This New Yorker article introduced me to Davide Taub (who I must admit I kind of want to be!!!), and to this youtube video;

Which includes a driving jacket designed by Taub. Like the author of the article I think his jacket stands out from the rest… you can see more details on Taub’s blog here and here.

His blog is full of beautiful tailoring and also led me to this bespoke leather bomber jacket commissioned by Permanent Style which is a whole other warren to explore!!!

 

I had favourited the Mount Robson Pullover from the Summer 2015 edition of Interweave knits with Mark in mind; the slim fit and shoulder interest seemed right up his alley. A while later Inna shared some magazines with me, including the one with this jumper in it so I showed it to Mark and not only did he like it, as expected, but he was actually pretty keen for it to be made for him… sooner rather than later. I’ve shown him other jumper patterns and this is the first time he had that reaction!! I had been thinking some day in the undefined future but he was so eager that it became a ‘this summer project’!

I knew I wanted to use the same yarn as I had used for my Rockerfeller shawl, it’s nice, light yet hardy without being too sheep-y (Lang Jawoll Superwash 75% wool, 25% nylon)… we ended up going for a similar colour as the sample, a kind of dark army-ish green, which isn’t really showing as true to life in any of these pictures.

Yarn in hand I got to swatching… and very quickly ran into quite a roadblock; the stitch pattern just wasn’t giving me the same impression as what I was getting from the pattern pictures, it was all so flat instead of nicely defined ridges. As you can see I didn’t venture very far into the swatch, it was disappointing and not the look we wanted for Mark’s jumper.

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Instead I tried looking around for other instructions for the cartridge rib stitch but wasn’t liking any of them so I turned to The Penguin Knitting Book which I had with me and delved into the different rib patterns in it, as well as checking what stitches were used in the men’s patterns in it. It had a pattern for a men’s cardigan using a twisted rib stitch that I liked the look of so I swatched both the variation used in the pattern (twisting every second right side row) and the original stitch description (twisting every right side row) and was humming and hawing about which to use… settling on the twisted every right side row version as it was particularly squishy feeling, had those well defined furrows and Mark liked it (it is going to be his jumper after all!!!).

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This swatch got proper attention, knitted for 40 rows, blocked and measured and then formed the basis of my re-jig of the pattern as the gauge was nowhere near that of the pattern as written. I also have a stocking stitch version for the saddle shoulders that has successfully made it through a round in both the washing machine and dryer!

So far it is proving to be a nice knit – I’d been worried about it being too yarn hungry or laborious with all that twisting but it’s actually rather rhythmic and efficient, both in movements and yarn!

Details;
Jumper for Mark based on Mount Robson Pullover
Yarn: Lang Jawoll
Needles: 3mm 32cm circular
My gauge in twisted rib stitch: 36 rows and 30 sts = 10cm/4″

 

Let’s resurrect these! So this is currently on my needles… 

The “Zinone” (no, not asinine Autocorrect!) top by Andi Satterlund. (That’s a ravelry link btw).

I cast on in the plane last Thursday and promptly ripped it all back out. The lace chart and my brain do not gel well together. All I had to show for my plane knitting was the beginning of the lace swatch, I did another repeat of the chart after we arrived at our accommodation… it takes approximately 175% of my concentration to get through a row without going backwards at some point. Anyway as you can see I’ve progressed from swatch to top and am getting places. I still go backwards a ridiculous amount of the time, and that’s with using the triangles as place marks as I come to them because I can read them in the knitting so I know if I’m on track or not. What throws me off is the yarnover holes, I can’t make out a rhythm or reason to their pattern so I have to read every stitch of every row of the chart. (Stitch markers don’t appear to work with this pattern because the number of stitches either side of the centre repeat changes from row to row so sometimes you have too many and sometimes too few either side of the marker).

Still for all my moaning I only have the right front section left with the chart and then it’s smoothly sailing stocking stitch all the way to the hem!!! 

I have also been swatching for a man’s jumper… I’m not happy with the pattern’s stitch pattern but we’ll talk about that another day! 

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this may be the quickest I’ve ever gone from idea to pattern to first test to blog post…
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there are some big life changes coming up in a matter of weeks which involve me leaving my job, taking time out and setting myself up in business as a designer-maker with a small clothing collection.
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There are lists and spreadsheets and ideas upon ideas.
This here is prototype number one for a dress for the collection. There are changes to be made before it reaches its final iteration but in it’s current form it’s my favourite new dress and may well be what I wear to make the entire collection!!!
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 So I knit a new hat. This pattern, Diode, seemed to be all over my Instagram feed for a while there… I particularly liked Jen from Grainline’s neon one. The pattern calls for a five ply yarn, which I’m not sure I’ve ever come across before… I didn’t stick to that, my yarn is one of my Squein Queen Surprise Club deliveries that I mentioned squishing into overflowing drawers in my last post… this is a much better use for it I’m sure you’ll agree. The yarn is 4ply so my hat is more lightweight than the pattern description,which is pretty much perfect for this time of year here!    


A synopsis of the knitting would be something along the lines of the double depth ribbed brim goes on forever, the bobbles are fun to make and have the same effect on productivity as stripes (just one more!) and the decreases line the bobbles up in a very neat fashion, as illustrated in the sideways picture below😉

 
Incidentally, if anyone can tell me how to control photos when using the iPad WordPress app please go for it… The photo is the right way up in the bog standard photos app and saved but even if I rotate it a further 90degrees it’s still coming up sideways here. Mark took these photos for me back at Easter but the thoughts of battling with the apps to post means I keep pushing it onto tomorrow! *technologywoes*!!

