Hélène by Veronik Avery – Finished

My Hélène by Veronik Avery is finished!

I think my hopes for this one were slightly too high….I was really excited about it and was sure that it was going to be a new favourite. Now it’s all sewn up I’m really not sure about it.

Knitting the front and back wasn’t too bad (although it was fiddly to get them to match exactly) but it was a total pain to sew up. I messed up the shoulder seams and had to do them a couple of times. In the end I did the three needle bind off the wrong way around which seemed like a good idea at the time but now I think looks a little odd and bulky.

Another dubious picture taken in the mirror with my messy bedroom in the background I'm afraid.....

In the end I just wanted to get it finished so I rushed through the final sewing up. I picked up too many stitches on the neckline so it’s quite baggy. It was a little too baggy to stay on my shoulders so I had to stitch up the sides for half an inch or so. I tried to be neat but it looks a little messy…..

On the plus side I love pattern on the jumper and the wool……


The perils of picking up stitches

I was very pleased when I finally finished the front and back piece for my Hélène. I still love the colour, the wool as been a treat to knit with and I was excited to see what it would look like when put together.

Rather than sewing up the front and back pieces the pattern calls for you to pick up stitches and on each side of the shoulder and side/underarms seams and then join them together with a 3 needle bind off. I like this approach as it should be nice and neat. Most of the joins are across purl stitches and, while I can get a lovely invisible edge with a knit stitch, I can never make a purl edged seam invisible.

Picking up the stitches on the first sleeve went fine mainly because I was able to start with cuff. The problem came with the second sleeve. It was the second piece I’d made and I totally forgot to mark the start of the neckline. I made a little guess when I noticed but it became apparent, when I started picking up the stitches from that point, that I’d guessed wrongly.

I tried to go back and work out exactly where the marker should have been. It’s very tricky given the pattern and the small stitches. In the end I gave up and started to pick up the stitches from the cuff. To do that I had to pick them up backwards (picking up stitches on the wrong side with the right side facing me). This seemed to go okay but because I had the wrong side facing me I couldn’t really see what I was doing. When I finished I realised that the previous attempt to pick up stitches had caused the stitches to stretch and left me with a huge ladder all along the seam. 😦

Rather than stopping and thinking of a different approach at that point I decided to press on and finish the 3 needle bind off. That was a bad idea. Despite my optimism it didn’t look better once I’d finished and I wasn’t able to sew it up and fix it. I also realised that if I undid the 3 needle bind off I wouldn’t be able to catch the picked up stitches on the side that would work and would end up with a ladder on that side too.

Uncharacteristically, I wasn’t massively annoyed by this minor stitch picking up disaster.  In a last ditch attempt to get rid of the massive ladder I have blocked the pieces out. This hasn’t quite worked. On the plus side the pattern has blocked out beautifully. I now have two options:

1. Try and create ladders on the other shoulder seam so that they match.
2. Pick up stitches from much further in and risk a bulky seam.

I am going to go for option 2. I am determined that I will make this project work as I want to wear it!


Hélène by Veronik Avery- progress so far

I spotted Hélène by Veronik Avery on Ravelry a few weeks ago. I really like the pattern and I think it will make a lovely summer top. I’m very excited about it!

I had a look at the recommended wool which is Quince and Co. Sparrow. It looks lovely but it’s not the cheapest and totally out of my price range. Instead I’m trying it out with Garnstudio DROPS Baby Alpaca Silk. As you’ll know if you read the blog regularly I love Garnstudio; the quality is great and the prices are really reasonable.  I haven’t used this wool before but I’m really impressed so far, it so soft and silky and it feels much more expensive than £3.00 a ball! I love the muted green colour as well.

The project is worked in two pieces from sleeve to sleeve. This is the first time I’ve worked with a project like this. The front and back will need to match up exactly for it to work properly so it’s a little bit of a challenge for me (I can be a tad slapdash). The project gives a lot of the instructions based on measurements,  however, as this is lace project and it’s very stretchy it would be hard to be totally accurate.  To be sure that my front and back will match I’ve had to start counting the pattern repeats and making a note of how far I’ve got at certain points. My notes consist of a lot of 0.5 and 1+0.7 so I hope it all makes sense to me when I get to the back!

The lace pattern for this project is really simple and easy to remember. I haven’t quite got it off by heart yet but I’m sure that I will by the time I’ve finished.

I’m making the smallest size (32) and it is looking very small at the moment! The fabric is really stretchy and quite bunches up at the moment though so I’m confident that it will really grow when I block it out.