Knitting at my local coffee shop.

My local haunt for morning tea seems to attract good knitters who aren’t set up to show off their creations on the internet. So I figure I’ll feature some of them here.

Jenny manages to make gorgeous things while being frugal about it. First up in Baby Zhivago from a pattern book for the same:

Baby set in Zhivago
Baby set in Zhivago

I seem to be surrounded at the moment by knitting for babies….it is all SO cute!

Next, for her daughter, she took the basic pattern from a Lion pattern and improvised from there, including the ear flaps:

Hat with ear flaps
Hat with ear flaps

Notre Dame de Grace by Veronik Avery

This is a simple but not boring, quick winter knit with an interesting collar/neck. I don’t know why it came out in a Summer Issue of Interweave Knits (2007), but it was a treat for somebody like me, living in Australia, who is always out of synch with o/s knitting magazines. It is a great casual winter sweater.

Pattern: Notre Dame de Grace by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky. I’m disappointed with the yarn. it’s vastly inferior to Karabella Aurora, for example, though one would expect from the description and price of the yarn that it should be its equal. It pills quickly and it doesn’t feel nearly as skin-soft as I would expect. However, because this colourway is not a solid colour, and because of the textured pattern, it still wears well without looking daggy. The other thing I’ve knitted in this yarn is solid red and it looked shabby quickly.
Modifications: How to join the neck to the body as discussed below.
Thoughts: Simple but enjoyable and quick knit. I didn’t feel that the pattern included sufficient instruction on how to join the collar to the body: I’m not the only one who has felt uncertain about this. I think I decided in the end to bind off the stitches the pattern keeps live and then sew the two pieces together as best I could. It felt traumatic at the time, but looks fine.

Garnstudio Jumper 91-7

This was the first Garnstudio pattern I attempted and it soon had me hooked.

Drops 91-7
Drops 91-7

However, it was something of a surprise to me when mine turned out like this:

Garnstudio Jumper
Garnstudio Jumper

You will observe that my hair is sporting neither pigtails nor pompoms. If the pattern hadn’t been free, I’d be asking for my money back. In fact I attempted pompoms for the twisted cord, but I just don’t have the knack. A pompom has to look happy, chipper, bouncy, doesn’t it? But mine are desultory. Frankly, they look like something a vet might remove from a cat whilst giving you instructions on how to avoid them in future. I’ve trawled the web for advice, bought equipment, gotten help from world-champion pompom makers, all, alas, to no avail.

Garnstudio 91-7
Garnstudio 91-7

Pattern: Garnstudio 91-7
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton with which I have an ongoing affair. Everything about it is perfect.
Modifications: Well, we’ve discussed the pompom situation.
Thoughts: I would make this again, but smaller. I am only now starting to understand just how difficult it is to make something that is too small.

Easy V-Neck Raglan finished

The pattern can be found here: Glampyre Knits as a download. I have issues with the pattern layout. Japel has squeezed the whole thing onto one page. WHY??? Isn’t the advantage of internet publishing that space can be used extravagantly? The first time I knitted this I didn’t understand the start of the pattern: a few extra words would have sorted that out, but hey, that would have stretched the pattern out to 2 pages. And she doesn’t bother with instructions as to how to finish it off: ‘Work neckline trim if desired’ but no instructions for doing this. Why not?

Anyway, having begun with that gripe you will have noticed that I said ‘the first time I knitted this’. Yes, I have already knitted it twice. The first time in Camissimo by Karabella. This is such a lovely yarn – discontinued I think – no fun to knit, but a finished product which was just what I wanted: a baggy, live-in winter jumper. And I did just that – lived in it – until I FELTED AND SHRUNK IT after only a few months. I had been throwing it in the washing machine without an issue. I believe my error was in putting it in front of a raging gas heater one time – this was the shock it couldn’t stand.

So, sob, I needed another jumper in this pattern but a different yarn. Actually I had more Camissimo but I short-sightedly sold it to a friend. Hence Easy V-Neck Raglan Mark II. My plan initially had been to make it out of some Karabella Aurora Chunky I’d picked up somewhere – but I realised at about the chest that I had nowhere near enough grey for that. What to do? In the end I combined some old Bouton D’Or red yarn I had left over with some Blue Sky Alapaca Suri in Earl Grey. Knitted them together in some vaguely Fibonacci stripes and voila:

and a close-up:

For once I feel like I can say this one is better on than off. You can’t see it on Edwina, but the red with the grey suri is a slightly smaller gauge and pulls in the jumper nicely about the waist. Blind luck, I assure you. I’ll try to post a picture of it on sometime.

