Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Knitter sweater

Greetings earthlings readers! Tell me, have you been reading Karen's tips on blog writing? I've long admired the writerly and editorial skill with which she crafts her posts, and I'm finding this mini-series inspiring. True fact: when I was a kid (and in fact not-so-secretly still) all I ever wanted to be was a Writer: capital W, obvs, I'm talking about actual Literature here (capital L). Anyway, Karen said out loud what I've believed all along, which is that of course, not all writing has to be Literature. Us blogging seamsters?  We're writers already! And you know what? If someone in publishing said it, it TOTALLY counts. Childhood ambition: achievement unlocked!

So yay, there I was, all fired up and inspired to tell you a story.  But ok, it turns out that 37 year-old me runs into the same problem as 7 year-old me. Sometimes, you just don't have much of a story to tell.

Totally had not realised how not-black my black leggings are these days.

I made a sweater.

I love it.

The End.

Ok, not The End.  I'm presuming you want details :-)

I also presume you've already guessed the biggest one, due to this pattern's total ubiquity at the moment: yes of course - it's a Grainline Linden sweatshirt.  Plain black, because I happened to have 5 metres of this lusciously stretchy sweatshirting on hand (and will totally make matching Hudsons with the rest!) and then tarted up a bit, because why not?  Though actually, I can think of many reasons not to emblazon a slogan across your boobs. I don't think I've ever before bought or worn a top embellished in such a way. Partly a placement thing: rtw slogans don't so much splash across my boobs so much as splurge between boobs and neck, and that does not look cool (it looks ridiculous). Also, what slogan? I'm not exactly going to shout BABE with my bust, or something.

But I had this silver sparkly fusible flocking. I found it in Hema and couldn't just leave it there.  And the idea of slogan-ing this sweater wouldn't let go - all I needed was a word I could wear, if not with pride then at least without embarrassment.

Once I had one, all it took was a few hours minutes of font-finding, fifteen minutes to cut it out with a craft knife, and five minutes more to iron it on.

Now, can I brag shamelessly about that piping? (It's stretch piping btw, found in a local shop and compulsively bought for the novelty value).  Here's an underarm seam junction for you, from the inside:

And here it is again, from the outside:

BAM! See that join?  PERFECT! << Little smug happy dance >>  I don't know what it is about matching up seams, but I am quite obsessive about it. In the rarely-visible armpit region, I will usually allow seams to not line up with absolute precision - but on this, with contrast piping involved, I would have got the heebie jeebies if they didn't. Seriously. (Sometimes I do worry about whether sewing is actually good for my mental health).

Ah, tea and knitting. These two things in combination can cure almost all ills.  Except the one where you rip out your attempted thumb gusset six times before getting it right.  Then it gets a bit love-hate. Sometimes, wine is needed.

I got there in the end, and conquered second glove syndrome while I was at it. I'll have a pair by the end of winter! Or more like AT the end of winter, but they'll be happy enough in a box until next year.

So, that's that. A knitter sweater. It goes without saying that I've made more Lindens, doesn't it? I'm experimenting with sizing: this one is a size 6 at the shoulders with a 2cm full bust adjustment (slightly fiddly, as you're also adjusting the length of the sleeve seam - would anyone be interested in a quick'n'dirty raglan FBA tute?), and I graded out to a 12 at the waist/hips.  For my subsequent two Lindens I've made a straight size 12 - they're a bit boxier than this, but slightly more comfortable - this one pulls a little at the shoulders. I'll show you them soon; this pattern has so much scope for customising, they're both completely different. The one I'm wearing right now is a rather unexpected view B...

Would you, or do you, wear slogans on sweaters?  And how do you feel about embellishments?  I've rarely tried them before, but now I think I'm a convert!


  1. This sweatshirt is SO GOOD!!!!! Who knew stretch piping existed?! Not me! xx

  2. Ooh I'm not ashamed to admit the one rtw item I miss is a sloganned tee. My fave is a tatty old white tee purchased years ago from a Monoprix stylishly emblazoned with the words 'Je suis une' and don't I STILL feel endlessly chic in it despite knowing deep inside it came from a French supermarket in Montpellier rather than a Parisian boutique....bit of a wanker really.... Very very nice seam matching btw.

  3. I need to pass by Hema on the way home I think! :)
    I like slogans but now I probably mostly where them on canvas bags. But I really wanted to add a slogan to the back of my Rigel bomber actually!

    I think your 'knitter' slogan is lovely. It just adds an interesting touch that will set people's minds wandering when you pass by them - and if you pass other knitters they will give you a nod of recognition!

    I've also been enjoying Karen's posts! And I think you have shared some good stories today!

  4. huisje boompje boefjesFebruary 25, 2015 7:01 pm

    Fantastic sweater, yes to matching hudsons! Ow and love your shoes!

  5. Thanks Zoe! Yes I was totally shocked by the piping too, I had to invent an excuse to use it just because I was intrigued! I have no idea whether it worked better than normal piping would have done though, really :-)

  6. Haha slogans in French are the best aren't they? And definitely très chic - no-one needs to know where it came from :-)

  7. Yes, bags with slogans are very cool too! So many ideas, so little time... Hema has all sorts of excellent craft stuff lurking in the aisles, and it varies with the seasons too so there's always something new and shiny to try. The glitter foil was there before Christmas but I'm hoping it was a permanent new thing because I'd love to put it on everything! Just try to escape without too many biscuits...

  8. I love it Jo!! I would definitely wear a slogan like this - I love that you chose knitter. And the piping is awesome! I would totally be interested in an FBA tutorial if you're will to share. Bring on more Lindens!!

  9. Thanks! I got the shoes for running, but when they arrived I immediately decided they were for fashion purposes only :-)

  10. I'm not sure whether my last comment sent, so apologies if you receive this twice. I'd love a tute on a raglan FBA, as yesterday I found fabric suitable for a wearable toile in Montmartre, so I'm now ready to embark on a raglan sweatshirt dress, knowing I should be attempting a FBA. I love the sweatshirt you've made (and your shoes!) Thanks in advance.

  11. I noticed they also sell Caramac chocolate bars! I'm powerless before them!

  12. Extra bonus points for using both hot pink and silver glitter in one sweater! I can also relate to the misplacement (is that an actual English word?) of slogans on RTW. It probably depends on what size said boobs are ☺️ For that same reason I'd love to hear about your fba on this Linden raglan affair..measurements tell me I need one! Those shoes are fabulous. Total hipster street cred.

  13. This is a nice sweatshirt, and beautifully sewn!


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