Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

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WISPy Wednesday

October 7, 2009

I’m still ill so you would think I have lots done…well, I don’t…Between naps and just simply not having the energy to do anything I’ve done hardly anything.

Knitting:

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The first of Fella’s birthday socks is done and I unfortunately seem to have developed second sock syndrome. The boy has large feet and his socks always feel like a bit of a trek compared to mine.  I hope it isn’t also subconscious rebellion against Socktoberfest. That would be awful!

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Seriously though – The top sock is mine, the bottom is his…no wonder they take so long!

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I have made a mini sock – the idea is to make 2 dozen of them to be an advent calendar. The Fella and I find the prospect of an advent calender thats been sitting in the supermarket from the beginning of September particularly unattractive! It was fun and only took a couple of hours; great left over sock yarn project. If I knew of somewhere that sold mini skeins of sock yarn I might get some to make rainbow ones and black and purple striped ones and purple ones…

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I’ve also been making mini (half size) bunting by quesselchen which is a very cool pattern. She and some others, including Tsuki, made metres and metres of it for Jen of Fyberspates. I literally halved the size of the pattern and adjusted accordingly. Excuse the fact I haven’t woven in the ends yet! I only plan to make a metre or so worth to go on one of my bookshelves. I think it will be 10 or maybe 20 little flags.

I’ve reached the 50 hexagon landmark for my blanket…just another 100 or so to go *rolls eyes* I must be a masochist. I need to do some proper maths and work out exactly how many I need.

I haven’t done a single stitch on my bloomers or my industrial rose socklets but I may give myself an hour on each at some point soon, or allocate one as Formula 1 knitting – then they get the Saturday qualifying time and the Sunday race itself dedicated to them.

I think I’m gonna hibernate my sideways silky short socks for the time being.

Sewing:

I’ve primarily been working on sewing on my rag doll.

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I’ve made the body and I am currently embroidering her hair – Hundreds of french knots. I’ve done approx half her head so far and am using one of my huge doll making needles to help with pulling it through. I’ve already embroidered her face; I’ve made her less stern than the origional.

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I do like the simple shape and I’ve decided to use brown rather than black to outline her features. Its softer. I will be giving her black Mary Jane style shoes and purple and black  stripy legs though – If I can’t wear purple stockings she may have to 😉 . Can’t decide whether to embroider or fabric paint them…i suppose I could even knit some!

I have some lawn I can make her undergarments out of and I’ll have to keep an eye out for a small enough print for her dress or a nice colour etc.

I’ve already had thoughts for more than one outfit.

Perhaps the fact I didn’t have dolls I could dress up as a child is finally affecting me! What do you think? Just what effect did my mother’s feminism and not wanting us to get affected by gender stereotypes have? Answers on a postcard please!

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I’ve also been working on some quilting hexagons using some upholstery  fabric samples I was given. Am mostly planning to make them into a cushion for my computer chair..

I’ve got some garments planned at the moment, but they are waiting for me to feel up to clearing enough space to cut out fabric. More on those next week if i get anywhere with them.

Other:

I finally got round to cutting out a decent number of card blanks for ATCS…Now I just have to find the time/energy to actually make some and stick the little envelopes I’ve made together too! I would show you a photo but you really don’t want to see lots of little card rectangles…

I’ve been really enjoying blogging again the last few days and I am going to attempt to stick to some sort of loose schedule from now on.

leaf roses

Ooh and if I felt up to it I’d be out collecting leaves to make these.Aren’t they wonderful?!

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Wispy knitting central

September 22, 2009

Don’t worry I haven’t transformed into a mist even though I  would if mists didn’t get colds. I am literally FULL of cold and it isn’t pleasant.

I’m talking about Works In Slow Progress. I’ve been so busy recently and had had a slight bout of startitis that means I now have several things on the needles….

This is rather an essay length post so you may want to get a cup of tea and a biscuit…ready?

  • Hexagon Blanket.

I started this project well over a year ago ( A year ago in July) and am currently up to 44 hexagons.  Don’t they look so pretty lined up all in a row?

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This is my main knitting project this winter. This is a picture  of the hexagon template sheet I’m using to keep track of them – as you can see, I have quite a way to go.

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To surmise whats happened since I started this project:

  • I started planning to make this entirely in one brand of yarn, Sirdar Country Style DK.
  • I stalled for a while and  changed my mind due to finding out my favourite colours had been discontinued trying to use other yarns
  • I tried using other yarns but then realised I would only get the same gauge using the same yarn so changed my mind back again and started collecting yarn in earnest.

I love the flecked colours of Country Style DK and really enjoy how it knits up.

Many thanks to Knitty, Vintage and Rosy who put the For the Love of Hexagons pattern on her blog for me to find when I was frantically searching for a KNITTED hexagon rather than a crocheted one. Seriously, until I found Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature, this was the only knitted hexagon pattern I’d found.

  • I have 3 pairs of socks on the needles, but they will be covered in a seperate post for tis nearly Socktoberfest time 🙂
  • Unmentionables – This is my HUGE project at the moment – another garment!

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Knitty’s picture not mine. Thier copyright etc.

I first saw the unmentionable pattern from Knitty last year.
Who wouldn’t fall in love with knitted bloomers?
I’ve wanted to make them ever since, as always I’ve can’t buy the right kind of yarn at prices I could afford – it does need to be some kind of cotton blend.

