Perlemorsgenser

Perlemorsgenser mother of pearl

I made myself a new alpaca pullover. I used the kids pattern perlemorsgenser/mother of pearl pullover as inspiration and made myself some instructions. I used 12 skeins, 600 gram, 2004 meters of Drops Alpaca held double. My cria cardigan was knit in this yarn and it was my favorite until I ruined it in the wash, so I think this will be loved and well used, coming this autumn. I really like the decorative cable and bobbles making the raglan shape the sides. I think it gives interest without being fussy and I think it will blend well in with all my separates. This kind of pullover doesn’t really work with dresses, it makes me feel like a big walking blob and I don’t like to feel like a blob. It will however be perfect with those trousers I’m planning to make. The colour is a mix of undyed natural shades of tan alpaca wool which gives depth to the colour and it will look amazing with the navy blue trousers I’m planning to make.

I have been building up a lot of expectations about this sweater since I decided to make it 6 months ago, it took some time to decide on a colour and it doesn’t completely live up to my expectations, mostly because I see now that raglan isn’t very flattering on me. I see a lot of people wearing raglan, but how can I wear raglan well? I have broad shoulders and this is the result. My beloved has narrow shoulders and look just as misshaped in it?

Or is it the length that is the problem, maybe I should lengthen it a few cm.

Perlemorsgenser mother of pearl Perlemorsgenser mother of pearl MMMay15 me made may

Sockbug

Socks lacy anklets

Something strange happened as I was listening to back episodes of the knit more girls, I started craving making socks, hand knit beautiful socks. I don’t even like wearing hand knit socks in shoes so I only wear them at home or when we visit people with cold floors. Anyway I rummished around in my stash and found a beautiful yellow skein, went through my pattern stash and found this pattern in my knit red book the combination is stunning and I really like my new intensively yellow/orange lace socks. The yarn is Tant kofta’s sock yarn and the pattern is Lacy anklets by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

Socks lacy anklets Socks lacy anklets

The sock bug infected me to the point that I have now started knitting on another pair in acid yellow yarn from my stash and bought new self striping sock yarn.

 

 

Intimidated by sweater knitting?

Forest cardigan Argo

Knitting sweaters are not different from knitting other things but unlike a scarf, getting gauge is critical. Gauge is how many stitches and rows you have over a certain length. It is often measured in stitches and rows over 10 cm (4″). The swatches described below are for stockinet stitch but you should make your swatches in the stitch pattern called for in the pattern, if you have part colour work or seed stitch you should make one for each stitch pattern.

How do a test my gauge?

You make a swatch using the needles you intend to use for your project, if your project is knit back and forth your swatch should be knit back and forth and if your project is knit in the round you swatch should be as well.  The material in your needles affect your tension and the gauge of needles of the same size can vary a tiny bit. Knitting is a precision art and a tiny bit can make all the difference.

How to swatch back and forth

Cast on, knit a few rows of garter stitch back and forth to make it lay flat.
Right side row: knit to the end
Wrong side row: knit 2 stitches purl until 2 stitches from end, knit 2 stitches.
Repeat right and wrong side row until it measures 12 cm then knit garter stitch back and forth a few rows before binding off.

swatching

How to swatch in the round

Cast on, knit a few rows of garter stitch back and forth to make it lay flat, knit to the end *take your yarn on the back side and pull it to the other side on the back without pulling tight and knit another row and repeat from* until it measures 12 cm then knit garter stitch back and forth a few rows before binding off.

swatching

How big should a swatch be and what do I do with it?

Big, in order for you to easily measure it correctly it should be at least 10*10 cm inside the gather stitch. It is important to measure it (count the stitches and rows over 10 cm) before and after you wash it. Before so you can check that you maintain your gauge as you are knitting and after you wash it and lay it flat to dry so you can see if it coincides with the patterns gauge. If it does not coincide you need to change your needle size or possibly recalculate the pattern to fit your gauge and the persons measurements. Almost all yarns changes when washed and you do not want to knit and entire sweater only to have it grow three sizes in the wash. Some yarns grow, some stay the same and some shrink up. You wash the swatch in the same way as you intend to wash your finished item in the future without being to careful, because you are going to wash a sweater a few or many times in it’s lifespan and washing a big sweater and rinsing it properly takes some mashing even if you are careful which you should be, you don’t want to felt it.

Besides gauge what is a swatch for?

