Baby’s First Cardigan

I’ve finally finished knitting our baby his first cardigan.  I started it before we had the 20 week scan so we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl.  I knitted it all apart from the button band and then had to wait till mid-February to know which side to put the buttons and buttonholes on.

Trouble is, I lost momentum then and started knitting something else.

However I picked it up again recently to finish it off and thought to myself that it was look quite large, for the 0-6 months size.  When I measured I found that it was a bit too big in places, so I had to undo and shorten both front pieces and the sleeves. (The length of the back was fine!). Don’t know how I measured them before but they were longer than they should have been.

Finally sewed it together and put on the buttons this week and I’m pleased with the outcome.

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The pattern is a Sirdar one: #4423 Cardigans in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Cotton DK and that’s the yarn I used too. Sadly it has now been discontinued, but any DK yarn could be used instead.

My 10th Blog Anniversary

10th-birthday-balloons-11-inch-latex-ball1359_th2Wow! It dawned on me today that yesterday was my blog anniversary but I hadn’t twigged until just now that it is the 10th anniversary of starting this blog, and therefore 10 years ago when I started knitting in earnest as a keen newbie. I almost wasn’t going to write a blog post as my crafting mojo has been very up and down this past year or two. I still love knitting and sewing but what with renovating a house for 18 months and finally moving into it in the summer and running your own business, I just get in from work and don’t have the energy to do anything.

The past three months though, I’ve had a good excuse for feeling extra tired… we’re expecting a baby in July! In fact today, on my last day of the Christmas holiday break, I went shopping in Exeter to try and buy some maternity trousers. All my jeans and trousers are getting a bit tight now.There is a distinct lack of maternity wear around in the shops. What are women meant to do? I did get a pair of maternity jeans in JojoMamanBebe. They are way too long though and the waist is a bit high, but they’ll do and I can take up the length. I get the feeling they are catering for taller women.

I’m not going to bother to do a list of what I achieved last year and my aims for this year. With a baby on the way, who knows what I’ll have time to do.

I have however started some baby knitting – a plain white cotton cardigan. We won’t know if we’re having a boy or girl for another 6 weeks but I was dying to knit something, so plain white it had to be.

FO: Baby Blossom Cardi

We have a new yarn in the shop for this coming Autumn from Sirdar. It’s called Baby Blossom Chunky and it arrived just a few weeks ago.

It’s a really clever self-patterning yarn, which gives the appearance of an ombre effect in one colour and then a field of flowers!

I decided to knit a v-neck cardigan from one of the accompanying pattern leaflets to see if this would work for me… And it did!

baby-blossom-cardi

I did actually knit 3 front pieces, because when I did the second, no blossom pattern appeared. It was just about to start at the point I finished the front. So I reknit it, and used the yarn from the “spare” front for a sleeve, because I didn’t mind if that wasn’t patterned.

Ingenue Sweater

I feel like my crafty mojo is returning. 🙂

It’s been quite a while since I’ve enjoyed knitting something. I’ve had several knitting projects on the go for some time, which I’ve not finished because I wasn’t enjoying it for one reason or another.

I have a couple of lacy patterns that I’m doing – a cardigan in Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply and a beaded scarf in Rowan Kidsilk Haze. They’ve stalled because of the concentration needed to follow the patterns. I can’t take them to Knit ‘n’ Stitch nights because I will go wrong and then in the evenings at home I’m too tired to concentrate on anything difficult.

I’ve even stalled on knitting a teddy bear jumper because I’m making up the pattern as I go to fit the teddy.

Then there was the sweater in Sublime’s Evie, which started out well but then I wasn’t happy that the neckline suited me, so I tried to alter it and I stalled on that for months until a couple of weeks ago, I decided to scrap the alterations, knit it as written and be done with it.

All the extra thinking involved in either following or making up the pattern was putting me off doing any knitting at all.

So I decided I needed to find a project that would inspire me again. Something that I can knit without thinking too much about it, but not so boring that it becomes tedious.

That project has been the Ingenue sweater which I started in July.

A few years ago I was given a copy of Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard but I’d never tried any of the patterns, even though several appealed.

