Category Archives: owls

Owls cardigan

Hello everyone and happy Saturday. It’s been a long and busy week and I am very glad that it’s the weekend. Today I can finally share with you my owls cardigan! Cast on here as part of the owls knitalong, I shamelessly missed my May deadline, although not by as long as it may appear as it also took a bit of time for it to be cool enough for me to be able to bear putting it on to photograph. It has been WARM in these parts! Even when it hasn’t been sunny, it has been muggy. But I now have pictures!

The pattern is a jumper, Owls by Kate Davies, but knowing that I wear cardigans a lot more than jumpers I have made it into a cardigan. This was really easy to do following the instructions on converting this pattern to a cardigan which I found on Ravelry. Jenny WIllknitt has kindly shared her guide to “cardiganising” the jumper and taken all the effort away from this adaption, with great results.

I love the colour of this yarn. It is Cascade Eco+ in Pumpkin Spice, purchased from The Knitting Shop.  It is also super soft and i know it will be super warm come the winter.

This jumper is meant to be knit with 2 inches of negative ease to make it quite snug, but I completely missed this and have made it according to my actual measurements. This is fine, as I like big and snuggly jumpers, but something to bear in mind if you prefer your jumpers more fitted. I also added a good bit to the length so that it just covers the top of my bum, which is my ideal cardigan length. This will be a great addition to my autumn wardrobe where it is not quite cool enough to wear a coat but a chunky cardigan thrown over a dress does nicely (the dress here is my Simplicity Amazing Fit 1652, in case you were wondering).

I don’t think you can see in the pictures, but each of the 20 owls have tiny buttons for eyes. I managed to find buttons which blend in nicely with the colour of the yarn, so from a distance you can’t see the individual eyes; I like this, it’s kind of a surprise when you view the owls close up and this subtlety makes the jumper more wearable. I also decided to only add three buttons to the front of the cardigan, and leave the rest open. I have another jumper in which the buttons are placed in this way, and I really like how it looks.

As I’m sure you can tell, I love this jumper! The only thing I would change if I could is that the buttons pull slightly which you can see in the photos. I have the same problem with my Corrine cardigan as well as some shop-bought cardigans.If anyone has any tips to fix this I would be most grateful.

I seem to be knitting up a storm this year, with three knitted garments under my belt already. And there is no time for a rest; I’ve already cast on the Miette cardigan after seeing so many lovely versions around the blogosphere. My autumn wardrobe is going to be bursting with homemade knits :)

What’s on your knitting needles or sewing table at the moment?

Kat xx

Owls knitalong: Choosing yarn and knitting a swatch

Hello Everyone! Today is the first day of the owls knitalong. There is a small group of us knitting along to make this great jumper pattern by Kate Davies, led by myself and the lovely Sabs. We are largely doing thing via email, but there will be a few blog posts along the way so you can keep up with our progress should you desire.

owlsAfter a bit of Ravelry research I decided to modify this pattern slightly to make a cardigan. As far as I can tell this basically means that rather than knitting in the round, I will not join the stitches and knit back and forth instead. The reasoning behind this decision is that I tend to wear chunky cardigans more than chunky jumpers, and I really want to get a lot of wear out of this garment.

The first two steps of any knitting project are arguabley the most important: choosing your yarn and knitting a swatch. You may remember a few weeks ago I frogged my St James jumper with the plan to repurpose the yarn for this project. Well, I should have read the pattern first. The owls pattern calls for chunky yarn, not aran/worsted weight yarn which is slightly thinner. You can sometimes get away with using a different sized knitting needles to get the correct guage, but it does explicitly state that this is not recommended for this pattern as the all important owls loose their definition. I would have known this, of course, had I read the pattern before blindly frogging my St James. The lesson here is READ THE PATTERN! It is a good idea to know what weight of yarn you are looking for before you start the hunt, and it’s also helpful to have a look on Ravelry and see what yarns others have used for the same project. Oh well. All is not lost as it has been brought to my attention that the miette cardigan calls for worsted weight yarn. I think I may have just lined up my next knitting project…

frogged

Anyway. Back to the owls. With my original plan out the window I had to go on the hunt for some new yarn. I chose Cascade Eco+ in Pumpkin Spice, purchased from The Knitting Shop.  I think this particular colourway is currently out of stock, but it is a lovely orangey-brown and the yarn is just so super soft – I love it.

Yarn purchased, the next step is to knit a swatch. I’m as lazy as the next person and if I can get away with skipping a step I generally do. However, even I am resigned to the fact that knitting a swatch is the boring but necessary bit. The pattern will call for a certain gauge, which is basically the number of stitches and rows there are in a certain size segment (or swatch) of knitting. Often this is a 4 inches/10cm square. For some patterns, such as a scarf, gauge is not important, however for a jumper or cardigan which is knit to a certain size, if the gauge is even slightly out you may find that you end up with a jumper that is too small, which would be heart-breaking after all that work! The owls pattern suggests using chunky wool and states that on 6.5mm needles there should be 13 stitches and 20 rows to 4 inches in stocking stitch. You may find that your swatch measures slightly differently, which could be due to the yarn or your knitting style – everyone knits slightly differently and you may knit slightly tight or loose. To resolve this, you can go up or down a needle size to get the correct gauge. You can see my swatch below – this photo is also a pretty accurate representation of the colour of my yarn. Gorgeous.

swatch

Swatch done it’s time to get knitting for real (always the best bit). If you would like to knit along, it’s not too late to join in! Below is a rough schedule. Each each stage has either one or two weeks allowed for it. The pattern is nicely split into numbered steps and I have indicted which steps are included in each stage. Timings are quite generous but hopefully this allows for a lot of flexibility and if you have a busy week or two hopefully there will be plenty of time to catch up.

