Category Archives: Knitting

Bronte Cardigan #2

When I found the Bronte Cardigan pattern by Martin Storey on Ravelry it fitted my criteria of 1) double knitting yarn 2) Cropped length 3) interesting texture with cables and moss stitch features. I made the first one back in July this year before getting side-tracked into dressmaking. It was not until early September that I re-visited the pattern.

I ordered the double knitting yarn in a Brown Tweed from a seller on eBay and set off making the back. This part was a relatively quick knit as it featured the fancy rib followed by a lacy band and then double moss stitch for the remainder. Next came the fronts. I was especially looking forward to these as they featured the textured cables and a diamond pattern. This is just the type of knitting that I enjoy. I have to say that I am a convert to working from charts. In the past I have always knitted Aran-style and cable patterns from text. To see the pattern in a graphic way helps enormously in seeing how it develops.

I knew from the previous make that I would have to change the increasing so that the underarm sleeve was no longer than 17 inches and even that was generous for my arms. I have reduced the increasing so that they occur every 7 rows rather than the 8 quoted in the pattern instructions. The sleeves of this version are still very slightly too long but certainly ‘liveable’.

I have a particular dislike of picking up stitches for front bands and so I added 10 stitches to the rib section and once I changed needle. size, left those stitches on a holder. Once I had completed knitting the front I returned to the stitches on the holder, increased by 2 stitches and worked a double faux cable band until I reached the neck edge. I joined up with the stitches on that holder to make the neckband. I did have to pick up some stitches for the neckband but that was quite simple and easy, before continuing with the faux cable pattern. I love how this brings all the design features together.

I had over 100grms of the yarn left so am now knitting a coordinating hat to my self-designed Blackberry stitch banded hat pattern!

Project #60 completed 24th October 2020

Bronte Cropped Cardigan

In between the Lemon printed Penny dress and the Lewis & Irene printed cotton Sundress was project #37. This has taken a while to come to the blog as it is a hand-knitted cropped cardigan.I found the Bronte pattern by Martin Storey on Ravelry and it fitted my criteria of 1) double knitting yarn, 2) Cropped length 3) interesting texture with cables and moss stitch features.

I ordered the Light Stone-coloured yarn from Knitters Network and set off making the back. This part was a relatively quick knit as it featured the fancy rib followed by a lacy band and then double moss stitch for the main part. Next came the fronts. I was especially looking forward to these as they featured the textured cables and a diamond pattern. Again once I had mastered the pattern, working for the first time from a chart, the fronts were quickly completed.

6th June – so far so good!

Now onto the sleeves. I knitted the first sleeve exactly to the instructions, increasing and decreasing as directed. The sleeve turned out very long – we are talking orangutans! Now I know that I have short arms but this was ridiculous.

I knew that I would have to change the increasing so that the underarm sleeve was no longer than 17 inches and even that was generous for my arms. Having altered the rate of increasing so that I still ended up with the correct number of stitches when ready to knit the top of the sleeves I completed my 2nd sleeve. This worked out really well. So now I had two sleeves, one very long and one just right. I unpicked the 1st sleeve back to the rib and then re-knit according to my revised plan. Lovely – two matching sleeves!

Ready to re-knit the sleeve

Once I had completed the 2nd/3rd sleeve I was ready to stitch the cardigan together for which I used a back stitch.

Ready to stitch together

I have a particular dislike of picking up stitches for front bands and so I knitted two separate bands featuring a couple of the faux cables. I did have to pick up some stitches for the neckband, but only a few and continued with the faux cable pattern.

Finished Bronte Cardigan

I love how this brings all the design features together. I don’t know if I will add buttons but in any event, buttonholes are not required as I can slip the buttons through the faux cable pattern.

I have enjoyed this project so much that I have already started on version 2 using a darker Brown-coloured yarn which should be just right for the Autumn.

Project #37 cpmpleted 28th July 2020

Raglan Sleeve Cropped Cardigan

A change from sewing – this stitching is knitting! I like to wear a cropped cardigan with my sleeveless dresses as this makes them multi-seasonal. Usually I buy competitively priced jersey shrugs from eBay but on this occasion I decided to knit my own. I used King Cole pattern #4125 purchased from an eBay seller and Double Knitting acrylic yarn bought from ‘The Range’.

