Sunday, 31 July 2011


July 2011

When I was a kid I was a little bit obsessed with elephants, and I still think they're very cool animals. So I really couldn't resist this pattern, especially when I noticed it was called "Bellyphant" on account of the tiny elephants being positioned around the waist band. I'm going so soft in my old age.

I modified this pattern by making the section above the elephants plain rather than striped, and by lowering the neckline by a couple of rows. Jennifer Little comes up with THE cutest colour motifs, but at the risk of being very critical, it does feel a little bit like the design process runs out of steam a bit at that point. The shape of this is virtually identical to her sheep yoke cardigan, and I couldn't help but think it might have been nice to see a different neckline, or a garter stitch trim or... well... something...

I'm not sure about the wisdom of making baby clothes from Felted Tweed - it is machine washable in theory, but I've had one or two bad experiences on that front already, and so I'm going to have to be very careful with it.

It can also grow quite a bit if you handwash it. These pictures were taken after just a gentle steam block, but I'll try and remember to come back and give the before and after measurements when I wash it.

Pattern: Bellyphant by Jennifer Little
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
Amount: 2 skeins MC, 0.5 skeins CC
Colourway: 170 Seafarer MC, 165 Scree CC
Needles: 3.25mm
Size: Smallest
On ravelry: here

Thursday, 28 July 2011


July 2011

Without wanting to sound like a bit of a one trick pony, a blog called What to Knit when you're Expecting is an incredibly handy thing to have discovered right about now. Especially when it contains free patterns as lovely as this one.

I first bought this yarn with Liam in mind, but it was such a dark grey that the black bits of the colourwork didn't stand out enough, so I ended up using something else.

So apart from having a suitable yarn and this being a freebie, the real appeal of this pattern was that I couldn't reverse engineer the lacy bits at the raglan seam just by looking at them, and I wanted to find out how it was done. I love tackling a project like that.

A lot of people seem to struggle with the section of this pattern where the arms are attached to the body. As I didn't have any 3.25mm DPNs, and I'm not keen on magic loop, I worked my sleeves flat (telling myself that the body had been worked back and forth, so strictly speaking I'd get a more consistent tension that way anyway). I think that must have helped a lot, because I didn't find it too much of a struggle at all.

The buttons (which are ceramic and will no doubt prove horribly impractical) came from Hobbycraft in Leeds.

Pattern: Maile by Nikki Van Der Car
Yarn: Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4-ply
Amount: 1 skein
Colourway: 0044 Gray
Needles: 3.25mm
Size: Smallest
On ravelry: here

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tea Leaves

July 2011

So for reasons which will become increasingly apparent over the next few months, I'm on a quest for projects which will work as maternity wear but which I'll also enjoy wearing the rest of the time. This boat necked inverted v type shape is a real winner from that point of view, and the the ruched yoke of Tea Leaves really appealed to me.

After purchasing this pattern via the Madelinetosh website I managed to lose the first copy somehow by opening the pattern and then closing it again without saving it first. Madelinetosh were very helpful about it, though, and emailed out another copy as a .pdf.

I think there is a slight error with buttonholes, as a k2tog is followed by a double yo, which means an increase of two stitches in comparison to a decrease of just one. This means you end up with one extra stitch per buttonhole after the buttonhole row unless you work some additional decreases somewhere.

I also thought that picking up stitches at the recommended rate of 3 for every 4 rows created a button-band which was much too long in relation to the body of the cardigan, and puckered rather than hanging flat. I found picking up two then skipping a row, then three then skipping a row worked better.

I love this yarn, Cascade 220, HARD. I originally bought a big bag of it to make Heroine but having changed my mind it's since been used for a Seamless Hybrid, a pair of Susie's Reading Mitts, this and I still have enough left for a hat (probably a February Beret). Not bad at all for about £60.

Other mods: short rows in neckline and bust-darts. Four buttonholes rather than two and placed closer together. Sleeves shortened by about six inches.

Dress from H&M, buttons from Duttons for Buttons in York (and I'm very pleased with the colour match). This is me at 5.5 months :)

Pattern: Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LeBarre
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers
Amount: 4 skeins
Colourway: 9448 Green
Needles: 4.00mm
Size: 36"
On ravelry: here

Friday, 15 July 2011


June 2011

This project is very aptly named - it's the most labour intensive project I've undertaken for about 6 months, and perhaps not the wisest choice for someone participating in a challenge to knit 12 sweaters in 2011. The amount of work is obvious from the pictures, but it is worth pointing out that this is what is sometimes called "true" lace with yarn overs and decreases on both right side and wrong side rows, and that's partially what makes it such slow going.

I just couldn't resist it, though - in a magazine full of beautiful designs this one stands out a mile in my opinion. Now it's done, it feels like it was worth every minute, but I must admit that relief at having finally finished it is the main reason I'm smiling so broadly in the photographs.

There isn't a great deal else I can usefully say about this. It's worked flat and sewn up rather than seamless. I didn't modify it like I usually would, because adding short row bust darts in an allover lace pattern is way beyond me. In fact as far as I know, it's impossible...

I'm not sure about the amount of yarn used because it was partially frogged from a previous project (and kid classic stood up to frogging very well, I thought).

Connie Chang Chinchio is a stone cold genius, especially for fans of lace, like me.

Pattern: Sabbatical by Connie Chang Chinchio from Twist Collective Winter 2009
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic
Amount: 8.5 skeins approx.
Colourway: 831 Smoke
Needles: 3.50mm
Size: 34"
On ravelry: here