Sunday, November 10, 2013

Still sewing

It has been an interesting week. I have been continuing the sewing for the Drama Group production, but have not been able to do any of the other projects I really should be getting on with. Ah well, the rehearsal this evening is a costume check, so I should see the end of the sewing for this production. Today will see me adding buttons to a jacket which seems to have lost all the buttons it originally had. I'm only going to add the buttons on the epaulettes since they look distinctly odd with none. The there is just the fastenings to be added to the last pair of dungarees. Then end is in sight.
I do have some knitting on the go. The hat I mentioned last time is now finished and is so cosy to wear. I have started a second hat and hope that this will be finished soon so I can have one hat in the wash and one ready to wear. I intend to knit another pair of the fingerless mittens to match this new hat.
There are a couple of other projects which really need my attention now - a textile book which really should be completed before the next Beading Group meeting. This is the book which will hold all the Chinese Whispers pieces; an A3 quilt which I promised for the end of this month and has still not been started; my piece for the Sky's the limit November theme; my journal quilts which are woefully behind. All four remaining quilts need to be finished by the end of December. Did I really say "a couple" of projects?
I'd better get on with the Drama Group bits and pieces and then set about designing the book and the A3 quilt. Hopefully everything will get done in time....... wish me luck.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Back to sewing once more.

So why am I starting with knitting? Well, I have had a bit of a mental block as far as stitching and sewing are concerned. I think it is all to do with having quite a long list of things I need to get on with. Once I have that sort of list, my own inclination is to walk away and get on with something else. This usually turns into a lengthy stage where I get nothing of a textile nature done at all.
Sock heel
The first sign that this impasse is coming to an end is the fact that I feel the urge to start knitting again. I tend to knit the safe and easy projects - socks, gloves and hats. So useful now that I have Ella to take for walks and I am woefully short of hats to cover my ears and protect them from the wind.
Fingerless mittens
I must admit that I do have quite a number of pairs of socks already in my drawers ready to warm my toes. But then, when it is getting chilly outside is there such a thing as having too many socks? It is the bought socks which I tend to wear out. They don't last nearly as long as my own knitted socks. It isn't that I buy them either. I seem to have them given to me every so often.

I've experimented with fingerless mittens this time too. I already have one pair, but haven't been particularly impressed with their ability to keep my hands warm. This new pair, however are quite different. Sock yarn, the same yarn I used for the first pair of socks, bought cheaply in the local Lidl. These have been a revelation. I lengthened the cuff to avoid drafty winds breezing their way up my arms when walking. They enable me to keep hold of the lead without it sliding through my fingers, and yet manage to keep my fingers as warm as my old pair of leather gloves do.

 Now, the remnants of the same yarn are being put to use as the ribbed band on my new hat. Hopefully I shall get it finished this weekend ready to start on a second pair of the fingerless mittens. The yarn is a wool and nylon mix. I must admit that it isn't all that soft, but will be hardwearing. However, they are quite comfortable to wear and the yarn is quite good to knit with. It doesn't split too much, and is quite evenly spun, although there are one or two slightly thicker, more lumpy sections.

Old print board cover
You will have seen this photo before. It is the old cover for my printing board. It had become so covered in fabric paint and thickened dye, that I had to remove it and replace with a clean white cover (two layers of old cotton sheeting). This is no longer a pristine white, but then you would have been most disappointed to hear it was still unused. There hasn't been much printing done and I really need to do some more.
The second layer of the old print board cover
This photo is one you will not have seen, however. I pulled the two layers of the old top apart and this is the lower of the two layers. I rather liked it and so used it as the basis for the Abstract theme for The Sky's the Limit challenge for October. You will find a detailed description of the piece on their blog.

"Abstract" for The Sky's the Limit challenge

I do so love accidental dyeing. It turns into something really special. I still haven't done anything with the old top layer. That will wait until I think of a use for it. I don't really think it needs much adding, it just needs the right project.

I haven't been entirely idle over the last few weeks. I have been sewing, but this has just been a sequence of repairs and also alterations for the costumes for the next Drama Group production, "Bolt from the blue", by David Tristram. Ella comes along to rehearsals too. She quite enjoys all the fuss she gets, especially the treats for being good.

In case you are interested, here are the links to the knitting patterns:

Socks - "Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Sock" by Kate Atherley.

Fingerless Mittens - "Koigu fingerless gloves" by Astrante.

Hat - "Double Layer Sockyarn Hat" by Dawn Adcock.

Each of these patterns is available on Ravelry.