Friday, 25 September 2015

What's in Progress - Craft Edition

As promised here’s a little rundown of what I’m working on right now.  Without further ado, lets go.

Knitting.  I’m working on a couple of things at the moment, I’d been trying to work exclusively on my Driftwood because it’s definitely getting a bit autumnal round here but I managed to misplace my 4th and 5th 5.5mm dpns which made life a little difficult.  I probably wasn’t looking very hard for them as Stu found one a few days later and then Felicity suddenly appeared brandishing the other a day later, but hey ho, I can get on with it now.  It gave me a few days to work on my super sneaky blankie project, which I am loving knitting and hating not being able to share for now.

Sewing.  I loved the New Look 6262 pattern that I made up recently so much that I’ve already gone back for round 2.  This is actually the dress that I originally planned to make but I couldn’t quite squeeze all the pattern pieces on the fabric.  Because the first dress was a little too roomy I’ve cut the smallest size this time and as luck would have it I have enough fabric for the slightly smaller version. Yay!  Progress on this has been entirely stalled  by the refurbishment of the dining room so it’s sitting by the sewing machine with only one side of the zip sewn while I wait for a power cable that will reach my machines.  Then I just need to whizz up the other side of the zip, do the facings and the sleeves and the hems.

Spinning.  Yes, spinning!  I bet you forgot I did that!  One of the main ideas behind the dining room redesign was so that we could make it really safe for the girls, allowing them the freedom to come and go from that room.  Up until then we’d had a baby gate at the door to the kitchen which blocked them from the kitchen and dining room.  So far it’s been great and I’ve found that they largely stay away from my wheel now it’s less of a novelty so I’ve really rediscovered spinning over the last few days.  That’s not to say that I haven’t had a few disagreements with disgruntled toddlers about whether they should be touching the spinny thing but we're definitely getting there.  Cassie and I have come to an agreement that she can touch any of the bits that aren’t moving and she seems quite content to sit opposite me with one finger on the back of the bobbin holder and Felicity has become a bit more wary since she stuck her finger in between the spokes which I was spinning.  And that folks, is how you prick your finger on a spinning wheel!  I’ve mostly been spinning up some South American fibre that I hand dyed a wee while ago, I’ve done the first 100g with 100g left, and that is just having a little sit before I ply it up.  In the meantime I’m plying some singles that I spun at least 4 years ago and has been sitting in my corner of shame ever since.

The fibre was a lovely braid of BFL and sparkles that I got from FeltStudio and I spun it up on one of my drop spindles.  I really loved the colours and didn’t want to mix them so I had my first stab at chain plying on a drop spindle.  Let’s just say that it did not go well but I was determined so I set about pre-chaining the singles so that I could add the twist in a separate step later.  Believe it or not that turned out to be really tedious and I did about half of it over a few sessions before I gave up entirely.  Fast-forward to yesterday and I finally realised that I have some beautiful yarn just sat there waiting to be finished and that I was stupid to keep putting it off.  I didn’t need to keep pre-chaining it, I could just break it off, run the pre-chained stuff through the wheel and then have another go at chain plying which turns out to be much easier for me using a wheel.  I’m so happy this is nearly done although I do feel intense shame at having it left so long.  And so, after barely spinning at all in ages I should have 2 skeins of finished yarn to show you in the next few days, how exciting!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

What's in Progress - Home edition

There's lots going on here at the moment, hence this is a WIP post rather than and FO post!

