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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Moneta

I love a good jersey dress, so comfortable and simple and easy to wear.  Up until now all of my jersey dress needs have pretty much been filled by the Lady Skater pattern, why fiddle with other patterns when I've got that just the way I like it and can make one with my yes pretty much shut?  Good question and the only answer I have is that Colette have recently started to accept Seamwork credits for their main patterns and I had a few credits to spend so I figured I'd give Moneta a go.
When I'd glanced at the pattern before it didn't really seem all that different, but now having made one I can see that the two patterns are distinct enough to make it worthwhile having, and using, both.  The most noticeable difference is the gathered skirt, which ordinarily is not my favourite but I quite like it here.  The gathering is achieved by super stretched sewing clear elastic on to the seam allowance of the skirt and then letting it ping back, far more satisfying than gathering by pulling threads!
The neckline on Moneta is also very different.  With no neckband in sight I was a little sceptical (I love the nice finish of a neckband) and was certainly tempted to add one of the free collar options, but I decided to keep it simple for my first go at this pattern.  The neckline on this dress is very wide on me and I wasn't sure that I liked it at first, but it's definitely grown on me and isn't so wide that it falls off my shoulders. I'll definitely be giving the collars a go in future though, just to add a bit of variety to my wardrobe.
I also like that this pattern has a sleeveless option, another reason I'm glad I have it in my collection.  It's still kinda chilly though so I used the mid length sleeves on this dress, I probably won't go for the again though, they hit me mid elbow and roll up all the time which is a bit annoying.  I am kinda short though so they obviously weren't designed that way.
I used a bright green jersey that is quite lightweight and slinky which works nicely with the gathers I think.  The colour is amazing and I love how good it looks with my Dare to Dream shawl.
I'm also quite taken with the way the green peeps through the lace of my Disco Hetty too.
All in all I'm pretty happy with this dress and I'll definitely be giving different sleeve lengths and neckline options a go in the future.  I won't be persuaded to give up my Lady Skater pattern any time soon, but this is definitely a welcome addition to my jersey dress repertoire!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

2017 Boo Challenge: Rainshine

With a new niece or nephew predicted to arrive around the end of March I should really be focusing all of my efforts on knitting teeny tiny baby things, but after completing a good percentage of their blanket I decided I could afford to take a quick shawl break.  Now that it's finished I promise that I will be hitting the baby knitting hard until the little lad/lass makes an appearance.
Rainshine was the first Boo Knits pattern that I completed and it seemed to me that it was time to revisit it.  The first one was not quite all it was cracked up to be, it was just a little too small, I wasn't mad about the colour and the yarn didn't really hold the shape as well as it needed to with those dramatic points.
This time I was a bit more savvy with my yarn choice, Fyberspates scrumptious lace has 50% silk and will hold on to those lovely points much better and the magenta colour is fabulous.  It is quite a fine yarn so I completed 6 repeats of the main pattern to make sure I ended up with a good sized shawl.
After casting off I was a little concerned that it was still on the small side but I really shouldn't have worried because the lace opened right out as soon as the shawl hit the water and it's turned out to be the perfect size.  Using such a fine yarn has meant that my points are not quite as long and dangly as last time but they are still pretty pointy points nonetheless.
It took me a really long time to choose beads for this project, I couldn't quite find any that seemed to match nicely and I wasn't sure I wanted anything too contrasty.  In the end I went for magenta lined grey Tohos which don't quite match but look pleasingly like tiny berries nestled in my knitting.  I still have well over half of the yarn left however so I'll probably try something a bit more bold when I use that up.  I'm really pleased with how it's all come together into a very beautiful shawl.
The only problem I have now is deciding whether to keep it for myself or whether to put it aside for a Christmas gift like I'd intended when I cast on!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My Coat! Simplicity 1254