  • By 17th March – Swatch and get everything ready
  • 17th March – Cast on and begin body (step 1)
  • 24th March – Waist increases/decreases (steps 2 & 3)
  • 31st March – Side increases, knit to underarm, divide (steps 4, 5 & 6)
  • 14th April – Sleeves (step 7)
  • 28th April – Knit the owls! (step 8)
  • 12th May – Decreases, neckline, cast off (steps 9, 10 & 11)
  • 19th May – Finish and block (step 12)

By happy co-incidence the knitalong will finish the week of my birthday. This gives me an extra incentive to finish on time – who doesn’t want to wear owls on their birthday?!

Kat xx

Decision made…

Thank you for all your comments and tweets relating to my last post on whether or not I should frog my St James jumper. Also apologies for the temporary blip in commenting – somehow I accidentally and mysteriously unchecked a box somewhere…but it’s all sorted now!

I think in my heart I knew what had to be done, and I can now report that this…

stjames

…has become this…

froggedBring on the owls!

owls

I am so excited to knit this jumper. Firstly, owls! Secondly, I have seen so many lovely versions around the blogosphere, most recently Tasia’s. Sabs and I are planning a mini knitalong for this jumper starting in March – if anyone else fancies joining us, you would be most welcome! Firstly I have to finish my Corrine cardigan though…I’m on the finish straight now and hope to be able to share it (and wear it!) soon.

What’s on your knitting needles?

Kat xx

To frog or not to frog? That is the question.

*Apologies to anyone who tried to comment on this blog post previously but were unable to, there was an issue with the comments box not showing up but everything is fixed now so you should be able to comment as normal. If not, please let me know!*

I have a dilemma and I need your help.

Some of you may remember my St James’ jumper, my biggest knitting project to date.

stjames

I was so proud of this jumper, but I do have a little confession to make. I don’t love it. Since I finished it, almost two years ago now, I have worn it a total of once. And that was just after I finished it. It has not seen the light of day since.

So the question I have for you is: do I keep this jumper in my cupboard, knowing that it is unlikely to be worn, or do I frog the whole thing and use the yarn to make a jumper I know I will love so much more? You may ask how I know I will love my next make more. Wait to you see what it is going to be…..

owls

Yep, Owls by Kate Davies. Predictable? Moi? I don’t know what you mean.

I think in my heart I know what I should do, but I am loath to pull apart a jumper I spent so many hours on. Have you ever knitted or sewn something you didn’t love? What did you do? Have you ever repurposed another knitted make? Did you ever regret it? I would welcome your advice!

Kat xx

FO: Andy the Owl

Hello everyone, here I am back from a lovely few days away at a spa, and with a brand new finished project to show you! Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will already know of my love of owls. They seem to be very “on trend” at the moment but I have collected them in various guises since I was very small and used to dress up in a brown poncho and flap my “wings”! I’m not really keen on the fact that owls are now “in fashion” and am secretly waiting for them to fade out so I can be unusual again…and so I am not tempted to purchase everything in owl shape I see in the shops!! Given my slight obsession, it was never going to be long before some of my feathered (or in this case, not so feathered!) friends started popping up around these parts. So with this in mind, I would like to introduce you too…Andy the Owl!

He was so named because I sewed him together whilst watching Andy Murray storm to victory in the tennis to claim a well-deserved gold medal. As I type this, I have just watched him win a silver in the mixed doubles. Isn’t the Olympics addictive?! Go Team GB! My boyfriend is displeased with the lack of alliteration in the naming, but I am currently drawing a blank at British Olympians starting with an O!

The pattern for this cushion come from a bumper pattern magazine/booklet called The Ultimate Knitting Stylebook, which I would highly recommend…there is so much I want to knit from here! I started knitting this on my commute to work a few months ago, although when it came to the coloured front it became too big to transport so I knitted the rest in front of the TV. This project was an opportunity to practise working with colour including intarsia and stranding…many a time I got all the balls of wool in a tangle and had to stop to unravel them! However, this did make for a nice neat wrong side, as you can see in one of the pictures below.

I also had a chance to practise my crochet skills for the front frills…it has been a while since my crochet class and I have not done any since then, but I was pleased that I was able to pick it up again quite quickly, once I had translated the instructions!

This was a great project to use up scraps of wool I had in my stash from other projects. Because of this I used wool of different thicknesses which has resulted in a little but of tightness around the eye area in particular where I was also stranding behind – however hopefully this is not too obvious! You may also notice that Andy is looking a little flat – this is because I ran out of stuffing, so poor Andy will have to wait until next weekend when I am able to pick up some more, but I just couldn’t wait to share him with you.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. Anyone else out there enjoying the Olympics? It is so easy to just sit and watch it all day long – I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow where it will be so much harder to get my fix!!!

K xx