This summer when I went to visit my mum she was sorting out her knitting patterns and asked if there were any I wanted to take, and this was one of the ones I picked up: a pattern for a simple cropped top from Patons Book 282 (50p at time of printing).
It’s their summer/spring collection from 1987, but the design looks so contemporary and modern. On my mum’s suggestion I went down a couple of sizes as she said it would probably be very loose and baggy- as that was the fashion. It’s a good thing I did as it’s still a bit loose on me but not clownishly so.
It’s a good way to do the checked print design as well- you knit the horizontal line of colour in as normal, and then once you’ve finished the piece you chain stitch on top for the vertical line.
I knitted this up really quickly especially as it was such soft cotton yarn (100g Cottonsoft DK by King Cole)however, it then took me as long to sew it up because I had to pick up stitches. I hate picking up stitches so much- it puts me off projects if I flick through the pattern and there is going to be a lot of picking up.
I had a bit of a breakthrough with this project though, as I figured there had to be an easier way. So in the end I found it a lot easier to use a crochet hook, it takes a bit of getting use to at first but once you get the hang of it I found it much easier and it produced a much tidier result.
With the work RS facing I had one knitting needle in my right hand between my fingers and a crochet hook between my thumb and forefinger. This way I could slip the crochet hook through where I was picking up the stitch, wrap the yarn around and pull pack through and slip onto the knitting needle. Though it sounds more fiddly it was much quicker than trying to hook the yarn through with a knitting needle and the result is much better.
The cute polka dot ties finish it off really nicely- giving it a bit of a 50s feel as well.
Does anyone else have a way they’ve found to pick up stitches easily? These are the best types of tips that get passed down with knitting through the generations I think. Luckily I have lots of lovely ladies in my family who are all knitters- so I’m never short of anyone to ask for advice. Do you have someone you can go to for advice? Or are you the one always giving out the advice?