Making a coat is something I'd had on my to do list for ages, but I'd not really got round to it because it seemed like a really big project to take on.  Of course when I finally got on with it I found that it was not as big of a project as I feared and banged out a coat in just a few days!
I'd had Simplicity 1254 in my stash for aaaages and enchanted by the great big collar I dived into coat making for the first time.  I picked some coating that had been in the stash for a while as my main fabric and chose some shiny grey stuff for the lining which has honestly been in the stash since before I even had a stash.  I think I thought it would make a lovely dress back in 2007 or so but thankfully that plan never saw the light of day!  I also decided to use some yellow tartan flannel as interlining to give my coat a bit more warmth and body.  The most time consuming part of the entire project was cutting out all of those bits, but I'm glad I did, my coat is lovely and warm and the structure is just right.
I opted not to include the pockets on this coat, which did mean I had a few less pieces to cut although I'm not entirely convinced in was the right thing to do.  I felt that the pocket area looked a little sloppy on the pattern envelope, like they sort of compromised the structure somehow so I decided to leave them off.  I can't tell you how many time I've tried to stick my hands in those non existent pockets though so I probably should have included them.
On the whole, the making of this coat was fairly straightforward.  The main body and lining were very simple to construct until it came to sticking the two together.  This pattern has some seriously mixed up priorities as far as I'm concerned, dedicating barely a sentence to the lining of the entire coat and yet taking an entire paragraph to explain understitching.  Seriously just say 'understitch collar' and use the rest of the space to explain lining the damn coat properly! I'm still not convinced I did it right, but my coat is lined and that is all I can ask for.  Things did not seem much clearer when it came to sticking the collar on, but again it's on so job's a good'un as they say.
So, it may have been a bumpy ride but I achieved coat and wearable coat at that.  It has a couple of issues, the most obvious being that the zip shows and because I thought it would be hidden I used a blue one so it is even more obvious that it would have been if I'd matched it better.  I'm assuming this is my fault, but again I was confused about exactly where I was supposed to place it so I'm not taking full responsibility for that.
Also, it doesn't show on the outside but despite knowing that the lining needed to be bigger than the outer fabric I followed the pattern and cut them the same size so of course I've now popped a seam in the lining.  This was almost inevitable given that I wear Felicity in a sling on my back nearly every day and the action of getting her up there will put a lot of stress on a none too flexible seam.  This was really a lesson in giving myself some credit and trusting that sometime I do know better than the pattern.
All in all though, I'm very proud of my coat, even though I'll be giving this pattern a miss for my next foray into coat making.  I love the overall look of it, but I don't need another like it and I'll pick something with slightly clearer directions next time.  Oh and lastly, that hood that the model is so enticingly holding up on the envelope?  Don't do that.
That is all.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Boo Knits 2017 Challenge

Last year I knitted 5 shawls from Boo Knits pattern.  At that point you'd think I was done, but no, instead I signed up to take part in the Boo Knits 2017 challenge which involves knitting at least 10 Boos during 2017.  The finer points can be found here, but simply I need to knit 10 shawls from Boo Knits patterns, 2 of which will be Mystery Knit Alongs announced later in the year and 1 of which must be a triangular shawl.  For the other 7, the world is my oyster.  Of course we don't have to stop at 10 shawls, which is good because it is February and I'm already working on Number 5!

So here we go, lots of lace and beads ahead!


I started the year with a Promise Me, in Rowan Kidsilk Night with some glorious Czech etched beads.  This is very fluffy and romantic and is definitely a pattern I will be revisiting soon because I'd like to add at least another pattern repeat for a larger lacier shawl.  I shall not, however be revisiting the yarn for this sort of project.  It breaks far too easily and there was a bit of a emergency while I was blocking.  I fixed it quickly but it was a bit of a lesson in choosing yarn carefully.

Next up was Sweet Dreams, in Fyberpates Scrumptious 4ply.  I only bought 1 skein of this beautiful yarn so I knew this was going to be a smallish shawl.  I know I knit a little tightly so I thought I'd probably need to add at least an extra repeat to get a decent sized shawl.  I used this shawl calculator so I wouldn't end up playing yarn chicken.  I started by working a few extra stockinette rows before moving on to the lace section, hoping that I might have been able to also squeeze in an extra lace repeat, but alas, I wouldn't have quite had enough yarn for that.  I sort of wish now that I'd skipped the extra plain rows and done the extra lace but I'm still very happy with this shawl even so.  This is such a lovely pattern the yarn is fab and the gold lined beads catch the light and sparkle for a bit of bling.  I LOVE this one! I even did a picot bind off because this shawl deserves it.

