Knitted White Russian: OWOP Day 4

A few days ago I recklessly tweeted that I was going to make my own fabric for a White Russian. I have a few many large cones of yarn with almost no prospect of getting them knitted into anything useful and I thought I’d knit one of my three cones of chenille on the knitting machine and then use cut and sew techniques to make the top. I have never done this before, so was quite excited at the prospect.

Then I lost my knitting mojo. Nothing worked for about two hours. Went for a walk. Knitting mojo returned – phew, minor embarrassment avoided.

I spent some time knitting gauge swatches and generally faffing around and then I just cast on and knitted until I had a catastrophe and it all fell off the needles. I declared this to be the first piece of fabric! I wasn’t sure whether it would unravel so I overlocked the edge.


I laid the pieces out and knitted more pieces for the sleeves and bands attempting to guess the length (which is why we knit a gauge swatch!). Amazingly I had very little wastage. DSC00513

I promptly sewed it all up using just the overlocker. (note to self, tidy up area before taking photographs!)

So am I pleased with the result? Hmm, it’s a bit so so.



The hem band was too long and was unattractively baggy when joined to the body. This yarn has no stretch and recovery whatsoever so I didn’t bother knitting ribbed bands but this might have been a mistake. In the end I gingerly unpicked part of the hem band, threaded elastic through and resewed, darning all the little runs that suddenly appeared in my knitting! This resolved this problem but I’m not sure I’m in love with it.


The chenille is quite firm so it felt a bit like I was wearing a carpet. I washed the top fairly strenuously and it has helped a bit, and it will be interesting to see whether it softens over time.


When I pulled out the cone of chenille I hadn’t realised that it was variegated. It was only as I knitted that I could see the different shadings becoming evident. I have another enormous cone of brown chenille which looks quite dull, but it may knit up the same way. The jury is out on whether I will knit it into a garment or just make a throw rug or dog blanket or something. The yarn launders brilliantly so it will be very easy care, and frankly, this top is a bit casual for wearing to work (even though I did), but it will be perfect for camping.

The details: Pattern is Capital Chic White Russian made from machine knitted chenille. Worn with Vogue 1247 tweed skirt and Enrico Antinori shoes from Zomp. I accessorised with Keshi pearl necklace from Heaven Wrapped, Claremont, and Samantha Wills ring which was a gift from my friend Tania.



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