Not the pattern (which is great) but the yarn. This is its third – and definitely final time – of being knitted and I think this may be a winner.
I started knitting this at the start of lockdown using yarn that I was gradually pulling out from a jumper in a style I liked – I just didn’t like it in this yarn as it seemed a bit limp and lifeless. The yarn is Rowan – I think felted tweed?- and I adored the colour which was described as Avocado. I made another version of this jumper which I finished back in February and have enjoyed wearing but I have been brave and gone a size down for this one.
The previous jumper (second yarn knitting) is Backbone , and I was surprised how long ago it was made (I’m struggling to link this in the new WordPress thingy but the url is
The first time the yarn was used it was made into the distinctly unflattering Harriet. URL here
I loved the idea of this cardigan but felt ridiculous every time I wore it. For about five minutes before I took it off.
So, you can see why I never want to knit this yarn again! I wasn’t prepared to discard/recycle it because it had been fairly expensive (as Rowan yarn is) and bought at full price because I loved the colour. It feels good to have reused something I liked but was not currently making use of (and also felt productive in this strange time). Time will tell if I’ve got it right this time but I’m optimistic as it felt better right from the start. It’s still too warm to wear this at the moment so I’ll have to wait and see.
I am still shuffling around the house doing bits and pieces – some of it is even useful. I have a sewing project well under way so I should have that to share soon.
Stay happy and healthy 😀
These truly are strange times. I’m fairly happy being restricted to house rules but I’ve had one or two dodgy days so have enormous sympathy for those who are finding this difficult.
I’m still keeping pretty busy, lots of projects that have been planned for ‘ever’ are rising to the surface – but like many people who can sew I’m making scrubs for the NHS.
I know there have been queries as to why they are so short of scrubs and saw an excellent explanation by a doctor on Facebook today. As she pointed out (and I confess hadn’t occurred to me) anyone in the hospitals who would have previously worn their own clothes is now wearing them as their own clothing is unlikely to cope with the 60degree washes deemed necessary. Makes sense. There was more to it than that but that was the heart.
Anyway, I have been using a zero waste pattern which has been shared by Danielle Elsener of Decode. It might take a little longer to sew than some scrubs but is elegantly fitted into the fabric to create the garments without the tons of scrap you get from some patterns. The pattern is available here. I’m not able to spend all day sewing like I did in my past, nor so I want to, but if I can contribute to help the medics I’m happy to do so.
I’m also started on a new jumper – the second incarnation of the Purl Soho Ribbed Raglan Pullover. The yarn is from a jumper I made way back in 2014 and blogged here. I always loved the design but this yarn knitted up a bit lacking in substance, it always felt a bit feeble. As a result it hasn’t been worn much so I’m unravelling it quietly in my work room out of the way of The Management – he gets unreasonably upset by me pulling out something he knows has taken a fair time to knit. I already know from the little I have got done so far that I’m much happier with the way this is knitting up.
Between sewing, knitting, gardening, and general domestic dark arts my time seems to be very well filled. Add to that yoga and art classes using Zoom and I’m sorted. It will be good to get out and see friends again – I think The Management will be happy for me to have another victim to hug.
The other thing I’ve been doing this week is sharing crosswords long distance with Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. She has been starting them in Sydney and then sending me photos of the grid and clues to see how much I can do. Between us we’ve been doing pretty well, and it has made me feel much less isolated. Who knew that I would gain this from blogging!
Sometimes 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 😉.
I have been knitting this jumper for what feels like forever between other projects. It’s been finished a while, and waited patiently for a decent photo to be taken. Since that didn’t happen please forgive the quick picture taken with my Kindle.
In the interests of reducing stash I dug deep and found this lovely cashmere and wool mix bought at Colourmart way back in 2017 (post here). I wish I could say that it has reduced the stash by a large percentage but I’m afraid there’s still lots left. More fun for later 😉.
The pattern is the Ribbed Raglan Pullover by Purl Soho. I have used their patterns before and found them to be well written and easy to follow. This one was very appealing because, like some of the Elizabeth Zimmerman jumpers I’ve made, it starts from the neckline. When you aren’t entirely confident about the amount of yarn you have this seems like a good option as you can always make it shorter if needed. The pattern had options for different sleeve lengths too which I may use next time ….. because there will definitely be another of these made.