Straight after I went for another little 4ply shawl and knit Heaven Scent using Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Frozen colourway.  I'd intended this shawl to be a Christmas gift, but didn't get to it in time, so I'll be putting this away for next Christmas instead.  This is my second time knitting Heaven Scent, you may remember that the last one met with disaster (thy name be Felicity!) when I was casting off and is still sitting in a corner waiting to be unravelled.  This one turned out fine though.  I went for etched beads again because I love them, these have flashes of blue and yellow and finish the shawl off nicely


For shawl 4 I decided to go for a bit of a larger project, knitting Dare to Dream with Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace.  This yarn has 1000m to 100g grams so is really quite fine indeed.  I used the Wine Gum colour which is just the most beautiful shade of green and I went for matte black beads which mostly blend in, but because there are quite a lot of beads clustered together on this shawl I figured a more bling bead might be a bit overwhelming.  I think I did 3 repeats of the main pattern to make a good sized shawl.  I'm really happy with the size and I have over half of the yarn left so I can knit an even bigger one with the leftovers!

So now I'm working on number 5. I don't have any photos of that yet so I'll wait until it's done to share it.  I've got to say I've surprised myself by how far into this challenge I have got in such a short time.  I think it's the miserable grey weather that's done it, all I've really wanted to do is curl up on the sofa and knit.  Once the sun returns I'm sure I'll slow down and be glad of the head start I've given myself.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ah, this is where I left my blog!

Hey!  It's been a while, I've completely got out of the blogging habit, but it's a new(ish) year and I'm in the middle of a serious push to get more organised and get on top of things.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but now Cassie is in school and Lissy is in preschool I'm finding keeping track of everyone to be a total uphill struggle.  For some reason I thought I could keep everything in my brain and ended up not knowing left from right!  I've finally admitted defeat and fallen hard down the rabbit hole marked 'Filofax' and now I can remember where I've left everyone, where I'm supposed to be and who was supposed to be at a birthday party 2 hours ago (seriously, I can never go through that again!).  I have, however, been pretty productive over the last few months so I'm just going to do a drive by 'what I've been up to' post today and maybe elaborate on anything that's worth elaborating on in a future post.  So, in no particular order, I have....
Made a coat.  Simplicity 1254. I may write up a post of this one because it was a fairly big project and I have ...thoughts about the pattern.  I totally made a coat though.
Knitted a shawl for my Grandma.  Boo Knits, Snow Angel.  She liked it a lot.

Knitted a hat for my sister's fiancee and forgot to take a photo before I gave it to him.  Genius.
Colette Hazel

Tilly &TB Megan Dress

Simplicity 1174
Sewed 2 Christmas dresses for me and 1 for Cassie.  Happy Christmas by the way, it really has been that long!
Took part in this year's Selfish Sweater KAL over in the Untangling Knots Rav Group.  Made a sparkly Hetty, it is sparkly and good.
Sewed a Sew Over It Heather dress.  It is cosy and red and I like it a lot.

Signed up for the Boo Knits 2017 10 shawl challenge.  This is going to be a massive story in my knitting year so I'll come back to this in a future post.  Basically brace yourself for many shawls, much lace and plentiful beads!

So that's it I think.  I'll be back soon, it's in my planner so I have to do it!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

FO: Taboo

Hi everyone, how've you all been?  Winter is on it's way here and as the temperature has been dropping and the nights drawing in I've wanted to do nothing but curl up and knit or spin.  I've got quite a lot done so I figured it was about time I checked in here and showed off my work.

So, as of my last post I was eagerly awaiting the first clue for the Boo Knits Halloween MKAL, Taboo.  That is now all done and dusted and I very proudly finished it a few days after the final clue was released.  The schedule was pretty fast paced, with clues arriving every few days which I personally really liked because it meant I wasn't juggling a second project in between clues.  I'll confess that I wasn't really loving the first clue, 8 repeats of the same column of lace started to get old quite quickly but subsequent clues were much more fun.

