FO: The Uncommon Boxy

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This title is a bit funny, as this pattern is anything but uncommon! There are nearly 4000 versions of this on Ravelry already!

I finished this a while ago and have worn it as much as I could before the weather got to warm. I am talking about the infamous Boxy which I knitted in a gorgeous green colour way by “The Uncommon Thread”, which I talk about here.

This pattern is a sea of stockinette which made it a perfect travel project. I cast this on on new year’s day if I remember correctly and it did take me a while to finish, but that was mostly because until you get to the upper body where some clever detail is hidden it is just  stockinette for hours.

It is a great pattern to try a fade on or use a variegated yarn. You basically make a rectangle and the some magic happens that I don’t really remember and suddenly you add the neckline ribbing and sleeves and you are done.

The bit I am sort of annoyed about is not thinking about the fact that the yarn was hand-dyed and I should have knitted with alternate balls throughout to blend the colour but I have a subtle colour blocked version of this now, which is also fine.

My favourites bits are the detail at the top of the shoulders and along the back. It is a nice touch and makes the pattern more exciting to knit right at the end. I feel like Joji is very clever like that. She makes beautiful addictive to knit patterns that are accessible and fun to make. You still feel like you are learning something.

The only amendment I made was make the sleeves full length. I felt like for my wardrobe this was a better choice, but since I made the jumper I want to make more versions of it so I may also try the recommended sleeve length on those. 🙂

This was a major success and it goes so well in my wardrobe. I can’t believe it has taken me two years to start this knit. If you are thinking about it, knit it now. You won’t regret it. 😀

 

Review: The Uncommon Thread – BFL Fingering

I am new to yarn reviews and have previously only reviewed the yarn Spaced Cadet by Countess Ablaze. I very much fell in love with that super chunky yarn and this is a similar love story.

Having previously mostly been buying grey and mustard colour ways and maybe the odd orange, I kept eyeing up this lovely green yarn in my local yarn store. I had knitted with The uncommon thread before and loved it, so I knew the yarn would be good quality but I felt like I couldn’t buy it without a project in mind. Then suddenly a potential match made in heaven occurred to me using the BFL Fingering for the Boxy by Joji.

I cast on the second size and slowly but surely fell in love with this yarn. The colour is great and it is sort of semi solid with very dark spots and almost lime green speckles. The twist gives it structure and supports the lovely stitch definition. It has a certain hardiness to it while being soft enough to wear against the skin.

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The Uncommon Thread is a small indie company in Brighton, England which at its heart wants to be eco friendly and sources from small mills, resulting in some limited edition bases. From their about page:

I aim to source a few unusual, British breed yarns that are often limited editions. These are spun in small mills from small flocks and are very special. But here you’ll also find luxury fibres, such as cashmere, silk, alpaca and merino for your knitting pleasure.

I am very passionate about the environment and aim to minimise the impact I have on it. I simmer the yarns for a long time so that as much dye as possible can bond with the fibres, rather than going down the drain. Our mailing bags are 100% biodegradable and our tags made from 100% post consumer waste – not only that, they are beautiful too! Our British breeds yarns are spun locally, so have few ‘wool miles’ and some are even spun in a mill partly powered by water.

This particular yarn has been a joy to knit. It has body to it while not being stiff and it also has movement while not being flimsy. It really is a great all round yarn and I cannot wait to wear my boxy in the colder weather!

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WIPs: January 2018

Wow so it is already nearly mid January! How did that happen!?

My last post in 2017 detailed my plans for the year. So far I have actually cast on one of the things from the list, namely the Boxy! It is a LOT of knitting stockinette to start with but it is the kind of thing I need right now, having started the year unwell and trying to settle back into work.

The yarn I am using is by The Uncommon Thread in BFL in an amazing green. Last year may have been the year of me knitting with loads of grey, and this year it may be the colour green’s turn.

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Because I also cast on a selfless knit in a lovely Teal of Malabrigo Rios. I do not have pictures of this selfless knit yet. It is a hat for a friend. The pattern is Seathwaite and it is free. It has some lovely cables and a nice simple way of doing a doubled brim.

Apart from this I still have the same two unmoved WIPs from December in my line. The Starting Point shawl and the Timely Cardigan. I do still like the idea of having these as makes in my accessories and clothing wardrobe so I have not given up yet. 🙂

How has your knitting year started?

