I wrote this knitting pattern around Christmas time, but it was decided that it would go in our special bumper edition of The Knitter Issue 100. The socks are knitted in Coopknits Socks Yeah! which comes in 10 awesome colours and I love them all equally.
Using Judy’s Magic Cast On, the pattern is knitted toe-up, with a 4-row lace repeat worked across the instep. After you have turned the heel you get to mix things up a bit and knit some cables up the leg. This makes it a fun sock that doesn’t get monotonous – and it obliterates second sock syndrome as the foot section knits up quite quickly.
Errata from the version in The Knitter In Chart A, the cable in row 1 should show the same as the cable in row 3, and they should both be worked as thus: slip next st to cn and hold at front of work, K1, then K1 from cn. (This has been corrected on the most recent PDF)
SIZES To Fit Foot Circumference S (M: L) 19.5 (22: 26)cm 7.5 (8.75: 10.25)in
Actual Foot Circumference S (M: L) 151/2 (17: 20)cm 6 (6.75: 7.75)in
YARN Coop Knits Socks Yeah! (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon; 50g/212m/231yds) 2 x 50g skeins of Ammolite
NEEDLES A set of 2.25mm (UK 13/US 1) double pointed needles (DPNs) or circular needles, 80cm long if using Magic Loop method
NOTIONS 2 stitch markers
TENSION 36 sts and 53 rounds to 10x10cm (4x4in) over st st using 2.25mm (UK 13/US 1) needles. Instep Chart measures 4cm from centre of wrap3 to centre of next wrap3
In the last post I talked about my greatest ‘making’ achievement yet – my wedding dress. I decided to make this so I wouldn’t let my future-self down, and I’m so happy I decided to go for it! The dress itself was fun, and aside from the corsetry techniques I picked up as I went along, was fairly straightforward.
I never, ever intended to make the petticoat. I’ve tried (and failed) with petticoats before, and I hate working with netting! I even found a very reasonably-priced lady that makes petticoats in every colour under the sun, Petticoats-a-Plenty, and talked about placing an order. But for some reason I found myself looking at tutorials thinking it could be do-able, and ordering 125m of netting.
Other than always-having-to-do-every-single-part-of-something-myself, the reason I didn’t order a bespoke petticoat was my complete inability to choose which colours I wanted to use. I thought if I could see the colours first, things would start to slot into place. I had already chosen two pairs of shoes and yarn for a cover-up cardigan (that’ll be the next post!) and I needed everything to match, obviously.
I ordered five 15cm x 25m rolls of premium netting from Raindrops Boutique which arrived the next day. Bias binding was more of a tricky decision, as I knew they’d show and need to match the shoes and yarn, so they all came from various shops. My favourite was from Sew and Sew in St Nick’s Market in Bristol, it wasn’t cheap at 50p a metre, but the drape (can a ribbon drape?) was lovely. I also ordered a binding foot after watching this tutorial, which I can honestly say saved my sanity.
The petticoat tutorial I followed was from this one from Sugardale, and it’s really well written. The basis is that you have a series of strips of tulle in various lengths, sewn into circles, and these are gathered and sewn to each other to form the petticoat.
Because my tulle came in 15cm wide rolls, I had to adapt slightly. The lengths I used were 12m, 6m, 3m and 1.75m, and then the final tier was made from 1m of cotton.
After working out a system, things got easier, but I was very grateful when my Mum offered to come and help. I think had she known what she was letting herself in for, she may have kept quiet! Thanks Mum 🙂
I cut my tulle by rolling out pieces to measurement – loosely folding the tulle into Z shapes as I went, so I could easily sew the length into a loop knowing it wasn’t twisted. With the 12m lengths, this was a godsend! I marked every metre with a small line to make things easier to line up when it came to sew the tiers together.
That picture on the left below is all my different lengths of tulle neatly rolled up, to be sewn into individual petticoats.
Then we got to work. After a bit of playing, I managed to set my sewing machine to just the correct tension to gather the tulle by 50%, so each loop of tulle would be roughly the right size to pin to the next (smaller) tier. As mentioned in the Sugardale tutorial, it’s vital that the tiers are completed separately, so sadly you can’t go doing all the gathering first and then move onto the joining.
