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I knit, I sew, I run, I look after children and hamsters, I take truly terrible pictures, I cook, I complain.  Sometimes all at the same time.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

There's something about flying a kite at night that seems so unwholesome

Those of you who are interested in my knitting will be thrilled to hear that the last Year of Projects is over, and that we are now into the next one.  Even though it's uncharacteristically hot here (warm weather in summer, who knew?), I'm thinking about knitting a lot, and I've got my to do list ready.  Brace yourselves.

Me:
Petrie top in Yellow Wool Cotton from Liberty
Miette cardigan in Lemon
Cream and Beige Coco style boatneck striped top
Rainbow Raglan to replace the one I lost
Sun-Ray Ribbing Vintage Jumper
This One's for Parties Vintage Jumper
Finish the Vianne in time for the end of the Outfit Along.
Finish the Wisteria so that when it gets cold, I will be warm
Finish the Peacock Mittens, ditto

Simon:
Reknit his Cobblestone jumper
A pair of massive MAN SOCKS

Lucy:
Elwood mittens
Mini Hetty cardigan with sleeves

Hattie:
Burton Bear cowl
Mini Hetty cardigan with sleeves

Blankets:
Owl Blanket for Robin's Christmas present
Bright Rainbow Blanket for Lucy
Minion blanket for Hattie
Finish the &%^%^&^%&^ing Weather Blanket
100 *(&*&*&^*^%&&^%ing Hexipuffs

It looks doable now.  Ask me again in a fortnight.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet.

A round-up of the last Year of Projects.  It's been fun.  I've not completed everything, and I keep adding to it, which sort of screws up the whole "list" idea.

Things I have finished:

Hattie rainbows

Things I have almost finished:

The Weather in the Streets blanket

Lots of progress on this one.  Yay.  Just got to crochet them on to the main blanket, but as it's too hot to have a massive heavy blanket on my lap.

Yellow squares - 134/143 done - 9 to go
Blue squares - 64/72 done - 8 to go
Grey squares - 90/102 - 12 to go
Turquoise squares - 8/11 done - 3 to go
Red squares - 8/10 done
Pinky-Red squares - 8/10 done
Orange squares - DONE
Pink square - DONE
Purple squares - DONE
Dark Green squares - DONE
Pale Blue square - DONE
Pale Yellow square - DONE
Dark Blue square - DONE

Vianne cardigan - Irritated by this.  I had to rip it back, and ripped back too far, so now I've got to start again, and it's taking FOREVER.

Wisteria jumper - Still needing a bloody sleeve. It's too hot.

Hexipuff Blanket - least said, soonest mended.

Peacock Mitten

These are for the next list.

Knitted Coco
Coraline cardigan 
Owls for Robin
Socks for me
Petrie top
Burton Bear Cowl for Hattie. 
Elwood mittens for Lucy.  
Rainbow jumper
A Little Birds jumper with no steeks .
Reknit an unwearably large jumper for Simon

So that's that for last year, and onward into this.  You can pretty much tell what the list is going to look like from reading the list of unfinished projects. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.

Pinch punch and white rabbits and all that, and welcome to July.  It's absolutely boiling here in West London, at least 35 degrees C, and more than that in the Nursery, which is awful for the dear little things, and worse for us.  It should cool down soon, which will be a blessed relief.

Anyway. There's been lots of this:







Tall jugs of iced water with lemon, lime and mint.  Ringmaster Rosie black, red, white and pink tutu. Sweet Williams, on sale in the Co-Op for under £1.  Rainbow dress and matching pants for Hattie.  New paddling pool broken in. 

Pretty busy what with one thing and the other.  

We're going to see a kitchen designer tomorrow.  More on that later. 




Monday, 15 June 2015

My knitting is as boundless as the sea, My stash as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.

What a weekend.  We went to Paris very early on Saturday morning and came back on Sunday night.  I am EXHAUSTED, and the children are foul, as they would be with so little sleep.  It sounds so glamourous, 48 hours in Paris; does it break the spell to say that it was my grandmother's 90th birthday, and we didn't stay in Paris itself but in a small but anonymous hotel in her village, half an hour out of the centre?  Probably a bit, but we had a great time, and I have some photos once I get them off the camera.

