Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Things in progress

Finishing fever has finally wound down here, so what am I working on now?

Caramel has been in queue for ages and ages but I was having terrible trouble deciding what colour yarn to buy. Then, when I decided to frog my Cria I realised that I could use the grey Rowan Felted Tweed from that and combine it with some purple and pink Katia Merino Blend that I had in the stash. Given that this is essentially a wearable blanket it is knitting up really fast. It's been slowing down a bit as I've been increasing for the sleeves, but I've only got a couple of rows left before I put the sleeves on scraps and then I'll be able to zip down the body in no time. Probably.

In my sewing room I'm upping my skills a bit by attempting a Moss Skirt by Grainline Studios. It seems I can't link to it today because my iPad hates me, but I'll get on that when it's finished. It's a super cute skirt with a back yoke, fly front zip and I've even gone for flat felled seams. If I pull it off I think this will be a great wardrobe staple, I wear this style of skirt all the time and I'll be able to make loads of them. I'm also looking to attempt jeans soon so this is great practice before I throw myself into that.

On my spinning wheel is some beautiful fibre I received in a swap at the end of last year. It's a Sweet Georgia polwarth silk blend all the way from Canada. The colours are beautiful so I'm just spinning two plies to try and preserve them as much as possible.

So that's my little round up, I wonder what I'll finish first?



Friday, 23 January 2015

Finishing Fever continues

Clearly I'm in the mood for getting things done at the moment, which may be a way of keeping my mind off the disappointment of having my gallbladder surgery being postponed due to a clerical error, or not, who knows. These two projects are not quite as embarrassing as the who Cap Sleeve Top thing but still. Essentially I made two cardigans one in 2009 and one in 2011 when I was pregnant with Cassie and I hadn't seen buttons on either of them and hadn't taken any photographs of them finished. I'm so lazy!

So here is me wearing my Cropped Waistcoat from Rowan Studio 13. I've worn it a fair few times since I knitted it, it's a nice way to add a little warmth and interest to an outfit. Maybe now it has a button I'll wear it a little more.

The second one is a Shalom that I knitted as a maternity cardigan. I'll be honest, it wasn't quite big enough then and looked a little silly. It's ok now though.

I'm not entirely convinced I chose the right button, apparently I have no purple buttons in my vast collection, but it's taken me so long to actually sew one on that it stays for now.

The 'photoshoot' for this happened at the same time as for the Cap Sleeved Top, hence the barely concealed mayhem in these pictures!



Friday, 16 January 2015

FO: Zombie Cardigan

Today's FO has been well and truly brought back from the grave! I cast on for the Cap Sleeve Top from Rowan Studio 11 back in March 2010 and I finally finished it up yesterday. I have to confess that I feel slightly ridiculous about this. I'm not sure exactly when or why this got put to one side, I've come across it a few times over the years but each time I've just put it back away thinking that I had loads left to do and it probably wasn't worth it because it was unlikely to fit me. This time, however I actually took a proper look at the pieces. It turns out I had a back two fronts and one and a half sleeves, that meant I only had half a sleeve left to knit. To be more precise, half a cap sleeve.

Yep, those sleeves are flipping tiny, what a wally I am! To be fair, being a Rowan pattern, the making up was pretty torturous and I had to knit and attach the button bands, pick up and knit the neckband and then sew the whole thing together, but even so not really worth procrastinating about for 5 years.

Luckily I'm pretty happy with the finished item. It fits and, although I'm not really feeling it with the black top I have on here, it looks nice on. It is knitted with Rowan Bamboo tape, so it is pretty heavy and I'm anticipating some growth, but hopefully not too much. The button band was pretty gapey, again because I'm the bamboo so I've actually sewn it down seeing as I can slip it on over my head anyway.

Getting photos of this top was almost as time consuming as knitting it, if I wasn't being photobombed I was trying to hold them out of the way or get a pic done quickly before they came back. I've decided I don't care, it's pretty funny really!



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

FO: Family Tree Shawl

I've got finishing fever here, not only have I finally finished my Family Tree shawl, 4 Months after the MKAL finished but I'm actually nearly done on a cardigan that Ravelry tells me I started in 2010! More about that in a couple of days though.

A couple of clues into this mystery knit it became clear that, while the shawl was pretty, it wasn't going to be quite my style. As I knitted I became fairly sure this would be a great gift for my mum. I attempted to get it done for Christmas but, despite having no trouble with the Latvian braid first time round I completely lost the plot on the second one and ended up putting the whole thing aside again and bought my mum a gift instead. No worries, there's always her birthday to aim for instead I thought. My mother, being completely inconsiderate however was born on 4th Jan, so unsurprisingly I wasn't finished by then either. When I finally found time to pick it back up again I found that actually my Latvian braid had been correct but for some reason it just looked weird and when I ripped back and tried again it was even worse so all I needed to do was knit it again the way I did it the first time and it was fine. Finishing from there was super quick and my mum got her shawl a mere week after her birthday.

I was very pleased to see that she had posted a picture of it on Facebook the morning after she received it, so I think it's safe to say that it was well received. There were lots of lovely comments too, so I'm really pleased. That said, I'm going to try and be strong and resist the call of MKALs this year. I have so much I want to knit without adding in complete unknowns. It is fun and I really enjoy the knitting along aspect but I really want to make a dent in the queue this year and maybe just watch a few MKALs as they progress and live vicariously through other mystery knitters.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

FO: Totoro Mitts

I don't have too much to say about these, they're mittens with Totoro on for the Studio Ghibli fan in my life.

The pattern, Norwegian Totoro Mittens, was concise and easy and knitted up really quickly. It was only because of illness and other commitments that these weren't done in time for Christmas. The only thing I'd say was that the info on size and gauge was a little vague. I needed to size up and just guessed that using worsted instead of DK and 5mm needles would produce the size I needed. Before blocking they were a fraction too short, but happily they seem to be just right now they're blocked.

