Bun

This is Bun. She’s for my friend Maddy who nearly kidnapped Elijah the elephant when I knitted him last year….

Bun1

Bun was a bit of a quick travel project during a recent trip to Belgium. She’s another one of Ysolda Teague’s brilliant seamless toy patterns, which look utterly bizarre when in progress, but mean you don’t need to keep track of lots of tiny bits of knitting. I often found myself surrounded by a small crowd of intrigued spectators, who made me promise to show photo’s when she was finished. I still struggle with the disappearing cast-on, and grafting stitches at the end, but the rest was a really fun knit.

I used some very soft, shiny Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in ‘Pebble’ which I’d been eyeing up at work. It’s a nice balance between a luxury yarn and a practical one (it’s still machine washable, you have to consider these things). I’m not too worried, Bun will be well looked after by a responsible adult…

Bun4

I’ve grown quite attached to her since I gave her a face. Oh well….

Happy birthday Maddy, I hope you like it!

Quick Sand Cardigan

And so the  Lang Lino Saga ends. I actually finished my Quick Sand cardigan more than two weeks ago, but have only just found time for another wonderfully awkward date with the self-timer.

It only took me two weeks to knit, which might be a personal record (I usually average at about three months for a garment…)

Quicksand - back

The back of this cardigan is a thing of beauty. I like how it makes a feature of the shoulder increases, which create a sort of cascading sunburst effect over the shoulders. The slightly dipped back hem is also a lovely touch.

I don’t think the front looks bad, but it doesn’t have as much positive ease as I would have liked. My tension was particularly tight in this yarn, so I knitted the next size up on 6 mm needles to accommodate. Although it does fit, the front sections ended up quite narrow and this, combined with the drape of the linen, means they hang completely to the side with no front coverage. I also had a whole ball of Lino left when I finished, suggesting it might have come up a bit small…

Since it does fit, and is more of a cover-up for a warm day than a proper cardigan, I’m not going to fret about it too much, but I do prefer my sweaters a bit oversized.

Quicksand cardigan - front3

This was my first ever top-down pattern and I’m sold. I struggled with the neckline increases at first (mainly because I was distracted by the Masterchef final) but the rest knitted up super quickly and easily, and I loved not having to pick up sleeves around the armholes. It was also great to be able to try it on for length as I went – I knitted the sleeves a bit shorter because I’m a compulsive sleeve roller-upper.

My only niggle was that I found I got holes under the arms when I rejoined to knit the sleeves. Apparently this tends to happen with top down sweaters, so I tried to minimise gaps by picking up a few extra stitches. At least the holes are symmetrical…? If anyone knows how to avoid this, I and the Social Fabric knitting gang, would be eternally grateful.

Quicksand cardigan - hanger

Overall, I think the jury’s still out on this cardigan. I really like the colour and the drape, but I think I got quite carried away by the yarn and didn’t consider whether a mustard yellow linen cardigan in wet and (currently) unseasonably cold Devon is such a practical thing. My personal rule has always been to never buy yarn unless I have a specific pattern in mind, and maybe I’ve learned my lesson…

Hopefully it’ll come into its own when summer finally arrives!

Lang Lino Mark Two

I decided to knit Pam Allen’s ‘Davis‘ sweater last summer, but it was beset with problems from the start – no amount of swatching and needle swapping got me the right gauge, the armholes ended up too big, and I totally messed up picking up sleeve stitches. In the end, I angrily stuffed it in a bag and tried to forget about it.

After a seven month cooling period, I decided to salvage my six balls of Lang Lino from the wreckage, unravel the whole thing and cast on something completely different.

Quick Sand WIP

Quick Sand‘ by Heidi Kirrmaier. It’s my first ever top-down pattern, but I’m liking better already – no button bands, neckline, or sleeves to pick up!