Sunday, 30 October 2016

Qwist and Barley Hats

Back in the New Year I treated myself to a pattern bundle over on Ravelry with the hope that I could get a couple of the items knitted up. I chose the Texture is the New Black collection by Melanie Berg. The details on all the pieces are beautiful and I knew it would be a learning challenge for me. 

I especially wanted to make the Qwist Hat and Mittens. Well I didn't get as far as I hoped, but I might have enough of this variegated yarn left to try the mittens.

This hat actually turned out to be a little big on me. I guess my gauge was slightly off. I love how it has turned out though, and yes it was a labour of love. The pattern is well written and all the different stitches explained within the text of the pattern. I had never done the twisted slip stitch before and struggled at first but soon got the hang of it.

The resulting pattern makes for a really beautiful and interesting design and I love the way it is incorporated into the ribbing around the brim.

The yarn is from Hedgerow Yarns on Etsy. It is a 4ply Alpaca/Merino Sock yarn. Lovely and soft with a gorgeous colour mix.

The Qwist Hat definitely took me a longer time to make than most hat projects because it requires more concentration, but I think the finished item is well worth it. The stitches are a joy to look at. 

On to my second knit.... The Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits. On the other end of the difficulty scale to the Qwist Hat really. It is one of the beginner knits from their Simple Collection.

I really love this hat, it fits perfectly. I have worn it a few times now and it will be the first one I reach for when it gets chilly. 

It has a garter stitch section which adds an interesting break in the plain stocking stitch. I chose to add the extra inch in length so it would be slouchier.

I used Cascade 220 superwash yarn for this and as with everything I have used it for, it produces a beautiful item with great stitch definition. It is soft and warm without being scratchy.

I intend on making the rest of the family one of these hats each, they are so quick and simple to make that I feel it is an achievable goal before winter arrives!

These photos were shot on our holiday to Scotland, so much beauty everywhere. A stunning time of year to visit that area. I will leave you with some photographs of when we visited the Queen's View.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Jalie Eleonore Jeans

Pattern: Jalie 3461 'Eleonore'
Fabric used: Stretch Denim sourced from Ebay
Size made: 'H' which is 104cm height

I have plenty of patterns I could use to make jeans for the girls, in the past I have used the Oliver and S After School Pants with great success and the Clever Charlotte Raven Pants. This time around I wanted a skinnier leg and after a bit of searching for something that would accommodate both girls (without having to buy two sizes in the same pattern) I stumbled across the reviews for this Jalie pattern.

I have about 4 Jalie patterns now and from what I have made I have been really impressed. So I bought this with the added smug thought that I could actually make a pair for me because the sizing starts from a girls age 2 and goes all the way to a ladies size 22. This pattern has some serious longevity!

These aren't the first pair I have made, just the first that I got photographed. My eldest wore her test pair all through summer, those were made to check fit and cut to above the knee. They were superb shorts! I also made her a full length pair and they fit her well with a few adjustments. I have learned through all my trials with this pattern that the results differ wildly depending on the fabric. Specifically the amount of stretch. 

The requirements are for light/medium weight stretch twill or denim with at least 20% stretch across the grain. 

I have discovered how massively important that is because a couple of my attempts have been too snug. Boo has a pair of red ones sitting on my sewing table which she can get on, but they require no elastic and she really can't move around in them! There isn't enough 'give' in the stretch denim I used for them. Not all shops list the percentage stretch, which makes it tricky to buy the right fabric. I would only buy fabric for this pattern again if I was sure of the stretch because otherwise it is a waste of my sewing time.

But, thankfully these were fine! I used an indigo stretch denim that I bought off Ebay with the intention of making myself some Ginger Jeans. I will get those sewn up one day. That's a promise to myself!

These are pull on jeans with a wide waistband, yoke, faux fly, faux front pockets and patch pockets on the back. They are topstitched everywhere and for that I would really recommend you go out and buy proper topstitching thread. They look so much better for it.

The seams are all pressed to one side and topstitched, making everything really sturdy and hardwearing. 

I followed the instructions for the double topstitching across the back yoke and really like the look. The pockets were designed freehand. They sit in just the right place on the back of the jeans. There is nothing worse than a back pocket sitting too high or too low!

I am glad these ones will get some wear and will keep this pattern at the front of my stash for future use. I re-measured both girls recently and noticed with a sigh that I if I were making these exact jeans again for L, I would be cutting out the next size up. 

So, its a great pattern, one I would highly recommend and one I will make again. But remember what I said about the stretch if you are making them too!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Flax Sweater

Pattern: The Flax Sweater by TinCanKnits 

I have a list of knitting projects that I wanted to get done before our trip to Scotland. This included a jumper for each of the girls, plus one for me and I have managed 2 out of 3. So thats good going!

 If you are new to knitting this is the perfect pattern to start with for a top down seamless knit. It is part of The Simple Collection. A collection of 8 knits with the beginner in mind. The various patterns include a hat, scarf, cowl, socks, mittens, a blanket and a cardigan. I have already knitted up the Barley hat and love it.
There are two versions of the Flax sweater; one using a thinner fingering weight yarn and the version I chose which uses aran/worsted yarn. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. I have made seamless knits before and always come up against the same problem, which is the underarm join. I get holes! I have searched for the technique to combat this but can't find a clear video, so if anyone knows the answer let me know! I would be so grateful.

This is a lovely cuddly sweater. The merino wool is absolutely divine. I found knitting with it a pleasure and would buy this particular yarn again in a heartbeat. There were no knots or joins in the balls of wool at all and I went through about 6 balls.

The garter stitching on the arms makes it a very squishy knit. The fit is spot on for her at the moment but if I were to make another I would size up so she has growing room.

I like that the pattern knit up so quickly and would love to make one for Boo as it is a good layering piece. 

I have been very busy knitting away recently, and have a few more things to share with you soon. The leaves are turning golden brown and everything is feeling very autumnal now. Which means Christmas is not far away! Eeek!