Long time, no see…

Hey y’all!

So sorry for the long absence. I’ve been feeling a bit lacking in the mojo area for my hand sewn wardrobe and so I haven’t actually sewn myself anything for a long time. I’ve found that by trying to turn a passion into a business, I’ve made sewing a chore rather than something I’m excited to do. I haven’t had much success unfortunately with my hand sewn bags and I’m seriously thinking of perhaps giving the whole thing away once I get through the fabric stash. I have a very substantial fabric stash however so it won’t be tomorrow. 😉 I have done one market and only sold 4 items, the total of which didn’t even add up to my stall fee. 😦 I have another market this weekend so we’ll see how that goes. I’m focusing mostly on my crochet toys for the market on Sunday as it’s going to be very child oriented. That being said, I’m suffering quite badly from RSI (and potential carpal tunnel) in my wrist so crocheting is a bit hard. I also need to finish a crochet blanket that needs to be gifted on Saturday too so not much rest for my obviously wicked wrist. 😦

However, just because I haven’t been sewing, doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting! My enthusiasm for this craft has yet to wane. Looking through my Ravelry project page there are a lot of items I haven’t blogged. My oldest FO’s were some baby accessories but as they haven’t been gifted yet, I won’t blog about them. Next oldest is a hat, and I have some other hats I’ve completed so maybe I’ll make this post about hats. Yes, that sounds like a plan. I have six in total so grab a bevvy, we might be here a while. 😉

#1 – My Star Crossed Slouchy Beret – Ravelry notes here.

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The pattern is called ‘Star Crossed Slouchy Beret‘ by Natalie Larson and I’ve knit it twice before for my colleagues at my last job. I liked the pattern and decided that I would finally make one for myself. I used a beautiful hand-dyed yarn by Augustbird on her Hearty Aran base. Augustbird yarn is dyed in the Adelaide Hills so it’s a lovely local product. My favourite colour is purple and the various shades in the Ripe colourway were just beautiful. I love this hat! Unfortunately when I finished it at the end of October last year, it was already getting too warm for hats so it got put away for this year.

#2 – Oak Trail Cloche – Ravelry notes here.

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This pattern is called ‘Oak Trail‘ by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting fame. The pattern is from Alana’s beautiful pattern book ‘Botanical Knits’. I knit it up in a Bendigo Woollen Mills yarn called Harvest in the Laurel colourway; the leftovers of my Antrorse sweater. This hat has a really unique construction; you knit the band that goes around the head first, then pick up stitches along it’s edge to work up the body of the hat. It was a good challenge and was the first time I had ever picked up stitches. That being said, I did have to frog it and reknit a few times and by the end I was really frustrated with it and just wanted it finished. I think as it had a few new techniques in it it tripped me up a few times. Once I was on track though I burned through it. I like to think I’ll knit this one again but it won’t be anytime soon! 😉 It is really warm and again, I finished this at the end of December so it’s packed away ready for winter.

#3 – Cotton Lace Beret – Ravelry notes here.

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This pattern is called ‘Soft Linen Lace Beret‘ by Meg Myers. I knit mine in cotton hence my different project name. The cotton was an 8 ply from Bendigo Woollen Mills. It knit up with a lovely definition but unfortunately has stretched out of shape after just one wearing. I chose the cotton so it would be a lighter hat I could wear over the warmer months but it keeps slipping off my head now. 😦 Really disappointing as it’s a beautiful hat. Maybe I’ll do it in a wool some time but again, this one was frogged three or four times so not anytime soon! 🙂

#4 – Silky Swift – Ravelry notes here.

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This pattern is called ‘Swift‘ by Shannon Cook and it’s from the pattern book ‘JOURNEY’ by Shannon and her friend Jane Richmond. You’ll likely remember I was gifted this book after test knitting the Onward shawl. I knit this up in a Moda Vera yarn called Silken Soft which is 90% cotton and 10% silk. I knit this on smaller needles than suggested as I didn’t want to get caught out with a hat that stretched out again like the previous cotton hat but now I think it’s a bit too small. 😦 I haven’t given it a full day’s wear yet so I’ll have to wait and see. It fits on my head regardless so it’s all good! The pattern is really simple but soooo effective and it knits up really fast. I knit it as part of the JOURNEY KAL Shannon was hosting in her Ravelry group and it was fun to follow along and see everyone’s projects as they finished. 🙂

#5 – Dad’s Barley – Ravelry notes here.