King Cole Pattern #4125

I chose a Dark Teal-coloured yarn and decided to knit the plain stocking stitch version rather than the textured as I wanted a very simple, straightforward project. I know that my knitted projects usually take a very long time to complete.

King Cole #4125 knitted in Teal DK yarn

On this occasion, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown I have spent several hours a day knitting and thus the project has been completed in record time! Although I will never wear the cardigan buttoned up, I did make buttonholes and attached buttons which are pretty floral printed ones from my button stash.

I am very pleased with the end result. I have some 400 grms of yarn remaining so will combine with another colour to make up the 500grms required to make another #4125 in the future.

project #35 completed 28th May 2020

Lavender Cable Cardigan

Whilst my first love is dressmaking, I can also knit. I prefer to use Double Knitting yarn and patterns that have texture in the form of cables. I needed a Lilac/Lavender cardigan to wear with some of my dresses and shirts. Having checked the internet was unable to find anything suitable so purchased some yarn in exactly the right colour, got out my needles and started knitting.

Double Knit Cabled Cardigan

I had previously made this particular pattern using a Cream coloured yarn but the end result was not particularly pleasing – also the garment had turned out too big. After a time of contemplating what to do with the cardigan, it was donated but not before I made notes on the pattern for the next iteration.

For the Lavender version I have used the next size down which is still plenty big enough and also shortened the sleeves (I must have particularly short arms!).

Lavender Cardigan

The result does not look especially nice on the mannequin but does look good when worn with one of my dresses and after all that was the whole purpose of the exercise.

Whilst I do enjoy the knitting it is a much slower process to produce a garment. I would like to make some cardigans with jersey or ‘knitted’ fabrics that would be so much quicker to produce.

I have patterns for several and will put them on my ‘to do’ list for the Autumn.

Different Stitches – Knitting a Cropped Cardigan

As I have not been able to spend as much time as I would like in the Sewing Room, I have instead been stitching of a different type.

I learnt to knit way back in the late 50’s when I wanted to make a bonnet for my new baby sister. I remember that the yarn was yellow and scratchy, the knitting needles plastic. Whatever happened to that bonnet I don’t know but it certainly never made it to adorn my sister’s head!

Inspired by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour, I wanted a short cropped-style cardigan to wear over my full-skirted dresses. Having made several Aran sweaters and cardigans over the years I enjoy any form of cable knitting.

King Cole 4071

This pattern combines the two requirements of length and interesting texture using my favourite Double Knitting yarn. The yarn that I used is Hayfield Bonus DK which is 100% acrylic, machine washable and can also be tumble dried. The washing instructions were important for me as using a Light Cream yarn I knew that the cardigan would show every little mark and I am rather a ‘dirty’ knitter!

I made the largest size which calls for 13 x 50 grm balls of yarn. I purchased 7 balls of 100 grms as the last thing I wanted was to run out of yarn. As it turned out there was no fear of that as I have 1½ balls of yarn leftover which I can use for another project.

The pattern is simple, based on a 4 row repeat for the back and sleeves, and an 8 row repeat for the two fronts (to include a simple cable). I knitted the back and fronts to the length dictated by the pattern and in hindsight the cardigan is a little longer than I would like. Next time I will shorten by 2 inches. The sleeve shaping was also simple being a raglan design – a favourite of mine as it makes the garment very easy to wear. I did notice that once again my arms are shorter than the standard measurement which meant that I did not knit all the additional rows on the sleeves once I had finished the increasing and just before Istarted decreasing for the raglan armhole.

All went well until I got to the part where you have to pick up and knit the rib that encircles the front edges and the hem of the bodice. Having first knitted the neckline ribbing, over 200 stitches for the hem band are picked up onto a circular needle from one of the fronts around to the centre back. The left side is just plain k1 x p1 rib and the right side has to incorporate the buttonholes. I have never knitted on a circular needle before and this was at times a frustrating experience. However, now it is done and I am fairly pleased with the result.

I am knitting the pattern again. This time I will make the back in a smaller size as the current version is too big across my back.

