This is the cover model design from March 2019 Filati Hand Knitting No 71. I’m tempted to call it batwing, it’s definitely raglan, and is knit from a lovely light and drapey linen blend. it was finished quite a while ago and I’ve lost many of the details about the wool, etc in a recent house move. It is the recommended wool from Lana Grossa.
As with other Filati patterns, I had to translate this one from German, which means there is usually some trial and error to get the right outcome. In this case, I do recall having to rip back half of the back piece because I did the decreases wrong. I also think my ribbing, particularly on the arms, could have been tighter. Even saying that, it’s a super comfy and quite cool looking top, so I’m definitely happy with the outcome!
My eldest has a burgeoning interest in the various fashion arts – everything from weaving and cross-stich to latch hook and fabric draping. She asked me to make her something with this variegated wool, which I only had a single skein of. Unfortunately the colour changes obscure the lovely lace pattern across the top, but she is happy with it, which is the main thing. The pattern is the Courtship pattern, which comes in child and adult sizes.
The Peabody is a gorgeous pattern, with a lovely leafy stitch panel front and down the arms. According to Ravelry, I made this about 2013, which kind of blows my mind because I’m only just getting around to photographing it and posting about it. I love the pattern and am pretty pleased with the making of it. But it doesn’t get a huge amount of wear – in part because it’s quite warm and I rarely need a jumper that warm. In part, because I don’t really wear red often. And in part because it doesn’t look as good on me as it does on the model (surprise, surprise!). Anyone with anything more than an A cup might just find that their chest stretches that front panel out in a strange way.
Never mind – when I discovered that I have had it for something like 7 years already, I was pleasantly surprised because it does get worn a couple times a year (at least) and it is a pretty great feat of knitting. Heaven knows I’ve spent as long on other projects that haven’t lasted so well.
On a holiday in Bavaria last summer, we came across a small wool shop where I picked up a new (to me) knitting magazine, Filati. I then promptly lost it by leaving it at the end of the supermarket checkout as I collected some food for dinner. I was so disappointed, and couldn’t get back to the wool shop to get another, so I went online and ordered a series of the back issues to come to my house in the UK. It wasn’t cheap, but in a holiday mood, I figured it was a souvenir of sorts and worth the spend.
I’m so glad I did – this is hands down my favourite knitting magazine. Each issue has so many items I would love to knit. The main problem is that it’s in German (although there are issues and patterns written in English, the magazines I bought are all German). My German is basic at best, and translating knitting abbreviations is beyond my current abilities. Thankfully, Google Lens does a halfway decent job on my behalf, and with experience and logic, I can get a pretty decent translation done within an hour. Then I have my wonderful colleague and fellow knitter Susanne, who is German and very kindly reviews my translations for me, pointing out where I’ve gone a bit wrong. Huge thanks are owed to Susanne!
So this was the first thing I made – a sort of funky wrap shrug shawl thing. It’s a bit weird, a bit left field, and that’s why I love it. I used a cheap wool found at the Knitting and Stitching Show, which was fine. I’m somewhat regretting not using the recommended wool (although I’m not sure I’ve ever done that before in my life), as I am curious if it would have come out differently. I also should have made the armholes a bit bigger (my upper arms not being a svelte model size) and I realised once done that I missed a final decrease in the lower arms. It has had one outing, as of course the weather warmed up all spring-like as soon as I finished it.
But I’m definitely smitten – the very next thing on the needs was another Filati pattern, a spring/summer lacy vest and the next in the queue is a Filati pattern using the recommended wool. My knitting practice (and German vocabulary) has been somewhat transformed.
First off, this pattern is a summer pattern, or at least that’s how it seems in the magazine. But I live in London, so winter knits are far more my thing. Also, I rarely knit with the suggested wool, and I wanted to make this but didn’t know quite what to make it with. So I was driven by what I could find at the Knitting and Stitching Show that was the right weight and wouldn’t clash too much with my wardrobe.
Which is how I ended up with a winter poncho – warmer and a bit less drapey than intended. A little kooky and weird. And in not the nor very inspiring colourway of black and grey.
But despite all that, I do like this. It’s comfy (how could it be otherwise) and more interesting that a straight up v-neck. It took a while (especially having to rip back about 20 cms when I realised I had started miscounting where the all important shaping stitches should be), but it wasn’t hard. So while I don’t love it, it has a place in the winter wardrobe for now.
My daughter, like so many children her age, loves Frozen. So I really thought that a sweater with snowflakes on it would be right up her street. I was pleased when she came home, saw the finished product and said “I love this”. This love, however, did not translate into a desire to wear. This little item has stayed firmly in the drawer, despite numerous attempts to get her to wear it. To which she always says “Um, no”. Hence the name – because I have accepted there is a snowflake’s chance in hell that she’ll ever wear this thing. I have since taken it to nursery, to sit in her ‘extra clothes’ box, in the hopes that when she gets all her other clothes wet or covered mud and paint, she might actually wear it. If not, I’ll be once again pinning my hopes on her younger sister.