Do you like the fabric? If you don’t like the fabric it doesn’t matter if the gauge is perfect, you do not want to knit and entire sweater in something you don’t like, it’s not getting any better. To see how it will wear you can keep your swatch in your pocket for a week and keep pulling it and tug on it, this is revealing and bad yarn will start pilling and you don’t want a sweater that starts pilling the first time you wear it.

Constructions

Sweaters can be knit in several different ways, the most common are

Top-down seamless: This looks like a sweater when you knit it, usually doesn’t strain at any point and doesn’t require any seaming in the end.
Bottom up seamless: You knit the body and the sleeves separately and then join and knit the yoke all together, usually strain for a few rows when you just have joined the yoke. (My favorite)
In pieces: You knit everything flat (no switching between knitting flat and knitting in the round). It is never very heavy on the needles since you are knitting everything separately but you do have to seam it up in the end.
Bottom up sleeves down: Knit from hem to armhole separate for front and back knit up and join shoulder, pickup stitches and knit sleeves down.

Snöbolls koftan

Different yoke styles

Round yoked, either bottom up or top down.
Set in sleeves, either bottom up, top down, in pieces or bottom up sleeves down
Raglan, either bottom up, top down or in pieces
Saddle shoulder, either bottom up, top down or in pieces
Drop shoulder, in pieces or bottom up sleeves down

Cria

First sweater tips

Use a nice wool yarn for your first, you are going to spend a lot of time on it so make sure that you like it. Wool has a little give to it which makes it more forgiving than cotton and linen, it’s also nice on your wrists and hands (yarn without give can make them ache after a little while). Don’t use a very fine gauge for your first, it takes a long time to knit and if you after having made your first, find that you like sweater knitting you can take on a finer gauge sweater. (14-22 stitches/10cm are relatively quick to knit and give nice sweaters 14 stitches/10cm gives a very thick sweater and 22stitches/10cm gives a medium weight sweater).

A top-down raglan in stockinette stitch with ribbing in the neck, hem and button band is a perfect first sweater. It only requires you to make left and right increases, button holes (which can be as easy as knit 2 together followed by yarn over), cast on and bind off, knit and purl stitch. If the button band is knit simultaneously that is all you need to know. Otherwise picking up button band is not that hard with this little trick: pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows or pick up a stitch for every row and decrease the next row to the number the pattern calls for.

A sweater is not necessarily more difficult to knit then mittens or a hat, only bigger and though I do not recommend it as a first knitting project it could be your second (it was my second when I started knitting again as a teenager) as long as you have got the hang of your stitches and don’t increase and decrease by mistake anymore, you can do it. If you find a word that you don’t understand, use youtube. There are tons and tons of knitting tutorials on youtube, use them when you find something new. If it feels a bit much to commit to an adult sweater, make a baby one first, any new parent will love to get a handmade sweater to their new little human that only deserve the best and handmade is the best only make sure to use a soft yarn (merino, baby alpaca, corriedale or blue face leicester).

Pattern suggestions

What do I do with my lumpy finished sweater?

Don’t be discouraged, most peoples knitting look a bit lumpy when it comes off the needles. You block it to get the fibre to behave. It is like braided wet hair, letting it dry and unbraid it, the hair will stay curly because the fibre set in a curly shape when it was drying in the braid. You can wet block, dry block or steam block, but the first time you block it, you should wet block it so that you can get all the grease out of the yarn before you start using your sweater. Dyed yarn often have excess dye in the yarn, most dyes can cause allergies (allergies are caused by exposure so it’s important to minimize exposure). When the fibre is spun, mineral oils are added to prevent static electricity from damaging the machines. The yarn can have been handled and anti-moth agents may have been added to it during shipping or storing, before it even reaches the yarn store. So you really want to wash your finished items and sweaters before you start using them every day (new sweaters have a tendency to be loved everyday since you are so proud of them).

Wet blocking

Wash it carefully in wool friendly detergent (preferably unscented so you can smell the wool as it is + common scents such as limonene(lemon), linalool(lavender), cinnamaldehyde(cinnamon) are allergens). Rinse it until the water is clear, sometimes you need to wash it twice the first time. Press as much  water as you can,  then roll it in a towel and step on it to press out more water. When you have your damp sweater, take a new dry towel and spread out the sweater according to the schematic measurements in the pattern, make sure that everything is smooth and even, this is when you shape your sweater then let it dry. If you do not have the possibility to put it on top of a drying rack you need to flip it over everyday until it’s dry.

