Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
So without further ado, may I present my seasonal sewing brain-dump?
Top of the queue, with no excuse available:
Trousers in chocolate brown / lilac pinstriped cotton: pattern TICK, fabric TICK
Plaid pintucked Japanese pattern tunic: pattern TICK, fabric TICK
Pinstripe wool Rockabilly skirt: pattern TICK, fabric TICK
Eva Dress 1940's trousers: pattern TICK, fabric TICKPendrell blouse: pattern TICK, fabric TICK
In my peripheral vision:
Black cotton sateen wiggle dress / skirt: pattern ON WAY, fabric TICK
Brown babycord /silver sequins wiggle dress: pattern ON WAY, fabric TICK
Betsey Johnson 1970's coat: pattern TICK, fabric NOPE.... OK, so I might have to buy some!
The pattern that is on its way is truly fabulous - I hope I can make it work! I have also ordered a few lengths of grosgrain ribbon for waistband-reinforcements, to avoid that mid-project slump when I realise I don't have everything I need to hand: it's not as if I can "pop out to the shop" whenever I feel like it!
The more I think about it, the more I think a self-stitched lifestyle is the way for me to go. It is really rather exciting! Roll on 2011!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Audrey-in-Unst is looking almost achievable these days. She just needs a second sleeve and a neck / front band and she will be a cardigan. Imagine that!
But I have been so engrossed in the texture of the Paul Atwell sock that poor Audrey hasn't had a look in.
This is called "gull and seed stitch", which seems particularly suitable for FL, as his middle name (Gow) means "gull", and he used to be a farmer (among other things).
I am impressed by the quality of this Lidl "Cesana" sock yarn. It is softer than Opal, definitely comparable to Regia sock yarn, and it was ridiculously cheap at £3.99 for 200g - that's enough for two pairs of short men's socks. (As opposed to men's short socks...?!)
Speaking of grammatical errors, my reference yesterday to "footballer's wives" was a mistake... but the more I think of it, I like the insinuation that the teenaged girls of the 'shire are being brought up all to marry one footballer. It sums up my feelings rather well.
And here is my current sewing project: the 1950's twinset.
The first photo gives the best representation of the colour of the wool jersey. There were 19 tailor's tacks to make on the front of the "blouse"
I have, of course, run out of thread with the blouse half-stitched - grrr! So I hadn't thought it through...
I am also waiting for 5 metres of bias binding to arrive in the post. I decided to splash out and order Liberty-print binding, as part of my plan to aim for quality rather than quantity in my future wardrobe.
If I am spending all these hours sewing my own clothes, I reckon I ought to ensure they are made to last. I have learned it is a false economy to buy cheap bias binding: my poor Lola apron is suffering the consequences of bleeding dye from both red and green trims :(
Here is the back of the sofa modelling my top-to-be.
I think next year's essential purchase will be a tailor's dummy / dress-form, whatever you like to call it.
And a stable ironing-board.
I hesitate to write this down in case you hold me to it... but I am thinking of giving up shop-bought clothes altogether. I think the time has come.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
In craft news:
Saturday, December 25, 2010
"Nature is a language - can't you read? Nature is a language - can't you read?" The Smiths
This was our soundtrack for what my daughter described as a "film moment" when the snow began to fall on Christmas Eve as we danced back to the house with our Christmas Branch.
The Gamekeeper came by in a tractor to feed the pheasants, clearing a path through the snow to the woods.
So we collected a Christmas Branch and decorated it.
And gave the tractor-man a wee dram.
Christmas Eve: our "own" venison roasted in a pastry "huff", cabbage and roast potatoes. home-made mince pies.
And soon it was Christmas.
And FL opened his presents...
Happy Christmas to all of you from all of us!
Even the Christmas Elf.
Friday, December 24, 2010
The local mouse family can no longer just run under the back door into our kitchen.
Note to self: fill the bird-feeder.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Photo: FL digging for sand.
