Second Stab Shale Blazer

Some time last year I made a knitted jacket called ‘Shale’ from Kim Hargreaves’ Storm collection.  I wasn’t 100% happy with how it turned out, mainly because I had substituted the wool and it came out too big for me but also because I wasn’t keen on some of the features such as the back vent, buttoned cuffs and one too few buttons (to my mind anyway) on the front.  I blogged about it here
BlackberryShaleJacket (1)


 Despite those things, I really liked the texture the stitch created and the style of the jacket so, nothing daunted, I bought more yarn and made it in the XS size, omitting the fancy details and adding a button a little higher up.

Shale Jacket Storm Kim Hargreaves

I’ve used these vintage buttons for now because it’s hard deciding what to use but, if I see something I like better, I’ll change them.

Shale Jacket Storm Kim Hargreaves

I really like the texture and it does actually feel like a jacket rather than a cardigan.

Shale Jacket Storm Kim Hargreaves

The mannequin is sporting the buttoned up version because I’m such a lazy baggage I couldn’t be bothered to change so I pulled some jeans on under my dress and then just folded the hem of the dress up a few times to make it look like a top with the result that it made me look hippy when I buttoned the jacket up.  So I’ve just used the photo of me demonstrating the open version.

This is the next thing I’m doing from the same pattern book and this really is supposed to be a ‘boyfriend’ cardigan.

Drew Boyfriend Cardigan Kim Hargreaves

I promise I won’t accessorize it like this. ( If only I could get away with such things any more).

I decided to knit this using the Rowan wools recommended but as you use one strand of Kidsilk Haze and one strand of Kid Classic throughout it worked out rather expensive.  I scoured Ebay until I came up with somebody who, miraculously, had the 11 balls of  Kid Classic I needed in a soft grey colour so I bid quite high as I was determined to get it and it still worked out a lot cheaper than any of the other sellers.  I found somebody selling the Kidsilk Haze to go with it at £4 a ball – which is about half the price of everywhere else – bought and paid for it and then they told me they were waiting for stock.  The next day they refunded my money.  I threw a bit of a hissy fit as I probably wouldn’t have embarked upon this project if I’d had to pay full price – or I’d have found substitutes – now they’re saying it is still in the system and, when it comes in, they’ll send it to me anyway without charging me again.  If that happens it’s a good result for me but, if it doesn’t, I’ll be naming and shaming them as I don’t like the practice, becoming more and more common, where sellers take your money for something they need to order from another supplier without always knowing they’ll be able to get hold of it.  Rant over (for now).

Do you think I’m compensating for not being able to add to my fabric stash because of my fabric fast by knitting like a woman possessed?  I must confess that I nearly fell off the wagon on Thursday.  I went to Ikea in Toulouse with a friend and, as we were walking round, I spotted the curtains and blinds section and noted again the fact that their fabric selection is diminishing.  My friend realised she needed the loo which we had just gone past so she backtracked, leaving me alone and unsupervised.  I vaguely wandered over to the fabrics and wasn’t interested in any of the home furnishing weight stuff but noted the plain cottons they have for 3.99 euros a metre and, as my stash is sadly lacking in ‘plains’, I thought I’d buy a metre of the black cotton.  If you have ever bought fabric in Ikea you will know that you cut your own and then weigh it and stick the resulting ticket on it.

This is how far I got – literally –  the scissors were open and the fabric was between the blades – before I remembered that I have 11 months to go until I can do such a thing again.


Scissors cutting cloth

Still, I’ve cast on for another one of my huge blankets.  The weather has an autumnal feel in the mornings and evenings now and I think I can bear to be covered in wool from time to time and this will be for my Mum’s Christmas present.  It’s a funny colour – lilac mist I think – it’s beige with a lilac fleck in it but, to be honest, it’s mostly beige unless you look very carefully in good daylight.

