Tag Archives: hey teach!

Year end blues

Yesterday was the last day of our financial year, which meant that today was the first day of Year End – the weeks following the end of the year when we have to finalise all the figures and make sure the accounts are correct before the auditors come in. My team aren’t directly involved in producing the accounts, but things are still a little bit stressful, so maybe I subconsciously chose a more muted outfit than normal. (I didn’t particularly think of it as muted, but a colleague complained in a meeting this morning that she always looked forward to seeing the bright colours I wear, and it was disappointing to find me in blue. Apparently, I have a standard to uphold.)

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Cardigan – Hey Teach!
Blouse – charity shop
Skirt – made by me
Shoes – Greenshoes

It was also a very ethical outfit – nothing at all that was bought new from a mass-market retailer!

Meanwhile, the shawl I knitted over the Jubilee weekend has arrived with its intended recipient, so I can finally post pictures!

Trinity

It’s the p/hop pattern Trinity Shawlette by Anniken Allis. The yarn is also one of Anni’s – Glorious Sock, 60% merino, 15% bamboo, 10% silk and 10% nylon – which I bought at the UK Ravelry Day in Coventry in 2009. Sadly, it now seems to be discontinued which is a real shame as it was absolutely wonderful to knit with – beautifully soft and smooth and with such a lovely drape.

Trinity closeup

The pattern is quite straightforward and easy to remember, the kind of lace knitting that isn’t really any harder than stocking stitch but more interesting to knit, which probably explains why I found it so absorbing I managed to finish the shawl in a weekend!

Anyway, I hope my partner gets plenty of wear out of it. Meanwhile, I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of my own shawl some day soon!

Goldilocks and the Ravelry pattern database

I’m sure anyone who’s been reading this blog for more than about five minutes will have worked out that I like cardigans. I much prefer them to jumpers; they’re so much easier to get on and off, and you can wear them open if it’s a bit warm and do them up if it gets colder and produce interesting effects by layering them over different tops.

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Necklace – handmade
Cardigan – Hey Teach!
Top – Gap
Skirt – White Stuff
Tights – M&S
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

Given how fond I am of cardigans, and my propensity to buy large packs of yarn at bargain prices, I feel I ought to knit a few more. In particular, I’d like to make at least one more summery cardigan in a cotton or cotton blend – I have plenty of options for this in both DK and aran weights. The trouble is, whenever I browse cardigan patterns on Ravelry I can’t find anything quite right, and I’m starting to think that I just need to start with a fairly basic pattern and tweak it until I end up with the Perfect Cardigan.

Of course, before I can do this I need to define what, exactly, constitutes the Perfect Cardigan as far as I’m concerned. I’m still not entirely clear on this, though I have worked out a few specifications:

  1. Neckline – A cardigan is a layering garment, and I don’t like cardigans which don’t show a bit of the garment underneath at the front neckline. I love my February Lady, but I find it a bit awkward to wear because the neckline is wide and shallow, and unless I wear a crew-necked top underneath my top tends to show at the side of the neckline but not the front, which I really don’t like. This seems to be a common problem with a lot of cardigans (and jumpers, actually) using simple top-down construction. I quite like the scoop-neck on Hey, Teach! but most of my cardigans have v-necks or crew-necks which can be left open to form a v.
  2. Shape – I don’t like closely-fitted cardigans. Ribbing at the bottom is an absolutely no, as it tends to ride up to where my torso is narrower (just under my bust) and emphasise my lack of waist. So, I want a turned hem or a garter/moss stitch band, or maybe a loose rib coupled with a slightly flared shape.
  3. Fit – I definitely want a cardigan that’s fitted through the shoulders and bust, probably with a bit of negative ease at the fullest point of the bust. If it’s too big over the bust it’ll swamp the rest of me; fitting over the bust also means it’s likely to drape flatteringly below the bust rather than just hanging and making me look as though I’m wearing a blanket (I have tried on a couple of waterfall-style cardigans in East which have this problem – they might work with jeans but if I want something I can wear with skirts I think it needs to be a bit fitted). On the other hand, the sleeves have to be wide enough to fit comfortably over a t-shirt or dress (what is the point of cardigans you can’t fit anything but a camisole under?)
  4. Fastening – I’m definitely not keen on the simple raglan or round-yoke cardigans which only have buttons at the top, but I also never button cardis all the way down. What I want is something that will fasten over or just below the bust, but ideally I would like to be able to wear it open as well (which neither the February Lady or Hey Teach! really can – with the Lady I think the shape and the way the lace section pulls away from the centre more than the garter stitch section causes it to hang oddly, while I suspect that Hey Teach! is just a little too baggy).

That’s a start, anyway. I suspect that something along the lines of the Featherweight Cardigan might be a good place to start, that’s a nice shape and would probably be quite flattering if it fitted probably. I do quite like Veera Välimäki’s Driven, though really I might prefer something a bit more like this cardigan, which I’m very fond of, despite it being 100% acrylic (it’s developed a mark on the front since last summer, so needs replacing).

Hmmmm…

Ms Peacock, in the conservatory

The wet weather hasn’t gone away, so here is another outfit photo courtesy of my Swallows and Amazons collection:

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Necklace – East
Cardigan – Hey Teach!
Top – Gap
Skirt – M&S
Tights – M&S
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

I am feeling considerably less glum than I was a couple of days ago, though (at least partly because I bumped into a former colleague yesterday who said ‘I keep meaning to email and see if you want to have lunch sometime’ and then did just that when she got back to her desk. There are people who actually want to spend time with me!) and I’m now off work until Tuesday and looking forward to a bit of a rest!

Autumnal

I decided today that I have had enough of plimsolls and August bank holiday is definitely late enough in the year for ankle boots.

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Necklace – made by Helen
Cardigan – Hey Teach!
T-shirt – Uniqlo
Jeans – M&S
Boots – Clarks

Besides, my ankle boots don’t get much wear, as I generally prefer knee-high boots with skirts from October on, and rarely wear trousers. (These particular boots also don’t get much wear due to leaking like a sieve in wet weather, which is a particular problem in an English autumn!)

I think I may declare tights season open, too; the forecast for the coming week certainly doesn’t look like it’ll be bare-leg weather, and it’s just so much more comfortable wearing shoes with tights than with bare feet.

(Why yes, autumn is my favourite season.)

Wednesday blues

Another cool day, which meant I got to wear my favourite handknitted cardigan. I really like the shape, and I think it works particularly well with this dress.

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Cardigan – Hey Teach!
Dress – vintage
Necklace – Oxfam
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

Back to the old routine

Back to work, back to outfit photos, although in fact I barely wore the cardigan because it was really too warm for it.

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Necklace – made by Helen
Cardigan – Hey Teach!
Top – Boden
Skirt – East
Sandals – Greenshoes

I wasn’t really sure this outfit worked; I spent a lot of the day feeling a bit too hippyish and slightly frumpy, but in fact now I see the pictures I really quite like it.

Handmade day

It’s far harder to wear things I’ve made in summer. In winter I managed to wear something I’d made almost every day just because I rarely went without a shawl or scarf, but even though we’re not having a particularly warm summer it’s still far too warm for me to want to wear things round my neck. At least having made two skirts now I get to wear those, and today was cool enough that I could wear a cardigan all day and therefore picked a handknitted one rather than a shop-bought one just for outdoors.

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Necklace – made by Helen
Cardigan – Hey Teach!
T-shirt – M&S
Skirt – made by me
Leggings – M&S
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker