I’ve got a crush on an 81-year-old woman

I’ve managed to turn out a couple of new garments in the past couple of weeks, and I’ve also developed a school-girl crush on an 81-year-old woman in Britain.

First, here’s my new Annika cardigan, based on the pattern by Milla Mia Sweden.

Annika Cardigan

I modified it a fair bit from the pattern directions, mainly making the bottom half far narrower than called for. I’ve detailed the mods on my project page in Ravelry. I used Sandnes Garn Mini Alpakka yarn, a sport-weight alpaca which made this cardigan lightweight but warm, wonderfully soft, and with a great drape. This may be my new favourite yarn, and lucky for me my Local Yarn Shop, Romni Wools, carries lots of it at a very reasonable price.

Annika Cardigan Sleeve Detail

Annika cardigan back view

While I was finishing up this cardigan, I binge-watched The Great British Sewing Bee. Ok, there’s only 4 episodes altogether so it’s not like I stayed on the couch for 5 days straight. 😉  What a nerdy, amazing concept for a show! A bunch of competitors are given sewing challenges (e.g. sew an A-line skirt in 5 hours, modify the neckline of a store-bought shirt, etc.) and a couple of professional judges decide which competitors have to leave at the end of each show. If you’re a sewing enthusiast, I highly recommend it. You can watch all the episodes on YouTube starting with episode 1 here. During the course of watching I developed quite a crush on Ann Rowley, the competitor who had been sewing for about 70 years. I defy you to watch this program and not develop a crush on her, too!

One of the projects Ann sewed for the show was a Chanel-style jacket in a pinkish tweed fabric which I just loved. So I Googled a bit to find out if the pattern was available (it’s Vogue 8804 and Ann has posted a picture tutorial for sewing it here), I discovered that Ann is also a knitter, AND — and you’ll only understand why this makes me happy if you’ve ever had a school-girl crush on a fellow knitter — in lurking on her Ravelry projects page I found that she had also knitted the exact same Milla Mia Erika cardigan I had. Squee! (Weird, right? I know, can’t help myself.) This is my version of the cardigan below, and you can see Ann’s version on Ravelry if you want to, but you probably don’t because you don’t have a crush on her like I do. 😛

Milla Mia Erika cardigan

Since there were only 4 episodes of the show, I was left wishing there was more…when along came word that they had just put out a Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special. Yikes. I’m really not much for Christmas specials, but wanting a fix, I checked it out. But BBC, I’m afraid you took this just a little too far. The 4 finalists from the series were brought back to sew some twee Christmas decorations while the audience was given updates on what they’d been up to since the show (which, I take it, was only maybe a year or so before). Even I, who had proudly watched the whole series without one whiff of shame, felt a little dirty just half-way into watching this one. Ick.

But I still love Ann! 🙂

Have you seen the show? What did you think?


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