Friday, August 5, 2016


Kate Davies' Owls pattern is now a knitting classic. I've been very late to the knitting party, but here is my first version of her lovely fitted jumper, knitted in 12 ply Guanaco. 
It took just under 5 x 100g skeins for the size S - a little less than the pattern called for, which surprised me as my tension was a little under the gauge.


Its a very quick knit, for a jumper, which is the very pleasing thing about knitting with 12ply.


There are plenty of 12ply patterns about, due to the speed of knitting with these chunky yarns, but very few of the patterns are so beautifully fitted. See those nice darts at the back waist!  Most 12 ply jumpers have a very cosy and oversized look - dare I say boxy...


The most delightful part of this pattern for me, are the owl cables.


These cables give just enough embellishment to make the jumper interesting to knit and wear, but are not too complicated for a relatively inexperienced knitter.
This is such a quick jumper to knit that I might be able to squeeze in another one whilst it is still cold enough to wear a snuggly alpaca/wool top layer

Monday, March 16, 2015

Transeasonal boy's cabled jumper, Sirdar Baby Bamboo 346

Knitting for the conservative Australian male is not for the faint hearted knitter. This venture can also be complicated by certain people who complain vigorously that most things itch.
Despite these challenges, I claim success. This has been worn quite a few times already.
The pattern is (mostly) from Sirdar's Baby Bamboo too, book 346, which despite the title and the beautiful infant on the front ,includes patterns up to a generous size 7 years.
The sizes are in fact so generous, that for my (admittedly slim) 12 year old son, I needed only to change the length of the jumper (body and sleeves) from the size 7 to have a jumper that is a relaxed fit in all directions.

 I did intend to make the sleeves to fit when the cuff was folded back, in an attempt to gain some longevity from the jumper, but the yarn relaxed a little with wear, so I am hoping some growth comes along to correct this minor fitting issue.

For a boy's jumper, this was fun to knit. The cable is only on the front as written, but by adapting the pattern to knit in the round from the bottom up, this cable is enough to keep things interesting up to the armscye, and I added a bit of cable to the upper back for additional knitting pleasure. I tried to introduce a little cable to the sleeve to prevent knitting doldrums, but this was "too fancy" according to the recipient.


I used the Baby Bamboo yarn for the jumper, this being rated completely non itchy by the boy, and coming in a wide variety of colours. This one is 150, Denim Dungaree, which sounds suitably boyish. The last colour I used for him was called "Coo", which is not something I mentioned to him when we were discussing colour options.
The yarn is tried and true at our house, being just warm enough for Queensland Spring and Autumn evenings, and machine washable (on delicate wool wash).

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bolero from Knit 2 in Jo Sharp Lumina

A pattern that works in several yarns, and in several styles is my favourite sort of pattern. I like to make up the exact garment planned by a designer as much as the next person, but adding my own variations is very satisfying.
This looks like a Summer garment.

Here is the same pattern, and same yarn, as an Autumn garment.


Last weekend, we went to a friend's house for dinner, and ate outside. It was a lovely evening, but the breeze became a bit chilly for the strappy dress I was wearing.
I could have done with this bolero.

Unfortunately, I don't have one yet, I actually knit this for a friend, to wear to her son's year 12 formal. It is modeled here by my daughter. It's a little big for her, but I think you can see the appeal of the garment better on a person than on a hanger, this yarn makes a beautifully drapey fabric.

The yarn is Jo Sharp 814 Halo Lumina, which is a gorgeous shimmering gold with integrated (soft) sequins. It's a perfect weight for spring and autumn evenings in our part of the world,.

Using Lumina for this pattern, rather than the Soho Summer cotton suggested in the starting pattern (Bolero from Jo Sharp Knit 2), makes the garment a little more dressy. Lumina requires some care in knitting, using bamboo needles and attention to detail when sewing up. I have written about working with Lumina in an earlier post

I adapted the pattern by knitting the backs and fronts in one piece to the armholes, by knitting the sleeves in the round, and by finishing the knitted on border and starting the sleeve cuffs with a stocking stitch edge, allowing it to roll over the ribbed binding for a softer look, with more textural interest.


I am impressed with the versatility of this pattern. After I'd completed the body, the sleeveless version looked rather smart as a waistcoat.
 There are 3 lengths of an A-line waistcoat in this yarn in Jo Sharp's Knit 4 book, which I admire, but this bolero version is equally as suitable.

