Thursday, 19 February 2015

Knitted Moments Ta-Dah.......






Now.......


....I'm a self confessed 'Pants' knitter. I can do the very basics ONLY in knitting. 

I find it annoying, slow growing......and I realise that I pull the most ridiculous faces as I work. I cannot be distracted, as heaven forbid, I might drop a stitch, or add a stitch. Things which I have yet to figure out how to successfully redeem.

It's actually the speed I find frustrating more than anything. Crochet just appears in seconds. You muck up a stitch or two, and it's so easily rectified. No gaping holes or odd things appearing.

The trouble is......crochet is not really a craft to make clothes.....as a rule. Well, that's my personal opinion. Sure, there are a few great ones out there. I've made a couple of things, and I have a list of about 3 or 4 more to make, but knitting.......well......this is where knitting comes into its own.

I treated myself to a magazine at the beginning of the month. I rarely buy magazines now. Anyway, there was a fashion section......all about layering. 





Now, I LOVE layering......so it appealed to me. One garment caught my eye. A sleeveless cardigan, drapey, wrap thingy.


I fell in love. The trouble was, it was a bit pricey for my budget to buy......and it was knitted. That was that......


........or so I thought.

I kept going back and looking at it, and thinking 'I wonder if I could achieve something similar in crochet?'

The more I looked at it, the more I thought that perhaps it could be done. The basic layout of the garment was quite simple.




I got the details of the garment and thought I'd look up the website, and see if there were anymore pics of it online to give me a better idea of the back view etc. Well, when arriving at the website, I realised that this was a handmade to order item.............or............you could buy the pattern and make it yourself.

Ooooooooohh. This made things VERY interesting.


Suddenly, I was thinking, maybe I could buy the pattern and give it a go. The designer stated that it was a straightforward pattern so I thought 'why not?'. Even a village idiot knitter like me, might be able to pull it off. So, I purchased the pattern.


I decided to buy cheap yarn and make a mock up. That way, if I really was utterly pants, then I wouldn't have wasted a fair bit of money. Also, I could practice my stitches, learn anything that needs to be learnt, and realise what I need to do to make it better.


So.....ya wanna see my mock up?.........



Please view it through squinted eyes! 

It really is a simple pattern for those established at knitting. You could knock one up in a couple of evenings.

It's called the Bella Wrap by designer Belinda Harris-Reid


The yarn I used was Stylecraft Life Super chunky in shade cream. 

I DID NOT like using it and I'm not sure I'd recommend it at all.

Firstly, in the ball it looked more ivory, but knitted up it looked more yellowy/buttermilky......a REALLY DEEP cream. It actually looks more ivory there in the pictures, but believe me, next to ivory, it's really yellowy. Not the best colour for my celtic complexion. When the sun shone on it, you could see that nasty acrylic sheen. There was no denying it was really warm and snug though, and just to be used to do a 'dummy run'; I could not complain. I used just over 4 100g balls. I must admit that it's been worn loads this past week on the chilly days.




I've only ever knitted two things before......a scarf and a hot water bottle cover. Using big, circular knitting needles was an eye opener! 

My tension is laughable at best. The only thing I did fairly decently was the cabling. For a complete novice knitter, the armholes posed problems. After several phone calls to my mum and a you tube video, all was worked out successfully. I'm figuring that I'm after floppy and drapey, so it shouldn't be too bad if my tension is a little wobbly!

After finishing, I blocked it and voila.




I like it. I like it a lot. Who am I trying to kid.........I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Belinda, I could kiss you for producing something so yummy in a pattern. 


I love how you can wear it several ways. I really really do. I perhaps just wish I was a bit better at this whole knitting malarky. I was pretty excited to have actually finished a garment in knitting. I never thought I'd see the day!

Aside from my uneven stitches, the yucky colour and gross yarn, I'm mega excited I managed it. I achieved what I set out to achieve. I totally love it. I want it in several colours. Talk about G.R.E.E.D.Y! I'm thinking boot warmers, wrist warmers to compliment the layering effect. My mind is working overdrive. 

Urgh....I don't want mundane work and house chores to come between me and a proper beauty to be made. I'm chuckling. As beautiful as I can make it with my big old knitty clown fingers.

