[knitting] Genevieve Pullover – sort of

Hey I’m back! I told you I would try to make an effort and come back more regularly, so here I am! However I haven’t set any rules about the order of posts, so there will be knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, etc, in no specific order and when it suits me, because, after all, this is my little space 😉

seed stitch raglan sleeve jumper

So here is the raglan seed stitch I was talking about and which has taken up all my knitting time in the last few months! The inspiration came from one of my colleagues, Anne-Lise, she had the most beautiful jumper in a mustard colour and I had to have it. So I took advantage of needle show in Paris (l’Aiguille en Fête) in February and bought 8 balls of Drops Alpaca. The colour isn’t exactly what I had in mind, I wanted more of a mustard but this one is probably a little more bright and cheerful.

seed stitch raglan sleeve jumper

So I had the yarn, but what about the pattern? A simple raglan jumper isn’t very hard to conceive once you know the height of the armhole (20-21 cm for me) and the circumference at the neckline. Add a gauge swatch, some multiplications and voilà! You have a pattern 🙂 To help me with the neckline, I used the dimensions from the Genevieve Pullover by Cecily Glowik McDonald. I’ve bought this pattern eons ago, but still haven’t knitted it.

The body is knit with 3.5 mm needles and the ribbing in 3.25 mm, except for the left sleeve because I forgot to change my needles, as happens very often. Is it just me??

I hadn’t originally planned to do anything with the neckline but I realized after a couple of cm that it would stretch too much if I left it as it was. I then proceeded to pick up some stitches and knit a few rows of 2/2 ribbing. I still have to add a little something to be able to distinguish between front and back because there is absolutely no difference since I didn’t knit short rows at the back. I might add a handmade label 😉

seed stitch raglan sleeve jumper

seed stitch raglan sleeve jumper

Result: I love this jumper! And the good thing with knitting a well-known yarn is that I know it will last very long! I still have a jumper made from this yarn that was knitted in 2008 and it’s as nice as new 🙂
The yellow/orange colour is very bright, the sleeves are the perfect length – but I should have done something for the swayback. Most of all, I love seed stitch, even if it takes ages to knit!

Do you like seed stitch?

Recap

Pattern: my own, with the neckline from the Genevieve Pullover by Cecily Glowik McDonald /// Yarn: Drops Alpaca, colour 2923 /// Needles: 3.5 mm for the body and 3.25 mm for the ribbing

[knitting] a little update

oh dear, this section of my poor blog is completely abandoned! and let’s not talk about my Ravelry project page 🙁

A few years ago, I used to compile lots of information on both this blog and my Ravelry page and it was very useful for me: I knew which size of needles I used for which yarn, etc. And I miss having this info, so I’m trying now to give myself a little kick in the backside and come here more often. I’m going to set myself a challenge: I will try to come here a least every two days once the little one is in bed. I have no excuse not to spend some 20 minutes on my blog!

Let’s say I do this until the end of the year (December I mean). I don’t know if it will work, but at least I’m going to try. Everybody says blogging is dead. I don’t know if it’s true, but if that’s the case then it’s sad because I’ve learned so much from blogs!

Anyway, let’s keep it short and get to the heart of the subject: a little update on my knitting.

I’v recently finished knitting my raglan seed stitch jumper and I will not talk anymore about it since I think it needs a proper post with photos.

I’m back on my Miriam Cardi (by Carrie Bostick Hoge). I knitted it last year but due to its 3/4 length sleeve, it never really fitted in my wardrobe. So I’m lengthening the sleeves to have full length ones.

I still have the Polwarth jumper by Ysolda that is close to completion and staying in the basket of shame. I don’t have enough yarn (despite having the correct amount per the pattern) and since it as uniquely hand dyed, I have to think of a way to finish the jumper anyway!

After that, I’d like to knit another Folded by Veera Välimaki. I really love the first one I knitted in 2011 and I really need another one. I’ll be using yarn by the same brand – Holst Garn – but in Coast and in deep blue. I initially planned to use this yarn on the Moroccan Nights, but after two failed attempts, I think it needs to be used somewhere else.

