Carpino Pullover


This post is brought to you by the colour teal (and the letter B, for ‘bloody hell, I can’t believe it’s finally finished’)! I didn’t realise how monochromatic this jumper was against my sewing room wall, hopefully I’m not too camoflaged…

This is the Carpino Pullover, from Brooklyn Tweed Wool People vol. 6. It’s a 4ply jumper knit top down and in the round, with a mesh/lace panel on the front.

I really love the shape of this jumper, I was initally attracted to the boat neck with the i-cord neckband and the curved lines at the raglan sleeve/body junction. It didn’t hurt that the sample was knitted in my favourite mustard colour either!

The pattern has the waist shaping on the back of the jumper instead of at the side seams, and I love how it fits. It hasn’t completely removed the pooling I get at the small of my back, but it has reduced it considerably! I would definitely consider borrowing the shaping from this pattern for some others.

I picked out some Quince & Co. Finch wool for this, in the belize colourway. I loved knitting with it, its so squashy and nice! Knitting a whole jumper in 4ply wool definitely tested my patience though. Even if it felt like I had been knitting for hours, it would only have grown by an inch! Ravelry tells me I started this at the end of September, with plans to have it finished in time to wear last spring. Such optimism! It took me four months to finish the body, mostly because I found it quite boring to knit. The lace was a really simple pattern repeat, which was good because otherwise I might have found it hard to keep track of where I was…

I’m glad I have it finished, even if it is in time for Autumn rather than Spring! Its still way to hot for a wooly jumper, even a lightweight lace one, which is partly why its taken me so long to get photos. I also had to wait for a weekend when I didn’t want access to my sewing room so that I could lay it out on the floor in there to block it, as the kittens thought it was a great sleeping spot! Zelda in particular loves this jumper, she always wants to knead it and rub her face on it when she sees it out. I’m terrified she’s going to put pulls in it, but she’s been very well behaved so far…

When I was knitting this I said I would never knit a 4ply jumper again, but then Quince & Co. released this pattern in February, which is making me wonder if I should break that promise (though technically April is knit in 2ply, so maybe it doesn’t count? I must be mental, either way…)

Happy Feet

At the beginning of the year I jumped on the #2016makenine bandwagon over on Instagram. I knew that I’d have no trouble making nine items over the course of the year, so I chose nine items that I knew would be big, involved projects, or that had tricky elements that I thought might trip me up. This is what I came up with:
 

 

Top row: Laule’a Socks, Jujika Cowl, Cascades Sweater

Middle row: Waver Jacket, Boylston Bra, Ginger Jeans

Bottom Row: M6696, Madeleine Dress, Kielo Dress


Well, we’re at the end of January, and I’ve completed the first item on my list…
 

 

…the Laule’a socks! This is the first pair of socks I’ve ever knitted, and I’m so glad I chose this pattern. They’re knit in Quince & Co. Lark in the colourway Belize, and the 10 ply wool made them so quick to knit. It also make it much easier to pick up the stitches along the edge of the gusset, and to generally see what I was doing. The gusset was the bit that really worried me, I was struggling to figure out how it would work in my head. Like with most knitting problems though, it was much simpler to figure out once I had the physical object in front of me!
 

 

 

These are more like slippers than socks, realistically. I don’t think they’d fit in any of my shoes! But they’ll be really nice to wear around the house, and they’re lovely and warm. I’d love to have a go at knitting some finer socks later in the year, they seem like they’ll be a good portable project. I knitted these on double pointed needles, but I think circulars would be better for ease of transport.

 

 

I really enjoyed knitting these. Google tells me that Laule’a is Hawaiian for peace or happiness, so thats nice and fitting! I like the spotty texture that the purl stitches give to the socks, and the pattern was really simple to memorise. I did find that I had a little hole at the top point of each gusset on my first sock from picking up the fist stitch, so on my second sock I picked up a loop from the row below and then knitted it together with the first picked up stitch. I have no idea if thats a legitimate way to do it, but it worked! Look at me, troubleshooting my knitting problems…

 

 

I’m very proud of my socks! Now if only I could convince Zelda kitty that they aren’t her chew toys, especially when my feet are in them…

And now a barrage of questions for knitters: What sock patterns would you recommend? Benefits to top down vs toe up? DPNs or Circular needles?And can I ask for blocking advice? Do you bother to block your hand knit socks? Help!

