A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: the lemonade shop

After a very long pause, I have finally finished knitting this jumper. As you may be able to see, this made me happy.

Here she is looking less inspiring on the blocking board. I tried to stretch the jumper out a bit but decided against using pins.

My friend (and fellow crafty crusader) Jane very kindly helped me to take some pictures of this sweater on a recent short trip to Belfast. We managed to find a beautiful mural that I felt echoed the colours in my jumper. Unfortunately there were some issues with sun.

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Here I am raising my arm for some reason. I am so crap at posing.

Managed to squint a bit less in one of the pics.

Overall I am very happy with how this sweater turned out, despite the fact that the yarn was a different colour than I had seen in the shop. The fit is pretty good, especially in the shoulders, and the yarn is lovely and warm, and not itchy at all.

Pattern: Better Breton

Yarn: Squoosh FiberArts Merino Cashmere Sock in Eggplant, and The Lemonade Shop mini skeins

Ravelry project page

 

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So I learnt that it wasn’t possible for me to knit a fingering weight jumper in sixteen days while working full-time. However, it did take me less than a month to make this sweater, which is pretty quick actually. Despite my initial anxiety about how the colours were looking, I’m pretty pleased with how it’s looking.

The only real point of stress for me was the cast off. The pattern calls for an ordinary cast off in pattern, but having made some more advanced patterns lately, plus hearing some of my most respected bloggers denounce casting off in pattern, I wondered if I should go for something a little more polished.

I finished my body and first sleeve when I still thought I might complete this project before the end of the Olympics, so I did an ordinary cast off partially for speed. However, on the second sleeve I decided to give the tubular cast off a go, adding a green lifeline to the end of the ribbing for safety.

You can’t really see in the pic, but the tubular CO is too tight. Although I can get the sweater on and off, it would restrict my ability to push the sleeves up.

I re-did the set-up rows on larger needles to try again, but managed to drop a stitch, meaning ripping back again. At this point I became pretty frustrated, so it was good to be able to take a break and work on seaming my League jumper instead.

There were also quite a few ends to weave in, though I carried the purple yarn and contrast yarn for same-colour stripes to reduce the ends a little bit.

Pattern: Better Breton

Yarn: Squoosh FiberArts Merino Cashmere Sock in Eggplant, and The Lemonade Shop mini skeins

Ravelry project page


Last Friday was the first session of my Carrie Trousers workshop at Sew Over It. It was a three hour workshop and most of it was spent cutting out, which is one of the stages of sewing I find most stressful. The pinning. The endless smoothing of fabric. The fear.

Managed to get a pile of pattern pieces without much fabric left over. I hadn’t realised before that this cotton lawn is pretty transparent so I will have to make careful underwear selections when wearing these.

The first step was constructing the pockets, which are the most important part of any pair of trousers. This stage was a lot more challenging than it should have been because there was something wrong with the sewing machine I was using. It kept making long stitches and the thread broke loads of times. My fabric is very fine so I don’t like unpicking as I’m scared of making holes. It wasn’t until I had to leave to catch my train that the instructor realised the bobbin thread had something wrong with it that had caused the problems.

I left feeling really frustrated as I’d hoped to get further, and very small things I tried to do had taken ages because I had to keep re-threading the machine. I wished the problem had been picked up on sooner.

Anyway, despite everything my pocket is looking pretty good and I’m hoping this week’s sewing will go much more smoothly.

I’ve also been continuing work on my Aubergine Rainbow sweater. Not long after my last post, I joined the front and back at the armpits and began working in the round, which made the knitting go a lot faster.

The stripes are also helping to keep up my motivation.

I’ve got to say I’m feeling relieved as the stripes progress. I was hating colours at first and worried that 2016 is just the year of bad yarn colour choices (far from the worst thing about 2016 but still). However, I’m liking it more with each additional colour and hopefully the sleeves will add to the effect. I just love the little speckles within the stripes.


So far the fit of the sweater is pretty good. It’s slightly tight, but the swatch relaxed a bit when I blocked it so I am imagining this will happen with the finished garment too.


Pattern: Better Breton

Yarn: Squoosh FiberArts Merino Cashmere Sock in Eggplant, and The Lemonade Shop mini skeins

Ravelry project page


I’ve been planning a project like this for a long time, since my early days of knitting. I mentioned a little of the pre-planning I did in this post. Funnily enough, the arrival of my expensive American yarn coincided with the week before the Olympics, so I’ve decided I’m going to enter the Ravellinics for the first time. This means taking a small break from my League sweater, but I actually started making excellent progress on that over the past few weeks, so that’s okay. Check my Instagram (@craftycrusader) if you want to see what I’ve been up to.

The Ravellinics are the knitter’s version of the Olympics, where you are supported by the knitting community to challenge yourself and complete a project within the timeframe of the Games.

I’m quite looking forward to working on my Breton sweater while some of my favourite athletes do their thing. Like most people, I only care about athletics once every four years, but I am looking forward to the tennis. I managed to get some tickets in the ballot at London 2012 and it was awesome.