Despite the start to this post this isn’t a terribly difficult knit. It can occasionally get a little dull – there’s lots of ribbing to be knitted here – but once you’ve got below the arms it becomes a great tv project.
I didn’t want the cast offs to look like the usual ‘hand knits’ on this so I spent a considerable time doing a sewn bind off. A considerable time. I’m glad to say it looks great, and I have worn this a fair amount since it was completed. If I’m being picky I could probably go down a size but I didn’t want the ribbing to be very stretched over my bust. Never a great look in my opinion.
I’m already looking hard at a jumper I knitted some time ago and haven’t really enjoyed as a candidate for unravelling and re knitting in this pattern. The Management will shudder to see that happening but understands my reasoning. I might still try to arrange to do the unravelling while he’s busy elsewhere 😂.
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 😁.
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.
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!
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)
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 😁
Yup, almost a whole month since my last post a pretty much all I have to show for it is an exhausted demeanor and a sofa full of cushions. I’m afraid I went for the (very) easy option as my brain seems to have gone away altogether. Everything is feeling like hard work at the moment. I have actually cut out a pair of pj’s but they aren’t coming together at any rate at all. So please admire the cushions.
Ok? They don’t all live on that sofa all of the time but I grouped them for the photo.
I have also managed to finish the EZKAL from Kates blog. You might remember from my last post that this has ended up too wide across the front neckline for me (picture here) so I needed to pull the knitting back to just above where I joined the sleeves on. I have to confess that I left this for a ridiculous amount of time as I simply didn’t have the brainpower to handle what needed to be done. When I eventually DID get around to it the task was nowhere near as difficult as I anticipated.
Using pattern cutting, and previous knitting, knowledge I decided I needed to reduce the stitches low in the raglan shaping to take the excess away from the point above the bust. Not hard, I just increased the decrease rate to every row rather than alternates until I had reduced by the number of stitches to reduce the neck appropriately. I wanted the neckline to be a little away from the neck ( more boat rather than a little round jewel neckline) so tried the jumper on a couple of times to get the position about right. It is probably still a little higher than I really wanted it but I wasn’t prepared to pull down again.
I’m pretty happy with this frankly ridiculous garment, and I know I will wear it a lot. I would have preferred not to have the camel colour as the ribs and by my face but it was the colour with the largest quantity available so hey ho. It is longer than I expected which is odd since I was using the same measurements that I used for the pink alpaca sweater but I’m happy. It is also a bit bigger than expected too – maybe using the acrylic made my gauge a little ‘off’ – but over all I can’t say I’m upset about that. I have to say thank you to Kate for introducing me to the Elizabeth Zimmerman system of knitting as I’m really enjoying her methods.
I’m on a promise to make another of these for my daughter now and hopefully it will take less time than this one. There’s a reasonable amount of decent tv at present so once I have set up it should be a good mindless knit.
Hopefully I will manage to achieve more in September than I have in the past few months but I’m making no promises. I hope you’re achieving more than I am. It wouldn’t be difficult 😦
….. at least for The Managements quilt. You might remember that this was started an age ago, took way longer than I expected to cut and sew the topper, and I gained speed whilst hand quilting the layers together listening to audio books from the library. I finished this a little while ago but circumstances have been such that I didn’t get a photograph. So here it is. Ta dah!
As you may recall this was inspired by the Bridget Riley picture ‘Nataraja’. Himself chose the fabric for the topper, and I was left to make something that looked a little like the original – but not a ‘faithful copy’. I’m pretty happy with this as my first attempt at quilting, and although I’m in no hurry to repeat the experience I’m no longer totally averse to the idea.
The circumstances I referred to earlier have been that my mum has been in hospital for about five to six weeks and was unable to go back to the circumstances she was living in before. Cue a mad rush to redecorate and carpet a little apartment in an extra care facility with five days to complete the work and have enough of her belongings moved in for her to get by. And then empty her bungalow.
