Fair Isle Jumper by Anna Wilkinson

Hello,

For years I’ve wanted to knit myself a complete garment, but have always been too scared. I’m fairly confident when it comes to knitting as with most things nowadays, I can just look on YouTube for videos on stitches I don’t know. But just the thought of sewing up all those pieces of knitting, making lumpy seams and pieces not quite matching up, makes me cringe!

I had however, been thinking over the idea of actually committing to knitting a jumper or cardigan for a few months, since joining a new knitting group; but it was when I came across ‘Learn to Knit, Love to Knit’ at work by Anna Wilkinson I realised I’d found the perfect pattern to use for my first ever garment.

I chose the Fair Isle band sweater with short sleeves as the style looked really simple and modern, yet with a vintage-y kind of look to it. My thinking was that the main body of the jumper looked pretty much ‘straight up and down’ as I like to say, and the sleeves were only short, so how hard could that be?! I’ve never ever attempted fair isle though, but again the band was only about 20 rows so I thought I might as well give it a go while I’m at it. Fair isle is something I’ve only ever dreamed of knitting, it completely baffles me how all the different yarns come together in a tangle, to create something so effective. Surely only the seriously skilled knitter could achieve that!

But after a good few months, some serious pulling out, tears and joy I’ve finally finished my first ever jumper, yay!

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As always my yarn choice led me to Mrs Moon to get some Rooster Almerino DK, my favourite yarn to knit/crochet with, in shades of smoothie and starfish. I opted to not go for the yarn suggested in the pattern as I was to eager to get started. Bright orange and pink aren’t usually colours I wear and after I’d finished the jumper I wish I’d maybe chosen mustard instead, but somehow they go well with each other.

I found the main body of the jumper to be fairly easy, even after the taffle of the fair isle band, the pattern was well set out so that I understood exactly how to tackle it. My tension was a bit off, but I’d say not a bad job for my first attempt. It wasn’t till all the pieces were sewn up that you get the full effect of the fair isle.

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The neckline was a pain to pick up, particularly with it being the first time I’ve used a circular needle,  I must have tried about three times and in the end I had to go round the entire neckline and drop each individual stitch and pick it up the right way once I had knitted a few rows of the rib.

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I found sewing the seams to be surprisingly easy for once, I’ve always had such bad experiences with sewing up seams it didn’t seem right. The shoulder seams were a bit tricky and not the best example of my knitting, but the side and sleeve seams actually look pretty good if I may say so myself; the side seams are almost invisible.

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So there’s my first jumper completed and now I can’t wait to get started on another. I’d really like to try and challenge myself with more fair isle, but I think I’ll just stick to something simple again. Learn to Knit, Love to Knit is a really lovely knitting book with jumpers and cardigans that are actually wearable for someone my age – it’s well worth a flick through!

Chow x

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April Showers

Hello!

So in true British tradition, the April showers have arrived and a little of the Sahara Desert. But that didn’t stop us going out and braving the weather this weekend.

Normally I have my non-working weekend, planned to a tee, but this weekend, was quite last minute. I’d heard about the Selvedge Spring Fair from a colleague at work, so we headed down to the Chelsea Old Town Hall for a well needed craft fair.

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I don’t know what was more exquisite, the beautiful hall in which the fair was held, or the work and creations of the stall holders. It was a really inspirational fair, the detail and quality of the exhibitors was amazing. I can only hope to one day match up to the standard of work that we saw at the fair.

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On the walk down to the fair, we passed a little food market, so of course we had to stop by and sample some food.

I always find it so hard to choose what to eat at food fairs and markets, sometimes there can be too much choice. In the end we plumped for a scrummy looking duck sarnie.

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Remembering a recent tweet from @Londonist, we quickly found where to head next… First Saturday’s is quite obviously held on the first Saturday of the month, at Lime Wharf near Cambridge Heath. We’ve not visited much of Hackney, so when we turned up we weren’t sure what to expect.

Lime Wharf, is as described by themselves – a lovely little creative hub at the heart of Hackney, bringing people together through some good grub and creativeness. Armed with a good cuppa, we sat down and passed the time with a bit of cross stitch (I really don’t think Luke woke up expecting to dabbling in cross stitch). The free textile workshop was led by Jennie Fagerstrom, with Silvana from Beyond Fabrics and Sami from Teasemade – thank you guys!

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After that we headed down to Broadway Market with a drink at one of the local pubs to check out the Grand National results. It was our first year to place a bet, but alas, no win for us! We didn’t mind all that much, it was fun enough just to choose the horses and join in with the oohs and ahhs in the pub.

Later on, we wined and dined at The Clapton Hart, which is a great pub in the Hackney area, serving up some good drinks and very good food!

Sunday saw the weather turn even more miserable, but we still turned out to see the Boat Race. We picked a good spot in Barnes and managed to brave the cold for a few hours to cheer the rowers on. It was great to get involved in such an infamous event and we just so happened to be supporting the winners, well done Oxford!

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Miserable, huh?!

This weeks mission – the London Marathon. I’m hoping to get the Mo-bot out and catch a good glimpse of Mo doing his thing!

Chow x