Knitting progress slowing

26-06-19 Progress

Last week I had two sleeves completed of my Norah Gaughan cable-front cardi and, as you can see, I’ve added the two narrow front pieces to it, so I’m about 40% of the way there. Progress will now slow to a crawl as I am back at work for the next month and I can already see that I will only have time in the evenings to eat, tidy, have a bath and do one activity. Luckily the temporary job I’m in is way outside the area I said I’d be prepared to work so I am getting in two hours of brisk walking, meaning I can forget about any additional exercise on work days. However, I am determined not to let the work slip on my novel so the knitting’s got to be relegated to weekends. Such is life. Apparently paying the rent is more important than knitting – don’t ask me who makes up these rules.

I have made a start on the back of the cardigan which seems enormous after the sleeves and the tiny little fronts (they are very narrow because the wide scarf-style collar provides the rest of the coverage at the front of the cardigan). The scarf piece will take the most time because it is the part that has all the cable patterning on it.

Following the item I posted on Friday about the “I can do it” inspiration, I have currently got another of these quotes hammering around in my head: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always had”. I think the idea is that you’ve got to break out of the cycle of repetition if you want to make advances. However, at this minute I am looking at this cardigan which, as I said before, is the third version I have made of it, and I think, yeah, I always want a version of this in my life, so doing what I’ve always done makes great sense. I hope that bit of positivity will help to banish the slightly negative thoughts that have been creeping over me this morning.

Hope your week is going well and you are making progress in your endeavours.

Finished object – Inigo Cardigan

19-06-19 Inigo c1

Last week I wrote that I wasn’t going to push myself to complete my knitting, but it turns out I did! My Inigo Cardigan is done and I am almost entirely enchanted by it.

Technical details:

Pattern:  Inigo by Lisa Richardson
Source:  Rowan UK pattern brochure “New Vintage DK” published 2018
Size: To fit bust 32-34″/81-86cm
Materials:  Sublime Yarns Luxurious Tweed DK (discontinued), 60% wool/40% cotton
Needles:  4mm KnitPro Symfonie wood straight needles, 30cm long

The pattern is very well written and explained everything you needed to do very logically. There were a couple of places where I didn’t read it carefully enough, but I can’t blame the designer for my lack of attention. This project is knit in separate pieces and seamed together, which is my preference, but I know it is off-putting for a number of knitters.

19-06-19 Inigo c3

The yarn was surprisingly pleasant to work with and I would say improved slightly when I put the garment through its post-completion wash, dry and pressing. I don’t generally like cotton, but this combination of 60% wool with 40% cotton seems to yield a very nice fabric that doesn’t take too long to dry and feels summery, but still holds shape.

Speaking of shape, I must address the one thing I’m not so happy about with the finished garment and that is the gapping where the fronts meet. I think this is caused by three factors coinciding:

a)  I could do to be five pounds lighter than I am!

b) The front bands are knitted together with the body on the 4mm needles and are therefore not quite as firm as I would like them to be; I think it would be better if the were knitted on a smaller needle to give a tighter gauge, or crocheted.

c)  There are only five buttons; the gapping would be reduced or eliminated if there were more.

19-06-19 Inigo c2

When I had finished the knitting and seamed the pieces together, I searched through my button box for suitable buttons. I decided on the silver ones because I feel the shape of the cardigan coupled with the tweedy yarn lends this garment a slightly Chanelesque air and metal buttons suit this very well.

I am sure I will revisit this pattern, probably knitting a version in wool and addressing the closure issue. However, I love this version and will enjoy wearing it. It is a really strong entry into my spring and summer wardrobe. I wasn’t too sure how many balls of the yarn I started off with (13, 14, 15?), but I have enough left over to make a little sleeveless top at some point.

But, wait, that’s not all the knitting news! I have started the Norah Gaughan Vogue Cabled Cardigan.

