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Sunday, 24 January 2016

new hat and mittens set

Still knit, knit, knitting!!!


This time I have knitted a complete knitted hat and mittens set, which have been mainly improvised. I say mainly because the amount of stitches I cast on for the hat was taken from The craft sessions, very timely, recent publication of some pattern notes for a simple hat. After the ribbing however I went completely awol and made it up as I went along. I'll publish my pattern notes on Ravelry at some point!

Obviously I have recently finished a hat and some mittens, but I have since gifted them to a better home. I love knitting colourwork and I really enjoyed the mix of yarns in the mittens, but they are not really me. What I want to wear and what I like to knit are two different things sometimes and after some deep analysis I realised all I really wanted was a plain set in my favourite colour. As far as the style of hat is concerned the epistrophied is just too long in the body. I can't figure out slouchy hats and feel I have to poke and tweak my hair to make it look and feel ok. I don't like hats that require this amount of effort and my thick hair does require some kind of prodding to feel comfy in a hat. This one I have just finished is short in the body and close fitting to my head and just kind of plonks on and looks ok with no tweaks!


Plus it looks better with glasses which is something else I seem to struggle with.


I don't think I'll be needing to knit accessories again for a while, but I shall detail everything I need to know for next time on ravelry as it would be good to just have a go to basic pattern for aran weight yarn (which is what I've used). The mittens are actually not any different really than my recent bobble mitts other than the amount of stitches and rows is a lot less due to the bulkier weight.


Anyway, I hope you like my new wooly things and it's been a great excuse to take some better pics of my sew over it vintage shirt dress as the ones I published at Christmas were pretty lame. Love this dress!

I shall leave you with this shot of the back of my head to show the nice decreases and hope you are all staying warm! Happy Sunday! xxx

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Winter sewing - new Freemantle coat and Roberts things

I have had the urge to sew a coat for a few months now. I have been searching and searching for a pattern and ideas and have even bought a couple of patterns (Named Isla and Harriet), but nothing was quite hitting the mark. I cut and started sewing a Harriet lumber jacket after I purchased the pattern in the Christmas advent sale, but was just not feeling it somehow. I love the style and the details, but I took a break from it and didn't feel like going back. I think it was the fabric that I had gone off rather than the pattern. I was also planning on making a corduroy Isla Trench after I found this bargain jumbo cord from My fabrics, but then wondered if the silhouette is a bit too long and narrow for me. Finally my lovely internet sewing friend Karin made a second version of my Freemantle sewing pattern in a sweater knit and I almost slapped myself. I NEEDED another Freemantle!!!


I have made this pattern up so many times now in sweater knits, cotton twill, wool and I still really love sewing those weird underarm gussets!

This version is made up as view A with no mods to the style other than to grade from size 4 at the underarm to 6 at the hem to accurately reflect my bust and hip measurements. My pattern samples are a straight size 4 and a bit smaller than I'd like on the bottom half.


 It's been great to get back up close and personal with this pattern, as it's helped me to reconnect with it. It's hard sometimes to not feel an emotional connection with my work. What can I say, I'm only human after all! :-P

The cord has worked so well in this instance and it's got a real traditional feel with the plaid lining and leather buttons, but a modern silhouette. It's adequately reflecting my mood and style influences right now.



Some close up detail of buttons and perfectly aligned welts and things...



I had sort of forgotten about this pattern after I announced I was discontinuing it from sale last year. I took it off sale and then was surprised to be getting requests for it to come back! I honestly didn't know anyone had even noticed it as it's never sold that well and doesn't have a big internet presence in terms of finished makes, so I relisted it for the people that were requesting to buy it. I know you shouldn't back track, but I'm really pleased I did and making it up again has been an absolute joy! I did not underline it as instructed, but instead chose to do a lining effect using this method which encloses all the seam allowances. Now go and visit my pin board and ask me why I wouldn't have thought to make a Freemantle coat? ;-)

Apart from that, some other weather appropriate clothes I've been sewing for myself are from my Roberts collection.

Some corduroy dungarees which are the warmest, most comfy thing ever! The cord has stretch in it, so these are super duper comfy, but have the added thing of coming out slightly larger than I wanted. oh well!!!





This next jumpsuit is made out of a bleached denim and it's great for now, but will also be pretty handy come spring when I never know what to wear between it getting warmer, but not that warm!


Not much to say on the Roberts bits other than I wear all of it all the time. TRUTH!

I hope you're all having a good weekend and I wonder if I will ever make a coat again that is not khaki... xxx


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Bobble mittens

They are the same size despite the wonky picture...

I knitted some nice warm mittens. If you follow me on Instagram then you have probably already seen these, but I thought I would have a stab at sharing my pattern or at least an explanation of how I made them. I really like knitting mittens from scratch and if you are going to attempt writing your own knitting pattern for anything then these are a great place to start in my opinion. If you look at a basic mitten (like I have knitted) then it is essentially a tube with a closed end and a thumb. Open out that tube and it's a rectangle and what's more simple than working out a rectangle???


I have in the past been drawn to knitting colour work mittens, so this is my first single colour pair believe it or not and they were a real pleasure to knit!

I thought I would share my pattern notes on the construction of these in an informal way as I have no experience at writing knitting patterns and nor do I assume that I construct my  knitting in the most logical manner, so here goes!

BOBBLE MITTENS SIZE M/L

These were knit in the round and I used a DK yarn and 3.25mm dpns for a dense warm fabric. I knitted on 4 needles, but you may prefer to use 5.

Stitch count is 12 stitches and 17 rows to a 5cm square.

How to make the bobbles (charted as black squares) - knit 1, purl 1, knit 1 into a single stitch. Purl across these 3 stitches. Knit these 3 stitches together.

Cast on 44 stitches and distribute evenly across the dpns. Insert a stitch marker at the beginning of the first round and knit 2 x 2 rib for 12 rounds.

Main hand is to be knit referring to the below instructions as well as the chart.
  • Rounds 1-5 - knit plain stockinette
  • Round 6 - plain stockinette with bobbles (black squares)
  • Rounds 7-11 - knit plain stockinette
  • Round 12 - plain stockinette with bobbles (black squares)
continue following the chart as above until round 30.
  • Round 30 - plain stockinette with bobbles for first 22 stitches and place next 8 stitches onto a holding needle (safety pin), cast on 8 stitches and knit remaining 14 stitches to end of round. *For left hand knit first 22 stitches as stated above, knit 14 stitches and then hold the remaining 8 stitches for thumb and cast on 8 stitches.
An alternative thumb placement method I came across is the after thought thumb. I haven't tried it, but it looks really good and means you don't need to hold or cast on stitches for the thumb opening. Check out this tutorial and if you want to give it a go. 

Continue following chart until round 60.
  • Round 60 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 16, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 16, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 61 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 14, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 14, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 62 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 12, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 12, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 63 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 10, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 10, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 64 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 8, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 8, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 65 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 6, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 6, knit 2 together, knit 1.
cast off remaining 20 stitches, turn inside out and stitch bottom edge closed.


Knit the thumb

Place the 8 stitches from the holding needle (safety pin) onto a dpn and pick up the 8 cast on stitches as well as 2 stitches either side of the thumb opening. You should have 20 stitches in total. Distribute stitches evenly across your dpns.

Rounds 1-22 - knit plain stockinette stitch
Round 23 - (knit 2 together, knit 3) repeat to end
Round 24 - (knit 2 together, knit 2) repeat to end
Round 25 - (knit 2 together, knit 1) repeat to end
Round 26 - (knit 2 together) repeat to end

Break off yarn and thread through remaining 4 stitches to cast off. Pull thread tight and pull through to inside the thumb with a crochet hook or needle and tie off.



Weave in any ends and block if desired!

 Ok, so a major caveat is that this pattern is my own personal pattern and completely untested!!! KNIT AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!! I did not knit from this as I was just making it up as I went along and then copied the first to knit the second (no notes). I hope that this all makes sense and if nothing else the charts are pretty useful!


The ribbing does not go down to the natural wrist joint, but if you would like the ribbing to extend down further then substitute some of the main hand for ribbed rows.




Anyway, I hope you like them and if you do give them a go then give me a shout! If you don't want bobbles then this formula would also work with just plain stockinette or some fancy colour work...