Monday 8 April 2024

Shawls (that necessitated white shirts)

Wow, happy new year I guess, and it's April...

I've been making the same ludicrous amount of stuff but I just can't seem to get around to documenting anything. And of course that means I have no idea if that means I added 4" leg length to P's trackpants, or 8" to his sleeve length. And since that's meant to be the whole point of the blog, I get stuck and don't start.

Here's some pictures of shawls I knitted in 2023 that then required me to sew black ponte leggings and white shirts. Which did get recorded on the blog.

It came about after I'd attended the She's So Crafty stall/fair with Rootaberger and bought three skeins of gorgeously squishy yarn with no particular plan in mind.

All three are merino/silk/yak light fingering weight. Two from Fluff and Nonsense, and one from The Purl Box (Maven yarn)

Then I just had to find a pattern that would use no more than what I'd bought, all three colours, and be interesting to knit. 

The pattern was very well written and definitely engaging. It also helped that I'd just rolled my ankle at that mountain bike race, round about this time last year, so I was very happy to sit and knit. And knit. And knit. 

I hadn't really thought I was a pom pom person, but they're perfect on the shawl.

I'm sure I then went on to sew, crochet or knit other things. I might have even tidied up, or done my tax return. But since I photographed this next shawl on the same day, it can be documented here, all out of order, as well.

This time I knew exactly what I wanted to make, and then I set out to find the yarn to suit the pattern. The pattern is the Scout Mini Shawl by Florence Spurling

I had so much fun knitting the big Scout Shawl. This one has all same interest generated by little panels of colourwork joined with intarsia, but with a smaller yarn and time outlay. Winner!

The yarns came from Fibresmith and are their hand-dyed merino mini skeins. At that stage Leslie was only selling them in bundles and at 70m/20g I would need two of each colour, plus a third skein of one of them. thankfully, with a little begging email I managed to get a single skein of almost the exact same shade as the two lightest skeins.

Then I just had to work out which ones to use where... It's very low contrast colourwork no matter how I arranged them, but I'm good with that.

This yarn comes in at about 400m/100g and the difference in the final knitted fabric between this, and my original scout shawl is quiet noticeable. this is a really, dense, almost felted feeling fabric. I suspect I may not have swatched and just used the pattern's recommended needle size, whereas I'd gone up two sizes for my Scout Shawl

I could definitely make this pattern over again as well. I guess I'm on my way to having enough little bits of yarn leftovers that a "free" one might come about one day...

Monday 8 January 2024

NAiMA Pullover

It's been such a constantly rainy day here that it seems appropriate to finally upload some details of a jumper I knitted in winter of last year.

It's the NAiMA Pullover by Ankestrick knitted in cascade Heathers yarn (100g/200m Colour 2431)

I think it was as I was making white shirts I suddenly decided I needed a chocolate brown, chunky knit sweater to wear over them, But then I went and fell in love with a sweater pattern that had a high neck such that it wouldn't work well over a collar with a shirt after all.

I got gauge, or at least very close to, using bigger needles than the pattern recommended: 4.5mm for body and 3.75mm for the ribbing. My gauge was 17 stitches and 22 rows per 10x10cm instead of 16/22 and I guess over a full garment that one stitch per 10cm makes a difference.

I made size 4 which would give me 5" positive ease around the chest but it probably came out a bit smaller, and more fitted, than the pattern model's version. But I really like the fit as it is. Initially I was wishing I'd gone slightly longer in the body, but after wearing it quite a bit last winter I've come around to the top of the hip length. I knitted the straight body version (there balloon shape and  A line shape options) and did, for some reason, stop about 5cm shorter than the pattern suggestion.

The pattern was very well written and was a delight to knit. There is this lovely eyelet pattern that continues from the raglan sleeve down the front and back sides. It's not the softest wool in the world (there's a knitted cardigan in the world's softest wool yet to be blogged about) but over a merino tee it's a very useful winter sweater.

Of course I did then go on to find the perfect V neck pattern (and more yarn :) ) to knit for wearing over my white shirts. That one will have to wait until next winter. It might be raining here but it's not cold enough to be knitting heavy wool

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Holiday sewing

In September we had one of those "once in a lifetime" holidays. Only it wasn't a one-off, but an exact repeat of the holiday that Flipper and I had in 2006. Sometimes a really great trip needs repeating.

I'm over at the Oliver + S blog sharing all the Liesl + Co patterns I made to take on the holiday with us, including gifts for our kayaking guides. Go check it out. The pattern count numbers 6 Metro Ts and 2 pair of Wynwood swim shorts. Plus, I also took my Sintra Dress and my Cinema Dress on holiday.

Just before we left the big kid realised he's lost a pair of swim trunks somewhere, so he got two new pairs of Ottobre Seamus (03-2009) swim trunks

And he'd also outgrown his boardshorts, so I added two new pairs of the Jalie 2678 boardshorts, again with a cargo pocket addition.

Our kayaking trip was a 7 day trip paddling in the Yasawa islands of Fiji with Southern Sea Ventures. We revisited the same village that we'd stayed in 17 years earlier and even met some of the same people again. I can't begin to describe how great the trip was, the company, the guiding, the ocean, the people.... Can't possibly show you all the pics, but here's a selection from each day...

Our guides were so fabulous. Semi, the Fijian local was quietly funny, always organised and calm and just the nicest, hard working guy. He wore an amazing palm frond hat that his mum wove, so I made him a kayaking T-shirt with his hat stencilled on it.

Russell, the Canadian guide is too awesome for words. It only takes a quick look at his Instagram (seriously, check this out) to realise that paddling tourists around the Yasawas must have been pretty dull, but he never showed it. He was funny, organised, hard working and always up for anything. Bit like Barbie there seemed to be nothing he hadn't done, or couldn't put his hand to trying. He impressed P with being a box lacrosse player, wowed A with his ability to pull of a gymnast backflip and all of us when the guitar came out and of course he could play and sing. But, BUT, he couldn't whip cream*  when it came to our dessert at Navotua village. And that alone will never be forgotten! :)
*the lack of a whisk or beater shall not be mentioned

Of course his kayaking top needed to have a white water kayaker and a whisk on it!

I added the hood from the Jalie skating skinsuit pattern 3135 (all my previous versions here) but sadly didn't think of how much higher the neckline is on that pattern than the Metro T I was using. I got P to try in to before I posted it....

And oops, the hood pulls far too much when it's on. Ah well, it can still be some kind of a back of neck sun protection even if it can't be worn.

After the week of "roughing it" (seriously, we were so well looked after, but composting toilets and no internet still counts, right?) we crossed Fiji to stay on a little island just off the coast from Suva. Toberua island resort is a tiny resort with just a dozen bures around a central pool, a dive shop and a beachside restaurant/bar. Everything is catered and during the morning the staff would find us, bringing the menu for lunch and dinner. The barman recognised Flipper from 17 years earlier! P did a pool dive then joined us for his first ever scuba dive. We all ate too much, drank too many mocktails/cocktails and played all day long.

I'd argue this is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday that would easily stand up to a third round!