Tag Archives: finished projects 2016

Good socks gone bad!

Herriot socks-1

So! I recently finished two pairs of socks for the Hubby knitted from blue and plum coloured Juniper Moon Herriot Fine.  I don’t mind admitting that I’ve never been so glad to see the back of a project as I was these.

The yarn, as you’d guess from the name, is a lightweight fingering.  It’s also fluffy. And I didn’t like the plum colour at all! It’s fair to say that I didn’t enjoy one single stitch of these socks.

Except perhaps for the last stitch of the grafting of the toes.  I definitely enjoyed that one!

But he was happy and that’s why I knit him socks.  And to be fair to the yarn, the problems I had with it were down to personal preference.  It’s beautifully spun, the colours are soft and heathery, and, I’m told, they are supremely comfortable to wear. The skeins are generous at 461 yards/100g.

It’s also a hand wash alpaca blend.

You know what’s coming don’t you.

Herriot socks-2

Yep….hand wash alpaca blends do not take kindly to the hand wash programme in your washing machine.


Which isn’t exactly what I said when I took them out of said machine!

I’m not entirely sure why the plum shrank more than the blue.  Possibly to do with the dye?!

Herriot socks-3

Total user error.  Thankfully they are just about still wearable!  And there are more pairs to come.  Just not in the Herriot yarn 😉

Longfellow Blue

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I do hope you’ve all had a lovely Easter.

Finished makes have been thin on the ground around these parts recently, but I’m finally pleased to share with you Longfellow by Michelle Wang for Brooklyn Tweed, which I finished for Hubby back in January.

Spring in the North of England is a contrary beast to say the least.  Today we’ve had sunshine, rain and wind.  So a lightweight cardigan like this is a great garment for a chap to have to keep the chill at bay whilst still maintaining his vaguely hipster credentials (I have my tongue firmly in my cheek at this point!).

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If you’ve a good memory, because this took an absolute age to finish, this is knitted in Garnstudio Drops Alpaca.  It’s a fine 4ply with a halo and a bit splitty, but it creates a lightweight yet warm fabric which keeps himself cosy.

The pattern itself is spot on in terms of measurements.  I’ll be honest and admit that I found the instructions for the armholes more than a little confusing, so defaulted to a simple k1, k2tog decrease (k2tbl at the end of the row) which worked perfectly fine. Knitted pockets are still new to me and these were a doddle.

Whilst simple 4ply cardigan patterns are hardly as rare as unicorns, I think the proportions of this one are just right. It fits great at the armhole and shoulders, and I’m particularly fond of the depth of the v-neck, which is perfect for wearing buttoned over a shirt.  Which is just how Hubby likes to wear it.

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All in all this cardi is a great success and I’d happily knit him another one, even with the miles of stocking stitch needed to cover those rugby player’s shoulders.  Next time, though, I’d use a different yarn because I’m not happy with how this one is wearing. You’ll clearly see on the above picture that it pobbles and bobbles quite easily. What you can’t see is that despite the most careful of hand washing and flat drying the fabric is flattening quite quickly.

Also the buttonholes don’t hold up to being buttoned, and I can assure you that this isn’t a tight fit.  There’s enough ease just not enough support in the buttonhole.

The yarn was very inexpensive as I bought it on sale so I’m not completely gutted by this…I just won’t use the leftovers to knit Button her Fleur Bleue.

Oh dear…that just means a visit to the yarn shop!

Style 1035 – a simple blouse

It felt good to be back in the sewing saddle this week.  Although the shameful layer of dust on the overlocker was testament to how long it’s been since I’ve ridden this particular pony!

I made this simple blouse for my friend Liz in payment for her sewing up of the Longfellow cardigan.  We often trade skills and it works out really well.

The pattern I used is  OOP Style 1035, which comes from Liz’s stash.

Scannable Document

Whilst the styling on the pattern is quite dated, the pieces in this are really good, solid basics.

Liz decided on the little jacket, but the fabric she chose was a fantastic charity shop find that made the end result more of a blouse. It was a pale green cotton voile scarf that, if memory serves, cost her less than £2.  As she’s petite and slender there was no issue in cutting a short sleeved version of this for her from the fabric available.


I’ll admit that it was a bugger to handle.  Shifty, fraying, downright pesky.  And I’m fairly sure there’s not a straight seam to be had!  Although I can confirm that the hem is even, although it doesn’t look it in these photos.

Seams were simply overlocked.  French seams would have been preferable but we were pushed for time.  Sleeve and bodice hems were hand stitched – primarily because they’d look prettier, but also because it was so much easier than trying to get this fabric to behave and sew a straight and neat hem!

The upside of this is that it drapes beautifully (and hides a multitude of sins doing so) and is lightweight and airy.


The buttons are from Liz’s stash.  Liz’s stash is impressive.  Her sewing room is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of haberdashery, yarn and patterns…both knitting and sewing.

All in all not a bad start to the sewing year.

More socks

There is still little in the way of sewing going on here, due in part to accountancy exams, in part to refreshing the house yet again to go back on sale this weekend, in part to being busy with small folks and their activities, and in part to just wanting to sit on the sofa at the end of the day with my husband,  a stiff gin, a box set and the needles.

Nothing to complain about, just the sewing machine is gathering dust.  Next week will be a different story as I’m on a deadline to make a blouse for my friend Liz before she heads off to Australia on the 29th.

However the benefit of sitting and knitting is that the husband’s hand knit sock tally has increased by 3 pairs.  Obviously I’ve used my usual pattern by Regia, but it’s lovely to see how the same sock looks completely different when you change the yarn.

First up it’s Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Tannat (A6729).  This yarn is a joy to knit with. If I could only ever choose one yarn to knit with for the rest of my life I’m pretty sure I’d knit with this.  It’s just gorgeous.

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Next is Sirdar Heart & Sole in “Find Your Sea Legs”.  This yarn is more utilitarian but, funnily enough, hubby prefers this slightly.  I think it holds it’s shape a little more than the softer Manos.

And, of course, there’s the awesome stripes to consider too!  Just the most perfect stripes, no?

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You’ll notice that these socks are a little longer than I normally make.  That decision was driven by the stripes.  I really wanted to finish a full stripe repeat before turning the heel. And I must add that if you’re a beginner sock knitter this yarn makes it super easy to match the stripes.  Bonus!

Last up are the Happy Camper socks, again Sirdar Heart and Sole.  I’ll be honest that I wouldn’t have chosen this colour if it had been down to me.  But it wasn’t.  So I knit them. They turned out better than I’d anticipated and the mister is happy, which is what matters when it comes to socks!

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As you can imagine, by the time I’d finished with these I was finished with socks for the time being.  So I’m relieved pleased to say that the Longfellow cardigan is done, in the wardrobe and will probably be worn out before I get the chance to photograph it (I’m only joking…I just need a weekend day that isn’t dark and grey), and I’ve done the front and almost all of the back of Lemongrass.

So, that’s me for now.  Please bear with me if I’m a bit “missing in action”.  I’m hoping by Easter things will be a bit slower, but, knowing how life goes, probably not.

And whilst I’m not doing much sewing, I’ve been doing quite a bit of plotting.  Shall I put my thoughts down here, or would that bore you senseless.  Do let me know!