Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Woolly thinking

My crafting hasn't got off to a brilliant start in 2017.

I'm supposed to be knitting a (non-vintage) cardigan for a friend right now. I made a good start, only my tension was all wrong and it was coming out way too small, so I ripped it back... and then realised I didn't have the right size needle. As it's being done in one piece from the top down I'm using a circular needle. (For non-knitters, that's two points joined by a long, flexible cable, and it enables you to knit longer pieces than conventional needles, and tubes if you like.) I'm fussy about circs; I've used Pony ones but the join between cable and needle isn't completely smooth in the ones I've tried and I get annoyed at my knitting catching slightly. I've ordered a Chiaogoo red lace needle from Purlescence, but while I wait for that to turn up my thoughts have moved on to knitting things for myself.

No, I still haven't sewn the second sleeve on It Cannot Fail To Please. Let's not talk about that.

Oh, okay, let's talk about it: I got rid of a couple of jumpers that I wasn't completely happy with* late last year, so I really SHOULD sew that sleeve on. It's about to turn cold and I will be grateful for a new jumper when it's snowy. That can be my task for the weekend. It's probably a better idea than doing what I want to do, which is order a load of King Cole Bamboo Cotton 4ply from Black Sheep (they have it on sale) and start knitting myself 1960s summer tops in lime green or turquoise. I have several crates of yarn already, and if I cast on something new, it should be using yarn I already have. I haven't bought much new yarn in years but those crates don't seem to be getting any emptier.

I've had a bit of upheaval to start the year, and that's made me go running for the 1940s again. There's something about that make-do-and-mend decade that seems comforting when things need dealing with. 1940s big band swing is my go-to music for housework, and I have a Rosie the Riveter coaster on my desk at work to encourage me. I've been very much wishing I had a new series of Agent Carter to look forward to, and looking at my clothes and thinking, “What would Peggy wear?” Don't worry, I'm not going to bin the Crimplene. The 1960s style suits me, and when things feel more settled and cheerful I'll be embracing all that playful colour again. I'll just skew things towards my me-made 1940s knits and sensible woollen skirts for a few weeks. It's nice having a diversity of decades in the wardrobe to draw on.

Are you making anything at the moment?


*Such Flattering Puff Sleeves, which came out perfect but simply felt too, well, sleevey for me, and Jersey With A Soft Bow which I used an unsuitable yarn for and which came out too long in the body and saggy in the arms/shoulders.

23 comments :

  1. Hi Mim, Lovely to hear about your knitting. Those vintage patterns look lovely. I know what you mean about sewing stuff up. Mum is the same. It is the worst bit about knitting. I had a look at the wool on Black Sheep. I have bought stuff from them before and was ogling the Noro ( as usual). Still all I ever knit is scarfs and cowls as they are easy enough for me to cope with. Have you ever tried any of the Andi Satterlund patterns? They look quite vintage and easy to knit. Or do you have a good easy cardi pattern that you could recommend? Xx

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    1. For easy patterns, I'd look at some by Sirdar or Wendy - they're not the prettiest, but they don't have much shaping or colourwork, so are definitely simple. Though my advice would be to do a couple of baby cardis to get used to the technique, then go straight into a more complex adult one.

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  2. I hope it's nothing to serious that has sent you off-kilter, but whatever it is, it's good that you have a tried and tested comfort in your 1940s kit, so hope that helps. In actual fact if the weather is about to turn, woolen skirts and home knits are just what you need. I haven't had time to scratch me backside this January (go away world, you're getting right on my nerves), but when I get a chance, I fancy some knitting too! xx

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    1. Might be losing my job - some restructuring is going on at work. Waiting to find out is a tad stressful. Cosy wool is just what I need right now. (And, um, I may have bought more diamante on Etsy. Because priorities.)

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  3. I have a quilt I've been meaning to finish for over a year-it isn't looking like that will happen any time soon.

