Monday, January 31, 2011

FO: Paul Atwell socks


Yay! I did it! I completed my January socks on Sunday, after an all-day knitting-at-home festival!
I am determined to stick to my plan of knitting a pair of socks every month this year, and refused to fail in the first month.

Stats:
Pattern: Paul Atwell socks by Emily Johnson, part of her Family Trunk Project. (P.S. Go and look at her blog to see a beautiful sewing project!)

It's a great pattern - well-written, reliable, and in lots of sizes to suit a wider-footed male.
Although the stitch pattern includes a scary-looking "loop" on the right side (which is picked up two rows later), the fabric stayed really stretchy and didn't lose tension.
I knitted the 80-stitch version, to make sure FL could get them on and off easily without laboured bending and huffing and puffing.


Yarn:
I used Lidl's Cesana sock yarn, which was stupidly cheap: 4 balls for £2.99 I think it was - or possibly £3.99, but since I only used one ball per sock, these are definitely the cheapest socks I have ever knitted.
It remains to be seen how they wash and wear, but I was impressed by the Regia-like quality of the yarn as I worked with it.

The only criticism I have is that one ball in the pack of 4 was a noticeably different colour to the others: much much paler. There is no "dye lot" info on the ball bands, so I guess you get what you pay for. I will probably use that ball "row about" with the darker ball to avoid a bleached-out looking mismatched sock.
Verdict?
FL likes them, although he always prefers knee-high socks if he can persuade me to knit them! I enjoyed knitting these, despite the self-imposed pressure of knitting the last half-sock in one day. I really like the texture of the gull-and-seed stitch.
Ooh - now I get to choose a new pattern and yarn for February!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This weekend...

This weekend... I am NOT in Newquay for the Knit Love Club retreat. Which is rather a pity because the teachers are Anne-Knitspot-Hanson and Cookie-the-sock-A. Sigh.

And I am NOT in York for the Sheddite Gathering either. Which is rather a pity because there are some very fine ladies and a couple of cute babies destined to be there. Another sigh.
But the inescapable truth is: you don't get to go places and do things unless you commit to doing so in advance, and, well, plan it! But I expected to be knee-deep in snow this weekend. And I expected that FL would be deeply immersed in a new drug regime by now... or just too ill to be left home alone.
But there is no need to feel sorry for me, because I AM at home with my January socks and a big pile of 1970's sewing patterns (13 patterns for £1.70 on eeebaaay!).
I AM (still!) reading "American Wife" and I might bake some gingerbread.
And I DID go to see Black Swan with The Girl today, which was... very dark. I can see why it is a "15". Yeah, I know, The Girl is only 14, and in retrospect... but hey, at least I saw it with her and could talk through the "issues" afterwards.

These are my favourites from the pile of patterns - dig those groovy skirts and flares!
I will definitely be making some of these!
You see? It can be fun to be a stay-at-home!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crafting and The Girl

I keep forgetting to show you the amazing pillowcases my daughter received from her "other" granny and aunt at Christmas.
They used an embroidery pattern from Urban Threads, and it is really interesting to see their individual interpretations of the same design in the same colours: each of the pair is the same but different.
They were begun as a contribution to the ongoing "Goth Up Ya Room" project, which rather fell by the wayside when I thought The Girl was moving to London.
Now that we know she is staying, we have installed a new curtain rail and black voile / velvet curtains. We still need to decide on a paint colour, and a cool lampshade would be good too.

The Girl has also found a use for my off-cuts of grosgrain ribbon, rustling up a range of bows for her hair. She found the instructions on a blog! (Heh heh heh, like mother like daughter?!)
Her next plan is to shred a pair of old black skinny jeans (which can no longer pass for school trousers!) and add Zombie patches.
I subscribed to Cloth magazine for her for a while, and although some of the projects are a bit "lame" (her word, not mine), it has definitely been inspirational.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The obsession continues


So... I finished my aunt's Cabled Keyhole Scarf.
I gave it a lavender-scented wash and it has come up soft and fluffy and with barely a trace of blue from my amateur yarn-dye-ing experiment - phew!
The yarn is handspun camel - yes, Daisy Donut, actual hump-backed beastie from the desert. Nope, I don't know how they spin it, but this stuff is seriously soft. It was a sample skein from Hipknits.


I had no sooner set the camel scarf to dry than I cast on for another!

Another Hipknits sample, this time it is handspun cashmere, in an insane shade of pink.