Warm Fuzzies

This is my last wooly jumper of the Winter, completed just in time for Spring! Though I should get plenty of wear out of it over the next two months, the weather in Wellington is particularly random at this time of year…


This is the Lila Sweater pattern by Carrie Bostick Hoge, knit up in Outlaw Yarn Bohemia Worsted (the same alpaca/possum/polwarth blend I used for my mittens, but in 10 ply). I really like the shape of this jumper, especially that lovely shaped hem.


Its knit from the bottom up, using Sunday short rows to shape the hem. They were a bit of a revelation! Much easier than the wrap and turn method I used to shape the neckline on my Lesley Sweater, and they turned out much neater as well. I’ll definitely be using that method again! The bottom up/in the round construction of Lila was new to me as well, and I think I prefer knitting top down. I like the idea of being able to try it on as I knit to check length and fit! I had a serious case of second sleeve syndrome whilst knitting this, it took me 5 weeks to start knitting again after I finished the first one.

I have had a few issues with this jumper, mainly that it’s turned out a bit smaller than I thought. I knitted a size 38, which should have given me 3″ positive ease, but it’s turned out tighter than I thought. I don’t mind, it just isn’t what I expected! I’m also annoyed that I have nearly two whole balls of wool left over. I started on a fresh ball when I started the neckband! Of course, this might be related to the jumper turning out smaller than I thought, maybe I was knitting too tight. My gauge was ok, but who knows? I’m too much of a novice to be able to troubleshoot knitting fitting!

Fortunately, I really like this wool. It was lovely to knit with, and it’s really soft and warm. Unfortunately, it causes a major case of the fuzzies! Fuzzies on the rest of my clothes, fuzzies on my couch, fuzzies in my nose and eyes and in my throat…I’m desperately hoping that they’ll decrease with wear, or everything I own will be covered in garnet fluff.


Its something I would consider knitting again, but with a few changes. Next time I’d try going up a size, and I’d try knitting it from the top down (I know there are alternate instructions, I’m not sure why I chose this method. Something new, I suppose!). I would also only knit 2″ of garter bands on the sleeves instead of 4″, so that they match the hem band. It annoys me a bit that they’re so wide!

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing much knitting for the rest of the year, my summer sewing pile is huge! And it isn’t all for me either, I’m actually doing some unselfish sewing for a change. Monsieur has said he’d quite like a jumper for next winter, he really likes the shawl collared cable knit sweater worn by Will Graham in several episodes of Hannibal. If anyone has pattern suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Fun with Fair Isle 

I’m continuing on with my current run of knitting posts, I’m pretty obsessed at the moment! I love Fair Isle knitting, all those gorgeous 1940’s colourwork sweaters make me very envious. I thought I’d make my life a bit easier (for once) and start with a small project before embarking on a whole jumper! I’ve had the Acorn Teeth Mitts pattern by Diana Walla in my Ravelry favourites page for ages, and decided I should get started on them before I ran out of winter…

   

(I kind of want to apologise for the quality of the photos in this post, its really hard to take photos of your own hands!)

I used the most luscious wool for these, as I only had to buy one ball of each colour. Its Outlaw Yarns Bohemia Sport weight, which is a blend of wool, alpaca and possum. Its so soft and so warm, I love it! I used the Carnivale (red), Fog (light grey) and London Town (dark grey) colourways. 

 

I thought that stranded colourwork would be really tricky, but to be honest I had more trouble getting used to knitting with the 2.75mm DPN’s than I had with the colourwork! It was like knitting with toothpicks, especially coming straight from the big 6mm needles I used for my Lesley jumper. I was so scared of breaking one, I guess thats why you get 6 in a set! 

  

The actual pattern knitted up pretty quickly. I had a few issues with getting my float tension right, especially when I was changing between needles, but I made everything looser than I thought it should be and it’s worked ok! Theres still a few patches which are a bit lumpy, but I can live with that. They’d probably even out with blocking, but I’ve been wearing them so much that I havn’t had a chance to block them yet! Bad practice, I know. Maybe I’ll get around to it over the summer…

 

I think they look pretty good from the inside too!
   

I am a bit sad that I have such a big jump in the pattern at the beginning/end of each round, I’ll definitely need to look up some of those links you all left me about knitting jogless rounds! The other stupid think I did was knit the thumbs in stocking stitch instead of in ribbing, so they’re rolling at the top. But its not annoying me enough to want to rip it out and knit them again!

 

I’m pleased with how the Vikkel braid around the top of each mitten turned out too. Learning how to do them gave me a bit of a headache, I spent ages on youtube trying to figure it out. Eventually I just went back to  the written instructions, and they made more sense once I started trying to knit them!

