Sunday, 31 October 2010


October 2010

My first foray into the exciting world of test-knitting is this gorgeous little bear. I thought he was cute before I discovered he was called Roosevelt, and now he's irresistible.

I've had problems in the past with stuffing showing through and even though I was knitting at the right gauge this time (test knitting makes you fastidious about these things, even where teddies are concerned) it was a worry because the yarn I used was such a dark shade of brown.

In the end I managed to buy some black stuffing via ebay, which is brilliant stuff. and the whole kaboodle is machine washable too, just as bears should be.

Pattern: Roosevelt by Studio Marlowe (test knit)
Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Regia Uni (MC) / Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply (CC)
Amount: Less than 1 skein of each
Colourway: 1225 Brown and 213 Cream
Needles: 2.75mm
Size: About 12"
On ravelry: here

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bird's Eye Mittens

October 2010

I'm still a bit of a novice when it comes to colourwork, and jump at any chance I get to practise it. So when my husband asked for a pair of fingerless mittens to keep his hands warm at work, these were the obvious choice.

I love the slightly vintage look of them, and the felted tweed is lovely and soft after blocking. We figured that as these are stranded colourwork, they'd be even warmer than single-thickness mitts.

I did find this pattern itself a bit bizarre though for several reasons. Firstly, it was written so that the mittens were knitted flat and then sewn up along a side seam. I couldn't for the life of me work out why they shouldn't be worked in the round on DPNs seamlessly, so that's what I did (subtracting 2 stitches from the total number cast on, as there would be no selvedge).

And I still can't work it out. The stripes do jog at the start of each round but that's the nature of seamless knits, and you don't notice it if you wear them the right way around.

Secondly the thumb was much too long - the pattern would have it the same length as the body of the mitten from the thumb gusset to the top, which just didn't look right to me. I worked it as 6 rounds of stocking stitch followed by four rounds of rib instead.

Pattern: Bird's Eye Mittens by Martin Storey from Rowan Classic Knits for Men
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
Amount: Less than 1 skein of each
Colourway: 170 Seafarer (MC) and 165 Scree (CC)
Needles: 2.75mm and 3.25mm
Size: One size
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Woodland shawl

October 2010

This gorgeous yarn was brought back from a trip to Estonia by my Mum.

I'm not sure what she had in mind when she bought it, but with a yardage of just over 1,000 per skein, I didn't think one skein was going to stretch to a sweater. Looking through ravelry to see what other people had used it for, I came across a gorgeous freebie shawl pattern.

I blitzed through this in a fortnight, because I got so hooked on watching the colours run into each other. It's a reasonably simple pattern, as lace goes.

There were no modifications to speak of with this one. The pattern suggested 12 panel repeats, but I didn't keep track - I just carried on until it felt like a reasonable length.

(The leaves look a bit uneven in the last picture, because it was taken before blocking - they smoothed out beautifully in the end...)

Pattern: Woodland Shawl by Nikol Lohr from
Yarn: Aade Lông Artistic 8/2
Amount: Less than 1 skein
Colourway: Rainbow
Needles: 3.50mm
Size: One size
On ravelry: here

Monday, 4 October 2010

Textured Tunic Mk II

October 2010

Around this time last year I made this christmas present as a trial run for the Textured Tunic I was thinking of making for myself. I loved the design, as with so much of Stefanie Japel's work, but I was a bit worried that it might not suit me too well. High necklines can be a bit hit and miss if you're shaped like I am.

Quite why it's taken me nearly a year to make version 2 is unclear to me - all I can put it down to is that there's so many delicious patterns out there that to make the same one twice over seems a bit of a pity. Still, when you end up with something as wearable as this, it's definitely worthwhile.

In making this version I did modify the pattern quite a bit. My version is shorter than it ought to be, and has neither the button-up seed stitch panels at each side of the hem nor the keyhole button-up detail at the neckline. They are pretty details, but there's only so much of my bra I can show off before I start to feel a bit self-conscious.

I expanded the box-stitch band so that it reached the bottom of my chest, and then went straight into some fairly pronounced waist shaping (4 decreases per round every 5th round 4 times over, 5 rounds even and then increased back up again).

This yarn is recycled from Francis Revisited which I frogged purely because it was getting much too big around the hips, and the cowl made it so warm that it didn't get worn very much. Because Francis seemed to grow a bit over time, I've made this a fairly snug fit to begin with. There's something very satisfying about turning one jumper into another.

Pattern: Textured Tunic by Stefanie Japel from Fitted Knits
Yarn: Sirdar Peru Naturals
Amount: Approx 7 skeins
Colourway: Machu Picchu
Needles: 6.00mm
Size: Smallest
On ravelry: here