Iceland – warm and cosy in Rowan Cocoon

Iceland_3I had checked the weather forecast last night. I normally do when we’re on foot for the school run. I don’t like to be caught out and like to make sure I’m not going to have to endure 30 minutes of “Mummy, I’m cold…..” or “but it’s raining….” from the girls because well, it isn’t a great way to start the day!

So I had already spotted it was going to be a bit chillier this morning.

Now the weather has finally decided to become more seasonal, it really is time to break out the woolly jumpers.

I started this jumper last year ( Iceland by Stephanie White from Rowan Knitting & Crochet #42 – it looks as if it’s available as a download on Ravelry too) and had reached the point where I needed to knit the ribbing at the bottom before the weather turned and I wanted to get onto summer knitting projects.

A few weeks ago, I picked it back up again and added the ribbing.

Iceland

I’m not a fan of the button holes that are provided with patterns and I generally convert them to one row button holes. If you have never tried them, then I really recommend them. They’re not quite as stretchy so you do need to give some thought to how many stitches you want to ‘cast off’.

Despite how complicated it might look, this really is a simple project, there is no shaping and the main cable patterned piece is knit in one piece from cuff to cuff. Once I had the pattern set, I found that I remembered it pretty well and didn’t really need to refer to the pattern which was a relief as it was written down. I’m afraid that I much prefer charted patterns for cable or lace work.

The yarn is Rowan Cocoon and it really is very warm and snuggly. It contains kid mohair and does have a tendency to shed everywhere. I’m surprised there haven’t been more complaints of hair in people’s dinner!

If I were to make any changes, I’d be tempted to add to ribbon to the neckline to stabilise it and stop it sliding off my shoulders. I’ve also seen a few comments on Ravelry about the pattern being knit without the buttons on the ribbing. It’s a nice feature but I’ve found completely unnecessary and I’m sure even people who are larger than me aren’t going to be needing to undo the buttons to get it on and off. So my advice? Save yourself a few buttons and knit the ribbing in the round!

Iceland_1

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Bud – the boyfriend cardigan

Kim Hargreaves - Bud

Kim Hargreaves – Bud

The summer holidays are over and so, by the looks of things is summer.

Whilst sewing and knitting trundle along when the girls are at home, sitting down at my computer is more challenging. If it’s not someone wanting to know what  you’re doing, and ‘can they join in?’, it’s someone needing a box opening, a snack fetching, a doll dressing or an arbitrator in some random dispute.

It always takes me a good few weeks to settle back into being at home and the school run routine.

So what do I have to share? Well both my sewing machines are off at the repairers so I’ve been printing, taping and tracing patterns in preparation and getting down to some serious needle time with my knitting. I have a fair few UFO’s (unfinished objects) lingering and I feel in the right place to sort them out.

First up is Bud (from Misty by Kim Hargreaves). If you’re not familiar with Kim’s patterns or her pattern books, then get down to your LYS (local yarn store) or onto Ravelry and take a peak. The pattern books  – even if you end up not knitting a sausage from them – are beautiful to behold.

Bud has a real eighties thing going on. It has a checkerboard edging to the bottom and the cuffs and the front is a long swathe of double moss stitch. Other than that, it’s stocking stitch all the way!

I knitted this in the smallest size using Rowan Silky Tweed (discontinued), and made the shorter version (making it a tad shorter as height is not on my side 😉 ).  I finished the seams using mattress stitch. I’m sure many of you find this really time consuming (and dare I say it ‘tedious’) but I have to say I think it makes garments look soooo much better. If you’ve put all your effort into knitting, then surely, spending those extra few hours on the finishing is worth it?

I cannot fault these patterns. They are beautifully written and turn out fabulous results time after time.

The only change I would make, would be do to a single row button hole. I don’t know why I didn’t do it this time – but I really wish I had, they don’t stretch into holes and are just much sturdier.

Now, if I can just sort out my Edie sweater, we’ll be away!

Look - stripey feet!!

Look – stripey feet!!