Clearing the decks before decking the halls


I have my Mum coming over for Christmas – she arrives this evening – and Mlle. Tialys the elder arrives Saturday as long as she catches her early morning flight by showing restraint at the bar and, like Cinderella, leaving before midnight from her office ‘do’ the night before.  I’m worried, I cannot lie.

As it is a bit antisocial to disappear upstairs to my workroom when there are the proverbial halls to be decked, meals to be cooked and eaten, chocolates to be scoffed, the Muppets Christmas Carol to be watched (again) and general merriment to be made, I will be abandoning the sewing for a couple of weeks.  So I attempted to finish projects I had started and clear my cutting table for use as a gift wrapping surface.

Here is the finished Butterick pattern (can’t remember which one) that Mlle T. the younger requested as she likes the bell sleeves.  There’s a bit of a 70s vibe going on here.  A nice easy pattern cut on the bias so no messing with fastenings – just some bias binding round the neck.


BlogPostDec14 Makes (2)I bought the new Grainline sweatshirt pattern, called Linden because I fancied making a couple of tops to wear for yoga even though my yoga teacher has disappeared to Mexico for a few months so I will have to be very disciplined and do it in front of the T.V. with DVDs.  Hmmmm………

Anyway, I made a muslin in some plain french terry for the short sleeved boxy version first but it turned out well, if a bit boring, so I added an image and will wear it to classes when they resume.  If you’re wondering, yes, I can do that pose but only once.

Grainline Linden Sweat Yoga TopThis version has no cuffs at waist or sleeves but the other version of the pattern has.  I wasn’t going to add them but my double stitching didn’t come out right around the ends of the sleeves so I added cuffs to hide it.  Then I added the hem cuff for consistency.   I wouldn’t do that again though as I don’t really like cuffs on things – especially trousers/pants – and especially tight ones, I don’t know why, I just don’t.   I made the mistake of making it with stripy french terry and spent a merry couple of hours trying to match stripes until I Googled it and realised that, with raglan sleeves, you have to match what you can in the most visible areas and leave the rest to do what they will.  So I did. Sort of.  The side seams match, in my defense.

Grainline Linden Sweat Long Sleeved VersionI think I’m going to give sewing clothes a bit of a rest for a while now.  I bought Colette’s Dahlia pattern and had the fabric lined up for it – although it is the dreaded plaid – looked at a few finished versions, read some of the comments and just couldn’t get motivated to make it.  This after buying the PDF version and printing out gazillions of pages and then sticking them all together – something else I won’t be doing in future.  Anything bigger than a skirt or top will be ordered as a paper pattern.

Anyway, never fear, my Mum will soon be here and, as you may remember from previous posts, when she is here we knit.

I’m hoping to finish the Kim Hargreaves jacket I started a couple of weeks ago which is going well.  I had a bit of a contretemps with the rear vent – considering I didn’t even know it was there until I thought the pattern had gone nuts – rear photographs of designs which have features on the back please publishers!  Actually, the pattern for the vent wasn’t particularly well explained in my opinion and I had to call in reinforcements.  However, it is done.

BlogPostDec14 Makes (4)

Love that blackberry colour and, so far, the Sirdar yarn is proving a good alternative to the Rowan.

When that looks more like this


I am going to tackle a knitted throw.  I don’t know why, I just saw the photo of it and got the urge.  I can’t show you the photo here as the designer doesn’t want her photos shared but you can see it here. You have to use 6 strands of  worsted weight yarn (thats dk or aran to us that speak U.K. knitting terms ) and monster needles such as these.

Huge Knitting & Crochet Needles

Those little circular ones with the blue wire are what I used to knit my socks and are there for size comparison as they are 3.5mm and the monsters are 20mm.  That is a 450g ball of wool by the way.  Reading the feedback on the pattern, one reviewer says knitting it was a bit like ‘wrestling a bear’.  I will let you know.


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  1. #1 by lovelucie1 on December 18, 2014 - 14:53

    I love your stripy T. Just what I would wear when ‘off duty’.
    Also love the sound of your new project. I’m sure it will turn out fabulous but I don’t envy you battling with 6 balls of wool!
    And I think you must have the patience of a saint with all those bobbles on that cardi!

    • #2 by tialys on December 19, 2014 - 09:06

      Thanks Lucie. I’m not quite as patient as you think. They aren’t actually bobbles but double moss stitch which consists of two rows of k1, p1, then two rows of pl,k1 and these four rows, repeated, give you that effect.

      • #3 by lovelucie1 on December 19, 2014 - 13:32

        Easy when you know how! Would make a lovely cushion cover.

  2. #4 by Jan Marriott on December 18, 2014 - 18:07

    Are they the only pics that came with the KH sweater? I do sometimes find that the Rowan books are ‘looks’ and no substance, I am sure there is a ripe phrase for that but cant think of it. Aubergine is one of my fav colors and the back vent is very nice finishing touch….id only you had know about it,
    Happy knitting

    • #5 by tialys on December 19, 2014 - 09:10

      Yes, the only two. It really is a knitting porn book but I must say that I really like all the patterns in the book but, if I knit another, I’ll look at the small print first.

  3. #6 by sew2pro on December 18, 2014 - 22:22

    The stripy top is great; I can tell you’ve done a good job ’cause it looks expensive! I love the yoga top too – if you struggle with yoga motivation without a teacher, think of me: I have pledged to plank every day and probably will!

    I’m about to finish a Dahlia: I’m too selfish to stop sewing yet, though there are numerous shopping, Christmas card and decorating duties. However, I might not get round to blogging it before Jan. It’ll be interesting to compare notes. Mine is also plaid and there’s a story to tell re the raglan sleeves.

    Happy Christmas!

    • #7 by tialys on December 19, 2014 - 09:16

      Thank you!
      I too am trying to build up the amount of time I stay in plank pose. I have got up to 2.5 minutes but I have to be in the mood – otherwise it’s more like 1.5 minutes and you will probably tell me now that you can manage 10 minutes or something preposterous.
      When I first saw the Dahlia I liked it but I’m not 100% sure about it now. I don’t know whether the gathering under the bust will do anything for me and my plaid fabric is not like wool but almost viscose like with a bit of slip so, although I think the drape will be good, it might be a bit tricky to work with especially when it comes to matching the pattern. Also, I have read about quite a few fitting issues with the pattern – have you found this? I’ll be looking out for your blog post.

      • #8 by sew2pro on December 22, 2014 - 01:32

        2.5 minutes is way plenty, well done!! I’ve had problems with the toe joint which doesn’t like being bent in a plank so I tend to do up to 2.5 on each side, rather than face down, But I did have to build up slowly from 30s!

        I’m pleased with the Dahlia so far but have yet to see it on me as a finished article.

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