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This pattern is called ‘Barley‘ by tincanknits. This hat was a special one as it has a bit of a story behind it. My dad has suffered from alopecia (hair loss) for most of his life and barely has a hair on his body. For years he’s worn a wig just to fit in and make himself more comfortable around people. Recently, he’s retired and decided that he’d had enough of wearing the wig and unceremoniously binned it.  My whole family supported him wholeheartedly in this choice and I’m really just so proud of him. 🙂 So, since he now has nothing to keep his head warm, he subtly hinted that he’d like a beanie. So, a beanie he must have! This was knit up in Cascade 220 Superwash in the Bitter Chocolate colourway. I knit this in just a day after trying out two different patterns (and nearly a week of knitting!) before going back to a favourite of mine. It seemed to turn out quite big though (I knit the Adult L size) and I said he should give it back and I can frog and reknit it smaller if he needed but I haven’t seen it back yet. 🙂 Success? I guess so! He seemed happy with it so we’ll see if I spot him wearing it! 🙂

#6 – Ferns – Ravelry notes here.

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This pattern is called ‘Ferns‘ by Alana Dakos. It is from Alana’s newly released sequel to ‘Botanical Knits’, ‘Botanical Knits 2’. The hat is knit up in Patons Jet yarn in a nice dark gunmetal grey. I had it left over from who-knows-what and turns out I had enough for this hat! I was chuffed. The yarn is a 70% wool/30% alpaca blend and it’s lovely and soft and warm. This took me 3 days to knit but the cable rows were quite time consuming and taxing on my sore wrist. I only finished this one off today and I’m so happy with it. It’s a great pattern (all Alana’s are!) and I’ll definitely be knitting this one again.

So there you go, all caught up on hats! I’ll hopefully be back soon to fill you in on my other FO’s and hopefully a WIP Wednesday in a couple of days. I’m looking for work again so soon I won’t have as much time to knit, sew or blog but I definitely want to make the blogging more regular as I’m always making something. 🙂 If you’ve read this far, well done! Thank you for sticking with me, I really appreciate you choosing to spend your time reading my blog. 🙂

 

FO: The Laurel Antrorse

And for my second FO today, the Antrorse sweater by Shannon Cook.

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This pattern is from the brand new book JOURNEY by Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond. I was lucky enough to be able to test knit the Onward shawl also by Shannon. And as a very generous thank you gift, Shannon gifted me the JOURNEY ebook and along with a lot of others, Antrorse caught my eye and was added to my queue almost immediately. The pattern is available in a print & ebook set C$26.95 (~AU$29.17 + postage), ebook only C$21.95 (~AU$23.75) or individual Ravelry download C$6.95 (~AU$7.52).

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This is my second completed knitted sweater, but the first with sleeves. And as scary as knitted in sleeves sounded, they really weren’t that hard. The Antrorse is suggested to be knit in a worsted weight yarn. I used Bendigo Woollen Mills Harvest 10 ply yarn in the colourway Laurel. The Harvest yarn is a blend of 82% wool/10% alpaca/4% bamboo/4% viscose. I has a gorgeous flecked appearance that lends an individuality to the garment. I think this yarn is actually more of an aran weight but I got gauge first time so either it is more worsted or my gauge is really tight (probably more likely). Whichever it was it worked up really quickly. I completed this sweater in 14 days!

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This sweater is supposed to be worn with I think it was 2-3″ of positive ease so I made the size to fit a 44″ inch bust which gave a finished bust measurement of about 47″. Probably the only thing I would change about this sweater is to add waist shaping. I’m not really at a level where I can do that with my knitting though so it’s just knit straight with no decreases coming down from the bust. The only issue I had with this pattern was with the stitch count on my size and with further investigation I noticed that all the larger sizes seemed to have incorrect stitch counts in the pattern. They didn’t add up. If you’re really interested, you can see my full explanation on my Ravelry notes here. I just soldiered on and my finished item and all appears correct so I guess I’m good! I made the arms longer than suggested as I like my sweater sleeves to cover my wrist and the top of my hand. The pattern said 16.5″ length but I went up to 17 3/8″ length.

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The sweater has a funnel neckline that fastens with buttons. As you can see I haven’t quite got up to the buttons part. I had a quick look when I was in Spotlight last and none of the buttons seemed right. I may need to go and have a hunt on Etsy for some more unique, stand out buttons. Anyone have any suggestions for great buttons?

