Knitting – Intarsia Design

Hi there:) It’s a long weekend here in Ireland, and for once I don’t care that the weather is dull and dreary – I’ve spent it indoors, studying (or cramming to be more truthful!).   I have exams coming up and I cannot wait for them to be over, and for normal life to resume. Sorry if you come here for sewing – it will resume soon -I promise! Unfortunately, the only sewing I’ve done lately has been in my dreams.  There are a few knitting projects on the go – very slowly though – they were a way to unwind over the last few months.

I have a knit tee that I have wanted to copy with a while.(It’s the larger orange top below).  I made an attempt once before , but it derailed into a completely different top – (that would be the much smaller yellow top below!).   The yellow top is still being worn – sometimes knitted clothing magically grows along with the child wearing them!



I’m planning a second attempt, this time with better calculations and more suitable yarn!

Intarsia designing


These are some of the colours I’m going to use –



I’m going to do some type of intarsia design on the front (mixing in different coloured yarns). A quick guide to doing intarsia can be seen here – Intarsia instructions . If anyone has some links to modern/geometric intarsia patterns, please share – I haven’t been able to find any beyond some dodgy eighties styles!

I haven’t found any charts online that I like.  So in typical D.I.Y fashion… I’m attempting to make my own chart. First I knitted a sample swatch using some of my yarn – and counted my rows and stitches over 10cm.



I used my knitting gauge to choose the best size paper.  Ordinary graph paper isn’t suitable for making Intarsia charts, as knit stitches are short and wide instead of perfect squares. Knitters Graph paper can be downloaded for free here- Sweaterscapes Knitters Graph Paper . .

Intarsia design on Knitting graph paper

Intarsia design on Knitters graph paper

It’s a very rough draft – I want to knit a sample to see the actual scale, before I plan it properly.

Plotting an intarsia design

Adding more colours

I’ve cast on another swatch to try out the triangles and see if I like the size – hopefully when I get some time back, I’ll start to make some progress.

Ps – I’m not the only one working on an Intarsia design of my own – another example can be found here 🙂

Finished: Essential fall pullover (modified)

It’s edging closer to cosy knits weather around here….

Essential fall pullover

Essential fall pullover


I finished my Essential fall pullover (Ravelry pattern link here)  and it has already gotten a couple of wears. I’m happy enough with it… it’s not high fashion… but it’s exactly what I needed!


So of course that means I’ve already cast on my next knit….. 🙂


On my needles…. Essential Fall Pullover

In between sewing, I’m currently knitting a variation of this pattern which can be found for free on the Lion Brand yarn site –  The Essential Fall Pullover by Mari Lynn Patrick


I took a while, looking through ravelry, before deciding on this. I have been known to cast on a new project too quickly, without thinking enough about the style and fit of the piece.

So before starting this pattern I had a look at the rtw jumpers that I reach for time and again. They are all a little oversized or a loose fit. I like to layer up in the winter and close fitting knits just make me feel a bit cooped up.

I also wanted to use up the many leftover balls of yarn had. I thought the above pattern would be a good canvas to mix and match colours.  Something (loosely ) inspired by these pictures screenshot to my phone.


I knitted the back panel in a mid grey and the side pieces in a speckled blue – and then the Raglan sleeves in a grey blue.


The ribbed band is in the same grey as the back panel –


Then I started on the front panel. I used the same grey for the ribbing and mixed grey and charcoal and a little bit of blue (barely visible in picture) throughout.  I’ve been making it up as I go…..


It’s mainly intarsia – where you use a different ball of yarn for each colour section, held at the back of the work. I wrap the yarns around each other every time I swap colours to avoid any gaps.


I’m taking a short break while I decide where to go next with it….

I really like how the front is looking – but after seeing it all together, the blue side panels are not quite right.


I either need to add more blue to the front (I can add it by stitching it over the grey) or just give in and redo the side panels. I really shouldn’t have seamed the pieces together so early as it’ll mean unpicking those seams first.

In reality I know the better option is to change the side panels…  But I’ll think about it a bit longer 🙂

Oversized Houndstooth Sweater

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on my City Cape:) As promised – I’m starting this years knitting posts with my first make of last year…. Somehow it never made it to the blog even though I was pretty chuffed with it !


