The Knit Life!

I ordered a sewing mag the other day and was sorely disappointed especially as I’d paid Β£10 for it. I try to support independent as much as possible but I found the content more about people who sew than actually sewing or patterns, there were other issues. I know it was a first issue but first impressions stick, so I guess I won’t be buying that again.
But as you know I’m really getting into my knitting lately. there are a few knitting mags I’ve wanted to try for a while and I’m not adverse to spending Β£10 on a publication, in fact I’ve spend a lot more. Independent magazines/publications have been my go to source for inspiration and reading for a few years now. I love walking into the Tate Modern shop and stocking up on a few new issues to keep me going through the month, I’m a sucker for well laid out, informative publication.
So despite buying the sewing mag on a whim, these whimsical purchase that result in disappointment are far and few between to put me off buying first issueΒ  on a impulse! So I saw another new publication for knitting called Laine and immediately followed their insta account and hunted a round for a copy. They are based in Finland but they had a list of worldwide stockists and even though my local London stockist was out of copies, I found A Yarn Story still had some in stock and I also purchased a copy of Knit Wit which I’ve been eyeing up since the first issue but have never got round to purchasing.

They arrived pretty quick, I ordered them on Friday, and they arrived on Monday. Knitting is pretty much becoming my new passion but I’m going to talk about that in a different blog post and don’t want to repeat myself here, so back to the magazines.

This magazine did not disappointed, it’s filled with patterns, articles and recipes. As it the autumn/winter issue there are range of patterns for all levels from a simple hat to a cable knit dress, all in all there are 11 patterns, which I think is a pretty good bargain for I paid for the magazine and I’m trying my hardest not to cast on a jumper from it until I have finished at least one of my other cardigans! The magazine seems quite female focused except for a n interview with Stephen West, maybe there will be some men’s patterns in future issues. The layout and aesthetic is spot on and I cannot wait for the next issue.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Knit Wit but I did end up liking it. It’s aim is to bring together fibre, textiles and the people who are involved in the modern craft movement together through curated articles and photography, which it does very well. Thy focus on ‘interest over instruction’ and cover many different areas of the fibre and textile world, it is something I would definitely consider buying again.

(Disclaimer: I purchased these magazines with my own funds and was not asked to do a review of any kind by any of the parties mentioned in this post)

What I’ve learned from knitting this year!

I haven’t really got round to finishing an awful lot of knitting this year, mainly because I’m a bit of a slow knitter and I tend to knit when watching telly which is probably not a good thing to do because I lose stitches and then have to start again. I decided to use this year as more of learning year when it came to knitting, pushing the boundaries and learning new techniques etc but here is what I learnt so far from what I made so far. Now just to note I used mainly Untangling Knot patterns because a) I like them and b) there relatively easy makes which are just right for beginners and not because I was asked or anything.

Picking the Right Wool

Land of Sunshine Cardigan

You know when you knit a cardigan and it’s pretty much perfect and the tension is great and it looks pretty and then you realise it’s a size too big and it doesn’t look right? Yeah that.

Now the reason I knitted it that size was I had knitted it that size on a previous cardigan which shrunk slightly after the first wash and fit. What I didn’t take into account was wool/acrylic blends don’t have much shrinkage so I ended up frogging and reknitting it and of course it didn’t come out anywhere near as nice and I ended up redoing the sleeve because I picked up the wrong size number of stitches but knitted it to the correct size of stitches was interesting (annoying)! At this stage I’m still learning about yarn weights and blends. I’ll talk about gauge later but I’m reluctant to spend a lot of money on really nice wool at this point until my knitting is a little better.Β 

But I finished it and I now have a lovelyish cardigan for my wardrobe and despite knitting it in a smaller size it fits but there is still no negative ease like there should, which is weird because all other yarn I’ve bought in this brand has. Who knows?? Anway I finished it!

