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Happily, whilst on my recent break I managed to find time for my personal projects!  For the shawl, that wasn’t too difficult – part of my time away involved a couple of train journeys totalling nearly six hours, so there would’ve been something seriously wrong with me if I hadn’t managed to make a dent 😉

I’ll start with the coat.  This is the current state of play – I have just started the right front and worked the first buttonhole:

SunshineCoat2I think it looks absolutely lovely so far!  I am actually very jealous of the fact that it won’t be mine when I’ve finished, but never mind.  I am beginning to think there is nothing quite as cheerful as a yellow coat.  Forget all those dark, goes-with-anything colours we’re reduced to buying in the shops – this is where it’s at!  This sentiment reminds me of period dramas (for UK readers, yes, I have been watching Mr Selfridge and Call the Midwife!) and the wonderfully smart coats that people used to wear in the first half or so of the twentieth century.  (I should also add the Great British Sewing Bee to that list of programmes I’ve been watching, since this week’s challenge involved an array of gorgeous vintage coats…sigh…)  There are times when the coat is so beautiful that you hardly care about what’s being worn underneath it, or when the coat is the outfit in itself rather than acting as the final, presentable layer.  I suspect – and hope – that my friend won’t want to take it off once it’s finished…not least because it’s being coveted intensely!

As for the shawl, you’ve probably already guessed that it’s finished given all the time I spent on the train – and here it is in all its glory:

PineappleShawlBack PineappleShawlFront

It’s been keeping me very cosy and is definitely more glamorous than my usual fare.  I have to admit to being slightly clumsy with the tassels (they have got a little bit wet now and then), but somehow I think I’ll get used to them ;-).  The Tuhu is made up of 10% angora and it shows; lots of shedding but a trip to the dry cleaners should sort that out.  That’s a tip for mohair and other shedding or hairy garments, by the way: if the moulting is too much to bear, one trip to the dry cleaners will usually sort it out.  Once you’ve got the finished garment back it should be much better behaved!

I really, really enjoyed making the pineapple shawl.  The pattern repeat isn’t too difficult if you’re a novice looking to make your first substantial project (apart from chains, the only stitches used are double crochet and treble crochet in UK-speak); after a repeat or so it should be fairly intuitive.  I’ve made a few notes on my yarn and tension here on Ravelry.  Just make sure you’re ready for the long rows as you approach the end – they will take you several minutes to complete, so if your day involves a fair commute make sure you pack this project in your bag!  I was glad I did when I had my long weekend, and I will share some photographs with you in the next few days.

Project Update: Sunshine Coat and Pineapple Shawl

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Natalie in Stitches

I design for confident knitters who are keen on getting their garments to fit well. My catalogue includes knitting patterns for lace sweaters, cable sweaters, shawls, cowls, and the occasional scarf. These designs are ideal for building or curating an inspiring wardrobe. I am also a qualified teacher and share my favourite tips, tricks and techniques on my blog, where you can also find advice on garment fitting, alterations, knitwear design and sewing pattern reviews. Courses are also coming soon - sign up to my newsletter for updates.

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