My next knitting projects

While I am engaged in making a small wardrobe of clothes for my son Gus I will still want to make a few things for myself, but there is no pressure.

Some will be sewn, of course. I am not yet at the stage of conceiving a knitted skirt or dress. Nevertheless I did like the skirt Kari-Helene of Purl Alpaca was wearing when I met her. Here she is, plus the pattern. The third photo is from my Vogue book. It is a 1953 mohair skirt – rather wonderful I think, especially with the deep V necked sweater. It is very gathered into the waist – maybe there is too much fullness in it. It would need a slim waist and deep belt I think.

For me the main area of knitting action (at least for now) is the upper body – T shirts, long sleeved jumpers and a jacket. But mainly the pullover. These items suit my more relaxed life style to come – our home in the country is nearing completion and in the winter months it will be jeans and a jumper. Or as Lynn Mally taught me (to avoid saying elasticated waist trousers)  “pull-ups” with  a pullover – eeek – all that pulling! What about “pull ons”? What are those (shoes?) or pull-offs? I remember my mother using “roll-on” (deodorant), and wearing “roll-ons” – a kind of elastic band to which the stockings were attached, providing a little constriction in the stomach/thigh area.

Anyway I thought I would show you a few patterns I am impressed by, and seek your views, you amazing knit-people.

I have come across Anketrick, a Berlin-based designer, who makes soft, light weight patterns that appeal to me for wearing inside, in the warmer months, or under another jersey. While it is cold in the UK at the moment we rarely get snow and to be honest the main issue is the short, grey days rather than actual cold. This is one reason why I love a little colour, and if I make any of these up I shall probably avoid the neutrals. I am also playing around with the idea of just making a very simple sweater with lots of different colours – remnant yarns and bits and peices, but to date I have not created very much waste, more or less using up all the yarn that was specified for a project.

Next up are the chunky patterns, with texture. I have not done any cabling, although the Lorelle does require the most elementary moving of one stitch to another line, so a bit of proto-cabeling I guess. But I really want to have a go at this style of knitting, as part of my learning. (I have got a stranded colour/Fair Isle style top on the go, but will report on that after Christmas). My friend Bridget sent me a photograph from Purl Soho of their botanical sweater which is rather wonderful, but I am not sure this is the right look for me. I think it would be ideal on a straight figured woman. I was encoraged to try on the Mayan jumper by Tracey of Purl Alpaca and it is a nice top. I wanted it to come down quite a bit longer and would want to create a dark brown version, but I think this may be a good introduction to cables.


Finally I come to the designer patterns. I was very interested in the Perry Ellis designs and Erica sent me a pdf of the short pink cabled top from her book – thank you! In the meantime the book arrived and I have seen some lovely projects there. I especially like the red cardigan. I have been feeling quite anxious about doing a cardigan and a collar but this is such a gorgeous item (with the hat and lipstick), I might have to give it a try.

Anything else?

I am not yet reaching out to sock patterns, but I am keen to have a go at hats. I love the idea that for people who come to stay at Rainshore there will be a coloured hat to suit them, when the venture out into cold weather.  I am not sure what is a good wooly hat style to go with, that will suit all the people in all the sizes. I am not that keen on this sort of jelly bag hat myself, and find it rather unflattering. Also it doesn’t really cover the ears very effectively. So I am still researching that one.

Purl Soho hats
Colourful hats, in all the sizes

16 Responses

  1. Anne Frances

    I agree about the bobble hats – not a flattering shape. But Ravelry produced about 500 patterns for a search on “hat earflap”. You might find something there.

  2. Elaine Sabin-Simpson

    I made a couple of crazy ‘Peruvian’ hats back in the 80s. Huge fun, but not for me [I have mad friends!] The phrase ‘twat hat’ springs to mind…
    Love the red cardigan, but I hate plain knitting. The cabled botanical sweater is gorgeous, but I don’t get that cold, post-menopause, and I’m too stout and busty as well. Pity. I would have rocked that in my skinny, flat chested youth.
    My brother had a lot of knitted balaclavas in our childhood, very practical. Oooh! Reminds me- I have a 1980s Vogue Designer Knitwear mag tucked away, and I’m pretty certain there’s a pattern for a ‘ski balaclava’ and some big cowly things. I’ll find them, blog, and link you in…you’ll love the images.