Erin Black's Cable Blanket Cast

Do you do ‘research’ when you’re making something?  By which I mean trying to find the materials at the best possible price.  It does take up a lot of time and sometimes I think I’d rather just pay the top end price and be done with it but, to be honest, I secretly enjoy it.


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  1. #1 by jendavismiller on September 27, 2015 - 15:55

    Your cardigan/jacket is really lovely! The boyfriend cardigan you are working next will be wonderful, too. I’d love one just like that, but down below my knees….would live it in all winter. Good job on the fabric fast, it looks like a very close call this time around. 🙂

    • #2 by tialys on September 28, 2015 - 10:40

      Thanks Jen. The next one will take me longer but, as the yarn I’m using is expensive, I’m going to take my time over it and consider it an investment piece.

  2. #3 by Thimberlina on September 27, 2015 - 20:46

    Alone and unsupervised in a fabric department…. made me chuckle! Love your new card/jacket, and I loved your old one too. I’ve yet to start on my giant throw yet, your mums very lucky! 🙂

    • #4 by tialys on September 28, 2015 - 10:39

      Aah! I wondered what had happened to your blanket. Now there is probably a nip in the air in the evenings over there it would be a good time to start as it will keep you warm (bloomin’ hot actually) while you’re working on it. What colour did you go for?

      • #5 by Thimberlina on September 28, 2015 - 15:21

        I’m ashamed to say I have not yet gathered supplies except for the pattern 😟

  3. #6 by sew2pro on September 27, 2015 - 21:29

    She left you unsupervised.?! Hopefully that fabric will still be around in a year’s time if you still need it and if not, Ikea fabric pops up often on Ebay (sold by those who, unlike you, couldn’t restrain themselves because they were weak!).

    I love the cardigan and can just imagine squeezing the fat, warm wool in my hand. Love the blanket that’s emerging. It would be perfect for here now, as it’s chilly and the grass in the mornings is wet but no central heating on yet as we’re worried we won’t feel the benefit of it when it gets really cold if we spoil ourselves now.

    Well done: you’re 1/12 of the way done. Maybe it’s like quitting smoking and the earliest days are the worst.

    • #7 by tialys on September 28, 2015 - 10:37

      It was only plain black cotton – just a bargain at 3.99 euros – and it wasn’t for any immediate project so I can live with that. I just thought it was funny that I was there with scissors poised and it suddenly came to me that I shouldn’t be doing it.

  4. #8 by katechiconi on September 27, 2015 - 21:59

    I love the new version of the blazer, but what I don’t understand is why you bothered with the jeans? Why not just wear it over the dress? The new cardigan looks gorgeously cuddly but the wool is so fluffy it would drive me nuts with bits everywhere. That’s just me, and is a longstanding problem with mohair, angora, fluffy yarns of any description.
    Well done on resisting the dark side in Ikea; I suspect the fast is what’s making you knit like a woman possessed, but the withdrawal symptoms will pass….eventually!

    • #9 by tialys on September 28, 2015 - 10:35

      Well, I wouldn’t normally wear such a heavy jacket with a summer dress – probably more a cropped, 3/4 length sleeve cardi – so I went for how I knew I would most often wear it.
      The new cardi does look a bit fluffy but I think one of the yarns is fluffier than the other so it gets balanced out. I don’t know how badly it sheds but it will make a change from dog and cat hair 😉

      • #10 by katechiconi on September 28, 2015 - 11:22

        You may find yourself so snuggly that the animals are irresistibly drawn to sit all over you!

  5. #11 by Chris on September 28, 2015 - 03:00

    I think both of your knitted jackets are gorgeous!

    • #12 by tialys on September 28, 2015 - 10:32

      Thanks so much. I considered giving the purple one away but there are times when big is beautiful and I quite like the more ‘relaxed’ fit occasionally.

  6. #13 by on September 28, 2015 - 08:43

    Those jackets are VERY smart, nothing like your average cardigan! Are you doing the blanket on a circular needle?