    There's something to be said for knowing how to deal with financial emergencies whether they arise or not. Those old cookery books and women's magazines from the 30's and 40's are filled with information that's still useful.

    Maybe you can knit a few hair snoods to satisfy the 40's feeling?

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    1. Happily, I doubt I'll have a financial emergency, I'm just having a crisis of self-confidence. It'll pass. And I will be cosily wrapped up in wool while it does.

      I might buy myself a new 60s handbag or two to cheer myself up...

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  4. Oh I admire you for your knitting skills! (And the integrity to rip something out if it's wrong.)
    I've run out of thread on one of my tapestry projects, phooey! No running to the crafts shop to buy more here either. Not sure if I want to take the yarn-deficient project off the stretcher & start a new one or not. It'll be at least a year before I go to any western countries I can buy yarn in.

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    1. It's for a friend who knows what she likes; I wouldn't dare not get it right :-D

      What yarn do you need? I'm happy to find/buy/post some.

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  5. I can't even get my head around circular needles! All knitting sounds unfathomable to me. I hope the upheaval calms down and you feel on steadier ground. X

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    1. Might be losing my job. Should hear within a couple of weeks what the situation is. It's silly of me to worry; I can do all sorts of things, including freelance.

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  6. I've not come across the King Cole Bamboo Cotton 4ply before, that's another 4ply cotton to add to the list! I love the coral colour, that would look fabulous in a white and coral stripe jumper. Oh no, now I want to make one! xx

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    1. It's a soft yarn with very definite strands, so I'd recommend looking at it as I'm not sure how it would work with a hook. (But then, I'm no crocheter.) The coral is fab.

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  7. I'm sorry the year hasn't got off to the best of starts, nothing wrong with taking comfort in the well known. I've just finished a cross stitch project not sure what to start next.

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    1. Might be losing my job. Tis arse. But there is lots I can do, so I shouldn't lose hope. I'm not unemployable - at worst, someone will always need a toilet cleaner!

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  8. I'm procrastination on even the smallest of sewing project, so I kind of understand about that sleeve. Those 1940s patterns look very tempting (if only I could knit ...). 1940s big band swing is on all the time at Dove Cottage, which doesn't mean much housework is getting done ... xxx

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    1. I bet you play music on vinyl! (Mine's on my iPod.)

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  9. You're right about having a diversity of decades to call upon - I certainly do.

    Arghh - what a pain about your cardie. I've done the same myself and was so naffed off that I binned the project!!! I've only used KnitPro circs, but I have friends who really rate HiyaHiyas.

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    1. It's a project for a friend, otherwise it would be going on the naughty step for a month or six. So annoying; I was hoping to have it finished by the end of January.

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  10. I just stares cross stitch as more complex crafts are beyond me

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    1. Yeah, but you've got a mighty good eye - you commission some amazing pieces from skilled people.

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  11. You don't know how comforted I was to see you had written 'crates' of yarn! I have 2 wicker baskets, a footstool and a small chest of drawers all filled with yarn and that doesn't include the knitting bag full of yarn I have on the go as I crochet my first blanket for 'Knit for Peace'.

    I agree sewing up/together is the worst part. Finish your sleeve and feel righteous!

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  12. Fingers crossed you get to keep your job.

    I admire your ability to knit actual garments. I really should crochet myself something to wear, but even after finding a yarn conversion site, as I can't find the ones they suggest on the patterns I have, the alternates are mostly natural fibres and I can't wear natural fibres :( the whole tension thing scares me xxx

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  13. I would make yourself a 1960's summer top right now to treat yourself kindly whilst things are uncertain and then go back to your other knitting. Sometimes you just have to make what your heart tells you to! How frustrating to take the cardi back. Hate it when that happens. I don't know how recently you tried Pony Circulars but sometime last year they rejigged the join and it is much smoother now. It is patented and everything!! Before you think that is a knitting geek step too far I work in a haberdashery!

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