This is the first version of a sweater pattern I’ve devised for M. I’ve named it ‘Queen Bess’ due to the influence of Elizabethan fashions on the design- hence the ruff-style collar, puff sleeves and smocking. It was actually quite pleasingly simple to knit, despite its quite intricate looking finish, with a top-down construction where the only fiddle is expanding the smock stitch into the increases round the yoke. It also has the advantage of being cosy without being bulky, thanks to the k3 p2 rib it’s based on.
As I have the possibly over-ambitious plan of publishing the pattern on Ravelry I’m now having to do the maths to work out how to make it in at least two more sizes. To this end, I’m going to try out the next size up so that M can have it for next winter and rather than the usable but dull acrylic I found in my stash for the prototype, I’ve invested in some rather beautiful Dazzle DK from the Natural Dye Studio (colourway is ‘Wisteria’, a kind of pinky-purple and I got it here). British Blue Faced Leicester, dyed without heavy metals or other nasties. Yum! Yes it’s handwash and yes, it’s for a baby but following reassurances given by other online knitting mums, I’m going to go with the theory that its easy enough to swoosh a few handknits in the sink with wool wash every now and then, and that if its worth my care and attention to knit, its worth knitting it in nice yarn.
How can someone with so many packing boxes marked ‘craft stuff’ (no, they still aren’t unpacked yet, but the day is getting closer), of which at least 50% is yarn stash, keep running out? Having more or less conquered the body of the long running saga that is the Pirate Sweater, I’ve now run out of Rowan British Breeds BFL before I’ve finished the sleeves or the pocket edgings or the hood (this last may be an optional extra, haven’t decided yet).
While I was deciding where to get more I thought I’d start on another idea for a child’s sweater design I’d had. Hmmm, seem to remember posting a couple of weeks back that this year I was going to concentrate on making things for the home rather than clothes- oops! Anyway, this sweater is going to be for M and is already christened ‘Little Queen Bess’ for it’s Elizabeth I influences- a frilled, ruff-like collar, smocked upper body and puffed sleeves. As I was just trying out the idea before finding some nice, preferably British produced, DK yarn to make the proper version, I picked up a ball of what I’m fairly sure is acrylic yarn from my stash. I thought there would be enough, but surprise, suprise, I got to the arms and found myself knitting slower and slower as the ball dwindled to nothing. I burrowed through the packing boxes and found all sorts of cream coloured yarn, which was all either too yellowy or too white. Eventually I realised that the yarn was leftover from some teacosies I’d made, including one that hadn’t sold in the Folksy shop and so had found it’s way into our kitchen….Yes, that’s right, I’m unravelling the teacosy to complete the sweater, having to avoid the tea-stained sections where necessary. Such is the lot of the cash-strapped knitter!