Oversized sweater

 

Oversized SweaterFor Me-Made-May I have been wearing something I have made every day. I quickly identified that this was going to be a struggle on days where I couldn’t really wear skirts, dresses or nice blouses given the nature of my work. As an agricultural researcher it is no surprise that I often do work outside that involves getting quite muddy. I decided to get on this straight away and so in the first week of May I decided to make myself a sweater!

It was perfect for the days when I needed somehting comfy for work and could easily move around lifting heavy things. The only problem was the days when I needed this tye of clothes but it was too hot to wear a sweater! Maybe I will have to bear this in mind for future projects!

Double Skill Up: Knit fabric and a vintage pattern

2016-05-16 17.22.33I already had the perfect fabric to make a sweater from. When I visited Goldhawk road ages ago I picked up this jersey fabric in a cream and dark grey aztec print. I new it would be perfect for a sweater. I just needed to choose a pattern. As I have never sewn with knits before I wanted something straightforward. Then I remembered the vintage patterns I had picked up a while ago on ebay when thinking about my Vintage pledge. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to kill 2 birds with one stone and conquer both knits and vintage patterns in one fell swoop!

I measured a size 14 on the bust and waist and between a 14 and 16 on the hips. I knew I wanted the sweater to be oversized and comfy so I just went ahead and cut out a size 16.

oversized sweater front view

In terms of the sewing I was really pleased at how easy I found sewing with knits. I looked up a few things in my Colette sewing with knits book and the whole thing came together really quickly as there is very little to do in terms of finishing seams or pressing.

oversized sweater back view

All the instructions were actually pretty straightforward which surprised me a little as I was expecting to need some Googling to get through a vintage patterns as from what I have heard they are notorious for assuming a reasonable level of skill. Although, actually there was very little that was new to me in this pattern.

oversized sweater side view

I really liked the back of the neckline. I have not made something with this type of neck before but I quite like how it adds some style to what is otherwise a simple pattern.My button loop is quite messy but for a first try I am quite pleased with it.

oversized sweater fastening

The only instruction I skipped on this garment was the part where I was supposed to insert shoulder pads.I think that would have been a bit much and you still get the late 80s vibe without the shoulder pads though so all is good!

oversized sweater full view

The details:

Pattern: Butterick 3670

Fabric: Aztec print jersey from Goldhawk road

Notions:Gutermann thread, old button found in my stash

Alterations: no shoulder pads

I would love to make something similar again so I have more choice of me-mades when it comes to days when I need comfy easy to wear clothes. I am not sure exactly what the fabric type is if I were to buy it again. It is kind of like jersey but with 2 colours of thread knit together. It also only has a small amount of stretch. If anyone has any ideas I’d love to find out so I can buy some more! Here is what the reverse side looks like

oversized sweater sleeve cuff

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on twitter

shawl knitting WIP detail

Oyster Shawl

I did it! I finished knitting my shawl!

oyster shawl full.jpg

It took a while and there were a few stops and starts along the way but I had completed my shawl in time for Christmas!

When I first began this shawl it was in an attempt to improve my lace skills. I had started to knit a lacy cowl but was really struggling so decided to try this shawl as the first section is just a solid knit with an occasional eyehole – the perfect opportunity to practice.

shawl knitting WIP detail

Then, once that section is complete the hard core lacework begins! At first I just took it steady but gradually I could gain pace as I learnt the repeats and began to feel more comfortable with the stitches.

2015-08-06 17.24.49 edit

I had hoped to finish this shawl over the summer to wear at a friends wedding but when that didnt happen it had to get put to one side as I had some gifts to make. However, just before Christmas I found myself with a bit of time so decided to give it one final push and I’m really glad I did!

wrapped shawl.jpg

The final blocking stage was so important I almost couldn’t believe it. Once finished the lace section was a little disappointing as it was quite bunched together but after a little blocking all was fixed and now I love it!

lace.jpg

shawl

scarf shawl

The Details:

Pattern: Oyster Shawl by Ambah O’Brien

Yarn: Soft and cuddly by the WI for Hobbycraft in cream and Soft and Silky by the WI for Hobbycraft in slate

I still can’t really believe that I made it! I love the fact it can look really smart as a shawl for special occasions or I can wear it casually as a scarf. This means I will certainly get the most out of it!

H.

My view for the whole week on the farm

Weekend WIPs: The end of a very busy week

So after returning from my holiday I jumped straight into what turned out to be one of the busiest weeks I’ve had at work in a long time. It wasn’t even busy in a nice way – rushing around seeing lots of people and getting lots of work done. No, it was a busy in a hot and exhausting kind of way. I spent the whole week out on a farm in pretty hot weather doing very physically tiring work.

My view for the whole week on the farm

My view for the whole week

So, by the time the weekend came I was ready for a well earned rest. I spent some time knitting – my shawl is now progressing nicely although I’m not sure it will be ready for my self imposed deadline for me to wear it to a friends wedding the first weekend of August. Also holding me back might be the fact that there is another section to come in cream and I have almost run out of the cream yarn. I have ordered some more so hopefully it will arrive pretty quickly so I can continue knitting uninterrupted!

Beginning of lacework on knitted shawll

Beginning of lacework on knitted shawl

I have just started on the lacework (in blue)and have been reminded of how I really need to learn not to knit so tightly! The last time I attempted lacework I got really fed up with it and I think that was partly because it was such hard work. As I knit really tightly it is especially tricky to knit together multiple stitches the yarn and needles begin to creak as I prize the stitches along! I thought I had managed to loosen my stitches slightly as I knit up the stocking stitch part of the shawl but obviously not enough to make the lacework significantly easier.

I have been knitting “continental style” ie with the yarn in my left hand. Any suggestions of how to hold the yarn better so that my stitches become slightly looser. Obviously I cant change it dramatically or it will look out of place on a partially knitted shawl but as I have just switched colour and the style of knitting is changing I think now would be the best time to try something new!

H.

Boot Cuffs

With a few basic knitting projects under my belt I recently decided it was time to challenge myself and get inventive!

I have a beautiful pair of leather boots but they are just a little too big around my calf so I decided to make a boot cuff. If you dont know what a boot cuff is just head over to Pinterest and you will find literally hundreds of patterns. However, I decided not to follow any of them! Mostly because they were either completely plain or involved fancy cabling – something which I have not yet attempted. Instead I decided I would create my own. I have decided on quite a simple stitch pattern with some ribbing at the top and bottom. I worked them flat as I thought it would be nice to use slightly bigger needles (which I dont yet have in circulars or double pointers) to make the boot cuffs stretchier and more forgiving if I accidentally made them too small!

I am really happy with the finished boot cuffs and I think they go great with my boots! What do you think?

Boot cuffs

Boot cuffs