I don’t have plans and schemes

I don’t have plans and schemes
And I don’t have hopes and dreams
I don’t have anything
Since I don’t have you

Well, actually, I do!

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My next garment

Over the past couple of days I have been examining my modest yarn stash to work out which yarns I want to keep and which I am never going to use so therefore need to donate to charity. I’ve also been getting some exercise winding small remnants of Shetland wool from the cones into balls as I think they will be easier to store. I am saving all of these to make a Fairisle patterned sweater one of these old days.

Since I finished Gaudi earlier this year and ended up with plenty of left-overs of the Rowan Felted Tweed DK, I have had the above cardigan on my radar. It is Basilica by Martin Storey – a lovely, cosy-looking bundle of colour which will my third project from the excellent Rowan pattern book New Vintage DK, which I bought in autumn 2018.

After careful consideration, I have come up with the following colour scheme:

Main colour for ribs and collar – a double strand of JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool in Marine (the ball nearest to the model’s head in my photo)

Secondary colour, for the larger colour blocks on body and sleeves – a double strand of JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool, one strand Blueprint and one strand an unknown shade of grey

Stripes – Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Mineral and Clay, double strands of JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool in Medium Grey and an unknown shade of orange

I am planning one very small change to the way the pattern is written so that the stripes are at the bottom of the garment and the solid colour block starts at the armhole and stretches to the neck. This will get around the fact that I have a limited amount of my secondary colour.

Considering that this garment is knit in stocking stitch with a very simple stripe sequence, I am surprised that Rowan felt they needed to produce it as a charted design. I understand (although I don’t entirely agree with) the use of charts to convey complicated instructions that would take up too much space if written out in full, but in this instance I can’t imagine the written instructions would take up as much room as the chart.

That’s the limit of my knitting plans and schemes so far. The pale pink “sloppy joe” jumper is still on my list, but first I want to concentrate on getting this bunch of wools out of my stash. I don’t really have any other sweater quantities stored away, which is a lovely position to be in. Ideally, I’d like to run my stash down completely. Lovely though yarns are in their skeins and balls, I like them so much better when I’ve turned them into garments and put them in my wardrobe!

Well, I think I will knit another couple of rows on my cowl before tea – I am just starting colour number eight.


For your education and/or enjoyment, why not take a listen to Don McLean’s version of Since I Don’t Have You?


 

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A curiosity cabinet

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Mama Weer All Crazee Cowl – progress to date

Today I am going to write about a miscellany of ideas, connected only in that they spark my interest, thus the title of “Curiosity Cabinet” seemed appropriate.

To kick things off, there is progress on my Crazee Cowl and I am now on the seventh of the planned ten colours. I must admit I am ready for this to be finished and I am reserving the right to call it done without using all ten mini skeins. That being said, the colour I started at the weekend is very much my cup of tea, gorgeous shades of deep purple/blue, teal and turquoise with splashes of verdant green and yellow. This has led me to conclude that when I am using a colourful yarn I like it to be really vibrant and multicoloured. It’s not that I dislike the more muted combinations in middle of the cowl, I just really like the bright ones.

I like to learn from the projects I work on, and if my learning point on this one has been to invest in wild and wonderful colours on my special skeins of yarn then it’s a lesson well worth learning. Thinking about it, this cowl itself has the air of a curiosity cabinet about it, and if I wasn’t so enamoured with the Slade-inspired “Mama Weer All Crazee Cowl” I think I would rename it “Curiosity Cabinet”.

Now we’re into August I’ve been looking at the latest brochures over on Rowan Yarns’ website and, in particular, Martin Storey’s recent offerings which include some lovely, wearable patterns, as I expect from my favourite designer. I particularly like Neat from All Year Round (a very basic v-necked jumper) and Holburn from Easy DK Knits (the round-neck jumper with split and buttoned welt). I think a combination of the two would be particularly interesting. Although I’m not a hoodie girl, I do like the look of Homespun. Finally, I’ve included Tactile, not because of the pattern, but because the first thing I noticed in the picture was the profile of those sliding doors, having spent seven years of my life becoming very closely acquainted with that product line. It’s funny what sticks with you when you are no longer involved with a thing on a daily basis.

Away from the knitting, I’ve been working on my goals for the next three months, as I was pondering in my previous blog post. Over the weekend I worked through a free training module on the American Franklin Planner website and I must say it sparked my enthusiasm to think about my core values much better than either of the books I’ve been reading this year (Getting Things Done by David Allen and The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll). Perhaps it is just the brevity of it that appealed to me, who can tell?