The garment is fastened with a decorative kilt pin.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Mitred blanket of many colours

in retrospect (that means, once i recovered from weaving in ends and sewing the strips together) I really enjoyed making the Jo Sharp Mitred Blanket (enlarged), and almost immediately started a new version, which started out as a tasteful subdued version in pale blue, cream and darkest brown.


This was to coordinate with an Ikea print which is on the covers of the armchairs in my daughter's flat.

Somehow, all the other colours in the Ikea print crept into the blanket - and some more shades that didn't exactly match the print snuck in as well. Fortunately there are another 2 armchairs in a dark neutral where I can drape the blanket instead.

I find it quite easy to get carried away with stripes and colour creeping.


I did plan these colours, so the blanket had a 9 patch appearance, but when you see the thing overall, I can't see the 9 patch.


It seems to have become one of those scrappy colourful blankets that are cheerful and warm, but not terribly sophisticated, and that is just fine with me.

Mostly I have used Sirdar Baby Bamboo, Jo Sharp Soho Summer Cotton, Heirloom Capri and Aslan Trends Glaciar Del Celio. These are all 8ply (DK/light worsted) with less than 50% wool content. I wanted a no-itch blanket for the people who don't cope well with animal fibres against their skin, and it seems to be working, there is an "it itches" boy inside this, and I didn't hear a single complaint. Maybe I should start another one....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weasley Jumper Pair

You may have noticed that I have more than one daughter. This frequently means that I need to make more than one jumper, and the Weasley jumper was no exception. This doubling of the knitting project however, was nearly entirely my idea, as I found the idea of having daughters with the correct intials for Harry and Ron jumpers quite amusing. They are kind daughters, and are humouring me, just not in public. Naturally, I had to make the H version in green. Once again I used free pattern by Alison Hansel, this time in the textured Ivy, with a little Willow, from the lovely colours of Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed


 This version, although the same size in circumference, had to be lengthened slightly in the arms and body, and I used an extra ball of the main colour (10). With the contrast yarn (1 ball) I again put a few lines at the neck, and also at the sleeve cuff. I also made a slightly higher and doubled over neck for extra warmth. I had to wait a long time to get a paired shot, as one of my daughters now lives in Brisbane for university, and I am pretty sure they have a pact to not both wear the jumpers on the same day, but here are my Weasley jumper pair.


The occasion is a family trip to the newly opened pick-your-own-strawberry fields at Cooloola Berries. The strawberries are delicious.

 By all reports, these are excellently comfortable and luxurious feeling knits. I wonder why my son doesn't want one? I suspect it is too cute to all have matching jumpers!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Peggy Sue Addiction

I made another one. I might be addicted. This is such a quick little cardigan. Peggy Sue by Linda Wilgus again, in Baby Bamboo again.
I still didn't get to wear it, but this time, I had actually made it for someone else. My older daughter has 2 versions, and this one is for my younger daughter.

I love the twisted cable detail on the sleeves


I love the fitted waist using the same cable


and like how the cardigan looks good both buttoned and worn open.


Its lucky for me that Baby Bamboo comes in so many colours. .

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weasley Jumper

It is not often that I get a detailed knitting request from my family, usually its something like "Do you think you could make me some gloves/a scarf/ a beanie from this yarn" and I get to pick the pattern myself, but recently, I had a very precise request from my younger daughter. She wanted a maroon Weasley jumper with her initial on it - this being the same initial as Ron Weasley's from the Harry Potter series.

Fortunately for me, I was able to show her the free pattern by Alison Hansel, which met her requirements perfectly - even to having the beautifully soft and luxurious yarn used in the pattern, Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed, in a gorgeous shade of a deep, dark maroon with flecky bits that looks great with jeans (colour now discontinued, sorry).

I made the size Child L/Adult Small, using 9 balls of the main colour, and 1 for contrast, and found it a very easy and quick knit.
The pattern does not include an R initial, but it was not difficult to adapt the included H.
I used a knitting graph paper from this site to make the R
 I knit this in, using intarsia, rather than doing duplicate stitch afterwards, and I also adapted the pattern to knit the bottom in the round up to the armscyes, and the sleeves in the round on double pointed needles. This meant that I had to break off the yarn after each line of the initial intil the front/back division, but as this is only a 1/3 or so of the initial the weaving in was not too painful afterwards.
There is an extra few lines of the contrast yarn in my version at the neck, as this idea took my fancy as I was finishing off the jumper.
The only other thing I can say about this jumper is that it is in terrible danger of wearing out in a single season due to overuse!