Cropped Burnt Top

Last summer I knitted Burnt from Indigo by Kim Hargreaves in a gorgeous green shade of Rowan Cotton Glace.

It was a lovely fit – but I wanted to wear it tucked into skirts and it felt too bulky/warm around the waist and hips for that. So I decided to crop it!

I unpicked the side seams, picked up the row of stitches just after the hip decreases and chopped the bottom section off. I then knitted a reverse st st edge to match the neckline and sleeve edges.

I’m much happier with it – it feels a lot cooler and more comfortable. I love the style and the fit so I’ve also cast on a black version which will be a similar length. 

I’m looking forward to sewing some comfy summer skirts to go with my summer tops!

Merry Jumper Dress

Thank you for all your blog feedback last week! It’s been really helpful and has confirmed that regular readers enjoy a weekly blog and are happy to see everything (new patterns, events, my finished makes & life stuff) across everywhere ( blog, social media and in my newsletter)!

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Following on from you wanting to see my finished makes… I finished my first make-nine-2020 garment!

The pattern is Merry from Kim Hargreaves Winter Blooms and I’ve wanted to knit it for ages! The book is now discontinued but there are some copies available for sale or trade on Ravelry.

It’s knitted in Rowan Kid Classic which is one of my favourite yarns – it’s so light and fluffy, but also lovely and warm. This shade is Mulberry and it’s absolutely gorgeous – it’s like a ripe and juicy Victoria plum.

And yes… it’s huge! It’ll be super comfy and cosy for working at home and mooching around in. I made the smallest size, but added a bit of length. Because it’s so wide, the extra length ate up quite a bit of yarn and I needed an extra ball just for the neckline which was very kindly gifted from Ippikin (thanks Molly!).

So my make-nine-2020 has gotten off to a slow start… how’s yours going?

Esme Cardigan

I finally finished my Esme Cardigan!Esme Cardigan by Kim Hargreaves | Jem Weston blog

I’m not exactly sure when I started knitting it, but I do know that it was on both my make-nine-2018 and 2019 plans. It didn’t actually take too long but I knitted many other things throughout (including all the samples for Cosy Alpaca Knits!).

I’m thrilled with it. And yes… I do already have other teal cardigans! My Frankie cardie is more of a summer garment because I can’t get my winter coat over the sleeves. And I wasn’t wearing my Wave cardie – so I decided to let it go and Esme is the replacement.

Esme is knitted in Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace stranded together, which creates a beautifully light and fluffy fabric. The pattern is in Grace by Kim Hargreaves.

I knitted the smallest size, but added a bit of length (I have a long body) and I also blocked out the width a bit so that it’s not snug across the hips.

Esme Cardigan by Kim Hargreaves | Jem Weston blog

I decided that it would be unreasonable for this cardigan to be part of my make-nine for a third year! But it was a WIP so it means I’m sticking to my 2020 rule…

How are your 2020 knits going so far?

Burnt by Kim Hargreaves

I finished a thing! I’ve been fitting it in around other things but the actual knitting time was really quick.

I’ve had this Rowan Cotton Glace for ages so I’m really excited to have finally used it. The pattern is Burnt by Kim Hargreaves from Indigo and I love the simplicity of the shape.

The darts created by decreasing and increasing within the rib give a really flattering fit – but I had to make some alterations. I started working from the medium size then added in extra decreases at the edges so from the waist upwards it’s worked as the small size. I’m so happy with how that worked out – it fits perfectly!

I do love a keyhole at the back… and I happened to have a button in the perfect shade of green which was lucky. I’m tempted to make a cropped version that sits on the waist – maybe next summer!

Thanks again Constance for motivating me with your Kim Hargreaves knit-along!

Yarn provided by Rowan.

Kim Hargreaves Knit-along (with Stitching Over The Days)

If you’ve been following me for a while then you will know that I LOVE Kim Hargreaves patterns! Most of the garments I knit for myself are Kim’s and I know a lot of you are fans too.

I was very excited to hear that Constance Caddell of Stitching Over the Days is running a Kim Hargreaves KAL from Jul 1st (sorry if you’ve missed the begining!) to Dec 31st. There will be various give-aways, but it’s mostly just a great chance for us Kim fans to share what we’re working on, exchange tips and have a nosy at other peoples Kim knits!

There is more info on the knit-along here and there are a few hashtags you can follow on Instagram #SOTDKHAlong #SOTDKimHargreavesAlong #kimhargreavesalong

I’m planning to complete at least two Kim garments before the end of the year and had a bit of a head start because both were on the needles before July 1st. I’m catching up on some work knitting at the moment but can’t wait to get back to these!

Esme Cardigan

I’ve finished the back and fronts so just the sleeves to do (… and it needs a good block!).

Burnt Top

I’ve made some changes to the pattern because it’s quite fitted and has negative ease.

The small would’ve been too tight around the tummy/hips and the medium too loose around the bust… so I’ve started with the medium and added gradual shaping at the sides (as well as the darts worked in the rib) so the top section is roughly the same as the small. Hopefully it’ll fit!

It didn’t take long to knit the front so hopefully I’ll have time to finish it before my holiday in September.

Thanks for the motivation Constance!

Lilac by Kim Hargreaves (my wedding cardigan!)

Well it was only seven months late for the wedding… but I finally finished my cardigan!

It still doesn’t have buttons… I did buy some, but they’re a bit weddingy. I’d like some simple mother of pearl ones but haven’t found the right thing yet. It doesn’t have buttonholes anyway as you put the buttons through the eyelets so I think it looks okay without.

