Monthly Archives: April 2016

Knit and Stitch Show

Last week I had to head up to Lancaster for a work meeting and so whilst I was there I paid a visit to my parents for the weekend. It just so happened that the Knit and Stitch show was on at Rheged in Penrith. So, of course, we went.

I had so much fun. There was lots of wonderful things on display. Mostly craft supplies, yarn and fabric but in amongst it all were some completed items to show off the supplies at their best.

I was having far too much fun to remember to take pictures but I did snap a few. Mostly of my purchases (which I was trying so hard not to buy but just couldn’t help myself).

IMG_20160417_115156675_HDR This was one of the few creations I did manage to get a snap of. There were lots of beautiful woven rugs and blankets on one stall – i forgot to get the name. I particularly loved the colour combination in this one and hope to recreate it in fair isle one day!



IMG_20160417_165141002_HDR I found a great stall selling locally produced alpaca yarn. I couldnt resist buying a couple of balls of natural aran weight (despite the hefty price tag). It is just so soft! I hope to make a hat with this at some point but may have to practice which ever pattern I choose a few times before turning to this yarn!



IMG_20160417_165217487_HDRNext I bought a couple of fabrics from Cool crafting. They had loads of gorgeous cotton poplins on display, so it was really hard to choose one. They also had a betty dress from Sew Over It stitched up to display one of their fabrics. My mum loved it so I decided I would make her one. The blue daisies on the top right was here choice and the monochrome flowers is for me.

IMG_20160417_165247580_HDRThere was also an exhibition about Harris tweed on at the centre with lots of beautiful photographs representing the famous fabric. One artist at the fair specialised in pieces made with Harris tweed. I really loved lots of the work on display so bought myself a card with a print of these puffins! The tweed is felted and then accentuated with felted yarn detailing.
Add featured image – close up of interest


I’d love to hear if you have any pattern suggestions for my new yarn or fabric purchases! Just let me know in the comments.

Lengthening a cropped jumper pattern


My most recent make was a full length jumper but I used the Chuck pattern by Andi Sattterlund which is for a cropped jumper. I really loved the style of this pattern but knew I wouldn’t get much wear from a cropped jumper as it does not really fit in with my style and the other clothes I wear. Despite this only being my second cardigan/jumper (here’s my first!)I decided to give it a try. Here’s how I went about it.

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Firstly I rechecked my gauge – as the back of the jumper was stocking stitch I measured a 10 cm square and counted the number of rows and stitches in this square. I also checked the length of the cable repeat as this may have affected the gauge slightly. Once I had these measurements I could work out how many additional rows I would need to add any given length to the bodice and also how many increase I would have to do on each row to add any additional circumference.

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I decided it would be best to increase the length by one full cable repeat so as to keep the design as true to the original as possible.

Next I measured myself both at the point where the jumper currently finished (A) and at the point where the lengthened version would finish (B) given an additional length of one cable repeat.

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The next step was to compare my measurement (A) at the current finishing point of the jumper to that at the same point on the schematic. It turns out my measurement (A) was 25% larger than that of the schematic. So, I reduced my measurement (B) by 25% to give the equivalent diameter for the schematic.

The difference between these two schematic measurement tells me how much diameter I need to add to the jumper . I then multiplied this by my stitch gauge to figure out how many additional stitches were required to increase the circumference from what it is now to the final circumference at the new length.

As I wanted to keep to the spirit of the original pattern I decided to increase in the same places as the decreases had been to get from the chest to bust measurement – this required increases in 4 places per row. So I divided the total amount of stitch increases required by 4 to tell me how many of the added rows would require increases. I then spread these evenly across the cable repeat to create a smooth gradient from the waist to the hips.

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HOW to do it yourself

Step 1: Measure your gauge – How many stitches do you have in 10 cm? How many rows?

Step 2: Divide these numbers by 10. This will tell you how many stitches and rows you have in 1 cm (I will call these your stitch and row gauge)

Step 3: How much length do you want to add to your jumper? Multiply this measurement (in cm) by your row guage. This is how many rows you will add to your pattern.

Step 4: Try on your cropped jumper. Measure your circumference at the current finishing point (This is your waist measurement)

Step 5: Measure your circumference at the length your jumper will be with the additional rows (This is the new circumference)

Step 6: Compare your waist measurement to the schematic on the pattern. The percentage difference between these two is your ease measurement.

Step 7: Reduce your new circumference by the same percentage ease. This is your final jumper circumference

Step 8. Subtract the schematic measurement from your final jumper circumference to give the increased diameter required

Step 9: Multiply this value by your stitch gauge to tell you haw many stitches you need to add

Step 10: Decide how many stitches you wish to add per row – this will often be 4 (2 on each side)

Step 11: Divide the number of stitches you need to add by the number you want to add per row to tell you how many rows need to have increases.

Step 12: Continue to knit your pattern increasing the correct number of times (determined in step 11) evenly across the additional rows.

I hope this helps. Has anyone else had to change a pattern before? I’d love to know what you did and why?

You can find out more about how I increased the length of this jumper including a worked example with my measurements on my Ravelry project page

Chuck Jumper


NEWSFLASH: I have a new favourite thing!

