Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tide Beret

Inevitably I made a hat to go with my mitts and scarf. It used up all, and I mean all, of the yarn.

In fact, I used up so much of the yarn that I have a'tide' ring around the back where I had to scratch around looking for a little bit more of the drops delight. I found some but it was only the green section but I still like the effect.

It is quite tricky to photograph the back of your head all by yourself I can tell you! With a fringe that needs a trim, it was difficult all round to get a good picture. 

The pattern is the Tide Beret from Knitting from the North by Hilary Grant, my current favourite knitting book. 

I made the pom pom to cover the centre where I ran out of Drops completely and had to finish the centre in Beehive 4ply. That wiped me out of yarn altogether.

It is just a really interesting thing. I loved making it and with the weather changing, I will enjoy wearing it with my other makes.

Thanks for dropping in. 
Jo xxxx

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Tips for Cutting Out

Today is the day I have swapped my spring/summer clothes over for my autumn/winter clothes. It seems earlier than last year but it needs doing. Everyday I open the wardrobe, dresses that require bare legs are staring back at me and it is just too darn cold. Nearly all of my clothes are handmade now and it has taken about three years to get to that. Some things are past their best so I did some wardrobe weeding too. This is most of what I am keeping.

After finding out my wardrobe wants, I chose some projects for the coming months and got snipping.

Here are a few of my cutting out tips:

1. Always have the pattern to the right of your scissors (if you are right-handed) you get a more accurate cut. If you cut it the other way the paper and fabric separate and you start guessing the cutting line.

2. Measure yourself and key points on the pattern. The crotch on these would have meant the waistband was nearly touching my bra so I made an adjustment. Make a muslin if it is a new shape for you.

3. Stop and think if any of your adjustments will effect other pattern pieces. I needed to also adjust the pocket which was going to join onto the side I had just shortened.

4. Transfer all of the markings with chalk or tailors tacks onto the wrong side of the fabric. You are a fool to skip this and do it at the sewing stage. You will need to get all the paper pieces back out of the packet again. Do it now!

5. Don't ignore notches. I cut mine into the seam allowance but you can make little triangles pointing out or mark with chalk if you think it won't rub off. I cut inwards because I use an overlocker to finish my edges and I can still see them through the stitches whereas if I make triangles pointing out the cutting blade cuts them off and I am non the wiser.

6. If you know it will be a while until you sew it. Label your pieces, especially the ones that look similar.

I have shared this routine of mine before but I like to cut out in batches. Over the last three days I have cut out trousers, a skirt, a jacket, child leggings, child skirt, polo neck top, a dress for Little M and some napkins. I have no idea when I am going to make them but they are all bagged up with the thread and notions for when I fancy a sew.

Have a great week. Jo xx

Ps. the dog has already eaten a reel of cotton since I took this picture. Pesky hound!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Fourth Time Lucky Socks

There is a lot I love about these socks: the yarn, the stripe matching, the kitchener stitched toe and the overall comfort of hand-knitted socks.

 I managed to catch a photo between the erratic heavy showers.

Made from Drops Fabel given to me from a good friend knitted on a mixture of DPN's (double pointed needles) and the addi sockwunder circular needle. I managed to find my rhythm with this pair. 
The pattern is by Susan Anderson.

Thank you for taking your time to visit here as always. I have cast on another pair, of course.
Jo xxxx

Monday, 11 September 2017

Routines and Rainbows

Not a great deal being finished here but life is getting back into its usual routines. Weekends are always a bit of a mixed bag but always busy.

A little knitting - that I keep having to unpick...

Fixing fences - where the ram keeps getting out but under a double rainbow it didn't seem so bad...

Parenting - building confidence in new skills...

Baking for the week - the girls have a packed lunch every day...

Being dog owner is testing our patience - he has eaten my DM sandal, Big Sis's new pencil case along with its contents, a pair of her knickers and he has started gnawing at our church pew in the kitchen. That is a list of this weeks varied smorgasbord. 

Last week also saw me start knitting another pair of socks, binding a quick quilt, sewing a dress I doubt I will like and a lot of stranded knitting being unpicked row by row.

Feeling a bit Ho hum! Keep looking at the good stuff... 

Jo xxxx

Friday, 8 September 2017

Mini Sutton Blouse

The fabric pieces are getting smaller! This is a 50cm piece which was in haul from a work colleague back in January who was moving her mother into new accommodation. It is a pretty cotton remnant.

I showed Big Sis the Mini Sutton Blouse picture and she swooned. Perfect: it uses about 50cm of fabric depending on length.

A really enjoyable sew which will last her for next summer too.

She is wearing it with a long sleeved T-shirt at the moment because everyone likes to wear something new don't they?
Jo xxxx

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Circle Wave Infinity scarf

I am really breaking the back of some knitting projects that have been around for the last six months. I have finished my infinity scarf. Seven lots of a 56 row pattern repeat. I LOVE it and was made to go with my matching gloves.

It was quite curly even though I tried to keep my yarn changes loose. So I blocked it while it was damp.

I grafted the ends together, which is a new technique for me, making an invisible join - like the toe of socks really.

It still had the sinister look of a coiled up boa constrictor.

I decided to add two rows of double crochet to the edges and block again. This helped but I think it will always be a bit curly which is fine because it stops the inside being visible when it is twisted around my neck.

The two projects together have used up two balls of donated Beehive and two balls of Drops delight from my stash cupboard. Now for some fantastic photos which Big Sis took...

I have a little bag of scraps left over from these two projects so what do you think...a matching hat next?

Thanks for stopping by. Jo x

Monday, 4 September 2017

Getting Ready for School

Thank you for all your supportive messages on the last post for my Big girl. I asked her to read them and she came out of the office with a modest, slightly embarrassed smile. She does not do compliments very well but she was pleased.

This is the last red cardigan I will knit for her. It is her last year at Primary school in September Sigh :( 
I have been knitting it with love since the start of June.

Naively, she said, "it won't be the last one because you can just knit me navy blue ones for the next school." Ah, bless her childlike soul. I will not be knitting Senior School cardigans for my girl and that is the end of that. However, I can still enjoy making her some home knits for as long as she wants them. Let's face it, my mum still knits for me!

This cardigan was the first thing to break my stash embargo this year - I love this yarn, it washes week in week out, dries quickly and does not bobble. So I bought some for this very specific project. No storing this in the back of the cupboard for a few years. For me this acrylic is tried, tested and needed.

I completed both fronts on holiday in the Forest of Dean six weeks ago now. The 'wobblejuice' was not consumed until the stocking stitch part! 

There seemed like endless knitting for the arms. I stopped one night thinking I will have to measure her in the morning but they were too short. Next night I thought I need to stop because now they are getting as long as my arms but can you believe it?... that was about the right length! That meant I was a ball short because the first arm used most of a whole ball. Anyway I got there in the end...

I will end with a nice bit of stash busting. I made two pump bags; one for my friends daughter who is starting school and one for Little M. I reached up and pulled various ribbons and ric rac to decorate the bags which was satisfying in that it used up those odds and ends hanging around.

The children know that 'when the windfalls appear, school is quite near' They return to school tomorrow.

I will be making jam. On my own. With the radio on, really loud.
Have a good week. Jo x