I’ve enjoyed a couple of podcasts over the weekend. On the knitting theme, there was the latest offering from Melissa of Knitting The Stash and I particularly enjoyed the part about receiving vintage knitting magazines for her birthday during which she touched upon the idea that knitting patterns themselves are often quite timeless, it is the styling of the photography which changes and which makes things seem dated. I love a good vintage pattern so I was very interested in this. The other podcast which was audio rather than video, was from NASA and covered commercial ventures in the space programme from whether products can be/should be endorsed, to encouraging commercial space ventures in order to utilise their facilities to reduce the cost of future exploration. All fascinating stuff.

Lastly, here’s a photo I took last week of the military area at Earlham Road Cemetary, with the Spirit of the Army standing sentinel over the soldiers in the summer rain.

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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


 

Finally, progress on Gaudi

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It’s taken a lot of fiddling and more time than it should, but I am finally making noticeable progress on the Gaudi cardigan by Martin Storey for Rowan.

I hit a problem with this pattern as soon as I started working on the colourwork section and I think the problem is nothing more than the peculiarities of my own gauge, compounded by my personal preferences. I knit three-quarters of the way through the colourwork on the back at least four times, very possibly more, and each time I couldn’t make it work. The armhole would be plenty deep enough, yet I would still have at least 30 stitches remaining to decrease which would add another 2-3 inches to the depth of the armhole. The back returned to my knitting basket a number of times to rest between bouts of wanting to work on it.

I have finally settled on following the spirit of the pattern rather than the word; I worked out my method for decreasing the correct number of stitches without it resulting in a batwing sleeve, and I finally knit the whole colourwork portion of the back in less than a day. Of course, having knitted the colourwork so many times, I am now very familiar with how it goes and don’t have to consult the pattern at all.

On this final stab, I decided that life was too short to have an extra ball of yarn on the go and fiddle with knitting the edge in the pale colour as the pattern instructs, so I have gone for a strictly striped look right across. I really want to wear this cardigan and if that’s what it takes to get a cardi I like, then that’s what I’ll do.

I am currently working on the first sleeve, having decided that I’d like to get to the sleeves out of the way nice and early in the game. Sleeves are always larger than you think and there will be less knitting involved in the two fronts so it’s nice to keep them until last.

27-03-19 Gaudi b

I still adore this pattern, and I love the colours so much. Can’t wait to wear the finished object. The only thing that gives me pause for thought is the yarn. It’s nice enough to work with, but oh, it sheds so annoyingly. I am sure this is down to the 25% Alpaca content in the yarn, which was always going to be the element I was less than charmed by. I want to knit other designs from the “New Vintage Knits” book, but at this point I have to say I will probably look at knitting them in Shetland wools rather than the Rowan Felted Tweed. Of course, I haven’t finished the knitting and washed the garment yet – I may well discover at that point that Felted Tweed is just the bee’s knees! I am changeable like that.

How is your knitting going? Any garments being worked on?


Just as an aside, the coconut cake in my previous post was divine. Unfortunately, it was absolutely certainly not a diet option – my weight rocketed from the first mouthful. But it’s okay if I keep such things as occasional treats.


 

Why, what and wow!

13-02-19 Street Style
Why, oh why?

There are three things on my mind today, aside from the usual. First, why has the fashion world forgotten that legs reach to the top of the heel whilst arms finish at the wrist? The ‘street style’ shot above from Copenhagen Fashion Week illustrates the point – sleeves too long, trousers too short. I can see that it is a new twist and makes a fairly standard trousers-jumper-coat combination scream “2019”, but it is not doing it in a good way. In fact, it looks downright silly. The only current trend missing from this mix is the ragged hem which is on 93% of trousers… sorry, we are not allowed to have trousers anymore, I should have said ankle-grazers. Which is very apt, because have you ever grazed your ankle? That’s how miserable you will feel wearing these trousers.

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What I’m working on

Yes, Gaudi sat quietly for a couple of weeks and then on Monday I suddenly had the urge to work on it again. That little break has made all the difference. I wasn’t happy with how the raglan sleeve shaping was working which I think was down to the tweak I did with the colourwork, so before I put it away I unpicked to the beginning of the colourwork section. Picking it up again, I have gone back to how the pattern is written and am using a separate ball of the pale yarn to do each side of the raglan shaping. Whilst this is a bit counter-intuitive to me, and it means working with 3 balls of yarn for this section and untwisting them regularly, I am much happier with it and enjoying working on it again. I still love this cardigan.

13-02-19 Minis
Just…. wow!

