Tag Archives: lyttelton

Green and purple, and a new necklace

I love my Lyttelton shrug. It’s a really nice shape, perfect to throw on when I want a bit more than just a dress but it’s too warm for a cardigan.

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I think that what I like about the shape is that unlike a lot of shrugs, it isn’t just a pair of sleeves without a jumper attached – you knit a few inches of the back before casting on more stitches for the sleeves, and cast off the sleeve stitches and then knit the same length again on the fronts. I’d like to knit more shrugs, because it is very wearable, but there seem to be very few patterns that have that; most are basically a rectangle with the long side seamed at the outer edges to create sleeves, and they tend to have a rather stretched look at the armpits which I don’t particularly like. Maybe I should just substitute another stitch pattern, and maybe rework the stitch counts and shaping for a different gauge, and make another Lyttelton…

I also wore my new necklace, which I bought on Saturday from Yellow Bear Wares.

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Because really, how could I resist a green and purple knitting needle necklace?

Green sleeves

It was a bit cooler this morning, so I wore my Lyttelton. I was glad of that later on, when it turned out that the chair of a meeting had decided that rather than going round the table introducing ourselves as normal he would put together a sheet with a picture representing something about each person and get us to use that as a starting point, and funnily enough I was represented by a picture of yarn and knitting needles. (I do try not to talk too much about knitting in work contexts, but he lives near me and sometimes sees me knitting on the bus.)

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I’m currently feeling a bit dubious about t-shirts as workwear, as they do seem to emphasise my bust dreadfully without anything over them, but I’m really not sure what the alternative is given that the vast majority of non-t-shirt tops are too low-cut for me. At least in t-shirts my bust is covered up, even if rather more obvious than I might prefer!

Penguins and yellow shoes

Having not worn anything I’d made all week, today I managed a completely me-made outfit.

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Necklace – Fairtrade shop
Shrug – Lyttelton
Top – Birgitte Basic Tee
Skirt – McCalls something-or-other
Shoes – Arche

The yellow shoes are the same style as my purple ones; I happened to check the website of the shop where I bought them the other day and realised the yellow ones were half price, and the one size that was left was mine, and given how comfortable the purple ones are I couldn’t resist. I really like the summery colour.

Mind you, I’m liking the summery weather even more. Proper summery weather just makes me feel so much happier and more able to cope with whatever life (or work) throws at me. Even though it’s been a tough week, I’m still feeling reasonably positive at the end of it, and looking forward to a lazy sunny weekend.

Making and wearing

A couple of things I’ve read recently have made me think about the clothes I choose to wear for work, and how my plans to make more of my own clothes intersect with that. One of them was Dolly Clackett‘s Me-Made May roundup post, and especially her comment about how the challenge has made her realise that the way she sews fits with her body and her lifestyle; I can’t think of a better sewing ambition than to be able to say that myself. And the other was a post I read about dress codes, written by a man who commented that in his workplace, he felt that the dress code for women was less strict than the dress code for men as women could wear t-shirts while men had to wear shirts (although not ties).

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Shrug – Lyttelton
Necklace – Fairtrade shop
Top – Monsoon
Skirt – made by me
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

Unusually for me, I was wearing a skirt with a woven top for work today, rather than a jersey top or a dress. And it made me think about the post I’d read, and how fitted t-shirts really are a perfectly acceptable part of smart-casual workwear for women. Maybe that isn’t fair, when men are expected to wear shirts, but then again men’s workwear is much more straightforward; trousers, shirt, a tie and/or a jacket for smartness, and women’s clothing is much more complicated. Yes, t-shirts are OK, but not all t-shirts. And the same clothes can be smart and work-appropriate on one woman, too casual on another, and inappropriately sexy on a third, depending on body type. And actually, a smart jersey top or fitted t-shirt with a skirt is an outfit that works for me, whereas woven tops don’t. And although I’ve been thinking that that’s because of fitting issues and if I can only learn to adjust patterns to fit me properly it will open up a whole new world of clothing to me, it’s clearly not as simple as just adjusting for my bust size and maybe jersey tops are always going to fit me better. And while I really admire Dolly Clackett’s fabulous dresses, I’m older than her and a different size and shape and what works for her isn’t going to work for me; I have lots of dresses but my favourites are the jersey ones. So maybe I should concentrate on sewing the things I know work for me, and not experimenting with trying to create my own versions of clothes I would never buy in the shops?

Spring greens

I think today’s outfit was really suited to a slightly warmer day than the mild and muggy weather we actually had, but I wasn’t actually cold and the penguins were definitely cheering on a Monday I wasn’t really looking forward to after a weekend that was considerably less relaxing than I’d hoped it would be.

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Shrug – Lyttelton
Necklace – East
T-shirt – M&S
Skirt – made by me
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

I am getting better at wearing sheer tights; I used not to be able to stand them at all but they really are a necessity if I want to be able to wear skirts for work in the kind of weather that’s too warm for opaque tights and too cold for bare legs. I did find that by about half-past four I was becoming acutely conscious of how they felt against my skin, though, and longing to get home and take them off!

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This week, I will mostly be wearing outfits which remind me of ice-cream. Not for any particular reason, it just seemed like a good idea last night when I was lying in bed wondering what to wear.

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Shrug – Lyttelton
Necklace – East
Vest – M&S
Dress – charity shop
Shoes – Greenshoes

Blue and green

I am really coming to like the way Lyttelton shows off my figure. I might have to make another one. Or something else similar, I suppose, although I think part of it is the depth of the back and sides and the vast majority of shrug patterns seem to be much straighter across the back.

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Shrug – Lyttelton
Necklace – White Stuff
T-shirt – M&S
Skirt – made by me
Shoes – Greenshoes

I’m also vaguely wondering about buying the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern to try to make really well-fitting t-shirts. But then again, I’ve also been wondering about making my own knickers, and yesterday’s post brought three metres of flowery poly/cotton from Croft Mill to attempt a wearable muslin of the Bebe. I think my ambitions may be outstripping my capacity a bit…

Monday

The trouble with having two lovely relaxing days off work is that then you have to go back to work to face a bulging inbox and a much busier Monday than normal. And that goes double if you were taking a long weekend to unwind ahead of your financial year end.

Still, I picked a nice cheerful outfit, and the first day back is always the worst.

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Necklace – made by Helen
Shrug – lyttelton
Dress – East, altered by me
Shoes – Greenshoes

The modestified dress held up very well to a day at work, probably better than the dress and camisole combination I’ve been wearing up to now – the camisoles do have a tendency to bunch up at the waist if I don’t have tights on, and the necklines also slip down a bit. So this was better all round.

On a different topic, at lunchtime I wandered past the charity shop near work and spotted this little beauty:

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Only £30, too, and the crank action was very smooth. I’ve reserved it until Wednesday morning so I have until tomorrow lunchtime to decide whether I want to buy it or not. It’s so pretty, and I think it would actually be useful for fiddly things where it’s hard to get my electic machine to run slowly enough…

Greenery

Despite having been somewhat dubious about my Lyttelton shrug when I finished knitting it, I’ve worn it several times, and would have worn it more often if the weather hadn’t been so consistently vile that it’s felt like a somewhat risky choice to opt for something that doesn’t actually cover my forearms.

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Shrug – Lyttelton (handknitted)
Necklace and dress – East
Camisole – M&S
Shoes – Greenshoes

In fact, the last few weeks have been warm and humid enough that short sleeves are absolutely fine, and despite starting off wearing sheer tights by the end of the day I was bare-legged. Honestly, I don’t see the point of sheer tights; they aren’t actually much cooler than opaques while being about fifteen times as annoying in terms of propensity to ladder and nasty nylony feeling, although if it’s actually at all chilly they don’t offer any warmth at all. Ridiculous!

Meanwhile, anyone who follows knitters on Twitter may have noticed the outrage about the fact that it appears that the high street chain Debenhams have copied the extremely popular o w l s jumper, designed by Kate Davies (who also designed Lyttelton). You can read Kate’s post about it here. Having just taken delivery of a kit to knit Kate’s Betty Mouat Cowl (nine gorgeous shades of Shetland wool!) I’m now considering making my own o w l s jumper in the near future, maybe modified as a cardigan because I suspect that would suit me better and be easier to wear. Because obviously there just weren’t enough things I wanted to knit before…

Lyttelton in action

I haven’t been posting outfit photos recently. I’m not quite sure why, but it just felt so ridiculous to be taking photos of myself and posting them on the internet that I found I couldn’t keep on with it (to be honest, even making myself write about crafting projects has been a struggle). However, today I actually wore my Lyttelton for the first time and was so pleased with managing to do it that I even went out in the drizzle at ten to seven this morning to take photos.

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Shrug – Lyttelton
Necklace – M&S
Dress – East
Shoes – Clarks

It got me more compliments from people at work today than anything else I’ve worn since starting this job, including one from a woman I don’t even know who was walking down the corridor behind me!