OK, Myeloma buddies, here is the news: his Kappa score is up to 44.7 from around 12 or so last time. If you are of a scientific bent, I am sure you can plot the graph in your head and imagine that swooping upward curve. This is not good.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sneaky attempts to check the size while he was dozing in his chair were almost foiled when the flash went off!
Friday, December 17, 2010
FL fell on the farm track last night after failing to get up the road with the car. Miraculously, we don't think he broke any bones but it gave him a fright. And me!
So I am working at home today.
School closed again.
At least it's Friday.
My second attempt at a rainbow-striped ear-flapped hat is going well, with a much denser texture which won't need felting (ha!).
It is the Centuria pattern by Woolly Wormhead, again using Reggae Ombre yarn. I just hope I have enough!
The weekend ahead looks set to be house-bound, with occasional dog-walking duties.
I suppose we ought to start thinking seriously about Christmas - although I don't think my mother will brave the journey in these conditions. We would have to sledge her up the track!
But The Boy should make it here from Dundee - I hope!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
It might not look like much to you, but I have had this vintage coat pattern on my Most Wanted list for, well forever!
It was designed by Betsey Johnson in the 1970s as part of the Butterick "Young Designer" series. I mentioned it back here. And by some fluke of wildcard spelling I found it at Etsy, where the seller only wanted £3.50 for it - score! It hasn't escaped my notice that it is too small, but with all those panels...? I know I can make it fit!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Who remembers my Barn-Raising Blanket plan? Why, I do declare, I was going to knit a square every weekend! If I had stuck to that plan, begun in earnest in January 2009, I would be swimming in blankets by now!
But I last updated my Ravelry page for this project in January 2010... by which point I had knitted 8 squares! 8 squares?! In a year?! And I haven't touched it since.
I was further reminded of this when I saw Emily's blanket progress. Isn't it looking lovely?
I need to find some fresh motivation. You would have thought that the promise of a snuggley blanket would have been enough, but clearly not. TSK!
Which reminded me that there are other Works-in-Progress which haven't seen much daylight recently. How about the Helleborus Yoke?
I remember stopping half-way round the yoke so that I would know where I was - but that was months ago. And all I remember about it now is that there is a mistake in that cable. And that I thought it might be coming out a bit too small.
I might just rip it out and salvage the yarn.
And then there are the Fiore di Notte armwarmers. Do I care about them anymore? Or have I lost the love?
Which leaves just the one WIP: Audrey in Unst.
Come on Roobeedoo, finish it before the New Year and make your granny* a happy woman!
*My mother's mother used to say that it was very bad luck to leave projects unfinished into the beginning of a New Year. She used to stay up all night if necessary to complete knitting projects before the end of December.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I offered it to The Girl. She is happy to wear any colour... as long as it is black.
But that's fine, because I love my green Norie, and now I have a blue one too - yay! Double prizes!
Norie hat from The Shetland Trader , Book One. Now also available as a single pattern from Ravelry.
100g of Bluebell wool DK from Coldharbour Mill. I bought mine here.
Apologies for blurry evening photography. No more daylight until the weekend!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
It's not looking particularly "rockabilly", but here at last is my Rockabilly Rose skirt.
This should have been a speedy project, but I fiddled about trying to add a couple of inches to the waist and messed up the construction in the process.
Today, I unpicked the oversized front yokes and recut to the original pattern piece sizes. And it fits!
I had to shorten it by about 7 inches to avoid frumpiness.
You can hardly see them in these photos, but there are three buttons on the top pocket edges. Ideally, I would have used something vintage but I didn't have anything suitable to hand, and these slightly grainy matt black plastic numbers went well with the velvet roses.
Simplicity 3983 from 1952, purchased at Etsy.
One metre of grey herringbone fabric with embossed velvet roses, £2.75 from Walthamstow market, with enormous thanks to Karen!
Six buttons of un-remembered origin, possibly also from E17.
A simple, back-zipped skirt with inset front yokes and curved pockets.
I stitched the buttons through all the layers to prevent the pocket tops from sagging, which makes them only semi-functional, but looked better.
My favourite feature is the grosgrain ribbon which lines the waistband. This was suggested within the pattern instructions and it really works! There's no faffing about with dodgy Vilene, just the simple clean crispness of the firm braid on the inside, encasing the raw edges of the main fabric.
