Loving knitting: Wisdom Kim Hargreaves progress

This post should really be called “Loving Kim Hargreaves” as I think I have a real knit crush on her designs as you might gather.

So it was 9 months ago, that’s 75% of a whole year, that I started knitting my very first garment.

You may remember if your grey cells function better than mine that I decided on the beautiful Wisdom by Kim Hargreaves, made from high end Rowan felted tweed in a purple colour.  It is lush, it has these nubby bits in, pops of blue & white which over the last 9 months I have become very familiar with.  The pocket linings & very first row of the sleeves are a contrast colour, lime green in my case.

I have learnt so much about reading the language of knitting patterns, I have made SO many mistakes & ripped out a good 100+ rows in various stages, the largest being a chunk of about 40 rows.  I look at the front & actually can’t see the buttonholes (so small are they), but there does appear to be a (gasp) hole not located in the button band, much bigger than the intended buttonholes!  I shall sew it up.  I shall.

I have fallen prey to the trancelike state double moss stitch invokes with blocks of 20 rows of this stitch.  I prefer it to knitting the purl row.  I levitate with that flicking of the wool from front to back in between stitches ….you’re almost hypnotised thinking about it, admit it….

Where I am at on sleeve no.2

There are a few mistakes & I shall have to live with the sleeves’ first block of double moss stitch not being deep enough due to my stupid pattern reading….but I only discovered it when starting the second sleeve & getting it right.  Unfortunately sleeves have to match don’t they?  I took the pain, preferring to live with the slight mistake forever after rather than rip out a whole sleeve.  Would you have ripped out a whole sleeve, would you?  If yes you’re a better person than me.  You will have a view whether I chose the right path…..

I am almost finished, having a new spurt of knit-ergy after a few weeks/ months where it was out of favour for some reason.   Had I “watched” more of the Euro football  my knitting would be even further on.  So here we are, I have a back, 2 fronts & one sleeve.  Just the sleeve to complete & the neck edge.

Sewing it up scares me.  Actually finishing it scares me also.  How will I decide what to knit next?

There are a few contenders in the same book, “Cherished“.

“Raine” which has a lacy edge & ooh goodie more double moss stitch.

“Skylark” which has a lace rib throughout.

Or a simple cropped cardigan, “Fawn”

And “Goodwill” – in a stitch that looks as if it too would deliver more yogic knitting.

I also have Breeze (a recent Ebay purchase), also Kim Hargreaves.  I am not sure if it is aimed at the younger generation as the models are teens (oops!) but that’s not going to stop me.  Here are a few more pics to ogle at.

“Ruby” – Raglan sleeved with garter stitch trim.

“Hush” is a phenomenon in double moss stitch – love it

I do like “Lavender” as well for its lace hem & sweet little pattern.

There are a couple of peplum cardies including this one which looks cute cute cute

This is “Dolly”.  The interesting thing is that Breeze is most definitely a summer knits book & Cherished is for winter.  I have a shortage of summer cardigans, so judging by my speed at completion I should potentially start something from Breeze for next summer- possibly making the most of some summer yarn sales perhaps.  Any recommendations? ;-)

But as with my sewing it feels more natural to start something to wear in the winter.  I don’t think this is a good plan, unless it’s something chunkier (& there are a few in Cherished, but long line jackety coats with epaulettes which aren’t me plus would take a hell of a lot of yarn), & chunky scarves which are pretty dreamy too.  Looks like it’s back to Cherished we go just to show you the scarves…

This is “Clarity” a crocheted scarf in Alpaca cotton, suitable for a novice (that’ll be me!)

Open work stitch snood called “Comet”, the vest is also a pattern.  So there you are.  Spot my indecision (as always!) but huge Kim crush.

All pictures (with the exception of the amateur purple knitting are from Kim Hargreaves’ site)

39 thoughts on “Loving knitting: Wisdom Kim Hargreaves progress

  1. Lauren

    Oooooh, I LOVE Ruby & Skylark. I just lurked to see if my library offered these books so I could fully investigate (bc I’d wear that Ruby sweater/shawl thing until it fell apart. And then knit another one), but it looks like they don’t :( BOO.

    Doesn’t it feel so exciting and yet terrifying to be near completion of a sweater? On one hand, I feel so excited that it’s ALMOST DONE… but on the other, I’ve enjoyed the process so much that I almost don’t want it to end. And I know what you mean about not knowing what to knit next – despite a huuuge list of favorites in Ravelry, I’m always at a loss!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Those are my two faves too – that Ruby is pinging around my imagination – I think it’s the whole outfit that rings my bell.
      Exactly – exciting & scary – it’s taken so long it is now part of my sofa life (you can tell I don’t have much time on the sofa though!) – so what will it be like having to complete it & then sew it up – it becomes something else & is no longer something I’m doing. Aargh!