Anyway, before the opening ceremony, all I was allowed to do was swatch. My gauge came out pretty close to the pattern gauge and I couldn’t be bothered to swatch again with different needles. After blocking, the fabric came out nice and drapey so I was ready to cast on at midnight local time.

At five days into the Olympics, I am making good progress on this top-down knit. Since one of my 3.5mm needle tips broke, I’m having to improvise with different needles until the replacement arrives.

This is the top back of the sweater, the first part to be constructed. I’ve picked up stitches for the front on the two needles at the top in this picture. I then knit down and cast on stitches in the middle to join the fronts.

This is what it looks like on at this stage. Still a long way to go!

I have to admit that this shirt choice was deliberate. My aunt has some sexist builders working in her garden at the moment, and the shirt indicates the response that any further misogynistic remarks will get.

Pattern: Better Breton

Yarn: Squoosh FiberArts Merino Cashmere Sock in Eggplant, and The Lemonade Shop mini skeins

Ravelry project page

 


I took a massive hiatus in knitting this hat after initially being thrilled with the result. The problem was that the beautiful pattern stretched out on my big melon head and it slightly spoilt the effect for me.

Princess of Power HatIMG_3657

If you are not an insane perfectionist, lucky you! You will not notice that the pattern looks less poppy and vibrant when worn as opposed to when flat. I envy you.

My wish to make the best version of this hat I could led me on a fascinating fact-finding mission in which I learned a lot about self-striping yarns and pooling effects. I also learnt that there was no way I could re-knit the hat to be bigger while maintaining the pattern. The only option left to me was blocking.

I grit my teeth. I sewed in the million ends I had because I wanted to maintain the colour blocking in the crown of the hat. Did I mention that I am crazy?

I also went and purchased a balloon. I have always blocked hats flat in the past. Well, I really seldom blocked them, but on the rare occasions I did, they were flat. I measured my head (I think it was 23 inches in circumference for anyone who is interested, which should be no one). I blew the balloon up to 25 ins. I thought it might be better to overshoot, and also balloon geometry meant that it worked better- the balloon is spherical while the human head is an elongated spheroid.



I think I made the hat slightly too big, but I can’t be bothered to try and fix it again. Lesson for next time. I also should not have blocked it with the brim folded. However, I am happier with the look now.


The final finishing touch is a giant pompom.


Et voila!


Overall this hat has been a reminder of the way in which my perfectionism can prevent me from taking pleasure in the things I make. Although I’m trying to work on this trait in myself, it continues to be a problem.

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat (free)

Yarn: Sparkle DK in Princess of Power by The Lemonade Shop

Ravelry project page


Bradway was a super quick and enjoyable knit, and gives a warm and striking finished object. Here she is blocking.

This was another knit that I wanted to take with me to Wilderness festival, and it was very useful there but I didn’t manage to get any pictures due to phone battery being limited.

I wore it again to a wedding last weekend and managed a few snaps.


  
Pattern: Bradway

Yarn: Flashdance sock, held double (bright purple) and Sleepover worsted (pale purple) by the Lemonade Shop, leftover Malabrigo Rios (dark purple)

Ravelry project page


I’ve been wanting to make a hat for a while. I love knitting hats, but I try not to do it too often otherwise I would have hundreds of hats. As much as I would love that, I live in London and thus have limited hat storage capacity. First world problems.

Anyway, I decided to treat myself to a new hat. I am obsessed with the yarns dyed by The Lemonade Shop, so new American yarn was part of the treat.

Yummy. I couldn’t resist winding this yarn straight away.

I had intended to make a beautiful cabled Vogue hat, but lovely textures tend to get lost in crazy yarns, so I decided to keep it simple. I cast on and was a little worried the cuff was tight.

I always look grumpy on the bus.

I also wasn’t happy with how the colours were pooling. I had imagined large sections of white and turquoise, and this had an air of clown vomit to it. Disappointing given how excited I had been. I decided to press on and experiment with striping the yarn from each end of the ball to see if this improved the pooling.

As you may be able to see, the pooling improved a bit on the ribbing section, but looks a bit funny again once I switched to stocking stitch. I tried on the hat at this stage and was happy with the size, so I decided to rip the hat out and start again. I did go up a needle size for the ribbing.

I won’t keep you in suspense.


YES!

This is exactly what I had in mind when I bought this yarn. It puts me in mind of a super cool comic book about a badass magical girl.

Here’s what I looks like with the brim flipped up, which is how I will wear it.

Update before publication: I’ve finished the knitting on the hat and now I’m a little uncertain. It’s slightly too small and I don’t know if I like the contrast stripe.


To re-knit this to fit I think I would have to add eight stitches, which I think would throw off the awesome pooling.

I’m a bit annoyed as my gauge is exactly correct, but then I do have a big head. Maybe I need to do the finishing before I decide as a massive pompom hides a multitude of sins.

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat (free)

Yarn: Sparkle DK in Princess of Power by The Lemonade Shop

Ravelry project page