Archive for April 2010

Bottoms Up


Bottoms Up by Alice Bell (rav link only)
2.5 skeins Louet Euroflax Sport, Graphite
2.75mm needles
Started: January 2010
Finished: April 2010
Modifications: Knit a size smaller due to heavier weight yarn, added length to the body, used slip 1, knit 1, psso rather than knit 2 together through back of loop
Ravelryed: here

I didn’t think this top would get a wear until later this year, but because of some unseasonably hot weather down here, I wore it to work yesterday. Although it’s probably a bit more fitted than other versions out there, it was really comfortable. This bodes well for Spring/Summer.

A few modifications were made, but the length was the most important. In the pattern, the body is made up of four sections of ribbing, consisting of 40, 18, 18 and 10 rounds. After reading comments about this pattern, I knitted 60, 24, 24 and 15 rounds, respectively. This added around about 12 cm to the length of the garment but I still think it’s a tad too short on me. Short enough that I won’t be wearing it with trousers anyway; just high waisted skirts.


Length seemed to be an issue for a number of people on Ravelry who made Bottoms Up. The designer commented that it was designed for someone of average height (by american yarn standards). I’m above average height, particularly in terms of torso length, so I expect to have to add some length to almost all patterns. However, 12cm seems a lot of length to add for a garment to still be a bit short, even with my preference for slightly longer tops.

I’ve thought quite a bit about whether I’m being reasonable in my frustration, and I don’t think I am. The designer offers this pattern for free, which is very generous, and I do have a garment from it that will get a lot of wear. The instructions in the pattern are clear, it’s just the length that was an issue. Ultimately, at this stage of my knitting career, most patterns should just be treated as serving suggestions — if I need to change something to suit the recipient, then so be it.

When the yarn was last mentioned, I hadn’t started the yarn over ‘bubbles’. There are decreases each side of the yarn over, which was quite hard on my hands. The fabric itself is lovely and heavy, so while my hands will need a rest from linen, I suspect I will be working with it again. Particularly after seeing this version of Orangina. Sorry hands, you’ll just have to toughen up!

Breaking up is hard to do (sometimes)

Decluttering is good for the soul. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself while sorting things into ‘sell, op shop and throw out’ piles.

As part of the decluttering effort, I’ve been sorting out and selling some of my yarn stash. For the most part it’s been really easy to decide what needed to be rehomed. For some of my yarn, the mere sight of it made me feel overwhelmed; what on earth was I going to use it for, and why did I buy it in the first place? That was a sure sign that it needed to be sent to someone who’d appreciate it more than I ever could.

The hard part of destashing is deciding whether to keep yarn I really like, but is not quite right for the projects I like to work on. A really good example is a jumper’s worth of Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 5 ply in Green Tweed that I own.


I’ve shown this yarn here before, when I was having trouble deciding on a project. I’m contemplating destashing it, but am having a hard time letting go. Rustic is my favourite yarn from the Bendigo Woollen Mills range, and 5 ply is a suitable weight for some of the vintage patterns in my collection. It’s a shame that it was discontinued quite some time ago.

However, I’m a bit stuck on the colourway. It’s not a colour that I’d ordinarily wear. This isn’t necessarily a problem, sometimes it’s good to branch out and try things you wouldn’t ordinarily. I just don’t know if I can risk expending all that effort on a garment (does that make me a product knitter?) to find I won’t wear it because of the colour. That last sentence might be a sign that the evolution from process to product knitter is beginning.

It seems so silly to feel so unsure about getting rid of some yarn, but I’m almost convinced I’m not the only one that suffers from stash separation anxiety.


There were high hopes for a productive Easter break, with lots to blog about. In reality, I came down with a bad cold on Thursday, and have only been able to potter around in dribs and drabs for the last two and a bit days. The cold’s impeccable timing is a little frustrating, but what can you do?

Despite the reduced productivity, I managed to finish Somerset yesterday.


Somerset Cardigan by Melissa Wehrle
Around 6 balls of Cleckheaton Angora Supreme
3.25mm and 3.5mm needles
Started: December 2009
Finished: April 2010
Modifications: Smaller needles, added length to the body and an extra buttonhole, made the collar narrower
Ravelryed: here

Although a few modifications were made (which were largely to do with gauge) it’s a nice straightforward knit. The end product is maybe a little big around the shoulders, but it’s still quite wearable. I might need to work on smoothing out the collar edge a bit more, but it’s looking a lot better now than it did when it was first finished:

DSC_0006 (1).jpg

The yarn created a very soft and warm fabric and I think it worked well with the pattern. It did tend to break if I was a bit rough with it though, and being an angora blend, it sheds like no one’s business. It was particularly nice to find a use for the yarn as I purchased it over five years ago. I originally intended to use it for a pattern that called for 4 ply angora yarn. As Angora Supreme is around 10 ply, the initial swatches required 2mm needles in order to get even close to the required gauge. My sanity and fingers are very glad that project didn’t get past swatching.


The real star in this project is the buttons. Without venturing too far down hyperbole lane, I think these buttons are truly things of beauty and match the cardigan really well. They were purchased from Buttonmania, a button wonderland in Melbourne CBD. The buttons were purchased by the owner of Buttonmania in a collection of 33,000 (yep, thousand) buttons. She showed a lot more restraint than I in that situation; I’d be sorely temped to dig a pit, empty the buttons into it, and dive in, Scrooge McDuck style.

On an unrelated note, it was a relief to read that I’m not the only one that dislikes ribbing. I felt a bit guilty being so negative in my last post; it’s not reasonable to think that I’d like absolutely every aspect of knitting, but I still felt bad whinging about something I do for enjoyment.