  

I’m really happy with how they turned out! They’re a nice length, long enough to cover the cuffs of my sleeves, but not so long that they interfere with the fit of whatever I’m wearing as an outer layer. And they go really nicely with my red duffle coat! Its like I planned it that way…

   

Looking particularly twee here…

I feel like everytime I try something new in a knitting pattern it ends up being much simpler than I’ve talked myself into believing it will be! I’d like to try a jumper pattern with a Fair Isle yoke, though that’ll probably have to be next winter now. Maybe the Sundottir? I’d like to knit this Striped Spring Shirt from Purl Bee too, thats technically colourwork… What are your favourite knitting patterns? Help me build up my knitting queue! 

Seven Day Knit

I haven’t really felt like sewing this week. I think its partly because I’d just like a bit of space from my sewing machine after my Cascade marathon sewing session, and partly because its just so cold in Wellington at the moment! All I want to do is curl up under the heater and knit cosy things to keep me warm when I need to venture outside. 

 
I cast on the Lesley Sweater from the Home and Away: Knits for Everday Adventures pattern book the Sunday before last, and finished binding it off last Sunday evening. It was such a fast knit, I can’t believe it only took me a week! It helps that its just plain knit, and knit in the round. It also helps that it uses Aran weight yarn! I used Ashford Tekapo wool, which is milled in the South Island. I feel like I should really try to use NZ wool when I can, and this was lovely to knit with. It isn’t as soft as the Cascade 220 I used for my Wickerwork, but it seems to be wearing better. It isn’t scratchy or anything, I can wear it against my skin without any irritation.

 
I really like the patterns in Home and Away, they’re all pretty basic, useful patterns. Lesley is probably the most basic pattern in the book, but I really liked the neckline and the shaping in it.  

  

I really debated which size to knit this in, the pattern recommends sizing down if you’re between sizes, but that would have given me 3″ of negative ease. I thought that was a bit much, given how much smaller my Miette Cardigan came up. So I knitted a size 36, which should have given me an inch of positive ease, and its ended up being only just 35″ around. I’m pleased with the fit though, I think it looks good with a bit of negative ease.

 
The neckline is shaped with short rows, which scared me a bit until I tried them out and realised they were actually pretty easy! I’m not sure I knitted the wraps together right though, becase they’re a bit visible still. I did something really stupid when I was splicing the ends of my wool together though…I rolled the damp felted-together ends up and down my denim clad thigh to smooth them out, and they turned slightly blue! I didn’t notice immediately, but you can kind of see it in the finished jumper. Hopefully it’ll wash out…

 
My mum picked me up an 80’s knitting book at a book fair last weekend (such huge batwing jumpers, such weird colour blocking!) and it has a really good section at the front on different stitch patterns and a general how-to-knit guide. It suggested blocking knits by wetting a threadbare tea towel, laying it over your pinned out garmebt, and then applying a hot iron to said tea towel, so thats what I did. It worked much better than just using the steam function on my iron, and was much quicker than wet blocking, which made me happy. I left it laid out over night, just to let it dry and settle, and I think its turned out well. 

 
I’ve alternated it all week with my Wickerwork, and it’d been lovely and warm. It also looks good over my Archer shirts, so thats a plus! I’ve been thinking I should make up another one in stripes… I just need to figure out how to knit stripes in the round without them ending up staggered at the end of the row… 

