Owls sweater: My first knitted garment!

Owls Lady Stitcher

I felt really excited about sewing during Me-Made-May but somehow my sewjo has really collapsed in the past fortnight. I think it’s down to a combination of having difficulty finding the right fabric for the projects I want to work on and feeling a tad overwhelmed by all the sewing events I want to take part in, but don’t have time to.

BUT I am happily back into knitting! After some hiccups on that front, I’ve regained knitting confidence through the Owls sweater knit-along organised by Kat of A Krafty Kat and Sabs of Tybalt: King of Cats. I’ve had the Kate Davies pattern on standby for, literally, years but never tried it. Knitting is so much more of a commitment for me than sewing (and it’s much harder to modify the fit as you work) so I think I’ve been unnecessarily cautious about picking knitting patterns to try.

Owls Lady Stitcher Back

The knitalong was perfect for building knitting confidence: Sabs and Kat were great for giving advice throughout the project and the pattern is quite easy to follow. The only real difficulties I encountered were in trying to use the magic loop method to sew the sleeves in the round. I gave it a shot because I couldn’t find the right sized DPNs, but once I got my hands on them, knitting the sleeves was a dream. (I also knit quite tightly and had to cast off three times (!) before the neck opening was wide enough to squeeze my head through.)

I used Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky in Ruby (bought from This Is Knit in Dublin) and love the colour and softness of this merino wool. It makes for a really cosy – albeit seasonally inappropriate – sweater! I also decided, like fellow knitalonger Charlotte, not to sew on the button eyes as I prefer these little guys without them.

Owls Lady Stitcher Closeup

Buoyed by the success of this, my first finished knitted garment, I’ve already launched into a new project: the Panelled Effect Lady’s Jumper from Jane Waller and Susan Crawford’s book, A Stitch in Time. The pattern requires a bit of concentration but is not so complicated that a novice knitter can’t manage it. I’m using another Debbie Bliss yarn – a 4-ply in a steel grey colour.

Lady Stitcher Panelled Jumper

Seed scarf: Tackling negative knitting with simple stitches

Sirdar Click

My sisters bought me four balls of lovely double knit Sirdar ‘Click’ yarn for Christmas, and I thought that I would put them to good use to re-build my knitting confidence with a simple scarf project. I’ve found seed stitch great for producing a lovely, cosy scarf in lighter weight wool, and this knit up really well. Click is 70% acrylic and 30% wool, and comes in some really cool colours. This was the ‘teal twist 203’ shade.

Seed Scarf

My knitting hit a wall late last year about three-quarters of the way through a vintage pattern project. I was working on this 1940s tunic from one of Jane Waller’s fabulous books and was almost, almost, finished…but ran out of yarn just as I started into the second sleeve. I was pretty confident at the time that I had bought more (at least a whole 50g more) than I needed, but somehow, I was short. I tried and tried to source a ball from the matching dye lot online, but it wasn’t to be. I even tried comparing another dye lot, but the colour was way off.

So, the almost-completed tunic has been sitting in my knitting bag untouched for months. I was really enjoying the project and loved the yarn weight and colour. It was really frustrating to get stuck like that so near the end. And that’s not the first time it’s happened – I still have the remains of a long-ago half-knitted cardigan around here too (cringe…).

Well, I think enough time has passed for me to try again. I’m still shelving the tunic (for now!) but I’m determined to get back on the knitting wagon and actually make a sweater that (a) fits and (b) I like. I’ve had Kate Davies’s gorgeous ‘owls’ sweater pattern for ages and now I’ve signed up to join Kat from A Krafty Kat and Sabs of Tybalt: king of cats in an owls knitalong. We’re starting mid-March, so if you’ve never knitted it but fancy giving it a go along with us, just say so in the comments below!

Do you have any tips for getting back on track with a frustrating project or a craft?

Seed Close Up