Toft Abergeldie Lace Cardigan

I first saw this cardigan on the cover of the Toft Quarterly Winter 2016 magazine and immediately loved it. I’ve eyed up a few lace back cardigans in the past, but I liked this as the lace wasn’t too fussy and different from most lace I have seen.

 

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After A LOT of online yarn stalking, I decided to use Drops Merino Extra Fine (DK) in mustard, because I love Drops’ yarns, I love merino and I also love mustard! I have been longing after a mustard cardi for a while and this seemed like the perfect project.

The cardigan is knit on circular needles from the top down and the sleeves are picked up and knitted in the round. The button bands, hem and cuffs are knit using a twisted rib which is really pretty and gives a lovely definition.

TheStart

As is always the case when I knit lace, it took me about a million attempts before I got the lace pattern right, and I had to revert back to using my trusty dental tape life lines to get me through.

There was also a misprint in the pattern on the underarm section, but this was quickly sorted out with an email to Toft.

I purposely kept the sleeve length quite short as I love a three-quarter sleeve and one of my pet hates is sleeves that are too long which get in the way of everything.

Overall the pattern was really easy to follow and knit and I’m really happy with it. I think it might have been better if I’d used a slightly stiffer yarn as the cardigan doesn’t really keep its shape around the neck. This could also be because the neck is slightly too big. I am usually a size 12 and knit the 12-14 and as you can see from the picture the neck is quite large and when I’m wearing it the front flops around a lot.

 

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Still I absolutely love it though and am tempted to knit another, maybe in black.

Brooklyn Tweed Natsumi Jumper

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Exciting parcel of Brooklyn Tween Loft in Woodsmoke all the way from the US!

I finally finished this jumper almost a year ago, but I’ve only just got round to blogging about it, rubbish!

This jumper took me a LONG time to finish. From pictures I can see that I started it in January and I finally got round to blocking the jumper on 12th September, phew! As the yarn is 4ply I always knew it would take me a while to finish it, but I completely underestimated just how long.

I’m so pleased with the finished results though so it was definitely worth the effort. I really love the yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Loft, although, as explained in the pattern it does break easily.

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The finished jumper with lovely horizontal cable

I think the knitting of the jumper was fairly straightforward. The design is very clever; instead of knitting from top to bottom, you knit horizontally, incorporating the neck and arm holes as you go. Knitting the jumper in this way only leaves one seam to graft which is a joy at the end of a long project.

For me, grafting the seam was the most difficult part of the pattern, and you can see where I got the tension wrong at the beginning. I think this was my fifth or sixth attempt at the grafting (before I couldn’t get it right at all!) so on this attempt when I saw that I’d finally grasped it and it was only the tension that was wrong I just made the tension looser and carried on. After this point though, I think the grafting looks fairly good, so I’m pleased with that.

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The grafted seam

The finished garment is lovely, so light and easy to wear, compared to bulkier aran weight items I have knitted in the past. I would definitely consider knitting something in 4ply again, even though it did seem like the ‘never ending knit’ at the time!

 

The one thing (again!) that I don’t seem to have gotten quite right is the fit. There is apparently meant to be 8cm of ease, and after measuring myself, I thought I had chosen the right size to allow this. After knitting though, it is MUCH snugger than I would normally go for. It definitely isn’t tight, but there also isn’t 8cm ease! I think I must have a problem where I don’t understand my own body shape, and therefore don’t go for the right pattern size, or knit things to the right dimensions etc.

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Jumper with jeans and a leather jacket

Something I did get right this time though was the sleeve length, which I made shorter than the pattern, plus I added ribbing to the cuffs, and after reading the Ravelry comments, I made the jumper longer, which I’m really glad I did.

The only other issues I encountered, was that I broke TWO needles, yes TWO! One I sat on, and one I kneeled on. VERY annoying, and a habit which could get expensive! And I also over blocked it, possibly because I was trying to eek it out to bigger size!

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Over all though I love it, and I get so many compliments every time I wear it!

Designing Butterflies

In under a months time I’ll be yarn bombing a tree as part of the local arts trail, EEEEK!

The theme for the yarn bombing is Winged Things. I’ve asked friends and family to get involved and as the theme is quite broad I’ve left it up to each person to decide what they want to create.

There have been some amazing creations and I love seeing everyone’s ideas and amazing creative talents!

I keep coming wanting to create butterflies, which is slightly strange as  I’m not usually drawn to them, so rather than try to fight it I’ve decided to craft butterflies for my tree.

Whilst it is a yarn bombing, we don’t have to knit everything and can use lots of different types of media, which has made things much easier, cheaper and quicker! As I am a knitter though, I wanted to make sure I stay true to my obsession passion and knit plenty of winged things to go on the tree.

After having a really good look online I couldn’t find any knitted butterfly patterns that fit my purpose, so just to make things more tricky I’ve decided to try and design my own, double eeek!!!

Firstly, the hardest thing I found was coming up with a shape for that design that was close to that of an actual butterfly, and not what I think it should be.This was my first attempt, and after that I decided to do some Google research and actually get a shape on paper which I could then try and recreate!


These are my initial drawings. I was happy with the drawing on the left so decided to use that as my template!


This was then my second go. It’s definitely getting better, but this looks more like a bat rather than a butterfly!


So I went back to the drawing board again and after many failed attempts this is now my most recent and I think best attempt!


I’ll be finishing this butterfly and adding him to the tree in two weeks time, but there are also lots of improvements I can make and I’m looking forward to creating more butterflies over the next two weeks.

We’re off on holiday now so there won’t be any blog posts next week, but hopefully lots of lovely holiday photos on Instagram in the sunshine! Hope you’re all well!

 

Wednesday Pattern Share: Hyannis Pullover

Hello!

Apologies about missing the last two Wednesday Pattern Shares! Bad stomach bugs and busy weeks have kept me away, but thankfully I’m on the ball now to share my favourite pattern for this week.

I actually came across this pattern whilst I was looking for the summer knit for the last Wednesday Pattern Share and I’ve fallen completely in love with it!

The pattern is by one of my favourite designers, Bristol Ivy and it’s a lovely jumper. Bristol is a knitwear designer and teacher, and if you’re not familiar with her designs then have a look at her Ravelry page.

I pretty much love all of her designs, and I’m sure this won’t be the only time I share something she has designed. I love her use of texture and form and the way that her patterns are modern and yet also really classic!

Anyway, knitting crush over and back to the pattern! The patten is called Hyannis Port Pullover and is knitted in a very snazzy 2-ply DK from Bare Naked Wools.

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Photo from Ravelry
I love the boxy shape of the jumper and the clever stripes, and the really interesting patterning through the back and around the arms.

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Photo from interweave.com
I’m totally going to be knitting this through the winter and I think it would look great with jeans, trousers or even a skirt!

The pattern is available as a download from interweave.com and even better at the moment it’s on sale at $4.55 (appox. £3.44) SOLD!

Wednesday Pattern Share

This week’s Wednesday Thursday Pattern Share is slightly selfish, but it’s a great pattern so I didn’t think anyone would mind!

In the UK spring is most definitely well underway. The sun is shining and all of the plants are finally getting going.

This lovely weather though has highlighted something I’ve known for a while, but have been trying to ignore; I have a serious deficit in the spring/ light weight knitwear section of my wardrobe! I have a long, cotton, crocheted cardigan I bought from Gap several years ago, and some cheap, slightly too small and ill fitting cardigans, but apart from that everything else is super warm and thick.

So I thought for this weeks Pattern Share I would find an awesome pattern to fill that gap , and I think I’ve done fairly well!

SurryHills

The pattern is called Surry Hills by Maria Magnusson and I found it on Ravelry. It’s a really lovely lace cardigan that looks so pretty and summery! I envisage knitting it in a nice cotton, maybe Sublime’s Cotton Silk DK or Drops Cotton Merino DK for a extra warmth.

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I think the cardigan would look super cute with jeans or a dress or skirt, and I’d feel comfortable wearing it to the pub or work, and this versatility is one of the reasons I chose it! And the pattern is also currently free, which is an extra amazing reason to love it!

*Pictures from Ravelry