Blue seaweed

My sister gave me a 1970s knitting book, which was in her stash – thereby moving it from her overpacked house to mine!

I immediately fell in like with this lurex top, but of course, the yarn is no longer available and Yarndex didn’t have it listed so that I could source an approximate facsimile. DSC05833-2

I had some of this Tilli Tomas “Voile de la mer” yarn in my stash, but I only had 3 x 50g skeins.


I had bought it on eBay intending to make a möbius (when I was in my möbius fad stage!), but when I saw it I knew I needed to make something luxurious and glamorous. It is 70% silk and 30% seaweed! Oh, ok then, 30% kelp fibre – seaweed by any other name. I had never knitted with kelp fibre before and I have to say this yarn is divine. It is a luscious shade of blue (lyrically called “Skydrop” – almost James Bond), which is interesting because I am not a blue person at all and yet my wardrobe is beginning to get more blue in it as I renounce my old staple, black. I scoured the web for more and found some on various sites in the US. The problem was that importing yarn from the US costs a fortune (the quote for postage was 60USD!) but I finally found another 4 skeins in Germany, and imported them to my stash (just a quick note here: I have since discovered the service UStoOz who will repackage and post from the US at a very reasonable price). 

When my sewing machine bit me, my eye wandered to the other side of my sweatshop where the much more docile knitting machines live. The pattern and yarn had sat on the bench for a couple of months, because I was really struggling to match the tension in the pattern. So I  just started on the largest size (36) and my last attempted tension. Luckily I made an error and had to take it off the machine for frogging and discovered that it was at least 6 inches too big for me! OK, start again, this time with the smallest size (32). I made the back and the front in around 3 hours (oh the joys of machine knitting!), but found a slight flaw in the knitting running right up the centre front (happens sometimes). More frogging…

Just a note here: when converting patterns such as this, it is almost impossible to gauge how much yarn to buy. The pattern called for 7 x 56g cones; with the 4 new skeins I had 7 x 50g skeins and when I had finished the top I had three left over – aggh! I also carelessly mixed dyelots, knitting the body from the original and the sleeves from the new skeins. I now have a mixed lot – sigh. I might knit myself the Endless Loop because it would be fabulous in this yarn and I will have to weave the dyelots together. Fingers crossed I have enough!

My first outing in the top was to the house of some friends for dinner.


I’m not sure if you can see the hair bling – I think I was going for a ’40s vibe!


I teamed it with some wide legged grey pants that I made from a Lutterloh pattern, which I modified by simply straightening out the legs a bit.


They are made from a stretchy synthetic fabric (plastic?) which I found in my stash.


Trying to vamp it up, but I am recovering from the lurgy, generously donated to me by my husband, so I am not really pulling it off.

[later edit] I realised that you can’t really see the top, so here it is in close up. Please note the really lovely picot edging – this is what had attracted me in the first place:


This week we celebrated two major birthdays in the family: my Dad turned 98 and Mark’s Dad turned 90 (and he loved his shirt  – yay!). Pretty good going from both of them!


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