Monday, 5 August 2013

From tiny acorns

This cardigan is probably the closest I'm ever going to get to the 'Sheep-to-Sweater' full project, in that the process began with a dyeing session, and not just a purchase. Stylecraft's Ethical Twist was (while it was available) one of my favourite yarns - I used it to make Manu (in cream) and Georgie (in the natural grey). [Oh, and apparently I have no decent photos of either of these - I will rectify this.]

 Having a bit of the grey left over, I decided to use it in a design with stripes (of which more at some point), only to discover that I didn't quite have enough. And it had been discontinued. Having searched the country's stashes, I found a small stock of the cream was still available, and persuaded Juliet to dye some of the 1kg bag I happened to come away with to match the grey.

Which left me with 800g of beautiful cream wool/alpaca DK. The only problem was the colour - however much I like the idea of natural undyed cream, I find I very rarely wear the garments I knit from it. Time to visit Juliet again, and play...

Meanwhile, an unexpected online raffle win from the Knitter slipped Coastal Knits onto my bookshelves, and a plan came together. So here, nine months after the yarn became green, and three months after I finished it, is my Gnarled Oak Cardigan. I really enjoyed knitting this - the only downsides were the three inches to be added to the body and sleeves (as usual), the ephemeral frustration of the bobble rows with a whole jumper hanging off your knitting needles, and my inability to make buttonhole rows work out, which resulted in a small fudge in order to have a buttonhole at the top neck-edge.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

I want it now!

My knitting life is often about slow, slow progress (I have just picked up a UFO which has been lingering for two whole years), and sometimes, the sewing is the same...

Sometimes, not so much. This make was more of an immediate fix. The problem: my office wardrobe was just too hot for the recent heatwave. The solution: make a top.

On Monday I was too hot; I spent Monday evening looking through old copies of Burda, and searching the interwebs for something that would suit the odd fabric remnants I've had hanging around for a while.

On Tuesday, I printed the pages of the pattern, used the office paper trimmer (in my lunch break, of course!) to trim them to the relevant tiles, stuck them together, cut out the pattern pieces, and cut out the fabric.

On Wednesday, I used my lunch break to get to the haberdashers and buy some matching bias-binding, I sewed up the pattern, taking care to faux-French-seam all the seams.

On Thursday, I wore it to work. Success!

So what was this pattern? The brilliant Colette patterns' Sorbetto top. A fantastically straightforward make that worked really well, and which, a couple of weeks on, is still working really hard in this heatwave! I did make some changes: I added some length (about an inch, but then I am tall), plus an extra 1.5cm 'seam' allowance to the shoulder seams, so the bust darts and neckline are lowered too. This has prevented any problems other people have noted re: tight armscyes (I'm conscious I have larger upper arms) and high bust darts, but has meant that there's a bit of gaping in the upper bust area. A final change was nothing to do with the comments I found online, and all to do with the limits of my fabric - I had just 1m of blue satin-backed dupion. So I added a central back seam, and bought my bias binding.