Chuck JumperI absolutely love this jumper. It took me just about 2 months to knit and I loved every minute of it! The yarn is lovely, the pattern is lovely, the jumper is lovely. I just want to curl up in it forever!

Ok so I think you get the picture that I really like this jumper! Let me tell you a bit more about it. It is the chuck jumper pattern by Andi Satterlund but made into a full length version instead of the cropped version featured in the pattern. It is in a lovely navy wool and it is super warm and cosy!

New Skill alert

After having knit only about 30 stitches of this sweater I came across my first new skill requirement – short rows. After a bit of googling I found a great tutorial on Purl Soho, and it turns out it really is as simple as it sounds. You just knit a short row , so don’t knit all the way to the end and then turn around and come back. Well, actually before turning you have to wrap the yarn around the next stitch but this is super easy and stops big gaps from forming in your knitting.

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After overcoming this first challenge I thought it would be smooth sailing from there on in. This was only my second knitted garment but it was from the same designer as my first one: Miette. However, whilst the basic construction was pretty simple I hadn’t factored in the cables. Don’t get me wrong, I did practice cables first on my hat before jumping straight in to a jumper covered in them but what was complicated was the way the repeats of the cables didn’t really match up and the pattern for the cabling was written separately to the pattern for the jumper. so there was lots of jumping around the pattern trying to find “stitch pattern 2” and then remember what row I was up to on each stitch pattern. Surely there’s an app for this sort of thing? If any one knows about it I’d love to hear from you!

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Unsure about the length of the jumper I decided to stop knitting the body before I reached the bottom band and transferred the stitches onto scrap yarn. The length was perfectly fine as a cropped jumper but I thought it  might be quite fun to try and adapt the pattern to make it longer. However, I was unsure if I would have enough yarn, so wanted to knit the sleeves first.

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The next new skill came when I began on the sleeves and the construction required a sleeve-cap. The instructions were to pick up the stitches around the armhole and then knit from the armpit to the top of the sleeve. Then using short rows gradually construct the sleeve cap by making each row one stitches longer than the previous. The instructions were so clear I had a sleeve-cap before I had even realised what I was doing!

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Once the sleeves were done I still had three balls of yarn left so I decided to go ahead and lengthen the jumper. This was where the fun kicked in! As some of you may be aware I am a bit of a maths geek so I relished the opportunity to get a notepad up and do some sums. But that’s another post entirely so if you want to learn more about how I went adjusting this pattern to make the jumper full length keep your eyes peeled over the next few days.

The details:

Pattern: Chuck by Andi Satterlund

Yarn: Drops Nepal in Navy Blue

Needles: Drops Pro circular needles 4.5mm

Alterations: I lengthened the pattern to become full length instead of cropped – more details to follow

The yarn is so warm as it is 65% wool and 35% alpaca it is not too soft but this is not too much of a problem as I always wear a t-shirt under my jumpers. It was really nice to knit with and slid well along the needles and did not split very easily. Although my lovely metal needles are now a bit tarnished probably due to the rough nature of the yarn.

The pattern was easy to follow if a little annoying to have to jump back and forth between the garment instructions and the cable pattern but I guess this comes with the territory of cables. Once I had done the cable repeat once this wasn’t too bad as I had a rough idea what was going on anyway!

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I really like the cable design and think I did a pretty good job of them for a first proper attempt at cables other than my last hat. I especially like the twists that run down either side of the centre panel. The main cable design down the front is really good but I am not particularly neat at knitting single stitch cables yet. Maybe there is some special technique I am missing that stops these stitches looking looser than the rest. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them!

In case you hadnt noticed yet, I really love this jumper and think I will definitely get loads of wear out of it. I don’t want to say it but its a bit of a pity spring has arrived as it might have to be shelved until next winter – but for the moment I am getting as much use out of it as possible with a pair of cropped jeans and slip on pumps with no socks to keep my temperature in check!

If you want to read some more of my notes on this pattern, what I thought about the yarn and for a sneak peak on how I lengthened the pattern you can check out my project page on Ravelry

Me-Made-May 2016


I, Helen of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016

Me Made May is the creation of ‘So Zo…’ . It is a brilliant endeavour to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more. If you want to find out more about it there is a great page and sign up sheet over on her blog.

Each year I see May come and go and admire everyone who makes their own clothes posting about their personal goals to get more out of their handmade wardrobe. It’s really insprirational – so this year I am pledging to take part myself. I have not taken part before as I felt I did not have enough handmade things to present any kind of challenge. I might simply have pledged to wear something once a week but it really didnt seem all that different to what I was doing anyway.

Now that my handmade wardrobe has grown a little I think it will be the perfect challenge to try and wear at least one item a day. I don’t yet have anything like a full wardrobe of handmade things so I am hoping that this challenge will get me to think a bit more creatively about outfit options that include my makes and allow me to see their versatility and usability.

As per the instructions I am not going to start panic sewing to bulk up my me-made wardrobe. This is supposed to be about wearing and loving the clothes you already have. However,  I do currently have a long list of sewing plans so this might just be the motivation I need to get on with some of them!

I will hopefully be keeping a daily log of the me-made items I am wearing each day of May over on Instagram so if you want to follow me and my challenge that’s where to do it. There may be irregular updates on here but I don’t want to fill up this blog with daily outfit photos.