A Woolly Jumper


Sorry, I couldn’t resist that title with my lead photo.

Woolly Jumper

My Mum has been visiting and, usually, I save up or start a knitting project to be companionable as she always brings some knitting.  However, this time, she has decided she wants to get into sewing and so I have been helping her with some of the basics – and I mean the real basics.    She wanted to go into the only local fabric shop so I had to walk past the fabric with my eyes straight ahead  (due to fabric fast) until I got to the woolly bit.  There’s not much choice to be honest and it’s all Bergère de France stuff which I can take or leave and what stock they do have is of the more boring  standard variety and nothing to get excited about.  However, they did have two very large sheep made of wood with thick woollen fleeces.  They were a bit pricey but then I spotted the mini one with hanging string and Mum added it to her magnetic pincushion and cord purchases* and gave it to me as a little gift.

I mentioned before that I was planning on knitting a Kim Hargreaves pattern called ‘Drew’ which is from her ‘Storm’ pattern book.  It is a little different from the humungus blankets I’ve been knitting in that it is only two strands of wool (not six) and quite skinny wool at that.  The needles are 4mm and 5mm rather than 20mm so I’m finding the transition – and rate of growth – a little hard.

From this –


to this

Drew Boyfriend Cardigan Kim Hargreaves

Should keep me going for a while.

The yarn used is one strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and a one of Kid Classic- both with mohair – and they are delightfully soft and luxurious and, therefore, expensive.  I found the Kid Classic in a pale grey – exactly 11 balls which is what the pattern calls for – on Ebay and bid high (although not as high as it would be full price) in order to knock the competition out of the water.  Which I did.  Just.  Then I found the dark grey Kidsilk Haze from another seller and it was, miraculously, only £4 a ball.  So I bought it and waited.  Then I got an email to say the Hazy one was out of stock but should be in by the end of the week.  Then they cancelled the order and refunded me.  I was not a happy knitter.  So I sent them an email and complained because I don’t like it when people sell you stuff they haven’t even got in stock.

Meanwhile, I scoured the internet to find some more hazy stuff because I wanted to knit the cardi but didn’t want to pay umpteen pounds for it.  Of course, I had to find a colour that went with the light grey as you knit the two strands together.  I found a young lad selling some of his mother’s yarn stash and it wasn’t a bad price so I bought it to see how it would look and I figured, if I didn’t like it, a bargain would still have been struck and I could use it on another project.

Then, the seller of the dark grey – chastened by my complaint no doubt – came back and said it would be coming back into stock and, when it did, they would send it to me free of charge.  So, to cut a long story not very short, I ended up with both hazy ones and made a swatch with both to see which combination I liked best and I was going to ask you which you preferred.

This –


or this

Drew Boyfriend Cardigan

but please don’t answer me now, unless you were going to say the second one because, as you can see by the continuation from rib into pattern, I decided on the dark grey.

Another problem I had was with the pattern because when I did the swatch, I cast on 21 sts and knit 28 rows over the pattern, as instructed  to obtain a 10cm square .  However the pattern just wasn’t working out so I contacted the Kim Hargreaves U.K. site and begged asked for help.  Apparently, the pattern is worked out in sets of 4 stitches plus 3 and they suggested I cast on 27 stitches and try again.  Which I did and it worked.  But, dear knitters, should I have known this? If the swatch is knitted over the pattern is it normal to have to work out the pattern first before casting on for the test square?  I have never come across this before.  Shouldn’t they just have you do the swatch in stocking stitch or something.  Is it me?  I will say though, that I was impressed with the speed with which they answered my query.

Now I’m back up to the workroom to help make another  *drawstring bag  😉


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  1. #1 by sew2pro on October 22, 2015 - 18:29

    I like both combinations but that second one with a kind of pewtery effect is perfect (for me). Very posh and not girlie.

    Hope you’ve had a lovely time with your mum.

    • #2 by tialys on October 22, 2015 - 18:46

      Yes, I went for the grey in the end as I thought it suited the cardigan style better, would go with more things and be ‘classier’. Perhaps I’m very posh too – and I’m only a bit girly. x x

  2. #3 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on October 22, 2015 - 19:23

    I’m not allowed to tell you my preference! I’d enjoy meeting your Mum, who’s willing to try new things.

    • #4 by tialys on October 23, 2015 - 10:34

      She is willing – unless it’s food and then she is a complete stick in the mud.

  3. #5 by nanacathy2 on October 22, 2015 - 20:05

    I prefer the second combination. I think swatches are usually knitted in stocking stitch, but mmost patterns say this.

    • #6 by tialys on October 23, 2015 - 10:35

      They are usually aren’t they but this one definitely says ‘over pattern’.

