Saturday, 24 January 2015

Stitchcraft January 1961 - Snowflake Sweater

I am just going to start by saying I really love this jumper!  There is always a fear when I knit that I'm going to hate what I make, or it won't fit properly.  I think this comes from the extra time invested in knitting rather than most of the sewing I do and also the inability to fit as you go along and adjust as one can with a sewing machine.  I know these are things I could learn but for me knitting is something I primarily do whilst watching television at the weekend.  It was my first hobby, started when I was 5 and picked up at various times during my life and as such will always be something I turn to, but I don't pretend to understand!

Being a leftie and taught to knit by two righties (my Granny and my Mum), I knit in rather an odd fashion with one needle held up by my leg and because of that I really hate knitting anything in the round.  So what better project than one with a circular yoke!   Because I don't like knitting in the round a lot of modern patterns are out for me (unless I ask my Mum to knit them for me) so I buy a lot of old Stitchcraft Magazines as they are all written to be knitted flat.  My favourites are the 1960s onwards as before that I find the sizing a bit small (unless I choose a plus sized pattern!) and multiple sizing is more common.

This pattern is from the January 1961 edition.  I bought this magazine as part of a bundle off eBay for not very much money at all and it was this pattern that I wanted.  The yoke is actually supposed to be knitted flat and a zip inserted at the back neck, which could have looked quite striking but I felt for comfort I would leave this out and knit the whole yoke in the round and omit the last few rounds of colour work.  My only negative about this jumper (and it is a very small one) is I cast off too tightly and the top of the neck has a tendency to fold inwards.  Since I can't see it this only bothers me when I look in the mirror (seldom, my house is lacking in mirrors) or at photos.

The wool I used is Cascade 220 Superwash from Wool Warehouse.  I used Cascade on my last cardigan and am so pleased with it I used it again.  I didn't do a swatch (never have, naughty!) and it has knitted up perfectly.  I haven't tried washing it yet though so I don't know if the superwash bit holds true!

I have signed up to A Stitching Oddyssey's and Kestral Makes' Vintage Pattern Pledge this year.  I wish I had signed up last year but I didn't have a blog back then so didn't feel it was worth it (so should have anyway!).  This is my pledge:

I, Jenna of justsewjenna, pledge to sew 3 items from my vintage patterns and knit 2 in 2015. Excited!!
So although I started this in 2014 I am counting this towards one of my 2 knits I have pledged to make.  I am so excited about this challenge, as I am sure a lot of people are.  I have a serious vintage pattern habit because I love the artwork but end up buying newer patterns so hopefully this will nudge me into getting my vintage patterns out of storage and actually using them!

I am so pleased with this jumper.  Having fallen out of love with knitting due to a few failures in a row, I am now very much back in love with it.  I have started another jumper for me so I can take part in the Instagram #sundaysweaterkal and am halfway up the back so I hope to have that finished before spring appears!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Marilla's Alice Tights!!

I made some tights!!  Tights!

The pattern is Marilla Walker's fabulous Alice Tights/Leggings pattern.  The pattern has three options; view A is for a two piece leg with a heel turn piece, view B is for a one piece leg and view C is for leggings.  She has also made socks using the pattern - amazing!

For both my pairs of tights I made view B, being very lazy I didn't want to do more cutting than necessary and after making and wearing my first pair for a whole day and finding them extremely comfortable, I decided to do the same for my second pair.  They are so quick to make up, the second pair took me 30 minutes in total including cutting and getting my machines out.

Marilla has provided a lot of information on the right fabric choices on her blog and in the instructions but she was actually kind enough to send me the fabric for both these pairs, lovely lady that she is!  The colours have come up really badly here, probably due to my choice of wall, but the first pair is a really lovely coral colour which coordinates perfectly with my Jenna cardigan.  This fabric is slightly thicker than the mustard ones with a textured surface.

The second pair are actually mustard (Marilla has made an identical pair here).  I didn't actually remove any length although Marilla suggested it for extra stretchy fabrics.  So far they are fine but if they stretch out at all I will adjust them slightly using Marilla's suggested method for altering bough tights.

I am in love with my new tights, and can see this could get very addictive!  I was in need of new tights at the moment, all mine are full of holes so I have plans to replace them slowly with home made ones.  I have just ordered some stretch lace off eBay for my next pair!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater AND Tilly and the Buttons Delphine Skirt!

I was going to split this into two separate posts, but since I made these over the course of two evenings and wore them out together yesterday I thought they could share!

Having seen Handmade Jane's Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater I knew I had to make one, then Amanda at KitschyCoo got some lovely stripy sweater knit in stock, the planets aligned and a top was born!

The pattern is marked as beginner which is perfect.  I didn't use the instructions as it is a lovely straightforward make.  I did change the pattern slightly, I made view B but then I lengthened it a bit.  Unfortunatlely I can't remember how much I lengthened it by because I traced this at my parents house a few weeks ago!  I did lengthen/widen the bottom band also to make up for the added width around the bottom but not by enough so it looks a bit puffy. However, I like it like this so I won't be changing it!!   I also added cuffs onto the sleeves just because.

I really love this jumper, it is so comfy but (hopefully) stylish, if I can find some more lovely sweater knits I am totally going to make more of these!

The skirt is completely copied from Marilla!  She very kindly sent me some of her fab yellow denim and what else could I do with it but copy her skirt, so now we are skirt twins!  Except I was a bit lazy and didn't add pockets, or finish off the seams beautifully like she has done.

I am so pleased with my skirt though.  I have made the Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt before and I love it so much, I must wear it about three times a week.  I also have some blue denim in to make another one!  For me, it is the perfect skirt to wear with tights and boots in the winter.  My only slight (very slight) regret with this one is I didn't line it and I did find it was sticking to my tights a bit yesterday.  It will be fantastic in the summer though, and I will just wear a slip underneath it until then.

I am so pleased with my new outfit.  It is always my winter wardrobe which looks bare and I end up wearing the same few skirts and tops in very short rotation so I am very pleased to have something new to add into the mix.