Sunday, 3 December 2017


A few weeks ago, I went to the Hokusai exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (with Geoff).  Of course, one of the highlights was The Wave – in fact, 2 highlights as they had 2 different prints (a few hundred apart in the print run) which meant you could see how the precision of the lino cut would deteriorate over the course of prints.

However, the exhibition was considerably larger than the well know Wave and Mt Fuji related prints.  The botanical and bird prints were really beautiful – softer colours of green, peach and pink, and of interesting birds and flowers. Ultimately, I was captivated by the water prints and my mind immediately turned to the waves mittens in Making Magazine, issue 3, as well as some tonal blue Infinity Twist yarn in my stash, and off I went.

I cast on for the middle size, knit the requisite ribbing and moved in to the colour work pattern.  I was particularly captivated by the long, slow growing thumb gusset.  It started on the 3rd round of colourwork and stretched out over 28 rows.  I find that it fits really well.

I made mitts, rather than mittens, given the climate in Melbourne.  Since I didn’t have the space over the fingers to transition from waves to dots, I changed the colourwork to separate those 2 elements.  I also decreased 6 stitches before I moved into the top ribbing to get a closer fit. 

Again, due to lack of space I changed the thumb.  This time I simply finished in stockinette and ribbing in the background colour as I didn’t fancy colourwork over such a small circumference!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

My pink Raiun

My love of wollmeise continues to grow, with my recently completed Raiun in some fuchsia WM pure, give to my as a farewell gift by my lovely friend Renee (of East London Knit), when I moved out of London earlier this year. 

After some careful deliberation and research of open front cardigans, including some helpful input from one half of the podcast team ‘Imagined Landscapes’, Katie.  I chose Raiun by Kirsten Johntone, a Melbourne based architect/knitwear designer.

I’m just so pleased with it – the neckband is beautiful, provisionally cast on at the middle of the back neck and worked out in each direction, before picking up stitches for the body. I particularly like the shaping across the back, as the ribbing pulls the back in just a smidge.

Mods wise, I shortened the overall length – maybe 4m shorter than called for – and the final 2.5cm is ribbed the whole way across the body to avoid curling stockinette in the middle of the back. Finally, I completely ignored the instructions for the sleeves and just did my usual thing for fingering weight sleeves. I knit both the body and the sleeves on 3.5mm needles, so the fabric on the sleeves is slightly tighter (as I knew it would be).  I think that was the right decision as the body is a little drapier and the sleeves don’t bag out in the elbows.

I’m so tempted to knit another one…

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A (mostly) black day dress

In the next part of my #makenine sewing project (which may be turning into a make eight) I’ve recently completed a more formal version of the Avid Seamstress Day Dress.  Although, I don’t know if I would describe the dress as coming from their pattern once you consider all modifications that I made. 

To begin with, the bodice is entirely different and comes from the bodice pattern drafting class I did at Ray Stitch, in London, in May this year.  I’m still not entirely happy with it – in particular, I’m not sure if the arm hole is deep enough.  I think I need to try on some ready to wear clothes and probably deepen the arm hole by about 1cm. 

I did the pleated skirt variation, using the tutorial on the Avid Seamstress blog.  Do not use the tutorial – it is incredibly verbose and unclear and the numbers did not work for me.  Further, I think the skirt pattern needs to be cut wider to enable deeper pleats. 

Ultimately, this dress is a great option for occasions, rather than a work dress because it’s quite restrictive through the sleeves (which is why I think the arm hole isn’t deep enough!) 

I absolutely adore the fabric – the Nani Iro sateen is lovely, and the print is fantastic.  The metallic areas do feel a little thicker or firmer, but looks wonderful, so definitely worth it.  I’ve bought another print from the fabric line for another dress.