My preferred method to attach the tiers to eachother was to lay the longest loop around the ironing board, then set about lining up it’s metre markings to that of the one it was to gather to. We then tacked each piece about 2.5cm below the gathering line, and reset the sewing machine to the right tension to sew without bunching. I found it much easier to sew the tulle with the flat piece on top, and the gathered piece underneath, so the foot didn’t go crazy and jam up.
There were originally 5 different petticoats in total, but I took one out on the morning of our wedding. The peach just wasn’t doing it for me, and it was a smidgen too poofy. It took the best part of a weekend to sew these, with two of us on the Saturday. If you’re less anal about getting your all gathers even, it might be quicker!
With the binding foot and the help of the tutorial, the bias bindings were attached quite quickly, maybe 10 mins per skirt? It takes a bit of getting used to, so I would recommend practicing this first. Hand finishing them is also a faff to hide the all ribbon edges.
Once all the skirts were complete, I cut a cotton layer to wear underneath to the same 175m measurement as the fourth tiers. Then I cut a strip of cotton 1m x 15cm and gathered all 5 skirts, plus the cotton under-layer to this, then pinned and sewed the whole lot together. Finally I made a wide hem in the top layer and added elastic.
Hopefully I’ll find some occasion to wear this part of the dress again!
I designed this pattern using Knitpicks Palette which is 4ply weight, 100% wool and comes in every colour under the sun. I found there was a surprisingly small amount of patterns for similar v-neck cardigans in 4ply on Ravelry, so I ended up crunching a few numbers. I’m planning to make at least 3 more, it’s a real staple cardigan and I love the neckline. The yarn is lovely and it knits up really neatly.
The cardigan is worked flat in stocking stitch from the hem up in pieces and then seamed. The garter neck and buttonband is then picked up afterwards and worked around back and forth on a long circular needle.
This pattern originally appeared in The Knitter issue 73. I love these socks; the yarn, the pattern, and how the photos came out. There’s another photo somewhere of them being worn with brogues but I can’t find it. The pattern is a fun repeat which is easily memorised, and I worked them in Eden Cottage Tempo in ‘Ice’, which I’ve fallen in love with.
Sizes To Fit Foot Circumference S (M-L) 21 (23)cm 81/4 (9)in
Actual Foot Circumference S (M-L) 17 (19)cm 61/4 (71/2)in
Yarn Eden Cottage Yarns Tempo (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon; 100g/400m/436yds) 1 skein of of Ice (01).
Needles A set of 2.25mm (UK 13/US 1) double pointed needles (DPNs) or circular needles, 80cm long if using Magic Loop method
Notions 2 stitch markers
Tension 38 sts and 44 rounds to 10x10cm (4x4in) over stitch pattern using 2.25mm (UK 13/US 1) needles.
Pattern Notes A simple 10 round lace pattern repeat gives these top down socks a vintage feel. Knitted seamlessly in the round using a traditional gusset and heel flap. The heel is worked in Eye of Partridge stitch. Yarn overs appear on every round.
Over the last few months, the owner of my local craft store, Vicky Harrison from Paper Village, has been leading Briswool – a project to recreate the city of Bristol in wool. The model was finally revealed last week, and I got a chance to peek in at it on Saturday.
More than 100 volunteers worked on making the piece, knitting and crocheting foliage, boats, balloons, trees and cars from Vicky’s patterns, plus all the Bristol landmarks one would expect to see. The model completely takes over the Paper Village shop, where it will be exhibited there until the 27th May.
The project is still growing and Briswool will be running two free workshops in October, to coincide with the model showing in the M-shed. Participants will learn knitting and crochet techniques for designing and making more of the local buildings of Bristol and the city centre, and helping to sew pieces together.
It’s lovely to have this sort of thing happening around the corner and to see that the shop is generating so much interest! Links have popped up from media all over the world covering it, and queues were so long on their opening day they had to turn people away!
