Ted’s stripes

Having made a gazillion pairs of beauteous boot socks, I had a mega-tonne (well, not quite, but it certainly looked that way in the sitting room cupboard) of Drops Nepal and Drops Big Delight left, and it was as I was knitting the leg of a sock that it struck me… that would make an awesome sleeve. This is the one I was working on:

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So I found the cream and the blues and my measuring tape and set about measuring Ted.

He’s 6 – he’ll be 7 in August – and long and lean.

I decided that this one would be a bottom-up jumper, so: knitting from the bottom up to the underarm, then knitting the sleeves to that point, and joining them all on a circular needle to begin the raglan decreases up to the neck.

I worked out the gauge at 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch and jotted down everything I could think of that I’d need.

Around his tummy: 24″
Around his chest: 26″
From the nape of his neck to his bottom: 17″
From underarm to wrist: 13″
From shoulder to wrist: 18″
From underarm to bottom: 12″ and
Around his upper arm: 9″

I used 4mm circulars (80cm) for the 2×2 rib and switched to 5mm circulars for the rest of the piece.

Taking his widest point (his chest), I cast on 130 stitches (26″ x 5 sts per inch). With hindsight, I might have added another 5 for ease, though it does fit perfectly as you’ll see.

I knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib on 4mm needles in Drops Nepal in cream and then switched to Big Delight and 5mm needles. The stripe pattern is 4 rows of Big Delight and then 2 rows of Nepal which 6-row repeat, most handily, is an inch.

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I repeated this until I got to 14″ (13 x 6-row stripes and the rib) and then put it aside (on stitch holders or waste yarn, or even on the needles if you have enough pairs) to knit the sleeves.

Again, using Nepal and 4mm needles, I cast on 44 stitches (9″ x 5 stitches per inch, then minus 1 to keep the 2×2 rib simple) and knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib, switching then to 5mm needles and Big Delight. Since sleeves are always longer, I knitted 14 x 6-row stripes per sleeve.

So, to join the sleeves to the body:

First, I *put 10 stitches of the body stitches on waste yarn (this will be the underarm, which you will join to the sleeve with Kitchener stitch at the very end) and put 10 sleeve stitches on waste yarn. Then slip the remaining 34 sleeve stitches onto the main needles,  then slipped 55 stitches from the body** and repeated from * to **  I then had 178 stitches on the needles and placed a marker for the beginning of the round.

Using Nepal, I knitted two rounds.

Then I knitted around once in Big Delight and on the next round, to divide for the raglan decreases, I placed markers before the last stitch of the last round and after the first stitch of the next, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32 and arrived back at the first marker.

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For the 3rd row of Big Delight, I began the decreases (you can see them underway above), very simply: knit 2 together before and after the 2-stitch raglan (between the two markers either side of the sleeves)

For the 4th row of Big Delight, knit around making sure to slip the markers.

And I continued the decreases every other row whilst sticking to the 6-row pattern (4 rows of Big Delight, 2 rows of Nepal) until I had only 1 stitch left in the sleeve sections (between the two markers).

Then I switched to 4mm needles and Nepal for 6 rows of 2×2 rib and finished with a super-stretchy bind-off. There’s little worse than putting all that effort in and being unable to get the blasted thing over yer head! 😉

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Maddeningly, Teddy was at school when it was finished (so inconsiderate!) so I had to wait until I was home from work and he home from school to take him back to the studio to get some pictures.

I think you’ll agree a) it’s very fetching and b) I may have overdone the pictures… Well – knitting and Teddy – two of my favourite things ❤

My Other Half

I got two beautiful skeins of The Yarn Collective’s Pembroke Worsted in Smoky Quartz and Copper Agate.

It’s gorgeous stuff. I mean gorgeous. Beautiful shifting colour, delightfully squishy, and lovely to knit with.

So, what to make with it?

A pair of Valentine’s boot socks for my husband. And, since Valentine’s Day was fast approaching, they needed LOTS of hearts.

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Oh, and in the spirit of different but similar halves of a whole, I thought they’d be rather beautiful mirroring each other: mismatched but matching.

So here they are in all their glory:

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And, as ever, if you fancy a crack at them yourself, you can find the pattern here.