19-06-19 NGVCC p1

I have completed two sleeves! I can’t believe how quickly this is knitting up. I love working on it and it feels so good to finally have a project I know I will complete using the old gold Sirdar Country Style yarn. This will be the second project in a row where the yarn has been donated to me when friends and family have been de-stashing. I have been listening to my collection of Blake’s 7 audio books from Big Finish whilst knitting. There are a lot of excellent stories on these CDs and they are just the job for long stretches of stocking stitch with no shaping, which makes up the majority of this pattern. When, in the fullness of time, I move on to the cabled ‘scarf’ part of the pattern I shall need to concentrate fully and that’s when I will need complete silence.

I hope your knitting is coming on apace.

Growth spurt

12-06-19 progress

This week I have been nursing a head-cold, but that has spurred me on to put in quite a bit of work on the Inigo cardigan by Lisa Richardson from Rowan’s New Vintage DK pattern book.

So, this week I have completed the second sleeve and the first front, and by my calculations I am now 85% of the way through the project. I like that the front bands are knitted in with the main body piece so there will be minimal finishing needed on this project. In fact, if I were to work on it as much as I have the past couple of days I would have it finished by the end of this week, but I am not going to put that much pressure on myself because there are more important things to be attended to than completing this cardigan. However, I am happy to think that I’ll have it in my wardrobe by the end of this month.

This pattern is nice and easy to follow, and every step is well-explained, provided you are happy with following standard instructions for garments knit in pieces. I therefore have to wonder why I have spent so much time unpicking what I’ve knitted. I am going to blame the germs, but it may well be that I just haven’t been thinking about what I’m doing. I cast on the wrong number of stitches for the front, and got through the waist shaping decreases before I realised and even when that happened I was utterly sure I had cast on the correct number and double-checked. Then when I started shaping the neckline decreases I did them at the wrong rate because I didn’t bother to read the instructions carefully enough. Still, all’s well that ends well, as Shakespeare would have it.

I am looking forward to seeing how this fabric washes and wears because it’s the first time I’ve worked with a wool and cotton combination yarn. In my opinion it is nicer to work with than a pure cotton yarn, but not as nice as a pure wool yarn.

Once this is finished I will either cast on for my next big project – the Cable Front Cardigan – or just carry on with the Mama Weer All Crazee Cowl. The weather will play a big part in which way I go, because I can’t imagine I will want to work with worsted weight yarn if it’s hot, however much I will crave the finished project come autumn.

I hope your knitting is going well, and I hope that wherever you are in the world your weather is slightly more seasonal than our current dull, rainy, slightly chilly weather is.

What I imagine when I’m knitting

05-06-19 knitprog 1

Haruki Murakami wrote an entire book entitled “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”; I have never read it because, well, running? However, the title of this blog post is a nod to that book.

At its best, knitting, for those of you who don’t do it yourselves, is a soothing, mechanical hobby, which can lull your mind into imaginary worlds full of ponderings and vague, nebulous plans. One of the things I imagine whilst I am knitting is what life will be like when I have finished the project I am working on. I imagine wearing the finished object, what I will wear it with, where I will be when I wear it, how it will make me feel, how it will fit. Sometimes I imagine clothes I might buy to wear with it. Sometimes I imagine an entirely fictional self in a different world, wearing that actual item.

At other times, of course, knitting is a test of skill, dexterity, and calculation which leaves your mind no room for anything but solid facts. You need to keep hawk-like eyes on the pattern to make sure you commit no errors or omissions, you have to count your stitches repeatedly to reassure yourself that none have gone AWOL.

I have two projects on the go at the moment. The sea-blue cardigan is creeping along and I have not worked on it as much as I could have, or should have, this week. Instead, I have started knitting a cosy winter cowl for myself using the set of ten mini skeins of wool from Noodle Soup Yarns that I received at Christmas. I am calling this the Mama, Weer All Crazee Cowl, partly because the range of ten colours is not quite as harmonious as these first two suggest, and partly because working 300 stitches per row of knit one, purl one rib for somewhere around a length of 20 inches is an undertaking that only a crazee mama would consider.