I found these buttons in my stash I bought a few months ago, not sure for what but the black contrasts nicely with the yellow.
Pattern – Mryna by Andi Satterlun
Material – Aran with Wool
Style – Modern
Size – 37 Bust
Notes – Knitted without keyhole in the back
Post Title – Land of Sunshine by Faith No More

Tension/Gauge

Green Hornet Cardigan

So after I knit my Land of Sunshine cardigan and decided it was too big and needed a reknit, I decided to knock out another Hetty cardigan first. I picked this nice shade of apple green but this time opted for a size smaller this time and knit a 37.5 (medium) as this wool doesn’t shrink easy (it’s a poly/wool blend).

Second time round was much easier and I actually enjoyed knitting this cardigan. I decided to modify this pattern slightly and knitted short sleeves to make it more summer friendly however, it appears my gauge was a little off and this cardigan ended up being a little on the small side. So now I have learned the importance of a test swatch before commencing a project!
Pattern – Hetty by Andi Satterlund
Material – Aran
Style – Modern
Size – 37.5 Bust
Outfit Name – Green Hornet by Al Hirt

Blocking

Beneath The Sea Cardigan

I’ve already blogged about this cardigan but my main lesson in this one was blocking properly. For those who don’t know blocking is when you wash the garment and then pin it in the desired shape before letting it to dry. This will remove any rolled edges like on scarves or with lace patterns, stretch the garment out to the pattern can be seen as intended. I never used to block because I was lazy but now I do. I tend to soak and then spin on a gentle cycle before pinning.

I didn’t really pay attention to the middle back enough when blocking and so as you can see the it’s a little warped at the bottom. I tried a second blocking which sort of corrected but I’ve started another Vianne and will definitely pinning this section better second time round. I’m also looking into investing in a blocking board.

Lesson in Button Bands

(The nameless cardigan) Hetty in Teal

I’m not sure what the lesson in this cardigan is because I was quite happy with the way it turned out. The fit, the colour and the blocking. My only problem was I didn’t sew the button on tight enough and had to rescue half of them from the washing machine!

I’ve seen some knitters stabilise the button bands with ribbons, it’s a little more work but the results seem with and you don’t get the extra stretch on the button bands which can cause the buttons to sit weirdly on the button hole! So I will definitely be adding those to future cardigan knits.
Pattern – Hetty by Andi Satterlund
Material – Aran (acrylic with wool)
Style – Modern
Size -?
Outfit Name – Still unnamed
It kind of feels weird after years on knitting but mainly for other people to have a steady supply of items going into my wardrobe and I’m definitely getting more confident in my knitting and next year want to add a little more variety of knitting items to my wardrobe instead of just cardigans and scarves! And as they say practice makes perfect!

The Selfish Knit Along

To help me get this Me Made Wardrobe off the ground I’ve joined The Selfish Knit Along hosted by Andi Satterlund. The KAL runs from the 26th December (Boxing Day) until the 14th February 2016, there are 17 patterns to choose from and you can get all the details of the challenge here.
I’ve already knitted two of her patterns, the Miette and the Hetty. The Miette was the first cardigan I ever knitted myself. Despite knitting for years, most of it has been for other people, so the fact that I have knitted two cardigans for myself this year is a bit of an achievement in my books. I started with the Miette because the pattern was free and I wanted to see if I liked it. The thing I liked most about this pattern was the knit from the top down style and that there is practically no sewing, as with most of her patterns, they either involve picking up stitches or leaving them on hold whilst knitting the rest of the garment. I really hate sewing together knitted items, mainly because I’m so bad at it, in fact the only sewing really required with these patterns is the buttons and weaving in the ends, so these are perfect for me. I made this a little small and there are few unnoticeable mistakes but I considered this to be a practice run anyway but the Miette is a perfect summer cardigan to go over a dress, so will be making a few more I think. So I bought a few more patterns as I could always do with some more knitwear and different styles in my wardrobe..
I’ve also knitted a Hetty, it’s in a very dark teal colour and I had a little trouble figuring out the pattern on the sleeve but I just charted it instead. I work much better with charted patterns than written ones, so this has nothing to do with the pattern writer. But this one turned out a little better than the first but practice makes perfect right?
So for my third cardigan and this KAL I’m going to knit an Agatha. I did start this a while back but got caught up preparing for the Christmas season so am going to start again because also I’m not sure the wool is right for the project. I have quite a bit of wool to use up in my stash so I’m not sure what colour yet but will obviously be charting my progress on here.