So for now I’m knitting on the Miriam Cardi, it’s pretty mindless as I’m going round and round on the sleeves!

I’ll leave you for now and I’m planning to be back soon! and if I’m not back in the next couple of days, you can yell at me :p

 

[knitting] Chevron Socks

I’m back with a pair of socks, knitted rather quickly, considering my current productivity, because these were part of a test knit. Yes, what was I thinking about, I already had lots of wips and the deadline was pretty close but when I saw the call for testers, I just couldn’t resist 🙂 It’s probably because the designer of these socks is a very skilled knitter and she has good taste! Go and check her Ravelry page or her blog, you’ll see what I mean. Apart from the chevron pattern, made of knits and purls, what drew me to this pattern are the slipped stitches used at the back of the heel but also on each side. It’s very useful for these who tend to have holes on the malleola (you know, the two bony bumps of the tibia and fibula, where it’s very painful when you bang into something). The same reinforcement system is used under the metatarso-phalangeal joint (sorry, my job is popping up) to prevent holes under the foot.

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I don’t usually need so many reinforcements in my socks – just the one at the back of the heel – because I only wear my socks at home: my feet are very large and it’s already a pain to find the right size of shoes, I can’t afford to add layers or thickness to my feet 🙂 That being said, slipped stitches are not useful only for reinforcement, they’re also very efficient in the fitting, the sock stays in place really well thanks to the slipped stitches section.

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I like participating in test knitting as it’s a nice way to discover new designers and with uncia, you won’t be disappointed: the pattern is very clear, well written and I didn’t encounter any problem. During the test knitting itself, other testers commented on the pattern and helped with minor errors or unclear sentences to make sur every knitter has a very accurate pattern. The discussion with the designer was simple and quick, despite the difference in time zones because she is India!

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For this test, I treated myself to a skein of Malabrigo Sock yarn in Ravelry Red (always tricky to photograph). As I didn’t have much time, I directly went to a yarn shop – very unusual for me – and it was a great opportunity to visit a yarn shop which opened last year. She sells Malabrigo and Drops yarn among other brands : Mère Cerise. This nice shop is located in Lambersart (close to Lille) and the address is 364 avenue de Dunkerque. If you live nearby and you haven’t had the chance to visit, go and have a look, the shop owner is very friendly.

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Nothing special occurred during the knitting, apart from the fact that I had a had time remembering the chevron pattern. If I knit these socks again, I’ll move the slipped stitches part of the under foot away from the toes, since it’s not exactly under the joint.

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If someday you’re interested in participating in a test knit, there is a very active Ravelry group, listing numerous ongoing tests you can sign up for. The group is well organised and curated and before you commit to the test knit, you can have plenty of information on the type of project, the difficulty and of course the deadline.

[knitting] Update

 

Terpander

As promised last time, I’m back with some knitting. Recently I’ve been showing mostly sewing but my first true love is still knitting 🙂 I had to stop playing with my needles for 2 months last spring because of tendinitis and it was hard! I didn’t know what to do with my hands in front of the tv. So Anne and Saki, I totally understand what you’re going through! Just like Saki I have a great physiotherapist who is doing wonders.

Terpander - Melissa Morgan-Oakes

Terpander – Melissa Morgan-Oakes

 

Terpander

I’ve finished my maternity socks, Terpander by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, from the book Sock Knitting Master Class. I really like this book and have already made the Stealth Argyles, the Pussy Willow Stockings and the Asymmetrical Cables. I love the last two but not the Stealth Argyles as the knitting is not tight enough. As a result, the socks slip down the calf all the time, it’s very annoying and I finally gave them away. I did use the yarn called for in the pattern and my gauge was perfect. Oh well..

I called them maternity socks because I had started them in May 2013, hoping I could knit during my stay at the maternity. Ha ha ha. I was so naive. Considering my food was always cold when I finally managed to sit on my bed and eat during the 4 days I spent there, there was no way I could knit even one stitch.. So if I ever have a second baby, I won’t bother bringing my knitting bag with me. Some can knit before the big moment, I couldn’t even breathe properly!

