Sunday, 4 February 2018


Another old draft that I hadn't posted yet - the reason why completely escapes me. Here goes:

As of December 2016:

I am improvising a cardigan from a pattern I saw in one of the Brooklyn Tweed pattern collection books.  It is a while back so I don't remember which one.  I liked the colour and general impression of the cardigan but I didn't think the actual design lines would look good on me: the back shoulder and waist area was strange. So I made my version up as I went along.

I very much liked the idea of a pattern at the front edges (don't know if the original was reversible, as in the same on the right and on the wrong side). I wanted one that could flip over, and still look good.  Even if the pattern wasn't the exact same thing on both sides.

I had seen a cabled pattern on Ravelry called 'Lucky Ribs cable cowl'. It looks pretty easy to knit but I couldn't quite figure it out myself. So I searched "the internet machine" and found it. I even found the website again: it is called Cable with Segments stitch on a website called Craft Elf.

The stitch pattern isn't complicated: it is a K2 P2 ribbing for however many rows you want (I think I went with 12 rows before the first twist row, a bit more below) - and then the pattern said to twist four stitches containing P1 K2 P1 with the next group of four stitches that are: P1 K2 P1.

The reverse of this then doesn't looks quite the same as the right side appearance. The 'central' stiches are just two knit stitches wide, whereas on the right side it is four knit stitches.

For some reason I got that "wrong".  I twisted groups of K2 P2 with K2 P2. Guess what the reverse looks like?  Exactly the same!

I lucked into a variation of this that is truly reversible. How lucky is that?

I am so pleased that by getting a part of the instructions wrong I ended up with a version that I like a lot better. So of course I'm sticking with it!

The only thing I have to watch out for is that if I twist K2 P2 with the next four stitches, then I need to mirror that at the other edge: I need to twist groups of four stitches of P2 K2 with P2 K2. Otherwise the edge doesn't look the same and one side will look really off.

I love the way this looks

This is the back: to avoid the ballooning out blouson effect and get the cardigan to mold a bit more to my swayback, I decided to cinch this in at the small of my back. We'll see how that goes.

The original had a weird tapering line at the back of the top of arms. I didn't like the way it looks and I don't understand the function. So I am going to go straight up. I will make sure to strengthen the shoulder seams so the cardigan doesn't pull the sleeves down.

My problem now is: how do I fit sleeves into armholes that have K2, P2 ribbing at their edge? You can't see them properly in the above photo because the circular needle is pulling the back down - the armholes are to the immediate right and left of the front pieces.

Should I knit them to normal dimensions (in stockinette, not in ribbing) and see where I need to place stitches to keep the ribbing 'ribbed'?  Or what?

Maybe I'm making more of a problem out of this than it'll turn out to be. I should just go for it I think.

This photo shows the cardigan body folded up so you can see the front edges better. The smooth piece on the left is the first sleeve. In stocking stitch, not ribbed.

This is how far I got. Fingers crossed that I'll pick this back up soon. I think I am making more of the sewing together of sleeves and body than it should be. I'll need to seize my courage!

(To be updated. I managed to finish this in late 2017!  I just need photos and then I can write the update)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Grey lace blob - progress!

So I was knitting this in January last year - I might as well blog about it, finally! Even though it is now way after the fact. Oh well.

I am getting on very well with my grey lace project:

I've got the flower done, but I can't believe how much there is still left to do:

I thought this would be finished when I reached the part that shows just a top right hand corner under the pink Post-it. My first photocopy didn't cover the whole chart, this second copy captures the top.

Once I get to the top of this third row of flowers, then I should be done!

And would you believe it: even though I had a full two skeins of this Fyberspates lace yarn, I still ran out. Gah. The colour name turns out to be nothing like steel, or grey or silver and whatever I had fondly imagined, nope, it is water. 'Water'. Oh. Okay.

I bought the two skeins at Alexandra Palace at least three years ago, probably longer. I couldn't get the same dye lot anywhere. So I had to go with a contrast.

I chose the dark blue colour which is called 'midnight'.

Here is the final project photo:

And it is a really, really big size. Almost too large to wear as a shawl - it's more of a table cloth. Hm. Not much use to me right now but at least I had lots of fun knitting this.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

I sewed a little more

[Oh darn: this draft is from some time earlier in the year. Oops, forgot]

I have made a bit more progress on a couple of things. But nothing seems to get done easily, let alone quickly.

Issues with two skirts:

My black and white wool skirt still needs the inside corner of the vent sorted out, I'm not happy that I haven't done that yet. And I thought I was done with my second self-drafted wool skirt, the one in the heathery pinkish-red.  It isn't!  Sneef!

I had blind hemmed the bottom of the wool fabric hem to make sure it would lie flat. Then I hand sewed the lining to it. Well guess what: now the lining pulls at the skirt in plenty of places and I basically have to re-do that.

Or pull the blind hemming back out and I'd have to un-do and re-do at least some of the sewing on the lining for that too. It's not exactly a win-win situation - I'll have to do quite a bit of work either way. I do have the feeling that the blind hemming could continue to be a problem. Bother!

Update: I finally got started on this and it didn't even take long. Does it ever? You just build up this problem in your head and it seems insurmountable!  I put lots of pins into place and released the lining - sewing it back was the work of a half hour at most.

Here is the problem of the black and white skirt:

Folding the hem the wrong way at the back vent looks terrible!  Really amateurish.

Here is the inside:

I did plumb up the open bit a little so it's easier to see in a photo. But the fabric might have done that by inside when wearing so this definitely couldn't stay the way it was.

Another update: I finally got over the "but I've already hand-sewn it on!" feeling and re-did it. Again, it didn't take nearly as long as anticipated.

I don't like the asymetric jersey top in the Brushstrokes pattern, I can't see myself wear it because it doesn't look very nice on me. I am losing weight at the moment because I'm counting calories but it doesn't seem to affect my waist line in the slightest so the problem with this top will continue. Plus I'm bound to put weight back on at some point.

I need to get a photo taken of me wearing this to illustrate the issue:


Also: it doesn't help that the lining now turns towards the outside which you can see in the badly fuzzy photo on the left. Grumble.

- - -

I long wanted to make a dress with a waist seam in the shape of an inverted V or chevron. This shape might be called 'swallow wings'.  I didn't have the right sort of pattern and thought I could draw this myself, but I never did.

I found New Look 6183 which has this waist seam but it also has some rouching along the top of the front side panels where they meet the centre front panel. I wasn't keen on those but I tried the original side panel piece when I tried out my toile, and then folded the side panel piece to suppress some of the excessive length so I could sew this other side with less gathering.

I liked the lesser amount better because I feel that it won't show up my big tummy as much as the original rouching would.  Not sure if that's wishful thinking.


There are no bust darts: the top pieces are gathered under each bust. This is a style I have not tried before so it'll be interesting to evaluate.

I had set aside a cheap viscose fabric that I got in a closing down sale. This is a fabric that irons wonderfully well and drapes quite well too.  It is a fabric that's quite light though and the flimsiness means that this is slightly difficult to sew: both my overlocking and the straight stitches wrinkle up and make the seams pull.

A good press makes this a bit better but doesn't fix it altogether.  Rough skin on my hands also gets stuck on this fabric and I find that I have to drag it over my ironing board because it clings to it as well. I've never encountered this problem before!

These problems mean that I got rather disenchanted with carrying on with this dress and feel that I need to try the pattern in another fabric. It would be interesting to see if which gathering I prefer in a less light fabric.

So glad I managed to sort out the vent on the black and white skirt, hopefully I'm making progress with other things too. Fingers crossed.

Onwards and upwards!