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Outfit Along Outfit Take 2!

4 Aug

Woah, guys, it’s been like a year! I’m not going to do a massive lengthy ‘sorry I’ve been gone’ post- I got a job as a teacher, I think that says it all. I have now quit said teacher job so life can resume as normal! In the year I was teaching I sewed a total of one dress and knitted some socks- that’s it! Teaching is time consuming.

So, on with the show!

This year I entered the Outfit Along again. Here’s last year’s entry (which was only like 3 posts ago!) If you need reminding or are thinking what the bloody hell is an Outfit Along then the idea is to knit a piece and sew a piece which can be worn together-an ‘outfit’ if you will.

I purchased the yarn for an apple green Hetty a long time ago but no knitting was happening so it sat and sat. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it. Finding fabric, however, was another kettle of fish. I had almost finished the cardigan by the end of June but still hadn’t ordered any fabric! I found this one on eBay and wasn’t in love with it but had nothing better so ordered it anyway. When it came I liked it even less so I put it off until the deadline day and sewed the whole thing just before cutoff.

Since I hadn’t sewn in ages I returned to the good ole Simplicity 1803. Unfortunately(?) I think I’ve lost a bit of weight since I last sewed it up so the bodice is a bit baggy which means this week will be filled with muslin-y goodness. (Did I really just say muslin-y goodness? Since when has making a muslin been fun?!) Other than that though it’s cotton lawn so it’s lovely and light which is perfect for summer and it floats around my legs nicely. Despite not initially liking the fabric, now it’s been sewn I love it!

Unfortunately I can’t count so I screwed up my button placement and have to redo them but it ain’t happening any time soon- I’ve got too much to catch up on!

Did anyone else join in the OAL?


Of mojos and oysters

20 Sep

I said summer was over and looks like I’m about to prove it. I’ve not been into sewing much recently. I keep trying to push myself to do it but I just can’t be bothered.I was super in to knitting for a while- I spent my whole summer just knitting and finished about 5 projects- but now I can’t even be bothered to do that.

My latest thing is being in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, generally making a mess- I want to spend every waking minute in the kitchen mixing stuff together and seeing what happens. I enjoy all of my hobbies but I go through phases where I just prefer one over the other and I don’t want to do the others. It’s like a force that takes over and I just have to do that thing- in this case, cooking.

I feel like motivation plays a big part in creativity. Sure, I can force myself to sit upstairs and sew a dress or two, my technical knowledge hasn’t left me, but they just won’t be as good as they could be without the creative energy that comes with being motivated, pumped, excited about the thing you’re about to create from your own bare hands. And so I’ve just left it. Lord knows I need more clothes now Winter’s rolling in but I don’t see the point in wasting perfectly good fabric if I won’t enjoy it. Luckily, I did knit up a storm so whilst I’m still in cooking mode I still have projects I haven’t shared with you! Today I’ve got something very different to the usual Makesphere fodder. I stated that this blog would be 90% dresses and cardigans, 9% shoes and 1% other junk. Today we’ve reached the other junk.


It’s a shawl! Never in my life had I considered knitting or even owning a shawl. I see patterns for them all the time on Ravelry but I just could never understand the reasoning behind it- why not just wear a cardigan?

It’s not the same! A shawl is like a nice warm hug which you can also wear over a cardigan by the way so no need to choose! DSCF5255

This is the Oyster Shawl which I spotted in a Testing group on Ravelry. The same as sewing pattern testing, knitting designers often ask people to test their knitting patterns and who better than the people most likely to buy it? Ravelers! I really wanted to test the pattern but the deadline was quite tight anyway and considering I’d never knitted a shawl before nor such complicated lace I opted to be notified when the pattern was available to the general public.