It is a gift. The recipient will be surprised, as I have never knitted her anything before, but it is her birthday and this is one of her "colours": as in, she had her "colours done" and this was one of the approved hues.
My model , on the other hand, would not be seen dead in this colour. Hence the Zombie accessory. Know when to give up, Roo.

What can I say? I am addicted to knitting these things!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

FO: Cold War pinstripe skirt

Last weekend, I made another skirt from my fab 1952 "rockabilly" vintage skirt pattern.
It should have been straightforward, as I sorted out the fitting issues with the rose prototype... but the phone rang as I was cutting it out and when I picked up the scissors again I sliced through the extra 5/8" I had planned to add to each side of the back seam - duh!
However, I got away with this schoolgirl error: it just means my waistband is slightly higher up my body than before, and it is perhaps a more authentically-vintage shape as a result.






I tried it on before hemming and realised that the original length works really well with my new shoes. I had just watched "Cracks" (twice!), so my eye had become accustomed to a longer silhouette.

My daughter has made me wary of longer skirts - she thinks they are dowdy-looking. And now that I am in my late 40's (eek!) that is not the sort of image I want to project!



Stats:

Simplicity 3983 from 1952, View 1.

Fabric: 1 metre of "superfine worsted wool", bought as part of a 5-metre bundle of remnants from British Fabrics at eeebaaay, so it only cost about £4.

It is a rich midnight blue with a fine charcoal pinstripe at 1 cm intervals. It is lovely fabric - it drapes beautifully and has a subtle sheen. I pre-washed it at 30 degrees in the washing machine, just in case of shrinkage, but there was no visible difference.

I used grosgrain ribbon to line the waistband again. This brand wasn't quite so stiff as last time, so I used iron-on interfacing to back the main fabric for added stability.

Polka dots!

I also used polka-dotted lining for the pockets, just because!
Verdict?:
I was ridiculously excited when I tried this on for the first time! I was all fired up to sew something special after watching "Cracks", so took extra care with little details like sewing on three hooks and eyes to fasten the waistband, instead of just a single snap fastener.

I made myself STOP before stitching the hem, as I knew that I was in danger of ruining the whole thing with a last-minute rush-job. I put it away for the night, and came back to the hem
a week later.

The detail I love most about this skirt is the shaping at the top of the pockets. When I made the rose version, I cut this as a simple curve and found I needed to stitch the buttons on through the top of the pocket to stop it from sagging.

However, the peaked shape of the scallop seems to support the fabric in this version, and it stands proudly away from the body, all by itself - very architectural! This suggests you need to choose a fabric with a bit of structure - it wouldn't work with e.g. a fine silk.


FL says it is my best piece to date and I am inclined to agree. It is full of character: kind of Cold War secret agent?

"Pass me a cheroot, won't you darrrrlink?"
Over-thinking again, Roo!
Anyway - a sewing success! Yay!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Making a Spectacle of Myself

So.... the results of the Reader Poll are in.... and the glasses will be going back on eeebaaay Though if any of you fancy them for a tenner, they are yours! ;)
My relationship with spectacles began at the age of six when my teacher realised I could not see the blackboard. These are my first glasses. Glamour is all.

I was quite a feisty child until I was made to wear glasses. I lost a great deal of confidence in the playground once I was forced to "take care of" these beautiful objects.
My mother was too proud to have her only daughter wear (free) NHS-issue frames, which came in one shape and three colours: pink, blue or clear.

People pay good money for this "vintage" style now!


Photo: NHS style 192, from the 1960's

One of my worst memories of primary school was the day I tripped on the steps and smashed my glasses while they were still on my face. A sliver of glass was embedded in my eyebrow and my mum had to pick it out with tweezers... shudder!


As I got older, styles changed and every year my prescription was renewed - so I had high hopes of wearing the latest "look". But more often than not, the new lenses went in the old frame.

I did have a pair of "Deirdre Barlows" though - they were hilarious! Sadly, no pictures survive.

Photo: Deirdre Barlow from Coronation Street in her fashionable frames.
When I hit 15 or so, I rebelled against my glasses and refused to wear them outside of the house. Contact lenses were not an option back then, so I just "managed". I would use them for reading in my bedroom but that was about all.

I don't think anyone from my undergraduate days ever saw me in glasses.

But when I went to Leeds in 1985, I marched to the nearest optician and asked for old-style NHS wire frames and wore them with pride.
Yes - my hair really was that colour!

