Cotton summer scarf

Yep a summer scarf…just because there’s no longer an ‘r’ in the month, it doesn’t mean I can expect to be warm! 

 

I’ve only ever made baby blankets from cotton yarn and wanted to try out something wearable.

I found the free pattern on Ravelry – its slanted and interesting but not too fiddly.  It’s called Filo Biased scarf

I’d say it would be a good second project for a new knitter – it’s mostly garter stitch (plain knitting) with a few other techniques like increasing/decreasing and yarn-overs added in. 

 

As often happens, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly  – I gradually made my stripes thicker and added in more of the mesh panels because they were nice and quick to knit!

I bought the cotton in a shop called Sorensen Green in Cork city … my brother said it was my kind of shop and he was right … lots of bits and bobs that I didn’t need, but had to buy! 

I did stop at three balls of cotton though – and told myself I had to use those up before getting more. But of course now I’m sorry I didn’t buy more! Especially since they cost less than €2 per ball.

When I got home, my daughter pointed out the yarn colours matched what I was wearing that day … so at least the scarf was guaranteed to match something in my wardrobe !

Anyone else who matches their shopping to their outfit?

I liked the feel of knitting with cotton and am trying to decide what to make next.

 I also love that I could find a pattern after an impulse buy of yarn. Using the advanced search on Ravelry – by selecting my needle size, yarn amount (metres) and free knitting patterns, I could easily pick a pattern from the filtered options. Perfect solution to my habit of buying yarn without knowing what I’m going to make 🙂

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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 !

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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!

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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.

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Pattern by Erika Knight

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

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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″.

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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!

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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.

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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 🙂

PR Sewing Bee – Round 3 entry

sleeve close up

 

I’m a little late with my update on the Pattern Review Sewing Bee.  I think I needed a break from writing about sewing after the detailed reviews needed for the contest!

For Round 3, the 25 remaining contestants were given a free copy of The Winter Street Dress from Pattern Review.  The task was to make a version of the dress using only two stretch fabrics and some embellishments (& some creativity!).  At first glance at the pattern I thought it had cut-on sleeves.  It turns out the illustration is not to be believed, as it has set-in sleeves (thankfully less altering for my square/straight shoulders!). The bodice also sits pretty high on this pattern so I added 1 1/2″ to the bodice length before cutting out.

I decided to embellish my dress with a technique that had been on my mind for some time – adding a crochet insert to the neckline and a cut-out shape at the back.

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Lace up sleeve and crochet details

 

 I used a black lycra to line the bodice and create the cut out detail in the back.  This also meant I could omit the neckline binding.  To crochet the insert, I first stitched around the opening with a buttonhole stitch, shown below:

buttonhole stitch

 

After that I just winged it as regard the crochet – It was a matter of crocheting in ever decreasing squares :

 

keyhole crochet progress

keyhole finished

 

For the sleeve lace up I first cut them in half vertically and interfaced the edges before sewing down and then hand stitching the lengths:

sleeves button stitched

They were then pinned to the original paper pattern piece and  laced up to the correct width with some yarn :

sleeve laceup

And then sewn in flat to the armholes as normal……..And here’s what it all looked like once completed :

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front and back view

Not the best pictures as the light was bad ( hence the over exposure!) But it gives you the jist of how it all looked!

I did finish my round 3 dress in time, but didn’t get through to last 11 finalists unfortunately.  I was disappointed not to continue, but also a little relieved as it was tough going to get everything made and photographed in time!  After round 4, the overall winner was announced today and the prize went to Dawn who blogs here 🙂 The final prize was a very nice new machine!!

Overall it was good fun to take part and I’m amazed that I kept up with the deadlines!  Although it did hold up the finish of my knitting project ( remember The City Cape?) . Which I’m glad to say is now finished and has been worn plenty since. I’ll give a full run down as soon as I upload some photos:)

Ps – If you’d like to see my 3 full contest pattern reviews with links to extra process pictures they can be found if you click-through:

Round 1 A-Line Skirt

Round 2 Shirts Refashion

Round 3 Winter Street Dress

🙂 Chris

Making & Doing…. & an interesting sewing competition

Hi there, I hope everyone had a nice Halloween? I got off lightly this year costume-wise, my kids all cobbled together outfits from a large box of previous years makes!!! So no last minute sewing this year.

Plenty of knitting going on though….

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City Cape and yummy Flahavans porridge

My City cape is so close to the finish line. But it has taken longer than it should have tbh. Mainly down to poor planning on my part.
I haven’t had access to a printer so I’ve been using my phone to read the document. Which makes it difficult to pick up easily.  I’ve been scribbling a few lines ahead in the instructions onto a notebook and knitting away but it’s not the best way to work.

Otherwise it’s been a nice pattern to knit and I’m now on the yoke decreases. But my needles are about to give in:

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Can you see the split at the join? I can’t get to town today so I’m hoping that they’ll hold out for another day or so! Fingers crossed!

In sewing news …. I signed up for the Pattern Review sewing contest. Probably a very bad idea as every time I’ve tried to make to a deadline something takes over at work and home! But I think it’ll be good to motivate me into sewing more even if I don’t keep up with the timeline.

The first challenge is an A-line skirt. Which prompted me to pull out a (very) old college book – Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldrich. :

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I’d like to draft my own skirt rather than waste money on a pattern that I’m not sure I’ll even like! But it is adding more work onto the whole process.

I’ve been searching for some inspiration online but have nothing definite in mind yet. All suggestions for a contemporary style would be gratefully received! !!
Happy making , Chris 🙂