Finished Object (In a manner of speaking)

This is it. The post you’ve all been waiting for (in my mind). I have finished the cardigan. I have blocked it, sewn a button on it and worn it. After all the drama and stress, it’s done and I actually really like it. Take a looksee for yourselves…

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(Photo by me. Let’s all ignore the double chin, ok? And the grumpy-concentrate-y face. This is about the cardigan, remember?)

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(Photo by Steven for me. Look how the lace cascades down the back in lovely swooshy movements.)

It’s not perfect, but then, it was never going to be, because I was knitting it. Where I picked up stitches for the armholes there are some lumpy unsightly bits, but my arms covers them up. There are a couple of dodgy stitches here and there, but in the grand scheme of an adult sized garment, they are pretty insignificant. There’s the steek, of course, but I think it will felt in quite nicely. The thing that bugs me, because I can see it all the time, is that the sleeves are different lengths.

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(Photo by me. Folded up in all it’s squashy glory.)

I know, I know – that’s such a simple thing! How can I make a cardigan with different length sleeves? Well you see, by sleeve number 2, I got cocky. Hubris, damn you. I thought I knew the lace pattern so I didn’t check the chart. I was wrong. I was 3 rows short on every repeat. There are 9 repeats. That’s 27 rows. The right sleeve just about reaches my thumb knuckle (I like a long sleeve); the left one hangs out way short of my wrist. But I’m not going to undo the entire sleeve and start again. I don’t care that much. Besides, Jenny assures me that it just looks like one sleeve is rucked up. All the time. Defying gravity.

In all honesty, it’s a tiny detail and one I need to stop pointing out to everyone.

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(Photo by me. Teeny tiny button. It’s that small because there’s no buttonhole in the pattern. Just shove it through your knitting. Classy.)

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(Photo by me. Mr Hamster got jealous of the attention Cardigan was getting. Hello Mr Hamster!)

The pattern is great – I thoroughly recommend the Vine Bolero to everyone. It’s great for getting to grips with top-down contiguous cardigans, and if I’d knitted to their measurements it would have been done in a flash! One day I might just need a cropped version with sleeves the same length. The yarn is yummy too. Artesano produce seriously good yarn, and this alpaca DK (I think in a discontinued colour) does not let them down. It has a lovely halo that softens the lace and makes the whole cardi very cuddly.

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(Photo by me. Lace detail. Swoosh! Yum.)

One last thing. Remember that swatch? So far I’ve only had 1 guesser (Hi Louise!) and she so nearly got it. Here’s a shot of my progress…

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Paste it daddy!

Oh hey! Somehow it’s been over a month since I last posted. Again! How has that happened? Life has a strange way of getting on top of you doesn’t it? A whole heck of a lot of birthdays, commissioned knitting and other stuff that wasn’t so fun has got the better of me in the last few weeks. But I am here to say no more! I’ve got some pretty knitty things to show you…

Before I get stuck in, I hope it is apparent that my title is a quote from It’s A Wonderful Life, otherwise it sounds a bit odd. And I chose this title because, drumroll please, I have finished my Zuzu’s Petals! In my mind there’s a fanfare going right now. I know, it’s overkill, but it makes me happy.

Since the weather has picked up I’ve even been able to take some half-decent photog. So, the grand reveal, here it is!

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(Photo by me, isn’t she pretty? Look at all the colours!)

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(Photo by me. Ignore the wonky spine – I forgot to yarn over one row…had to fix it…bodged it, of course.)

I’m really pleased with how this has turned out. I think I mentioned that I’d needed to add a few stitches to the cast on, because I was making it with such fine yarn. Well when I got to the lace section, I needed to add another 6 (oops) but you can’t even see that I had a little fumble on that row, and I did it on the bit that’s always at the back, so no harm, no foul!

The lace section threw me a bit, because there are no close-up shots of it in the pattern. The way the shawl hangs it kind of masks it, and you can only see the very edge, which is different! I had faith though, and I’d glad I did because it’s so pretty. Look!

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(Photo by me. I love the way it really does look like fallen petals, so clever, so aptly named.)

I even have a huge chunk of yarn left over – it might actually be half the skein (before you ask, I haven’t weighed It yet, that would be far too sensible). So I could make another one exactly the same…or not. What do you think? My shawl obsession doesn’t seem to be going anywhere…but does a girl need two shawls in the same yarn? Ah the big existential questions that I tackle on this blog.

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(Photo by me. Dodgy selfie, no make-up, cos that’s how I roll.)

The length is perfect in terms of coverage and tucking into coats and things, plus I think the drape at the neck is really pretty.

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(Photo by me. Let’s just ignore the hint of double chin there. And yes, those are typewriters on my dress, be jealous.)

And because it’s the law, here’s a shawl on a wall shot. Some of you may recognise this wall. It has played host to my mum’s shawl too. I do really like this wall. It’s pretty and in a quiet part of Bath where the number of judgemental eyes is kept to a minimum. Apologies for the litter, didn’t see that until I uploaded the photo (such shoddy photography skills!)

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(Photo by me. This shows the shape and construction of the shawl a bit better. Hint – the long side on the left is the front.)

Before I go, I have a little teaser for you. I don’t mess around you see. I’ve got another finished object to show you (yes, you know the one) and I’ve already made a start on the next project. Here is a swatch…anyone who can guess what it is and what it’s going to become gets a prize!

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Until next time lovely peeps!

Let’s talk about KNIT baby!

It’s been a while, after all! And besides, I’ve got a Finished Object to show you…

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Jaunty angle, ‘cos I’m artistic, innit.

When we were on our honeymoon, I did a geeky thing. I dragged Steven to the wonderful, to the amazing, Purl Soho. Actually, I dragged him there twice; once when it was shut, and once when it wasn’t…oops. Purl Soho is a knitting mecca. It’s a warm, bright, lofty space, packed to the ceiling with yarn, needles, patterns and haberdashery. I spent far too much time and money in there, cooing over squashy things and enjoying an opportunity to be warm and dry. Steven was an oasis of calm and understanding. There’s a reason I married him.

Alongside some yummy merino and silk that became mittens right there on the honeymoon (more on that story later) I bought some Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in scrummy Nightbloom. It’s a sockweight yarn, which is my favourite to work with, but I didn’t want socks from this. No, no. This was to become a shawl. Something casual I could wear everyday, whether for work, a cuppa or a walk, and think of rainy NYC in May 2013 whenever I wore it. And that’s exactly what it has become.

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Shawl on a wall, go on say it…yeah, you’re welcome.

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Such pretty Feather and Fan details.

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Mandatory shawl on railing shot. Right outside work. ‘Cos I’m that kind of nutter 🙂

I love everything about this shawl, from the shape, colour and pattern to the nature of the yarn and the way it matches almost everything I own. The pattern is a freebie from Ravelry, called Multnomah. It was simple and easy to follow (once I’d read the whole thing, duh!) and didn’t actually take that long in knitting hours. One of the best things about this shawl is that it has left me with a whole skein to play with. Matching gloves? Slouchy beanie? Socks? Suggestions are welcome! But until then I am truly madly deeply in love with this shawl and everything it reminds me of.