Friday, 19 December 2014

End of year report

I can't believe it's close to the end of year, time has flown by too quickly and I am looking forward to catching my breath during the break over Christmas and New Year's.

Everybody have a good one too!

What kinds of crafts projects am I ending the year with?

I am very pleased that I did lots of top-stitching on my black tunic with the patchwork panels attached to the front and back hems. There was a lot of swivelling and up and down-ing of the sewing machine foot involved!

The garment itself is a bit unflattering: a very simple A-line shape with sleeves attached but no darts.  A sewing friend suggested those steep angle French darts that go low down into the side seams. That's an idea.

My pinstripe grey and dark red stashbusting skirt has seen a little progress: I attached the lining and tried it on properly for the first time.  Unfortunately I now realise that the dividing line between the two fabrics sits rather high: if I wear a long top over this it will cover up the grey yoke almost completely. That's not how it was supposed to look.  I am thinking of adding a ribbon in black or grey at perhaps 4cm below the dividing line to balance the colour blocking a little better.

In terms of knitting I picked up or started quite a few projects. 

I finished the main body of my light blue Storm Mountain jacket (design by Heidi Kirrmaier) with the beautiful swing back and had to realise that neither the roll-down collar nor the reverse stockinette lapels that result from the front top corners folding down look very good. This top part of the garment is too flimsy for the weight of the jacket that pulls it all down.

To solve this issue I picked up stitches all along the top edge and knitting down on the inside. I already did the depth needed to change the roll-down/curl-up collar into a funnel shape collar that stands up straight - this part of things looks quite good actually, so I am pleased I did that.  I haven't yet finished knitting the lapel facings.  They are supposed to go from the bit where I stopped knitting the back collar facing and then descend diagonally below the fold-back line of the lapels.  Fingers crossed this works.

I also started new projects: my huge pink round doily, the five-leafed Rose of England that I called Cinq Feuille Rose. I am getting on well with it.  It came about because I ordered a single skein of Wollmeise Pure. I just couldn't help myself!  I looked at Ignorant Bliss's blog again and she used this yarn a lot.  Her stuff just looks so lovely!

So I checked several online shops as well as Wollmeise's themselves and then went for it. Imagine my shock when this one precious skein in Tutu Dark arrived... and I only realised then that I had bought the exact same shade before and made a shawl from it!  That was my plan for this skein - I don't need nor want two shawls in the exact same colour, same brand, same everything!  What was I thinking?

So if in doubt: make a feature out of a bug.  I went back online and ordered the light and the medium shade of Tutu as well.  Then I started this round shawl graduating from light in the centre to that dark shade on the outside.  Problem sorted!  I thoroughly enjoy this knit too.

The yarn is a bit splitty so you have to pay attention but it's wonderfully springy and sort of spongy. Unfortunately I also bought a skein in dark grey, in dark brown, and one in natural (to maybe dye myself? Don't know yet) - they might not be available going forward!  Or so I told myself...

I bought more yarn (I know, terrible!) like lovely, gorgeous, wonderful one ply Madelinetosh Prairie in three colours: dark red (Dahlia), grey (Ink) and pink (Posy).  I am using the dark red/pink to make a summer top with a lacy back and probably a smooth stockinette front, sleeveless.

I saw another great, big shawl on Ignorant Bliss's blog called Nuvem - it sounds like a brilliant stashbuster when you are left with a large quantity of yarn you don't know what to do with.  So I started what I now call my Big Blue Sail, ahem.

It is much bigger than this by now.  The yarn is thick and thin, by Texere.

And at last but not at least a few people at a knitting group I go to some times decided to do the Block Stitch cowl as a knit-along.  Again, great for stash busting - I am using a blue and grey sock yarn, but had to buy a second blue yarn because my light grey sock yarn was a bit too light and bright.  The photo shows just one of the patterns, there are another two.

I even managed to finish a project recently.  Luckily it's a Christmas present for my dad - ribbed socks: I so hope they'll fit!

Sorry about the photos, I want to take nicer ones but it's better to show some photos, even bad ones, than none at all.

I am pretty sure that I was busy with other projects recently too, but these are the ones I can think of.  Plenty there, I would say.

I see now that I seem to have had the theme of blue, pink and grey this year!  Am I ever using any other colours?  Oops.  And: I've done a heck of a lot of  ...realising... once I got a bit into a project.  This might reflect the organic process I seem to follow, or just scatterbrainedness... Either.

How has your crafting year been?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A quick teaser

I have to post a very quick teaser.

I started on a project which is quite a challenge - and I think I can get a really good blog post out of it too  (Promises, promises!).

I saw the general technique somewhere: how to develop a dressmaking pattern to get a piece that curves and drapes and generally behaves in a relatively unpredictable three-dimensional manner - the technique is all about how to tame this apparently chaotic and wild appearance so you arrive at a useable pattern piece.  It's not even that difficult to do!

It sounds quite intriguing, doesn't it?

Well, I am completely in seven heaven with this.  This is just the sort of thing I absolutely love: -

Pattern construction, turning something 3D into a 2D pattern piece - figuring out what kinds of curves and angles work out how... I absolutely love that.

I saw a photo of a pretty special collar.  And I also saw a technique of how to sketch a ruffle that falls in a sort of waterfall pattern - and how you turn the sketch of that ruffle into a pattern piece. So therefore...

This blog post made a lot of sense.

I did try it with my collar and I think I got somewhere!  Like I said, this is just a quick teaser - I will write the blog post proper soon and hopefully take a good photo or two to illustrate the concept, pattern and technique.