May 12, 2013
Where have I been? Here and there. Doing this and that. It feels like my knitting production has bottomed out, but I think I've just been busy. With the sad, sad demise of Calico & Ivy, I'd been panic buying. Yarn, and fabric too, particularly Liberty. The only place in Sydney that I'm aware of that stocks it now is Tessuti, and they don't have a huge range. (At last count at C& I, there were 248 bolts. Thats a lot of Liberty!)
Theres a lot of Liberty in my stash now. Maybe even too much. Nah, no such thing!
There's also a *lot* of Rowan yarn. So I've been through the stash and through the queue and matched yarn up to projects, scanned patterns for the iPad, and I'm set. Probably for the next four years. Looking at the stash this way is kind of illuminating. I definitely don't need any more yarn!
I finished the knitting on Water and Stone.
I'm pretty happy with it, although the last 30cm or so was a long, boring slog. It's blocking now, and I think it'll be a great garment this winter.
I've started something new. Any guesses?
And the other thing I've spent a lot of time on this week is finishing my mums quilt for Mothers Day.
Binding. It takes hours, and it's boring. I get so easily distracted! I did the piecing months ago and sent it off to be quilted. It was with the quilter for a long time, and panic was beginning to set it in, but I got it back in time and I'm really pleased with the end result.
I haven't given it to her yet, because she's been away for the weekend, but I hope she likes it!
(I'm still not a Quilter though! ;)
April 12, 2013
So a couple of people asked about the yarn I must've accrued while travelling around a country that has 7 sheep for every person.
I'll admit, I did bring home some yarn. The day we landed in Auckland, we checked into the hotel then went for a wander around the city. It was David that spotted the yarn store. How could I resist?
A ball of Opal sock yarn settled into my luggage.
I'm a huge fan of Opal sock yarn. My very first pair were Opal, and they're still in great shape, years later. Besides, I couldn't resist the colours.
The second day we were there, we went to visit the beautiful Jussi and her lovely family. She gifted me with another skein of gorgeousness.
Her own hand dyed Biba yarn in a perfect shade of pink.
And when we went to Agrodome, they had a little yarn shop there. I was actually a little disappointed in the offerings, but picked up some Naturally Waikiwi to knit some socks for David.
And... that's it. That is the entire sum total of the yarn I got. My yarn purchases were not helped by the fact that I had just found out that Calico & Ivy at Balmain was closing, and we were losing our jobs. Sad. Apart from the obvious loss of income, I'm going to miss the store. I've really enjoyed working there, I really like my workmates and it's been a wonderful environment. Surrounded by so many pretty things and being inspired by all the lovely yarn and fabric, and by all of the customers wonderful ideas and projects.
Not to mention the panic buying when I realised that my easy access to Rowan was about to be stopped cold.
I behaved. I made a list of all my intended projects, matched up my stash to what it wanted to be and took a good long look at all of my yarn. (And fabric, for that matter)
And so I was remarkably well behaved in New Zealand. I may be knitting with my Rowan stash for the next ten years, however!
And if you're local and inclined to visit, we'll be there until May 4!
April 07, 2013
Where do I start?
At the end of the last post? New Zealand is beautiful. Stunning. The weather sometimes left a little to be desired on one or two days, but in general, it was a wonderful holiday.
We drove up to Cape Reinga, the tip of New Zealand, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea. (The seafoam you see is where the two crash into each other)
We went to the Bay of Islands, which was beautiful, but the cruise was a bit of a let down - we'd hoped to go out to the Hole In The Rock, and to see some dolphins, but the weather didn't co operate.
We went to Hobbiton.
In front of Frodo's house! I'm no LoTR geek, but Hobbiton was fun!
We saw thermal pools
Beautiful carving everywhere
I even got to feed a lamb!
And gorgeous scenery everywhere.
There are steps down to the bottom of Bridal Veil falls. Going down was great. There are viewing platforms
along the way and at the bottom, and it's just stunning.
Coming back up proved how unfit I am.
If you want to see more photos, there's an album on flickr.
The knitting? I worked on Bellevue while we were there, and finished it not long after we got back.