My Wickerwork Pullover

After my post of disapointment last week, I’m very pleased to say that I’m unbelievably happy with this one. I’ve finally finished knitting my jumper! I’ve never really had much luck with knitting in the past, but I might have broken the curse with last year’s Miette Cardigan. I mean, its way too small for me (I’ve come to terms with that now, but I spent a long time in denial after finishing it!), but at least it came out looking like a wearable garment, and like the picture. For my second knitting project I really wanted to have a go at a cabled jumper, and I just couldn’t go past the Michelle Wang Wickerwork Pullover (here on Ravelry, or here online). I realised that I had about 5 Michelle Wang knitting patterns favourited on Ravelry, and a bunch more pinned to my ‘wish I could Knit’ pinterest board, so I must really like her aesthetic! I used Cascade 220 in the heathered ‘Birch’ colourway. I really love the colour, its a beautiful mustard with flecks of green and red to give it depth. Its also lovely and soft, I can see why everyone raves about knitting with it. My only concern is that it seems to be going a bit fuzzy on the undersides of the sleeves and other areas which are prone to rubbing after only a few wears. I hope its going to hold up ok, I’d hate to have put so much effort into knitting something only to have it turn into a pilly mess! I guess only time will tell. But anyway…  (I’ve just realied that I have while fluff on my sleeves from trying on my coat muslin…I’m using white flannel and its leaving fluff everywhere…) I had so much fun knitting this! The repeating pattern of cables is so nice and regular that I found it easy to keep track of where I was in the pattern, unlike the vast areas of stockingette stitch that made up the body of the Miette Cardigan. Even if I lost count of my rows, I managed to figure out where I was again pretty easily. I separated out each 8 stitch pattern repeat with a stitch marker, which made it super easy.     That doesn’t mean it was all smooth sailing though, I still made several cock ups! I made a major mistake when I was trying to knit in front of the TV one night (it was Breaking Bad or GoT, something that was very distracting!), and missed a row out. I didn’t notice for another 8 or so rows, so there was too much to fix by reverse-knitting back to where I had made the mistake. I dont know if reverse-knitting is a recommended technique, but I find it easier to head back to where I made a mistake that way. But this time I had to take it all off my needle and frog it back by about an inch, which was terrifying! I made sure I laid it out flat on the table and had good lighling before trying it, and it went fine. Thank god! I’m not keen to be doing it too often though, so I’ll try not to do too much knitting in front of the TV…   I was surprised by how quickly the sleeves knitted up, after all those cables the stockingette was a breeze. I has them both finished in a couple of lunchtimes! I was amazed by how interested my colleagues were by my knitting, they thought it was such a random/fascinating thing for me to be doing! Unfortunately I can’t talk and knit, so I kept having to stop so I could talk to them about it. I must need more practice!     I wet blocked the front and back, which made me very nervous. The fabric feels much stretchier than my Miette, its knit on needles which are a size bigger, and it looked huge when I laid it out wet! But I like the fit, even if it is a bit bigger than I thought it might be. I knitted a size with 2″ of positive ease, so I think its probably about right. I have sewn a length of thin ribbon across the shoulders and the back neckline, just to make it feel a bit more secure. I used a stretchy bind off for the neckline, because I was worried about getting it over my head (I don’t know why, it would clearly have fitted even without the stretch), and I wonder if using a standard bind off would have helped it feel a bit firmer across my shoulders.    The only part of the process I really didn’t enjoy was seaming it together. It was such a chore! I don’t know why I hated it so much, but I’ll try to stick to knitting in the round from now on.     I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I think it looks lovely over my Archer shirts, as well as over a long sleeved tee shirt. And its so warm. Its been unbelievably cold here over the past few weeks (-20 in some parts of the South Island some nights!), so I’m glad to have this big snuggly jumper to pull on. Its far from perfect, and I can see every mistake I made, but I’m sure thats because I spent two months working on it! Hopefully no one else will notice the stitches I turned the wrong way or the knits which should have been purls…    I’m taking a leaf from Jillian’s book (or blog), and calling this a WooHoo! Now I just need to pick my next knitting project…

Odds and ends

I’ve had a fairly disjointed and unproductive few weeks (on the sewing front, anyway). My first assignment for the trimester was due yesterday, so that ate into my spare time somewhat. Its also getting dark much earlier, now that we’ve reverted back to non-daylight savings time, and the lighting in my sewing room is just terrible! I’m going to need to invest in a good lamp, and some higher wattage lightbulbs, or I’ll be blind by the end of winter…or only sewing over the weekend, and that won’t work!

I’ve been trying to get a pair of Jedediah trousers finished for Monseur, as all of his jeans have holes in them, but I keep running into fitting issues and getting frustrated. Last night I managed to sew the fly guard closed when I was doing the fly topstitching, so annoying!



Once I fixed that minor issue and got him to try them on, we found that there was some extra fabric pooling in the front between the pockets and the fly. I don’t know where that has come from, because it isn’t an issue with the Jedediah shorts I made him. I’m a bit fed up with them really, I think I’ll put them aside for a week and do some fun sewing for me instead…



I’ve also been doing a bunch of knitting! I made this hat (the Purl Bee Traveling Cables pattern) for my friends’ wee boy, I’m so pleased with how it turned out. It was my first attempt at cables and with knitting on double pointed needles, so definitely a bit of a learning curve. Its so cute though! I really enjoyed knitting the cables, its very satisfying seeing the pattern emerge as you go. I had so much fun with it that I’ve started on a jersey for me, a Quince & Co Wickerwork Pullover. I noticed that nearly all of the jumper patterns I have favourited on Ravelry are Michelle Wang designs, so I thought I should give one a go! 