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I just love the chevron pattern that works it’s way down the front of the sweater. Antrorse means “directed forward and upward” so the motif fits well. 🙂

Very, very pleased with this sweater. It is very warm however so unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be wearing this much until it is very cold out. Although, it’s cool and breezy today so I might give it a crack when I go out to post an Etsy sale. See how I go! 😉

 

 

FO: The Alpinia Cardigan

Ok, so I’ve finally pulled my finger out and I will be posting not one, but two FO’s today! Both are of the knitting variety but only because they are in chronological order. I have three sewn items to blog about too but they came after the knits and I haven’t photographed them yet. So there. 😉

So this post as you’ve probably guessed from the title is for the Alpinia cardigan. Ain’t she purdy? 🙂

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This is a pattern by Claire Slade and is available through Ravelry download for GBP3.50 (~AU$6.62). It is a top down knitted cardigan that’s great as a layering piece. I knitted this in mid-spring and I was able to wear it a couple of times before the weather heated up. Although today is very mild (23*C) so I could probably get away with wearing it today!

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I threw it on today to take some piccies for y’all. I’m also wearing my favourite Anita Ponte Pants today in the blue cheetah print. They make me so happy! 🙂 I made the Alpinia in size 1X and included a fifth garter eyelet section before the stockinette body. I figured being of the bigger busted variety, that it would look better with a longer yoke.

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When knitting this, I also opted to make it longer than specified. For my size is said 10.5″ of stockinette body but when I tried it on, this fell at my natural waist and even with the 1.5″ garter eyelet section on the bottom, I didn’t think it would be long enough so I added about an extra 2″ to the length.

IMG_0785Looking a big smug. Well, it is my first completed knitted sweater!

I used Bendigo Woollen Mills Neon yarn in Claret. The main coloured strand has a variegated contrast strand wrapped around it to create the mottled colour you see. I had 11 skeins of this in my stash and used almost exactly 6 skeins (642 yards/587m). I had about a foot’s length of yarn leftover from the sixth skein which I used to sew on the buttons. And speaking of buttons…

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My very clever husband found these beautiful carved metal rose buttons when we stopped in at Lincraft. Even better, the day we went in they had 30% off store wide so I only paid about $4.50 for these gorgeous things! I just love how this cardigan has turned out and can’t wait until it’s cardigan weather again. Although, I reckon I could get away with it today! 🙂

Ravelry notes are here.

WIP Thursday (???)

Yes, okay, so I’m missing a few of my WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays. What can I say? I’m lazy/busy/washing my hair? I dunno, things just get away from me. 🙂

I’ve only really been working on one project this week apart from getting things made for MyMuddlings brand launch party next weekend. The project I’m working on is the Alpinia Cardigan by Claire Slade.

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Image by Claire Slade, taken from Ravelry.com

So far this is a very straight forward knit that is working up quite quickly. I’m using a yarn I got from Bendigo Woollen Mills called Neon, in the Neon Claret colourway. It’s a 100% wool in a dark reddy-purple with a strand of multicoloured yarn through it so it has a slightly variegated look to it when it’s knit. It’s a DK weight (8 ply). Here’s a pic of the yarn in balls:

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Bendigo Woollen Mills are my first stop now when purchasing yarn. They have a pretty good range, are quality and have great prices. AND, if you spend over $50 you get free postage. Sweet deal! I’m very grateful to my friend H who put me onto them. She’s been to their actual factory outlet and this is on my list next time we drive to Melbourne! 🙂 The mill’s website can be found here. I’ve just purchased some of their Harvest yarn in the Laurel colourway to knit Alana Dakos’ (Never Not Knitting) newest pattern Sprig from her upcoming book Botanical Knits 2. But I digress… back to the Alpinia!

yarma_medium2I have chosen to make the 1X size and have added the optional extra eyelet section repeat as I’m of a larger bust and thought a longer yoke would be better for me. The yarn was very hard to photograph last night. It actually looks more like the colours of the yarn in balls rather than the pic of the cardigan. You can barely see the variegation of the extra colours in this picture! I started this two days ago and you can see how far I’ve come, it’s a pretty quick knit. I’m looking forward to wearing this one. We’ve had a very cold Spring so far so I’ll likely get quite a bit of wear out of this one before I have to put it away for summer.

What’s on your cutting table/needles? Leave a comment and let me know! 🙂