My Mum was over for coffee and was desperate to see this thing I had been on the phone to her endlessly asking 'how to' questions about. Suffice to say, when she left my house, her first stop was a yarn shop. She is desperate to make one now.

I think I'd like my 'proper' one to be a tad drapier, which, even for a novice like me, could be easily done I think. 

So, I'm happy. It wasn't a total disaster. I think I will enjoy making others......and I shall enjoy wearing them even more......


....so watch this space!


xxx


p.s It was featured in Country Living Magazine March Edition if you were wondering....

Edited: I know some of you have had difficulty in being able to purchase the pattern on Belinda's site. It is now working and available as an instant digital PDF download.






62 comments:

  1. What a pretty snuggly make and how brilliant that you did a practice one first. That's a genius idea there have been many times when I've bought lovely yarn for a project only to have it all go pear shaped and end up wasting expensive wool! You must be very pleased, what yarn will you use for the next one? Can't wait to see it. x

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    1. Thank you Sue. It's was good to know I could actually do it, and I've learnt what to do better for when I do it with the more expensive yarn! I like the look of the yarn on Belinda Harris- Reids site, but I've been researching online and I am liking Drops Andes colour range in super chunky.

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  2. It's lovely Vanessa and there's a lot in there for a novice knitter - cabling, different stitches, shaping - you've done a great job. I've only achieved knitted squares so far so I am in awe! (Well, I did manage a cable once, of which I'm immensely proud!). Enjoy the rest of the week. Jxx

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    1. I've just visited her site and for some reason hee links to download that particular pattern are not working properly. She is on Ravelry also, burger download pattern there links to her website. It worked for me but there must be a glitch on her site at the moment. How frustrating!

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  4. Who's not a knitter? You've nailed it, its beautiful. What a beautiful garment too I'm gonna have to add this to my list of must makes. Lisa xx

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    1. I'm so glad I bought the magazine on a whim to see it. I think it might become one of the most used items and I'm wanting a rainbow of colours! It didn't take too long either with chunky yarn and big needles. I'm wearing it as I type! X

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    2. No shaping - :0)... I hate sewing up seams so all my designs, well most of my designs are seam free. xxx B

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  5. I agree with you : knitted garments are better than crocheted ones and you did a greg job!!! Bravissima!!!
    xxxxx Ale

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    1. Yes, knitting makes for getter garments. I think I might like to have a go at trying to make something similar in crochet though to see how that would turn out. I'd need to research pretty stitches for it! X

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  6. the kind of knitting that I love too.
    Simple but sophisticated with the cable.
    beautiful!
    Miss

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    1. It's actually a really beautiful basic. The fact that someone as rubbish at knitting as me can do it says great things for the pattern! X

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  7. For a novice knitter, that's amazing. It looks really useful too - I'm all for a bit of layering at this time of year. Really well done. x

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    1. I think the fact that it's so versatile makes me want to make it in quite a few colours! X

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  8. For a novice knitter it looks like a beautifully made garment x

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    1. I didn't take many close ups! Ha ha! It's a lovely pattern. Simple and effective, just how I like it! X

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  9. Absolutely lovely - but I can't access the pattern. You go to the site, find the pattern but there's no download button. :-(

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  10. There is download button for the garment, but I don't think its working. It was fine when I did it, but she might have a slight glitch on her site. She is on Ravelry also, but the download on there just links to her site to get the pattern. So no luck there. How frustrating, as the other downloads to her patterns work fine.

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  11. This is gorgeous, well done! i know where you're coming from about the time thing, knitting seems to take forever compared to crochet! maybe chunky yarn and big needles is the way to go!

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    1. It's so true! I think if you are a crocheter then you just get used to things whipping up quickly. I'm a slow knitter so it's frustrating, but big needles and chunky yarn sure is the way to go! X

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  12. Ohhhhh, so lovely! And you did a great job. Blocking generally solves loads of issues. :^) I think I'll try to access the pattern, too.

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    1. It does. I bought 8 balls and only used 5 so I was worried my gauge was terribly off. But blocking it, I realised it was actually fine. I'll remember that when I make another one! X

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  13. That's lovely. And how sensible to do a cheapy, dummy run first - a good idea I might adopt! Shame about the wool. I think cheapness maybe shows more in chunky than anything else. Still, at least you've worn it lots. What is it they calculate in magazines - CPW - Cost Per Wear?! Must work out pretty well! X

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    1. I'm wearing it as I type! It's snuggly and warm for sure! I just wasn't confident that I could do the pattern, not having ever knitted anything other than a basic scarf and hot water bottle. I've learnt what to do better for next time so it's not wasted!!!!! X

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  14. Well, it looks to me as if you are indeed a knitter! I agree with you about not liking acrylic yarn, but do think you were wise to do a trial version of the pattern before investing in a luxury yarn. And so...which yarn are you planning to use, and what pretty color?

    xo

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    1. I'd love to make an off white/ natural colour, a blue/grey one and a dirty pink one. But, having said that, forest green, charcoal, and navy seem appealing too!!!!!!!!!! X

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  15. You clever clever thing ..... you can definitely call your self a knitter now, it's just beautiful, I'm rather tempted to make one for myself .....
    Whoop whoop to you lovely V ;o)
    sending love
    Jooles x x x

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    1. Oh yes do Jooles! I think I need to spend a day knitting and purposely going wrong to learn how to rectify basic mistakes. It's just not as easy as crochet to rectify a mistake. If I can feel more confident doing that then I think I'll feel better about knitting more. X

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  16. OOOoooohhhh!! Thanks so much for bringing this wonderful pattern to light. I can't wait to get to the yarn shop. Many thanks. And by the way you are a wonderful knitter

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    1. Ah thank you! I still have so much to learn, but this pattern has fired me up learn to be a better knitter! X

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  17. You did a great job knitting this garment. You should be so proud of yourself! It looks wonderful.

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  18. Vanessa, this is sooooo lovely, what an absolutely gorgeous, versatile garment. I think your knitting skillz are amazing - just look at those cables girl!! You need to have more faith in your abilities :)
    Drops do a lovely super chunky yarn called Andes which comes in a range of beauitful colours that I think you would like, it's a wool/alpaca mix.
    http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/yarn/drops-andes-all-colours
    If I could use the sticks, I would SO make this, you have inspired me to look at doing something drapey and wrap-like in chunky crochet.
    Lots of love
    Lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  19. Ah thank you lovely Luce! Great minds think alike! That's the yarn I have picked out to make the proper ones in! The colour range is beautiful, I could pick out 6 or 7 colours I'd love to make them in! The yarn mix looks nice too. Oh yes, try something in crochet like it. That was my first thought. This is a versatile piece and you'd pull off something in crochet beautifully I can imagine! Xxx

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  20. I haven't even looked at my March CL - must go and investigate!! I think that your shawl/cardigan is lovely! Very well done on the cabling, that is incredibly impressive I think! I hope that you can enjoy wearing this one around and about the house and will enjoy your next one in some yummier yarn for out and about!! xx

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    1. I am really loving this Amy, as it's so versatile......and I REALLY cannot wait to make more in other colours!

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  21. I love it, clever you. I'm laughing that you think I could knock one up in a couple of evenings though. Not at the rate I knit! I like that you made a practice one first. I shall look forward to seeing the next one. And the one after that... It looks like a wonderful pattern, I love the idea of layering as well. CJ xx

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    1. I think I am going to love having a few of these in different colours, and I can well imagine that they would be the most used things in my wardrobe. I reckon it took me about 15 hours to do from start to finish. I was REALLY slow though. I couldn't afford to mess up, as I just don't have the experience to rectify any mistakes! I'm useless! x

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  22. I love your crochet and now your knitting, but please don't knock the stylecraft, it is one of the better 'cheap' acrylics, there are worse believe me. I'm afraid not everyone can wear wool (and can get allergic even working with it) or indeed afford the luxury yarns. I don't want to be controversial at all, so please don't think that. Knitting better (grammar?) is on my to do list when the children finally (hah) leave home x

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    1. Hi Susan,

      This certainly wasn't a post to try and deter people from Stylecraft. I am a blanket maker, and like them large, so I am very much a promoter of acrylic yarns. I'd never be able to afford to make blankets if I didn't use cheaper acrylic yarns. I don't use Stylecraft regularly (as I live near a few yarn shops that don't stock it, and only stock other brands), but I have a used a few balls of the DK balls for projects for others. They are fine. I have said before in blog posts that it's all about actually seeing and feeling the yarns, as, from my experience, the dye used in each colour way, can have a big effect in the feel of the yarn. I mix and match my acrylic brands because of this. Some colours in brands look and feel lovely, whilst other colour ways are really awful to the eye and touch. The shade I used in Super Chunky, to me, was not brilliant. I didn't much like the feel of it on the needles and the acrylic sheen on it was too intense. Perhaps it was this shade, maybe other shades are not as shiny, but, my own personal preference is that I wouldn't use it again for a project like this or recommend it. But, that's just my personal choice. Wouldn't life be boring if we were all the same!!!!!! x

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  23. You alweys make such nice things....they all look so do-able...but I really don't have any patience...but looking at your knitting (and your crochet of course) ..I will give it a try again!!!! Wishing you a nice weekend!!!

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    1. I was impatient to get this finished! I was determined that I could do it and it wouldn't defeat me, even if I wasn't entirely sure of what I was doing! Have a super weekend too! x

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  24. I love his new creation, Vanessa! and cream colour with wooden brooch is delicious ....
    I wish you a good weekend! A big hug from Catalonia!

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    1. Thank you Cristina! I am totally in love with this style, it's so versatile! HAve a wonderful weekend also! xxx

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  25. Clever you Vanessa - its luscious ! Knitting you CAN do !
    Kate xx

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  26. Maybe this is already addressed in the comments and I didn't see it, but Belinda who designed this wrap has fixed the web site and the "download now" button for this pattern is now available for purchase. Paypal does the conversion from $ to British pounds. That means the links you provided here, Coco Rose, now can access the pattern. :^)

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  27. It is gorgeous! You are a good knitter, Vanessa!
    Helen xox

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  28. It turned out very very pretty! :)

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  29. It's really gorgeous. You did a great job with it.

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  30. Your blog is absolutely stunning! Looking forward to following it :).

    Stop by anytime @scarletheart1:18.blogspot.com

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  31. It is beautiful. You did a great job.

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  32. Dear Vanessa,
    this vest looks great! You shouldn't be too harsh with you when you talk about your knitting abilities. I mean you even managed to knit cables! This is something I risked not until after several "safe" knitting projects. Really well done!

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  33. Now you really are a knitter! I can imagine how beautiful this will look in a more gentle coloured, drapey wool. Oh so stylish!

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  34. Oh my gosh! Its beautiful! Please dont be so critical about your knitting skills Vanessa,I think its stunning x x x

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  35. You are mega awesome to write such lovely things about my Bella Wrap - here is me in mine...http://www.belindaharrisreid.co.uk/bellawrap.html _ but you already have found me - xxx - well done for conquering this. Big Hugs - Belinda

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    1. Belinda, this is the most amazing piece of knitwear I have come across. I can barely purl and knit, but I was SO determined to have a go and see if I could do it! I'm so glad I tried, it's my first knitted garment and I am totally in love with it! Now I know I can do it okay, I'm going to make it again (having learnt what I need to do better!) and I think a few more times after that too! It's such a beautiful pattern, thank you so much for designing something I really cannot get enough of! I'm sure so many others think it too! Xxx

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    2. *Star* - I'm glad you think it was easy. Keep knitting you do it beautifully xxx B

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  36. I've been thinking about this post since you put it up! I ventured into the yarn shop this morning and it kept popping into my head. When I got home I re read what you had written, as I am a very basic knitter, and took the plunge!! Just downloaded the pattern. I'm thinking a basic acrylic to begin with, the last knitting project I attempted is guiltily rolled up in a bag (socks) as I spend way too much on expensive hand dyed yarn - thinking if I spent lots it would inspire me to persevere! It didn't! You really did a great job Vanessa!

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  37. I've loved catching up on your blog posts and completely adore your knitted wrap. Thanks for making your corner of the interweb such a light, fresh, pretty place to visit. Em x

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