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Red Cotton Cardigan

Knitting has always been my way of relaxing. I hardly ever go without having at least two UFOs close by, and never watch TV without knitting. Right now, though, I am at a very strange place with knitting: I have nothing on the needles. The last project I finished was my “I’ll just work on this while I think about what to make next” -project, and… well, I cast off two nights ago. Today, I wanted to show you what I made!

I had a bit of yarn left after I finished my Tropical Breeze Shawl. I was quite uncertain as to what to do with it. There didn’t seem to be that much left, but a knitter’s instinct claimed it was enough for a cropped cotton cardigan. Bravely, I cast on. I chose a simple V-neck raglan style. I needed a basic cardigan that goes with everything.

I worked the collar, button lists and hem in seed stitch, and the rest of the cardigan in stockinette. I hadn’t made one with this particular technique before, and knitting felt like an adventure. I wondered whether it would fit, or whether it would look nice, or feel like me.

The cardigan turned out really nice. I had enough yarn for ¾ sleeves, and a cropped hem. It’s actually the exact shape I was aiming for! My red cotton cardigan has a really nice fit and the perfect length for my taste. I’m used to sleeves being overly long, so this ¾ length is strange to me. It feels nice and practical, so I’m guessing I’ll get used to it pretty soon.

For the photos, I wanted to create an outfit I actually plan on wearing. This will be perfect for going to our weekly pub quiz next winter. The pub is really chilly, and even though I don’t usually stay beyond an hour, I get frozen to the core. The cotton cardigan is light enough to wear under a coat, and will keep me warm inside.

I wore the cardigan over a mesh top and a basic spaghetti strap top, and The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt. I added an elastic belt to the mix. The belt gives the outfit a more polished look, and serves as an eye-catcher. It’s always a smart idea to enhance the narrowest part of the body, especially when wearing long hems. The belt does just that, while hiding the basic elastic waist of the skirt.


The hems on the cardigan are of equal length, I just managed to pull it on wrong!

This outfit is also nice for stepping out on a cooler summer day. Lighter socks make the outfit less wintery, and the cotton cardigan is easy to remove if the weather grows warmer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new cotton cardigan.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Vectors

As you may remember, it was my Birthday a while back. I wasn’t really expecting presents, but I got something beautiful anyway. I have a few friends who knit. One of them also dyes yarn. She has a small Etsy-shop called Petrichor Yarns, and she brought me a lovely skein of merino-bamboo-blend. The shade is called Witch Hunt, and I thoroughly love it! This particular shade of red goes perfectly with a coat I just made. I already have plans for this yarn, but there’s something else I need to finish first.

You see, I got some more yarn, too. Two skeins of some seriously wild merino silk.

Yarn speaks to me sometimes, and these two announced their desire the moment I saw them. They claimed to want to be together forever, and become a vortex scarf.

I said OK, that’s all well and good, but you’ll have to wait until I finish my cardigan.

The yarns would have none of that, and I had to cast on three days later.

The two skeins have a matching shade of pink. I don’t usually go for crazy color-combos, but I had to make an exception with these two. The colors go together beautifully, though I was a bit hesitant about it.

I’ve been wanting to knit a vortex scarf for quite a while now. I haven’t gotten around to it, since I’ve been working on multiple projects at once, and haven’t found The Perfect Yarn for a vortex scarf. Until I saw these two, that is. As I cast on, I thought I’d get a little neck warmer out of these. There was only 800 meters of yarn with the two skeins combined. I started knitting, and the scarf grew and grew and grew. At one point, I thought I’d never run out of yarn!

Of course I finally found an end to both yarns. By then, the scarf had grown to a shawlette. It has a wing span of over 160 cm, but it is quite narrow. It’s pretty perfect to wear around the neck in this size. Since it’s worked in a vortex-shape, it’s easy to continue knitting until it reaches a full-shawl width.

As a finishing touch, I decided to work a simple crochet edge to the scarf.

I was kind of hoping to show you the fully finished scarf today, but I ran out of time. I’ll write the scarf out as a pattern soon. At this point, I call it The Pretty Basic Vortex Scarf, but the name will hopefully change into something nicer.

