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A Cosy Sweatshirt Mashup.

Today’s blog is not a moment too soon. It’s Baltic outside at the moment and I need all the layers I can get – especially if they are soft and warm like this!

Let’s talk about the fabric first, as this was partially gifted to me by byGraziela. I fell in love with the Leaf sweatshirt fabric in the Berry colour way, so bold and pretty, and was very kindly sent this to use to make a garment of my choice. To contrast with this I purchased plain jersey for the hood lining and cuff fabric in smoky blue. I love how these colours work so nicely together. The main fabric has a large retro soft dusky pink leaf design on a stunning berry/raspberry coloured background. A random heart can be spotted on some of the leaves which is a really sweet touch. Also, the sweatshirt fabric is brushed on the reverse so is super soft and cosy.

Keep reading to find out about how you can enter a giveaway to win some fabric from byGraziela and a necklace from my shop which I’ll give you details about at the end of this post…

The pattern that I chose to make is a mash-up of two sweatshirt patterns. The Stella Hoodie from the Stretch! book by Tilly Walnes (from Tilly and the Buttons), and the Jarrah sweatshirt pattern (view A) from Megan Nielsen.

I basically used the Stella hoodie pattern from the top down to the underarm seam, and from that point down I used the Jarrah pattern. The reason for this was because the Stella has a long, feminine, more fitted shape to it’s body, and I was after a loose boxy shorter version. I used the Stella in a size 4, and the Jarrah in a size 8. For reference my measurements are 35-29-38 and I am 5’2″.

I have made the Stella Hoodie before, and as I have found with all of Tilly’s patterns, an absolute pleasure to sew. I have also sewn the Jarrah Sweatshirt, but not this version, so was looking forward to seeing them hacked together.

The quality of the fabric is superb, without doubt one of the best quality sweatshirt fabrics that I have ever used. As always when working with knit fabric, I used my walking foot to make sure that both layers of fabric were being fed through the machine without any stretching. I love how colourful the finished sweatshirt is. It’s a happy hoodie for sure!

The final touch is the flat cotton tape which is threaded through the buttonholes at either side of the neck. Don’t be like me and try to feed them through the machine after turning them under( I should know better), they are just too thick. Hand stitch or use another method of finishing.

Today I decided to accessorise with my silver acrylic button necklace. Cute.

It’s been lovely to collaborate with byGraziela on this post, and to celebrate byGraziela and myself are offering some goodies as part of a giveaway over on my Instagram account. You have the opportunity to win 1.5 metres of fabric from ByGraziela and an item of jewellery from my shop! The giveaway will run for three days from the date of this post, so don’t hang around and head on over to my Instagram to find out all the details of how you can enter! Good luck!

*EDIT* – This giveaway has now closed.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Although this post is in collaboration with byGraziela, please know that as always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

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My first knitted jumper – The Posy Sweater from Darling Jadore.

I’m starting the year off with a ‘first’ from me. It’s a blog post sharing with you my very first knitted jumper! Woo hoo!

Now I’m definitely not an expert by any means, quite the opposite, so don’t expect anything too technical – I just want to tell you about this pattern from a beginner’s view point, because as a novice knitter it’s a little daunting to know where to start when you want to move on to bigger projects.

The pattern that I chose to make is The Posy Sweater from Darling Jadore.

I received the pattern and supplies to make it for my Christmas present last year, and at that time I received the ‘premium pattern package’ version which gave me the basic pattern and also included bonus video tutorials to help me through the ‘tricky’ parts of the pattern. Looking at the pattern on the website today, it looks like the pattern just comes with the video tutorials as standard now. Excellent. The video tutorials were an absolute essential for me as up until this point I had only ever knitted a scarf and a simple tea cosy, so I referred to the videos quite a bit throughout the project. They covered every part of the jumper making process that I might have ‘scratched my head’ about and considering I really know very little about knitting, I think it turned out alright.

The best part about this jumper in my opinion and the reason why I chose this pattern to make is the keyhole feature at the back neckline with the ribbon tie. You’ll see from my sewing posts that tie back neckline details on dresses and tops are my absolute fave so why wouldn’t I choose a knitting pattern that has this too?!

The neck band of this jumper is knitted double height and then folded over creating a channel to thread your ribbon through. This way if you want to swap out your ribbon and change it to a different colour for example, you just slip one out and feed the new one through!

The jumper is knitted in the round using circular needles from the top down. The raglan sleeves are added after the body has been knitted by picking up stitches around the armhole that you have kept safe by threading a scrap of yarn through them earlier on.

The worry that I had about being a beginner knitter and making up a big project like this is that it’s all very well when everything is going smoothly, but I have no idea how to correct a mistake if I make one going along. Luckily there are plenty of YouTube videos that are really helpful, but one piece of advice that I received from a friend when I was starting this was to use a ‘lifeline’. This involves threading a scrap piece of yarn through your work, and if you go wrong you can just pull your needles out and tear back to where the lifeline row is. Tricky to explain but it gives you a little peace of mind that if you do go wrong, it’s not the end of the world.

The pattern took me a year to knit just about, and whilst I am a slow knitter some of this is due to the fact that I didn’t pick it up very much at all during the warmer months.

Oh I should perhaps tell you what sort of yarn I used to make it! It’s Knit Craft yarn from Hobbycraft, and it’s called ‘Leader of the Pac’ Aran in the colour charcoal, although looking at the website this colour might be out of stock now.

I did feel a little bit concerned when it came to knitting the cuffs. Because you are knitting in the round, and the cuffs are so tiny, you need to switch over to double pointed needles or use the magic loop technique. Hmm, both methods looked a little scary to me. Double pointed needles look like little chopsticks and I felt worried that I would drop my stitches, I felt that it was too much to try to learn how to use these, so I used the magic loop method (after searching on YouTube of course), and even though I was a bit terrified of ruining the jumper at this final stage, somehow it worked! The video that helped me with this technique was this one here.

The final stage of the project is the blocking. I have no idea what blocking is, but I did it anyway. Ha! Actually I really didn’t know what blocking was until I got to that part of the pattern, so had to look it up. Apparently it enables you to shape your finished garment (whilst wet), into the correct shape and evens up stitch tension and the look of the finished garment – among other things. I soaked my jumper gently in a wool detergent, and very gently pressed it between towels to get most of the water out and then blocked it using long pins on a dry towel on a sunny spot on the floor. I was careful to use a tape measure to makes sure everything was kept to the correct length.

You know me, I have to accessorize with some jewellery. Now that I feel like a grown up knitter I am wearing my knitting jewellery with pride (not that it stopped me before). You can take a peek at my knitting themed brooch and necklace in my shop here and here.

The finishing touch as we all know is the addition of a cute garment label. As this is my cosiest make yet, I had to choose these labels that I purchased from Crafty Pinup.

I hope that these thoughts have been of some use to those of you who are beginners like me. My lovely Aunt who helped me to get going with the scarf and tea cosy always says to me that knitting is easy – it’s just a combination of two stitches really – the knit stitch and the purl stitch. It’s what you do with them that creates the magic.

I fully intend to carry on with this new-found hobby of mine. I have a beret pattern that I would like to give a try, and a couple of cardigans too. So whilst it has been fun talking to you about knitting today, my regular content of mainly sewing will now resume, and I’ll keep you posted every now and again if I knit anything else.

Do you have any beginner jumper pattern recommendations for any newbie knitters out there like me? Please do leave them in the comments so that we can all see them.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and peaceful New Year …

take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x