Tag Archives: design

WIP Wednesday: BST roundup

Moving house meant I had to face a few uncomfortable truths about the number of WIPs I had squirrelled away all over the place. I pose to you a philosophical question; is a WIP still a WIP if it’s hibernating? Does it get included in the WIP count? How long does a WIP lie neglected until it goes into hibernation, or must hibernation be a deliberate decision?

We all must make these decisions for ourselves.

Unnecessarily Twee Spring ShawlRavelry link

This had a sudden burst of activity when I finally made myself sit down and figure out how to do the edging, i.e. I pinched an edging from another pattern. Said pattern is Lilah, from Knitty, and required only a little bit of tweaking to make it fit to my stitch count and the flower/foliage theme. I’m probably 2/3 of the way through the edging, so the end is in sight.

Burst of activity on my springy shawl thing. #knitting

Oxide CardiganRavelry link

This only just registers as out of hibernation – I’ve knitted about five rounds on the sleeves. The cotton content makes it harder to knit with cold hands, plus I keep destroying my fingers with oven burns, IKEA-furniture-assembling wounds and most painfully, shampoo bottle injuries. Those sleeves are about half-way done, after which I’ll need to finish the lower edge and pick up the button band.

Also, two-at-a-time sleeves: great in concept, but pretty difficult to check the length. XD #knitting

Hey look, yet another pencil skirt:MSC link [1].

I can’t help myself, I just love them. This one is a self-drafted number, with gathered detail at the front, faced waistband, and some sort of fastening that doesn’t involve a zip because I wanted a challenge (and didn’t buy a zip, apparently). This one’s quite high on the ‘likely to end up stuffed in a WIP bag for months because thinking is hard’ scale so I need to keep close tabs on it.

Attempting a skirt with gathered detail on front. Terrified of taking it to the machine.

In hibernation:

Still in WIP prison are the socks, dressing gown, and actually-finished-jumper-that-just-hasn’t-been-photographed. But one long-lingering project has actually achieved completion, and I’ll be sharing that soon. EXCITING. Perhaps.

1. My Sewing Circle. If there is another hip sewing site (one that focuses on WIPs rather than FOs, tutorials or shops), let me know. MSC seems pretty good so far but I’m willing to experiment.^

tl;dr design

I’m currently working with my other half while his company goes through a startup accelerator program. While he codes and strategises, I’m writing his blog for him.

He’s been working well into the evening, so while I’m waiting for him to get finished, I’ve been doing a lot of thumb-twiddling, internet-browsing, and generally adding to my encyclopaedic knowledge of memes.

Last night, as I was giggling at the newest addition to that knowledge (Cat Bounce), I suddenly realised what I was doing wrong.

I was not knitting.


So this morning, I carted a big bag of delicious yarn into the office, knitted myself a gauge swatch, and did some maths. Here’s what I ended up with.


Twenty lines. Love it.

This is going to be the cardigan with the sparkly buttons I posted about back in March. Top-down, raglan-sleeve, v-neck. Standard-issue except for the zomgawesome buttons and POCKETS. Though it currently lacks – well, any info at all – here’s the Ravelry page.

Looking forward to the 5pm slump onto the beanbags a bit more than I was yesterday. 😀

*Exactly* what I hoped would happen.

I mentioned the other day in my post Plugging the Gaps that I’d ordered some fabric.

Well, I couldn’t wait.

Ancient ribbon stash is somewhat grubbier than I'd hoped.

This is the beginnings of a Butterick B4685, view D (the yellow one.) I had a single metre of a plain cream cotton lawn in my stash, and though the necessary elastic hadn’t arrived, I dug out some lace and organza ribbon from my bag o’notions and made a start. I like the way the slight grubbiness makes it look a bit vintage; but it really isn’t. The ribbon came from Robert Sayles in Cambridge and the lace from Birmingham Indoor Market. Though… the ribbon must be 10 years old by now. Honorary vintage?

I’d hoped to have it finished for wear this weekend, but that proved an excessively ambitious thought. Still, it’s mostly taken shape:

Not bad for a day's work...

I’ll do a pattern review once I’m done with it. But for the moment, as it’s not finished and I’m now away for the weekend, I may have to call in a MMM cheat day.

Speaking of weekends away… after the horror of the last weekend I spent away without any projects in tow, I was careful to set up a new project well in advance.

All I could manage before my hands started hurting. :-/

This is going to be a raglan cardigan in a wool blend 4 ply, originally planned with short sleeves purely because I don’t know if I’ll have enough yarn to give it longer ones. As it is a knitting pattern and therefore needs an esoteric name, it is currently codenamed ‘Leek’.

