Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Knitting and sewing - and dreaming.

It has been rather busy here with a number of projects on the go at the same time. So far this week a skirt has been completed. The fabric for this skirt was found in a local Charity Shop. Its a lovely soft rayon fabric which drapes well. The colour shows up better in the next photograph. Its the fourth fabric from the top. Pink with orange and blue. The top is an old one I knitted yers ago. Its an Anna pattern and is a gentle orange colour. Funnily enough, the pattern I used was from the Burda Magazine (2/2007), the same publishing house.

I have also cut out the fabric for a blouse - the black and white print shown last time. I intend to get this started later on today. The blouse I am making is the one labelled B. The red one on the bottom left.

After this, I have two dress lengths ready to cut out next. I shall be making one of each of these dresses. However, I shall probably simplify teh sleeves, I am not sure about that silly tie.

There is also a length of curtain fabric ready, with lining material, for a new jacket. It will become the short jacket in the middle. Hopefully, I may have enough fabric left to make the waistcoat.

For the knitting projects, I have a pair of socks, a pair of fingerless gloves and a blanket all sitting in my knitting bag ready to be taken up again.

This is the blanket. I started with the larger square using up some of my sock yarn pieces. I am knitting onto this to make the whole thing bigger. Not sure how this will turn out since it is being made up as I go along.

So far this week, I have completed two little gift bags. The first one is an established pattern and uses up some of the yarn I had left over from the pretty Summer Socks I completed a couple of weeks ago. The second one was made up as I went along. Why didn't I just do the first pattern once more? Well, I tried, but I just couldn't get it right the second time around. So I messed around with some really simple lace ribbing and a simple cable rib, which didn't use a cable needle. I quite enjoyed it. The top of the bag has some Fyberspates yarn added since I ran out of the cream Pinguoin sock yarn. The bags are roughly 6 inches tall and 5 inches across. The second bag has been lined with some of the coffee coloured satin lining I bought to make my new jacket.

In the planning stages are two quilts.

The first is a green quilt for my elder daughter and her partner. She asked for a green quilt. I hope she will like the finished quilt, because it will encompass rather more than just the colour green. Sorry about this, but the design is "under wraps" for now since I am not too sure whether she reads my Blog or not. Pictures later when I have shared the initial ideas with her. Either that or I have shown her the finished top. Knowing me it will probably be the latter.

The second quilt is one to go on my mother's favourite chair. I haven't got too far with ideas for this one just yet. The ideas will, I know, start flowing as soon as I have got most of the design work on Liz's quilt finished. The piece of fabric shown above is one of the furnishing fabrics used in mum's livingroom, so is here in my workroom as inspiration.

Just at the moment I really need to get my wardrobe sorted out, so quilting will get under way once I have completed most of the clothing items I mentioned above.

This will sound very strange, but I have now officially started a fabric and yarn diet. I was chatting to a friend in the Knitters within Borders group last week, and told her of my intention not to buy any more for a while. I shall not share this momentous news with my husband since he would just find the whole idea hysterically funny.

However, the main idea behind this decision is that I have ambitions to clear out the built-in wardrobe where my various stashes reside. Then I can put in some purpose-built shelving and containers. It would save my regular battles with the sliding doors which no longer slide. I should also be able to find things much more easily. Perhaps I would also be able to find room for the clutter which fills my workroom floor.............. I can but dream!

Some rather nice news - Park City Girl has started advertising her Autumn Quilt Festival. See the icon to the right hand side of this Blog post to see more details.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sewing, knitting and trying to use the stash.

This wonderful sight is the major part of my large-piece fabric stash. There is more, but these are my less special fabrics. I am a dreadful hoarder/collector of gorgeous fabrics, but I am determined to use most of this stash over the next few months.

I went to the outdoor market to find thread and a zip to complete the project shown below and fell for these gorgeous fabrics. Two colourways of the same design and a really busy back and white fabric. All are John Kaldor fabrics and are Rayon, I think. The black and white print will be used for a blouse since it is lighter weight than the other two. These will turn into dresses before too long.

The dress I was completing was this one:

Made from Crepe de Chine, it is this pattern:

I needed another rather special dress for a celebration at the weekend, so I got sewing. I wouldn't have said it was that easy a project. You will note that the pattern says "Very easy Vogue". However, that may well be because my beloved sewing machine decided to throw a wobbly and didn't want to help.

I was not best pleased. I got out the maunal! Yes, I still have it for emergencies like this.
Stitches were jumping and not completing properly, thread was shredding, etc, etc........ After I had tried all the solutions offered by the manual, I got on the phone to Jaycotts. I got a really interesting and helpful explanation of what might be happening and some solutions. The main one being that it would need a service. I decided to abandon the machine. Time was running out.

After a soothing cup of tea, I took out my old trusty Husqvarna, and got on with things. Dear machine, it didn't let me down.

It is now almost thirty years old! I bought it late in 1979, buying the best machine I could afford.

Yesterday, having threatened my newer machine with a service. I decided to give it another try, so that I could document exactly what was going wrong and provide some samples. It started behaving itself. Now is this an intermittent fault, hated by technicians and owners alike? Or is it sorry for getting me so annoyed? I really am not sure what to think.
Ah well, back to the comparative sanity of knitting. I have been knitting socks for myself. This pattern has been designed by a friend, Diana Stevens (The Knittery). The first pair was knitted in Pingouin Machine Washable Sock Wool. I have not seen Pingouin yarns for many years, and have not been able to find an online source.
The yarn knitted up really nicely.............

I enjoyed it so much that I am making another pair. It will be nice to have cosy toes this winter.
This next pair of socks is being knitted in King Cole's Zig zag. It is fun watching the colours change as I knit.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Away days and finishing off.

The photo above is of the lamp that stands at the entrance to the Close (small cluster of houses)where I live. I can see it from the bedroom window.

For a couple of days this week, we went off down to St Ives in Cambridgeshire. The photo has the hotel we stayed in to the right hand side. The meadows in the front are beside the River Ouse.

In the centre of the bridge over the Ouse is a delightful little chapel.
I had a wonderful time exploring the town and all the little alleyways and side roads. Down one of these I saw this wall painting. It reminded me so much of work by Banksy. I wonder if it was by him.

The picture was in a little alleyway which ran off the quayside.

Here are some of the details I saw walking around.

Some beautifully coloured lichen on the stonework of the bridge.

Hand carved lintel detail from above a window. Each window and door on this building has a different carving above it.

This is the roof of the teahouse next to the bridge. I just love the colours.
There were many very old Willow trees about the town. One near the Hotel was afflicted with this amazing fungus.

This tree, near the marina was very healthy.

Thanks St Ives, I really had a very pleasant stay. I especially enjoyed my visit to the Norris Museum where I was able to enjoy an exhibition all about Woad, and a lovely chat with the lady behind the desk.
Not surprisingly, there has not been much textile work done. But here are the items I managed to finish before we left.

The green jacket has now been claimed by my elder daughter and will soon be hanging n her wardrobe.

The white cardigan is just as cosy as I had hoped and will not be going anywhere except my wardrobe, unless it is being worn by me.

I have worn my blue skirt, but will probably have to alter the waistline. Its a bit too loose.