Some things from the list:

A FINISHED OBJECT


It's Andi Satterlund's Miette cardigan, which will go with my two Miette skirts.  I made it with the wrong weight of yarn, DK instead of Worsted, which was a bit of a mistake, but it will be lighter weight for Summer.  I wore it today, and it was a bit too warm, but then it's been rubbish and humid in London today.

NB It looks better on than in the photo, but I am having a bad hair day so there are to be NO PHOTOS.

Stuff I am actually working on actually.

The Weather in the Streets blanket

Even slighter progress this week on this one.  I've got 18 loose squares now.

Yellow squares - 123/143 done - 20 to go
Blue squares - 63/72 done - 9 to go
Grey squares - 79/102 - 23 to go
Turquoise squares - 4/11 done
Red squares - 8/10 done
Pinky-Red squares - 8/10 done
Orange squares - DONE
Pink square - DONE
Purple squares - DONE
Dark Green squares - DONE
Pale Blue square - DONE
Pale Yellow square - DONE
Dark Blue square - DONE

Vianne cardigan - another Andi Satt pattern, this time for the outfit along 2015.  Because I am awkward, I am making it with a plain back. It's a good pattern, but I've never been one for masses of lace everywhere.  I knitted quite a lot of it on the plane yesterday, and it's coming along well.  Turns out I only have about 6 balls of the yarn I've earmarked for it, so I will use that up and probably (totally) buy more for the Petrie top.  



Stuff I am not really working on, but saying I am as it makes me feel less like a grasshopper and more like an ant.

Wisteria jumper - Still needing a bloody sleeve.
Hexipuff quilt - least said, soonest mended.
Peacock Mitten

It is doubtful whether these will be started this month.

Knitted Coco
Coraline cardigan 
Owls for Robin
Socks for me
Petrie top

These are not being started until the weather turns crap again.  I have no guilt.

Burton Bear Cowl for Hattie. 
Elwood mittens for Lucy.  
Rainbow jumper
A Little Birds jumper with no steeks .
Reknit an unwearably large jumper for Simon

These are DONE and are therefore my favourite projects

Myrna Cardigan
Hattie's cardigan
A pair of simple socks for the children
Garter Yoke Cardigan
An Owlet for Lucy
Lucy's Cowl
Hattie's Cowl
A Burton Bear Cowl for Lucy
Simon's socks
Boreal
A tiny jumper for Nicholas
Sparkly Owlet for Hattie
Ringo mittens
Aiken
Striped jumper for Lucy
Nicholas' POP blanket
Lucy ripples


Hattie rainbows
Miette for me

The new list is shaping up to be depressingly similar to the old one; ho hum. Fewer socks for the children though as they keep on growing, and it wears me out. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Richard got married to a figure skater, And he bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolator, And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on

When life gives you lemon fabric, you make dresses with lemons on.  


Simplicity Blogging Circle had a competition which ended last month to make some version of this dress, which is Simplicity 6145, so I faithfully cut it out, emailed them, entered, then put the fabric in a bag near my sewing machine and ignored it for a while, hoping it would sew itself.

Until last Saturday morning, when, post Rainbows sleepover, sleep deprived and a bit lightheaded, I sewed it together.  Having measured myself, compared my measurements to the sizes, read that even though my waist and hips are about the same as the stated size 16 and my bust is considerably bigger, I decide to cut out a size 16.  Shame I didn't read the finished garment measurements.  



Anyway, the good news is that I totally chose the wrong size, and ended up with a far, far too big dress.  It fits well across my hips and bum, but was so big around the bust, I nearly fell out of it.  It took me a lot of buggering about with the neckline to make it fit properly.  I ended up reducing it by ten inches. I'd like to think I've lost weight, which is why it doesn't fit, but I think it's the whole full bust, hollow chest thing; and will result in masses of fitting changes to all my dresses.  So it's a good job I don't care very much about fit across the chest, so long as it doesn't look too daft.