After finishing this one, I’ll get to start working on the Witch Hunt, and another shawl pattern!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s I (almost) Made This! -post.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Red Crochet Skirt

Once upon a time, I decided to want a red crochet skirt. This happened before I made the black dress I showed you a while back. For this skirt, I used the same lace repeat. I really like this lace, it’s easy to hook, and lovely to look at. The repeat is only three rows high, so it’s also easy to memorize.

I crocheted the skirt with Novita’s long-gone Kotiväki. It’s a pretty basic mercerized cotton suitable for hook sizes 2,5mm to 3,5mm. I like working with larger hooks, so I liked the yarn. The consistency pleased me as well. I like natural fibers, and cotton works nice with lace. It also gives crochet projects really pretty stitch definition.

Finding a substitute for Kotiväki has proven surprisingly difficult. Fingering weight blends are numerous, but cotton is harder to come by. I guess I’ll have to settle for blends in the future.

Red Crochet Skirt Detail

I wanted my skirt to be tight, but not too tight to walk in. I wanted it long and narrow and fitted at the hip.

Achieving this was easier than I thought. I started at the waist with a 2,5mm hook and worked my way down upping hook size twice. This made the skirt widen without increases. When the skirt reached my knees, I changed to hook size 4mm, and worked the rest of the hem.

I like the way the skirt turned out. It doesn’t have a lining because I want to wear it with both short and long underskirts. Versatility is important to me, and this skirt provides it.

Crochet Skirt over Bodycon Dress

Crochet garments, especially lacey ones, are light and see-through. Petticoats are in order when wearing a lace skirt. For this outfit, I paired the red crochet skirt with The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress. Worn under the skirt, the dress provides coverage. It also doubles as a top.

To cover up the waist of the skirt, I wore The Embroidered Waist Corselet. This light-weight corselet is made with elastic material, and features buttons at the front, and light embroidery on the sides. Contrast coloured bone channels continue the red hem a bit higher, and make it blend into the top without a clear line. I like to do this when wearing colours. Combining two colours that are quite far from each other, it feels nice to bind them together with another garment. A hard break of colour in any outfit can seem a bit harsh.

Wearing a dress under a skirt comes with one more bonus feature: you won’t have a shirt tail to worry about.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my red crochet skirt!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Stripy Wrist Warmers

In the world of crafting, left-over yarn is a rule. It’s always around, and sometimes, it’s difficult to find a use for little balls and skeins. As I was given an opportunity to write a guest post for Craftic, I chose to create these cute, stripy wrist warmers to share. The wrist warmers require basic skills in both knitting and crocheting. Stitches used are very simple, so I would label this as a beginner level project. 

stripy wrist warmers worked in black and purple

Materials

  • sport weight yarn in two tones. The amount of yarn needed depends on how long you wish to make the wrist warmers. For the black and purple ones, I worked 10 contrast colored stripes and used 50 grams (142 yards) of yarn in total.

  • double-pointed needles size 3,5mm/US 4

  • crochet hook size 3,5mm/US 4 and 4mm/US 6

  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Notes

The wristwarmers come in three sizes, S (M), and L. Size S suits an arm of 20 cm/ 7.8 inches in diameter, size M 22 cm/ 8.6 inches, and size L 24 cm/ 9.45 inches. Gauge (taken from a wristwarmer while it’s worn) is 18 stitches and 24 rows in a 5 cm x 5 cm / 2” x 2” square.

Abbreviations

K – knit

P – purl

DC – double crochet

* * – repeat

Pattern

Cast on 40 (44) 48 stitches on DPNs with black yarn, divide them eavenly, and join to knit in the round. The wristwarmers are worked in *K2, P2* -rib up until the crochet cuff.

Counting in the foundation row, work four rows of rib with black yarn. Switch to purple, and work two rows. Alternating the stripe pattern of *four rows in black, two rows in purple*, work in the round until the wristwarmer is approx 15cm/ 6 inches long. Finish with a black stripe.

Switch to the smaller crochet hook. From the beginning of the first row, pick up two stitches onto your hook. Crochet them together with a slip stitch, and chain four. In between of the two stitches you just crocheted together, double crochet.

DC the next two stitches together, chain two, and DC in between the two stitches crocheted together. Continue like this through the row.

Switch to hook size 4mm/ US 6.

Row 1: Into each arch formed by two chain stitches, DC three times.

