Tweed swiggle

tweed4

I’ve started another swiggle piece (here’s the original design, the first swiggle jumper and its progress – one, two, three), this time a birthday present for my mum, who will be sixty in September. I went for Rowan tweed yarn in a mossy green and cream. Since the yarn is a bit thicker than what was used for this design before, the design is bigger and I’m reworking my original ‘pattern’ (I say ‘pattern’ because it’s shamefully strewn between various notebooks and sheafs of paper, many of which have uncertain whereabouts).

This time I’m making sure to remember exactly what’s already been done by literally attaching notes to the knitting on luggage labels. It’s the only way.

Back in London

No posts recently, sorry! My main excuse is that I’m just back from a week teaching art and art history in Ukraine. It was a very exciting visit and I’m looking forward to returning next month and exploring the city of Donetsk with my camera. Unfortunately, my current camera battery lasts about ten minutes tops, so no pictures from this visit.

After a couple of frenzied months, knitting has slowed down a little lately. My green swiggle jumper and I aren’t talking right now. Although we’re completely and utterly made for each other there are still some serious relationship issues. After some denial on my part, I’ve come to realise that we need to take a couple of steps back – namely reknitting the armhole edges of the front.

Tomorrow renegotiations begin.

shirtwaister shirtwaister3

In the meantime, I’ve rekindled love for my sewing machine. Some beautiful blue stripey silk found in a fabric shop in Glasgow last month is gradually coming together into a shirtwaister dress. It’s working out nicely despite the fabric (and, incidentally, my mind) unravelling faster than you can say ‘seam allowance’.shirtwaister2

Blocked

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The swiggle sweater front and back are now settling into their new, better behaved shapes, thanks to my first attempt at blocking!

Blocking is great (why haven’t I done it before?!) because it allows you to have a bit of control of the size and shape of a piece of knitting after you’re done with the needles. It seems to help even out the tension a bit too.

I soaked the pieces in water, then rolled them up in a towel to spin on a low setting for a few minutes. Then I laid them out on dry towels and a cotton sheet and pinned them down, using a tape measure to make sure the sides were straight.

I ended up spraying them with a bit more water because the spin dry worked a bit too well, so took the opportunity to add a bit of rose water to the bottle for a sweeter, less damp wool smell.

The end of this sweater is starting to come into view.. nearly there!

By the way, do you like my peep-toe slipper?

Two stitches forward, one stitch back

After three (three?!) false starts, the swiggle sweater is well underway! Here’s the finished back, and my start on the front.

Sometimes I love the back of a piece of knitting as much as the front, and it’s definitely true with this pattern. I would love to find a way of sewing it together so that I can wear it either way, but of course the stranded side would snag on every door handle and hook in my path.

The beautiful lobster print tablecloth was a Christmas present from my ridiculously generous and talented sister. Needless to say, it’s already reached family heirloom status.

Swiggle Sweater

tU94vf on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

A new project! I’ve started a new sweater using my swiggle pattern and an adaptation of Schiaparelli’s bowknot sweater (available free here). I love the ‘straight-up-and-down’ style of 1920s knitwear, and I think it makes a good canvas for colourwork patterns.

Here’s my progress so far:

green
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green3
green4 green5
I decided to use a folded edge, since it gives a very neat finish and adds a little weight to the bottom of the jumper. Another iconic item of clothing from the 1920s, the Chanel jacket, employs the clever use of a chain sewn into the inside of the hem to give a satisfying weight and better hang. I’m hoping to achieve the same effect.
I picked up the trick of folding the edge from Lesley Anne Price’s wonderful book Kids Knits. It works by knitting a few rows in stocking stitch, then a row of purl on the right side, giving a ridge to form the folded edge, and continuing in stocking stitch until the ‘post-ridge’ rows reach the same number as the ‘pre-ridge’ rows. In the next row each stitch is knitted together with one picked up from the cast-on edge. With the first attempt I found that the edge curved outwards too much. I remedied this by knitting the folded edge on needles a size smaller, then switching up to larger needles when I reached the ridge row of purl.
Here are my instructions for making a small folded edge:
Cast-on with smaller needles.
                                                                    Row: 1. Knit
                                                                             2. Purl
                                                                             3. Knit
Change to larger needles for ‘ridge row’.               4. Knit
Continue in stocking stitch.                                  5. Knit
                                                                             6. Purl
Fold and join cast-on edge.                                   7. Pick up last stitch of cast-on edge, knit together with first stitch on needle.
                                                                                       Repeat to end of row, using all stitches.

Swiggle pattern

Here’s a design I came up with recently, after doodling on a piece of paper.

swiggle

swig2

swig3

I started by testing it out with some 3 ply..

swig4swig5

..then with 4 ply, alternating the two colours. I realised that this was a perfect opportunity to try double-sided, so I used the same yarn to test it out (it’s the same piece as in my last post).

swig6

swig7

swig8The double-sided technique bulks the knitting out widthways, making the design appear stretched. Halfway through my swatch I compensated for this by repeating each row.

After a few experiments I think I’m ready to start a project. Watch this space..

P. S. Feel free to use this pattern, but if you do, I’d love to see the results.

P.P.S. I used the free colour chart maker from tricksy knitter.com for the chart at the top of the post.