Knitting

Three new things

I’ve been working on building up my wardrobe of winter clothes, as well as sewing some distraction projects – the ones that I feel like sewing as opposed to actually needing!

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I’ll start with the things in the ‘need’ category. This Grainline Studio Driftless cardigan is so cozy!! I made it with the same merino blend fabric as this dress. It was heavily inspired by Lisa’s version, posted on the Tessuti blog, where she used the wrong side of a thickish knit. I wasn’t brave enough to go all-in with the wrong side so instead I just used it for the hem, cuff and front bands. It’s very warm and each time I wear it I feel like I’m wearing a big hug. What could be better?

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The cowl is another essential item, but I knitted it way back in March. At the time I had a major obsession with this colour, rusty red, which admittedly I’m still in love with. I found my dream pattern/yarn combo with the Elena cowl and Quince and Co Chickadee. The cables look impressive but they were simple and fun to knit. The colour is bold but seems to go with everything in my wardrobe.

Now for the top that I probably didn’t need but that I really love!

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This is a Rachel Comey for Vogue pattern. I’ve probably said this here before but I LOVE Rachel Comey. I want to own/wear pretty much everything she designs. This pattern (Vogue 1503) came out in the most recent release from Vogue, along with some other beauties, all of which I snapped up in a hurry. Recently I made my first version of this pattern out of some linen scraps (posted on Instagram) and pretty soon I decided to made a second one.

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The coolest feature of this design is probably the shoulder, where the back overlaps to the front. It’s very simple to construct but is a really great detail. The sleeve cuffs and front ruffle are also bonuses in my book.

For this version I used some Marimekko linen that I had been coveting for some time. It was pricey so I only bought 0.8m! Pattern matching was out of the question, and I had to use the selvedge at the CB and the sides of the ruffle. One of the sleeves is cut on the cross grain, and due to fabric shortages I used a black linen from my stash for the lower back and the cuffs. The scraps from this top are non existent.

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I kind of like how you can see the designer’s name on the CB join. The laundering instructions from the selvedge are visible on one of the side seams but I’m just rolling with it.

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The only drawback to this pattern is that the armholes are cut quite low, so range of motion is slightly impaired, but only if you want to do some arm swings. I like the way that it fits with my arms down and it’s still very comfortable, so I didn’t make any adjustments. I’d guess that raising the armhole would not have helped my range of motion issues considering how loose this is under the arms anyway. This is a Vogue size 12 which is the size that corresponds to my measurements. I’m happy with the fit but some people might want to size down depending on ease preferences.

So there you have it! Two cozy things and one thing that I just felt like sewing. Now back to sewing the pile of merino tees that I actually need 🙂

 

A Penguin Sweater

My latest knitting project is the Humboldt Sweater from Anna Maltz’s incredible book of knitting patterns, Penguin. As soon as I first laid eyes on this book I was in love! Every project is unique and interesting. I immediately coveted a Humboldt of my own and got to work finding some local Kiwi wool.

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NZ has a lot of sheep. I was on the plane recently and during an idle moment took part in the quiz that they play on the inflight TV screens. I learned that we have roughly six sheep per person (30 million sheep). I’ve been on a real NZ-made kick lately, seeking out shoes and knitwear that’s been made locally. It made sense that I should also find local knitting yarn given the high ruminant population around here! Pretty quickly I found Ashford Tekapo, a hardworking yarn that’s been around for ages and is named for the very beautiful Lake Tekapo. Colour choice was extremely tricky and a lot of dithering took place before I settled on the colours that Anna used in her sample, white and charcoal. Not very original! But why mess with perfection?!

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Humboldt is named for a type of penguin, and given the fact that I saw a Little Blue Penguin while swimming at this beach last summer (smallest penguin in the world!) it was a good excuse to take photos here. Also, a nice day for a walk.

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Humboldt features a technique called Marlisle. It’s a cross between marled and Fair Isle. Two yarn weights/colours are held together the majority of the time, and occasionally only the heavier yarn is used, in this case white, to create the pattern on the front and the decorative raglan sleeves. Anna puts it much better, and more eloquently, here. The whole garment is knit in garter stitch, resulting in a very cozy fabric with lots of body. I love the way that this sweater holds its shape. I think that this thick fabric works especially well in a cropped, boxy design like this.