As usual my ambitions outweighed my wallet, but I got a great amount of yarn for my birthday and so have started work on these. The yarn is a 50% cotton/45% rayon and 5% silk mix called Rowan Luxury Cotton DK. It’s deliciously soft.The colourway is called Bloom and is a greyish purpley lilac, with a strand of slightly deeper mauvey lilac twisted though it.

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I’ve used a knitted provisional cast on as I have enough problems crocheting without trying to crochet  166 stitches onto a circular needle.

On saturday I knit about 13 rows, realised the cast on had been hopelessly twisted, frogged it all and re cast on again and knitted till I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Between Sunday and Monday evening I have knitted 30 rows overall (4inches of fabric) and used one 50g ball.

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Only downside? They are those arty type balls that look great but as they are loosely wound centre pull balls they collapse in on themselves in a particularly unhelpful way.

I do actually have a couple of finished objects to show you!

I made some Knitfits.

  • Knitfits

These are drawstring bag with a i cord handle with a knitted strap in the middle which rests on your wrist. The idea is it means you can carry your small knitting project while keeping your hands free. I like the idea of this and have knitted a couple:

One in some multicoloured yarn and one in black.

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DSCF3623They are a hand free yarn caddy so you have your hands free while you knit, and walk, etc…fun idea and I needed some WIP bags. To stop needles etc sticking through they are lined with the lids from blank CD/DVD spindles. I need to trim the catch spines from the edge though.

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Hows that for upcycling!?

  • I also made a pouch/envelope for my journal:

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Simple pattern made up as I was going along as there was nothing out there suitable.  Garter stitch,reverse stockinette turning rows, and a pointed flap. Side seams bound using a 3 needle bind off. Very simple and just what I need. Fits my journal, a pen and a couple of pieces of folded paper if i’ve made notes I want to journal about later.

I think thats all the knitting I have to show you at the moment and I will blog in a couple of days time with the sewing projects I’m working on.

It’s good to be back to doing this. Will keep you posted on progress on these WISPs.

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Patching Things Up

May 22, 2009

While visiting my parents I was given a 1970’s Pan Craft book on Creative Patchwork that had belonged to my late grandmother.

While reading it I find myself captivated by the hexagonal patchwork pattern and after several awfully drawn hexagons I resorted to the compass and ruler method of drawing them; the maths teachers in my family are very pleased by this.

All patchwork I have done previously has been either of the square or of the crazy variety.

In the book is the most beautiful Victorian hexagon patchwork dressing gown.

Hexagons,as well as being a precise mathimatical shape, are one of those shapes that are also present in nature.

The hexagon is one of the microscopically tiny units that helps give structure to DNA; it is found in the structure of crystalline minerals like quartz; it is the shape taken by water when it freezes into snowflakes. The Basalt Columns of the Giant’s Causeway are hexagonal.

It displays true symmetry; all six sides of the hexagon are of equal length, and when the hexagon is divided down the middle the two sides mirror each other.

I’ve cut a stack of fabric samples into small squares and started making a few hexagon patches.

Will share photos soon 🙂





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The urge to be old-fashioned.

August 9, 2008

It may not be incredibly evident on this blog so far, but I have an immense love of Victoriana and Victorian Clothing.

Some months ago, while visiting my friend Sue who shares this passion for the pretty clothes, at her lovely house in Cornwall, we were rifling through her books and I came across a Trousseau list in Fashions of The Gilded Age – Volume 2 and sat diligently scribbling it down into my notebook:

“Of dresses there are required morning dresses, walking suits, carriage dresses, evening dresses, one traveling dress, one waterproof suit, one very handsome suit to return calls. These dresses may be multiplied in number according to needs and means.

There are certain requisite articles that must be supplied in a certain number, and of a certain similarity in general character and make. They may be set down as follows:

  • Four pairs of corsets, on pair white embroidered, two plain white, and one coloured, the latter to be used in traveling.
  • Twelve chemises, six elaborately trimmed and six plainly made.
  • Six corset covers, three finely finished.
  • Six trimmed skirts and six plain ones.
  • Six flannel skirts, three of them handsomely embroidered.
  • Two Balmoral skirts, one handsome and the other plain.
  • Six fine and six plain nightdresses
  • Four white dressing sacques, two of them flannel.
  • Two looser wrappers of chintz or cashmere.
  • Six sets of linen collars and cuffs for morning wear.
  • Six sets of lace or embroidered collars and cuffs.
  • One dozen plain handkerchiefs, one dozen fine handkerchiefs, and six embroidered or lace trimmed handkerchiefs.
  • One dozen pair of fine thread hose, one dozen of heavy cotton, and on dozen of fine merino.
  • Walking boots, gaiters and slippers of various styles.
  • Two pairs of white kind gloves, two of light and two of dark tints, with others of thread and cloth.”

(Taken from Ladies and Gentlemens Etiquette, 1877)”

The concept of a Trousseau has always intrigued me as has the idea of hope chests and dowry boxes. The thought of making your Trousseau and storing them in a special box appeals to me for some reason. (

Now, before people start getting the wrong idea  I am neither engaged or planning a wedding, but I have been thinking about making some of the items off the list. Not all of them, odviously, as unfortunatly I can’t dress in Victorian clothing everyday – its not particularly practical for doing the hoovering in, for example but perfect for sitting and knitting or sewing in for example, and generally feeling pretty! And who doesn’t want to feel pretty and feminine?

I’m working on a pared down version of the list and will keep you updated as this sewing project progresses.

I’m off to count the pennies in the piggy bank for fabric!