The joys of mattress stitch

100_0856I’ve been working on the seam of a jumper that is knit flat, and thought I’d share how much I love mattress stitch.  In the picture you can see the front and back of the same seam, but from the front you wouldn’t really know it.  My favourite tutorial for mattress stich is this one here, from Knitty.  As well as liking the look, I think it’s quite fun to work, or is that just me?  I think there’s something so satisfying about something so neat.

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Half way there…

I started making a pair of Felia socks when I needed a break from all the grey in my Puffin jumper.  Now I’m half way to a pair, in a bright, sunny turquoise.

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The socks have a lovely cable pattern running all the way down the front.  I love that the designer thought about the end of the panel, and it comes together in a very well resoved point.

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Can’t wait until I have a pair!

A puffin is born

I know that I haven’t posted anything in quite a long time, but when Eskimimi Makes announced the launch of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2014 it seemed like the perfect time to share something new.  That something happens to be my Puffin jumper, which is now completely finished, and that I absolutley adore.  It is my favourite thing that I have ever knitted!

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The pattern is Puffin, by Kate Davies and is published in her wonderful Colours of Shetland book.  I knit mine using SMC Select extra soft merino cotton for the body and a single skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock for the yoke.  The pattern uses different colours to make up the stripes in the yoke, but for me this was all about the Noro.  It is the first time I have ever used it, as normally a yarn like that would be far out of my budget, but I was given this skein as a gift.  I hid it in my stash, waiting for the perfect pattern to come along, when I realised that I already had the perfect pattern, it just hadn’t occurred to me before.  I love the how it turned out – the yoke in the 34″ size was just right to match up with the colour changes in the Noro.  Kate’s pattern is wonderfully written and easy to follow, and the jumper fits me like a glove.

Constituent Parts of my Puffin

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So I’ve been good and returned to my puffin jumper.  Here we have two sleeves and a body knit up to the armpits.  Admittedly, shortly after I took this photo I realised that I had missed an increase in on one of my sleeves, so I had to rip out quite a few rows to put that in, but now these components are all present and correct.  I’ve started the yoke and am near enough beside myself at how well it is going – pictures to follow soon.

So I started some socks…

I promised myself that I was going to be really good, and work on nothing but my puffin until it was done.  Not that I think there’s anything wrong with having a few projects on the go at one, but I really want to have this jumper and be able to wear it.  I have a little plan for the yoke that is either going to be brilliant or fail miserably.  I’ll let you know what the plan is once I’ve ascertained that fact.

The grey tubes of stockinette began to get to me though.  I had finished the body up as far as joining the sleeves, and I had made one sleeve.  I blocked that one sleeve, as I always do, to double check that it would be the right length, and then things started to go awry.  I managed to convince myself that I couldn’t possibly start the next sleeve until I knew that one would be ok.  I know, I know, I could have knit on it for quite a while before the overall length became important.  Secretly, I think that I just wanted to work in something other than grey.  So, I started some socks.  Here we have a pair of Felia Socks by Michaela Orth, worked in Hot Socks Neon.

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Le tour de bunting

Normally I crochet little granny squares from scrap sock yarn whilst I sit on the bus to work.  Whilst those squares are destined to be part of a blanket that I’m determined will be amazing, they do rely on me actually having scrap sock yarn to hand.  So, recently I have been working on something a little bit different.

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Why yes, I have indeed crocheted a miniature yellow jumper.  I have not taken leave of my senses, as it might appear, but am contributing to an initiative by Harrogate City Council to decorate their town in preparation for le Tour de France.

For those of you who do not follow either elite road cycling or the fortunes of Yorkshire as a county, it has been selected to play host to le Grand Depart 2014.  This is the start of the tour, and there will be two days of racing in Yorkshire.  Harrogate are aiming to string bunting made of tiny knitted/crocheted jerseys through the town, and they have called the project le Tour de Bunting.  As I like bunting, making things and le tour de France I wanted to get involved.  I also really do like the name!

They are hoping to get bunting made in the colours of all the prize jerseys, but I thought I would start with the yellow, because it is the most iconic one.  The project is really short of the King of the Mountain jerseys, so I might make a few of them as well.  They need stranded colourwork though, as they are white with red polka dots, so would be quite a bit of extra effort!

Cold Shoulders are no more

The little cape that I was crocheting is all done.  This is the first substantial bit of crochet that I have done in a long time, and I’m really pleased with it.  So, without further ado, here are some pictures of the finished article.

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The original pattern called for some long chains with pompoms at the end to be used as a closure, but I much prefer the look of the button and loop fastening that I went for.  I also did a totally different collar – mine is just a few rounds of double crochet, with a bit of a decrease on the corners at the front to make them curvy.  The pattern had a full collar, but I found that it wouldn’t turn down properly and it looked a bit odd when it was stood up, because the front edges crossed over one another.