I have finally finished knitting my League sweater. Here she is blocking (for the second time).
I blocked pretty close to the schematic measurements. At first I was worried there was way too much positive ease, but I’m actually pretty happy with the fit now. Next time I wash this sweater, I won’t open up the rib in the bottom so much. Due to an unfortunate row gauge issue, the body of the jumper is too long, but allowing the ribbing to cinch in still gives me a look I like.
I took this jumper all the way to Edinburgh, planning to get loads of atmospheric pics in front of various beautiful monuments. In the end I only managed to get a few shots in front of the Edinburgh sign at the airport. The best laid plans and all that.
Yes, I am wearing a medal in all of the photos.
And the back.
Pattern: League by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Titus
I’m hoping this will be the last work-in-progress post for my League jumper. I was really chugging away on this project until the Ravellinics came along and I switched almost exclusively to my Aubergine Rainbows sweater. In my previous post, I had just started working on my first sleeve.
As well as working on my sleeves, I decided to block the body pieces before attempting any seaming. I can’t say that blocking is my favourite part of the knitting progress, but I did find the smoothing of fabric quite meditative this time. As I think I have mentioned before, somehow my row gauge for this project is way off and I didn’t notice until I had nearly finished the front piece. I decided to continue regardless, so during the blocking I focused on trying to block the pieces to the measurements on the schematic.
I also blocked the sleeves in the same way, but unfortunately all the pictures I took came out too blurry for the blog.
The seaming is super challenging because you are seaming highly visible parts of the sweater, which means you really have to aim for perfection. I spent a solid 2.5 hours sewing while watching Days of Future Past (don’t you dare judge), and I only managed to join one sleeve at the shoulder. That’s probably about 30cm.
I wrote a few months ago about art (craft) reflecting life and I am seeing some parallels again. Seaming is the kind of activity where your conscious mind is pretty occupied, leaving the unconscious to roam free, making connections. Much like connecting the sleeves and body of a jumper. I’m hoping that after a year of uncertainty last year, things are starting to come together for me as I prepare to enter my thirties.
Seaming, when it goes well, is amazing. The two things you made become one thing that is more beautiful than the sum of its parts. Really it’s feminine magic.
Four pieces start to look like one garment. You can also see that I have picked up the stitches for the neckband in this pic. Not much more to go!
Yarn: Titus by Baa Ram Ewe
Pattern: League by Veronik Avery
On a bit of a whim, my friend Cayleigh and I applied for the daytime game show Pointless, auditioned, and actually got offered a filming date! One of my first thoughts was that this would provide a fun opportunity for me to showcase some of my favourite handmade items, and add to my series on styling self-made clothing.
Here are my outfits, in my order of preference for wearing them. They asked us to provide five sets of clothing in addition to what we wore.
My first outfit shows off the handmade item of which I am most proud- my Paper Tototos sweater. I absolutely love this jumper, and I’ll be pairing it with a simple black mini skirt that lets my top half speak for itself.
This is the outfit I wore so I’ll update the post with a screenshot when the show is aired when I’m about 40.
My second outfit is the sewn item of which I am most proud. My denim day dress is far from perfect, but I am still very proud of it as the first dress I made without any help, and I think it looks nice. I’m planning to wear it with my me-made Little Wave cardigan.
My third outfit will be this lovely knitted top. I’m not decided yet on whether I’ll wear anything underneath- a cardigan is ruled out as it would hide the lovely lace on the sleeves.
My fourth outfit will be this version of a Sew Over It Betty dress in octopus print cotton. I think I’ll wear it with a long-sleeved top underneath.
My final outfit will be my Cateralls. I think the BBC looks for quite conservative outfits, so I doubt they will want me in these, but I’ll take them along anyway. I’ll probably wear them with a striped top underneath.
After a few months of relative stagnation, I’ve found myself wanting to work on knitting my League jumper and I’ve now managed to complete the front and back, and start the first sleeve.