King Cole 4071 – Straight Edged version

To avoid all that circular knitting I have opted for the straight hem version. I have already purchased some Lavender-coloured yarn and have started knitting the fronts.
Once this version is complete I plan to go onto a much more challenging project which is knitted in 4-ply yarn and will involve a lot more concentration to get the pattern right!

The next challenge!

Artesano Nebula Knitted Shawl

artesano nebula olive oil shawl with button trim

Whilst recovering from Hip Replacement surgery I have been catching up on some UFO knitting projects. I purchased 3 hanks (50 grms each) of this lovely Artesano Nebula yarn in Olive Oil colourway from Beaker Button Studio at Weyhill Fairground. This yarn is an Alpaca, Merino, Donegal Blend with little tufts of contrast and is very soft. The pattern is from Ravelry and is very simple to knit. Cast on 3 stitches then increase at the end of every other row until you have 100 stitches, then decrease in the same way. To complete the project I had to purchase two additional hanks of yarn which I bought direct from Artesano. To finish the shawl I added some brown tortoiseshell buttons from my stash that I had bought in bulk from eBay. The shawl now measures 60 inches across x 21 inches deep (excluding the button trim) – just right to drape across my shoulders for that little extra warmth.

Random-dyed Plain Knit Shawl

Lately at our Patchwork & Quilting Friday morning house groups there has been a lot of knitting! I picked up a basic pattern for a triangular shaw as demonstrated by one of the Ladies.

Using double knit weight yarn (I chose a Patons Silky random dyed) and needles, size 4 or 4.5mm, cast on 3 stitches. Working in stocking stitch increase by one stitch at the beginning of every knit row until you have 100 stitches. Then decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of every knit row until you have 3 stitches left. Cast off. Decorate with beads, buttons, tassels, trims – anything that takes your fancy!

I worked my shawl in plain knit stitch for every row and made the increases and decreases at the end of alternate rows. The shawl took just over 200 grms of yarn and measures approximately 54” at its widest x 21” deep to the apex. I “pimped” up my shawl by adding some irridescent plastic beaded trim on a fine string heading that I have had in my stash for about 12 years. I knew it would come in handy some day!

all knit shawlette plus trim

Handmade Christmas Gifts

As I said in a previous post, whenever possible I like to hand make gifts for friends and relatives. This year has been a particularly busy one as I made some additional gifts for my new friends at Franklin’s Patchwork & Quilting group.

Most of this year’s gifts were either festive scented embroidered cushions, sewing room accessories or tote bags. I tried to match embroidery designs or fabric prints to the personality of the intended recipient so there are subtle prints, exotic prints, redwork and scandi-style, a real “Heinz 57” variety of designs! I made a couple of long-line waterfall fronted waistcoats and two fully reversible aprons but apart from that have steered clear of “clothing” to avoid any “size” issues.

waterfall front waistcoat 1  plaid waistcoat 1

   elephants 01 light side

For most of the bags I used cotton fabric purchased from Fabricland and Simplicity pattern 2164 as the basis for the design. For each bag I changed the dimensions slightly dependent on my fabric choice and length of fabric available. Some bags had internal pockets, some external pockets and a couple NO pockets! I also changed the handles again dependent on fabric availability. All the bags were padded with 2oz polyester wadding which adds an extra layer and enhances the feel of the bag. I will be tutoring a class at New Threads, Weyhill Fair in January 2016 for making this bag and my Christmas gift making has provided me with plenty of practice with the pattern!

antheas tweet bag barbaras pretty polly bag gails bag 5   jennys ochad bag

mos bag

The nautical print bag was made with oilcloth purchased from Fabricland in Salisbury. It is the Carousel Carry-All Tote bag design but this time there is no hardware on the handles and I used a strip of velcro for the closure of the flap. The Linen “Owl” print bag is another Carousel Carry-All tote with Brass “O” ring hardware on the straps which are slightly shorter, and velcro fastening.

