Posts Tagged james c brett

Snow? It Must Be Time To Get Out The Knitting.

The first snow has appeared on the mountains opposite our house.  Despite taking this from my bedroom window on the top floor, I couldn’t omit the wires but there you go – that’s the reality, I won’t whitewash it.  I could have gone out in the back garden and taken it I suppose but I happened to be in the bedroom when the photography mood came upon me.

First Snow on Pyrenees

Anyway, with the snow my knitting mojo comes back into play although this embryonic lacy scarf doesn’t look as if it would keep anybody particularly warm but I had a 25g ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze left over from the boyfriend cardigan I made last year and Sheila at Sewchet made some beautiful scarves with this pattern last year so I was inspired.  I’ve never knitted lace before and I found the first few rows a little difficult – I kept losing count of the stitches because the yarn is so fine  – but once the pattern started to establish itself I was away.  I didn’t thread beads on to the first row as the pattern (available here for free) has you do because I’m not sure the intended recipient is a ‘beady’ person and also, that might have been a step too far for my tolerance with ‘fiddly’.

Lace Knitting

What bothers me a little is how this scarf is going to grow long enough to go round somebody’s neck.  I appear to have used about a third of the 25g ball already and it’s supposed to end up around 53inches (135cm) long and the bit above is only about 8 inches so I can’t see that happening.  Does a miracle happen at the blocking stage?

Unlike with sewing, I don’t normally have two knitting projects on the go at once but, as the lace will be a gift, I had to make a start on it and I had already begun a second Drew (boyfriend cardigan) in a different colourway as I already had half the yarn I needed to make another one.  As you can see below, the fine Kidsilk Haze is knitted together with Rowan Kid Classic so is much easier to handle than the skinny one on its own.

Kim Hargreaves Drew Cardigan no.2

Last year I knit a jumper while my Mum was visiting because she knits and we can have some mother daughter bonding time over the needles.  I sort of knew I wasn’t going to like it much so, once finished, it languished in my ‘I Like Big Balls and I Cannot Lie’ knitting bag all summer waiting to be sewn up.

Marble Chunky Jumper

The sleeves were supposed to be holey too but I didn’t do that for a reason I now can’t remember but I’m glad anyway.

It’s O.K. but I don’t love it.

What I do like is the shape – it’s quite hard to find a knitting pattern that is fitted and has a nice scoop neck.

The yarn – and pattern – is from James C. Brett and it’s called Marble Chunky, in case you’re interested.

Marble Chunky Jumper Back VIew

I like the variegated colour and, if I were to knit it again, which I won’t, but if I did, I would omit the holes from the front too.

As with the vast majority of my knitted garments, I will probably only wear this ‘around the house’ as, although I love to knit, I’m not a big knitwear wearer.  Bizarre I know.

It’s always good to end with a cat (or dog) photo in my opinion so here is one of Mac who climbed into my antique bowl while I was trying to photograph it for my shop. (It is a very big bowl)

Cat in Antique French Confit Bowl

I was going to use it as a product photo but thought it might put people off who are allergic to cats but it was too cute to waste so I’m sharing it with you instead.

 

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Boyfriend Cardigan Finished – Orangutans Need Not Apply

Remember the fuss I made trying to choose between two different colours of yarn to make the  ‘boyfriend’ cardigan from the knitting book Storm by Kim Hargreaves?   I blogged about it back at the end of last year and, having canvassed your opinions, I went with my instincts anyway and chose the dark grey fine mohair instead of the purple to knit together  with the pale grey thicker ‘base’ yarn and here’s the result.

My boyfriend cardigan 1

(Note that I have opted not to frighten the horses and, as promised,  haven’t styled it with shorts and ankle boots as they did with the (very young) model in the book for which, I’m sure you are truly grateful.)

It’s soft and squishy and nicely oversized but not by too much .  My worries about the sleeves only fitting an orangutan were unfounded – it’s just that, being raglan sleeves, they seemed to go on forever when they were on my needles.

Here it looks a bit like your Grandad’s cardie rather than your boyfriend’s but I like the stitch used which gives you that wide rib stitch effect in relief.

MyBoyfriendCardigan (3)

I sewed the silver metal buttons on then, for a touch of femininity and also for strength, I backed them with some little floral buttons.

MyBoyfriendCardigan (4)

MyBoyfriendCardigan (1)

I really am pleased with it and to prove to Kate who always tells me off for being too self critical  that I can, in fact, be proud of my work, I’m not going to point out any faults because there aren’t any.  Ha!!