It’s really nice having a cardigan in this colour! It feels really summery and goes with everything. As it’s cotton – I can always dye it if it starts to look grubby (which it inevitably will).

It fits really nicely and the length is great with most of my summery clothes – but I think I was right that it wouldn’t have worked with the shape of my wedding top. Good job we had a heatwave last year!

It was a a pain in the bum to knit, but I think it was worth it. It’s knitted on 2.25mm & 2.75mm needles so I decided to use metal needles… and confirmed that tiny metal needles and cotton yarn with no stretch are a very bad combination if you have wrist/hand/elbow pain!

The pattern is Lilac from Breeze by Kim Hargreaves and I knitted it in Rowan Summerlite 4ply. The book is now out of print – but there is a similar cardigan (Tally) in her more recent book Sway.

I have some gorgeous coral Summerlite 4ply and really want to knit Tally as well… but I definitely need to pace myself with tiny needle/lace pattern/cotton knitting!

Knit Dreaming!

I’m so busy with secret work knitting (I can’t wait to show you what I’m working on) that I haven’t had any time at all for selfish knitting!

So of course I’ve been dreaming about what I want to knit when I have a bit more time over the summer… and, as usual, I’ve been drifting towards some lovely Kim Hargreaves designs.

Kim has just launched her new book Sand and I’m really loving Sandy and Buff.

Buff has a scoop neck at the back and could be worn either way around. They’re lovely simple patterns that would be perfect to relax with when I’m less busy!

I’m also a little bit in love with a couple of things from Kim’s previous book Form.

I might have enough Kidsilk Haze left over from my cardigan to knit Mode

And I might just have to invest in some Alpaca Classic to knit Shape.

But first things first – I have a few more weeks of intense work knitting before I can give my wrists a brief rest and then finish my Esme cardigan!

What are you knitting?

Faye Jumper

Back in the summer while I was knitting my wedding cardigan – all I wanted to be knitting was a woolly jumper! Despite the heatwave and how lovely the lace cardigan was looking… I just couldn’t wait to get started on winter knitting!

Faye Jumper by Kim Hargreaves knitted in Patons Diploma Gold. Jem Weston blog

So while we were on honeymoon I cast on and knitted more than half of Faye by Kim Hargreaves.

The original pattern was written for Rowan Wool Cotton which is now discontinued, so I used Patons Diploma Gold DK. This yarn had been sitting in my stash for a long time and I kept changing my mind about what to knit… I’m happy with my choice!

I finished it just before Yarndale and was hoping that it would look good with my new denim circle skirt – unfortunately it doesn’t because there’s a gap between the jumper and waistband – but it’s perfect over dresses!

The neckline is pretty high at the front as both front and back are knitted the same. I normally like a high neck but I’m finding this one to be a bit itchy. It does look nice with a collar though so I’ve mostly been wearing it over shirt-dresses.

Faye Jumper by Kim Hargreaves knitted in Patons Diploma Gold. Jem Weston blog

It’s a great everyday jumper that I’m sure I’ll wear a lot. I’m tempted to make another in dark red with a slightly wider and lower neckline.

The pattern was lovely… it was so nice to knit a simple quick cable after weeks on end of “yrnd, p2tog” lace in 4ply cotton.

Bring on woolly jumper weather!

Wedding Cardigan

Quite a few of you have been asking whether I finished my wedding cardigan in time and whether I wore it while we were on honeymoon. The answer to both of those questions is unfortunately no!

Kim Hargreaves Lilac cardigan from Breeze

When I put a post on Instagram saying that I was admitting defeat, a very kind follower emailed me and offered to post me her version of the cardigan from Denmark to borrow for the the day… knitters are just so lovely!

I admitted defeat partly because it would’ve meant a lot of late nights running up to the wedding in order to get it finished, partly because I wasn’t expecting to need it as the weather had been so warm… but largely because it didn’t actually look good with my wedding top. So I turned down the kind offer of a loan and decided to just go without.

Jem Weston - wedding cardigan. Lilac by Kim Hargreaves from Breeze

I knew how the cardigan would turn out, and I had a picture in my mind of the top. But as I mentioned in my wedding top blog… it had evolved over time! I was happy with the shape and fit of the top, but it wasn’t exactly how I’d planned it. It was more fitted and the neckline sat higher than I intended – and it was the neckline that looked odd with the cardigan.

I finished the top two weeks before the wedding and at that point I had finished the main body of the cardigan, joined the shoulder seams (with three needle cast off), knitted the neck edge and blocked the main body (minus sleeves) – so I could try it on with the top and skirt.

The general fit was nice and the fancy edging sat in the right place on the waist of the skirt/top, but the neckline of the cardigan sat below that of the top and looked odd. I also wasn’t keen on the combination of the beading on the top and the lace of the cardigan. It was all a bit too fancy for me! Again – the beading was something that had evolved as I made the top… if I’d had an exact plan for the top then I probably would’ve chosen a different pattern for the cardigan.

I don’t mind that I didn’t get it finished for the wedding or even for the honeymoon. We had ten days in Cumbria and I was definitely sensing early Autumn. I only have the sleeve heads left to knit so I could’ve easily finished it while we were away… but I was desperate to cast on something a bit more woolly (and a lot more teal!).

I’ve got plans to sew some new dresses and skirts for next summer and my wedding cardigan will be perfect with them. Can I still call it a wedding cardigan?!

I’m planning to finish knitting the sleeves and then put it into hibernation to sew up next Spring. I love sewing up so it’ll be lovely to have all the pieces ready to join!