  3. Stephanie

    Those are all nice, Kate, and very straightforward knitting. I like cables so I would wear the Mayan, which will be easy although the cables will moderate your breakneck knitting pace slightly. 🙂

    • Stephanie

      PS My favourite hat shape has always been what we call the toque here in Canada (which is not the same as the original tuque from France, but the name does derive from that source): I still like this Kim Hargreaves pattern that qualifies as a knitted hat of that type, although you could easily make a similar pattern in a fine wool (fingering weight), with a deep band and no cables, that would be warm and cover the ears: If you look through the Ravelry versions of that hat you will see that a clever Russian lady has lined her version of the hat with fleece or some other similar fabric. 🙂

      (And you know I know all about ear coverage, which is essential here. It’s only December and as I write it is already -10C outside. I have a boss who once literally froze his ears by not wearing a hat.) I love the idea of different colours of hats waiting for people at your new home.

  4. chiara

    I am just starting the botanical sweater myself, such attractive cables…I hope it will look on me as in the picture (in my experience it is rarely the case)!

  5. Karen Kayes

    You’re definitely making me miss my knitting with all these lovely patterns! The Ankestrick ones are very enticing however I don’t believe they have much shaping, so might not suit someone with a more curvy figure so I’d definitely check that out, unless you want slightly shapeless/baggy. However that red cardigan is just gorgeous. I’ve done a few button bands in my time and they’re a little more complicated but they very easy to rip out if you get it wrong and redo, so I’d say go for it! Also cabling is pretty easy imho, it just slows you down somewhat.

  6. Annieloveslinen

    I’ve bought yarn too as a result of one of your commentators referencing Purl Soho and me getting all in love with your enthusiasm and their lightweight raglan sweater. I like the Ankestrick patterns too and will heed Karen’s advice before being tempted. I need to complete a task before starting the next or I’m likely to lose interest so I’ll see how I get on with my plan first.

    That said, I don’t count socks as a project as such because they’re good to have on the go and can be done anywhere. I’m using 9″ circulars and they take up virtually no space in my bag. Honestly, you’ve no idea how seductive and addictive they can
    be. They’re the sort of thing that I had no interest in once upon a time but I’m hooked now.

  7. Hélène

    All those projects are truly enticing, especially the skirt with cables. I guess this one is a good straight pattern to start cabling, which in my opinion is easier to master than short rows. I also agree with Annieloveslinen: knitting socks is addictive, and easier than it seems.

  8. Katja

    I can only echo that Ravelry is the answer to pretty much any knitting question (and spinning, too, it turns out).
    There is not only the VAST library of available patterns, there are groups dedicated to anything imaginable – like this one for hats
    And a skirt is much easier than a jumper : )
    If you feel you could use a guide around Ravelry, or just want an online friend so you can nosey around in my library, do reach out – my rav name is Kokori 🙂

  9. Su

    The Mayan sweater looks very nice. Learn to do cables without a cable needle.
    Collars on sweaters are easy – they just need the right yarn and stitch pattern so they don’t roll.
    My opinion is that pompoms are for childrens’ hats only. I call my elastic waist pants “lounging pants” as they are only worn at home for lounging!

  10. ceci

    “Pull-ups” are what kids who were graduating from regular diapers to diapers they could pull down/up to pee were called, so I personally would resist as a term for adult pants.

    Elizabeth Zimmerman has a bunch of hat patterns in one of her books, “A Knitters Almanac” perhaps, and a couple of them are more interesting looking than bobble stocking caps, altho the collection of them in all different colors is pretty charming.


  11. Kim

    The Purl Soho botanical sweater is gorgeous, I saw it a while back and have seriously considered knitting it but I’m not certain I’m the right shape.
    The two from the Vogue knitting book are also gorgeous – and were on my wish list from that book.
    I’m sure you will find a hat that suits your needs on Ravelry – there is such an immense choice! I think it would be wonderful to provide your guests with the opportunity to wear a hat from a choice to suit for walks. Just expect to lose a few ?

  12. Sophie

    Having a collection of hats for guests to borrow is a lovely idea. As well as different colours, why not a selection of styles to suit different faces? A beret, an ear flap, a slouchy beanie and a more fitted one, etc. Ravelry has an excellent search feature to find different styles and the more popular patterns.

Leave a Reply