Saturday, January 24, 2009

Flutter Sleeve Cardigan

Pattern: Flutter Sleeve Cardigan by Pam Allen, Interweave Knits Spring 2008
Yarn: Rowan Calmer shade Kiwi
Yardage: 4.72 skeins
Size made: 40

Finally completed and I'm very happy with the result! The shaping and detail on this design is excellent, and the stretch in the Calmer is quite helpful in keeping the rib section snug. In hindsight I would rethink the button placing as the top button is probably a little too high, and with the Calmer's elasticity there is some "pull". I added a couple of press-studs/poppers between the buttons.

The sleeve edgings are a single thickness of seed/moss stitch rather than turned back and doubled, and I knit 8 rows before binding off. I also omitted the small sleeve tabs. Definitely a pattern I would consider making again.

I've started Petersburg from Rowan 42 this week, and finished the back piece last night (photo was taken the previous day):

My first time knitting with Cocoon, it's incredibly soft yarn although does tend to shed some fibres. Not surprising as it's 20% angora!

Spring, while not exactly in the air, is also beckoning, and having completed Flutter Sleeve I'm keen to make something else in Calmer. I've had my eye on Hearten from the Calmer Collection for a long time so that may be my next project.

It would be great to have another dedicated collection of patterns written for Calmer too. There are a few designs in the new Rowan 45 but none of them appeal to me. Capri from R43 is a must-knit. Kim Hargreaves has several lovely patterns from her recent books though, including Still.

Speaking of Rowan 45, overall I think it is a good collection, especially the Bloom section. My crochet skills are going to need some serious improvement to tackle some of those edgings though!

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Monday, January 19, 2009


Pattern: Felicity by Wanett Clyde
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted shade Watercolour
Yardage: approx. 142 yards
Needles: 3.75mm & 4.5mm

Completed in a couple of days using the darker dyelot of Watercolour left over from Clapotis. Washed then blocked over a dinner plate to relax the fabric and obtain a sufficient amount of slouch! It's a lovely cosy hat and one I can wear alongside the Clapotis. I'd make this pattern again, maybe in a single colour tweedy aran next time.

The Flutter Sleeve cardi is almost there - today I finished sewing on the second front band and have steam pressed the pieces prior to the main seaming. The only knitting left is the edgings for the sleeves. I'm going to do a single thickness here instead of the turnback cuff effect on the original, and leave out the tabs too.

On a different subject, last week we went to the cinema to see Defiance. This is based upon a true story, and we both enjoyed it very much, highly recommended. Daniel Craig was excellent as Tuvia Bielski, and I was also particularly impressed by Jamie Bell (he of Billy Elliot fame, a film I have never seen!) as his brother Asael. We probably wouldn't have made the effort to see this if it were not for Mr. Craig, but it is well worth it. It deals with a particularly terrible episode of history, and while sometimes it is not easy viewing, there is a theme of hope and the triumph of humanity over adversity.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009


Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, shade Watercolour
Yardage: 3 full skeins + 16g from a fourth

Very pleased with the finished object, it was wet blocked (gently pinned, not stretched too much) to even out the fabric and the dropped stitches. Beautifully soft and warm. The fourth skein used was from a very different dyelot, much darker, you can see it on the "wrong side" photo at lower left. More details on yarn usage etc. on Ravelry.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pink tweed cardigan

Pattern: Design G from Sirdar Relaxed Weekend Living (345) - v-neck version
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed in shade 20001
Yardage: 10 x 50g skeins for 36/38 size

A fabulous warm and cosy cardigan, it's perfect for the current freezing conditions! The only minor mod I made was adding around an inch to the sleeves, just personal preference. All the seaming was done with a toning plain wool DK yarn, partly to reduce seam bulk but mainly because I've found the tweeds tend to break when you're sewing up with them.

I usually go for a slightly more fitted look but this was intended for being a comfy cardi to wear around the house. It's a relaxed fit without being baggy. I used some pinky-purple shell buttons which pick up the lilac and bright purple flecks in the tweed. I'd defnitely use this yarn again, it does bloom quite significantly on washing and softens up well (for reference this is the original, discontinued DB aran tweed).

This is my first FO of 2009! Now this one is done, I will make an effort to complete the Flutter Sleeve which has languished for a while. However as I'd finished one thing I decided to start another new project, the Melinda cardigan/jacket from the Colinette Wayfarer pattern book. This yarn (Prism) has been in stash for an age and I love how it is knitting up so far. For once, I'm following Colinette's advice and using two skeins at once, two rows per skein carrying the other up the side. As there is quite some difference in the depth and distribution of the colours in the skeins I have, I thought it was worth doing, and I'm very pleased with how it looks so far:

This is the back, I'm almost up to the armholes now since last night's knitting stint.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

24 in 2009

Having decided this is the year of knitting up some of my stash, into some of the lovely projects I have queued, I've joined up for the 24 in 2009 challenge (link is to the Ravelry thread in the Stash Knit-down group, where the idea originated).

This is also a knitalong/project on the Crafty Threads 'n' Yarns forum, thanks go to KnittingLadybird for the button in the sidebar! When I counted up the projects I'd completed in 2008 I was quite surprised to find there were 21. This in a year where I struggled to be able to knit at all at times, and I certainly felt my output was reduced. The 24 projects can be anything you like, there are no restrictions, and you can count anything you already had as a WIP in 2008.

Speaking of WIPs, here is my current progress on Clapotis #3:

I've just completed the ninth straight repeat (of thirteen), and am using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in "Watercolour". It looks like I'll need a little of a fourth skein to finish, based upon my yarn usage calculations thus far. This yarn has been in stash for some time, always intended for another Clapotis. Why Clapotis? I know it's quite an "old" pattern now, but my original one has been worn day in, day out for nigh on 3 years. It's a perfect design for wearing as a scarf, and if it's chilly (think air-conditioned offices) it serves very well as a wrap to ward off the cold. My original piece is starting to look a little faded with washing and wearing, although it has barely pilled at all, and I'd always promised myself another, in worsted weight this time.

I now need to head off and tackle the raglan seaming on the cardigan, it has been pinned for a couple of days, but I need decent daylight for sewing-up.

I also decided to keep track of how much yarn I've actually knit up this year, using the KnitMeter. I'm usually clueless how much I've used, and as I'm trying to knit some of the stash it seemed a useful thing to have a record.

Finally, thank you for all your comments, they are all very much appreciated! It's not always that easy to reply directly to the author, given that Blogger doesn't ask for an email address when commenting. However I will try to post some responses in the comments themselves, which I believe you can track by selecting the option to have follow-up comments emailed to you.

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