Today I have been winding the set of Noodle Soup Yarns mini-skeins, which I received at Christmas, into balls so they are ready to knit when the mood strikes me. As I wound each ball, I was able to fully appreciate the gorgeous dyeing; these are truly lovely yarns. I also indulged in a little game of ‘what would I call this colour if I was naming it?’ I think the turquoise and red ball in the centre front of my picture I’d call ‘Helix Nebula’ (real name is ‘Paradise’). The pinky-purply ball to the left of it would be ‘Perfection’ because it is possibly the most perfect colourway I can imagine (real name is ‘Heartbreaker’). Lastly, the brown ball nestled in the middle to my mind is called ‘1973’ (real name is ‘Coffee’). Kudos to Charley for the dye-work on these yarns, and I can assure her that the mini-skeins are doing their work well – I now crave a full skein of every single one, although I must note these exact shades might not be currently available.

I hope you’re having fun whatever you are doing, and that you’ve made it through to the middle of the week unscathed.


 

Knits are progressing

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Gaudi cardigan by Martin Storey

Since finishing my socks, I have returned to my two works in progress, and things are moving along, albeit a little slowly,

First up, it’s Gaudi by Martin Storey. This is still the back and progress on the colourwork part is picking up again now. I set it aside completely when I was knitting the socks, so in total I’ve only finished up the first diamond pattern since the previous update. I’ve got another 30 rows to complete the back, but they are diminishing in length with the raglan shoulder shaping. Then I will have to decide whether or not I should make a major modification to the pattern and knit it as a jumper, or continue with the original cardigan design. I am really craving jumpers right now, but I know a cardigan would be very practical. I have a lot of cardigans and only two jumpers, but I know I would wear a cardigan through the warmer weather and I’m not so sure about a jumper. I am taking heart from the fact that whichever way I jump, it’s not going to be wrong!

21-01-19 old gold
Same old gold yarn; different project

Although as you know I am not at all a person to have more than one garment project on the go at once, I am breaking my rule and using the old, old-gold yarn to knit a jumper, and this one is definitely going to be a jumper, no chance it will turn into a cardigan. Of course, the yarn was going to be a cardigan, I still have the back and half the front sitting here to prove it, but the yearning for a jumper has conquered me. This is another pattern from the 1,000 Sweaters book I have written about before and I am holding the 4-ply yarn double resulting in a slightly heavy DK-weight. It’s a soothing knit with those simple textured furrows. I didn’t want anything too busy because the colour of the yarn is going to be the main highlight, but I did want something just a little more adventurous than a simple stocking-stitch. This pattern has a turned hem and no waist shaping, set-in sleeves and I’m going to do a crew-neck just because it’s warmer than a v-neck at this time of year.

Whilst knitting, I have been catching up with podcasts or listening to golden oldies – the latest addition to my collection being a Glen Campbell compilation album. By the time he gets to Phoenix I’ll have finished the back of my jumper!


 

A cast-on, an update, and a modification

07-01-19 sock progress
Plain vanilla sock using yarn dyed by Noodle Soup Yarns of Norwich, UK

THE CAST-ON

On New Year’s Day I finished the socks I had been working on seemingly forever, and I put away my sock-knitting project bag so that I could concentrate on the Gaudi cardigan. Then my sister appeared wearing the beautiful hat she had whipped up in a trice from the Noodle Soup Yarns skein that I gave her for Christmas and I suddenly knew I had to cast on a sock with the skein I had gifted myself at the same time. Although this skein is named “Spooky Smog, as I wound the wool it made me think of a kingfisher in a deep, dark wood, so I am calling these socks “Kingfisher in Fangorn Forest”. Thus far, it has to be said, the kingfisher itself is absent, but I am enjoying the forest nonetheless.

This is my standard sock pattern, 60 stitches on 2.5mm KnitPro Zing needles and the yarn base is a 3-ply 80/10/10 mix of Superwash Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. It is a tiny bit thicker than a lot of sock yarns, and I am loving the fabric that this is creating. It is very squooshy. Noodle Soup’s dyeing is very luscious and, even though this is a really saturated colourway, there is no dye coming out on my hands as I knit.

I made good progress after casting-on yesterday, and have turned the heel of the first sock and started working on the foot. One thing I experimented with on my previous pair of socks was using what Interweave Knits refer to as a Barn Toe and I was very pleased with the way this fitted. I will use the same method for these socks.

GAUDI UPDATE AND MODIFICATION

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Gaudi progress as at 7th January 2019

Here is my progress to date on the back of the Gaudi cardigan. I am so pleased with how this is knitting up, although I am debating back and forth with myself as to whether or not I like the yarn (Rowan Felted Tweed DK). So, on the plus side, I love the colours, I love the tweedy effect and I love the feel of the fabric created. The only downside is that I don’t like the alpaca content and that’s something I struggle with regardless of the brand of yarn. I just don’t like alpaca, even a tiny bit. I hate the constant barrage of what look like dog-hairs that come off it as I work and I don’t see that it adds anything of value to the feel of the yarn. However, I am reserving judgement until the project is finished, and it is not something that is going to prevent me from wearing and adoring the cardigan.

