I have really enjoyed my summer raglan sweater knit a long, followed by the Frida sew a long. I hope you did too. But now I need to think what I want to do next. To be honest the sew and knit alongs may have been a bit of distraction activity for me. I knew I had some projects languishing in bags (out of sight out of mind) that I didn’t want to examine. One of which was my second raglan sweater for the sewalong. But eventually, after doing the underarm seams, and weaving in all those ends, this project moves from UFO to WIP to Finished project….
We have been living in our Cotswold house for a year and a half now and I have accumulated some UFOs which I have reluctantly decided to share in the hope that this will encourage me to resolve the outstanding issues and allow me to clear my work space and move on to new projects.
So I will “share my shame” (I don’t really feel shame, but there is something wasteful and negative about not getting to the finish line) and maybe this will encourage you to look at what you have not managed to finish (there is always a practical or psychological reason). Fadanista Sue and @Geopri123 have been making good progress and this has inspired me. Of course, one of the things you can do with unfinished items is to throw them out, pass them on, or unravel/unpick them. You don’t have to finish them. But I plan to finish all these items.
Firstly is my shawl. This is an active project. It involves lots of rounds of fine, lace weight yarn on fine circular needles, and is ideal to do while watching TV. At the moment we are enjoying the new series of Call Saul, and Unforgotten and Fauda. I have a liking for ultra-violence I am afraid – at least voyeuristically. In real life I abhor violence.
To make the shawl I just cast on lots of stitches – around 300 I think, with a view that I would double the fabric so it is stocking stitch on both sides, and attach lots of small pom poms. I think because the stitches and yarn are so thin this will take me months and millions of stitches. I am putting in three rows of colour every 25 rows or so. The yarn feels lovely and soft. I have two cones of white left over from my Helmut Lang top so it will be mainly white but the colour makes it more exciting and less baby-blanket.
The next unfinished knitted item is the Elizabeth Zimmermann “Ski Sweater in color patterns”. This can be found in Knitting without Tears Chapter 3. Obviously without actual colour as the book only has vintage black and white photos.
This chapter is introduced before all the seamless sweaters chapter that I have been doing for a while. I found it a very attractive jumper but it involves cutting into the body, and seems far more advanced than the seamless ones, so I gave it a wide berth as a beginner. Now I feel I can face doing this sweater, so I made a good start. But because of summer weather and a fear that I had made the colour work a bit tight I stopped knitting.
I think I know what I need to do here. I don’t like the very light blue at the top or the blue shoulder band. I think I will rip it out and bring in one of the deeper blues again. And the sleeve feels too narrow, so I will undo that too and start again on the sleeves.
Next up is half a pair of log cabin gloves. I already made a nice pair of these, and wanted a second pair. I even posted this singleton on Instagram (I boasted) believing I would quickly make the second one. But I made a false start. The gloves have a different pattern for left and right so that they mirror each other. But when I started the second one I got confused and it wasn’t working right. I will have to go back to the pattern and start again.
With the warm weather I fancied a nice work dress. I have made one or two already, the latest with the border print (which I will share soon). This pattern, which was introduced to me by Jay, is one I really like by a designer I love. I have already made this up in white.
It is such a lovely 1980s style, with the cap sleeves (it includes shoulder pads, but I will leave them out. The skirt is full but slightly tapered and the upper part has nice princess lines. Also. Pockets. Really lovely pockets built in behind the hip pleats. Just a great design.
The other sewing project has stalled for a long time – maybe as much as a year – is the Claire Shaffer jacket with a pleat in front of the pocket (is this a theme?). I bought some nice yellowy beige linen at Simply Fabrics and thought this might make a nice summer jacket. Nick loved the fabric and I showed it to Gus, but while it suits both of them better than me (being muted), I really like it too. But I am wondering if it stalled as I know this is not my best colour. I think I had in mind to toile it in this linen, because I haven’t altered the pattern at all. This is a bit risky! But the fabric wasn’t very expensive so I really ought to get on with it. I am not sure I need another summer jacket as the weather has been much cooler recently. But I am curious about the pattern, so I should press on.
Finally, when I paint on fabric, I sometimes practice first with the colours and shapes. This results in pieces of fabric already painted on. I meant to finish these to make cushion covers. Maybe. Or maybe not. These fabrics can be very nice for covering books as gifts (Christmas is coming).