This was probably the peak of my spectacle-wearing career. I was absolutely "on trend" with the other vegan / anarchist / feminist / hunt saboteurs of my generation!
But since then, adult life has intervened. Glasses have got more expensive. I have felt the need to look "professional" and ended up "boring". My current glasses are fine but they don't give me the alternative edge that I had in 1985. Hence the search for the perfect vintage frame.
But clearly these are not the ones for me! They are not even as vintage I thought they were. I am guessing early 1990's rather than 1940's!

So thank you all for your votes. The final results were:


No Roo - FL is right! 71 (84%)

Maybe... with the right outfit? 6 (7%)

Yes Roo - even though FL is right! 3 (3%)

Ignore them - I think you look fabulous! 4 (4%)

Votes so far: 84
Poll closed
And given that my readers are generally quite supportive, and my darling FL occasionally has to be seen by my side, I have to accept that I will be laughed at in the street if I wear these glasses.

But if I find out that FL bribed my daughter to lodge those "anonymous" votes, there will be trouble!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The One That Got Away


Snatched from my hot little fingers with ten seconds to spare!
Did you win this fabulous skirt pattern on eeebaaay recently?
Simplicity 7869, from approx 1970.
I can't find it anywhere.
It is now top of my wish list.
If you see it - you will tell me won't you?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vanilla Fudge Ate My Energy


I was supposed to have a new skirt to show you this week. I finished it on Sunday - except for the bottom hem. And how long does it take to turn up a hem?
But I have had no energy to spare this week. I blame the bar of vanilla fudge in my desk drawer. Shrug. The hem will have to wait until the weekend.
But I started another Cabled Keyhole Scarf - definitely for my aunt this time! The yarn is a sample skein of handspun camel from Hipknits that I tried to dye blue with my woad crop a couple of years ago. It is supersoft and is a kind of mushroom colour with blue splodges. I need to give it a wash when I finish, as I wouldn't want my aunt's neck to change colour from the dodgy dye-ing!
The new season's catalogues continue to arrive and go straight into the recycling bag... although I do like this top from Joules. It is a silk / cotton mix and claims to have a back pleat, which is intriguing. I like the double string of beads too.
I cut out the Pendrell blouse pattern at the weekend, but the sleeves are double-thickness, so it really does have to be made from super-drapey fabric. I had planned to use a navy / white pin-dot cotton and it was far too stiff. Back to the drawing-board.
However, I have just the pattern to suit the material!
Clare was having a clear-out and remembered that I had been jealous of her 1950's vintage pattern and offered it to me - woo hoo!
I can't imagine ever being warm enough to bare my shoulders, but isn't this the most fabulous summer top?
I would love to make the bow-necked version in my navy and white dotty cotton - fabulous with the navy sailor trousers I haven't made yet!
And my new skirt...!
P.S. There is one more day to vote for or against my new glasses... though the result is looking pretty much unanimous at the moment!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1930's inspiration: Cracks

I have signed up for a free trial of a well-known dvd rental service, where you draw up a list of films you want to see and they send them to you by post, one at a time, in this case up to three times a month.

The first to arrive was "Cracks" (2009) and I watched it alone on Saturday (while cutting out patterns) and then again with my daughter on Sunday (while knitting!). It is set in 1934 in an isolated boarding school for girls.


I hired the film specifically to see the costumes, by Allison Byrne, which are absolutely stunning.
Did you know that clothes can be utterly beautiful? You did? Why did nobody tell me?!?!
I have a terrible tendency towards utilitarian dress. My recent post on "dressing like a teacher" seems laughable now, as the most glorious fashions in this film are worn by "Miss G.", a charismatic "Miss Jean Brodie" type. I spotted a Singer sewing machine in her room - so the suggestion is that she makes her own clothes. I wish I knew where she bought her fabric!

This is probably her most "practical" look.
I could wear that!

Silks, velvets, wools, embroidery, beadwork, fabulous tailoring - it's all here in abundance!
And the make-up is pretty inspirational too!

If I were to pick out my favourite looks, they would have to include: a pair of sublime cream wide-legged, high-waisted trousers which made Miss G.'s legs go on forever; the bias cut silk nightgowns; a pieced-stripe velvet jacket with wide lapels in berry hues; the use of printed silk scarves as headbands / belts. I can't seem to find images of these to show you, though. Typical.

The pupils' "mufti" outfits are equally absorbing: from the youngest girls in their fair-isle-yoked sweaters and smocked ginghams, to the older ones who ached to copy their idol, Miss G., and layered up short-sleeved cardis over blouses and baggy shorts - fab!