Row 2-5: Using slip stitches, move to the middle DC of the first group. Chain two, and DC twice. *DC three times into the middle stitch of the next group.* Slip stitch to close the round.

Row 6: Using slip stitches, move to the middle DC of the first group. Chain two, and DC four times. Single crochet in between groups. *DC five times into the middle stitch of the next group, single crochet in between groups.* Slip stitch to close the round.

Cast off, and weave in ends.

stripy wrist warmers worked in double rib and crochet lace

 I hope you’ll enjoy The Stripy Wrist Warmers Knit/Crochet Pattern!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Black and Blue Gloves

After creating The Pretty Basic Blazer pattern, I had some yarn left over. There wasn’t enough for a top or a skirt, but still too much for just a pair of short fingerless gloves. As fall was drawing near, I decided to use the yarn for a pair of black and blue gloves.

The yarn I used for The Basic Blazer was a combination of two threads. I took a ball of black, super-slippery polyester, and a ball of petrol-blue acrylic. Together, they formed a two-toned yarn thick enough to work with a larger hook. As I worked the blazer, the tones intertwined with each other, creating an interesting surface. The blazer is crocheted, but I wanted to see how the two yarns would work together in knit.

I didn’t want to cast on a huge project, and there was a limited amount of yarn, so I chose to cast on cabled gloves. This style is actually a pre-version of the upcoming sister-patterns called Lovelace and Purlace.

I chose a classic cable pattern for the back of the gloves, and worked an Indian thumb gusset to them. The yarn behaved beautifully, turning and twisting with stitches, giving me some that seemed blue, some that seemed black, and some that showed off both colors. As the cable pattern is pretty simple, it didn’t clash with the two-toned yarn.

The cuffs of the gloves are pretty long. I get cold easily, and winter coats often have sleeves that are just a little bit too short. Longer gloves keep my wrists warm even when it’s really cold outside.

Here in Finland, it’s often really cold outside, so I’m glad I chose to work a longer cuff.

The body of the gloves along with fingers are worked in basic stockinette. After finishing the gloves, I started thinking.

Gloves are meant to be tight, and stockinette leaves a rough surface on the inside. The idea of reverse stockinette gloves was born from that little inconvenience.

The cable on the inside of the wrist also gave me an idea.

The palm of a glove is often left plain. I don’t see a reason of functionality to that, so with Lovelace, I carried a cable through the thumb gusset. I kinda regret not doing that with the black and blues as well, but I’m still happy with my cabled, two-toned gloves.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Black and Blue Gloves!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Black and White Gloves

Every autumn, I decide to need a new pair of basic gloves. I usually only wear black ones though I’ve made a pair in red, another in black and blue, and one in sunny yellow. The latest finished ones are black and white gloves.

I used a basic glove pattern I have memorized for these ones. The gloves have an Indian thumb gusset, which is one of my favorite techniques. The gusset is super-easy to work, and since it follows the shape of the palm, it makes gloves really comfy to wear. I’ve incorporated the Indian thumb gusset into one pattern I’ve made. The What to do With the Rest Mitts is a free pattern for fingerless gloves, and it can be found here on Ravelry, and here in our own store.

Looking around the internet, I noted that knitting pattern for basic gloves are relatively scarce. Harry Wells has written a free pattern, which can be found on Ravelry, but it features a different kind of thumb gusset. The pattern’s quite good, though, and I highly recommend it.

To spruce up my basic gloves, I decided to make them stripy. I had black and white yarns stashed, and though I know the white will turn gray pretty soon, I chose to risk it. Neutral colors won’t clash with anything, so if I’m feeling very adventurous, I might pair the gloves with an outfit splashed with red or purple.

The hand of the gloves is worked with single-row stripes. On the cuffs, I went with wider rows. This way, the gloves have a bit more going on. Thinner and wider stripes create an interesting surface even when worked with only two tones.

After finishing the gloves, I still had some yarn left. In order to get rid of some of it, I crocheted six small flowers. I sewed them onto the gloves, three on each, and found myself very happy with the choice.

Gloves are often left plain, mainly because heavy embellishments tend to get caught on sleeves and bags and passers-by. Light decorations, though, are sometimes a nice way to give a little more oomph to gloves and mittens.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Black and White Gloves!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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