An eventful week

I need a catch up post.

  1. The knitting disaster

In an eventful week I have tried to make the saddle shouldered seamless jumper, featured in Knitting without Tears. Can I have my money back – it made me cry!!

Can you work out what went wrong? By way of explanation this is a seamless sweater, made initially exactly the same as my colourwork yoke jersey – three tubes joined on one needle. Then the decreasing is done first by taking up four stitches from the front and back every round, swapping to take the fullness from the sleeves, and finally reverting back to the body until we have just the saddles to work. The problem of course is that line of decreasing needs to be contiguous and look line a clear line across the sweater. It is actually a kind of mock seam and so it has to work perfectly. Otherwise the eye will not be decieved. So I now have two options. One is to pull it out and redo the yoke area. Or, and this is the beauty of the Zimmermann seamless approach, I can pull it back and create either a yoke sweater or a seamless raglan. I won’t want to make a colourwork yoke because of the stripes, but I could conceivably create a stitch pattern in the yoke. I think the raglan might be better. The yarn is recycled from the sloper sweater. It is lovely soft cashmere and will be warm, so I am thinking of having a relatively high neck. A further thought was could EZ be adapted to create a polo neck?

2. The meet up

In other news I met up with Sue from New Zealand. She reads the blog, sews, knits, dyes, and is in the UK for the first time since her “OE” (overseas experience) when she worked in our NHS hospitals as an orthopedic nurse ten or so years ago. Having had a few days in London she is off in a hired motor home to visit some of the beautiful parts of the English countryside. We had a Beijing street food meal in Brixton market and a visit to Simply Fabrics where she managed to purchase a few souvenirs.

Sue Newth
Sue Newth from New Zealand

She also very kindly gave me a silk scarf she had dyed with Indigo. She used pegs to create the beautiful design.

Indigo dyed scarf with wooden peg design
Lovely indigo silk scarf from Sue

Sue has a real sensitivity for colour and I just loved her neat grey outfit with a splash of orange – bag, glasses and lipstick. Very classy.

3. The purchase

I bought Colourmart yarn for my third seamless yoked EZ jumper. I am thinking of using the beige this time as I already have two coloured ones. But I love the green too. My mother, who enjoyed shopping, always had a solution when you liked two things equally, when shopping for shoes, for example. “Get them both!”. Obviously I will knit up the green at some point if I use the beige this time. Knitting along with me are Maggie, Michelle, Karen, Giorgia and Sue Stoney – hello girls! Have you got your yarn? Have you cast on the right number of stitches?

4. The evening class

We finished the patchwork class. Nick and I signed up with a plan to make a patchwork quilt for our new bedroom at Rainshore. We have the germ of an idea but I am not sure we will get round to doing it. The experienced ladies in the class conspired with me to convince Nick to do all the cutting and me to do the sewing. But actually he really loved learning to use a sewing machine. Patchwork and carpentry are quite similar, as it happens and he took to it like a duck to water. We both found the class a fun and useful introduction and, as ever, we met some really great people on the course. Kaye Telford started each class with a “show and tell” experience where she brought mainly her own work and demystified the techniques. And every week we made a sample. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with my samples – in fact I appear to have lost some – but I did learn some interesting techniques, and I have lots of handouts. We covered

  • Rail fence
  • Quarter square triangles
  • Log cabin and courthouse steps
  • Broken dishes
  • Hour glass
  • Flying geese
  • English paper piecing
  • Disappearing Hour Glass
  • Pieced Hearts block (flying geese)
  • Free cut panels (for borders)
  • Applique
  • Bias binding
  • Quilting
Patchwork samples
Introduction to patchwork

5. My sewing room

Nick made me a cupboard for my new sewing room at Rainshore. I absolutely love this, even before it has been painted. In fact I like it unpainted. I have a week to think about it while Nick puts in the maple shelves. The rest of the house has cupboards painted in Cornforth White. But I am thinking of a different shade of paint – pink, green or blue.

handmade sewing cupboard
Rainshore sewing room cupboard by Nick

6. And a wedding!

Esme’s friend Kate got married to George in the wonderful Asylum Chapel in Peckham. Esme was one of the bridesmaids and Kit and Ted were page boys. The place was full of English summer flowers in shades of pink white and blue (my favourite), mixed in with olives in honour of George’s Greek heritage. Kate wore a short, lace dress with a sheer back. She looked amazing. The weather was perfect and we went outside after the ceremony and showered them with dried flower petals, drank champagne and enjoyed the steel band.

