Friday, 5 December 2008

Heugelijk Sint Nicolaas!

or Happy Saint Nicholas' Day!

(I used to have a whole extra Christmas dinner on this day, and presents, and songs by the fireplace)

Crafting continues apace, but is almost exclusively Christmas presents, and so a post will wait until I've given them, just in case anyone stumbles across this :)

Friday, 28 November 2008

And some NFOs/WIPs

Again, it's been ages since I posted, and as I feared, the WIPs are not really so much in progress as waiting to be finished....

Here goes. This is Miss Lambert's Shetland Lace Wrap (from Victorian Lace today):
which needs to have a stitch sewn in, and to be blocked. What did I learn while I made this? 1) That counting slipped stitches on edging, in order to attach a border, is harder than you think it is, and it's easier if you count them all out in advance and mark the relevant ones with safety pins. And 2) that a provisional cast-on (to be ripped out, and replaced with more border) should be knitted in a contrast colour, and therefore not black when the item in question is navy. I'm refusing to be a perfectionist on this one, though, so I'm very pleased with it :)

The other NFOs are Christmas knitting, so somewhat less ambitious. An Ice Queen (from knitty, but without the beads):

And some origami slippers (from the Knitting Pattern a Day calendar for 2007), all in one colour of Rowan Tapestry.
These were huge fun to knit, as they were last time (sometime last year), and seemed to go a lot quicker, too, so they're just waiting to have the ends sewn in.
And finally, a pair of Fetchings (again, knitty), using up bits of stash. These are still waiting for thumbs.


They're knitted from some mystery stash yarn (the darker purple), with bits of the Sublime Kid Mohair blend that I also used for the Ice Queen. This is partly because they're intended to be a set of presents, and partly because it makes for better stashbusting, and I wasn't sure how far the DK would go on it's own. I've made the 'fingers' slightly longer, and used the picot cast-off from Ice Queen (with the difference that I bound of 5 stitches in place of 2) for no other reason than that that was the one in my head at the time!

So, that's the knitting covered. I'm also going to be sewing for Christmas, but haven't quite started that yet, so will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

An FO parade

Ermmm.... I appear to have become an irregular blogger without ever being a regular one. I am still alive, and still crafting away quite happily - with the result that I have some FOs to show you!

First up, the Gathered Pullover from Interweave Knits. I started this over Easter, and I'm sure it would have been a quick, fun knit... if only I hadn't kept stopping knitting for a week at a time. As it was, it took me 5 months to complete, but I'm happy with it, and it's getting a good amount of wear. (Bad, bad photo - I'll get one of it in action soon :)

I made some modifications to make sure it fit and suited me - essentially adding waist shaping, and moving the cable pattern down a couple of inches (more detail on the mods can be found on ravelry)

And here're some of the things I've sewn since I started the pullover.
Skirts: always quick and easy, and make me feel like I've made an effort to put an outfit together. These two are a modification of a Simplicity pattern, which I used a couple of years ago to make a trio of every-day long skirts, and have since shortened (the brief revival of Victoriana having passed).



I fell for the fabric for the dress, and then had to search for a pattern that would let me make the most of the embroidery. Not being able to hem it and thus make sure that all the edges were even made more difference to how I cut it out than I expected, but I'm pleased with the outcome. I was worried about wearing white to a wedding, but I like the way the black balances out, and I may yet be converted to ribbon straps on more things!

And these two are from Burda WOS sometime in summer 2007. Lots of fun to make, and a bit more unusual, they're lined to just above the knee (though the lighter fabric still has some transparency issues).

That's the FOs for now - I promise to show you some progress pics before everything on my needles (and in the sewing box) is finished.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

A First Post, and a Festival of Quilts

How to begin? With a Messy Tuesday post, even if today is Wednesday. Here's the mess:


And here's the relative tidiness that has resulted from emptying all those boxes!


My new office, complete with huge desk, tiny computer, and amazing view.

Perhaps even more exciting than that was last Friday, when I met up with Katie, Liz, Ellen, Kim, Jaq, Jackie and Hilary at the NEC in Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts. I had been warned that I would be overwhelmed, that I risked spending a fortune and developing "quilt eye", but the real thing was even better, and I think I was relatively restrained in my expenditure. My most expensive purchases were a "walking" and a "1/4 inch" foot for my sewing machine, which will make piecing and quilting lots easier, and the only additions
to my stash are these:

some reds and oranges for a Christmas present, and a fat quarter of sheep for me. The latter is from the button company, a stall that we returned to time and again, for buttons and felt as well as their fun japanese fabrics. All in all, lots of fun, and a great chance to see some of the Oxford Bluestockings again, now that I'm elsewhere.