Dry blocking

Spread out the sweater according to the schematic measurements in the pattern, make sure that everything is smooth and even this is when you shape your sweater. Put a damp towel over it and press carefully, leave it for half an hour then remove the damp towel, shape the sweater check the measurements and make it smooth and let it dry.

Steam blocking

Spread out the sweater according to the schematic measurements in the pattern, make sure that everything is smooth and even, this is when you shape your sweater. Steam with a steamer or an iron, if you use an iron be careful not to touch the wool with the hot iron, it will burn, crumble and make a hole. Shape the sweater check the measurements and make it smooth, steam some more and let it cool down and dry if necessary before moving it.

Washi dress Kerrera cardigan outfit

Bino

Bino romper baby

I made another little baby romper, this time on tiny needles size 2.0 mm for the stockinet and 1.75mm for the ribbing, really tiny. I used a very lovely yarn Manos del Uruguay Serena, a baby alpaca cotton yarn. Manos del Uruguay is a woman’s cooperative in Uruguay that produces responsible yarn. Most of their yarns are spun by women in the countryside and they are able to work from home or in spinning houses and it enables women to provide for their families as well as caring for their children. Besides the fact that it is a yarn is produced in a fantastic way, it is spectacular to work with. The colour is dusty mint and if you have checked in here before you probably know that I love dusty mint, it also comes in dusty pink but I try not to fill the baby clothes chest with exclusively pink cloths.

Bino romper baby

To the design, the pattern is Bino a republished vintage patterns from Sandnes hefte 1415, Baby Lun Start. Working on the pattern it quickly becomes obvious that it is a vintage pattern and that it may have been intended for both hand and machine knitting, because it is knit in one straight piece starting in the back working back and fort continuing all the way down and up on the front to the straps all in one piece. This might be practical for a knitting machine and I thought it was interesting to work in another way then I usually do. The sides are seamed together and stitches are picked up around the leg opening to make the tiny little legs/cuffs. I have a little yarn left and think of making a coordinating hat or socks, the pattern does come with a dress to add to the set and I think it would be cute but I’m not sure if I’m willing to spend that much time on something that hardly will get any use.

Do  you have some unreasonable crafting craves as I do with baby knits?

I’d love to hear about it and to know that I’m not alone being this crazy.

First week of Me Made May

May 1st

Mmmay15 nancy zinia

Me mades: Nancy, Zinnia, Peplum blouse, leggings.

May 2nd

Me mades: Leggings

May 3d

Perlemorsgenser mother of pearl

Me mades: Kerrera, Spring graden tee, Zinnia, Perlemorsgenser

May 4th

Me mades: Leggings, T-shirt, Kerrera

May 5th

Me mades: SorbettoKerrera

May 6th

City girl mmmay15

Me mades: Coppelia, City girl, Leggings, this photo was taken about 21:15 and it was still light summer is definitely coming even if it’s cold.

May 7d

Me mades: City Girl, Leggings

Zinnia skirt

Mmmay15 nancy zinia

I went fabric shopping and was looking for some fabric to make a Holly jumpsuit, sadly I didn’t find any suitable but I found several new colours of that amazing rayon I made my dusty mint sorbeto in and saw a flowy navy skirt. Said and done, I bought some navy rayon, hurried home, put it in the washer late friday evening stared making a muslin for zinnia by colette patterns and sewed my first zinnia with lots of modifications, as usual, saturday morning. I made the pleated version in the long length and put a beautiful brown lookalike wood button in the closure. I put in pockets and moved the zipper to the side seam it is a little tricky to have side seam pockets and an invisible side zipper but you can absolutely do it.

Mmmay15 nancy zinnia

Later in the day I may have planted zinnia seeds among others in my new zinnia skirt, perfect match. My grandmother gave me some zinnia seeds last year, I didn’t think much of them at first but I am converted zinnia survives on a dry very hot balcony and was in bloom the entire summer. You can see them in almost every finished project photo from last summer. If you have a little outdoor space they’re definitely worth trying.

Loki

Me Made May

It’s the first of may and high time for this years me made may resolution. Last year my resolution where to exclusively wear me made with exception for socks, and my rain coat. I manage but it was stressful and I really don’t need more stress in my life at the moment so this year me resolution it to fix some of the holes I got in my handmade wardrobe. To make at least one pair of long trousers and a spring coat.

