Knitting For A New Home

My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a house. We’ve both been serial renters all our lives so we’re unbelievably excited to finally be in a position where we can buy something of our own and shape it to be the kind of home we can really love and feel completely comfortable in.

The house is a brand new build which is still under construction at the moment and on Saturday afternoon we went to the sales office and showhome to choose the interior options that we get to customise. We are able to choose: worktops, cupboard doors and vinyl flooring for the kitchen (the other flooring costs extra and we’re probably getting it done independently); wardrobe doors and handles for the master bedroom; tiles for the family bathroom, en-suite bathroom and sink splashback in the downstairs WC.

We spent literally hours (somewhere between 2 and 3, I’m not sure exactly!) going over all the options as there we so many to choose from. Here are just a few photos I snapped on my mobile phone as we pored over the options and went back and forth between the showhome and the sales office a few times!

 

  

  

 

Cover

It just happens that Sarah Hatton has released a lovely new book of homeware patterns for autumn/winter which had already got me thinking about things that I could knit for our new home. Now we’ve actually chosen some of the colour scheme for the house, I can’t wait to get started on something to go with it! Here are a few of my favourites from 10 Simple Projects For Cosy Homes.

Cabled Throw

We should hopefully be moving in November which is the perfect time of year to have a snuggly throw at the ready! Cables are a big favourite of mine, so this is very tempting.

Made with Pure Wool Worsted and Creative Focus Worsted knit together, it will be warm and also soft with the lovely alpaca running through it. The Pure Wool Worsted palette has over 50 shades so there’s bound to be something to suit every home, and the Creative Focus Worsted palette has a good range of shades that are warm or cool, dark or light, so there should be something to work nicely with most Pure Wool Worsted shades.

Garter Stitch BasketsThese garter stitch baskets are just adorable! I have no idea what I’d use them for off the top of my head, but I’m positive I could put them to good use. They’re made with Rowan Big Wool so they will knit up in no time and should be quite hard-wearing.

The pattern has small, medium and large sizes and, even better, you can get a small basket out of one ball of yarn and according to the pattern tips you can get a small and a medium out of two balls.

Garter Stitch Cushion

Cushions are a really easy way to add a splash of colour and identity to a room. Also made in Big Wool, the garter stitch texture on these really stands out and they look perfectly squishable! With more than 20 shades in the range, they could easily be made to match any lounge or bedroom.

I’ll definitely be knitting some cushions for my new lounge, once we’ve picked carpet, curtains and sofas too. So many choices!

Slippers

I never go anywhere without my slippers and I’ve wanted to knit some for ages now. Maybe these ones would be a good first attempt at my own handmade foot cozies.

There’s definitely a theme in my favourite designs, as these are yet again made from Big Wool! If I was to make these, I actually think that I might try the new Big Wool Colour which also launched last month.

With the same tension and meterage as Big Wool, its new counterpart is brilliant for combining with the solid shades to make a project more colourful and eye-catching. I particularly like Jamboree as it’s got that hint of autumn which suits my colouring so well.

106 Carousel 101 Fete 102 Fairground 103 Carnival 104 Jamboree 105 Waltzer

What have you knitted for your home that you really love? I’m going to be looking for all the inspiration I can get…

Project – Elise cardigan

Pattern: Elise

Designer: Sarah Hatton

Publication: The Cocoon Collection by Rowan

 

Yarn: Cocoon by Rowan

Shade: Bilberry (812)

 

Ravelry: Elise

 

 

Good

  • The cables. Oh, the cables! They are so gorgeous, I can’t even begin to tell you!
  • The colour of the yarn. It’s a lovely shade of purple that shines silvery in the light, so very pretty.
  • It’s so cosy. Cocoon is so wonderfully thick and soft and snuggly, I’m going to love wearing this in the winter.

Bad

  • The sleeves are a bit too big/baggy around. Unfortunately they are knit flat and sewn up, which means until you’ve sewn up the hems it’s hard to tell how they’ll look and if you aren’t happy with them, they are a huge pain to correct. Mine seem to match the pattern spec, so I think the pattern intends them to be that way, but be warned if you make this. I’d make the sleeves slimmer than the pattern suggests.
  • It took me ages to finish this project, far longer that it would have in the past. This is entirely because I took up knitting when I was newly single for the first time in a long time and have since been able to knit as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted. This project I started just a few weeks before I completely unexpectedly met a new special someone in my life who I’ve been with ever since. The excitement of a new relationship ate into my knitting time a lot, so this project slowed to a crawl for quite some time.
  • It took me even longer to get around to blocking it! (9 months, if I must be honest) I don’t really know why it took me so long, but the main cause was probably that I have a terrible memory and after putting the finished garment away somewhere safe, I never saw it so was never reminded to block the damn thing. I finally blocked it about 6 weeks ago maybe and have worn it once, but spring is now definitely here and so it will have to go away till winter.
  • The shedding. Oh, the shedding! Much though cocoon is beautiful and soft and lovely, it sheds fibres like nothing else. I’m hoping it will ease with time, but any tips on how to deal with this would be much appreciated!

Conclusions

  • Knitting top-down garments with sleeves knitted in the round is by far my preferred way of working, because it allows for trying on as you go along and allows for easier rectifying of problems if they happen. In future I’ll be more wary and careful if knitting flat sleeves and maybe even look into converting the sleeves to be knit in the round.
  • I really must get better at finishing my finishing!
  • Perhaps I should research yarns more before I buy them, or at least find out how to (or even if you can) deal with yarns that shed.
  • Cables are the best.
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