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January 04, 2012


And so the final finished project for 2011 is here! I wore it for the first time on New Years Eve to a knitterly lunch, and Knitabulous took some pics for me afterwards.

Pattern: Elspeth by Laura Long, available for free from the Rowan website (You'll need to be a member to get the pattern, but it's free to join)
Size: Small
Yarn: The sadly discontinued Calmer in Plum, pattern called for 4 balls, I only used 3.
Needles: 4.5mm
New Techniques for me: Crochet! Rosered came into the shop one day, and showed me how to do the double crochet and the picot edging.
Mods: I changed the crochet edging around the outer edge, but did it the way the pattern said around the sleeves. It worked fine on the sleeves, but when I did it around the bolero edge, it went all wavy. I emailed Rosered and she suggested a few decreases and picots only every third dc instead of every second. It's sitting better now, but I like the look of the sleeves better! I think it that my tension might have played a part too - I always go down a needle size in knitting, maybe I should have done the same with the crochet hook.
I also didn't bother with the picots on the ties, it seemed a little silly to me!

Otherwise, exactly as the pattern says.

And I love it! I really love Calmer, and I'm so glad I managed to stash some away before it's lost forever. I'm usually not a fan of acrylic at all, but this blend is s o soft and squishy, it's a delight to work with, and to wear.

It's been mentioned to me by a couple of people that I should be blogging my sewing exploits as well as my knitting.
I mention it now because the dress I'm wearing with my Elspeth is one of the more recent ones that I've made. Unfortunately, I can't give you pattern information or anything, because it's a mock up of about three different patterns, and some shirring on the back. Shirring is my new sewing love. Easy, easy, easy! I used this tutorial to learn how, and it's great! Shirring just the back of the bodice is good - no need for zips or buttons, helps with a great fit due to the elasticity and is relatively easy to boot!

This isn't a great picture, but it gives you a better view of the bodice. The fabrics is a lovely light weight cotton I got from Calico & Ivy.

In other news, my yarn arrived for my Ella coat!

The colours are perfect - the colour in the picture is a little off, the pick is a gorgeous raspberry pink. The Shepherd's Wool is divine - maybe the softest pure wool I've ever played with. Gorgeous! Now to swatch...

Posted by Donna at January 4, 2012 07:22 PM


Yay for crochet! Heh heh. Looks great and dress looks like it was made to go with it (I wonder why, ha!) no matter how easy you say shirring is, I say wow! Clever clogs!

I can't believe you are making a coat! Another wow!

Posted by: RoseRed at January 4, 2012 09:30 PM

If I didn't have to limit the amount of yarn that comes into the apartment these days (due to not knitting the earlier stuff as fast as I acquired it), I would totally own a whole cabinet of Shepherd's Wool. I knit a hat out of it a year ago, and it was utterly divine. I'm positive you'll enjoy that part of the experience.

Posted by: sprite at January 5, 2012 12:53 AM

Happy New Year!! Both the sweater and the dress are lovely! I might steal your idea of shirring just the back of a dress...

Posted by: monica at January 5, 2012 02:15 AM

The dress and the cardi are perfect - more sewing exploits please!

Posted by: Ingrid at January 5, 2012 05:02 AM

cant wait to see the coat start to take shape. you looked really lovely on NYE, those two items worked so well together. im in awe of your sewing abilities. and im so surprised by Calmer as well, im really enjoying working with it and its just sooo soft, unlike most of the cotton we have access to here. stupid rowan for discontinuing :(

Posted by: drk at January 5, 2012 07:57 AM

The dress and sweater look great together!

Posted by: Suzanne at January 5, 2012 10:23 AM

i love me some shirring too! makes the fit so much better, and gives one room to breathe.

Elspeth is lovely - perfect for this time of year

Posted by: kgirlknits at January 5, 2012 10:25 AM

You will love the Shepherds wool it is very local to me and I love it. Very warm, only complaint is that it pills. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Posted by: Karen at January 5, 2012 12:08 PM

Happy New Year! I'd love to see more of your sewing. I bought a Collette pattern just before Christmas. Finished it in a few hours. Thanks for your help with the button hole foot via Twitter!! I'm going to learn to sew more things this year.

Posted by: Lien at January 5, 2012 04:45 PM

That dress is beautiful! And your Elspeth - wow. The crochet really does just finish it off, doesn't it? It's such a lovely pattern in a beautiful colour.

And a coat - wow, you're brave. Good luck!

Posted by: Shelley at January 5, 2012 06:47 PM

Both Elspeth and the dress are lovely! Yay for RoseRed and Knitabulous!

Posted by: Lynne at January 5, 2012 09:16 PM

Wow, the dress and the cardi go so beautifully together, a completely bespoke outfit... you're a clever girl, Miss Random!

Posted by: Zena at January 7, 2012 12:09 PM