Most people wear one hand made item a day and I will be doing that as well but documenting my cloths every day might not happen, in fact I don’t thick I have enough ready mades to dress me from to toe more then one day any way so this wont require much brain power for me.

Me made may Belcarra blouse and Pencil-skirt
The hachtag used for this years me made may is #mmmay15 if you want to participate, most of the action is going on over at instagram and the sin up and rules are to be found on So Zo. Me made may is a challenge to use and learn to love your handmade cloths to put them in to your routine.

Back to the coat and trousers, I am planing to make navy twill trousers in the soft and beautiful twill my mom got for me from Sew Over it and have used for my tap shorts. I’m planing to making my own pattern using the cigarette trousers in Gertie sews vintage casual as a base. I will be lovering the rise to a medium rise and add pockets and a front fly. For the coat I will use Minoru by Sewaholic and make it in either pink or mint twill.

Are you participation?
What’s your resolution?

Norwegian knitting designers

Baby romper flettet romperNancykofte cardiganbaby bukser romperFaunajakke cardigan baby

Responding to Charity’s comment on hat fever This is so beautiful! Any tips for finding/navigating the Norwegian indie market? I see some beautiful knits on Instagram, but I don’t know how to find the patterns.” 

I’m not an expert on the area having only discovered the community about 6 months ago, but this is what I have found.

Instagram

A lot of the discussion is going on on instagram, this is where new patterns are presented and discussed. Some of my favorite designers accounts are.

hat baby tiddelibom strikk til mamma og minivinterdrakt romper2014 favoritesBoblekjole

Pattern companies

  • Paelas - This is my absolute favorite for kids wear. (Norwegian and English after some time)
  • Pickles – A lot of simple designs for women, men and kids, easy to knit but still modern and fun. (Norwegian and English)
  • Ministrikk - Baby and kids wear. (Norwegian and English)
  • Pinneguru -  Colour work
  • Tiddelibom- Baby wear
  • Marianne J. Bjerkman/knitsandpieces –  A new designer mostly kids wear.
  • Surrehue –  Kids wear
  • Malsen og mor
  • Sandnes garn –  One of the big yarn companies, with wonderful patterns and only sold in print, in yarn stores carrying their yarn.
  • Dale garn –  I have never knitted with their yarn nor used any or their patterns so I have no idea how they are, only sold in print, in yarn stores carrying their yarn.
  • Drops garnstudio –  I don’t like drops, many of the yarns have a lower quality and the designs are cryptic and include a lot of mistakes in them although they are free and if you follow the norwegian instructions there aren’t as many mistakes in them as in the translated instructions.

Books

There are endless of beautiful Norwegian and Danish knitting books especially for baby and toddler wear, these are books that I like.

Just because I’m Swedish lets throw in the Swedish designers as well

mitts rolf dyeWhalesKaprifol mittsVide gloves

Diving into Megan Nielsens gorgeous patterns

perfect maternity and nursing top  megan nielsen

I made this maternity top a few weeks back for my cousin (I’m only modeling), and no despite all the baby stuff I make. I am not pregnant nor intending to be for some time, it doesn’t go well with organic chemistry.

The pattern is Megan Nielsens Perfect nursing maternity top also called Simplicity 1469, I did a few changes, grading from one bust size to a smaller under bust size. My cousin and I do have the same torso measurements except that I am 15-20 cm taller, anyway, so I was trying it on to see if the fit was right and I liked it so I’m thinking of making one for me as well but with a little less fabric in the tummy area and a little more in the back. The fabric used is a very soft gray cotton jersey and the white is leftover french terry, both with some elastane which makes it very strechy. I added clear elastic to the neckline and waist band because there will be a baby pulling at the neck line by fall and stretched out necklines aren’t pretty.

  

I’m so glad that megan is back in business and will republish her patterns. I have been eying the Rie top and the night gown since before they sold out but didn’t prioritise it and hope that they will be back soon. I think that both of them would look good on non pregnant ladies and would like to see them in my summer wardrobe.

Lace bonnet

Kyse med hullmønster hat baby

I made this to go with a eggplant purple baby trousers is so pose to be the same size. I used my leftovers to make them so the colour is the same, I really like this pattern is the second time I used it and I think I will made another in the yarn as well just to be shore of having a matching set that fits as the same time that or something else that can fit in to this set.

baby bukser romper

The pattern is Kyse med hullmønster from Strikk till mamma og mini and the pattern is by Siri Hoftun and the yarn Pickles extra fine merino in Deep aubergine.