  2. Catherine

    Knitting looks really good and don’t get too scared by sewing it up just yet! Any of the other designs I would love to knit and look so nice it would be hard to choose from any of them.The good thing is that you are thinking about your next project so that can’t be bad!!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thansk Catherine – yes, if I am thinking about the next knit, I have not traumatized myself too much by finding a huge whole in the front, or taking best part of a year to complete something :-)

  3. Wendy

    Such timing! I bought 7 balls of Felted Tweed yesterday, just because I’ve been hankering for it for ages. I spent last night searching Ravelry for a pattern, top down – because that’s my preferred method. But that Wisdom is gorgeous and I think I could live without the top down for this beauty.
    Off to search out the book.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Gosh, top down knitting is another scary concept to me! You are clearly a proper knitter, but this felted tweed is wonderful stuff. I’d search Ebay for the book, you might be able to pick up a bargain

  4. Marie

    Oooh, your knitting’s looking lovely – gorgeous colour yarn! I recently did a post about being nervous of sewing knitting up and people left some great tips that you may find useful: http://asewingodyssey.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/panelled-effect-ladys-jumper-progress.html

    By the way I LOVE Breeze…a colleague brought it in and I wanted to buy it immediately! But then I got stingy when I saw the price, but now you mentioned eBay…I may have a cheeky look ;o)

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh Marie, I remember this post & how I tucked it away in my soon-to-be-needed memory! I shall certainly look at the comments too, it will give me a boost – when I come to it
      Yes, Ebay I think could come up trumps for this book – not really cheap, but possibly getting a second hand version will save you a proportion of the cost :-)

  5. Pennie

    John Lewis currently has a yarn sale on…they should still have some good stuff left, usually a lot of cotton based summer stuff..

    As for ripping out it depends how perfectionist I want to be…sometimes I do rip, but then I enjoy all knitting…except k1,p1 knit on fine needles in bad light with dark wool !

    The key thing to remember is that loving a pattern is not enough, it has to look good on your body shape, but as a tailor you already know that…it’s taken me over 20 years of knitting to realise that !

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oo, oo oo, I’ll go & look up John Lewis, thank you :-)

      Guess what I also found hard with this – k1p1 & it’s dark wool plus the bulbs in my lounge lights seem to have blown & it really has been too dark to knit some evenings! Yes, I need to get bulbs & that will sort out that one!

      I hear you about body shape too – so many of these knitting patterns look adorable on the models, but I know they’d look like a sack of spuds on me – good point!

  6. Sam

    I love Kim Hargreaves too! The colour combination of your (almost finished) cardigan is gorgeous, purple and lime green are fab together.

    I vote for either Raine or Dolly next. Dolly is so cute. I just did a post on peplums on my blog, but no knitted ones alas! Perhaps I can sneak them into another post.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I shall come & look out your peplum post – should get me inspired! There are a few peplums via Kim, & even Cherished has one – it too is gorgeous, but then if you are already a fan you probably won’t need convincing!
      The good thing about Dolly is that there is less of it so will take me less time to knit??!

      1. Sam

        Ha! Good point about Dolly being faster to knit as she is smaller. No, I definitely don’t need convincing re: Kim Hargreaves! I have Heartfelt, I’ve just checked and there are a couple of peplums in there too. Yay!

  7. Roobeedoo

    Hooray – you’re nearly there !!! :D
    I am so impressed Ms Badger! And please do not fear sewing up – it is a doddle compared to actual sewing! Mattress stitch is your friend!
    And thank you for sharing pics of other KH designs. I am intrigued and tempted ;)
    I have never had any luck with seasonal yarn sales but there are several websites which sell discounted big name yarn: Kemps, Mcaree and Deramores spring to mind.
    Have you joined Ravelry yet? You must!!!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you for your ideas for yarn Roobeedoo – they are now in my bookmarks & I need to get the creative knitting imagination working to decide what next!
      All of the KH designs are available online for each book – it was the deciding factor in me clicking the “bid now” button on Ebay – I just couldn’t resist!
      I am on Ravelry but am quite dormant at the moment – I *should* get over there – I find my computer time already sucks the life out of me sometimes (in a most pleasant & inspiring way of course!) & I’m in danger of not enough making time – but I shall visit again (maybe when i’m complete :-))

  8. Sigrid

    Definitely crush-worthy stuff. I personally love Skylark. Your sweater is going to be lovely. As for summer knitting, it tends to be more difficult because the cotton yarns are less forgiving and the gauge smaller. Make another wool cardi! I don’t know what it’s like in the UK, but it’s hard to find a nice wool sweater here, whereas decent cotton ones are much more easy to buy. I have always feared sewing up but the Stitch and Bitch book is really quite good as is Nancy Wiseman’s finishing book. http://www.amazon.com/The-Knitters-Book-Finishing-Techniques/dp/156477452X

  9. Sarah

    Oh, I pink puffy heart Kim Hargreaves!! I adore her knitting designs and am desperately searching for a copy of Nectar.