I’ve just finished my first pattern repeat, I’m liking it so far! I’m using Cascade 220 Heathered wool in the Birch colourway, its lovely. Hope I can get it finished before spring…

Also, I’ve signed up for my first Me Made May!



I, Kirsten of http://www.fiftytwofancies.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear one (or more) hand made items at least 5 days a week for the duration of May 2015′

 I loved watching it unfold last year, and this year I feel like I have enough season appropriate handmade clothes to join in. I’ll definitely have to repeat garments, but I’ll try not to repeat whole outfits! I’ll post photos over on instagram, then might do a roundup and overview of what I’ve learned about my wardrobe (and its gaps) at the end of the month. Can’t wait!

Tied up in knots…

Its finally finished! I feel like I’ve been knitting this cardigan (the Miette Cardigan, by Andi Satterlund) for ages, though Instagram shows me its only been six weeks. Which is actually not as bad as I thought, given that its the first thing I’ve ever knitted (other than a scarf, and that doesn’t really count). I took a photo of my progress each week, so here we go…

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Week 1: I realise that I really don’t know what I’m doing, and spend a lot of time on youtube. Thank god for the internet! I also cast on, knit a few rows, cock it up, rip it off and start again about 5 times.

Week 2: Finally get more than 5 rows in! I also found the knit-a-long at this point, which was incredibly helpful. Starting to get a bit more confident with fixing my mistakes and following the pattern.

Week 3: Got past the sleeves! This week was satisfying, as I can see real progress, and the eyelet pattern down the front looks good.

Week 4: Finished the body! I couldn’t get the ribbing described in the pattern to work, so I just did standard k2p2 (look at me, using knitting abbreviations like I know what I’m talking about). I got very good at frogging during this last stretch of knitting, as I just kept messing up the eyelet pattern around the bottom. I must have ripped it back three or four times before i got it right. Much swearing involved!

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Week 5: Sleeve number 1 finished! The sleeves made me a bit nervous, but I trucked on. Unfortunately, when I came to the instruction to switch to smaller needles to knit the ribbing, I realised that I had gone straight from the ribbing at the hem and cast the sleeves onto my 4.5mm needles instead of the 5.0mm needles I should have used. Bollocks. I waffled about what to do, and decided to just leave it as is and hope that they would stretch out a bit with blocking. I knitted the second sleeve the same way, I figured it would be less irritating to have two slightly tight sleeves than to have one tight and one normal!

Week 6: other sleeve, button bands and neck band and blocking. With the end in sight, the final knitting went pretty smoothly. I found the button bands and neck band really fun! Unfortunately I managed to miss the topmost buttonhole in the neck band, rather annoying. I probably wouldn’t ever wear it done right up anyway, so never mind…I tried the finished cardigan on, and it was a bit small! I was so gutted. I looked into blocking methods (again, thank you youtube!) and decided that wet blocking would give me the best chance of growing it a few centrimetres. Unfortunately, it was the most miserably cold and wet weekend, so it took almost 48 hours to dry completely! It was worth it though, it fits much better now, and the eyelet pattern has really opened up and looks pretty good.

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I chose some cream buttons with striations on them, and decided to reinforce the button bands with a cream and blue chevron patterned ribbon. I found that I was getting a bit of gaping at the buttons, but the ribbon has stopped that!

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I think it’ll be best with high waisted skirts and dresses, as it is pretty cropped! I lost length when I stretched it out blocking it, of course. I hope its not too Dolly Parton! I used 100% wool, so it’ll be good to wear in spring and autumn, when the weather is still a bit crisp.

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(The hem actually does match up at the bottom, its just sitting funny in this picture…)

All in all, I’m just really proud that I’ve managed to knit something wearable! I made little margin notes in the pattern as I was knitting, and one of them states ‘I don’t think knitting is for me’. I found parts of the process incredibly frustrating and slow, and I was terrified of making a mistake that I didn’t know how to fix. When I’m sewing I know I can fix pretty much any fixable error, but knitting seems a lot less forgiving! But then, its a very new skill I’m aquiring, and it took me ages to figure out how to fix my sewing as well. Perseverance is key! I’m already planning new projects, so I clearly haven’t been too scarred by the experience.