Here is a close-up of the lovely sparkly wool from Charley of Noodle Soup:-

05-06-19 knitprog 2

I have one minor misgiving about this project: I fear I may get to the end and find that I’ve knitted a crazy, sparkly, multi-coloured boob tube!


A big shout-out to Slade’s song “Mama, Weer All Crazee Now” for the name of this project.


Hence These Tears…

The second stripe is the one I was working on when the news came through that one of my favourite actors had died: Paul Darrow, the man behind the wonderful character of Avon in Blake’s 7. Some of the sparkle has left this world, but it lingers on in memory and in this project.

“I am not expendable, I am not stupid, and I am not going.”
Avon, Blake’s 7,

If you’re not familiar with Avon, follow the link for a dollop of his sardonic wit – just try to ignore the lamentable quality of the video capture.

 

Mend me, baby, one more time

29-05-19 socks
Old striped socks with new plain grey ‘toe’ added

Okay, well, a Britney Spears reference may not be quite what we were expecting today, but she’ll do.

After posting last week about the whole sock-mending option not working for me, I took a second look at the four pairs that that I had set aside to do some repair work on. I gave the whole structure of each sock a more thorough check to see whether there was enough potential to make the repairs. It was encouraging to find that three pairs probably are still in good condition and should be repairable, although one pair definitely isn’t.

I worked on the pair which had the least wear and was therefore in a state where it would be relatively simple to knit a replacement toe. I have finished the work now and I am very pleased to say that it was a success – these socks should be good for another couple of years. For the time being I have put them away as they are an autumn/winter/spring weight and I won’t be wearing them through the summer months. Over the summer I will try to mend the other two pairs in a similar fashion.

When I had finished mending this pair of socks and composed my scheme for mending the other two pairs, I was feeling pleased with myself. Then yesterday I felt an ominous twang at the back of my neck, so I took off my cardigan and this had happened. Yikes!

29-05-19 cardi
It’s a broken neck! Not that I want to over-dramatise anything,

This is an old cardigan which I have been wearing since 2012 – the pattern is Laccaria by Norah Gaughan and I knitted it in J C Rennie Shetland wool holding two strands together to get a DK/Worstead gauge. (I find it quite odd that I don’t have any finished object photos of this project at all.)

Now, if this problem had cropped up in May last year I would have cut the buttons off and thrown the cardigan in the bin, which may sound extreme, but at that point I had marked it down as no longer wearable. I had become too plump for it – the sleeves would spot-weld themselves to my arms when I wore it; one of the buttonholes had grown to the point where the button simply would not stay shut; the whole cardigan was shabby. However, as I have lost weight this cardigan has regained favour with me to the point where I am not ready to let it go. So, more mending is in order – I’m pretty sure I still have a ball of this wool and can just unpick the cast-off edge of the neckband and re-do it. I want to knit a new garment in this type of colour and when I do that, it will be time to retire this one.

Do you find there are times when everything seems to need mending, or is it just a steady trickle in your life?


 

The good, the bad, and the swatchy

22-05-19 Inigo progress

Hello there! I’ve been knitting steadily for a few days now; not overdoing it, but making steady progress. I’ve finished the back and one sleeve of the Inigo cardigan, I’m really pleased with it so far and am finding it a very therapeutic garment to knit. I don’t mind at all knitting miles of stocking stitch flat – I really enjoy the purl rows every bit as much as the knit rows. The yarn is pleasant to work with, it has quite a number of prickly inclusion which I usually stop and pick out, but I think these might soften up when the finished garment is washed.