This would look better if I blocked it or ironed it, but since no one is going to wear it, what’s the point?
The pattern is the NORD vest (available to buy from Ravelry) and it knit up just fine. I did use this as a reason to learn to properly strand 2 colours of knitting and got pretty good at having wool wrapped in both hands. One hand/colour then knits continental and the other knits English (see this page on Carolyn Knits for a good example and explanation). And I think the finished product is nice – if only someone would wear it!
For the birth of my second daughter, I intended to make a second baby blanket*. The idea was to make the Retro Baby Blanket and I purchased some great, hard wearing Red Heart wool (which I raved about for my West Wing shawl) to complete it. They had some fantastic bright neon colours that I thought would work great for a happy and bright baby blanket. But then I felt the Retro blanket might be too much, with all those bright colours and I noticed the designer, Little Doolally on Ravelry, had all kinds of nifty blankets to choose from. So we ended up with the Winifred Baby Blanket.
And what can I say except I absolutely love it? The wool is great, I love the colours, the pattern was easy but creates a beautiful pattern (and the ‘wrong’ side is just as cool as the right side, although different). It even ends with a lovely picot border. My only complaint is that weaving in all those ends was BORING. I did try a technique to crochet them into the start of the next row, which was mildly successful although tended to create some lumpy ends. But that’s it. It’s awesome.
* Our first daughter got the first baby blanket, which is lovely but not as cool as this one. Sorry honey!
I loved the pattern on the Oslo shawl and the challenge that the colourwork seemed to pose. Only when I started did I realise that that beautiful patterned colours are exceedingly easy to create. All the better, to be honest, as I only learned the easy way to carry colours towards the end of the project – mostly I was dropping one colour and picking up another every few stitches when required, which was time consuming. I was also wrapping strands, to avoid gaps, without realising that it was unnecessary if I was carrying the colours across the back of the work (stranding) instead of using discrete bobbins of colour (intarsia). Just goes to show there is still room to learn, even if you’ve been knitting for over a decade.
The wool is from Red Heart, a brand I hadn’t heard of until the last Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. LoveKnitting.com had a big display and a special deal on Red Heart wool, so I stocked up for several projects. It’s lovely, easy stuff. Not the luxe and difficult to care for kind of lovely. Just the workhorse, sturdy but soft, affordable everyday kind of lovely – which I actually prefer in most cases.
I decided I wanted a bigger shawl, something that would properly cover my shoulders and upper back. So after consulting with the designer (who was lovely and helpful in her responses), I added 2 additional repeats of the main pattern. I calculated that this wouldn’t cause major problems for the border pattern and it didn’t. But I neglected to review and revise one section, meaning one part of the end pattern isn’t quite right on the increases around the point. It’s certainly something I could have fixed. But it’s also something I can live with.
So why the West Wing shawl? This project was started when I went on maternity leave and finished in the weeks just following the birth of my second daughter. I had several weeks of maternity leave prior to her birth, which I used wisely by knitting and binge watching The West Wing. I miss that program – but at least I have a nice shawl to keep me warm.
This is the second children’s cardigan I’ve made from the lovely possum wool I got in New Zealand. The first, when my daughter was about 18 months old, was worn often. Perhaps because she wasn’t yet choosing her own clothes.
But now that she gets quite a bit of say in what she wears, she regularly eschews the knitted cardigans in favour of fleeces. So this cardigan, finished about 7 or 8 months ago, has never been worn.
The pattern is from a Sirdar booklet (the same one containing the train vest) and it hasn’t been blocked properly, so the button band is a bit wonky and the hem a bit uneven. Could this be why she won’t wear it? Having seen some of the outfits she chooses for herself, I doubt she’s rejecting it on aesthetic grounds.
Never mind – maybe her younger sister will appreciate the vintage buttons and the smocking effect?
(Apologies for the atrocious colour in the photos – I really struggled to get the detail of the cardigan to show up)
Behold the Aviatrix hat, knit for my newborn daughter. This was made with the same wool used to recreate the Hat that will last many years – that didn’t last so long after all. Lesson learned, and it was recreated in a machine washable wool, and this companion hat created from what was left over.
The new baby hasn’t worn it yet as, although I made the newborn size, it was far too big for her head. Not to worry, as it’s a stretchy pattern and should still fit in 4 or 5 months when the weather turns cold again.
This is a beautiful hat, easy to knit and a good introduction to the power of short rows for shaping. Highly recommended!