Vintage knit

What Elaine knit next!

I recently joined a group of volunteers who meet at the Black Country Living Museum, knitting and sewing clothes and accessories to support the museum’s costume department.

Having finished my grey cardigan in super-quick time, I was perfectly placed to cast on a new project, so put up my hand to volunteer to make a 1940s-style cardigan. The costume department provided the pattern (Belinda by Patons Australia) and the yarn (Cygnet Aran in colourway 309 Earth Brown) and I’m making good progress using 6.5 mm needles.

With the current cold spell (we had snow again this morning), I feel inspired to complete this cardigan quickly to help keep one of the museum re-enactors warm! Let’s see how it goes …

Have you cast on a new project this week? I’d love to hear all about it!


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Philodendron Finished!

This cardigan pattern has been in my queue since I bought it in 2015, so when I was deciding on a Christmas project, it seemed like a good time to make it happen.

Cast-on on Christmas Eve, it has grown so quickly that I haven’t had chance to tell you about it … and I have finished it already!

The pattern is Philodendron by Holli Yeoh, and the yarn is Drops Karisma (100% wool) in marbled light grey, colour 72.

It turned out a little on the large size, due to my choice of a substitute yarn, and the sleeves were rather long, so I took the scissors to them, removed two pattern repeats and re-knitted the cuffs.

Result! 😀

I’ve surprised myself by finishing it so quickly – I think this may be my fastest cardigan project ever!

So what shall I knit next?

How’s your knitting coming along this week? I’d love to hear about it!





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So … Socks

A short post this week to share with you my latest Finished Object … My Nutkin socks are off the needles and ready for my feet!

The only change I made to the pattern was to use rib for the cuff, instead of a folded hem. I’m not sure how the ridge across the toe flap will work in practice when in a shoe – I guess time will tell – but it was interesting to knit and I’m willing to give it a go before making a judgment.

I’m already lining up my next sock project … Just a case of deciding which ball to use from my (greatly reduced) stash 😀

Do you have a favourite sock pattern? I’d love to hear about it!


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Second Chances

Somehow, over the course of 2017 I managed to address my WIP (work-in-progress) pile; bravely unravelling a small number of the languishing projects and happily finishing others.

I was surprised by the sense of achievement I felt. Yes, the finished objects were satisfying, but unravelling the ones that weren’t making the grade was equally (and possibly even more) worthwhile. Recognising a lost cause and doing something about it?

In particular, I was smitten with the idea of rescuing some yarn from an unhappy situation and giving it a second chance. There aren’t many times in life where you can simply unravel something and start again 😉

So why stop at unfinished objects? My Ravelry record tells me that I had completed an aran cable jumper back in 2014 … and I know I have never worn it. Too warm, too long, too bulky. I didn’t even like it enough to offer it to friends or family. But it was a finished jumper, so it had never occurred to me to undo it … until now!

From this …

to this …

in less than 30 minutes!

The back of the wardrobe is unchartered “frogging” territory for me and I’m disproportionately happy about it! Even finished objects can be reviewed, unravelled and upcycled. I am already excited at the prospect of creating something new with this rescued wool. It feels like a metaphor for the year ahead and one I want to remember.

I’m also a little worried that I might have got a taste for unravelling … so if you have any yarny items you want “frogged”, feel free to pass them in my direction!





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Lovely Lichen

My knitting prompt this week came while tidying some winter damage on the apple trees with my volunteer colleagues – the branches carried a range of coloured lichen, in amazing patterns and textures …

I believe it’s possible to dye with lichen … I haven’t tried it – have you? If so, I’d love to hear about it!


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The opposite of unravel

I’ve been unravelling this week – just some knitting, you understand 😉

It occurred to me that I often “unravel”, but I’ve never used (or even come across) the opposite word “ravel” … So I looked it up to check it exists, and sure enough, “ravel” is both a verb and a noun …


1. (Ravel something out) Untangle or unravel something.
‘Davy had finished ravelling out his herring net’

2. Unravel; fray.
‘a shirt with a ravelled collar’

3. Confuse or complicate (a question or situation)
‘I’d prefer you to keep your nose out of my business and not ravel things further’


A tangle, cluster, or knot.
‘a ravel of knitting’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘entangle, confuse’): probably from Dutch ravelen ‘fray out, tangle’.