My other knitting activity has taken the form of a number of swatches. A couple of my friends very kindly gave me the book “Knitting From The North” by Hilary Grant for Christmas and one of them, who also has this book, has made a start on the “Loki” jumper. This is a really fabulous jumper and I decided I would make a swatch because I’d like to knit it sometime this year. I want to convert it to knitting flat in separate pieces so I started a flat swatch to check my gauge. Here is how far I got:-

I really like the patterning, but I hit a problem checking my gauge which should be 26 stitches to 10cm; I was getting 29 stitches and I think you can see from the close-up that the non-colourwork portion is already quite flimsy. Now, I’m a veteran user of Shetland yarns and I know that when I wash the knitted fabric it blooms magically, the gaps in the stitches close up and you get a lovely fabric. However, the one thing I also know is that my gauge doesn’t change when the fabric is washed, and I feel going up one or two needle sizes to match the stitch gauge called for might very well give a decidedly odd result with these yarns. With this in mind, I unpicked the swatch and have put this idea on the back-burner for the time being, with the intention of revisiting it when the mood strikes me.

That decision was aided by me reading this blog post over at Fringe Association. That little summer cardi she writes about reminded me of this heavy winter cardigan by Norah Gaughan:-

2006 Autumn

This was published in the Autumn 2006 issue of Vogue Knitting (or Designer Knitting, depending on your country) and I have knitted two successful versions in the past. Reminiscing on this, I started to think about that golden yellow yarn that I keep starting projects with but never finishing. I have considered a couple of times the option of holding it with a strand of cream wool to give a marled effect and it struck me that it might work for this pattern. So I swatched:-

 

Love it! Below the centre-line I used 4.5mm needles which gave me a gauge of 18 stitches to 10cm and above the centre I used 4mm needles which came out bang-on the 20 stitches to 10cm that the pattern calls for. My row gauge is, as ever, completely off – I can’t understand how anyone ever manages to get both row and stitch gauge and I don’t understand how the designers knit to get the gauges they do come up with, but that’s neither here not there. I’ve been knitting a long time and I’ve got used to the vagaries of it all. (Actually, my theory is that the row gauge is distorted with aggressive blocking, but don’t quote me on that because it might be a bit inflammatory!)

The photos of this swatch are useful because they illustrate the point I was making about my colourwork swatch and how the Shetland wool blooms when washed. Comparing the big picture of the yellow swatch (pre-wash) with the one top-right (post-wash) you can see how the cream stitches in particular have puffed up and softened in appearance. The yellow yarn is a blend of acrylic and wool so the behaviour is less pronounced.

So, there we have it: good progress, bad gauge, swatchy meanderings.

I hope your week is going well and you are getting in some knitting, planning, crafting, or just plain resting.


 

Finished Object – Gaudi Cardigan

01-05-19 Gaudi finished

It’s done! My Gaudi cardigan is completely finished, washed, dry, ready to wear. I am so pleased with it; it fits perfectly, the Rowan Felted Tweed DK makes it warm but lightweight, the colours are just stunning. I feel the buttons provide a final flourish. I went through my button tin as I knew I had bought some packs of blue grey and beige buttons some time ago. Once I had sorted them out into matching colour sets, I decided to use the palest beige, the deep-sea blue, and the charcoal ones in a repeating pattern and I just love how it looks. I think it lends the garment a playful edge.

So, here are the technical details:
Pattern:  Gaudi
Designer:  Martin Storey for Rowan
Book:  Rowan New Vintage DK
Size: To fit bust 36-38″ (second size)
Materials: Rowan Felted Tweed DK. I used 150g Clay; 37g Watery; 43g Granite; 15g Mineral; 64g Carbon; 15g Seafarer.
Needles:  3.25mm KnitPro Symfonie 30cm straights; 4.00mm KnitPro Zing 30cm straights.
Buttons:  I used 11 18mm buttons, pattern calls for 6 only.