I was thrilled to wear my Mondrian dress –  as we walked through the back streets of Peckham to the wedding a woman stopped her car, put her head out of the window and shouted out “I love your dress!”. I always enjoy wearing it.

19 Responses

  1. Jenny (the lilac cat)

    Sorry about the tears. I regard knitting to the standard you do i.e. wanting a good personal fit rather than knitting scarves, baby items where the child will eventually grow into it etc as quite a game of risk and jeopardy! A game you’ve been winning though.

    The wedding pictures are delightful.

    Re patchwork blocks I don’t get the impression this has set you on fire!!! I’d think about using the blocks you have in a much simpler design perhaps with large blocks of a contrasting solid. Personally a quilt made up entirely of blocks as you’ve made I find too busy and also takes an absolute age to make. Great for learning different techniques though.

    • fabrickated

      Thanks for your feedback on the quilting. I am not sure I feel confident enough to try a quilt yet. Or quite enthusiastic enough to tackle one. Maybe a cushion cover…

  2. Annie

    Lovely post, there’s a lot going on.

    I can’t offer any knitting advice I’m afraid although I have the book, others no doubt will have constructive thoughts. Your sewing room is exciting, I can see Nick making a quilt in there, quilting is precise straight lines and I can see why it would appeal to a carpenter, there are parallels.

    I think your Mondrian is the nicest thing you’ve done and it really suits you.

    • fabrickated

      Thank you. I really love the Mondrian dress – partly because I think the bright blue, red and white look very fresh. Also it is so structural it makes a statement without completely drowning me. The underlying YSL shift is perfection.

  3. Sydney Brown

    OMG, those sewing room cabinets!!! They are gorgeous! Nick is very talented, isn’t he. And I loved the wedding photos. That Asylum chapel is really, really lovely. So atmospheric.

  4. ceci

    My husband and I were just discussing this AM the similarity between sewing and carpentry (he wants to upholster the seats in his vintage car project…..). So corroborating evidence is very timely. I too like the unpainted wood look of the cupboards – we have several pieces of furniture that have been waiting years for me to decide on a paint color.


    • fabrickated

      It’s fun to collaborate, but I would say reupholstering a car is really a big challenge. Especially as it is vintage. What material will you use? Leather? Also you made me laugh saying you have been thinking about colours for years. I could do that too but I have only been given a week.

  5. Chris

    Hi Kate, I bought the Ez book after seeing it on your blog… mainly because I’ve never made a saddle shouldered jumper! I hope you figure out what went wrong, as right now I can’t help! I’m looking forward to getting stuck into a new knit as soon as life calms a little ?

  6. Sue

    There’s so much to comment on here that I don’t know where to start! I’ve begun my EZ jumper and using variegated yarn so am doing a stitch pattern for the yoke. I have narrowed the choices down to two and will audition them in the wool before choosing. Your saddle shoulders do look a bit sad. Such a shame. The wedding looks lovely and your Mondrian dress is stunning. Sewing room progress looks epic. Lovely to have a sewing friend to visit. There, I think I’ve covered it all!

  7. Brenda

    Lots going on. I’m so sorry I can’t help with the knitting conundrum, and I’m hoping someone will post a helpful idea. Otherwise, can you get help at the local yarn shop? I love that dress, too!

  8. Kim

    Can’t help with knitting advice other than try not to be too down hearted about it. I love your mother! Such a great attitude ?.
    You always look fabulous in the Mondrian dress so enjoy getting the compliments!

  9. Alli

    hehehe — cutting is my least favorite part of quilting. Your quilting classmates are smart! 😀

    Like everyone else, I love your Mondrian dress. It’s fun seeing it out in the wild!

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