I got into a habit of joining yarn clubs, petting the yarn when it arrived and putting it away for future use. It all started with a run in Hedgehog Twist Sock, then came 1 round of the Irish Yarn Club, 2 rounds of the Skein Queen Suprise Book club (I had opted for the variegated and semi solid option on both rounds) and I had also pounced on the Kate Davies Buachaile Club when it was announced. 

None of the sock yarn was even in sight, it was still in it’s original hanks and packed carefully in a zip lock bag. Last year I used the three Irish Yarn Club skeins but for different patterns than what they came with, and while I regularly looked at the Skein Queen packages and read the Kate Davies book I hadn’t actually done anything with them. 

I realised this pattern of lusting after short run artisan yarns when I was staying with Mark while getting work done on my own house. I’d show him the yarn as it was delivered and then pop it into my bedside locker drawer… but the drawer was suddenly full of yarn, and it not being my house made me more aware of it than if I was just at home. At his house I was just meant to have what I was using, any stash should’ve been at my house and now here I was developing two stashes!!!

The same happened with fabric, I’d just buy a piece or two… a few times and all of a sudden stash number 2 had apparently grown out of nowhere!!!

The online sewing community has been all about wardrobe creation the last couple of years and I would play along in my head, deciding what garment my wardrobe now needed, and then buying fabric for that specific new garment rather than looking at what I already had and then deciding what to make. I should also mention that this new garment that my wardrobe so desperately needed in priority to anything that could be made from what I already had wasn’t actually getting made, the fabric and patterns or magazine were just added to the rest. 

This is all the more galling to me when I do take the time to look at my fabrics and all I see are all the garments I had planned on making. Right from the start of my making I’ve always bought fabric with a specific plan in mind. I’ve a pile of wool that should have long ago been transformed into a winter coat, a blazer, a skirt for work and a top. I’ve a length of velvet that should be a biker style jacket. I’ve metres of technical fabric and race t-shirts that should be workout gear… I could go on and on!!

Time for action. Time to appreciate and use what I have.

So I finally wound one of my Skein Queen deliveries and had a super lovely experience knitting it up into a Colour Affection shawl that’s now ready for blocking. I have another one wound and ready for casting on a Diode Hat and a pair of socks started in one of the first Hedgehog deliveries. It feels great to be actually using this stuff and I know it’ll feel even better when I’m wearing it!

Do you read your wordpress annual report where they tell you how many busloads or aeroplanes of people your blog stats translate to? Well, my 2015 report announced to me I had published 5 posts. FIVE in 365 days! Ooops! Of course I knew I wasn’t blogging regularly due to the logistics of the year that was but I didn’t realise it was quite so few. I suppose posting makes and WIPs on instagram stopped me from feeling like I had completely disengaged. Anyway this year I plan to post at least once a month and hopefully more, we’ll see…

At the start of 2015 I had a new filofax to play with and I was taken with the idea of the bullet journal. I am also a list maker. So I laid out my 2015 sewing and knitting plans;

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I also kept a list of things I made in 2015…

1. Chevron Cowl for Mark
2. Raglan Office Dress
3. Renfrew Cowl Tee (Blue)
4. Bloomsbury Sweater
5. Green Wool Work Skirt
6. Echino Scooter Skirt
7. Test Ginger Pincord Trousers
8. Tailoring Class Jacket
9. Alder Dress (Aztec)
10. Alder Dress (Rayon)
11. Ginger Stretch Denim Jeans
12. Rockerfeller Shawl
13. Fantoosh Shawl (Small)
14. Alder Dress (Suiting)
15. Briar tee (Triangle)
16. Morris Blazer (Navy)
17. Morris Blazer (Grey)
18. Summer Vest (Triangle)
19. Summer Vest (Dots)
20. Swingy Dress
21. Archer Shirt (Modified)
22. Morris Blazer (Melbourne fabric)
23. Jasper Hoodie for me
24. Curiosa Socks
25. Jasper Hoodie for Jo
26. Kimono tee for Jo
27. Fantoosh Shawl (Big)
28. Japanese Single Gauze top
29. Kalajoki socks
30. Hootie Tootie for Ma
31. Joanna’s bag
32. FOMO tee for Mark
33. Maritime denim shorts

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen some of or all of these already. Out of the 4 little sketches I made the dress (no. 2 on the list) the other three are still wandering about in my head!

The handwritten list was pretty vague. Starting off with two jackets and a coat (the jacket from my class got made, and several Grainline Morris blazers but they weren’t actually what I was referring to), followed by mens shirts (epic fail, I owe my Dad 2 shirts from Christmas 2011 ) and some wardrobe categories; work, fit&active, and normal.

My work wardrobe is now at a place where I can get through the week, with options (so long as the laundry machine keeps rolling) and a big improvement is also that I can dress warmly for the ridiculously cold old building of an office that I work in. So work wardrobe was a win as far as I’m concerned.

Fit and active didn’t happen, either in terms of activity or the related clothing… Fail!

And normal wardrobe… the only thing I specifically wrote down was trousers. I no longer have any wearable RTW jeans. One pair no longer fits and the other is on the verge of disintegrating, the zip is broken and rips just appear out of nowhere. I used the Ginger jeans pattern and while I have a perfectly wearable pair of skinnies that I live in on weekends and other random non work days, I have some issues… more on that another day.

1 out of 3 on the knitting list (Bloomsbury) isn’t bad considering there were other knitted things made. The kneehighs are still on the list although I don’t have a good pair of boots to wear them under anymore, and the octopus sweater will need some serious swatching and calculating before I plunge into it.

So lots of making, some of it in very concentrated spurts of hyper productiveness, and little to no blogging pretty much sums it up. Here’s to 2016!