The Skiff hat

This pattern by Brooklyn Tweed has been on my list for ages and beginning of 2017 I finally bought the pattern and gave it a go.

I have since made 2 versions. Initially I put the pattern off because it suggests a tubular cast on that I was petrified off. The instructions always read like nonsense to me, but following Brooklyn Tweed’s version of it made sense and came out rather nice, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Version 1: Skiff hat in Hedhegogfibres Merino DK

For my 30th I got a voucher for YAK and I bought a couple of skeins in this awesome yarn. I loved the colour way if you can call it that and it is so soft. I was worried that the speckles detract from the design of the hat but there are several versions on ravelry using speckled yarn that I really liked so I gave it a go.

The pattern actually calls for worsted weight yarn, but I had read that it knits up rather slouchy and my head circumference is rather small so I thought a DK is a good attempt to make it fit. I never swatch for hats as they so far have always been to big, so I tend to go down a needle size either way.

Knitting the pattern was a joy, if you like reading from charts. I do actually like charts or don’t mind them. It also felt like I levelled up as a knitter as I started to understand the cabled details and did not have to check what every symbols means each time I encountered it. Whoop!

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As a finished object I like the hat a lot. It blocked really big though, even using a DK yarn, so I chucked it into the tumble dryer for a bit and that seemed to help. I am not suggesting everyone try this. I was just giving it a go. The yarn is very soft and drapey, probably adding to the slouchy ness. It is great though for my morning commute covering pony tail and headphones.

 

Version 2: The uncommon Skiff

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This yarn is also from YAK. I think from my first visit to the shop ever. I previously knitted another brooklyn tweed pattern in the yarn and loved how the cables came out, so I thought I would try this in the Skiff hat too.

If you ever get a chance to knit with the Everyday Worsted Yarn by the Uncommon thread, give it a go. I personally love it! It has great stitch definition and elasticity. Even though this was worsted weight yarn the hat seems to be tighter. I think because it does not drape like the merino did.

Overall this pattern is a great one to challenge you but not too much that you get frustrated. If you wanted to make a cabled hat I highly recommend this one or why not start with my other cabled favourite (which is free), the Seathwaite? 🙂

Bray Cap

 

Knitting Bray Cap

In September of 2015 I started to commute to London on a regular basis for work, which means I spend around 3 hours on average in a train. I often spend this time reading for work or finishing documents but also started knitting, especially hats as they are small and portable and often the patterns are easy enough remember to knit.

One of those projects was Brooklyn tweed’s Bray Cap.

I would describe myself as an advanced but fearless beginner when it comes to knitting. So this hat was a challenge for me the first time round. I had not done any sort of lace knitting and only basic cable knitting before this.

Version 1: Bray Cap in Malabrigo Rios

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The first version I made, I used a dark blue Malabrigo Rios yarn that I bought in Brighton from YAK. I followed the instructions (or tried to), but did not do the tubular cast on. I am yet to try the tubular cast on to be fair. What I did was use the provisional cast on as described here and made a folded brim. I have a small head so a folded brim tends to fit me better.

As you can see I did the first big horseshoe cable wrong but I loved the effect so much and then felt really stupid when I looked at other finished hats.

The yarn was great to work with and had a nice shimmer to it. I had a brief shock moment when I realised that the hat was unravelling from the top but using a crochet hook I managed to fix it.

Here I am wearing the hat in Iceland in July this year.

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Version 2: Bray Cap in The Uncommon Thread Lush WorstedIMG_7040_small2

This second version is actually flawless knitting wise which is the first time ever this has happened to me. I normally miscount at some point. But After nearly 2 years of frequent knitting I am starting to be able to read the knitted fabric as I go along and it is really helped me to make sure I am not messing the pattern up as I go.

This version I knitted using smaller needles for the brim than the pattern suggests, for a closer fit. I also added a pom pom and used up every single bit of my skein in the process which is a nice feeling too.

The yarn I used was The Uncommon Thread in lush worsted which I bought at Loop London. The colour way is a Loop shop exclusive if I remember correctly. I love the The Uncommon Thread yarns a lot. They are very nice to knit with and make some lovely cables.

The only issue I had was that when I blocked this hat, it became massive. So I made the hat a bit damp again and briefly chucked it into the dryer. This made it go back to a perfect size.

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It was nerve wrecking, chucking something into the dryer but so worth it. I have worn this hat exclusively for a week now.

Question: Have you ever saved your knitting by chucking it in the dryer?