With regards to future projects, the fabric I ordered on Wednesday arrived at lunchtime Friday. I came back from the gym to find the delivery guy trying to give it to my neighbours. I retrieved it and hugged it close. One of the fabrics is even more intense hideous bold than I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to get on to that one. 😀

To conclude this rambling post, and explain what I meant by the title; it’s this. I hoped that Me Made May would spark my creativity, and give me a bit of a prod into turning some of those ideas into reality. It’s already doing both of those things! Plans and patterns that have been lying around for absolutely years are finally seeing the light of day and being turned into real, live objects. I’m really happy. 🙂

a little story in anticipation of an fo.

Another FO! While I wait for it to block, I’m going to ramp up the excitement with a little story.

This one has been going since late December, I think. Late December 2009.


That’s not entirely true. I did initially see the pattern (Shipwreck) in the Spring ’09 edition of Knitty, and I did start version #1 in December of that year.


But I decided to change the stitch patterns, and I didn’t really think about the elasticity and gauge of the various patterns, so after this point it all went a bit wrong. Then I reclaimed the needles for another project, and the poor thing sat in the drawer until I had the courage to admit that I wasn’t going to finish it.

I always intended to try again, and be more sensible with my stitch choice, and dye the yarn before I started knitting because working with undyed yarn makes me paranoid (accidental snacking while knitting = grubby yarn). So, I dyed up a couple of skeins in a fabulous purple. I thought long and hard about it, chose my stitches carefully, did maths on a whiteboard. I made a Kindle-formatted PDF so I would never be without my calculations (probably the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done). Only then did I begin to knit.

It became a rather handy little bag in which to keep the rest of the yarn. Until it stopped being quite so little.

getting pretty big now!

And that was several weeks ago. The outer edge of it was kind of a free-flow affair; I wasn’t sure how big it would get, or how much yarn I had. The night before last, I looked at my remaining yarn.

dwindling ball

Hmm. I was 10 rows into a 14 row repeat. I knew I’d have to do another row of k1, yo, and then the cast-off row. Maybe… maybe I should cut the repeat short; it wouldn’t affect the visual… effect.

Four hours of knitting and some serious fretting later:

pretty close.

Yeah. I think I picked the right moment. At a rough estimate, I was down to the final 5m of yarn. The finished item is more than 2m across. Whew!

So. Only a little evaporation, and a day nice enough to photograph it, and the finished object can be revealed. Excitement central. 🙂

(Edited to fix broken pics (at last :D))

Decisions? What are they?

I am starting a new design project.

So far, that’s the only decision that’s come easily.

Last year, I spotted a jumper that appeared to have been made on mismatched needles. I really liked the effect, and thought it would be a good way of making a yarn that creates a fairly dense fabric into a lighter one, more suitable for layering. In my head, I thought it would look amazing in some New Lanark DK I conveniently bought too much of when making a commission. So I knit myself up a swatch:

switchy swatch

Aaand, I don’t really like it. It has the right drape, but I’m finding it hard to do any shaping without it looking terrible. Stupid reverse stockinette. Oh well. Even if I can’t decide on pattern, perhaps I can decide the shape, yes?

switchy options 2.jpg

Aaaaaaaaahhh apparently not.

I think I prefer the middle one, and I have an idea about how to approach the construction. Perhaps a spreadsheet will clear my mind. 😀

Aaaaaaalmost done.

A couple of years ago, after an evening of sausage and glühwein at the German Market, our party ended up at the Old Joint Stock, seeking shelter from the wind, and perhaps a couple more drinks. It was the first outing of Tubey; I was proud, *so* proud. And hot. Wayyyy too hot. But proud. Etc. And then… I saw it. My eyes met it across a crowded room; I was in love.

With another jumper.

It was a lace and cable, roll-neck jumper. The cable was solid enough to make it look warm; the lace… er… lacy enough to show a hint of the vest top underneath it. It was amazing. I almost went and asked the woman wearing it where she’d got it.

Naturally, I was too shy. But no matter! What am I, if not an enterprising knitter? Eventually, the stars aligned to provide me with suitable yarn, and then the stitch, and then, finally, the opportunity to begin the jumper while down visiting my parents. Knitting is complete, but it still requires blocking.

In the meantime, here’s a sneaky peeky at the neckline, of which I’m rather proud:

lace and cables - neckline

Tubular cast-on, leading onto a plain cable, with the raglan-esque increases gradually creating the main cable’n’lace pattern. Stroke of genius at 2am after I’d messed up and had to undo everything I’d done up to that point.

For a better idea of what it will look like, without showing grim pre-blocking photos, here’s my sketch. I did this post-completion, but had I had this particular iPhone sketching app before I started knitting, this is pretty much what any drawing would look like.

lace and cables, sketch style

Check that out. It almost looks like a proper designer’s sketch. Let me just say I am in love with the undo button. Paper and pencil? You are dead to me.