My first knitted garment – The Rowan ‘Cookie’ cap sleeve top

Now I know my blog is called ‘Allaboutthesew’ but now and again I do indulge myself in some other crafting goodness including knitting. I started this top in the Autumn last year when the darker, colder nights were drawing in. There were times when snuggling on the sofa with some knitting was more appealing than getting all my sewing paraphernalia out!

My Mum taught me to knit when I was younger, following in the footsteps of herself and my Nan. Up until now I have stuck to mainly square and rectangular things like cushion covers and  blankets. I have definitely stretched myself in terms of trying different stitches out and making some quite big blankets (I have staying power!) but I hadn’t ventured into making something for myself to wear. I therefore didn’t want anything too fancy or complicated to begin with!

I raided my Mum’s stash of both patterns and wool (something I have been known to partake in frequently!!) and found a pattern for a cap sleeved top in the Rowan Knitting Magazine, Number 26. The top is called ‘Cookie’ and is designed by Kim Hargreaves. There are 2 versions of the pattern to choose from: a vest version and a cap sleeve version. I opted for the cap sleeve version as that style of top I wear a lot in the Autumn and Winter with long sleeved cotton stretch tops underneath. The wool I used was Rowan Felted Tweed, shade 182 (Damask). It is 50% wool, 25% alpaca and 25% viscose.

Rowan felted wool

Rowan felted tweed wool

I love this colour and it has specks of blue, white and black in which adds a bit of interest.

Here it is knitted up…

rowan knitted top

Rowan knitted top

Back view of Rowan knitted top

 Oh dear – a hole in the elbow of my white top – didn’t notice that until after!!!

Back view of Rowan knitted top

You can just see the specks of blue and black in the above shot.

As the majority of the top is worked in stocking stitch it is a relatively straight forward knit. The hem is a few rows of garter stitch and then the neckline and sleeve hems are worked by picking up the stitches and doing the garter stitch once more. Although I had increased and decreased stitches before, I did find the shaping around the neckline and armholes a bit of a challenge but I think that was to do more with reading the pattern – for example when you are knitting the front piece and you have to ‘reverse the shaping’, I got myself in a pickle a couple of times trying to work that out! I also started to follow the vest pattern a couple of times by mistake instead of the cap sleeve one. The downsides of a garment being a work in progress for a while – you forget where you got to the last time! I got there in the end am am really really chuffed with the result.

It is lovely and warm and is a fab transitional piece to wear between seasons. I have worn it with jeans, like in the pictures and also with my handmade tartan skirt. I actually chose the tartan fabric based on the fact that I was knitting this top so that was a bit planned to be fair!

I will be definitely looking for my next knitting pattern and wool very soon!

A final thought….I have read an interesting and very colourful blog piece today by Karen from Did you make that? on colour inspiration. It made me think about a couple of heathers and a hebe in my garden that are similar shades to my top (the third one, my lip gloss – ha-ha!!) and how they definitely make me happy when I see them 🙂 I was inspired to go out and take some pictures of them…

heather1

heather2

heather3

Until next time

Happy knitting (and sewing of course!)

Lorna x

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