I have to admit I find the above definition of the verb rather confusing, with its use of the word “unravel” as part of the description. The confusion is appropriate, I suppose 😉

No, “ravel” is not a word I’m going to be using in everyday conversation. How about you?

Have you discovered any new words lately? I’d love to hear about them!



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Winter Sun

The temperatures hit freezing again overnight, leaving a sprinkling of crunchy frost to greet us this morning. The sky was clear and blue, calling to me to escape for half an hour, so I put on my knitwear and headed to a nature reserve that I discovered recently, hidden away between a motorway and a housing estate!

I spotted a few creative patterns along the way. How about this path reinforcement?

Or this frozen puddle?

It was only a short walk, but it was lovely to be outside in the winter sunshine. I’ll be back soon!

That’s one new year’s resolution sorted! A good excuse for more knitted accessories? 😉

Have you spotted any inspiring patterns this week? I’d love to hear about them!

Happy new year!


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Finishing off the year

It came as a genuine surprise this week to realise that I only have one knitting project on the needles … No project bags tucked out of sight, no languishing WIPs, no unloved UFOs (unfinished objects). Just one project, and I’m actively working on that one. This, I have to tell you, is unheard of!

This year I have made a conscious effort to work through my projects, and finish – or frog where necessary – those that had been around for a while. Nevertheless I was surprised that I had cleared so many!

Across the Finishing Line this month have been …

1. My rose red long-line cardigan, Water and Stone, which is still a little crinkly from its previous incarnations

2. An enormous Tess d’Urbervilles Shawl made for the Black Country Living Museum’s costume department (free pattern)

3. A 4 ply Wolfie hat (free pattern) as a Christmas gift

4. A Nancy cardigan by Debbie Bliss in Drops Lima – another Christmas present so here’s a sneak preview …

5. A Ramona cardigan by Elizabeth Smith, which had just needed buttons to get it over the Finishing Line – also a Christmas present, so here’s another sneak preview …


The remaining ‘live’ project is the Nutkin socks, the first of which is coming along nicely …

As we head towards the end of the year, I’m enjoying the sense of achievement gained from finishing so many projects and clearing the space for new ideas. There are no prizes for guessing that this single project status is purely temporary! My next knitting project is already planned, so watch this space! 😉

Are you going to be casting off and/or casting on any projects over the Christmas period? I’d love to hear about them 😀

In the meantime, I wish you a peaceful Christmas and happy knitting!




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The sock so far …

I was after a simple sock pattern – not completely plain, but easy enough for everyday knitting. My friend – and knitting guru – had recently recommended Nutkin, a free pattern by Knitzi (available via Ravelry), and I decided to give it a go.

Most of the sock yarn in my stash is self-patterning, as I tend to knit “vanilla” socks while I’m travelling or waiting for appointments, and the multi-coloured hues add a cheerful dimension to the basic stocking stitch sections without the need for a complicated stitch pattern. In this case though, I discovered that my first choice for Nutkin turned out to be too busy for the design, and I wasn’t enjoying it, so it didn’t get further than this …

Regia 4-fädig Indio Color

My second attempt has got off to a better start, using a hand-dyed sock yarn from Artists Palette Yarns …

APY Pebble Sock, 365m, Merino/nylon, hand-painted, Doorstep colourway

The subtle shade changes are much better suited to the gentle waves of the travelling stitch pattern, letting the shapes take centre stage. I have replaced the original turned hem for a standard cuff, and am now well on the way towards the heel section … This is the story so far …

I will let you know how it goes!

Have you had to change yarns this week? I’d love to hear about it!




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Let it snow!

Today’s knitting inspiration was two-fold – the dusting of snow makes me reach for my cosy knitted shawls and mittens, and as the snow settles it creates patterns that could be knitting and crochet designs!

As I write this, the snow is beginning to fall in thick flakes … Brrr … Time to finish off some of those knitting projects, I think!

Let it snow! 😀


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