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(Oh, and because he’s a Wool-Widower and such an obliging sock model, I let him keep them early 🙂 )

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Happy knitting! ❤

Stripes and Swirls

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I’m a sucker for a sale.

Well, actually, let’s rephrase that. I’m a sucker for a YARN sale.

And I’ve been bombarded with emails telling me how much cheaper it all is since Christmas, so when this stuff – Sublime Luxurious Aran Tweed, 40% wool, 40% cotton, 20% llama –  was about half price, it was obviously irresistible.

Even though… erm… I didn’t exactly have a plan.

But I’ve been completely bonkers about stripes lately. So, obviously, there had to be stripes.

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And nothing is complete these days without a bit of a motif… When I told my beloved husband my plan to mix ’em up he looked, let’s say, a little skeptical. But he did have the good grace to follow the look with “But what do I know?”

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One of the most positive side-effects of this journey through my woollen world is this: for many years, an expression of doubt or uncertainty would have put me off continuing along my trajectory but at this grand old age and with the experiences I have under my belt (which I hesitate to label ‘good’ or ‘bad’ since they all led me here, after all) I don’t care. I have the courage of my conviction, and I’m going to do it anyway. Sometimes, of course, it doesn’t work.

This time, I’m relieved to report, I believe it did.

So, the Stripes and Swirls Sweater was born and I love it:

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If you fancy a crack at it, you can find the pattern here.

And beloved husband?

“I think it’s your best yet.”

See?

Happy knitting!

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His & Hers Stripes

Well… it seemed only fair.

I still haven’t finished his crochet blanket.

I still haven’t finished his Christmas jumper.

So isn’t it time I started and finished something for him?!

After the gazillionth pair of Beauteous Boot Socks:

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and using the same yarns (Drops Nepal in White and Drops Big Delight in Marina), my beloved partner-in-crime at last has his own pair: the Beauteous Gents’ Socks

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If you are interested in the patterns, you can click on the links above the pictures, OR, you can find them both together here: the His and Hers Beauteous Socks.

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Happy Knitting and may your toes be ever toasty, and your heels ever cushioned.

To bare or not to bare…

… *snigger*

I have two patterns for you.

That’s rather the point.

One, I hinted at at the end of my last post and I cannot tell you how thrilled I was with the way it turned out.

Knitted in stunning Louisa Harding Amitola, with its shiny silken sheen and delicately changing colours, and Millamia naturally soft merino which holds a stitch like no yarn I’ve used before, the stripes kept me hooked throughout the working of this piece. I was forever impatient as to how the next colour would look blended into the rest.

Here, you can see what I mean:

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For the body, I used Millamia naturally soft merino in Putty Grey and Louisa Harding Amitola in Dark Rose.

The ribbing on the cuffs, neck and button band are in the same Millamia wool, in the shade Storm.

It is knitted in the round, top down, with a circular yoke and I blooming LOVE it. It’s light enough to grab as you run out of the door, and warm enough for a snuggly extra layer. I used mother of pearl buttons BUT whilst I think they look beautiful, I have already had to replace 3 broken ones. They are terribly fragile 😦

Anyway, here it is, in all its glory:

If you fancy having a crack at it yourself, you can find the pattern here.

 

The second piece…

…is all together more risqué. But it was equally fun to create.

Knitted and crocheted in Cascade Yarns Ultrapima 100% cotton in sand and taupe, which look to me like a dull gold and silver, it produces a really lovely, airy but sturdy fabric. Perfect for super-hot days / evenings. I would recommend a little dress tape, though – no running after the kids in this one! 😉

So, you’ll need basic knitting and crochet skills for this one and you can find the pattern over here if you fancy giving it a go.

In other news...

This King Cole Galaxy with integral silver sequins became another piece of knitting / crochet fusion which I may well get around to writing up. It’s light and airy and perfect either on its own or as an off-the-shoulder top layer.

 

And, this jumper in Drops Karisma will be written into a pattern soon, too.

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And this cardi, knitted in Drops Karisma and a beautiful hand-dyed yarn all the way from The Flying Kettle in the ol’ U S of A (look her up on Instagram, her stuff is gorgeous!)

Oh, oh, AND, this sweater:

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I have an AWFUL LOT of pattern writing to do 🙂

By the way, do you like my t-shirt?

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Right, I’d best get on and start writing, then! TTFN ❤

 

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