This skirt has the potential to become a "work staple". It is simple, but the fabric has an interesting texture and I like the button trim. I reckon it looks quite expensive, which is pretty good going for £2.75!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I can see the signs of his cancer returning. Odd, irrational behaviour is always a sure sign.
and FL joked that he should go to his GP and ask to take a mega-dose of aspirin, just to see what the GP would say... because FL is allergic to aspirin! He almost died when he took one by mistake many years ago. "So, Doctor, how about I take a few tablets to zap the cancer, and then you can give me a dose of adrenalin to fight the effects of the aspirin...?" Err... NO, I don't think so!
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
- Kilravock for FL, in green Lidl cheap-as-chips yarn
- Karaoke (Knitted Socks East and West) for me, in purple Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport (dk weight)
- 2luvcrew (Knit Love Club pattern) for my daughter, in turquoise Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock
You will note a double helping of Lorna's Laces in that list. I am finally reaching the conclusion that socks need to be knitted in yarn with a touch of nylon. It has not escaped my notice that the socks that wore through fastest were made from Malabrigo Sock, swiftly followed by Fyberspates bfl... and with great regret I have to tell you that the bright blue Clessidra knee-highs in the photo were knit from precious Wollmeise merino superwash! GASP! The shrunken-looking stripey ones are Goth Socks. My daughter's have felted and shrunk, while FL's have worn through.My favourites socks to wear at the moment are my Hazel Knits Biwa socks, but I am aware that although they are warm and soft, they are developing definite bobbling issues. I have three more skeins of this wonderful yarn set aside, but will keep an eye on the Biwas for the time being, in case they are about to self-destruct! I will be auditing the stash and separating out the "not-for-socks" fingering weight yarn.
Ironically, it might mean I need to buy more sock yarn before 2011 is out - but that's OK! ;)
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
When you suggested that FL might get improved colour tv reception in his Rainbow Warrior Hat compared to his Centuria, you probably did not realise that I was, in fact, knitting an "aerial cosy".
P.S. What does Buddy's head measure? Is he bigger than a chihuahua?
Freshly-knitted, this hat was far too big. So last night, I stuck it in the washing machine for a 60 degree hot wash. I rarely cook my washing at this temperature - I reserve Cycle D for extreme cleaning, like dog-basket bedding.
**********This is why!************
Friends, if ever you need to demonstrate to your children / partner the reason why they should separate their hand-knits from the rest of the wash, show them this post.
FL's HUGE Rainbow Warrior hat is now a TINY felted elf-hat.
Too big for an egg-cosy. Too small to cover the tea-pot. Just right to fit the TV aerial... or possibly a favourite golf-club...?
Rainbow Warrior by Woolly Wormhead
2 x 50g balls of Reggae Ombre, from Knitting4Fun
5mm straight needles
Felted by Hotpoint, Cycle D, 60 degrees.
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine —
Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made
The tender-person’d Lamia melt into a shade.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
The snow has put a stop to the official school bus, and in any case the school has been closed to pupils every day this week. At least it has given her time to catch up on maths homework... though it has become one of those tasks which grows to fit the time available.
FL has been driving me to work this week, but this morning was really hard work. The snow plough hasn't been back since Saturday and another 5 inches fell last night, so we had to dig the car out... only for him to slide into the bank on the other side of the road trying to get over the rut in the middle.
I had to push him out, all the time saying "Let's just park and go back to the house..." but by the time we got the car out, it was easier to carry on up the road than to try to turn, so off to work we went.
As I write, the snow is battering off the skylight once again, and I can't imagine getting to the office tomorrow.
My knitting is proving to be such a comfort after cold hard trudges through knee-deep drifts.
This is FL's Rainbow Warrior hat - a Christmas "surprise", although he has seen me knitting it. I don't think he suspects - not in these colours!
I think I might stick it in the washing machine to felt it as it is turning out quite large and with a more open gauge than I would like.
Watch this space for a wild woolly FO!