Wow. She has always been very clean and tidy so it came as a complete shock to discover that every cupboard and drawer had been filled to busting. It turned out to be a much bigger job than my sister and I expected. Despite that I have enjoyed my time with my sister, and visits laden down like a pack horse to mum with extra stuff. I’m pleased to say she is in and fairly comfortable now – and has already tested out the care staff by falling off the bed! They responded admirably so I know we have made the right decision.
I had been getting on well with the EZKAL from Kates blog but that came to a total halt when I needed to go to Northumberland. It was, in fact, just after I had discovered that the raglan decreases were a bit too slow across the front for me and that I need to pull the bodice section out and start again once I have done some calculations. I realised that if I got to the width I wanted I would lose the opportunity to have a boat neckline rather than a jewel neckline. I did take a picture to check it so I will show my progress so far. I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking, and have already agreed to make another for my daughter in yarn from stash in a strawberry pink and off white.
I’m actually starting to itch to sew now – I keep looking at fabrics in the stash with a view to getting started. I also want to make some cushion covers for my front room (I already have the fillers). I wonder what will win?
Anyway, a word about stash – and all those other things we hoard. After my experience this last couple of weeks I will be clearing some of mine out and I suggest you look closely at yours – unless you want your kids to curse you when it comes for them to do it!
I promise a less rushed post next time. In the meantime enjoy your days – whatever you have planned.
Summer has arrived here in the UK – not sneaking in slowly to give us any opportunity to get used to it but arriving with a BANG! In UK terms it has been unbelievably
warm hot for what feels like weeks and there is no sign of rain at all so it can only be a matter of time before someone starts bleating about hosepipe bans. Actually there is a bit of 1976 about this weather……
Anyhoo, the knitting is sticking to the needles at the moment even though I am using talcum powder to try to keep my hands dry. Despite that I have been making progress on the Elizabeth Zimmerman KAL that Kate is hosting. I was determined to knit with what I had in stash – and since there were stripes suggested it gave me the opportunity to go a little wild. The Management said that the sleeves looked like a minor football teams away strip to begin with but changed to just sniggering as they got longer. He now confesses to quite liking them. What do you think? (Be honest – it isn’t going to change things at all and I have broad shoulders so I can take it 😉 )
The quilt is making good progress too. I now have all of the ‘done’ section rolled such that all that is left to do shows the finishing line. TM comes in occasionally to check on progress and seems happy. I’m very happy to be in the workroom as it is downstairs and is beautifully cool by comparison with the rest of the house at the moment. I think this will work very well as a solo cover on our bed when it’s as hot as this. Must get a move on and finish the hand quilting so I can get the bindings done.
In the way of delightedly retired people we have also had a few trips out. The first was very local – the newly re-opened Royal Worcester porcelain museum. It was both wonderful and very quiet. If you are in the area it’s worth an hour or so of your time.
We also celebrated a significant Wedding Anniversary recently and had a meal at a lovely place near Abergavenny. Having got that far TM said we might just as well have a couple of nights away in Swansea – ulterior motive already spotted since I knew he wanted to visit the birthplace of Dylan Thomas.
Even if you have absolutely no interest in poetry or Dylan Thomas the house was magnificent. It had been renovated by the current owner (a big Dylan fan) to a brilliant standard and was a joy to wander around. It reminded me a little of an elderly aunts house from my childhood.
The weather was stunning and we enjoyed a wonderful day just wandering around Mumbles, and the on to Rhosilli which was just beautiful. I definitely want to go back and spend longer. I wouldn’t even mind if the weather wasn’t quite so stunning (I did get an uncharacteristic sunburn – I’m usually very very careful as I am so fair skinned). Check out these magnificent views.
I know there was a fair walk to get down onto that fabulous beach but really, it was almost deserted! I’ve been a bit biased about Northumbrian beaches in the past but this one was well up on my favourite beaches list.
It’s been wonderful here (and there!) since my last post – and to top it all I was nominated for a Mystery Blogger Award by Linda who blogs HERE
I will respond to this in another post when I can do it justice. Thank you Linda!