Next time, I'll choose the 14, and wing it.  Or not eat until it fits.  







Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Uh, no, Miss Stoeger? I have a note from my tennis instructor, and he would prefer it if I didn't expose myself to any training that might derail his teachings.

Errr mi gerd, I have been a bit busy recently, what with one thing (Rainbows sleepover) and another (horrific food poisoning - marginally worse than the sleepover).  All the EMOTIONAL PAIN of the last few months and years have been worth it, and I am in Year 2 doing lots of fun stuff next year - Art, Geography, History, Creative Writing, Science, what's not to like.  Fantastic.  Still got the essay of doom to do, but that will be done sooner rather than later, and at least getting one done means that I'm on track for the second one.

Anyway.  Knitting, knitting, knitting.

Stuff I am actually working on actually.

The Weather in the Streets blanket

There's been some progress.  Slight but some.  I think I've got about 16 loose ones now, I'll sew them together when I get to 20.

Yellow squares - 122/143 done - 21 to go
Blue squares - 63/72 done - 9 to go
Grey squares - 79/102 - 23 to go
Turquoise squares - 4/11 done
Red squares - 8/10 done
Pinky-Red squares - 8/10 done
Orange squares - ALL DONE
Pink square - DONE
Purple squares - DONE
Dark Green squares - DONE
Pale Blue square - DONE
Pale Yellow square - DONE
Dark Blue square - DONE

Miette cardigan - Done, except for buttons and a block.  I need to buy buttons; despite having jars and jars of buttons, I never have 10 matching ones.

Wisteria jumper - Still needing a bloody sleeve.

Hexipuff quilt - least said, soonest mended.

Petrie top - There's been a change of plan here.  The yarn I had earmarked for this is going to be put towards a Viane cardigan for the outfit along 2015.  I'm starting it as soon as I've finished typing.

It is doubtful whether these will be started this month.

Knitted Coco
Coraline cardigan 
Owls for Robin
Socks for me
Petrie top (with the remains of the yarn.  I have about 10000 balls of it, job lot, and I should have enough for two projects)

This is a WIP I have lost

Peacock Mitten

These are not being started until the weather turns crap again.  I have no guilt.

Burton Bear Cowl for Hattie. 
Elwood mittens for Lucy.  
Rainbow jumper
A Little Birds jumper with no steeks .
Reknit an unwearably large jumper for Simon

These are DONE and are therefore my favourite projects

Myrna Cardigan
Hattie's cardigan
A pair of simple socks for the children
Garter Yoke Cardigan
An Owlet for Lucy
Lucy's Cowl
Hattie's Cowl
A Burton Bear Cowl for Lucy
Simon's socks
Boreal
A tiny jumper for Nicholas
Sparkly Owlet for Hattie
Ringo mittens
Aiken
Striped jumper for Lucy
Nicholas' POP blanket
Lucy ripples
Hattie rainbows

I've done a lot of knitting since last July, and a lot of sewing.  It's a wonder I ever get time to teach.  My children are horrifically neglected in every way, although they have A LOT of blankets.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

What if he shows up with another woman? What if one of my sleeves catches on fire and it spreads rapidly? What if instead of Tic-Tacs I accidentally pop a couple of Ambien and I have to keep punching my leg to stay awake?

A while ago, my mum gave me a bunch of skirts to cut up for the fabric.  They are all from Liberty; back in the olden days (1980s), Liberty had a shop in Cambridge which sold skirts that had pre-elasticated waistbands, and were sewn up one side, so all you had to do was measure yourself and sew a seam.  We didn't have a sewing machine then as Mum didn't really care to sew, so she sewed and hemmed all these skirts by hand.  They are about as unflattering as any skirt can possibly be; loose elasticated waist, mid calf length, masses of fabric around the hips and bum, and generally pretty horrible.  The fabric though is just beautiful, so they are worth salvaging just for that.

This is the first one I rescued:


It's a lovely print, and I don't think you can buy it anymore; I can't even find it on the internet, although I'm not sure I am searching for the right thing.  If you can find it, please let me know.

All I really did was cut the waistband off, opened the side seams with my seam ripper and undid the hem.  I felt terrible doing that; my mum's hand sewing was absolutely beautiful, and must have taken ages.  I cut it in a sort of A-line shape, and made a beautiful interfaced waistband, that ended up being far too small, probably because I can't measure and left far too much seam allowance, resulting in me losing about 3 inches off the whole thing.  Depressing.  Obviously, then I didn't have enough fabric for a proper waistband, so I found some corduroy and measured it around my waist, then added a bit and shoved it on.  It's not technically perfect, but you know.  It's going to be around my waist, and you can't really tell it's not been lined, and if anyone wants to have a look at the waistband, they are clearly a weirdo and will be told to bugger off. 


It looks alright, doesn't it?  I sewed the buttons on today, so much fun.  They are from my purple Garter Yoke cardigan, which lost two buttons and a third chipped, so I've bought new ones which I have to sew on.  All eleven of them.  

I might even finish the cardigan I'm knitting to go with this skirt before the end of the week.  The way the weather is at the moment means I really need it.  It's freezing in London.  Does this count towards the whole vintage pledge thing?  It's certainly vintage fabric.


Monday, 1 June 2015

Sewing lace on widows' weeds, And filigree on leaf and vine

Me Made May is over for another year.  It wasn't a challenge this year, because I have a lot of handmade clothes now.  I'm not yet able to get through an entire month without repeats; but then I wear the clothes I love, and most of them are handmade.  My blue and white Miette skirt was worn pretty much once a week, which tells me I need to make more and more of them; good shape for me, good length and super easy to make.  I lost the instructions for the skirt, so I've been making it as a wraparound with buttons instead of ties.  I don't really need more fabric around my waist.


I did make another one, using some Cath Kidston fabric I got half price.  It's a very upholstery fabric, so it holds its shape pretty well.


There will be more of these in my future.  IKEA, where the fabric for the first Miette came from, has some really nice stuff in, and it's pretty cheap.  Look at this one:  
and this one:

I can see skirts in both of these in my future.  Hurrah.

For next year, I need more plain tops that will go with massively patterned skirts.  I've obviously got some fabric for them, I just need to get on with it.  I'll make some plain jersey Coco tops and probably a tunic too, and maybe the Comino Cap pattern from Kitschy Coo, to go with my new pants.   I can make a Coco in an evening, even less if I cut everything out the night before. The Bronte top by Jennifer Lauren is another one for the wardrobe; doesn't it have lovely shoulder details.  I've got some plain knitting to do too; tee shirts, light jumpers and cardigans.  Also, a Dolores batwing top would be rather special too.

Anyway, here is my Me Made May round up, and even though I gave up on taking photos after about day 25, I've pretty much documented all my clothes.  Roll on next year.





Sunday, 31 May 2015

All romantics meet the same fate some day. Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe.

How long, how long.  Have I been busy?  It's been half term, sure, which meant picnics in the park, trips to London to see the stuffed animals, hamster funerals (sob), play dates, trips to the theatre (Simon and I - High Society, so good), trips to the cinema (Simon and I - Age of Ultron, so adequate), dentists, haircuts and lots of running around.  A bit of an experience all round, and we are very much missing our darling little chap.


There's even been some knitting and sewing happening; I've taken to making the girls pants, in the hope that it might, cough, encourage improved, well, hygiene in the younger one.  These ones come from the off cuts of a dress I made for myself.



The pattern is from Kitschy Coo, and is super, super simple and quick; I think they took me thirty minutes each. I'm getting her grown up pants pattern soon to make some for me too. If I start talking about making bras though, do please have a word. Mind you, that's more like metal working than sewing for me, and the engineering is complex, so it's unlikely to happen in this life. The waistband on Lucy's pair is on back to front, but it helps me tell them apart, so it's a design feature, not a maker flaw.

The list is still going on.  There's now a month until the end of this Year of Projects cycle, so I'm starting to think about next year's list, which will be mostly projects I haven't managed to finish yet. 

Hexipuff Quilt - No change. Hey ho.

Lucy Attic24 Ripple Blanket - Done, done and done.  


When Lucy was sad about Charlie on Thursday, she wrapped herself and Hattie in the blanket while they cuddled and watched TV.  Even though I was very sad too, it warmed my heart to see them using my work to cheer themselves up.  I can't wrap them up in cotton wool and keep them indoors, but I can wrap them in love and time.

Wisteria jumper - It needs a sleeve.  Which won't take forever.  She says.

The Weather in the Streets

So close now to being done.  I've sewn together 320, there's 14 loose ones, and I've got less than 70 to go.  Happy days.  I've tried to do 2 a day recently, it's made a real difference.  Who knew that if you actually crocheted something rather than leaving lying on the sofa it would make it grow bigger?

Yellow squares - 120/143 done - 23 to go
Blue squares - 63/72 done - 9 to go
Grey squares - 79/102 - 23 to go
Turquoise squares - 4/11 done
Orange squares - ALL DONE
Pink square - DONE
Purple squares - DONE
Red squares - 8/10 done
Dark Green squares - DONE
Pale Blue square - DONE
Pale Yellow square - DONE
Dark Blue square - DONE
Pinky-Red squares - 8/10 done


Hattie's 4th birthday blanket - Also done, done and done.


Not a great picture, but she loves it to bits and back again, so I don't think I care too much about that. 

Miette cardigan - nearly finished the body.  It's looking good.  It'll go well with my as yet unblogged new Liberty skirt.  Which needs buttons.  Will the chores never end?

I'm keeping these here, with the some of the same notes next to them.  Still no progress.  I've put them in a possible making order.  Just in case.  You never know.

Knitted Coco - selfish knitting project.  Got the yarn, just need to make a start.

Coraline cardigan - I'm going to start this once I've finished the Miette cardigan. It is too pretty to keep on putting off.

Petrie top - I want this for August.  So I'd better get started.  It's June now.  

Peacock Mitten - At almost a quarter of the way through this, I'm quite excited that I might even have it finished before it gets cold again. 

Socks for me - I found some sock yarn. I will take socks with me on holiday with me. Might even get a whole pair made. We're there for two weeks.

Owl Obsession blanket -  I think I'm going to make this as a bunch of circles, with some owls. They'll basically be pretty plain, no mucking about.  That's what I didn't like about the pattern as written, too much mucking about with quite unnecessary lacy bits.

Burton Bear Cowl for Hattie. Autumn project.

Elwood mittens for Lucy.  I'm sure I've started these.  I can't remember though.  Aargh.
Rainbow jumper - this is an Autumn project.
A Little Birds jumper with no steeks - I still need to shred the stash for this. But I'm pretty sure I bought some yarn that didn't arrive. Hmm.
Reknit an unwearably large jumper for Simon - Measure once, knit twice. This is probably an Autumn project too.

Done:

Myrna Cardigan
Hattie's cardigan
A pair of simple socks for the children
Garter Yoke Cardigan
An Owlet for Lucy
Lucy's Cowl
Hattie's Cowl
A Burton Bear Cowl for Lucy
Simon's socks
Boreal
A tiny jumper for Nicholas
Sparkly Owlet for Hattie
Ringo mittens
Aiken
Striped jumper for Lucy
Nicholas' POP blanket
Lucy ripples
Hattie rainbows





Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

What on earth has been going on?  Where has all my time gone?  It's been WEEKS since I posted anything.  It's nearly the end of Me Made May, and me has been wearing all the handmade clothes, as have the children, and I've been sewing like a demon too.  More on that TOMORROW.  PROBABLY.

KNITTING, KNITTING, KNITTING.  There's been knitting happening, but no photography, as I really haven't finished anything.  Aargh.  It'll be the end of this YEAR OF PROJECTS soon, so the majority of my list will form the basis of next year's list.  Hem.
  • Hexipuff Quilt - No change.  Hey ho.
  • Lucy Attic24 Ripple Blanket - My Lucy considers this to be done.  I'm going to add two yellow stripes to it, and one purple, then an orange border around the whole thing, and then it will be done. 
  • