Sunday, 19 November 2017

As knitting unfolds

I love the way some projects unfold in front of your very eyes and what you see is immensely pleasing. Take this yarn for example. I was given it, I probably would not have chosen it, but it created the most beautiful ombre right there on my needles.


I only had two balls so I mixed in more grey than the pattern asked by using it to make the ribbing and neckband. It looked superb.

The pattern is from Sirdar. I added more plain grey to eek out the wool and I made more decreases in the sleeves because they looked a bit sloppy to me. I knit the back of the jumper in two nights such was my delight. But then an old chestnut reared its ugly head... How was I going to get the same (ish!) colour run on the front. 

I did not know if the balls were the same dye. I was having deja vu. I knit the back from the unbanded ball thinking I did not want to get caught out if it had a bit missing. For the front, I wound the banded ball into a new ball to find the same colour run to start. I kept winding. I kept writing down the colours as the ball revealed them. I kept winding but it didn't happen. That colour run was never repeated. AGGGHHHH! 

In the end I found a run that was close so at least it would not look like a trifle! I repeated the whole process of jeopardy for the sleeves as well. I mean, in the end, it was actually quite a lot of fun.

I must be one of the few knitters that like to sew up garments. This feeling has come since I learnt to do it well using mattress stitch, shown on the right hand side bar. You can see that the sleeve seams are 'seemingly' invisible. Suffice to say that my friend's boy, Bertie, loves his new jumper. 

Catch you soon. Jo x

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Gift Making

Hey folks! I am feeling much better; I rested up over the weekend. I did not know how poorly I was until I didn't feel like that anymore. This week I am taking it easy on the home, house, family front - if it is on the floor,then it might have to stop there for a while. Today I did a half day and then promised myself some sewing. 

Little doorstops were already cut out and ready to go. 

These little door stops were easy to make. They have bags of rice inside to weigh them down. It is just a triangle sewn on to a cone shape and then gathered at the bottom.

The base is an interfaced circle which has been satin stitched on the machine then hand sewn over the hole. 

The pattern came from this book. It has some nice present ideas in but the instructions are not always very clear. They feel like they have been translated into English therefore a little disjointed in places, however if you see it in a bargain bin for a pound it is definitely worth it for the ideas.

Just getting back into the flow... Hope you are all well. Jo xxxx

Friday, 10 November 2017

Everyday Nowhere

Trust me folks, I am making something everyday but for as long as my blog has been alive, I have never had nothing to show you but today we have reached that milestone. 

I have nothing to show you. I don't really have any thoughts to share with you either. To avoid moaning I will just say that work, home, family, illness and events are all bulging at the seams. My sewing seams are not bulging though; I have had a jacket on my dress stand untouched for four weeks.

My crafty soul is being tended to with knitting at the moment. I am in that sort of mood where I don't care who I knit for or what I knit as long as the end of everyday casts off with some restful knitting.

I had another bag of yarn given to me by a work colleague last Saturday along with some super cute vintage baby buttons. The original contents of the box filled the table but I sorted it out straight away and really thought about what I might use rather than simply hoarding it all. I took a baby knitting bag of yarn to my neighbour and the rest to the charity shop.

I just want to knit and knit and knit...

We are off to stay with family this weekend and I sure am looking forward to it. I will get rested up, try and kick this sinus cold and catch up with you guys next week. Have a good weekend all. 
Jo xxx

Monday, 6 November 2017

Poncho Crochet

Are they in? Are they out? No one ever really knows but I have made myself a poncho. 

The wool was a mahoosive 500g ball of acrylic/wool aran which was picked up in January at work after we had a haul of wool donated to the education centre. The caretaker kept some for the Age Concern knit and natter group but they did not have room to store it all so we were allowed to take some home if we thought we would use it. Of course I would use it! 

I started off using this pattern but as is my way, I very quickly went off piste and just made it up as I went along because I didn't understand the transition row between the yoke and the main part.

So I started messing around, in more ways than one, to create a pattern that made the increases along with a subtle pattern change.