And let's not forget the exquisite Fiamma with her flame-coloured silk velvet coat and matching beret - wow!
There are loads of stills and a costume-based review over here. And another here.
And an interview with the designer here.
Oh - and it is actually a ripping yarn too. My daughter and I have a new catchphrase, to be uttered in a cut-glass English accent while thrusting a school- or shopping-bag into the other's hand: "Food, money and a map ... and don't come back!" Maybe you have to watch the film!

Now... 1930's patterns...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

FO: Cabled Keyhole Scarf

Have you ever made something that filled a gap in your life that you didn't even know existed until you had made that thing?

Well, maybe "gap in your wardrobe" is less dramatic and more appropriate than "gap in your life", but in this case it comes to the same thing.

I knitted this scarf-let, allegedly for my aged aunt as a belated Christmas present .
But when I tried it on, I realised it was exactly what I needed to keep the wind out of the neck of my parka when I am walking the dog around the farm.
So I am really sorry, Aunty Jean, this one is mine! But I will definitely knit another one for you very soon, because it was a fun knitting experience and I have several orphan skeins in the stash which would work well with this pattern.

Not the most flattering photo of me that FL has ever taken, but I was looking into the sun and the wind was in my face!
Stats:


Cabled Keyhole Scarf by Anne Hanson (Knitspot).

A single 50g (130yd) skein of Berroco Blackstone Tweed, colour: Nor'Easter (how appropriate!), a blend of 65%wool, 25% superkid mohair and 10% angora. I bought mine from a fellow-Raveller for only £5, but Loop sells this yarn. It is gorgeous!

4.5mm needles - I used my Daisy dpns because the rows were short and I love knitting with them: they are warm to the touch, which makes a big difference to my Raynaud's-afflicted fingers.

I have heard of people knitting one of these scarves in an evening, but I was too absorbed in studying the complexities of the design and tripped myself up a few times by "over-thinking" - again!

Follow the instructions - it isn't hard - and you will produce a beautiful, practical little piece of knitting. It's a great opportunity to indulge yourself in a single skein of something special.

And if you are interested in knitting design as an intellectual exercise, study this pattern: I learned so much!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New glasses: reader poll!



I thought I had found my ideal "vintage" glasses.


They are not a cat's eye but slightly more rounded, and in repose they have a deeper frame than a 1950's style: the seller described them as "40's" style. The frame is a green "tortoise-shell".

Oh lovely, Roo - take a photo by the washing!


But my daughter says I look like Harry Potter.



And FL says "This is a joke isn't it? I mean - you're not going to wear them are you?"

So, dear readers, I am throwing it over to you : there's a poll over there in the side-bar, and you have a week to vote anonymously. I won't be offended if you all side with FL and my daughter!
I haven't had my own lenses put in yet, so I can easily re-sell them on eeebaaay if it comes to it.
And if you are all laughing at me (like FL!) at least I have brought a little fun to your day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dressing Like a Teacher

Self-Stitched in September 2010

The new spring / summer clothing catalogues have started to arrive and I am feeling terribly grateful that I can sew!
First through the door (well... actually stuck under the windscreen wiper of my car as the farm road is still impassable for Mr Postie) was Boden.
OMG - so much ugliness! I used to love their clothes - what are they doing? A mustard coat with fuschia pink piping? Prints that look like they belong on polyester/nylon in the mustiest heap at a jumble sale? The only item I could imagine wearing drew the following comment from FL: "She looks like a farrowing sow in that dress!" Blimey - and I thought I was bitchy sometimes!
Oh look - me in a White Stuff skirt!
Next to arrive: White Stuff. I own three of their skirts, a cardigan, a tank top and couple of l/s tees from a few years back.
To my eye, they are "old-style Boden" and the skirts especially have that "crafty" edge to them. But on one page there are three tunics in similar prints in the same palette and I can hardly tell them apart - I imagine you might "just" buy all three if you liked one of them and had the cash to spare.
My daughter flicked through the catalogue with a curled lip: "Teachers' clothes!" she said.
And she is right, of course. 30-something "trendy teachers" will lap this stuff up - all the thinking has been done for them: the print skirts are already co-ordinated with the tees, with the little cardis, with the "funky" scarves, the hippy-style jewellery. You can buy a whole outfit from one page and know you look a bit arty and child-friendly, but nevertheless "professional".
It is a very middle-class look. It is a look I am perfectly capable of loving... but find myself kicking against. It feels like giving in to something, buying into a "type". Like wearing a badge that says "Guardian reader".