Super chunky Sweater

The pattern came from Knitting Magazine Issue 121. It was designed by Erika Knight and uses very chunky yarn and 10 & 12 mm needles!


I used a different yarn to the pattern – Pampas Mega Chunky by Wendy which I bought locally.  I would have preferred black and white but my options were limited because I was eager to start straightaway! I also used 8mm and 10mm needles to get the required tension.


Pattern by Erika Knight

The design is knit in fairisle which means the yarn is stranded across the back as you work :


Inside view

This means you are wearing a double layer of thick yarn. Very cosy!

This was one of the first patterns I ever modified.  I had knit half of the front- but it looked so much wider than I would like to wear. So I ripped it back! Something I rarely do, but it was so worth it to get the fit I wanted. I made the smallest size and removed one repeat (10sts) of the pattern from the width.
By removing a repeat from the front and back it meant my sweater became 8″ narrower. With a finished circumference of 40″.


It’s a boxy jumper and meant to be a loose fit. The sleeves come to elbow length. I originally thought it didn’t make sense to knit a very warm chunky jumper with short sleeves? I mean – if it’s cold enough for a thick jumper then surely you want your arms covered too?? But now it makes perfect sense… long sleeves would be too heavy and awkward. It’s perfect with a long sleeved tee underneath so I’m warm enough and still able to move my arms easily while working!


The only other change was out of necessity …… I was running out of yarn! So I couldn’t do a cowl collar – instead I knitted 5″ of ribbing and cast off loosely.


So that’s it – it’s my go-to sweater when I’m feeling cold and just want something easy to wear with jeans!

I’m keen to move onto this years knitting but am still waiting for inspiration to hit – (although seriously considering the Acorn Trail cardi suggestion). Are you knitting anything right now – feel free to share in the comments 🙂

Happy new year & a belated merry Cape-mas !!!

Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope you all had a restful break over the holidays. It’s all systems normal from tomorrow for us – but it was really nice to have all the extra family time over Christmas.


I had hoped to share pictures of my Purl Soho City Cape before Christmas – but my laptop wasn’t playing along. After seven years it was a little overwhelmed and refused to work!!….I’m glad to say I didn’t lose any of my photos, but I’m still waiting on it to be fully repaired.
In the meantime I’m posting from my phone -so fingers crossed it works:)


City Cape - Free Purl Soho Pattern

I started this in Oct and finished in Dec. (It had to go on hold while I was sewing for the Pattern Review sewing bee.)

The pattern is free from Purl Soho. It’s knit in one piece from the bottom up.


Deciding on collar type

I made a few changes to the original which I’ve detailed below. I wanted the option of a button closure on my cape so I figured it out as I went along. *HOWEVER* If I was to knit this again with the neckline open, I would not do the front neckline increases as written in the pattern as there is quite a big overlap at the collar section. Its not a big deal, but I think it would be a little nicer if the fronts were properly vertical, instead of slanting at the top.


How I made it :

I used 5mm needles (US8) for the entire cape as I wanted it to be smaller than the intended 60″. Mine has a finished circumference of 50″. Length is roughly the same as pattern.( Approx 21 1/2″.)

I followed the pattern as written up to the SHAPE NECKLINE Heading. From here I didn’t bind off the stitches as instructed, but I followed the rest of the row instructions to decrease either side of stitch markers for neckline. After knitting row 6 , I continued in 2×2 rib for 6” then cast off all stitches.

In the photo below, you can see I tested two options for the front bands: a 2×2 knitted rib and a double crochet band.


I settled on the sturdier option of the crochet band. They were done using a 4mm hook and a double crochet stitch (single crochet in US terms) and are 2” wide. I also made buttonholes at the upper part of the band.


I handstitched some grosgrain ribbon to the inside neckline for stability.


And also attached the ribbon to the inside of the front bands.


After a few wears, I decided to add two snaps further down so that it closes completely ( I am always cold!!!) It’s now super comfy and cosy.

And that was my last knit of 2014 ….. I looked over my Ravelry projects for this year and have made more than I thought. Including a chunky sweater that I forgot to blog. So the next post here will be my first knit from 2014….. while I try to decide what my first knit of this new year should be!! Any new pattern suggestions would be very welcome 🙂