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over a year ago now i announced i was joining into my first ever knit along. I bought my yarn, swatched, panicked and then launched into the pattern, knitting as written and figuring it should probably fit me. Tasha’s knit along posts gave a lot of detailed information about making sure that you could ensure that your finished garment would fit you, basically giving you the tools to rewrite the pattern to your own size – all of which i read and absorbed while thinking that’ll come in useful when i’m more advanced at knitting and try to resize something.

The knitalong finished up with other members showing off their finished jumpers in June. I continued knitting away… back, front – including dividing for the button placket – two sleeves, a collar and even the little pocket and eventually I had the elements of a jumper.

It took until August before I blocked my pieces, and I was in my house before I started seaming so that makes it at least October. So where’s my finished photos? Where’s my first ever hand knitted garment? I was already sporting my Normandy Evening Sheath in Self Stitched September, what about Briar Rose?

Rosy lives on the bottom shelf of my bedside table patiently waiting to be frogged. And frankly given the above time line synopsis its not likely to be happening this side of the summer!

After seaming up the sides and shoulders I tried it on – turns out I had knitted a garment fit for someone with a matchstick for a neck. I had been worrying that it wouldn’t fit me while knitting and was going to gift it to a friend who is smaller than me if it was, but this is not fit for human wear.

FAIL.

back from four delightful days in the land of no internet or phone coverage.

while briar rose and normandy sheath sat at home and blocked themselves

briar rose on the bed

normandy sheath on the table

i went running in beautiful surroundings (and for want of a camera took some shaky video on my ipod)

chased around after my little niece

and started on my next knitty endeavour

which is this great pattern that was recently shared by Liz over at Zilredloh, after three false starts its starting to take shape but could be a long-ish one to knit up.

 

 

remember briar rose? my first venture into garment knitting? the knitalong was wrapped up way back in early june but i kept knitting away myself until i had finished all the individual pieces.

briar rose - front & back (pinned)

at that point i hung them safely out of the way while i pondered the logistics of blocking.¬†as i’ve mentioned before everything is squeezed into my mini-room, with little room for stretching out multiple pieces of knitting for pinning and drying and generally taking up space.

briar rose - sleeve & collar (hanging)

so what is the natural thing to do when you have something almost made, but still not confirmed as a success? dive straight in to the next garment of course…

normandy roof sheath - back & partial front

at this rate i’ll be blocking and seaming both together – good thing they’re different colours!

i ground to a halt on Briar Rose.

i hummed and hawed over understanding redrafting sleeves. Tasha’s written an indepth sleeve drafting post but i was rooted to the spot with no plan. For starters I’d have to block my front and back and, well, I haven’t fully decided how I’m going to do that yet and also I’d have to back track and go measuring and multiplying all sorts to get the rest of the measurements that are required for drafting the sleeves but which i don’t have because i’m knitting as per the pattern and hoping it will fit.

And that people is the answer to my sleeve conundrum

CONTINUE TO KNIT THE PATTERN AS ITS WRITTEN YOU DWEBUS

why have I spent so long wondering what to do? i could’ve finished both sleeves in the time i’ve procrastinated, sometimes i really wonder at the so called workings of my brain *sigh*!!

in the meantime i’ve hung my front and back pieces off a hanger. it gives the illusion of being farther along than it actually is. this optical illusion pleases me when i look at it! but if you were to look closely the shoulders are pinned to the hanger rather than joined to each other, and the curlings sides are pinned too.

briar rose (pinned & hanging)

one might also notice i have a suspiciously small button placket (with no buttonholes – on purpose) and quite a small front neckline too.

briar rose front button placket

i’m still not convinced it is going to fit me but i also have only myself to blame if it doesn’t because my swatching didn’t feature exemplary methodology. rushed and half assed would be closer to the truth. only time and blocking will tell… and if all else fails i have a smaller friend who will find herself getting a handknit present!

testing for size!

now though i’ve cast on a sleeve per pattern instructions. at last!

in between studying i’ve been merrily knitting along on my Briar Rose Vintage Sweater which i don’t think i’ve actually shared here, i was so quick to jump in and join the KAL, so here’s the pattern picture (clicking on the pic will bring you to the blog that shared the pattern);

Briar Rose Sweater Pattern

and where am i? well as i type this i am just about to start the front arm hole shaping and the back piece is done and hanging out pinned onto a hanger safely out of harms way. and i’m sure everyone would agree that an update isn’t an update without a photo so here is the front balanced on the couch;

once the armhole shaping is done, apparently i’ll be separating the front into two parts and working one side at a time plus the button band, followed by neck and shoulder shaping, while the other half of the front just hangs out on another needle waiting, hoping, that someone comes back for it!

i can’t look any further ahead than that because because my brain is refusing to take in Tasha’s post on sleevehead shaping so for now lets just not look that far!

Day 15

shirt: JJ
skirt: self drafted

snoozed one too many times this morning so it was a quick dash out the door to work – apparently so quick i didn’t even stop for a cardigan. turns out my arms can (mostly) acclimatize, that or i was too busy to think about them being cold all day long!

in other news look at my growing briar rose…

Briar Rose (back) update

over exposed photo but i like it, i guess i’m weird like that! in reality it is plain ol’ black!

man it is nervewracking working on this jumper. it’s my first knitted garment and i worry it won’t fit me when it’s done – but if that is the case i have a teeny friend that it will fit! the knitting malarky is playing on my mind, i realised today i’d been dreaming last night (some would say nightmare) that i had to rip it all out and start again because a huge chunk fell off the needles and unravelled downwards, which i’m pretty sure is impossible. fear not however, as all was well when i awoke!

Day 7

 

Shirt: Modified Liz (Burda)
Skirt: Refashioned Skirt

this material is not as suited to shirts as my three JJ’s. The print has a lovely whimsical hand-drawn inky feel that is slightly at odds with the heavy cotton-linen blend that brings to mind burlap sacks! Nonetheless i had only ordered enough for a shirt so a shirt i have. This is also a classic example of having half an outfit made as i think this shirt will work better with a different skirt which i have in mind but not in reality – yet! The material is from the same etsy seller as my Cherry Blossom JJ. (in getting that link i’ve had a quick drool but remained strong – stash before buying anything new louise!)

i am also pleased to report that i am typing this while wearing an almost finished jumper. incidentally i have no intention of plugging in my sewing machine tonight so it’ll get finished off tomorrow… tonight is all about beginning to knit into the body of my Briar Rose KAL Sweater while hoping that the swatch that I’ve only just gotten around to washing isn’t shrinking too much as it dries because that will mean ripping out and starting again on bigger neeedles – fingers crossed!

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