The second clue brought in the second colour and I was eager to see how it would be incorporated.  I'd been a little worried that my DIY dye job wouldn't work out, but I'm really pleased with the way it looks and I'm glad I didn't add in a whole bunch of other colours.  I love the wavy effect that the little stripes introduce without it being too jarring.

I'm also pretty happy with my beads, I had toyed with the idea of matching them to the darkest pink of my variegated yarn but I couldn't find any that I liked so I went with an ivory colour instead.  They are quite subtle but are not completely lost in the fabric.  There are loads of them too, so my shawl makes a very satisfying clattering sound when I plonk it down on a table.

When the final clue arrived I saw that it ended with the dreaded picot bind off.  I strongly considered skipping it and just using a crochet bind off instead but in the end I decided to be a good girl and complete the pattern as written.  On the 3rd day of binding off I very much regretted this decision and realised that frankly I'm not really all that into picots so I won't be bothering again.  Lesson learned, but I do feel a certain amount of pride that I actually got to the end without throwing the whole thing out of the window.

So, interminable bind off done I blocked out my masterpiece and prepared to wear proudly....except I can't because it's been claimed!

The whole time I was knitting this Felicity kept asking things like "Mummy is that my pink sclarf?" and "Mummy is my pink sclarf finished?".  It turns out that she was entirely serious and every time I've tried to wear it she goes bananas and pulls it off me.  I'm hoping she'll forget about it soon, but for the time being I have to concede that she does look mighty cute in it, even if no 2 year old is really in need of their very own 100% silk scarf!  I do have plenty of leftovers though, so if it turns out I don't have enough left for a full on adult shawl then I may consider whipping her up a slightly more toddler friendly neck covering instead.

Cheeky little beggar!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Taboo Related Stash Enhancement

Boo mania continues to be affecting me here.  I'm a very few rows away from finishing an Almost Autumn (still diligently working my way through the Close to You collection) and I'm hoping that I'll get it  done before the first clue for the Taboo MKAL arrives on Saturday.  Signing up for the MKAL a few weeks ago basically led to me falling down the brand new (to me) rabbit hole of laceweight yarn, something I didn't really have in my stash and now I'm completely obsessed with it.  Wanna see some pretties?

Lilac
Hawk
The Taboo pattern is designed for two yarns, one a solid and the other a variegated incorporating the colour of the solid.  You can use either as the main yarn with the other only being used a small amount.  Obviously my first reaction was to completely disregard this and go for Knit Picks Gloss Lace in two different solids.  After seeing everyone else's choices I realised this probably wasn't the way to go but I won't plan any other projects with these yarns until I see the finished shawl because you never know, it might still work out.  I chose shiny grey beads to tie the two yarns together.


While I spent a good amount of time ogling the recommended Wild Silk yarn on the Miss Babs website I decided that I really couldn't justify the shipping and probable customs charges involved in purchasing so I did the only semsible thing and ordered some undyed yarn from World of Wool and had a go at dyeing up something wonderful myself.  I got a skein of Merino/Tussah which I've already used to knit Rainshine and a skein of 100% Tussah silk for Taboo.  I wound off about 20g and reskeined it to dye my variegated yarn B leaving around 80g to dye in a solid.

In case it isn't screamingly obvious I went for a pinkish sort of theme.  I was aiming to match the large skein to the dark pink colour in the small skein but I got bored of adding colouring and decided I could live with the lighter shade.  I they look really quite nice together in the skein, fingers crossed they look awesome knitted up.  I've chosen pearly white beads to hopefully bring everything together nicely.
Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in Magenta
Last but not least, I thought I'd better feed some more laceweight to the stash  because I have a feeling I'm going to have lace shawls in my system for a while longer.  Deramores had a sale that I could not resist recently and two lace lovelies found themselves winging their way to me last week.  With a good percentage of silk this yarn is ridiculously shiny and gorgeous and I can't wait to knit it.  I'd been a bit concerned about the Wine Gum colour as I'd seen some photos where it looked amazing and others where it looked a bit drab and underwhelming.  I needn't have worried because it is glorious, I'm not normally a lover of green but this is completely winning me over.  The magenta is also fab, but I knew I'd love that because Magenta!
Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in Wine Gum
So that's my little bit of stash enhancement, nearly 5000m worth but it's laceweight so that's hardly anything!