Pattern: Bellevue Cardigan (Fingering Weight) by Laura Chau
Yarn: BC Garn Silkbloom Fino in Fuchsia from Suzy Hausfrau (4 balls)
Needles: 3.25mm Dyakcraft Northern Lights
Mods: None. Well, none on purpose.
Above the lace border there should have been a garter row that I left out, because I apparently can't read. I didn't realise this until I did the sleeves, then there was no way I was ripping back!
The yarn? Gorgeous. Beautiful to knit with, beautiful stitch definition, the silk gives it a slight sheen, just stunning. Renae from Suzyhausfrau came along to one of our Guild meetings last year, and brought a bunch of stock to have a little stall at the back of the room. I need yarn like an eskimo needs a freezer, but I couldn't resist this. There'll be more in my future, I'm sure.
The pattern? Fab. It's not the first time I've knit it, I knit the Worsted version a while back with Madtosh Worsted MCN, and wear it regularly. Can't say I won't knit it again, either.
But for now, it's Wollmeise DK and Water and Stone.
January 31, 2013
Colors of Kauai sits behind me, still buttonless. This is partly because I'm still undecided, and partly because I'm lazy, as has been established many a time before.
I have solved the indecision of holiday knitting, however.
Lets face it, what knitter doesn't overestimate the knitting projects they'll work on on holiday? This has been an awful, awful week, topped off by my credit card details being stolen. I desperately need this holiday. Long, long overdue!
And excitement - we're going to Hobbiton! I wonder where I might find a certain Elf? ;)
In other news, I made a Sorbetto top.
What an awesome pattern - not quite sure why I haven't made one of these before! I added the sleeve pattern available at Sew, Incidentally...
A great way to economically use some Liberty Tana Lawn! I made a size 4 and used 80cm, including the sleeves. I really love this print, it's one of the new Seasonals, which just arrived at Calico & Ivy a couple of weeks ago.
See all the little critters hiding amongst the swirls? Love!
At first I didn't add the trim or buttons, but I think the centre pleat got lost amongst the patterned fabric, so I added the bits. Much happier with it now! (And yes, I've packed it for the trip!)
January 25, 2013
So I've finished Colours of Kauai.
The knitting is done, the blocking is done. I bought the buttons. And now I'm suffering from a massive case of indecision.
The light in this picture makes them look almost white. I assure you, they're not!
They're actually a good colour match, especially considering that I bought them off a computer screen! But I'm worried they're a little big and overwhelming, especially seeing as there's so many of them on the cardi.
I think I like them. But I also think I'll keep looking at it for a few days before I decide for sure!
Speaking of indecision, we're off to visit New Zealand next Friday. I can't wait, a holiday is long overdue.
But I can't decide what knitting to take!
January 01, 2013
My production was down this year.
1. Micha Dress, 2. Cobbler, 3. Saartje's Bootees, 4. Dollheid Hat, 5. French Fancy Cardigan, 6. Pippa Cardi, 7. Potae Hat, 8. Road to Socialism ssocks, 9. Honey Cowl, 10. Camber cardi, 11. Easy Lace Cowl, 12. Noro gloves, 13. Olivia cardi, 14. Wussypillow mitts, 15. Jitterbug socks, 16. Frukttradgard hat, 17. Pink Mitts, 18. P1100459-001, 19. Ella coat, 20. Amelia top, 21. Poppy hat, 22. Hiccups socks, 23. Long Sleeved Baby Kina, 24. Isaac's stripey cardi, 25. Kidsilk Creation Scarf, 26. Starr Jumper
26 items, usually it's 32-35. A lot of what I knit this year was smaller, too - quite a few baby gifts in there, and a few shop samples.
The blogging took a hit this year, as well as the knitting. It wasn't the easiest year I've had, and I'm pretty happy to see the back of it to be honest!
I did do a few whack of sewing this year, though. Lots of dresses and a few tops. Three quilts, a skirt or two. Sewing is so much quicker than knitting. I can easily cut out, sew up and finish a dress in a day! But knitting is more relaxing, a slower pace.