I’ve enjoyed wearing these socks, they’re knit in Regia 4-ply, a yarn I bought in 2011 somewhere in Limousin. Of course the cables do require some attention but that’s what’s interesting about this pattern: there’s always something going on!

I’ve also finished this little cardigan for poulette: the pattern is Eole by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne. I find it really cute with the windmill increases and the i-cord border. It’s been finished for months now, I only have snaps to sew, but it was way too big so I wasn’t in a hury. I should get a move on though otherwise it’s going to be too small by the time I finally sew those snaps 🙂 I knitted a size 18 mo and my poulette is 17 mo next week.

 

Eole - Nadia Crétin-Léchenne

Eole – Nadia Crétin-Léchenne

For her I’ve also started a new version of La Petite by Rebecca Newman, the previous one is too small by now of course. For the winter version I’m using two strands of Drops Alpaca. I had 5 balls left from my Gwendolyn cardigan. I don’t know if I’m knitting the long sleeves or not. I initially wanted to sew a sleeveless jumper – aka a vest – but all the patterns I found were very masculine. So I thought I might do this one with short sleeves, but now I’m not sure anymore.

La Petite - Rebecca Newman

La Petite – Rebecca Newman

On the needles for me is Port o’Leith by Kate Davies, with Jamieson’s and Smith Aran. I’ve already knitted the big collar and started the gansey but I ran out of yarn and I need to order at least 3 balls.

Port o'Leith - Kate Davies

Port o’Leith – Kate Davies

So whilst waiting for my yarn I started the Devlan jumper by Bristol Ivy published in Wool People 7. It’s our KAL for this winter, a special KAL because each one will be knitting a different pattern 🙂

Devlan - Bristol Ivy

Devlan – Bristol Ivy

 

My needles are on fire at the moment! Next time there will be a little sewing for poulette and if all goes well, some for me too. What about you? Does autumn make you want to pull needles and yarn out of the knitting basket?

See you soon!

Sophie

[Me-Made-May] 13 day 28

Only a few more days before the end of the month! There are many repeats in my outfits these days, but I don’t think it really matters, I’m doing my best under the circumstances: today I’m wearing the same bright yellow t-shirt as day 3.

 

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But I preferred to show you my feet because 1. I have only managed to sleep one hour the past night and you can see it on my face (how come you can’t stock up on sleep before the birth??) and 2. I’ve just finished knitting these great socks. They’re the Asymmetrical Cables Socks by Cookie A. from the book Sock Knitting Master Class and the yarn is the wonderful Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock. I’m not overwhelmed by the pattern, the cables look nice, but I have some other socks that I like a lot more than these. However the yarn is great: thick, squishy and with a high twist – it’s a  pity it’s so expensive!

 

[Me-Made-May13] day 13

Socks today! still rather cold for a month of May and apparently the forecast isn’t any better for the next 10 days… So handknits again, a little meh this time. These are Stealth Argyles Socks by Eunny Jang, from the book Sock Knitting Masterclass. I really like the colour combination when I bought the book, and decided to knit these socks with the exact same colours. This is really unfrequent for me, I tend to change everything in a pattern, starting from the colour and the yarn. So the yarn here is Malabrigo sock, very nice to knit with. The pattern uses shadow knitting, which means that a pattern appears when you change your point of view on the socks. Of course it was a pain to knit, but the result is fun. However, the gauge is way too lose for socks (my gauge was spot on so it’s a problem with the pattern) and as they’re nearly knee high, they keep bunching on my heels. I hardly ever wear them….

 

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[Me-Made-May 13] day 11

It’s cold and rainy today, max 15° C and I’ve caught a cold, so I’m layering garments and pulling handknits out of the wardrobe. And adding somme cuddly time on the sofa with my cat Groquick. He is in a way wearing a me-made: his favorite handknit blanket, which is the Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown, in Cascade Eco Wool, finished in september 2011.

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Perfect opportunity to blog about this cardigan knitted last autumn- I’m a little behind on blogging about my handknitting! It’s the Water and Stone cardigan by Veera Välimäki and the yarn is Cascade Lana d’Oro, a mix of alpaca and wool very nice to knit with. The pattern on the contrary was really a pain to work with: I’m not exactly a beginner knitter anymore and I do have some experience in technical editing and oh boy, this pattern really should be edited for clarity. Some parts of the pattern seem to be deliberately complex, making it an advanced pattern when it isn’t technically difficult. With our knitting group we had chosen this pattern as our knitalong for 2012 and deeply regret it: one of us has even unraveled hers. All of us had already encountered problems with this designer, which is a pity since her designs are really nice.

Anyway I decided to finish it and add some missing elements: pockets and a closure system – what’s the point of having a nice and warm cardigan if you can’t even close it! I’ve worn it a lot this winter but we’ll still chose another designer for our next KAL.

 

[Me-Made-May 13] day 10 friday theme Sewing, Knitting, Creating Space

So today is Friday and I’m sticking to the theme [Sewing, Knitting, Creating Space]. So I’ll show you a little knitting in my sewing space! My only me-made today is my Just Enough Ruffles Scarf by Laura Chau – an old favorite finished in summer 2011. It’s knit in gorgeous Malabrigo Worsted, as soft as kitten fur, but very prone to pilling. And yes, it’s yellow again!

Yesterday you only had a sneak peek at my sewing space, here is the fuller version: in the foreground, my dear ironing table, tailor’s ham, pressing cloth and iron (which is dirty as you can see) and my current wip: a pyjama for my little girl, it’s waiting for my twin needle to cooperate so that I can apply the knit band to the opening.

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In the background my dear Bernina and all the tools that go with it, always on the table by its side: scissors, pinking shears, thread clips, pins, a ruler. On the left are two old tin boxes with needles, bobbins and all other tools: small scissors, brushes and oil for machine maintenance, point turner, seam ripper, tweezers, chalk, pens, etc. Also very important: a docking station for my phone so I can listen to podcasts or the radio during sewing. In the box at the far right are tools that navigate between this room and my kitchen table downstairs where I do all my pattern tracing and fabric cutting. It contains another pair of scissors, my rotary cutter, marking tools, pens, different rulers (metric and imperial) and tape measures – the only thing I have to add is my magnetic pin holder. The plastic sewing machine is the newest addition to my sewing room: a Janome 7330. I can now make 6 different buttonholes as well as some embroidery stitches. I’m still getting used to it, but still feel guilty for buying another sewing machine because I don’t want to abandon my Bernina which works so well. Actually the Bernina wins with the twin needle!

 

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If you turn right from the previous photo here is what you’ll see: drawers for our clothes with my Pfaff serger and bias tape. The serger used to be where the Janome sewing machine was up until last week. I’m not sure I’ll keep this setup, we’ll see how it works out.

 

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Turn right once more and you’ll see Pamela, my dress form – I don’t use it very often as it’s not my size, but it is sometimes helpful when I want to check construction techniques like on this dress (my newest make, you’ll see more of it in the next few days – too cold for now to wear it). The white thing behind my wardrobe is where I keep patterns and tools I don’t need to often, as well as some books.

 

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So there you have it: you know everything about my sewing room. My fabric stash is not kept in this room, it’s upstairs in our bedroom – I  just keep a plastic container with fabric scraps (the one just in front of Pamela). So how’s your creative space? I’ve really had a great time looking at other people’s sewing room!

 

[knitting] On my needles

No sewing this weekend, because nothing went as initially planned, but I did manage some knitting and pulled out this combo of mittens and fingerless gloves, perfect for the cold mornings ahead. Yes we had our first frost this morning so winter is definitely coming! The pattern is from Spin Off magazine (fall 2010): Teresa’s texting mitts.
I’m using alpaca for the inner part and wool for the outside: I finished the first one and it’s super warm!! Can’t wait to finish the pair.

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