greens. Clearly since it was my gift I had to¬†knit this for myself. Since I had no other knitting on the needles I decided to start January with this. The yarn was a lovely Superwash wool/nylon sock yarn by Knitglobal¬†which knitted up beautifully into very comfy socks. Thankfully they are also very warm because it has been positively¬†bleak here in the UK. Grey and wet. Yuck! There are¬†another couple of balls of Drops sock yarn so I can start another pair whenever I want. Bliss!

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..and back

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Butterick 6388 front…

I started sewing with the Butterick 6388 pattern and a cheerful red polka dot jersey because …well, it’s miserable in January! Red always cheers me up. However, I really have to say I prefer this as a top (as it was for JJ in the last post). It’s a great pattern – and I certainly see more of these in the (possibly near) future – but I like the top better. The pockets in the diagonal seams are great but inclined to open up a bit when you are wearing the dress. I may go back and sew these closed. The fabric is far from high quality – probably plain polyester jersey from the Rag Market but I have no recollection as it had been in stash for ages.¬†It does have as much stretch as the pattern claims to need but I would much prefer it to be¬†stretchier as it clings a bit. It may behave better once it has been washed but at the moment it is giving electric shocks as there is so much static!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy next choice was another Rag Market fabric – this was an astonishingly good buy at a mere 50p per yard (or whatever length they were selling in that day) and is a very heavy jersey. I should probably have thought more carefully about that weight when I decided to repeat the wonderful Savage Coco Presto top in it. The front (and as it’s cold I did the back too) is doubled so there is a lot of cloth here. I ¬†really should have put a petticoat under that dress before taking photographs – I don’t usually have a sway back problem so I assume the cloth is just stuck to my tights. I really loved this made up as a top and have worn the ones I made last year Yikes!!! it was 2015¬†a massive amount. They have every right to be looking a bit shabby now. I’m not sure if I will keep this as a dress or shorten it to a t-shirt length. I’m really not good at wearing dresses but I’m trying so hard. Perhaps you could tell me what you think?

In addition to sewing these for me I have been destroying a whole load of good cotton. I really can’t believe how long it is taking to cut the pieces for The Managements quilt! Sheesh! All that time and I’m going to be spending even more sewing it all back together. Remind me whats great about quilting can you?! I can assure you that progress on this project is going to be outstandingly slow. No, even slower than that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHaving finished the socks I was knitting I have broken out of my sock addiction to start knitting a pattern by Purl Soho I saw a while back and just¬†loved. At the time there didn’t seem to be many made up (and when I worked out the cost of the yarn recommended I could see why!). The Botanical Yoke pullover is shown made up in Cashmere/Merino which would quite clearly be heavenly to wear. As I hadn’t used a Purl Soho pattern (and as I said there was no information on Ravelry about the pattern at the time) I decided to make it up in a more summer appropriate, and purse friendly, Drops Cotton Light. Again I chose a bright red (what can I say, red just feels good in January) and have been enjoying knitting this whilst watching the telly box. I have the body knitted up to the armholes, and one sleeve started, so it shouldn’t be too long before I hit the exciting part. By knitting in this yarn first it will give me the opportunity to test the pattern, check the size (my guage is pretty much perfect), and decide if I love it enough to invest in the cashmere/merino to make a sweater to treasure. So far it’s looking good.

Already we are almost half way through February so there won’t be massive amounts sewn for me now (although there are patterns lined up ready to use). I do have a shirt cut out for The Management, and I really do want to start my coat before summer so I really should crack on. But, and it’s a big but, I am only sewing when I feel like it at the moment – and that feels really good. I have been reading, cooking, exercising, and clearing some of those jobs you always intend to go but tend to get left.

I’m enjoying life. Hope you are too.


Christmas planning and knitting for me!

Oh dear, here we are in December again. Every year I pledge to be better organised than last year and every year I regret not being. Maybe next year when I have retired?

Anyway, the weather has turned significantly colder and that always triggers my knitting bug. I really enjoy sitting in the evening on a cold, dark, stormy (sorry, getting carried away) night with a glass of something tasty and a nice knitting project. But it really gets in the way of the sewing plans!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, I got well and truly carried away when I was making an order for a couple of balls of yarn to finish off a project I was copying from the lovely Sue at Fadanista¬†(click the link to see her lovely wrap) and the bag in the photo was the result. I do have plans for all of the yarn in there – but having used the extra yarn I needed to make the wrap that looked so good on Sue neither myself or The Management liked the result, neither thought I would make use of it so I am back to the drawing board with that particular yarn. This was in fact the second time I had knitted the wrap as I wasn’t convinced I had it right the first time and had to check with Sue. Rather than knitting again in rib I continued in moss stitch which looked lovely and tweedy – but the result wasn’t what I wanted. I pulled that one out before I remembered I should have taken photos – sorry!

Rather than get bogged down in that one again I have started on a vest top from Ravelry.

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I had been looking for a pattern in 4 ply which would make a very fine, but warm, layer to wear with a shirt in a cotton chambray(ish) stuff bought from Barry’s on one of the Birmingham trips. I think I may have been subliminally drawn to this as it was in the colour I had in mind. Yes, I have very imaginatively bought the same colour as the picture (you can just about see it in the bag). It has been started now and is coming along quite nicely. The need for a project I could enjoy whilst watching the TV is fulfilled on the back (plain) but I am going to have to concentrate on those front cables ūüėČ .

Progress has been pretty good so far but I have also been making a couple of little side projects for Christmas. I have joined in with Sewchets Stitching Santa this year (my first time of joining in although I have lurked on the sidelines before) so I am slightly involved in those too.

Have I done any sewing for me since Nell I hear you ask. Well, I did a little job to make a handbag more comfortable. Does that count?

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Too low for comfort

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Shorten strap to the pin

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Much better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from fabric I used for client work my stash has remained absolutely static. I can’t wait to get stuck into that lovely wool for my coat – I’m hopeful that I will start this weekend as the client work is pretty much under control (and I am not going to answer the phone. Only kidding).

I hope all of your Christmas plans are actually running ‘to plan’, and that any sewing you want for yourself is going well.

Back soon with progress – I hope ūüôā