Thursday 12 October 2023

...making season

We're rapidly approaching that time of year when all the things on my "Ooh! I want to make that!" List and my "Finish this before you start anything else!" List should start to give way to my Christmas "Make these to give as presents!" List. I'd love to think that this year I might be a little more organised, but based on the hodge-podge of my recent makes it seems unlikely...
  • I saw (and instantly coveted) someone else's version of the Nuuk pullover waaaaay back in August, and it shot like a rocket to Number One on my "Ooh! I want to make that!" List. Knitted top down, seamless, and practically sleeveless, in aran/worsted weight yarn, I recognised it as the kind of project that I - a knitter with a long and harrowing history of failure-to-complete when it comes to adult-sized garments - could possibly maybe almost certainly commit to. So I committed. I bought the yarn, I cast on, and I started knitting. At the beginning of September (just as the belated heat-wave hit) I actually finished it!
There were some wobbles along the way. I ended up completing the collar ribbing before the body was done, because the task of picking up stitches neatly and evenly around a neckline is my knitting Nemesis (although picking up stitches for button-bands would come a very close second). I know, from bitter experience, that if the collar isn't perfect then I will never be happy with the finished garment, so I figured it was better to know at an early stage whether my Nuuk was going to be "wearable" or not. It took me forever to arrive at the required number of evenly spaced stitches on my needles, and I actually got all the way to the point of casting off the collar and weaving in the ends before deciding that I needed to unravel it all and try again, because the right hand side didn't quite match the left! Perfectionism is such a curse!

I also struggled a bit with the problem of joining in new balls of yarn - the downside of seamless knitting is that there are no seams to hide the ends in. I decided to just make all the joins at the sides, where the seams would have been, reasoning that this was the least obvious place for the weaving in of ends to happen. I was quite proud of myself for seeing my Nuuk through to completion (mostly because it had also gone straight to Number One on my "Finish this before you start anything else!" List), but I had to wait for cooler October weather to actually wear it, because it is very cosy and warm - like a knitted full body hug! 

  • Then (in a gratuitous departure from the official List system) came yet another upcycled-duvet-cover Wiksten Top. I had quite a lot of jolly floral fabric left over after making my Elizabeth Shannon Apron earlier this year, and I wanted something "new" for my birthday weekend away, so it was a no-brainer to re-purpose the remnants to expand my Wiksten Top collection. I used some blue chambray scraps to line the contrasting fold-back cuffs, and made the patch pockets from a fat quarter of similarly coloured, ditsy patterned fabric. I don't think I will ever grow tired of this simple, comfortable, utilitarian design!

  • Next, the "Make these to give as presents!" List grew ever so slightly longer, when my daughter 'commissioned' me to make a pumpkin hat for her best friend J's baby, "in plenty of time before Halloween" - i.e. ready for early October. After a lot of deliberation and intensive trawling through the free patterns on Ravelry, I settled on this pattern by Drops Design, modified slightly by the inclusion of some crocheted 'tendrils' around the base of the stem. I naturally had to make a second (smaller) one for my grandson too - because who can resist a tiny person in a pumpkin hat?! 
Here is J's little boy in the pumpkin patch - effortlessly demonstrating his commitment to knitworthiness by posing on the blanket I made for him when he was born! 
  • Once the hats were completed I really should have turned my attention to the official (Christmas) "Make these to give as presents!" List, but my head was turned by this pattern from the "Ooh! I want to make that!" List instead. I have to confess that I didn't actually purchase Leah's pattern for this scarf, because I figured I could improvise something similar all by myself. So I just cast on 32 stitches and made it up as I went along. I got about this far into the project...
...before the constant stopping every few rows to weave in dozens of ends started driving me ever so slightly crazy. Rather than abandoning the project altogether, I chose to accept my limitations, and turn the scarf into a neck-warmer/cowl, instead. I persevered with the stop-knitting-start-weaving process until it reached the appropriate length, and then grafted the ends together. At this point I realised that the knitted 'fabric' had a tendency to flop and fold in on itself, so I decided to add a scrappy garter stitch lining, for extra warmth and structure. Once it was the right size I crocheted the two pieces together along the top and bottom edges, and my new 'go-to' Winter accessory was born! It's possibly a little ruff-like in effect (the lining actually provides a little too much structure), but I'm sure it will get softer and  squishier over time..., back to that "Make these to give as presents!" List.


  1. Some great finished projects here. The pumpkin hats are so sweet and cheery and I love the neck warmer/cowl. Enjoy the rest of your week x

    1. Thanks Beverley! I know you and D have been busy with lots of lovely projects over in your small corner too! x