Tag Archives: Kim Hargreaves wisdom

Wiser and warmer: FO Wisdom cardigan

This feels like a great start to the weekend:  I have a new cardigan.  But not just any cardigan, this one is the first item of clothing I have ever knitted!  Woo hoo, champagne feels most definitely in order (but then when isn’t a good time for some fizz I ask you?! 😉 )

This is Wisdom by Kim Hargreaves using Rowan Tweed wool.  Delicious stuff, knubbly in the most gorgeous purple with blobs of blue & white cropping up every now & then.  It has contrasting pocket linings & sleeve edges which I have done in lime green.  The pattern is knitted in bands of double moss stitch & stocking stitch.

My trials in making this have been documented along the way, and it’s taken me about a year.  yep.  That’s long.  I have only had Xmas present scarf making to compete with this on my needles.  Apart from that I’ve been mainly, er, knitting this.  Clearly every now & then.  I had lots of ripping out.  I know for a fact that I got the sleeves’ pattern wrong, not understanding the instructions until reaching the same point on sleeve two & realising how I should have done it (it was a minor error I am living with).

The final push took me a long time.  I’d finished the actual knitting yet the stitching up was slow.  Why you might ask?  After so many months of intermittent beaver-like activity surely the stitching would be easy?  My main strength is sewing, surely this should be a breeze & the reward?

Hmm, well there were two factors that prompted drag.  Firstly (& this sounds REALLY pathetic) the evenings were getting too dark to stitch this dark wool, seriously!  The light in our lounge is appalling & I just couldn’t see.  In the end I finished the sewing, yep you guessed it, in my sewing room.  What genius!

Secondly I was in a panic after sewing up the body & trialling the sleeves.  They seemed WAY too short.  I put my head in the sand, turned the other way & hoped they’d stretch overnight over the course of three or four weeks by lying in a pile.

I overcame this by speaking to my all knowing knitting & sewing guru, my Mum.  She suggested basting them to see just how short they really were.  So I did.  And yes, you can see they are “bracelet length”, but nothing that my monkey-sleeved Renfrew can’t compensate for.  I sewed the buttons on last night (in my sewing room).  So the verdict after this shaggy dog story?  I am loving it!  I know there are flaws, but I learnt such a lot knitting it.  Making pockets, that even one stitch buttonholes are bigger than they seem, & of course how to rip out & pick up.  I managed to knit a neckband with picking stitches up & knitting all in one go.  I never tried anything like that before. Even the sewing together was a new experience.

As for the wearing?  As you can see today I am working from home (hence the gloves!!) & am nice & cosy.  The cardigan is cute & warm.  It’s got a nice shape to it, & whilst I would have preferred sleeves to match my gorilla arms, they are not out of place with the rest of the style’s cropped-ness & nipped in waist.  I think when fastened, the buttons get stretched a bit – possibly I should have knitted a size larger, who knows.  But definitely a timely completion as purple is one of my winter colours (funny that, considering I started it last winter!)

So what next do you ask?  That is a good question.  I quite fancy crocheting or knitting a cushion cover ….any suggestions?

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)

Feeling stupid, not wise

So remember I’ve started to knit a cardigan? My very first garment made from warm string? The fabulous Wisdom by Kim Hargreaves?

Well, it had to take a break with Christmas knitting but I picked it back up again last week. I noticed that in the double moss stitch I’d accidentally knit a quadruple moss stitch, just once. In the middle of the back. Surely I could get away with it – didn’t show afterall did it?  However, I got to a new stage of the pattern and just couldn’t get it. ” these last 38 rows form pattern and cont side shaping” plus all that went on before and after.   What is it about knitting patterns?  I feel I need to put them through Babelfish.  It’s a new language, with strange grammar.

Luckily I was visiting my mum and could ask her to interpret. She did. She also persuaded me that the quadruple moss stitch would show, that I would always know it was there and that with such lovely yarn it would be a shame. It had to come out. I need to say here that my mum is a super kind teacher. All those decades ago, as a very willing child, she taught me to sew.  This meant that until I became confident and proficient in sewing she would unpick all my mistakes for me, taking away the disheartening aspects of learning something new. She would wield the seam ripper as an expert, not only reducing mistakes to nothing, but obviously without shredding the fabric which is surely what I would have done had it been left to my junior ministrations. She’d then set it up so it was all ready for me to try again. She sure knew how to help a learner.

So, knitting. I think you know what’s coming. My 6 rows following the quadruple moss stitch had to come out and my dear mum did it for her 40 something daughter. And then, having ripped it, picked it up, she also knitted it to get it back for me to start knitting again. She is such a sweetie. Thanks mum!20120116-210124.jpg

And then I took it with me on the train & knit the next 10 rows.  I was rocking, until I came to the next bit of the pattern.  No comprendo.  I hit the brakes & visited my wool shop yesterday lunchtime.  And guess what I found out?  (anyone who is knitting this spectacular cardigan has probably worked it out already).  Uh huh.  Yep.  This pattern is actually made of bands of stocking stitch and double moss stitch.  (Which I failed to remember working from a black & white photo copy of the instructions).  I have only one band of stocking stitch.  I had a revelation, although not a good one: that was what “These last 38 rows form pattern” meant.  Argh.  “Pattern” being a stocking stitch band followed by a double moss stitch band.  I have to rip out 38 rows of my knitting.  All on my own.  No Mum to help me.

Lesson learnt – a full size colour picture can really help with interpretation of this strange language.

Getting a bit wiser

I’m getting in my stride with double moss stitch. Look, my Wisdom cardigan is growing. There are no obvious mistakes. (apart from this pic being upside down, ha ha! Trying out the wordpress app on my iPhone)

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The last time I wrote about this knitting I was in a quandary and state of semi reluctance about tension squares. Thanks to everyone’s advice I sat and knitted two more tension squares. Thing is neither were right and so I went with the needles that gave the right number of rows but not stitches- or was it the other way round? Can’t remember! I’d love to know what the advice would be next time.