Modifications (a.k.a. It isn’t you, it’s me)

From the outset, it was my intention to knit this exactly as the pattern is written with no modifications, even using the exact colours shown in the pattern. Well, that went a bit by-the-board, but I have to make it clear that I count this as an extremely well-written pattern, just one that doesn’t suit my knitting preferences quite as well as some of Martin Storey’s previous patterns. Here is the design photo:-

01-05-19 Gaudi pattern pic

My cardigan seems rather shorter than this but then I always have an issue with row gauge and I like the length mine has achieved.  The big modifications, though, came in the colourwork patterned ‘yoke’ area. I have to admit I struggled with this as I have mentioned in previous blog posts. Firstly, I didn’t work the few stitches at the raglan shaping in the Clay colour as I should have – I tried it both ways, but repeated re-knitting of the colourwork on the back left me with no desire to have three balls of wool hanging around getting tangled.

Last week I got it all seamed together ready to work the bands, but I tried it on and I really didn’t like the fit on the shoulders. I knew all along this could potentially be an issue because I don’t like wide necklines – they don’t suit my narrow shoulders and I find them fussy when it comes to necklines you can wear under them. Realising I wouldn’t wear the cardigan as it was, I unpicked the seams and took each piece back to a point where I could address this issue.

I will say here that I think this pattern would be ideal if you are used to knitting your sweaters top-down all in one piece, but want to branch out and try a pattern knit from the bottom up in pieces. I think you would end up with a fit you are very familiar and happy with from your previous projects. I don’t knit that type of garment because they don’t look like they would be a comfortable fit on me; although having modified this cardigan I might try an all-in-one construction sometime and modify it to suit me.

I have knitted raglan-sleeved garments in the dim and distant past, although a set-in sleeve suits me perfectly so I tend to stick with that, and I recalled that the sleeve decreases were worked until all the stitches were gone and the sleeve came to a point at the top. On this design, there is a shaped top to each sleeve. In order to get a close-fitting neck, I just carried on decreasing the sleeves as my previous experience dictated and then worked the shaping on the back and fronts to suit. This has given me the ideal result for my taste and it actually didn’t add more than a couple of days to the finishing of the project.

My second modification was to crochet the bands for the button, buttonhole, and neck edges rather than knitting them. Again, this is a result of past experience as I really like the finish a crocheted band provides, especially how neat the buttonholes are.

01-05-19 Gaudi buttonholes

I made my buttonholes quite close together, almost doubling the number of buttons called for, because of a discussion I had with one of my sisters when I was dithering over whether to knit this as a cardigan or change it to a jumper. With smaller gaps between the buttons it will be possible to wear it as a jumper when I want to.

So there it is, my completed cardigan and I can’t wait to be wearing it. I will post some modelled shots when I can grab them, but for now I’m just happy to have this one in my wardrobe. I love it.

01-05-19 Gaudi complete


 

Knitting photographs

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Close-up of Rowan Felted Tweed DK

There has been steady progress on my Gaudi cardigan and lace-back mitt over the past week, but nothing hugely interesting to photograph, so I thought I would talk a bit today about what I use to take my photographs.

This has been prompted by the fact that over the past few days I have been playing with my decent camera instead of just grabbing my phone to take snaps. My decent camera is an Olympus E-510 10 megapixel digital SLR camera. It is hardly in the first flush of youth, it seems this particular model debuted in 2007 and was superseded by the E-520 in 2008. I bought the camera second-hand and I’ve had it a few years now. I have three lenses for this camera, which include a macro lens for close-up photography – the one I used for these photos. My phone is the iPhone X with a 12 megapixel camera and it is a year old.

I have to say the phone suffices as a camera for pretty much all of my needs and I haven’t used my Olympus much at all in the past year. The one time this year that I have taken it out for a walk with me, I struggled to get it to focus; I am still not sure if that was due to the battery needing a charge, an actual issue with the camera, or simply me forgetting how to use it properly. However, this week, having charged the battery, I have grabbed a few photos and had no issue with the focus so I am hopeful that it is still in good working order.