That's what I'm aiming for this year. More relaxing, a slower pace. More knitting!
December 26, 2012
This week I started a new cardi, and I'm super impressed by the construction! It's the Colors of Kauai cardigan by Hanna Maciejewska.
I scored some Wollmeise DK in Aquarius way back on the every first day it was listed. I was in the car, on the bluetooth calling Emily and trying to talk her through the order over the phone. Somehow, through pure luck, I managed to score two skeins. I was ordering totally blindly. I had no idea of yardage, how much I'd ordered and whether it was enough to make something or not.
So then I was cruising Ravelry and found Colors of Kauai, and decided it was meant to be. I bought the pattern without paying too much attention, just that it was a cute cardi and the yardage and gauge were right.
I didn't actually look at the construction until Sunday night when I sat down to begin. It's genius. First you begin with a provisional cast on. This is the top of the back. You knit down to the bottom of the armholes.
Then you undo a little of the provisional cast on, and knit the left front down to beneath the armholes.
Once you've done that, unzip the rest of the provisional cast on, pop the middle stitches on hold for the neck and knit the right front down.
Once you're past the underarms for all the pieces, you join them up and knit down for the rest of the body.
Genius! After the body is done, I'll pick up stitches around the armholes and knit the sleeves down.
Looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.
I may also have started something I haven't done in quite a long time.
I'm knitting a shawl. It really has been a while - more than three years! Wollmeise again, the "Walk on The Moon" kit in colourway number 6, scored in a Rav destash. Not too far along yet, but gorgeous already!
December 09, 2012
So, Sewvember happened and I failed miserably at blogging any of it at all. Go, me! So instead you get a very brief wrap up. (But hugely picture heavy!)
A bunch of Aussies decided to christen November Sewvember. People had different plans for the month - some planned only to make at least one item, some planned to sew a little every day, some planned to wear handmade all month. Knowing that I am all kinds of useless at sticking to anything, I just planned to wear as much handmade as I could and make a sizeable dent in the sewing pile. Success at both!
Mostly a success. The bodice is a little big, and I might remake it. I had loads of fabric left over - almost a metre. I'm finding a lot of the smaller pattern companies tend to overestimate yardage requirements.
Next up is Butterick B5317 in a printed linen. Love this dress, I made it last year, but wore it in Sewvember. Actually, I wear this one a lot. The cardi is the Bellevue Cardi by Laura Chau in MadTosh MCN Worsted.
Next up, a skirt from New Look 6843 in a Sevenberry fabric from Calico & Ivy. I love this pattern, and use it a lot. It's view E.
Next up, two patterns, one outfit, one designer. It's the Kelly skirt and Banksia blouse from Megan Neilsen. The skirt I made in a grey linen/cotton blend and the blouse in Liberty Tana Lawn, both from Calico & Ivy. Great patterns! The waistband on the skirt is a bit big and needs taking in, otherwise they're great. Apologies for the blurry pic.
And another Megan Neilsen, the Darling Ranges dress in one of my favourite Liberty Tana lawn prints. Great pattern, but I didn't do the waist ties, and I should've. I'm thinking I might add some shirring at the back, just to nip the waist in a little.
Another older one, Simplicity 2196. It has pockets! One of my biggest gripes with the big pattern companies is the lack of pockets. I need pockets! What is up with that? Random cotton print from somewhere. Crap selfie ahead.
Are you bored yet? There's more. I had no idea I was so prolific.
I discovered Sewaholic patterns. I'm in love. Really. Lonsdale. In a red polka dot cotton. LOVE!
I made a few adjustments. On the advice of missfee, passed on from her sister, I added boning to the side seams. I also completely omitted the bow at the back, and just sewed the straps down. I lined the skirt and added lace. Because I like pretty!
And Sewaholic Cambie. In navy with white microdots, and white piping, version B.
And version A in a random floral cotton print. I like the fuller skirt better, but I still like this one. (And pockets in all of them!)
No mods to the Cambie patterns - except adding piping to the first one, but nothing major.
Still with me? Colette Chantilly, made last year, still in the rotation. Made in a random cotton voile. Still a favourite.