Off now to
keep cool do some more hand quilting. Whatever you are doing, and in whatever conditions, I hope you are enjoying it.
Remember me? Yes, it’s been a while.
Much to my surprise I have been thoroughly enjoying the quilt. Yes. That quilt. And look – the topper is now big enough to fit the bed now – hurrah! I really didn’t think I was ever going to get to that point.
In fairness that did throw up a whole other set of dilemmas – the main one being how to actually ‘quilt’ the wretched thing. So many people had advised against hand quilting that I really shouldn’t have considered it – but I did and eventually decided that it was the way I wanted to go.
Those pieces have taken an age to put together, and I would love to say that all of the joins are perfect but they aren’t. Also, the nature of the design meant that there are areas where the stitching would go across blocks of darker colour and I decided that I really didn’t want the stitching to be very noticeable. So ……. hand quilting it is.
I have moved my cutting table from the (darker) back room to a position in front of my work room window which is beautifully bright. I can work there until fairly late in the evening at the moment without any problem. I have also
nicked borrowed The Managements Pilates ball so I’m sitting better whilst working. These steps, and the discovery of Audio books from my local library, mean that I can quite happily spend a couple of hours (or more!) zenned out while I hand quilt. Who ever would have expected that to happen!
Anyway, as a result of that (and the fact that the Football World Cup is about to start) means that I am making good progress on the quilt, and expect to continue to do so. I’m not sewing anything else at the moment but I really feel that I about ready to consider sewing again from a much happier place.
You might remember the alpaca yarn I showed in my last post which is now a completed sweater. I followed the most basic of the Elizabeth Zimmerman designs and have been very happy with the results. I’m slightly surprised at just how warm and heavy this turned out to be – and I shouldn’t show any surprise that completion coincided with the change in the weather here in the UK so it is now way too warm to wear this! Never mind, I’m quite certain that it will be well worn in due course.
I enjoyed the whole Elizabeth Zimmerman method of knitting (Pattern – what pattern?) and when Kate publicised on her blog HERE that she was willing to arrange a KAL (knit – along) using the EZ methods for a raglan sweater I was very happy to join. I am just using as much of the scrap yarn (of the same type) that I have left from previous projects so it isn’t going to be a classy knit! Since I’m hardly a classy dame I really don’t care 😉
We managed to slip a quick week away to Puglia in Italy a couple of weeks ago and had a very fine time. Those who follow me on instagram (@kimthemateriallady) will have already seen some pictures. We were very much in need of sunshine – which arrived in the UK just as we were packing the case. Thankfully it hung around and we are still enjoying it.
Italy, and particularly Puglia (since that was where we were) was fantastic. We generally ate and drank too much, and smiled a massive amount which has made our smile wrinkles even deeper which troubles me not one jot. I don’t often buy mementos of holidays as they are so frequently regretted on return but I was delighted to find these pieces of jewelry in Vieste. It looks quite heavy but is actually aluminium so it is fabulously light – and was hand made by the gentleman I bought them from. Better and better – and worn frequently since return.
The wonderful weather has meant that the wild flowers are looking wonderful – and I was particularly waiting for the elder flower so that I could make cordial. I was a little late making this for the first time last year from THIS RECIPE. It was delicious – and even freezes so you can save some for when winter all seems to be getting too miserable as it tastes like bottled sunshine. I managed to pick sufficient for a double batch on a fabulously sunny afternoon and now have it safely tucked away. I’m keeping note of the elder bushes I see as I also have a recipe (untried) for elderberry cordial which is supposed to be really beneficial to health in the winter.
Oh heavens, I appear to be turning into ‘The Wise Woman’. Take no notice of me.
The Management was all ready to go down to the museum a little while back and I took advantage of the moment to take a picture of him in full shelter regalia. Not meant to be actually 1940’s kit – just inspired by. The only new thing is the sweater I knitted. We have been fortunate enough to find everything else in Charity (Op) shops, or from the clothing he already had. Doesn’t he look cute?
I will try not to leave it quite so long before I report in again – but as you can see I haven’t been (totally) slacking. And the garden aint looking too bad either.