My really exciting news is that I’m on a mercy flight out of the armpit of the universe, aka Surfer’s Paradise on Saturday. Realising my desperation, Virgin Blue has changed the flight to an hour earlier than when we booked. How’s that for an understanding airline?

Vogue Diamond Stitch Pullover

This pattern is from Very Easy Vogue, a book which has quite a nice selection of patterns which aren’t too challenging, but still have interesting style to them.

This was one of the first things I knitted and to be frank I found it traumatic, but worth the angst. It’s a favourite winter sweater and really, when I look close up I didn’t do such a bad job, though you will spot the odd mistake:

Pattern: Diamond Stitch Pullover from Very Easy Vogue
Yarn: Jaeger Chamonix. What a wonderful yarn. Was it discontinued because it came out in such a lousy range of colours? Oh Jaeger, how could you treat such a yarn so badly? It is light as a feather, warm, butter-soft, a cable construction which doesn’t pill. And you can pop it in the washing machine on a delicate wool cycle.
Modifications: I didn’t pick up enough stitches around the neck which is smaller than it should be, as a consequence. Wasn’t experienced enough to feel comfortable about unpicking my handiwork, so I had a head-shrink instead.
Thoughts: classic easy pattern, would knit again.

Sorelle finished.

Honestly, I do knit, really, ALL THE TIME. But this is yet another one fresh off the needles of Jan Jonas. This is already a well-travelled jumper, having been created during Jan’s latest jaunt to Europe. I like to think of it as my Polish jumper.

I’m informed that the pattern was an enjoyable knit.

Pattern: Sorelle by Angela Hahn, available as a download from her site.
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 as this was to be a winter knit.
Modifications: Well, it is a close-fitting sweater, which the original was not intended to be. I think it looks good as as, but I’d be happy to have a go at knitting it with more ease.

Isn’t the lace so lovely:

Granny Smith cardigan

I have a habit of chickening out of patterns that look too hard and asking my friend Jan Jonas to knit them for me….this is one:

It’s Melissa Wehrle’s Granny Smith cardigan, available for download at her site. The called-for yarn is Kidsilk Haze. I happened to have some Karabella Gossamer lying about and Jan used that instead. The cardigan looks lovely, but Gossamer doesn’t feel nearly as nice as KSH.

Cabernet Ribs finished!

This simple pattern caused me unnecessary angst. I was concerned from the outset about ribs+bust adding up to less than a good look and the group knotions on Ravelry, run by Savannahchik gave me all sorts of ideas. Add short rows to the rib – tried that, didn’t like it – change to st st at bust for adding short rows, tried that didn’t like it – in the end I went for the most simply measure of adding several stitches each end approaching the bust. Outcome: fine. I knitted the smallest size, but it is incredibly elastic without looking daggy stretched across the chest.

Size: small
Yarn: Zara + Kidsilk Haze
Modifications: a few extra stitches at side to account for bust and I left the area between the V-neck plain. I hated the way the joins looked between the two strands of yarn and the one when I began following the instructions for this part. I figured I’d leave it bare, do a straight-forward V-neck and I could always add something to it later if desired. But so far I like it plain.
Pattern: Easy-as TV knitting. I intend to extend the idea to summer tops, with the idea of a tank top with diaphanous sleeves.

A Jane Thornley inspired shawl.

This was meant to be quite another thing altogether, but half way through I really felt like it was finished!

It was a mixture of yarns from Wool Baa on a shopping trip with Kate McCallum who was in Australia for some bridge tournaments earlier this year.

Using a Jane Thornley pattern, this was the first time I’d attempted to mix more than two colours and with some guidance from Kate as to the colour scheme, I think this textural, colourful, free-wheeling shawl has turned out pretty well!

Here’s a close-up:

Claude by Anna Bell

One of the first things I knitted – great pattern, though not sure if it works with busty. The yarn is Rowan All-Seasons cotton in some sort of claret colour. It’s a favourite yarn for me: easy to knit with, good colours and stitch definition, throw it in the washing machine…

This picture of the back shows the cute detail of the cuffed and buttoned sleeves: