Category Archives: Teal Top

Teal Top Finished!

I finished the Teal Top on Saturday but it has taken until today before the weather has been decent enough for a photograph.

Apologies that it looks a little wrinkly, I had just sat in the car for an hour on the way back from knitting group.

For a quick re-cap:

The yarn used is Paton’s Washed Haze DK, 50% cotton, 50% acrylic, bought from the Interknit Cafe in Farnham. I used 3.75mm needles. The pattern is called Go Vertical by Classic Elite, but I re-calculated the whole pattern, due to achieving a different tension with my yarn to that called for in the pattern, and me being a different shape and proportion to any of the pattern sizes.

All in all, I am very pleased with how it has come out. The yarn was pleasant to knit with and feels nice and soft once knitted up. The only problem I had with it was a slight tendency for the yarn to un-spin while I was trying to sew the seams. I am pleased with the fit, and it has been a good opportunity to test drive the set-in sleeve calculations that we have been learning in City and Guilds class. After all the worrying about whether I would have enough yarn, in the end I only used about 8 1/2 balls, so I have one full ball left over and once partial ball. I have been wearing the top all today and it is very comfy so far!

Bizarre Weather

We seem to have had all the seasons in the last week. Last Friday was beautiful, and warm enough that I didn’t need a jumper. Saturday was windy and later wet. We went to Knole and then down to Pevensey, I did take a couple of pictures but they were awful and dark so I wont subject you to them. Then on Sunday morning we woke up to a light dusting of snow! It is the first time this winter we have had snow that settled, admittedly only about an inch though, and it was gone by the evening. This week has been cold but clear so far. In a fit of pique last week I turned the heating off but on Sunday I had to give in and put it back on again.

This is also a week full of knitting things. On Tuesday morning I went down to Farnham for a talk by Joyce Meader on Commercially Printed Knitting Patterns from 1840 which she gave to the West Surrey Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers. The talk was fascinating and hilarious. The men’s string vest and matching pants (that is underpants for those across the pond) had to be seen to be believed! Joyce is a great speaker, and she kindly brought along some of her collection of historic knitting patterns, and also garments she has knitted from them. As well as original knitting patterns, Joyce also brought some facsimile editions produced by Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions. Amazing patterns, and a lot of them are surprisingly wearable today. I love old patterns, particularly those from the 30s and the 50s. 6 books from Iva Rose are already winging their way over the sea to me 🙂 Including two from the 1890s.

Talking of vintage patterns, I have recently got a bee in my bonnet about knitting at the Great Exhibition (Crystal Palace) of 1851. I know that there was knitting exhibited since I have seen it mentioned (I think in the V&A – which incidentally was set up with items from the Great Exhibition). Iva Rose Reproductions don’t go back that early, but according to Joyce commercially published knitting patterns exist from as far back as 1817. I would love to know more both about the knitting that was actually exhibited in 1851 and also what was going on in the craft at the time. If anyone has any pointers I would love to hear from you.

To continue my busy knitting week, the Reading group has its April meeting on Saturday, and then on Sunday, the Surrey and Hampshire Ravelry group are meeting in Guildford. This is all shockingly sociable 🙂

Progress is being made on the Teal Top too. I have now finished the front! and the shoulders are connected with a 3-needle cast off.

Teal Top Body

I am cautiously optimistic about the yarn quantity situation. I am now on the first sleeve and am on ball 8 (out of 10) but things are looking quite good.

Once I completed the 3-needle cast off to join the shoulders, I pinned the sides together and had a quick try-on. I think it is going to be good, although it is hard to tell properly without the seams sewn and the sleeves in. I have been using the instructions Fiona gave us in City and Guilds class for calculating a set in sleeve garment, and it has been useful to be able to give it a dry run before I try it out on my assessed project. So far so good.

Apologies that the Emerald Beaded Bracelet Pattern isn’t up yet. I have been having some computer difficulties. I’ve lost track of how many times I have rebooted over the last couple of days! After many rude words and several cups of tea I have now managed to upload photos to the blog again (oh the delights of upgrading), and literally as I am typing this I seem to have cracked my pdf upload problems (although I’m not sure how, I wont argue though). So the pattern will be available in just a minute.

Racing along with new specs

Well they aren’t really connected but never mind.

I am racing along with the Teal Top, I have finished the back, and have just started the waist shaping on the front.

Teal Top Back

I am still really enjoying it, and it is lovely to be able to actually see progress! I am also really looking forward to wearing it, I think it will be a really useful wardrobe item and very comfy.

The only problem is that I am becoming worried about the amount of yarn I will need. I bought 10 balls because that was what was available in the same dye lot, but I have just started the 5th ball, which means that the back used slightly more then 3 1/2 balls. I think it will be very close as to whether I will have enough or not. I went down to the Interknit Cafe yesterday just to double check that there weren’t any more balls left of the dye lot that I had got, but there weren’t. She had 4 balls of a second dye lot, but as she said this was a colour that she would keep in stock, and that whatever I get wont match the first dye lot I thought I would knit on for a bit until I have more of an idea of exactly how many extra balls I will need. If I am fairly close then I can just undo my tension swatch and use that yarn, or can use a different dye lot for the neck band. We shall see. It is strange how knowing that the yarn quantity is going to be a bit tight makes you knit faster 🙂 I’m not convinced that quicker knitting is going to help!

On my way down to Farnham yesterday I dropped into Specsavers in Guildford to pick up my new glasses. They are quite different to my last set and Paul is still getting used to them 🙂

First up, the more sensible pair:

Brown GlassesBrown Glasses

And now the fun pair:

Purple GlassesPurple Glasses

And finally, to make you smile on a wet Saturday, this is the most hilarious of the out-takes, and the reason that I really shouldn’t be allowed out:


Paul had just said “less teeth” and I’m afraid that was what he got. It rather reminds me of the old Maltersers advert with the wide mouthed frog and the crocodile 🙂

Happy Easter!

I can’t believe it has been nearly two months now since I last posted, time has certainly been moving very quickly around here.

There have been some very long workdays (and evenings and weekends) here in the last couple of months, but I am very happy that I have now caught up with all the desperate stuff, and am left with catching up on my City and Guilds homework and plodding along with the Great Tidy Up of 2008, and catching up on emails and ravelry.

There hasn’t been an awful lot of knitting going on, apart from some socks and my samples for my course homework. My knitting seems to be a good barometer for how I am feeling, I like to knit socks when I am tired, they are lovely and therapeutic as you knit round and round, and also nice and portable. It has been interesting to see that as things have started to calm down, although I am still knitting socks I have branched out a little from my very boring rib socks. Now I think I am ready for some knitting which actually requires my brain 🙂 The main problem I am having is stopping myself from casting on for a thousand things all at once.

My resistance has been quite strong, but I have succombed to the lure of a T-shirt. The pattern is called Go Vertical and is from Classic Elite and I bought it on a trip to the US several years ago, but have been waiting for the right yarn. A couple of weeks ago I found it, in the Interknit Cafe in Farnham. The yarn is Patons Washed Haze, and is a DK weight, 50% cotton, 50% acrylic. It is not as hand-killingly inelastic as a 100% cotton yarn, and is also lighter and a bit more flexible, yet not as plasticy and sweaty as a 100% acrylic, so the best of both worlds! It is nice to be working in a DK weight yarn for a change, since I can actually see progress. I have got a little carried away with it over the weekend and have knitted up past the waist shaping on the back, my shoulders are protesting a little so I will try and add in some other knitting for a change.

The pattern itself is multi-gauge which is a really good idea – the same pattern with variations of sleeve-length and neckline, written for four different tensions. Unfortunately in typical Heather fashion, the tension I get with my yarn is none of those given. Also the sizing on the pattern assumes that the wearer has a larger chest than tummy which sadly I don’t 🙂 So I have spent the weekend happily with my calculator working out the numbers which will hopefully generate a top which will fit me (if not I will be quite cross!).

I will end the suspense now and show you the progress so far.

First my swatch:

Teal Top Swatch

This is the progress so far:

Teal Top

And this is a detail of the waist shaping:

Teal Top Waist Shaping

I am going to go and organise some of the sock pictures for future posts. I seem to have a lot of future posts backed up now, unfortunately they are almost all in my head rather than on the computer. I could do with a cable like the camera has so that I can plug myself in and download my brain (or what is left of it!)