That was a good choice. Not that I would say there’s anything particularly difficult about the pattern but you have to pay such close attention that I ripped back the lace section twice. Usually I’m a lazy knitter and if I screw up I say screw it but what are supposed to look like circles ended up being wonky triangles so I bit the bullet and did it again. It got much easier the second time round because I had an idea of where I was going and why I was doing certain things. Counting got easier because I could see which stitch it was supposed to sit on top of. I can’t even remember now why I had to rip back a second time but I can tell you that that lace section is nigh on perfect now!


I used DROPS 4ply Alpaca yarn and my goodness it’s soft. I now want to knit everything in Alpaca. It was like a cloud in my hands whilst working with it and wearing it is like a giant bear hug. Or, I suppose, Alpaca hug. This shawl went all over Wales with me on holiday. Here it is at Pembroke castle 1910646_10153129026938942_4424746271433518175_n

Even better than that- this shawl is versatile. On days where a shawl isn’t appropriate it doubles up as a scarf- a super duper warm scarf which is making me reconsider knitting scarves too. (Something I never wanted to do because straight lines are so boring yo) It can also become an excellent sun shade when you didn’t know you were visiting the beach 997062_10153129037888942_1189293751520132966_n

Miette: the Cardigan.

4 Jun

If from this post you guessed that I was knitting Andi Satterlund’s Miette then you were correct!

Regular readers will know that I love, love, love Andi’s patterns. Of all the garments I’ve knitted, only 2 have not been Andi’s. However, I never really considered Miette.

I saw Agatha and started knitting it that day. I even knit Chuck pretty promptly despite not wearing jumpers but Miette just never grabbed my attention. Perhaps it’s because I enjoy things that change constantly (like the cables and lacework in the above patterns) so the idea of knitting an almost solid cardigan seemed kind of dull.

Guys, I was so wrong! I love this cardigan so much!

The bust darts are amazing. I did an extra repeat of the section before the dart so it was a little bigger and it fits perfectly. I knit the 42″ bust and it didn’t take that long to knit, even in DK- I think a few weeks? Despite me thinking it would be boring to knit all of that plain section it really wasn’t, there’s always something going on or to look forward to because there’s at least lace work at each end and often shaping in the middle too.

I used James C Brett’s Top Value DK on 5mm needles to knit this. I bought 3 balls but only needed 1.5 so with buttons included (which were on sale!) this cardigan cost me about £4. I told you I wasn’t a yarn snob- this cardigan is soft and cosy and fits perfectly. It’s also made entirely from acrylic so it’s hardwearing too!

The simple lace design around the edges is beautiful. I’m adjusting myself in this photo but I think you can see the detail!

The more observant among you may have noticed  large flaw- I am missing the top button. I could’ve sworn the pattern needed 7 buttons so I happily asked for 7 at the counter only to find I had 8 buttonholes when I got home. I’m going to go back and see if I can get another but if not then I’ll leave it. I love the buttons too much and I never do cardigans up anyway- just why did this have to happen again?!

In my baby cardigan post I mentioned a style of knitting I hadn’t come across before by provisionally knitting the sleeves and top all in one and then putting the sleeve stitches on hold. I thoroughly enjoyed knitting in that style and just by chance this pattern used the same method! It’s a very comfortable fit, (almost) cured the second sleeve syndrome and didn’t require picking up a certain number of stitches in the armhole (which I can never seem to get right 1st time- is there some magic math to this?!)

I’ve definitely got plans for more of these- I need a red cardigan so even though I’d totally be copying Andi’s I’ll probably do it…



Chuck will no longer be chucked.

16 May

Remember in my goals post that one of my goals was to sort out Chuck? I’ve bloomin done it! 1 goal down, 12 to go!

According to my Ravelry notes I started this in February last year. 😳 I actually knit up the body pretty quickly but you know fo sho those sleeves sat there unfinished.

I finally faced my demons and battled through the sleeves (which were only half length anyway!) until I ran out of yarn 😦

All I had left to do was the ribbing on the left sleeve and I ran out of yarn. How bloody ridiculous is that? So it sat for another few months. Then I finally bought some more yarn but apparently there are 10485739 different shades of cream and it looked horrible.  I’m sure most people probably wouldn’t have noticed. My elbows are pretty normal so people don’t generally look round that area but I knew I’d be staring at it all day.