Today’s topic asks us to look back to our knitty aspirations last year, and see where we are now. I didn’t take part in the last Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, as I was only a few months into my new job and needed to focus on getting enough sleep! So today I’m looking back to Day 6 from 2012, which is the closest record I have to where I wanted to go. My focus then was to spend some time learning more about the mathematics involved in creating a pattern, different techniques to make it fit, and how to grade it for different sizes.
Two years on and I’m happy to say I have improved in this area quite substantially. Mathematics is now a huge part of my job, and I find myself grading a couple of garments per issue. I’m still excited about learning new construction methods, and I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with the knowledge I already have, but I’m lucky enough to pick up new techniques at work, and I’ve bought several patterns just to learn how different shapes have been created.
However I am still yet to create a garment pattern. I started a cardigan a couple of years ago (above – sorry I’m recycling old photos today!), but looking back, I was trying to run before I could walk, and my attempt got tossed aside to pick up at a later date.
I’m keen this year to publish a few sweater and cardigan patterns. I’ve not really felt like it of late, as I find accessories easy to design and making a garment in several different sizes will require a bit more time, which I don’t feel like I’ve had enough of recently. I know I’m quite capable – I’ve often had to re-write a pattern at work to make it fit better, however I’ve still yet to get pen to paper and work my own design out.
Hopefully by the next Knitting and Crochet Blog Week I’ll be able to tick this off! And next year I think I’ll schedule my posts too, and not decide to take part at the last minute!
Today I’m talking to Ellen Gill, nuclear engineer and knitwear designer extraordinaire, who blogs at A Pile of Sheep about knitting, construction and technique. Ellen and I thought it would be fun to interview eachother for today’s post, so for my questions, head over to her blog!
Describe yourself in 10 words or less Sassy lady physicist with unreasonable love of symmetry and knitting.
How did you get so good at knitting? After I finished university I found myself with a lot more free time and I thought knitting would be just the crafty hobby to add to my repertoire. Admittedly, living right by a Hobbycraft was a big factor in this decision. I liked it, but I don’t think I got really good until I moved to Bristol and starting going to knitting groups on the regular. It enabled me! Eventually I decided I wanted to make my own stuff up and starting learning in earnest. Plus I’ve got all these maths skills and that helps a lot with the designing thing.
Who are your knitting idols? TECHknitter, who is a knitter after my own heart. Such dedication to construction techniques! Susan Crawford, basically the queen of vintage patterns and recipient of a large percentage of my knitting budget. Betsy Farquar (elf518 on Ravelry) takes colourwork to a level I can barely handle. One day I hope to match those talents.
Where do you draw your design inspiration from? Inspiration is one of those things that always comes from multiple places isn’t it? It’s just that my design process involves throwing every half-baked idea at the wall and seeing what sticks afterwards so there’s no telling how much I’ve unconsciously picked up. I pay a fair bit of attention to catwalk trends but I probably get lot more ideas from films and TV if I’m honest. I’m also a shameless people watcher and no interesting knitwear escapes my eye. Once I have a basic design idea I tend to go into super-technical-engineering mode and think a lot about how fun it would be to knit and write. About 90% of my ideas fall down at this point.
Do you have a favourite yarn at the moment? My all-time favourite, stranded-in-the-Antarctic-without-internet yarn of choice is Excelana, in all its variations. But at the moment Juno Fibre Arts keeps popping into my head. I’ve never used their yarn but I’m really liking their colours right now.
You don’t seem scared to try new things. What is your most spectacular knitting disaster and were you able to overcome it? Trying new things is easy if you always experiment on a swatch first. Those things are there to be abused! As for knitting disasters, let me think…I don’t think I’ve had any real disasters, just a few things that didn’t quite fit and left me a bit disappointed. I usually react to these things by putting them away for ages until I can face fixing them. The last fix I made involved cutting up a jumper with scissors. It was pretty drastic, but it worked!
If you had a month to yourself, what sort of knitty stuff do you think you’d get up to? All the same stuff I do now, but faster! I’m in the mood for simplicity at the moment, I think I’d knit lots of seamless things in the round whilst ploughing through box sets.