The thing I really like about the Olympus, over and above the iPhone, is that I can use it with a tripod. This makes taking decent close-ups easier because even with image stabilisation my grip is prone to wobbliness. I have a remote control for the camera and that makes it a cinch to take photos of myself wearing my finished knitting projects. I know when I finish Gaudi I am going to want to take some photos.

On the other hand, the thing I really like about the iPhone camera is that it goes pretty much everywhere as a matter of course, and it’s easy to pick up to take a quick snap whenever I want. There is a lot to be said for convenience.

As to the picture quality, I honestly don’t know that there is much in it. In view of that I am just counting myself as lucky that I have a choice of cameras to suit different situations. If the Olympus does give up the ghost, I probably wouldn’t buy a replacement. Then again, if I decided to downgrade my phone next time it’s time to change (quite possible if my mood of frugality continues) then having the Olympus means my choice wouldn’t be narrowed to only phones with good cameras.

Here are some more photos of my knitting taken with the Olympus:

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Mitt progress
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Gaudi colour blocking – I really like the colour reproduction on this.

I hope your projects are going well and I’d be interested to hear whether you have a preference between a phone camera or a more standard camera for your photography.


 

How is the knitting going?

10-04-19 Mitts try 1

In an effort to straighten up my thoughts and plans a bit, here’s an update on how the knitting is going in this neck of the woods.

First up, fingerless mitts for my Etsy shop. The above are my first pair trying out a lacy pattern and they are as finished as they are going to get. I have to say, they look a lot better in the photo than in real life. To my eye, the busy dye pattern on the yarn, which I think is gorgeous, doesn’t work well with the lace motif. The glove doesn’t seem to sit too well on the hand, with the lace motif looking a little off-centre. Not to mention that I hurried the first mitt and am not happy with the quality of it. I think these are destined to go to charity. I have cast on for a second pair, but I haven’t got far:

10-04-19 Mitts try 2

For these I am using John Arbon Knit by Numbers 4-ply and everything about it is making me very happy. I am experimenting with positioning the lace panel at the side of the back of the hand to see if I like it.

My golden/mustard/yellow sweater is still patiently awaiting its turn in my affections. I fear that might not happen until the autumn, but we will see.

Over the past week I have been mainly working on the Gaudi cardigan and I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made. As of today, I have the back and both sleeves completed, and am just about to embark on the armhole shaping/colourwork section of the first front.

10-04-19 Gaudi

I am still keen to get this cardigan completed so I can be wearing it. I think I may crochet the button band as I did this with one of my all-time favourite cardigans and it has stood the test of time extremely well. The additional sturdiness of the crochet really helps on button bands, and also the button-holes are so much neater than on knitted bands.

I have been looking at a few of the patterns in the Rowan New Vintage DK pattern book and thinking how splendid they would look in a gradient of one colourway. That could be achieved using John Arbon Knit by Numbers yarns, or wools from the Shetland suppliers. I might do one myself.

Other than these, I have no real plans or thoughts or dreams on the knitting front other than to reach the finish-line on the cardigan and mitts.


How is your knitting shaping up? Have you taken an inventory recently and come to any conclusions about the projects you are working on?


 

Delving into history

Last night I found myself ambling through the blog posts I wrote before the long break. As I was wearing my Laccaria cardigan and reading the post about completing that cardigan, I felt inspired to photograph my current ‘wardrobe’ of knitted garments and analyse how old they were. This has been very interesting because researching the dates (which meant going back through my computer records and my hand-written notebook) has really brought home to me what a fallow period I fell into with my knitting (not to mention my general creativity) in that period when I wasn’t blogging.

So, following the photos from top to bottom and left to right, we find:-

Turin – Martin Storey for Jaeger – JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool – August 2010
The oldest of my handknits which I still wear, this yarn has worn like a dream (no wonder I loved it so much), and this cardigan never fails me.