This is what’s on my needles at the moment but, even though, I like the yarn (James C. Brett Marble Chunky) and it knits up quickly and is reasonably priced and even though it’s fairly unusual to find a knitting pattern for a jumper with a scooped neck and a fitted shape I know I’m not going to love it as much.

James c brett jumper

  The yarn for the cardigan was Rowan Kid Classic – a wool and mohair blend and Rowan Kidsilk Haze, a mohair and silk blend which were knitted together and it has produced such a soft, luxurious garment that anything made with acryclic is going to pale into comparison.  Having said that, the Rowan yarn was expensive – despite me scoring both the yarns on Ebay – so, unless you’re going for a ‘special’ knitted item, I guess the  cheaper yarns will always have their place.  Of course, I do still have the purple Kidsilk Haze I didn’t use for this cardigan so I might keep my eye open for some coordinating Kid Classic in the sales and then I can make another one in a purple shade – if I can face those never ending sleeves again that is.

Mac, the kitten, likes it anyway.  He appeared from nowhere.  Knitting and cats – it really is like moths to a flame.

marble chunky kitten with knitting needles

How do you feel about knitting (or crochet) yarns?   Do you prefer to wait until you can splash out a bit and use the best quality or do you prefer acrylic blends for their easy care qualities which, for some projects is a big consideration of course,  or perhaps you can’t wear wool next to your skin?

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Putting off Pants

I know I’m English and we call pants ‘trousers’ but I do like a touch of alliteration and I have some readers from the States so, if you thought this was going to be about  men’s knickers, sorry to disappoint.  The reality is much less exciting I’m afraid, being more concerned with knitted stuff so there you have your heads up and can leave without anybody ever knowing you were here.

Here’s a very French village photo for you.  It is my lonely stall set up outside the Mairie (town hall) a couple of weeks ago.  It does look like I’m Billy No Mates but, inside there were lots of other stalls raising money for Dog Rescue Carcassonne.  I chose to set up outside partly because it was a lovely sunny morning and partly because I had to leave early to take my Mum back to the airport so I sold a few dog collars and bandanas and said my goodbyes without creating havoc inside amongst the other stalls.

French Mairie

So, when my Mum visits, I knit to be more sociable and generally only use the computer or sew when she is catching some ‘Zs’ which is fairly often these days it has to be said.

This is my second completed humungus cable blanket.  It is a subtle, flecked duck egg blue but I couldn’t, for the life of me, get that colour to come out properly in the photograph so it looks much more like a light grey, which it isn’t.  I did try – I even turned off the ‘auto’ setting and dipped into the realms of manually setting the aperture and all that scary stuff .  Any photography tips on how to tackle this sort of problem would be gratefully received.

2ndHugeBlanketDuckEggBlue

 It’s actually like this.

james c. brett rustic aran

 (manufacturer’s photo!)

I love this blanket so much.  I’ve already ordered enough yarn to make another two which is a bit mad because, now the summer is starting to kick in, I shall probably die of heat and suffocation under more than 2kg of wool.

This light and airy baby blanket, on the other hand, is made using the same size needles – 20mm – but with only one strand of yarn rather than six strands, as used in the humungus one, so it is more ‘summer friendly’.  Having no babies any more, I had to use this bear as a model.  I could have used one of my baby mannequins but they are far too creepy – the bear looks cuter, trust me.

BabyBlanket (2)To supplement my dog collars and bandanas range, I thought I’d have a go at knitting some dog coats.  I know it is the wrong time of year but you know how quickly the year passes and soon it will be time for those who like or need to put a little jumper on their dog to do so again.

KnittedDogCoatsThis is James C. Brett Marble Chunky and it is great to knit with and comes up with some lovely colour variations.  The grey one at the top has been a little overshadowed by the lovely, rust and teal tones of the one beneath but it is still smart and for the less ‘showy’ dog about town.  My problem is, I made these two versions in a ‘medium’ size and my own dogs are larger than that and nobody I know has ‘medium’ dogs – only large or small.  I feel like taking one out and about with me and, when I see somebody with an appropriately sized dog, ask if I can put a little knitted coat on their pet and take a photo.

That way madness lies.

Anyway, Flo, having graciously tried on the grey coat but finding it a little snug, continued with her collar modelling and, although this photo was no good to show off the collar, as it wasn’t properly in focus, it’s such a gorgeous one of her I had to include it anyway.

Black and White Dog

You’re probably past caring by now but, just in case you were wondering about the title, I no longer have any excuse not to get started on a pair of trousers (pants!) for my daughter.  I have the pattern, I have the fabric, I have the zip.  It’s just that I’ve never made trousers before and my daughter is not a ‘standard’ size and I suspect I might be better at procrastination than pants making.

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