This book is very much about giving you a pattern and also suggestions for making it suit your body shape better. Looking on Ravelry there were some lovely variations of the Ingenue sweater and so I thought I would try something similar.

My version has a lower ribbed neck and 3/4 length sleeves rather than bell shaped sleeves. I’m knitting it in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and it will have some coral coloured stripes at the ends of the sleeves and below the waist.

It is also knitted top-down, which is great. I love being able to try it on as I go.

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I have a slight fear that I’ve made the neck ribbing too wide and as that’s the cast on edge, it won’t be easy to fix, but it is possible from what I’ve been reading. So I’ll wait until the end and see how it feels when it’s finished.

It’s nice to be enjoying knitting again though!

Bee Cushion is coming along

I’ve now finished piecing all the hexies I need for my Bee Creative cushion. There weren’t going to be quite so many cream ones originally, but I felt it needed more a plain surround. I made a bit of a boob though as I cut the plain hexies from two different fabrics by mistake and one is slightly creamier than the other. Never mind! I’ve mixed them for a more of a mottled look.

I was going to use one of the Bee Creative fabrics as a border and backing, however the one I liked sold out yesterday 😦 I wasn’t quick enough. However Mum suggested using this piece of ombre fabric as a backing, which I think goes perfectly.

bee-cushion

I might also embroider a little bee or something on the back.  Moda Bakeshop are doing a Bee Creative Quilt Along with some lovely embroideries which you can download for free. I might use one of these.

FO: Evie Sweater

I’ve finally knitted this top in Sublime Evie yarn, which I started back in January when the yarn first arrived at the shop!

It started out well. I really like the yarn. It’s super soft and being an Aran weight it grew at a fair pace. I love the colour range and couldn’t resist this gorgeous coral colour.

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However I noticed that the picture in the book showed it as having quite a wide slashed neck and then we got a sample garment sent on loan to the shop for a few weeks, which I tried on and decided that the neckline was too wide and too high for my liking.

What to do..? I worked the neck shaping as written and with some pins holding the shoulders together tried it on. I wasn’t convinced I was going to like the end result. The project then got put on hold while I thought about it. After a while I picked it up and tried some different shaping but holding it up against myself, it didn’t look right. So I put it away again. A few weeks later, having looked at the necklines of some of the other patterns in the book I thought I would try one of them. I started doing one, then not having much time to work on it in recent weeks, due to our house move, I forgot where I got to and wasn’t convinced that it would make it any better anyway.

So a few days ago, the house move having been completed and boxes mostly unpacked, I decided I was going to finish it. I ripped out the alterations I’d tried making and went back to knitting it as the pattern is written. If I didn’t like wearing it, I would just put it on display in the shop to help sell the yarn and pattern book anyway.  I also decided I would knit the short sleeve version as well as I just wanted it finished.

Well, today I finished the sewing up during a quiet afternoon in the shop and would you believe it, when I tried it on, the neckline, the original neckline as written, is fine!  It’s not turned out as wide as the display garment we had on loan, and it’s not so high as to annoy me.  I added an extra pattern repeat to make it a bit longer. I have quite a long body and don’t like sweaters and tops that finish at my waist. I like them to finish below my waistline.

evie-sweater

So all in all I think it’s going to be a top that I wear quite a lot as we come into the latter stages of the summer.

I love the combination of shades in this yarn and I quite fancy knitting some sort of ripple baby blanket in a ball of each shade. I think it could look really lovely.

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EPP Book Review

I am really enjoying EPP but I have to admit that I started the Bee cushion before remembering that I was given this book on English Paper Piecing at Christmas. I’m horribly embarrassed that I’d forgotten it was on the bookshelf.. especially because it is such a good book on EPP.

All Points Patchwork is a technique book rather than a project book and the author, Diane Gilleland, covers everything a beginner needs to know: equipment needed, types of papers, basting and how to sew the pieces, not just hexagons, but all sorts of different shapes including curved shapes.

It’s full of handy tips and hints and I’m sure it’s going to be one of those books that I will keep referring back to as I do more EPP and try to improve.

Once I’ve finished the cushion I think I’m going to try the Ring-a-Roses pattern by Flossie Teacakes. I fancy a bit of fabric artwork on the wall. Choosing the colours is going to be the hardest job I reckon though!