Sew Liberated Schoolhouse tunic in a Denyse Schmidt voile from Calico & Ivy. Simple, easy to wear. Made last year, worn in Sewvember.
Basic A-Line wrap skirt made in one of the new Liberty Art prints from Calico & Ivy. I adapted the New Look pattern mentioned earlier. Made and worn in Sewvember.
Lisette Market Blouse in a Lisette voile. Made last year, worn in Sewvember,
New Look 6977 t-shirt. Superquick, easy. Made and worn in Sewvember. Also washed in Sewvember. When it shrank and widened and became unwearable. Bummer.
And last but definitely not least, New Look 6457, view A in a random cotton print. Made last year, or maybe even the year before. Worn with Kim Hargreaves Buttercup top, an old favourite. (Gotta get some Kim in there somewhere!)
Maybe next time I won't store it all up to post at once.
Final thoughts - I like the independent pattern companies much more than the big ones. Of the big ones, I like New Look the best, although their sizing is plain stupid. Not at all realistic. And what's with the big companies leaving pockets off everything? Pockets are important!
I find the smaller pattern companies make patterns that are more true to size and with much, much better instructions that the big companies. They also fit better. And have pockets!!
And pink is still my favourite colour.
October 19, 2012
So it turns out that I was gone so long that I've got another finished project ready to show. Oops.
Pattern: Pippa by Kim Hargreaves from Quirky.
Yarn: Rowan Fine Lace in Cobweb (purchased online) and Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Ghost, purchased from Calico & Ivy.
Needles: 2.75mm and 3.25mm
I'm such a Kim Hargreaves fangirl. I can't help it, I love her work, I own all the books. And the idea of combining Kidsilk Haze with Fine Lace is brilliant. It creates such a lush fabric. Divine.
I made this especially for my sister's wedding next month. I purchased this dress to wear, from Diana Ferrari.
And I wanted a cardi to wear just in case it gets a little cool. This will do the job perfectly. Of course, it'll now turn out to be a blistering hot day, and the last thing I'll want is a mohair cardi. But at least I'm prepared!
And I started something new. Not Kim Hargreaves this time, but stil Rowan. French Fancy by Amanda Crawford from Rowan Studio 27.
As soon as I saw the leaflet, I knew I had to make this, so I scooped up the yarn from Calico & Ivy and it's been sitting at the top of my queue ever since. The time has come!
Wool Cotton DK on my gorgeous Dyakcraft Darn Pretty Charcoal interchangeables. (I may or may not have Pink ones on order. Pink!)
October 14, 2012
A month later, Lily and Dollheid are still hibernating in the naughty basket. I fell off the planet for a bit, as I am wont to do, but some knitting has been achieved!
My Camber cardi was started a while back. Back in March of 2011, in fact. I did the body, I did the icord edging, and started the first sleeve. There I stalled. She languished, unloved and ignored. It was all that laceweight black stocking stitch. B-o-r-i-n-g. I'd pick it up, do a row or two, get distracted by some other project that was prettier, more enticing, less intensive.
Then, when Lily took up residence in the naughty basket, I pulled Camber back out. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that once I got back to work, it took less than a week to finish the first sleeve and complete the second. Oops.
Nineteen months. Embarrassing, especially when it came out so well! Perfect for Spring days when it's still a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings, not too warm, just perfect.
And I seriously love the lace pattern around the yoke.
Only thing I don't love is the way the fronts gape around the buttons. i've only been wearing it done up, so I might actually sew them together and have a faux cardi instead.
The whole thing was worked precisely to the pattern,except that I lengthened the sleeves - I've mentioned in the past that Im not really a fan of the three quarter sleeve.
I also finished up a sample for the shop that I seriously fell in love with!
The Honey cowl. Easy, easy , easy! And luscious in Debbie Bliss Andes.
Mods: None, it's perfect. I made the long version, and it can be worn long, or doubled over and short. And it's super easy. nothing more difficult than a knit, purl or a slipped stitch. After convincing Emily to model it for me, she immediately started dropping hints for me to make her one exactly like it. Not happening.
At least. not until after I make one for myself!