Sparkle Sparkle: Jumpers, Jackets and Midriffs!

Taking a break from handbags I have been busy creating a ready to wear collection for all you lovely ladies out there who fancy a touch of originality to accompany you on your nights out.

My main theme for the end of the cold season is metalics with wool. I have mastered a technique on the LK150 called “plating” where the wool and the metallic yarn are knitted together but the wool comes out on the reverse side, and the metal fibre on the right side. This ensures maximum sparkle and warmth!

So far I have 3 models, an open cardigan, a crop round neck jumper with half sleeves and a crop jumper with long sleeves. I love the crop look as it is really eye catching and versatile. Wear over a dress (as in my photos) or equally with a long t and jeans you will be rockin’ a look that your girlfriends will envy!

Cue photos:

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All items are available in my shop on Etsy. Photos of the items modelled to follow!

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Project bridesmaid cover up.

So I am very excited to be a bridesmaid at the end of November for my very good friend back in the North of England. I was very lucky that I was there when she chose the bridesmaids’ dresses, and was very happy with the final choice. Originally the bride was going to order them from the bridal shop but when we saw the choice, cost and quality of the ready to wear dresses in the department store we were blown away. She also had her wedding dress with her that day so trying on dresses and seeing how they went with her dress was key to choosing right (lots of “ahhs” in the changing room that day!).

There are 4 bridesmaids in total and 2 of us are wearing this beautiful navy “lori lee” dress from Coast, while the other 2 will wear the long version in light grey. The bride decided not to have us all in the same so to add variety to the colour palette of the day. Good choice!  The other bridemaid and I are “petite” hence the short version  (thankfully!) and we have decided on pairing it with nude court shoes, and tan tights.

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The sheer overlay drapes beautifully and the sparkle detail on the waist ribbon goes perfectly with the sparkle on the bride’s dress. The bride’s dress is very unusual, white long fitted 20’s inspired plunge neck and back with short net drop sleeves and lots of clear rhinestone detail so the bridesmaids need to be simple and elegant. The bride will be wearing a fake fur grey stole on the day, très chic!

Et voilà! Pretty perfect I’d say! (Promise to post a picture of the final day, her dress is a MUST SEE).

So the discussion turned to cover ups as it is sure to be very cold on the day, may even snow! Some suggested pashminas, some suggested nothing (Northern spirited of course) but I am certain we will be happy of a jacket or a cardigan. But what would you put with this dress to compliment, not over power? Something subtle but worthy of the day? And of course something you will wear again. Nothing in the shops, little online. As always I tell myself “If in doubt, make it yourself”.

I had wanted to develop a short boxy knitted jacket for a while, it is a project that I had wanted to add to my Atelier Boyceau range, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. Combining 2 separate patterns and adapting to the chosen yarn (Phildar 55% lambswool in Caban navy) I was able to come up with this:

CIMG3299 I was extremely happy with how my pattern worked out (seems I am ok at maths after all) and the measurements were perfect for me. I used my manual knitting machine LK150 to make the 5 main pieces (decreasing along the edges of the front and back panels to create shaping) and hand finished all edges in a thick band of moss/seed stitch.

So now to make it really earn its place at a wedding……

CIMG3305Having been unsuccessful at matching the beads from the waistband exactly I ordered a variety of glass beads from Cultura and away I went…..

I was in 2 minds whether to put the beading around the collar rather than the front but in the end it helped to give rigidity to the front to enable it to hang better.

For the matching bridesmaid I ensured I made the sleeves longer on version 2, wider shoulders, and to flatter her shape I added claps to the front that she can choose to do up or not.

CIMG3317CIMG3295So there we have it, very happy with how they have turned out! Is so satisfying to see the final result! I think the sparkles set off the waist band perfectly and we certainly won’t freeze!

I have improved my skills and now have the confidence to start making similar versions for the shop.

Imagine red wool with gold thread knitted throughout, gold border with mutli coloured bead work all around the collar……COMING SOON!

Please visit my shop and receive free shipping on all orders until December 31st 2013 with this code:

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Thanks for reading, let me know what you think x Alexandra

Project poncho

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So you may not think of ponchos as high fashion, however they have a special place in my heart, and are rightly becoming more and more popular!

Throw on over a pair of jeans and knee high boots and you are ready for Autumn, add a long pendant necklace and you are good to go!

Many hours were spent on the LK150 to produce this beautiful piece of knitted wool (probably too thick for the machine as pulling the carriage across was painful! Hoping I have gone up a cup size, it was a complete work out!!!).

Now I will hand knit the edges and attach a button to the collar, I also blocked it to set the size (sprayed with water and stretched out to size). It will certainly keep someone very warm! I am always so tempted to keep my items for myself! I have several different colours to try out next.

I kept the knit plain and as much as I like cables and the rest I think for such a large item keeping it simple makes it easier to accessorize and looks more modern.

Finished photo to follow.

And now for something completely different: *The French news debates Sunday opening hours (almost no shops are open on a Sunday in France by law), *the National Front party (le Front National) continue to invade the media with their claims that they are not a far right party (despite hard evidence to the contrary) and shockingly continue to grow support, *students protest in the capital for the return of a deported illegal immigrant student who was marched off a school bus in front of all her class mates and put on a plane to Kosovo with her family……