judiths bag 1 jennys bag

For sewing accessories I made two Armchair Sewing Rolls using a pattern and instructions devised and developed through Sprat & Winkle Quilters. I owe Lizzie grateful thanks for re-sending the pdf as my original copy has been mislaid. I used Tutti fruitti print cotton fabric in two colourways, purchased from Fabricland plus some plain White polyester cotton from my stash. The pin/needle cushion in the centre of the Sewing Roll was stuffed with polyester toy filling. The zips were from a length of continuous zip purchased from Dunelm Mill. Now that I have just about exhausted the supply of zips left by my father who once worked as an Engineer at Opti-lon zip factory I am a convert to continous zips except that as yet I have never managed to apply the zip pulls. For that I usually enlist assistance from one of the members of our P&Q house group!

armchair sewing roll armchair sewing roll open 2

The other sewing room project was a Thread catcher and pin cushion which can be laid on the edge of a sewing table next to your machine. I have had the pattern and instructions for this for many years, source unknown but probably from the internet. The base of the pin cushion is two layers of cardboard from Whiskas cat food cartons. They provide stability and prevent pins and needles from going through to the work surface beneath the pad.

thread catcher and pin cushion

The Fragrant Festive cushions were made using a variety of embroidery designs mostly purchased from I used Red cotton fabric from New Threads, Weyhill Fairground and either White or Stone coloured thread for the embroidery. The various trimmings were from my stash. Each cushion measures approximately 14 inches square and has a separate pad made from curtain lining. The pads are filled with polyester toy stuffing. I used a zip with lap insertion on the reverse of the cushions which are made either from more of the Red fabric, or a contrast e.g. the same fabric as to that used for piping or borders. The fragrance is provided by sachets “Christmas” or “Winter” from Greenleaf. 

carols cushion glennas cushion jeans cushion maggies cushion

I made one other larger cushion from a fabulous “country wildlife” printed linen purchased from B&R Textiles in Salisbury. The cushion measures approximately 18” square, has a Cream satin piping and is totally reversible as I hand stitched the opening behind the piping.

jackies cushion

In addition to sewing, I did a little knitting. This year not as much as last year when I made an extremely l-o-n-g scarf! This multi-coloured striped scarf is a pattern from called “The Hitch hiker Shawlette”. It is made from 100grms of a random-dyed 4-ply sock yarn. A very simple pattern that I have enjoyed knitting and plan to repeat – next time in “Spring” shades.

cathys hitchhiker shawlette

Finally, at Christmas time last year I designed and part-made a linen cushion featuring an appliqué of a leaping reindeer with a fabulous set of antlers. This year I got around to finishing it! The cushion measures approximately 16 inches square, has a linen front, cotton print piping and reverse with lapped zip closure. I made the pad to fit using polyester toy stuffing but now find it is rather flat so will make another pad and this time, stuff it really firmly!

leaping reindeer

My final project for 2015 is a commission for an embroidered cushion featuring a “chocolate” cocker spaniel.

Other than that my next projects will be something completely different – I have many, many ideas and plans so we will just have to wait and see what magic happens in my sewing room.

Blackberry Stitch Brim Hat

I really love Blackberry stitch! I used this stitch when knitting a “sample test” hat using a pattern that I had devised myself. Yarn used was a Grey double knit from Patons and needle sizes 3.25mm and 4mm. I am in the process of refining the knitting pattern which I shall then offer for sale on eBay. There will be a co-ordinating scarf and fingerless gloves to follow but in the meantime here are some photos of the finished hat, modelled by yours truly so please forgive the soft-focus!

grey hatgrey hat 2

gey hat 3

                   p.s. the hat keeps your ears really warm – just right for the coming cold weather!

Snood/Infinity Scarf II – Purple Blackberry Stitch

Here is the second scarf knitted in Blackberry stitch. I am really enjoying these projects and having finished the Purple have moved onto Teal.  There is a slight issue with the number of stitches knitted in the Purple scarf – not an ideal colour to be using in these  long dark evenings and I went slightly wrong by knitting extra stitches into the pattern. This has made the edges slightly “wonky” but by the time I had completed the full 60 inches the number of stitches was back to the original 68! As the scarf is folded the wonky edges don’t show – but because it is not perfect I cannot give it as a gift and will have to keep it for myself – it co-ordinates well with my Purple padded coat and jeans so – result!! The scarf is really versatile as it can be worn over the head to help keep out the draughts –  see the final photo below.

purple snood 1purple snood 2

purple snood 1b