Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Mellow Me

Now that's what I call a quick satisfying knit. All in all this cardigan took me just 2 weeks 4 days to make. It actually took me longer to decide what buttons to use! That being said it is a very simple cardigan (Mellow by Martin Storey) and knit up in aran weight yarn, so the expedience is quickly explained away. Although this doesn't make me any less pleased with my new wardrobe edition. The thing I most pleased about is its wearability. I have worn this so much since it's been finished and indeed even before it was finished as I wore it out twice before I made that vital decision about the buttons. As you can see on one of my Diggle photo shoots above, in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern a few weeks back, there's a bit of free-form crochet going on, but no buttons on that cardigan.

Finally with some buttons!
The button dilemma lay in the fact that as this was an aran knit and so I knew that it had the weight to take some of my growing stash of Nichols glass vintage buttons. But the question was, which ones to use? I put it to my knitting group as I had dazzling amber ones, deep sweet like green glass ones and gold leaf shaped ones among other to choose from. But my knitting girls didn't let me down and helped me to decided on these muted green glass buttons. They are all individual and unique. I think my favourite is the one in the middle below as it's pretending to be a sew through button, even though they're the shanked kind.

The others are like little candies or pebbles. So cute and tactile. They aren't as flashy as some of the other buttons I could have chosen, but I think this makes the cardigan all the more wearable for it.

I actually only had 4 of these buttons to begin with but the lovely Dixie from Nichols Buttons was kind enough to help me out and found 2 more to finish the cardigan off. Thank you Dixie! 

While I'm singing her praises I'd like to point you in the direction of her most fabulous blog Handmade Lives for craftspersons. It's full of frank and honest advice on running and maintaining a craft business. She talks good honest sense and I urge you, if you have your own craft business (or know someone who does) you will benefit from reading her wisdom. 

The only other thing to say is that this has been the first cardigan that I have modified the pattern for confidently. They were minor alterations in the length, waist shaping and collar but made all the difference to my happiness with the finished article. I'm hoping to get up a bit more confidence in this area of my knits from now on. The joy of making clothes should be that the fit is exactly right, so I will strive for that in my future garments.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day to all.
Weather you love it or hate it, go eat some cake - that will sort you out.

Monday, 11 February 2013


Sunday morning was for swatching. Flo kindly let me pick up my needles for half an hour while she watched some rubbish on TV and the Mr had a little lie in. Bad parenting, I know, but we all need our sanity.

Now this yarn that has a bit of a story behind it. Back in 2005 I made my first ever jumper it was a hideous affair as demonstrated by the photos taken at the time.

It was 2005, forgive me
It was too short in the body, the bat wing, neckline, yarn and everything about it just didn't suit me. But I'd spent a lot of money on the yarn and was determined that this jumper would be something beautiful, one day. I eventually ripped it back last year, only 12 years later, and put the balled up yarn back in the bag with the hope that its 'one day' would come.

I'm not saying that Sunday was that day. Indeed I am thinking that Sunday was not it's day at all. I'd ear marked a pattern from an old Knitty issue called Cherie Amour for this neglected yarn long ago and finally had the time/ bottle to try it out. But once it was knitted up, in the exact gauge no less, I just couldn't get past something. The pattern is great; I think it works for my body shape and obviously works with the yarn. It's the actual yarn that's the problem. It's bulky weight which means it adds bulk to my body. That top in this yarn is going to make me look bigger, and that's not really a look I'm going for as a woman with real curves. The yarn itself is in a variegated colourway which I can't get my head around. The purples and greys are soft and warm but variegated is just not me. I'm a solid kind of girl, semi-solid at best. Knitted up this flecked fabric just turns me off when I think about it as a garment for me.

And so 'one day' did not come and back into the bag it goes until I can figure out something beautiful for it to be. Until next time.