And yet, in Self-Stitched September, I looked most like "me" in this style of outfit!
OMG: you can take the girl out of teaching, but you can't stop the girl looking like a teacher!
So my question to you is: should I embrace my natural leaning towards dangling earrings and slouchy boots, with appliqued skirts and crochet edgings? Or fight against it with wiggle skirts and back-buttoned blouses and high heels?
Or is my analysis all wrong, and are the three outfits above actually ironic 70's-influenced vintage looks?
Or am I just over-thinking (again)? Should I just wear what I like and not try to stick a label on it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just the Headlines


I am very busy at work. As a result, my brain will not be calm and I flash from thought to thought to other thought and achieve very little.
Is this the definition of ADHD?!

I have drafted perhaps 5 separate blog posts about all sorts of things, in far too much detail.
So instead, here is a summary post about, well, everything!

First up: a finished sock for FL, using the Paul Atwell pattern by Emily Johnson. One down, one to go.

FL fell full length on the ice tonight on a family outing to the bins. One second he was up, and the next he was flat on his face. He is OK, but we all got a big fright. We can't take the rubbish in the car (as we usually do) because it is so hard to stop the car at the end of the road. That 180 degree turn of yesterday? We think the car simply slid of its own accord, despite the handbrake being on, because we had a similar experience while we were in it this morning. Scary!

I have new shoes! A January Sale bargain! They are by Camper, style name = Mamba. Don't pay £100, ladies - you can get them for far far less!


Kind of vintage-looking, rather elegant, comfortable underfoot: I will wear them every day until they fall apart!

P.S. they come in purple too, my purple-loving pals!


And I have a new vintage pattern – the original wiggle dress upon which Simplicity 3673 is based – and in my size (almost! )
I want to chop the wiggle version off just below the bust to make a high-waisted skirt in black cotton sateen. Another sewist did this and it looked amazing - if it was you, please leave a comment so I can add a link!

I plan to use my chocolate / grey babycord to make the dress.





And finally: a new “instant gratification” knitting project: the Cabled Keyhole scarf by Anne Hanson as a belated Christmas gift for my aged aunt.

I am using Berroco Blackstone Tweed from another Raveller's destash. The colour is much darker, deeper, richer than this photo suggests - a really gorgeous midnight blue. It is very very soft - I would love to make a full-sized garment out of this luxurious yarn!

Now that wasn't so hard, was it Roo?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

FO: Fifties Twin-Set

Don't be fooled by that confident smile - this is not my most successful project ever!

I have a lot to learn about sewing with knits, but it took this twin-set experiment to expose the extent of my ignorance.

So what have we got here?

3 metres of lambswool jersey: the kind of material you find in a ready-made M&S pullover.

The pattern (vintage, Butterick 6492) suggested that "wool jersey" was a suitable fabric, and they weren't completely wrong... it's just that the instructions were better-suited to a woven fabric, because once I got two, four, six layers of that sproingy wool all stacked on top of one another, I had some seriously bulky seams.
That's what's happening up at the neck and shoulders - bulky layering. Ugh!

The pattern suggested using bias-binding at the sleeve and bottom hems, which cut the bulk at those edges, but not where it was most needed at the neck edge of the cardigan. I didn't think to adapt it until the deed was done.
The cardigan has a real 50's silhouette: bolero-length, kimono sleeves, darts everywhere. I was afraid of making huge button holes through all those layers so those buttons are just for show. I pinned the front closed to take these pictures. I am going to add snap-fasteners.
I don't have a serger so I sewed all the seams with a slight zig-zag to allow for stretching.
It's not all doom and gloom though! See my lovely Liberty bias tape? It peeks out at the sleeve edges and is one of those hidden details I love so much!

And the cardigan buttons are an exact colour match. I found them in granny's button box.

The back of the blouse is buttoned, and I used self-covered metal blanks for that - you can see them in this "still life"!

Which brings me to the "under-sweater" blouse - yay! I love it!





It combines so many of the elements of my summer blouse collection: back-buttons, pleats at the neck, the very elegant "extended shoulder" sleeve.

The pattern describes this as a "jewelry neck", and it is ideal to show off a distinctive necklace like this piece of glass confectionary FL gave me in a Christmas cracker a couple of years ago!
And of course it is long enough to wear "out" over jeans and more modern skirts.
Stats:
Butterick 6492: "Choice of blouses: cardigan or jewelry necked. They're new! They're your favorite tops. (A) Blouse in this version has a round, banded neckline with soft underlining pleats. Sleeves are cropped. (B) Cardigan overblouse is waist length, has cut-in-one below-elbow sleeves."



The pattern is a vintage size 14, 32" bust, and I didn't try to alter it in any way.

I used less than 3 metres of wool jersey from Croft Mill and 3 metres of Liberty-print bias binding from Clothkits.

6 self-covered buttons at the back of the blouse.

3 vintage buttons for decoration on the cardigan.


Verdict?

Hmmm.
Not a total "wow" as a twin-set, but I clearly need to try tucking the blouse into a high-waisted wiggle skirt and sew the snap fasteners onto the cardigan before I get too grumpy with it as a double-act.

But I do love the blouse! And I now know I need to learn more about sewing with knits before I try to make another full-sized garment.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Comments and Looking Ahead

Comments
Crikey! Thank you so much for all those lovely comments on my finished cardi!
Which reminds me - I have been totally rubbish recently at getting back to people in response to their comments.
I hope you don't think I am just sitting here wallowing in your kindness, and polishing my nails? Truly, every one is appreciated. I have decided to try to respond in the comments section when I next update the blog, unless an individual clearly needs a personal reply. Some regular visitors don't seem to be properly linked through Blogger, so even though I know I "know" you, I can't always pay a reciprocal visit. Most frustrating!
But, just so you know, you are all very welcome... and so are your comments! ; )

Looking Ahead
I am back at work now, so blogging / sewing / knitting / sleeping time is severely reduced - you may have noticed!

This week's non-work obsessions have included the quest for new spectacles. I wear my glasses all the time these days and although I am fairly happy with my current frames, I would really like a more vintage look.
I love these but I don't think the colour would suit me...?

I have tried two pairs from Dead Mens Spex which made me look the wrong sort of eccentric.

My copy of Lula magazine has had me ogling the Cutler and Gross website (further charmed by the American in Paris soundtrack!) but there are no stockists north of Edinburgh and they are rather pricey.

Karie linked to a seller in Glasgow who will make a personal appointment to show their wares, and I am rather tempted by this plan: maybe arrange a rendezvous with my mother while I am at it, as she still doesn't have her Christmas presents!
Almost the weekend - I have a twinset to finish sewing - woo hoo!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

FO: Audrey In Unst Cardigan


Finished!!!!
See that smile? That is Ms Roobeedoo at the end of a holiday knitting marathon, with a successful Finished Object - phew!

OK, so those shoulders could do with a bit of blocking, but give a girl a break will you?!

According to Ravelry, I began this cardigan on September 14 2010, which isn't that long ago really. But I am so used to short, speedy projects that I was rather daunted by the acres of stocking-stitch in fingering weight wool.
Discovering that the neck edge was an I-cord bind-off almost finished me off this afternoon, as it took three times as long as I expected, but I have to admit it is a very neat touch.

It has confirmed my opinion about Gudrun Johnston's patterns - they are fiendishly well-written, with an incredible attention to detail. Absolutely nothing is left to chance: if you follow her instructions, you will end up with a beautiful garment.
But did I? Well, I was rather cavalier in my yarn choice and used a fingering-weight instead of the recommended sportweight, which led to me increasing the number of stitches picked up round the sleeve tops, which led to me having to lengthen the sleeves to continue a steady decrease down to the cuffs. By that point, there was no going back, so I made the cuffs slightly longer too.
Wanna see the back view?
OK then!

Stats:
Audrey in Unst by Gudrun Johnston, available here at Twist Collective.
Needles: 3.5mm for the bottom ribbing, 3.25mm everywhere else.
Yarn: Albayarn 4 ply Shetland Lambswool, spun locally for The Wool Shed in Oyne. I used the colour "Glade". It was only £3.95 a ball and I used 4 balls, which seems like a total bargain for a fabric which looks like something out of the pages of a Toast catalogue!
The buttons are simple green plastic fish-eyes that I bought to make an O W L S sweater... and I will still do that, because I have a big bag left.

Verdict:

Oh me, oh my, this was a lot of work, but I reckon it was worth it!
I love the lace panels and I loved the nipped-in shape, and I even love that blessed I-cord bind-off!
Would I knit it again?
In thicker yarn, yes I would - gasp! I bet you never thought I'd say that!