My summer of Tikki knits

Like many mothers of small children who also knit, I’ve made my fair share of Milo by Georgie Hallam, the sweet little vest that seems to be perennially popular. But it wasn’t until recently when I started following her on Instagram that I discovered the full extent of her fabulous pattern back catalogue found on the Ravelry shop Tikki

And when I did I was hooked. This summer I’ve knitted two of the cardigan designs for my girls.

The first is Jane. A sweet little cardigan with an unusual construction knit from DK weight yarn.I wanted a warm soft cardigan with a v-neck for my middle daughter
(Little Miss)  for school this year. I used Blacker Swan Island overdyed DK in Navy that I bought from Brit Yarn. It is an very, very soft and warm wool, absolutely beautiful stuff.20150826_134500-2

I made a few mods to the pattern, the sleeves I worked to full length (the pattern has elbow length sleeves) and added two more sets of decreases once I had worked the length indicated at the same spacings as directed for the upper arms (where I did all the decreases suggested in the pattern), that has created a lovely tapering sleeve.DSC_0226-2

The pattern sample only meets at the front and has no buttons, I wanted a cardigan that my little girl can button on a cold morning or evening if needed. In school which is overly heated, she never buttons her cardigan, but the morning and evening ride to school can be chilly in winter. I’ve made one size bigger than indicated by her measurement and that together with the fact that she is a thin little miss, means that the front bands can easily overlap on the front. I added four more of the
eyelet patterns that feature in the pattern down one of the moss stitch front bands, that allows the cardigan to close with five buttons, but easily hangs open comfortably most of the time. I backed the front band that has the buttons on it with some navy ribbon with Dala horses on it, it adds a pretty touch that my little girl is very happy with.DSC_0228-2

I’m very happy with how this cardigan turned out. It’s soft and warm and will keep my Little Miss comfortable and cosy at school this year. I’ll be interested to see how it will wear given that the yarn is so very soft, but it seems very strong for all its softness and the pill buster is on hand if needed.  I’ll make a follow up post in a while when I know how it’s fairing.

 

 

 

The second Tikki cardigan that I made this summer is Posy 8ply for my oldest daughter Posy. She is a very tall twelve year old, so the biggest size was too small for her. I had some Hje

rtegarn Lima that I’d bought years ago from Meadow Yarn it’s a light worsted weight, so I thought that if I knitted the biggest size with slightly heavier yarn I’d end up with a cardigan that would fit her and it sort of worked!

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When Danni of Little Bobbins announced her purposeful knit along I was reminded of this yarn and I realised that if I didn’t get it knitted up soon, then she’d have grown to much and I wouldn’t have enough yarn to make a cardigan with full sleeves. I could of course have used the wool for one of her younger sisters, but this colour is SO Posy’s colour that it would seem a shame to not use it for her. I’ve used Hjertegarn Lima a number of times before and have always been happy how it has worn and washed. it’s not superwash which suits me as I prefer to handwash my bigger hand knit items, and although there is some pilling, it cleans off easily and pills considerably less with time.

Other than the yarn, I made no modifications. I also didn’t swatch, which it totally unheard of for me, I usually bang on endlessly to anyone who will listen about the importance of swatching. This cardigan is certainly a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do!’ In the event it has turned out a little big, there is really quite a lot of ease. But she is growing very fast at the moment and it’s certainly not too big for her to wear.This was a lovely pattern to work on, just enough interest to keep me going, but easy enough that I could pick it up and put it down as needed, really that’s my ideal in a pattern.

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How to ensure rain – sew up some shorts

My knitting was pushed to the back burner this week when it became obvious that my biggest girl REALLY needed some new shorts, she’s shot up in height this summer (and her shorts were not).
Shorts for my big girlI chose the Deer and Doe, Chataigne shorts pattern, I ordered the paper pattern, and it arrived within a few days from France. Big girl’s measurements were a size 44 in the waist and a little above 40 in the hips, I chose to trace and make the size 42. The white floral stretch cotton were the first pair that I made; she tried them on before I sewed down the waistband facing and as it gaped at the back, I took about 5cm out of the centre back waist band which improved the fit considerably. For the second pair in the pink needle cord I altered the pattern pieces and took some out of the back leg pieces at the centre back to flow more smoothly into the altered waist band.

I left the leg cuffs off both pairs as I wanted a quickly completed pair of shorts, but the weather has changed to cold and wet today and I’m hoping that I wasn’t too late after all.

button detail

On the first white floral cotton pair I used a coordinating white concealed zip, but for the second pair I constructed a button placket to avoid having to get a pink zip, I’m very happy how it turned out and will probably do the same on the next pair that I make.

All the facings were cut from coordinating scraps of cotton to reduce bulk and for the fun of it. The floral pair has pale blue cotton pocket inners and facings, gleaned from an man’s shirt, the pink pair has a lilac gingham, the left overs from a pair of pyjama trousers that my daughter made for herself.

I’m very happy with how well this pattern went together, it was very well drafted and clear, the instructions are clear and the quality of the pattern paper itself is nice. I chose to trace the pieces as I can see myself making more than one size, both for my daughter as she grows and for myself. The fitting issues that I encountered have more to do with my daughter’s shape than anything wrong with the pattern, and that is always likely to be an issue sewing for a teen.

The shape of these shorts is really lovely, very flattering and easy to wear without being frumpy, I might well make myself a pair with the leg cuffs, given that I’ve not worn shorts for almost twenty years, that’s an indication of how fabulously flattering I think the cut of these shorts is!

pocket lining detail

My next project is going to be this pattern with an extended leg to make cropped trousers for her using the scalloped edge instructions.

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