The biggest work in progress that we have currently is our house and we are giving it some well deserved TLC at the moment.  Some day I'll write a whole post about it, but the short version is that we bought the place nearly 4 years ago for a pretty good price because it needed work doing on it.  Mostly this was all cosmetic because it was looking pretty dated, but there were also things that we wanted to do to improve it even if they weren't strictly necessary.  This summer we did some sums and spoke to the bank and got a small mortgage extension so that we could replace the aged back boiler, get a new bathroom and landscape the front garden.  We were also going to get a new front porch but that turned out to be a really expensive job so Stu decided to try and spruce it up a bit himself and then the entire thing basically crumbled off the front of the house. The previous owner had basically bodged in together with things he'd found from god knows where and we definitely feel like we're better off without it now.  So the last week or so has basically revolved around workmen and the preschool runs with very little time for much else.
Stu also decided that now was the perfect time to make some big changes to the dining room too.  Why not eh, in for a penny, in for a pound or so they say.  Our dining room has basically been a library/craft room/home gym/crap storage room for years so we've completely rethought the whole thing so we can actually use it for those things, rather than all the different stuff competing for space.
Basically we've taken down the bookshelves that took up the whole of the far wall and replaced them with high up shelves after weeding the book collection severely.  We've also added a lovely long worktop with an extra wide bit at the end to give me a bit more space for cutting out fabric.  Stu has also bolted some sort of contraption for his exercises to the wall meaning that he can move his weights bench out of the way too.  This has all freed up enough space for use to actually use the dining table for eating and is a great space for the girls to play too.  Right now I'm sitting at the table typing this on my laptop while they play playdough.  There's still a lot to do and loads of stuff to find permanent homes for.  The first priority is to find an extension lead so that I can get my sewing machines plugged in as soon as possible, I've got a dress with one side of the zip sewn in and it's making me twitchy not being able to finish it!
"I like this thingy Mummy"
I have managed to squeeze in a little craft time so I'll be back soon with a What's in Progress - Craft Edition really soon.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

FOs: New Look 6216 and Grainline Moss

Hello everybody, today I'm here to share with you the most boring piece of clothing I have ever made. Settle down and feast your eyes upon my grey t-shirt!
I swear this looks way less wonky when I'm not awkwardly posing for the camera!

It has everything you'd want out of a grey t-shirt. It's grey, it fits and it goes with most of my stuff. Hooray! It was also really quick to make and uses hardly any fabric. Double hooray! I attempted to make it a little more interesting by adding a pocket but I didn't do a great job of sewing it on and the placing was really weird so it ended up covering the side of one boob before disappearing under my armpit so I took it straight off again. The pattern also has a long sleeved version and one without the sleeve bands and I can see myself trying those out soon too. More boring t-shirt posts coming up soon then, please contain yourselves.

Just to try and marginally raise the interest level of this post I thought I'd throw in another recent FO. Made from a pattern I've used quite recently and leftover fabric from my last project this is also quite boring but probably a step up from a grey t-shirt.
Check out how nicely the dogs line up at the top of my fly, a happy accident!
 After finishing Cassie's trousers I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had enough fabric left to make a Moss Skirt for me. Seeing as I only bought 1 metre I was really quite impressed. I made the pocket linings and the inside of the waistband out of some scraps from another project though because my metre didn't quite stretch that far. I'm really pleased with this skirt, apart from a little whoops with the pockets it's really neatly constructed and the front fly is much better than on my last one. I used a proper jeans button on this one too as well so it looks really fancy. It looks pretty good with my very interesting grey t-shirt too. Hooray for outfits!

Friday, 4 September 2015

WIP: Driftwood

Don't mind me, just hanging out in my half knitted jumper!
I’ve been charging along on my Driftwood and I’ve now been able to try it on and see how I like it.  Obviously the addition of sleeves and the neck band will make a world of difference but it’s looking ok so far don’t you think?  This has been a really quick and easy knit so far and it’s been nice to see it growing before my eyes, not like those knits that seem to just not get any bigger no matter how much time you put in.  I always think that stripes help with that, especially where plain stockinette is involved because each stripe is a milestone that helps you see you’re making progress.

So that's that.  I'll be putting this aside for a few days to do a bit of test knitting and to put a few rows in on a very secret blanket project I'm working on.  In non project news, Cassie started preschool yesterday.  Safe to say it was a resounding success and she's very happy to be going back today.  When we first arrived there she suddenly lost her nerve and I thought she might not want me to go, but as soon as she say the table with the play dough on she was off and didn't look back.  I was really pleased how easy it was but pretty sad that she didn't even say goodbye.  Then I had to deal with a Felicity fit because she was upset that she didn't also get to stay and play with the play dough!  When we went back to get Cassie she actually burst into very loud tears when she saw me because she didn't want to go home with boring old mummy.  Oh well.
My big beautiful girl :)