Now, to the modification. I remember the good old days, back in December 2018, when I was all gung-ho about how I was going to knit Gaudi exactly as it was written. However, time has moved on and I am a more experienced person now, so I have changed how the colourwork ‘yoke’ portion is knitted. The pattern is written to utilise slipped stitches and I did a few rows in this way without too much trouble. However, the way the raglan shaping is constructed meant that I was stranding the yarn across the back and it seemed to make more sense to me to do the colourwork similarly to how you would do a Fairisle pattern. I ripped back and started working it this way, and I am really liking it – both how it looks and how pleasurable it is to work. Here’s a close-up:

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Modified colourwork section

I know this is less three-dimensional than it would be with slipped stitches, but it appeals to me.

I hope your knitting, or any other craft pursuit, is going well and that you are making progress towards any goals you have set.


 

Knits in progress as December wanes

Hello again, nice to have you back with me for an update on my current knits. I am not being a monogamous knitter at the moment, which is rather out of character as you know. I must admit this causes me a tiny bit of concern as I don’t think I will make progress on everything and I hate to leave things in abeyance.

The “old gold” wool

You may recall before Christmas I was having a dither over whether to continue knitting the Rimini cardigan by Martin Storey with this 4-ply yarn, or to abandon that and knit a thicker jumper holding two or three stands of yarn together. Well, I tried a thicker jumper and didn’t really like it so I reverted to the fine-knit cardigan which I know I will wear. However, what with the Christmas knitting and the dithering, it was clear I would not be finishing the project before Christmas so I decided to put it on hold, probably until the spring.

The “Dr Foster Went To Gloucester” socks

Another thing you may recall is that I knitted one sock out of this lovely Mr B Yarns wool back in September. I went completely out of my comfort zone and knitted it toe-up, incorporating the delightfully-titled Fleegle Heel and was very happy with it at the time, and in no doubt that I would knit the other sock when I’d finished… (insert whatever seems appropriate!).

I didn’t ever knit that second sock, but I thought knitting it would be the ideal project to fill in the time before I did my Christmas cast-on of the project I really wanted to work on. However, as soon as I tried on the sock I’d finished, I knew I wasn’t going to complete them. I had reverted to type and was dreadfully unhappy with everything about the toe-up construction. Luckily, I have small feet, and one 100g skein of yarn can more than adequately provide me with three socks, so I simply cast on a relatively plain, cuff-down sock. I experimented with the idea of doing a short row heel rather than my normal heel flap and gusset, but after two attempts I gave up on that too and went with what makes me happy.  So here is my progress to date – a HO:-

28-12-18 Dr Foster HO
Dr Foster Went To Gloucester – still love this colourway

I have decided these will be my New Year Socks, so I had better get the second one knitted over this weekend.

The Gaudi caridgan by Martin Storey

I had promised myself through December that I would cast on for the Gaudi cardigan once my pre-Christmas socialising was done and so I sat down in the calm of Christmas Eve and made a start. This is how far I have got – to the waist of the back:-

28-12-18 Gaudi progress
Halfway up the back of the Gaudi cardigan

I love this pattern so much. I love the colours and the fact they change regularly makes for a more interesting knit. The only thing I don’t like quite so much is the Rowan Felted Tweed wool. Oh, I love how it looks, I just don’t like the fact that it incorporates alpaca. I am not a fan of alpaca and every time I use it, I experience a twinge of regret. A nice Shetland wool would give the same look and, in my opinion, a much nicer knitting experience, so I will note that for my future edification.

Not that I’m going to allow that little carp to put me off this project! I intend to make steady progress on this garment and get it finished quickly enough to keep me warm through February and March which are often the colder months in my part of the world. I reckon so long as I do a few rows each day, it will be done before I know it! Shame that I completely failed to do a few rows yesterday (my excuse is that I had some work to do on an item for my Etsy shop and that was more important).

Today

So, for today my plan is to cast on the second Dr Foster sock and do some work on the Gaudi cardigan. Oh, and see how much exercise it will need to work off today’s mince-pie-and-cream input! I have been rather indulgent over Christmas, without going totally overboard. However, I have been very good with exercise over the days of festivity, which has to count for something, surely.


How is your knitting progressing? I’ll be back on Friday with some ink stash enhancement, then on New Year’s Eve I will post my review of my 2018 knitting projects.


 

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.