I’m pleased with the progress I’ve managed to make on this project, but I am a little apprehensive about the colours I chose. Basically I had my heart set on Titus and ordered the yarn from the website. I wasn’t 100% sure about the teal colour but started anyway as I was so excited about the project. However, the colours aren’t quite as I had in my head. I think that white would pop better than the cream I have as my accent colour. And the teal. I’m just not sure.
I’m way too far into this project to stop now, but this is a lesson to me. I HAVE to stop ordering yarn online without seeing it first. Finding a stockist and going to the store to look at colours takes time, but from now on it will be an integral part of my process.
Yarn: Titus by Baa Ram Ewe
Currently on my knitting needles is a League sweater. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it and bought yarn. I went with the same brand as I used for my Totoro jumper. Here is how I hope it will turn out.
As with many Brooklyn Tweed patterns, this one begins with a fancy cast on. I cast on with waste yarn (the flouro pink) and then completed a 2×2 rib cast on, which involves a simple tubular cast on, rearranging the stitches one by one to switch from a 1×1 to 2×2 pattern. I messed it up slightly so that I begin and end with a single stitch, but I don’t think it’ll really make any difference to the final item.
I’ve made a fair bit of progress on the body. The knitting is slightly uneven in places because my purling has become slightly looser than my knitting over the years. This change is due to mostly knitting in the round, so that I don’t purl that much. I think the unevenness will block out, though.
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Titus (I am currently using the Aire colourway)
I think I’ve mentioned before that I like a challenge. In knitting and in life, I tend to go for things 100%, to jump in with both feet, to act first and worry about consequences later (well, as much as a neurotic overthinker can). It was these traits that led me to select Rock Island as the first proper lace pattern I would ever attempt. I am actually crazy. THIS is what I am attempting to knit.
The pattern is Rock Island by Jared Flood. Look upon it and weep.
Maybe the theme of my year is go big or go home. I came into 2015 with my most complex ever knit, Little Wave, on the needles and I have managed to create a garment that I truly love. I also went all out with my birthday bake. Perhaps 2015 is my year to be bold, daring and take risks.
I now own blocking equipment. This just got serious.
Here’s where I was last week. I used my newly arrived blocking equipment to pin out the lace so you can see what it will look like finished.
One of the many scary things about knitting proper lace is that you don’t really know what it will look like until it’s been blocked- washed and stretched to within an inch of its life. Until I finish and block this shawl, I am acting on blind faith that what I am doing in some way corresponds to the incredible beauty of the sample picture above. Oh god of knitting, please bestow your gifts upon this humble madwoman!
I drew a little sketch to show how a shawl can be constructed from the long edge up. For any experienced lace knitters this will be old hat, but it’s all new hat to me!
Here’s where I am right now. I’m working the Rock Island lace chart and I can’t wait for it to be over. I am currently using a lifeline every two rows because if I drop a stitch, it would be beyond me to pick it back up. Each row currently takes over 30mins to knit so having to rip back would be pretty devastating.
Here’s a close up of the lace.
This project has really reinvigorated my love of the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. This shawl is my Ancient Runes OWL- Ordinary Wizarding Level to any Muggle readers. To earn an OWL, Ravellers propose a project to the examiners, which they estimate will take around two months to make. You also agree a 50% mark for the project. You get 200 points for your House (Gryffindor in my case- go Lions!) in total, 75 for completing the midterm and 125 for the final exam. I am making this shawl for an event in April and I genuinely think that without the additional motivation of the Cup, I would not have persevered with this highly challenging project.
Well, it turns out that mid February truly is the season for love, and I am delighted to say that I’ve fallen head over heels for the cardigan I just finished knitting. Behold.
I’m so pleased!
The pattern is Little Wave by Gudrun Johnston.
The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Purple Mistery. I used just over five skeins. It’s knit up beautifully soft and snuggly. Time will tell whether it wears well.
This is an advanced pattern. New techniques I learnt from this cardigan: