Red all over

Wool and the Gang Cross Country Coat red 2I got a little ahead on my New Year resolution to finish a knitted garment, by finishing one before 2015 actually started. This is the Cross Country Coat pattern from Wool and the Gang (did I mention that I am obsessed with their patterns?), executed in lipstick red ‘crazy sexy wool’. When I opened the parcel on Christmas Day and dug out that first ball of lamb-kiss soft scarlet superbness I did let out a little squeak of ecstasy. As you can probably tell from my ‘Made by Me‘ gallery my go to colours are navy, grey, cream and white. But sometimes you just need to break loose and work in a colour that’s loud, proud and beautiful.

“Red, Charlie boy. Rule one. Red… is the color of sex. Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles. Red is the color of sex and fear and danger and signs that say, “Do Not Enter.” All of my favourite things in life.”

(Incidentally I watched both 12 Years a Slave and Kinky Boots over Christmas, just to prove to my family what a crazy good actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is!)

Wool and the Gang Crazy Sexy Wool lipstick redThe pattern itself is super simple. Five rectangles worked in double moss stitch (knit two, purl two alternated between rows) and stitched together. All in I took three days to finish the panels and sew them together. Although after taking my new coat/cardigan hybrid out for a walk I think I want to un-stitch the panels and put them back together using crochet slip stitches. Generally I prefer to use crochet to stitch up my knitting projects because it makes for a smoother, neater finish, but as I was on the road for Christmas visiting parents and in-laws I didn’t have a crochet hook to hand.

Wool and the Gang Cross Country Coat redChris and I are back home now, and I’m finishing off this post sitting on the kitchen floor surrounded by piles of laundry. We leave on our travels in a few days, so washing pants is my top priority at the moment. And I still need to buy a suitcase. Because I hate myself I decided to go shopping for a swimming costume in John Lewis immediately after Christmas (scarier than any horror movie, let me tell you). But to make up for it I also scored some gorgeous blue cotton chambray in the sale that I’m hoping to whip into a pair of loose trousers before we leave. I’m about to be parted from my sewing machine for three months, but luckily I have a few days of quality time left before the adventure begins. In fact, why am I still writing this? I’ve got an appointment with a lady called Janome.

Happy New Year chaps!

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What do you think?

  • I love this. I’ve never knitted before but am rather taken with the WOOL AND THE GANG stuff. are the patterns easy to follow and do you think as a complete novice I would be able to make something simple? I’d appreciate any advice you can give.

    • Each pattern has a difficulty rating, and I think they’re pretty accurate. The patterns are very easy to follow – they come in a little booklet that contains both the pattern and how tos for all the techniques you need (casting on and off, different stitches etc). WATG also have lots of video tutorials on YouTube, which you can find through their website, which cover everything from the basics through to more complex techniques. The first piece I made of their was a hat, which is a lovely simple project. Quick gratification! This red coat was actually listed as an easy pattern, because each panel is just a rectangle all worked in the same stitches with no increases or decreases. Their kits are quite expensive, so if you have never knitted before I would recommend getting some cheap needles/yarn and load up a few videos to learn the basics before you make the investment. Or keep an eye out for the WATG sales, when they sometimes discount knit kits and yarn. I hope all that helps, and happy knitting!

      • Thank you so much for your reply. Yep that helps. I’m loving your blog too. Your pictures are amazing and I’m totally envious of the trip you are on. Looking forward to your next post about it. XX

  • Hi Lizzy, I’ve come across your blog by googling “WATG red cross country coat” as I wasn’t 100% confident to make the coat in red – well, I have never owned any red coat. It is so nice to see a finished project in real life. Thank you very much for a lovely posting, my WATG order in red is on the way 😉

    • Ooh, that’s so exciting! I hope you have fun making it, it’s a lovely pattern. I wasn’t sure about the red either – I wear a lot of navy and cream and black, so red seemed a little crazy. But it’s always more fun to work on projects in beautiful colours!