  4. #7 by knettycraft on October 22, 2015 - 20:22

    I’m not allowed to post my colour preference here 😀 In general a swatch is knitted in stocking stich (if not the pattern tell you to do it in a special stitch or pattern)… in any case the pattern/tutorial should tell you.

    • #8 by tialys on October 23, 2015 - 10:36

      This one does say ‘over pattern’ which is why I was confused when the pattern didn’t work out right within the number of stitches they specified for the swatch. Oh well, it’s all sorted now.

  5. #9 by jendavismiller on October 22, 2015 - 21:37

    As you may be aware, I know nothing of knitting. However, I do love purple. In spite of that fact, I much prefer the gray; fortunately you have chosen that combo so I may reveal my answer. 🙂 Enjoy your mum time!

    • #10 by tialys on October 23, 2015 - 10:37

      Thanks Jen. I like the purple too but I didn’t realise it would create quite so much of a contrast with the base colour and it wasn’t really the look I was going for with this cardigan. However, I’m still glad I bought it and will put it to good use in another project.

  6. #11 by katechiconi on October 22, 2015 - 22:22

    I think I’d be grumpy too if a pattern told me to knit a sample but didn’t specify it wasn’t a sample of the pattern. I know next to nothing about knitting, but I think that despite an inauspicious start on two fronts, you’re off and running now, and I look forward to seeing your soft, luxurious and gorgeous boyfriend cardigan. Even if it’s not the lilac version… Enjoy your mum’s visit, and well done for your heroic avoidance of fabric purchases!

    • #12 by tialys on October 23, 2015 - 10:38

      I know – I’m quite proud of myself in the fabric avoidance stakes. It helps that they charge between 18 and 25 euros for a metre of patchwork fabric in there.

      • #13 by katechiconi on October 23, 2015 - 11:10

        Yes, I imagine that might put a stop to much impulse purchasing…

  7. #14 by nettyg on October 23, 2015 - 04:14

    I’m keeping quiet too about my colour preference:) but your choice is nice too. Aussie joke….what do you get if you cross a kangaroo with a sheep……..yes, a woolly jumper! Lovely for you and your mum to be sharing sewing time.

    • #15 by tialys on October 23, 2015 - 10:41

      The old ones are always the best 😉 It is great to bond over needle and thread and, because she’s always cold, it gave me a chance to check the heater is still in working order in my workroom!

  8. #16 by lovelucie1 on October 23, 2015 - 14:32

    I prefer the grey. I think the purple would have become too much of a feature once you had progressed further. Sending you the patience normally attributed to a saint.

    • #17 by tialys on October 24, 2015 - 15:28

      Exactly my thoughts Lucie. I like the purple but was expecting it to be more subtle when combined with the grey. If I retain the patience and like the outcome, maybe I’ll make it again in more ‘purply’ tones – or I’ll just find something else to make with it. I went to an artisan market today and they were selling a very similar yarn – 80% mohair and 20% silk – in beautiful colours for 9 euros a ball which compares favourably to the RRP of the Rowan version and is made locally too. I didn’t buy any but took her details just in case …… 😉

  9. #18 by Magpie Sue on October 23, 2015 - 17:37

    That gray is going to be beautiful. And now you can make something else out of the lilac! Have a good time with Mum.

    • #19 by tialys on October 24, 2015 - 15:30

      Thanks Sue, I just took her back to the airport yesterday clutching her little drawstring bag and toddler dress that she made together with some fat quarters from my (dwindling) stash. I bought her a sewing machine for her birthday last month so she is keen to prove to me that she is actually going to put it to use 🙂

  10. #20 by Fareeha on October 25, 2015 - 19:54

    That is absolutely incredibly fabulous

    • #21 by tialys on October 26, 2015 - 10:58

      You are too kind! 🙂

    • #22 by sew2pro on October 31, 2015 - 00:49

      Hurray for the dwindling stash!
      Looks like you could now make a small patchwork cat bed also (not that cats sleep on their beds, they sleep everywhere else).

      • #23 by tialys on October 31, 2015 - 10:14

        They do don’t they. Mind you, my dogs are as bad – they pretend they sleep in their beds but I know, once we’ve gone up, they sneak up on to the sofas and chairs.

  11. #24 by Thimberlina on October 26, 2015 - 10:09

    They’re both lovely combinations, but now winters on its way I’d have gone with the dark grey too. It looks so soft and snuggly 😀

    • #25 by tialys on October 26, 2015 - 10:58

      Thank you. I’m sure I’ll find a use for the purple in the fullness of time.

  12. #26 by Fred the Needle on November 6, 2015 - 12:48

    That cardi is going to be gorgeous! Beautiful yarn.

    • #27 by tialys on November 6, 2015 - 12:56

      I hope so – it’s coming on nicely and is sooooo soft.

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