Square neck cardigan – Rowan Studio 11 – The Uncommon Thread BFL DK Cumulus – August 2013
Another absolute favourite which I have worn and worn. The colour is a little bit more blue than the photo manages to show, and the yarn is just gorgeous. It has pilled a little, but that can be forgiven when I consider how much I have worn and washed this baby.

Sleeveless tank – 1000 Sweaters – JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool – June 2018
One of my more recent knits, but using up the trusty old JC Rennie wool, this is the top I am wearing today. I wasn’t sure when I made it how much I would wear it and the answer is, not a lot so far, but I still enjoy it and it’s useful to have as a layering piece.

Rib detail v-neck – 1000 Sweaters – Willow & Lark Ramble DK – October 2018
Most recent completed project, and I am so happy with this one. I could have made a better yarn choice and I don’t feel that this will be as long-lasting as some of my garments, but I can’t fault my choice of colour or pattern at all.

Mari – Martin Storey for Rowan – Bergere de France Ideal – February 2018
This was always going to be an oddity in my wardrobe because the yarn is not the sort of thing I usually buy. It is two strands of Ideal held together – one in what I affectionately term ‘Radioactive Red’ and one in cream. I ordered the red and started one or two things in it, but the colour was a bit offputting. In the end I ordered the cream to try and take the edge off a bit, and knitted this aran-weight jumper by Martin Storey on the basis that if nothing else it would be a warm layer to wear around the house. As it is, I wear it outside for cycle rides and walks when I don’t want to wear a jacket and I really rather like it. It is what I would term a ‘sloppy joe’. The pattern is actually written as a polo-neck but I just did a little stand-up crew collar which works very well.

Laccaria – Berroco – JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool – 2012
Back to the older knits and this one has seen a goodly amount of wear. I was on the brink of disposing of it earlier in the year because I had got too fat to wear it, but my diet has brought it back into frequent use, although I tend to wear it mainly indoors. The only real downside is the 3/4 length sleeves which are great in summer, but not so good now the chillier days have arrived. Also, I need to fix the second bottonhole from the neck because the button won’t stay done up.

Chevron border cardigan – 1000 Sweaters – Cascade 220 Heathers – January 2018
I bought this yarn to knit Gullveig by Norah Gaughan for Berroco and one day I will knit that beauty, but the charted patterning was too much for my addled brain when I tried it. Instead, I knitted up this lovely worstead-weight caridgan when I needed a quick warm jumper project. It fits in exactly the same niche as the next cardigan and I love both of them.

Burr – Veronique Avery for Brooklyn Tweed – JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool + Donegal Tweed – March 2016
This pattern sat on my must-knit queue for a long while and I just love the finished object. I omitted the waist shaping and worked a simple band rather than the collar in the original pattern. I love the little shaped rib details at the waist and cuff, and the eyelet rows at the shoulders – these little details just elevate the whole design. I have worn this so much as it is the ideal outer layer over a dress during autumn and spring, then as a cardigan during the colder months.

As I said, looking back through my notes has made me aware of the failures as well as the successes, and I am shocked by the number of projects I have started then abandoned because for some reason they were not working. Much of it is poor yarn choice, and I am afraid that may always be the case as I am easily seduced by yarns that don’t turn out to be as good as I hope. Then I lost sight of my creativity for a long while (actually, lost sight of myself which is even more dispiriting) and I am extremely thankful that I have found it again this year. In fact, whilst I’ve been writing this blog post I have been simultaneously writing down notes about possible patterns to knit or re-knit – I have a Bergere de France pattern book full of cabled knits that are singing to me at the top of their voices. I did try one of these patterns before, but the yarn wasn’t well suited to it and, anyway, I wasn’t the right shape for it at the time.

I hope you have enjoyed delving into my past, and seeing my current hand-knit wardrobe. Have you thought of doing this yourself? I can thoroughly recommend it.