    I love, love, your snazzy purple cardi! Well done!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh yes, please borrow away! It feel like my knit batteries fluctuate quite a lot with regards knit-ergy – a lot to do with whether I’ve company or want to be sociable (& then knit-ergy is flying!)

  10. Kerry

    Your cardigan is looking fab! What a gorgeous colour. I’ve knit one Kim Hargreaves design (Rosa sweater) and I think she has some really lovely designs.

    However for me, the problem is that I don’t find them very enjoyable to knit. From my (limited) understanding of knitwear design, her designs are made in a traditional way of being pieced together from flat knitted pieces and since I hate sewing up, I prefer some of the designs by designers like Gudrun Johnstone and Kate Davies. I find their patterns are written from the point of view of a knitter and include more interesting techniques, rather than simply being a set of instructions. To me, it’s like the difference between the big pattern companies and smaller companies like Colette or Sewaholic.

    Er, sorry, that does sound a bit negative but I really do like her designs, I just wish I felt more excited about the process of knitting them! :)

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Kerry you’ve given me a whole new thing to think about now with regards knitting, patterns & construction techniques! I must try something that does not follow this tradition way of piecing together to experience what you describe…my mindset is such that I wouldn’t have a clue about attempting anything any other way than bit by bit & piecing together – how interesting! Thank you for getting me thinking :-)

  11. Rochelle New

    Gaaaah! WHY don’t I know how to knit yet?!?! I need every single one of those sweaters. …and the hair. The blonde model’s hair. SO cute. …I’d look terrible as a blonde but whatever. Kinda dying over the Raine sweater here. I’ve never been this sorry that I don’t know how to knit!

  12. Andrea

    Looking great Winnie! I bet those tiny mistakes will only be visible to you. I’m about finished with my back panel. Soon we’ll have matching sweaters, but don’t worry, I doubt we’ll be running into each other by accident :)

  13. clare

    Lush lush lush, must look up more of her patterns.

    I echo roobeedoo – Mattress stitch is where it is at. I would say that my big tip is never cast of your shoulder seams, leave them on a stitch holder then when ready to sew up do a double pin cast off (forgive me if I’m patronising you and you already know this!) it makes an awesome preofessional finish and it is really simple.

    Looking forward to finished garment!

  14. Amy

    These kinds of sweaters are just what I want to learn to knit! Thank you so much for the inspiration! And, bravo on making so much progress on your own sweater! I can’t wait to see it completed!

  15. Christine

    Wow, Scruffybadger you are amazing! That is your first knit?! Well done.

    I agree that Kim Hargreaves is a genius designer. I also agree with Sigrid, cotton is a bit harder to knit with, and I would also suggest you consider doing something else in wool, even a summer cardigan. There are some very soft wools out there.

    I also echo Roobeedoo and clare: use mattress stitch on the right side to sew the pieces together. I’d add (as most books will tell you): regard the last knitted stitch as a selvedge stitch. Use the little “ladder” that you will see running up between the last stitch and its neighbour: the rungs of the ladder are what your needle will go under, two at a time. If you have the right side of the work before you, and only tug your stitches every few and not too tight, you’ll see it comes together beautifully.

    Hats off to you!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Christine thank you so much for such a comprehensive guide for sewing up – I almost feel you are there watching over me now ….it makes total sense – I shall come back & refer to your description – I think even I understand what you are describing – big thanks :-)

  16. snippa

    Those patterns are all lovely, hard to choose a favourite.
    Knitwell mail order sometimes have seasonal offers on Sirdar wool. Their catalogue used to have wool samples but doesn’t now which isn’t as good but delivery is prompt. I use them.
    Well done for sticking with the cardigan. It’s looking lovely.

  17. linB

    Oh, these sweaters are all so darling, how can you choose only one? I prefer to use knitting worsted, and knit up something relatively quickly. Then I pray for a day that is cold enough to wear the finished article, usually sometime around the end of February-beginning of March, in my climate. Have you ever sampled Elizabeth Zimmerman’s classic Knitting Without Tears? It’s in reprint, but probably also available at your public library. Sensible, amusing writing about knitting as a craft, with some patterns in it. I found her philosophy about following a pattern to be liberating.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks LinB, I have heard of knitting without tears & should go check it out …might help with the impending sewing-up stress! I also agree that a quicker knit could be what I need now ….oh the indecision!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>