Saturday, 23 July 2016

Work in progress

My apologies for it being so long. I've been a very busy bee but I can't tell you about any of that yet... It's a secret... shhhhh.
 So I thought I would give you a bit of a work in progress... Which I still have a fair bit of going on. Firstly my campside Cardigan, which it feels like I've been working on for aaages. Well it is coming along slowly but it has, until now, been set aside in favour of other projects.

Look look!! Nearly finished my first sleeve! And by that I mean I got as far as the ribbing last night before I got too sleepy to continue. Because it's a long cardigan I decided to finish the sleeves before finishing the body to make sure I don't run out of wool... It can always be made shorter if need be. But actually I think I will have enough to make it the full looooong length.

I also have my current socks on the go (I say current because I feel very sparse on the handmade sock grounds so I will always have some on the go this year at least (for when I am on the go... Perfect transportable projects)

These are the Petty Harbour pattern by Rayna Curtis (on Ravelry). I'm knitting them up in Grundl Hot Socks Uni yarn in a cheery denim colour... Ok not very adventurous but I like them.

And last but not least... Bailey. I know what you're thinking, and those who follow me on Instagram know what's going on here. I only just finished a Bailey cardigan!! Well...

Disaster struck just over a month ago... My Bailey cardigan, which I loved, came out of the wash shrunk and felted!! RUINED!! I'm not going to lie, I may have gone off for a little cry after taking that photo. Three months of knitting went into that! And it would now only fit a 12 year old... Certainly not me! So I decided to get cracking with another one straight away.

Wow that's a terrible quality photo! Sorry guys. And ok I confess this one is in charcoal grey... In spite of me saying I needed to cut back on the grey stuff (please note in photo grey t shirt!). Well this Bailey is nearly done it just needs its pockets and some ends woven in!! (hence the Thriller pose above... Those are the pockets)

They will go about here... When I get round to sewing them on.

So that's me for now... I will get back to sewing stuff soon, just as soon as I get this big project(secret project) finished.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Morris Blazer the first

So a couple of weekends ago I became a bit obsessed with having a cute little summer jacket, something that would act as a coverup without being very hot. I also decided that I wanted it to be a bit different from the standard 'blazer' which I have been wearing since university (that's a long time ago), and so only a Morris Blazer would do.

I eagerly logged into Grainline Studio's website and downloaded the PDF version (otherwise I was going to have to wait quite a while for it to turn up... Got busy with the Prit Stick and ploughed on into the project.

And boy do I have some good things to say about this blazer (and maybe one or two not so good). The whole thing from cutting to finished can be done in a day (with no toilet breaks and only Mikado as food) and the instructions generally very good. I did get a bit stuck on the step which tells you to sew the neck facing to the hem facing... Couldn't work out which way round it should sit. A few people have had this problem though and it turns our none of us figured out to unfold the ironed down hem... Doh!

But the collar part...which I thought would be difficult... Was an absolute breeze.

I decided to make a wearable muslin from some navy cotton twill I had lying around in my stash. I know, I know, it says very clearly in the pattern that you should use something with a bit of stretch to it. Well I said pooh pooh to that and did my own thing.... And yeah, it says stretch for a reason, this jacket is a bit snug over the shoulders.

But it's loose everywhere else so that's fine right? I promise next time to use something with a bit of give in it. But that leads me onto the big issue I had with this jacket. I made it up in a size 6 - so a UK 10. But the sleeves were tiny!! I could barely get them up past my elbows!! By measuring the pattern pieces and my upper arm (taking into account seam allowances obviously) I had to cut a whopping size 10 sleeve!! That's UK 14 people!! What the hell Grainline?! I know my upper arms are a bit chunky, but seriously?
I have tried to tell myself that this is because of the lack of stretch in the fabric, but I may still also size up for my next version, and the body on this already feels big enough.

I will work something out. I can't stay mad at you Grainline, I really love this jacket!!

I also decided that it might be nice to underline this fabric to give it more slide on my clothes, so I cut out the body and sleeves in a lovely spotty lining fabric, sewed them together separately, and basted them to the outer... I think it looks really professional...

And for my close up...

Lookit lookit... No raw edges showing!!

By interlining the jacket it meant that I could sew down the facings, which are just meant to hang loose... Which I don't get...

And check out that top stitching... I'm really quite proud of myself.

So to sum up....
Pattern: Morris Blazer from Grainline Studios
Size: Size 6 body and 10 sleeves
Modifications: non stretch fabric and a spot of interlining
Fabric: Navy Cotton twill from my stash
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (you lost a star for those tight sleeves)
Re-sewability: Absolutely... Stretch cotton already on order!
Wearability: Even though it is a little snug over the shoulders it is very wearable... I even got a compliment from a random stranger in the Metro station (which sounds creepier than it was).

Saturday, 2 July 2016

A little bit of Heaven and Space

I have a confession.... I finished this shawl ages ago, several weeks in fact. Then it sat rolled up on my dining table until today. Why? I hear you ask... Because in a bizarre plot twist it's been way too warm to actually wear it!! Who'd a thought!

But today in a quite frankly brilliant act of procrastination (I'm meant to be practicing inserting an invisible zip) I thought it was time for a bit of blocking, meaning...

Yep all crackly and poor 'phone picture' quality but that there is my freshly blocked Heaven and Space shawl!

So let me get down to the knitty gritty (see what I did there)...
This is the Heaven and Space pattern by Martina Behm (one of the Strichmich patterns, same as my previous Brickless shawl). Found on Ravelry for a reasonable few pounds.
The yarn is Drops Baby Merino... My good god is this wonderful stuff, soft, non-splitty and 100% merino wool.
I used up two balls making this shawl which sits around my neck comfortably without hanging very low. I'll be honest I might rip back the cast off and add another ball for length, it's easy enough to keep going with the pattern repeat.

The pattern has a lovely diagonal panel pattern which is difficult enough to need to pay attention (no you can't knit it while engrossed in a film/tv series... I kept having to tink back to mistakes... Frustrating) but it is easy enough to memorise and follow by checking what you've just done. Brilliant travel project! This fella came with me to Dublin at the end of May and was a lovely and relaxing project.

Now... What I didn't like about it..

This is another shawl that, because of the pattern, comes out at the end as a big wibbly lump. Some people on Ravelry like this concertina effect and left it like this. I'm not keen, and by gum did it need some aggressive blocking to iron it out (please note DO NOT IRON YOUR KNITTING unless you want it ruined). So I ended up steam blocking several times to get it to this stage...

Still a little concertina'd but much better. 

It is a really light littl scarf but I'm going to guess very warm as it's pure wool. Of course I will actually know that when I have a chilly enough day to wear it... Which I don't actually want until autumn. Well it's all here ready and waiting for it.