Hi all, I’ve decided to call time on my blog, so this will be the last post. I’ll also probably turn the blog to private in the next few weeks.

I’m still making things and I still have text for blog posts flitting through my head as I do other things but I’m just not getting time, or making the time, to take the necessary photos to go with the words… and when I do get photos, the delay from the initial thought makes it feel stale. I was looking way back in the archives recently and it really stood out to me that the old chattiness just isn’t in my more recent posts.

I mentioned a few months back that I was making a bit of a change life-wise. After day dreaming about setting up my own clothing line for years a bit of a “now or never” moment arose last year. I’ve been working away behind the scenes making that dream become a reality and I should be launching my first collection in a matter of weeks. If you’d like to hear about my new venture, you can sign up to the newsletter here. I’ll be sending out an update on when the webstore goes live, details of any upcoming events and first notice of sales or discount codes.

If you’d like to stay connected with me rather than sign up to a newsletter? Well I’m still making and I post my WIPS, makes and anything else that catches my eye over on Instagram so you can follow me there, I’d love to see you ūüôā

Thanks for reading and hopefully see you else where on the ol’web!

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Although I started this with a pattern, it has felt more like I’m winging it… The change in stitch pattern yielded a significantly different gauge so I drew out the schematic and worked from the measurements provided back to the number of stitches I would need based on my stitch pattern and gauge. This little sketch in my notebook has been my bible for this project. Whenever I reached a point where shaping was needed I would read the relevant part of the pattern to see if all the increases/decreases were done at once, evenly spaced, or whatever, and then I would translate that as best I could to my gauge and use the notebook sketch to double check the results. When it came time for the sleeve shaping I decided to just space them evenly over the length… and caused myself quite a bit of confusion when I noted down that 15 x 9 = 140 … it does not and it took a second pair of eyes to see why it wasn’t working out nicely when I counted up the boxes on my sketch which each represent 1 inch. 
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This jumper is knit in pieces and seamed together before finishing the neckline with ribbing. So it was only after 3 months of knitting and several days of seaming that I was able to get Mark to try his jumper on to check the fit… that’s quite late in the process for checking so I was glad that I had done the prep with blocking and measuring the swatch and always consulting my gauge notes and the schematic for measurements along the way!! Thankfully it fits well, however I’m not happy with how the saddle shoulder, sleeve and body all meet each other. The pattern has you seam along the straight edges of the rectangle that these pieces create, but that means you then turn a hard corner into the sleeve and this is making a bubbly pucker. Any suggestions on how to fix this would be gratefully received… my only idea is to try and stitch the corner into the inside somehow. 
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I’ve also decided to add elbow patches, knit in stocking stitch to echo the stitching on the saddle shoulder. As I was knitting the jumper I was also reading thoughts on Slow Fashion and I had thought to myself that if this jumper gets as much wear as I hope it will I better keep some of the leftover yarn to have on hand for repairs and I envisaged adding elbow patches as a repair strategy. But when we had the try on I saw that the ribbing opens up over the point of Mark’s elbow when he bends his arm so the elbow patches are going on right from the start so he doesn’t look like he has holey elbows! For the patches I started knitting one up per the Purl Soho pattern but they have you knit a few rows of stocking stitch before adding shaping with short rows, the flat part then rolls up to cover your running stitches which are holding the patch in place. Quite frankly this seems ridiculous to me and I ripped it straight back out! What I am taking from them is the idea of holding the yarn double while knitting – it gives a lovely beefiness to the stitches. After another false start, where I ended up with a patch that would be too wide, I’ve decided to draw out the oval, the increases and possibly even measure a small gauge swatch of the double held yarn – aiming for third time’s a charm! 

Other than that, I just need to re-do the bind off on the ribbing on larger needles (as it no longer fits over Mark’s head!!!) and stitch it down as I went for the more robust option given in the pattern of knitting ribbing twice the required length so that it gets folded over and whip stitched. 

So close! 

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″

I love reading about what other people are making, and getting glimpses of what’s going on between the FO posts, like, Karen’s queue checks on Fringe Association blog. The title of this post is actually a paraphrase of something used by Diana over at paper-tiger while making reference to Karen’s queue check. It reminds me of the State of the Nation addresses in The West Wing! Anyway, they have inspired me to look at my knit-list and share an update here…
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The last WIP pic was the lace portion of my Zinone… that top has been finished and is getting more wear than expected. Just this morning I put it on over a long sleeve tee which proves it’s not just a light summery top.

Mark’s jumper is long past the swatch stage it was last discussed at and is tantalisingly close to being finished! All pieces are done, blocked and seamed together.Mark has tried it on and it’s a pretty good fit – although there’s some weirdness on the seam where the saddle shoulder joins the sleeve and body because the pieces have square corners on them. I’m currently knitting the neckline ribbing. Dying to be finished this one… it’s so close!! 

I also recently finished a pair of Kate Davies Hare and Tortoise gauntlets…these sat for way too long with just the fingers and thumb left to do on the second mit. I don’t remember what distracted me from finishing them in the first place but they got finished because I’ve fallen for Ysolda’s Inglis Mitts pattern and I couldn’t justify buying pattern and yarn for them when I hadn’t finished the last pair! I haven’t actually bought it anyway… moving to Italy for a few months and already having yarn for a sweater and a shawl while I’m here has curtailed my impulse purchasing, but the Inglis pattern and some Blend No.1 are on my 2017 list. 

So what have I got with me for once I finish Mark’s jumper?image 

The League Sweater from Veronik Avery for Brooklyn Tweed! I got wool for this one in Munich over the summer…I should’ve just bought needles at the same time because I didn’t have time to go through what I have at home while packing and it turns out circular needles (and the 0.25 increment sizes) are harder to get hold of here. First swatch was with too small needles, fingers crossed for the second try. 

I also have brought yarn with me to make a Miller’s Daughter shawl. I love the look of this pattern but unfortunately this version won’t be for me, it’s a gift. If the next swatch for League doesn’t hit the spot hopefully I can get gauge for this in the meantime… 

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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