Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Audrey....or Lucy?

Yesterday evening I was working on the bottom inch of Isabel's plum version of the Audrey Coat and watching a Lucy Worsley documentary on the Regency. I often knit and watch documentaries--they're not so engrossing that I have to catch every single moment, but they're interesting enough to get me through the boring bits (like the bottom half of the coat). Lo and behold, there Lucy appeared in a plum coloured wool coat complete with wide collar, big buttons, and (yes!) a back pleat. To see the coat in action, with its gracefully swinging pleat, go to minute 42:27 and watch Lucy mount the steps of the train.
According to Lucy's blog post from 2013, "My purple coat is in fact my favourite. I wore it in ‘Elegance and Decadence, The Age of the Regency’ and it came from LK Bennett (though had to be extensively cut down at the tailor’s, because LK Bennett make clothes for goddesses, not gnomes like me.) You can’t see it in this view [a photo taken from the front], but it has a kind of cocoon shape with a very clever pleat down the back."
I guess nothing is ever really new in fashion!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Diving In

On Thursdays I often attend a knit night at the local Portsmouth Tavern, organized by SABLE. The trouble with this is that the pub is dark and noisy, and it's almost impossible to work on anything large or anything that requires concentration. So, the purple Audrey did not accompany me last night. Instead, I dove in to "Diving In". I saw a knitter wearing one of these in a local yarn shop a few weeks ago, and it's been on my mind ever since. The version I saw was in lively turquoise and apple green alpaca, but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a photo of it on the knitter's project page. Although I rarely knit other designer's patterns, this one appeals because it's in recipe format (like my own Modern Gansey). Plus, it's perfect for those single skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn hanging around one's stash. Here's what I launched last night:

The brick red with black flecks is from Dyeing for Colour Fibre Works, based in not-too-far-off Trenton, ON.
Today is St. Patrick's Day. I always make Irish soda bread to celebrate, and I always use this tried and true classic recipe.

At this moment the aroma in the house is divine. The bread should be cool by lunchtime. We're back to above-freezing daytime temps, and our recent snow is melting.

It being a Friday in conjunction with St. Patrick's Day, no doubt there will be some partying in the nearby student ghetto (sorry, but I simply refuse to use the more politically correct "student village"). Seventeen kegs were confiscated from a house on Earl St. yesterday, so it seems as though the police are ahead of the game. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


It seems that March is the new winter.

We are receiving payback from Mother Nature for our blissfully mild February. Fortunately, we are only on the edge of the blizzard working its way up the east coast, so only 25 cm is predicted here. Mostly, this event is about blowing snow. A day to spend indoors, doing you know what--knitting. And probably taxes. It's that time of the year.
What's on my needles?

It's an Audrey coat for Isabel in a soft plum colour. This seems to be the year of purple (think of the Fusion cardigan I recently completed for her). I may go with the same green as I used in my own version for the pocket linings. We are talking about buttons too. Striped, perhaps?
Oh yes, I almost forgot to take note of the fact that we have signed on to another house purchase. In June, we'll be moving to the west side of Queen's University, still close to the lake, and to a relatively modern (1907) Arts and Crafts bungalow, fully renovated. Pictures to come...

Friday, March 3, 2017

Audrey Coat: First Photos

These are rather rough photos, not helped by the grey on grey colour scheme. This is a garment that really needs to be photographed on a human being. It's a bit too heavy to dangle comfortably from a coat hanger. Nevertheless, here it is. I've been living in it since it fell off the needles last week.

The pattern is written up and test knitting is in progress. Thanks, testers. Here's my own test. See?

And, because I want an acid green scarf to go with the coat, here's one in progress,

knitted in the brainless but beautiful "Farrow Rib". Every row K2, p1, worked over a multiple of 3 stitches. Not elastic, but perfect for a mohair scarf. Yarn is Katia's "Ingenua".

Monday, February 27, 2017

Testing, Testing...

The "Audrey Coat" is almost ready for test knitting. The pattern intro reads as follows:

Let’s face it, even with global warming, Canada is a cold place to live for much of the year. We need all the woolly help we can get. This almost knee-length coat is here to the rescue! Wear it indoors or out, in the city on your way to work, or in the country for spring or fall walks. The deep back pleat and wide collar give the coat a flattering silhouette. And because it’s knitted from the top down, you can easily customize the length. The Lopi wool has a surprising drape as well as a lovely halo after wet blocking. This is a quick knit with minimal finishing and echoes of early 1960s style.

Here are a few more teasers.

As usual, if you're interested in being a tester, write to me on Ravelry, username emccarten.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Exceeding Expectations

Some designs just fall off the needles. This one has, for sure, and it has completely exceeded my expectations. Here's a closeup of the pocket, with my handmade buttons off to the right.

This is going to be one of those knits that I'll be living in until the warm weather arrives--sooner than usual this year, if the migrating geese are any indication!

Friday, February 24, 2017

If You Can't Buy It, Make It

My coat, which is blocking (and might take a week to dry), needs buttons. You'd think that with my vast button collection, there'd be something that suits it, and there is--sort of. But I'm not charged up about the choices. The pocket linings are in a soft greeny/gold.

So, I decided to take matters into my own hands (literally) and have a go at making polymer clay buttons. Here's what came out of my oven earlier this aft.

The poison green mohair to the left is calling to me just now. It must be the premature arrival of spring (not that anyone's complaining!) New scarf?