    You are a nearly naughty girl with that fabric. I didn’t know that IKEA sold fabrics. Not that there’s any chance of my going anywhere near Caen, the nearest IKEA. I have to go where I’m taken these days – which was to Hambeyance, my favourite fabric shop last week, as Jock wanted more threads for the portrait he is embroidering. “I won’t be long, you can wait in the car” Not on your Nellie!!! I was able to drool over the subtle Christmas fabrics and landed on a stray half metre of exactly the right fabric to bind my scrappy quilt for 4 euros, so Jock got away relatively lightly.

    • #14 by tialys on September 28, 2015 - 10:22

      The blanket is done on an enormously fat circular needle – no. 19mm(!) – but you knit back and forth with it.

      Was Jock having a senior moment when he suggested you wait in the car? Outside a fabric shop. As if!

  7. #15 by Jan Marriott on September 28, 2015 - 17:19

    well done…I like both cardis.
    Did you get the link I sent at the end of your last post? The one about the cheap Liberty fabric store ( snicker) too bad you are on a buying hiatus

    • #16 by tialys on September 29, 2015 - 13:30

      I did, thanks Jan, and left a reply to it.

  8. #17 by Emmely on September 28, 2015 - 19:06

    The jacket is a lovely colour on you and I like the texture as well. IKEA is a very dangerous place, luckily I haven’t been in awhile.

    • #18 by tialys on September 29, 2015 - 13:31

      I don’t think I’ve ever come out of Ikea empty handed – there’s always something you ‘need’ in there 😉

      • #19 by Emmely on September 29, 2015 - 19:29

        Yes, something that you didn’t even know you “needed” until you ran into it…

  9. #20 by Bekki Hill on September 29, 2015 - 00:44

    Love both jackets and the yarn they’re knitted in. Squinting at iPad trying to work out what stitch it is?

    • #21 by tialys on September 29, 2015 - 13:43

      Thanks Bekki. It’s Double Moss Stitch.

      • #22 by Bekki Hill on September 29, 2015 - 16:21

        That was my nearest guess, but somehow it didn’t look quite like it in the picture. Must have taken a while to knit – definitely impressed you got to a second one.

      • #23 by tialys on September 29, 2015 - 16:25

        I know – moss stitch is normally a fiddly stitch but the wool is quite chunky and the needles are 7mm so it does knit up really quickly.

      • #24 by Bekki Hill on September 29, 2015 - 16:35

        Lovely and it doesn’t make you look ‘chunky’ which I often find the problem with knitting bulky yarns.

  10. #25 by dezertsuz on September 30, 2015 - 03:02

    I don’t knit, never have, and I rarely crochet any more. The repetitive motion bothers my wrists, but I do like this jacket, open or closed. I like that color better and think the top button does make it better.

    • #26 by tialys on September 30, 2015 - 08:35

      Thank you. Knitting is something I learned, literally, at my mother’s knee. I have periods of time that I knit nothing at all and then take it up again in earnest especially when I find a pattern I like. However, as I’m in the South of France now, it has become more of an autumn/winter pursuit – especially when making one of those enormous blankets!

  11. #27 by knitnkwilt on October 1, 2015 - 02:53

    The jacket looks good open or shut. And I like your changes to the pattern. I giggled at yarn taking place of fabric so you could fabric fast. I’ve resisted the urge to fast for a couple years now. I’ve never shopped for fabric at Ikea–sounds like I’ve missed an experience.

  12. #29 by Kayla Green on October 1, 2015 - 11:41

    Oh please, can you please remember me if you plan to give the purple one away? LOL! I thought it really looked lovely! I would’ve wanted one for myself. I wish I can knit as fast as you can, too. That would’ve solved my never-ending need to buy knitted-wool fabrics for sweaters.

    • #30 by tialys on October 1, 2015 - 12:04

      I’ve never used knitted fabric. Is it easy to work with?

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