So it sat another few months. The only solution I came up with (because buying more yarn and reknitting is definitely NOT a solution) was to dye it. But even though the yarn was 80% wool, that 20% acrylic could’ve thrown the whole thing off.

I looked at buying polyester dye, but that would only dye the acrylic part and not the wool, which is the majority of the jumper. What about a combination of normal dye and poly dye? Too expensive- we’re talking nearly £15 here and there’s no guarantee it will even work.

I tried boiling it with food colouring following a video on youtube but all that did was ruin my kitchen floor (srsly, my kitchen floor is now a lovely shade of navy) until eventually I went out to Dunelm, picked up some Dylon and shoved it in the machine before I could even think about it. I wasn’t wearing it how it was anyway so whatever happened it couldn’t be worse than its current state.

Tip: definitely do things on a whim.

I love it! I love that the 1 strand of acrylic yarn hasn’t taken so it gives a heathered effect. I love that it’s not a bright, in your face navy but a subtle, washed out look. I also love that there’s no colour difference in the left sleeve ribbing!!!


Unfortunately I don’t actually have anything to wear it with in this colour- I chucked it over what I was already wearing for these photos but I look like Andy Bernard- so preppy!

After coming out of the dye wash it was scratchy of scratchville. I literally got jumper burns down my arms just from putting the thing on. But I’ve shoved it in the wash with a shit ton of fabric softener

and it’s still scratchy of scratchville. But after he’s taken some Berocca so I can deal.

My Hiro.

12 Apr

As mentioned in my Hollywood Sew Along- part 2 post, I usually see things I like and then make a direct copy of them. With Ravelry, this is now getting worse. If I see a pattern I like I usually just make it in the colour it’s shown in. I’m trying hard to pick other colours but most of what’s drawn me to the pattern is how it looks in that colour so…

Anyway, before I knew Ravelry existed I found a pin of the most gorgeous jumper- beautiful colour work and the colours worked really well together. Somehow I wanted to make something like that but I put it aside to get some experience in knitting jumpers in the first place before I decided to go and make my own pattern.

Then I found the pattern on Ravelry! And better yet, it came in a cardigan version too!

I added it to my ever-growing list of items to make and quickly worked my way through to get there. It was so much fun to knit!


As you can see there’s a lot of solid navy which usually I would moan about knitting- I didn’t even moan about the sleeves this time! It’s all done in DK but it knit up surprisingly quickly. I finished this cardigan in 13 days.

13 DAYS!!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the colour work at the top and I even perfected my kitchener stitch to graft those armholes.


I’m kind of pissed with it though- it just kind of hangs there, there’s no shape to it. I don’t get what happened- there was shaping in the pattern.

What you see here is a modified version- it was much worse than this. I wish I’d taken a photo so you could see, but I added some darts to try and create some shape. Literal darts, like you would do with fabric: two fisheye ones in the back and regular ones in the sides. They’re really bulky but I’m too chicken to steek!

Here’s the inside: admire the colour work and then mock the darts.

I think what I’ve learned form my last two knitting projects are:

1) Don’t use acrylic yarn

Honestly, I’m not a yarn snob and I didn’t care whether my yarn was wool or not but wool blocks so you can create shape better. It also seems to meld together to make one ‘fabric’ but acrylic seems to leave little holes next to the increases and just does its own thing which is difficult to control.

2) I don’t think bottom up, yoked sweaters are for me. As I mentioned with my Owl jumper, the yoke just draws attention to an already quite prominent area and I feel like the rest of the cardigan is hanging off the yoke instead of working together.


One day I may remake this, in wool yarn and do some extra shaping around the waist to compensate for the coat hanger-yness of the yoke and my proportionately small waist but right now I’m going to stick with what I know and like- top down patterns! (Specficially Andi Satterlund’s! Any guesses on what I’m working on at the minute?!)

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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