I made chain 1, double crochet 1 for a few rows and then did a row of half trebles to make the increases. This got bigger each time I did it. Do you see, I started with one row of half trebles, then two then three and so on. This enabled me to get a wide enough opening to move my arms freely.

I had second thoughts about the tassels and then decided that it wasn't a proper poncho without them. It used every scrap of yarn from the ball. In fact, some tassel groups only had 3 strands instead of 4!

In my head ABBA is playing. It is very cosy for working at the computer in our office. 

I must turn my attentions to some knitting disasters for a while, I have a pile of things that have gone wrong and making a poncho is not really getting to the crux of the matter.

Jo xxx

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Home Sewing

When our drawers are bulging with clothes, as they are at the moment, I turn my sewing attentions to homeware.

Caroline at CJ made sent me some Cath Kidston fabric in a giveaway and it was a little stiff for making clothes so I knocked up some place mats. I had my reasons. I knew the little pockets would encourage my girls to lay the table and I wanted to try out my new bias binding foot which came with my new sewing machine.

The plastic holder is adjustable depending on the width of the bias so it makes adding bias a breeze in one machine pass. Gone are the worries that I might have slipped off the edge on the blind side.

My new machine is working really well. Here is my little tip to share today. I use washi tape to stick the needle packet to the side of my machine so that I always know which type of needle is in the machine. I don't want to sew stretch with a jeans needle or quilt with a normal needle and I could never remember what I had last left in it. Now I just check on the side!

Happy crafting. Jo xxxx

Monday, 30 October 2017

Man Socks

I have made another pair of socks, this time with a ball of Regia Tweed 4ply. They knit up on 3mm needles as a mans sock. I have been travelling round knitting them in little pockets of time since I cast them on around the 1st September. It has been my portable knitting fix. 

It is that time of year when photographs start to get harder to take with regular light conditions so the ones below are quite varied as they have been taken on different days throughout September and October. Anyway I have been knitting these...

On a canal boat trip...

On my break at the office...

At the cabin, knitting with a view...

In a coffee shop between work appointments - raspberry and coconut in case you are wondering...

second one started in a coffee shop waiting for my friend...

more cafe knitting, every Thursday I have an hour to kill between work appointments...

I finished them on Saturday night and added some Rico sock stop latex glue to the soles. Why? because the last pair I gave to my brother for Christmas were bordering on dangerous on his wooden floors!I wouldn't rave about its application but it was OK. 

 These are going into my Christmas present box. I have been using this Kitchener Stitch tutorial to finish the toes of my socks. It is a really good tutorial and so easy to follow.

The next pair has been cast on but I am going to try something a bit different now that I have the hang of this pattern.Today I am linking in with Sum of their stories Handmade Monday

Knitting in different places is how I get a lot of knitting done in case you were wondering. Where do you knit? 
Jo x

Friday, 27 October 2017

School House Tunic

I am choosing different patterns at the moment. I have put on some weight, just a little, but the downside of making custom made clothes is that one year they fit and the next they don't because the margins are so close. I have chosen a few patterns with wiggle room of late. Not all have been successful.

I spotted the School House Tunic at Minerva. Tummy skimming with simple lines, I thought I would give it a go. I am trying to champion making garments from solid fabric colours rather than all snazzy prints. You can end up with a wardrobe fit for nothing if you are not careful. How else would I get to wear these fantastic tights that my mum bought me without a single colour fabric?

I made some modifications. I sewed up the front placket so that I did not have to wear anything underneath. I made full length sleeves and chose the elastic cuff option which is in the pattern. 

I think I will have another go at this in a denim chambray but I definitely need to go down a size to achieve the look I want. I took quite a bit out of this one along the sleeve and side seam and I could go some more. In the end I tried a tie belt at the back to give it a tad more shaping while still keeping the looseness.

The instructions are great if you are a beginner sewer and there are no fastenings to deal with. The fabric has a lovely texture and it is easy to work with, there is a bit of give which makes matching notches easy.

The good thing about sewing with solid colours is that I get to incorporate some of my home knits and crochet items to make it more me.

Thanks Minerva for a fine solid colour fabric. 
I must remember to do this more often. 

Do you always buy patterned fabric or do you try solid colours too?