Thursday, 18 December 2014

Made: Pink socks, stripy PJs and yoga pants, oh my

Since I finished up my gift sewing last week I've been working on finishing a whole pile of different small and/or easy projects.

Hermione's Every Day Socks, in pink and blue yarn
I finally (FINALLY) managed to get my third pair of knitted socks finished up! I cast on the first sock of this pair way back on the 11th of July and initially made really good progress. Then for various reasons, but mainly that I screwed up massively on the gusset and couldn't work up the enthusiasm to rip back to where I could fix it, the first sock ended up lying around untouched for months. I can never bring myself to have more than one knitting project on the go at any given time so I just... didn't knit, I guess, for several months. I eventually did do the ripping back (not nearly as painful as I feared), managed to finish up the first sock, and cast on the second sock on 3rd December. This time it took me exactly two weeks from cast on to toe graft, which is probably a more reasonable estimate of my knitting speed.

The pattern is called Hermione's Everyday Socks (Ravelry link), which is the most popular 4-ply sock pattern on Ravelry. It's the TINIEST of steps up in complexity from the previous two pairs of socks I've finished this year, insofar as the leg and upper foot use a simple texture pattern rather than straight stocking stitch. I freely admit that there's about a hundred mistakes in my knitting in these socks, but I don't care even a little bit! In fact, I am actually really proud of them because even unblocked they looked like ACTUAL SOCKS rather than the weirdly shaped monstrosities that I produced the first time I knitted socks. This yarn is from a pack from Lidl that I bought when I was living in Ireland, called Nina Sock Yarn. You get 200g, enough for 2 pairs of socks, and I think I paid about €5. It's not the greatest yarn (it's a wool, cotton and nylon blend) but it's fine for the price. For my next pair of socks -- and for all I'm so slow, I do love sock knitting -- I've already bought a much nicer cashmere and wool yarn and I'm going to try out a slightly more complicated texture pattern. Baby steps in increasing complexity seems to be what works for me with knitting! However, before I cast on another sock project I'm going to knit some easy big yarn/needle projects as a chaser after weeks of knitting with what feel like toothpicks.

On the sewing front, I made another pair of Butterick 5704 pyjama bottoms, which I previously made two pairs of in very nice 100% cotton shirting. I was all gung ho to make to make this pair as a kind of present to myself (because I'm still sick enough that I'm spending a lot of time in pyjamas) with some really nice fabric. I started trawling my usual sources for a premium cotton or silk/cotton blend. In the end I decided on a really crazy bright floral -- something that I'd never wear out the house but thought I would enjoy wearing as PJs. I snaffled the last 2 units that the vendor had in stock thinking that 2m would arrive and all would be well. Except no, because stupid me, I didn't read the description properly and it turned out it was being sold by the half metre. Since 1m is not nearly enough, that fabric had to just go into stash. I'll make summer PJ shorts from it next year, I guess.

Butterick 5704 PJ pants in a crazy stripy floral. Sorry about all the crap in the shot, I was fed up with them when I took it and couldn't be bothered to take a better photo!
Then I went trawling again, and made mistake number two, which was trusting a description written by a clearly mostly illiterate and/or non-English-speaking eBay seller. The fabric was supposed to be 2m of a premium cotton lawn 140cm wide in this sort of funky floral stripe. In fact when it turned up it was 2 YARDS (1.8m, ugh why, this country is metric) of a weirdly rigid seersucker-ish cotton with a texture strongly reminiscent of the cheap paper towels stocked in the loos at my secondary school, and only 115cm wide. Argh :( I decided I was just going to have to live with it and just BARELY squeaked the PJs out of the fabric I was sent. I had zero hope of matching the side seams with the stripe because I had to put the two pieces going in opposite directions to fit them on the fabric (which, I know it's stupid to worry about side seam matching in PJs, but it would have looked so cute if it had worked). Despite not really feeling like it, I did my usual overkill on construction, including French seams, so at least the sewing on them is good and should last. I just hope the fabric softens up after being washed a few times, though, because ugh, I don't love it. Overall result: disappointing.

Black yoga pants (Burda 11-2005-127)
Next: Yet more yoga bottoms. Previously I have made Silhouette 3400, a straight-legged yoga pant which I like but only in spite of what I find to be an annoying waistband, in purple, and Simplicity 2369, a VERY wide-legged knit trouser pattern, also in pale purple as well as in red. These have all worked out fine, but there's no denying that purple or red trousers have limited wardrobe versatility, even when I mostly only wear them when I'm lurking on my sofa at home all day and care relatively little about being colour-coordinated. I therefore picked up some very rather nice ponte in black and decided to try out a pattern from an old issue of Burda, 11-2005-127. It is a really basic bootcut knit yoga pant that I reduced to an even more simple pattern by omitting the piping on the side seams and the pockets (I hate pockets in knit/elasticated waisted pants, because it makes them sag/fall down if I put anything in them) and simplifying the waistband. As usual with Burda, these went together beautifully. The only thing I have against them is that they are maybe a little bigger than I like through the waist and hip. I made a 44, which is my current Burda size based on measurements, but I'll make a 42 if I make them again.


  1. I love them!

    I hope you left a review for that ebay seller. Grr.

    1. Thanks! I actually didn't leave a review for that eBay seller at all because I am not very good at leaving bad reviews /o\