With hindsight I think I'd have preferred to reverse the colours but I like them well enough as they are and they'll probably stay cleaner than if they were predominantly white.

So Happy Christmas Stu, sorry they took so long at least it's not really been cold enough to need them eh?!



Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Plans, plots and schemes

As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm really trying to get ahead of Christmas this year by knitting a gift for someone at least every two months.  I may also  do something similar with bought presents too so that there is no excuse for last minute craziness.  Rather than just wing it and chuck any old thing in the Christmas box, I've made a list of 6 things I'd like to make and matched them up with their likely recipients.  I'll be keeping that info to myself though, just in case anyone in my family is a secret reader.  So here it is:

I've tried to fairly realistic and kept to small projects that will keep my interest.  I have lots of other projects in my mind for this year and I don't want to feel like this little scheme is taking too much away from them.  The only thing I haven't done yet is matched the projects up with yarn.  Ideally I'd like to find something in the stash for each of them, but I fear I may be dreaming on that front.  Oh well, I may have to buy some yarn, what a shame!

Anyway, that's the plan, now all I need to do is finish my Christmas knitting for last year (sorry Stu, sorry Mum!) and I'll be golden.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Time Flies

This time last year I was in hospital getting to know my new little girl who, despite being placed in my arms and immediately peeing on me, was perfect and beautiful and wonderfully tiny.

Unbelievably an entire year has passed since then and Felicity is still perfect and beautiful and still really quite tiny! She has turned out to be determined, clever, active and cheerful. She dances at the slightest provocation, climbs like a monkey and her first proper word was 'hello'. My littlest lady has been knocking down milestones like there's some sort of prize for finishing first and yet she's still wearing some of her 3-6 month clothes.

So, happy birthday to my cheeky little monkey, I love you more and more each day. Watching you grow and learn is so much fun and I can't wait to see what you do next.


Friday, 2 January 2015

Sewing FO: Burda 04/2014 #115

Wow, whaddya know, here I am again with one of the FOs I mentioned yesterday. I've been lucky to get plenty of sewing time over the last couple of days, I got Stu the Assassins Creed game he wanted for Christmas and he's been keeping half an eye on the girls while he plays and I've been able to get into the next room and sew. I'll admit that I'll quite often spring for new video games for him because it quite literally buys me some time to work on my projects.

So, the blouse. The pattern was in April's edition of Burda Style Magazine but is also available to download here. I immediately knew that I'd make this, not only is it really cute but it is totally breastfeeding friendly which is a real win for me. I set about unfocussing my eyes and tracing the pieces from the visual torture device that Burda call a pattern sheet and then made a practice run out of some horrible lining fabric. It was basically horrible, but I knew it would be fine in nicer fabric.

This lovely bird print crepe seemed like just the thing. I was quite careful to pin the fabric when I folded it for cutting out so that all my pieces would match. I decided I couldn't really be bothered to pattern match at the sides, but I wanted the fronts and sleeves to be symmetrical.

I used French seams throughout, including setting in the sleeves. I'll definitely be doing that again, it was relatively simple and looks really neat.

I'm quite pleased with my mitred corners, they could be a little neater on the inside but the outside looks good. The same goes for my bias faced neckline.

Do you like my new labels? I got them a while back, but this is the first time I've been pleased enough with something to sew one in.

I'm really pleased with this overall. I have lost weight since I originally cut out the pattern so if I made this again I probably would size down a little. I quite like the relaxed fit of it though, especially teamed with skinny jeans. I had planned for it to be a little longer, I added 3 inches at the waist when I traced the pieces but I also forgot to add the seam allowance there first so it actually ended up pretty much the same length as it should have been. I think it was a happy accident though, I won't be wearing it without a top underneath so there's no chance of accidental belly flashage. And trust me, that is a very good thing!



Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Wow, 2015, that kinda snuck up on me, these years just fly by so fast these days! 2014 was pretty good, kicking off with Felicity joining our family and ending with a lovely Christmas. Along the way Cassie turned 2, my little brother got married and, according to my Ravelry notebooks, I knitted 15 things.

So what has the year ahead got in store for me? Of course I really have no idea, but I like to set a few goals just to keep me focussed. I usually do this during blog week, but seeing as I only made it to day 5 this year I missed out. These aren't really resolutions, but things I'd like to learn or try if I can.

1. Learn double knitting. It looks like fun and there are loads of cool potholder type patterns that are ideal for giving it a go without committing to a scarf or something big, this Star Trek one would make a great present for my BIL.

2. Complete something for the 'Christmas box' at least every couple of months. It would be great come christmas to know that I have 6 gifts ready to go. This year was a bit of a mad scramble because of one thing and another so I'd like to avoid that this year.

3. Knit more for me. I love knitting for my girls and knitting things for tiny people is total instant gratification but I have a great long list of things I want for myself. I've been putting a lot of these things on the back burner because I've changed shape a lot of times in the last few years, but I'm now roughly back where I started and intend to stay that way, so knitting garments for me seems like less of a waste of time now.

4. Sew more. I have an ever growing fabric and pattern stash but I rarely finish anything. I'm learning to be more realistic about what I will wear so hopefully I'll be more motivated this year. It's hard to apply myself when it comes to sewing a party dress when I rarely go to parties! On the other hand sewing up a practical denim skirt I know I'll wear every week is a much better proposition.

That's it really. Oh and keep up to date on here too. I have a blouse on my sewing table which only requires the second sleeve setting in and Stu's second Totoro mitten is more than half done, so I'll be back before you know it with some FOs. What a way to start the year :)