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For now I’m wearing it over jeans and a Marthe top, but am seeking ideas for an appropriate dress pattern to go under it. I like the idea of a gathered skirt coming out from underneath and I might do another Simplicity 1366 bodice with a gathered skirt in some sort of winter weight fabric. I am finding winter dress-wearing quite tricky as I refuse to wear a slip and skirts keep sticking to my tights! I should probably just get over my slip phobia and get on with it 🙂

Anybody else knitting at the moment? Any exciting projects on the go?

 

Papercut Saiph Tunic

Hi y’all, I’m back again with another make I sewed up to wear on holiday.

Papercut Saiph

It’s a Papercut Saiph Tunic, heavily inspired by Sallie’s gorgeous versions of this pattern (here and here). I used a ponte-like merino blend (I think it’s merino and nylon) that I found in the remnant bin at The Fabric Store. Score! It’s a very stable knit, quite thick, and with a textured wrong side. It is fantastic to sew and to wear.

Papercut Saiph, Bellbird

I made a toile to begin with as I’ve been feeling very rule-abide-y lately. I think I started with an XS but the shoulders were a little wide and the back neck gaped a bit, so I squared off the shoulder seams and cut more of an XS/XXS hybrid. I’m glad I did since the knit has a bit of give anyway. I pretty much sewed it up as written, but I did add a couple of inches to the hem, and I interfaced the pocket pieces so that they wouldn’t gape. I sewed the neckline facing down with my machine which is something I’ve been doing on a lot of garments lately. I like the way it looks, and it fixes the facing flappage that can be so annoying! Also, I cut the facing out of a scrap of Liberty lawn, and interfaced it as usual. I’ve found that a woven facing works just fine with a knit as long as the knit is a stable one. Using a woven instead of the thick knit helped to cut down on bulk. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of the insides so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Papercut Saiph Bellbird

I’ve been wearing this a lot over wool tights and a thermal top. It’s roomy enough that you can layer up underneath, which I like. It’s extremely cozy and comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. Must make more of these.

The hat that I’m wearing is the Snoflinga hat pattern by Wiksten, made up in wool leftover from my Lila pullover. This too has been getting lots of wear, I’m liking that Zealana yarn more and more.

I hope that everyone is enjoying a well deserved break, either on the beach or in the cold. I for one am staying cozy!

Knitted things

I’m on a cold weather holiday at the moment, so to prepare for it I made myself some cozy new clothes. Most were sewn, but some were knitted. Over the next few weeks I’m planning to share what I made as I wear it, but for now I’ll start with some woollies!

Bellbird/Elsa

I knitted this cowl from a lovely Rowan wool, Cocoon, an early Christmas present from my Mum. It’s such a gorgeously soft wool, being 80% wool and 20% mohair. It sheds a lot so I end up looking extra hairy, but I’ll accept that in exchange for a warm neck!

Bellbird/Elsa

The pattern I used is Elsa by Carrie Bostick Hoge. It features a beautiful herringbone pattern, and knit up so quickly in the bulky cocoon. Although the final product looks complicated, it was really simple to knit and very easy to memorise.

Bellbird/Elsa

The jersey I’m wearing is the Lila pattern, also by Carrie Bostick Hoge. What a talented lady! I absolutely love this pattern and would knit it again in a heartbeat. I really like the interest added by the garter edging and curved hem, but the simplicity of the shape makes it easy to wear with just about anything.

Bellbird/Lila

For this, I used a merino/possum blend called Zealana Heron from Holland Road Yarn in Wellington. I had never used this yarn before, but I’m really pleased with the way it knitted up. It’s very soft and a bit fuzzy due to the possum, but somehow feels quite hardy at the same time. I would definitely knit with it again, especially since possums are a huge pest at home in NZ. Let’s just say I’m doing my bit for the environment by buying this stuff!

Bellbird/Lila

All in all I’m pleased with this knit, although next time I will make the underarms a bit deeper as I hate things to be snug there. Also I will do a stretchier bind off on the neck. Maybe it’s not too late to fix this one but it will have to wait until I get home.

Hope you enjoyed this little knit-erlude! I’ll be back soon with more travel makes!