Friday, 18 December 2015

Knitting: winter cowl

When preparing for Christmas, I always ask friends and relatives to name any requests for (small) projects I can make:  I almost always have delighted candidates who wish to have something handmade - from me!

This is a cowl for my lovely niece, in the colour she chose.  I knit it flat and weave in the ends.  I reckon the total length of the finished project will be around 2.5 metres, which should be sufficient for a double cowl.

The yarn is really chunky:  Lima+ from Scheepjes (which I believe has been discontinued...).  With it, I use no. 9 needles - and let me tell you, these are huge needles...

One skein gone - 7 to go...
I ordered from from Dolce Lana in Belgium, and I'm really glad they offer such good service: in ordering, I can choose the parameters with which I want to find the yarn I want, and the delivery took all but 2 days!  I think I've found my new best friend...

On to the knitting then: it took me a while to get used to.  As the majority of the projects I knit tend to be more of a delicate nature (see no.2 needles), I initially struggled to get round to using these huge needles.  No need to have worried though: this yarn knits itself really easily, and the first skein was up before long! I really like the fact that the yarn is varied in thickness, and that even though the pattern is straight forward, the change in density adds additional depth in the pattern... Looking forward to knitting the rest of it....

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Knitting: summer cardigan

Yes, it is winter already... I know.  And yes, in the meantime I've knitted many wintery things... But sometime during the summer I also knitted a little cardigan for my darling sister and I believe it's high time I wrote a post about it:

This is how I go about with my family: I send them 2-3 alternative patterns, and they get to choose which one they prefer, indicating the colour combination they want at the same time.  This is how it went with this one as well:  My sister chose the pattern and, while on vacation, we discovered a craft shop together and chose the yarn on the spot...

The yarn is Camilla from Madame Tricote and I just loved the  way it makes little designs of its own.  With a simple knitting technique, the results are just amazing!

The pattern is the DROPS 120-20  jacket.  It served as a good basis, upon which I made several changes (I never said my sister was an easy customer ;-))

I knit it longer in the back so as to match the length of the front, which I also did without the triangles - in a few words, I knit it as a proper cardigan.

I knit the sleeves at 3/4 length, so that she could wear it over a longer period of time, and not just the summer (I agree...)

When doing such substantial changes, I found that having my sister around helped a lot, because I could immediately try the part on her and either confirm or make changes on the spot so that there was no waste of time.  Don't know how the whole thing would turn out if we were apart...

As to the buttons, the shop we got the yarn did not have anything that my sister liked, so at the end we decided to leave the cardigan open.  And it looks just fine!

I'm really pleased with how the cardigan turned out and I'm even more pleased that my sister has worn it over and over again and she just loves telling people that I've made it for her <3

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Knitting / Sewing: Vintage pledge

I would define my style as classic, bordering pretty much on the conservative side.  Not that I don't like some of the modern trends, but... there's something about a line, a style that has survived decades that just speaks to my sartorial endeavours.  If I'm to invest in good fabrics, in time to take measurements, to pin down, to baste, and then finally to sew, I don't want the end product to last for a limited time only. Same goes for knitting, selecting wonderful (and expensive!) yarns and spending many an evening learning new and complicated stitches...

And then there's the issue of elegance... Yes, elegant pieces I want to wear - all the time... Even in the most mundane day of all, this is something that is bound to brighten up my world and make me smile.

All this introduction to say that I'm participating in the Vintage Sewing pattern pledge for 2015, hosted by A Stitching Odyssey and Kestrel makes.  After getting over the shock that "vintage" can be as recently as the 1970s (yes, people, I'm that old...), I'm all the more looking forward to it -- having inherited my mother's "Golden needles" encyclopaedia from the 1970s, this is a very good reason to finally get to use some of the patterns therein.

Another very good source is one of the blogs I follow : The Midvale Cottage Post, with plenty of material and patterns from the good old days of the 1920s and 1930s.

Not that I will totally disregard knitting:  since this pledge is also open to vintage knitting, I will indulge myself with one of the best - in  my humble opinion - sources of vintage knitting: A Stitch in Time, by Susan Crawford and Jane Waller, has sat long enough on my nightstand table.  I will now be able to have a go at one of the wonderful designs...

My #vintagepledge:

I, Patty from CraftsEverywhere!, pledge to sew at least 2 vintage patterns and knit at least 1 vintage pattern 

For more information on how you can join, follow this link.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Knitting: baby booties

While I'm still trying to finish the epic afghan, I took time to quickly whip up this little treasure:

how cute are these??? they take no time at all, and the end result is soooo lovely!!

Using Regia Aquarius Color 6 ply yarn and 4.5mm needles, I followed the Eco baby booties pattern to the letter.  It knits flat and is then assembled.  In half an hour I got one bootie ready and was able to see how it looks like finished (nothing worse if the end result is not what one expects...)

Anyhoo, this will be my friend Patricia's first grandchild and I just wanted to offer a little something to celebrate this addition to her family. I believe these little booties fit the bill perfectly!

Now, do I knit them in another colour as well?

Update 17.01.2015: welcome to the world little Mattis!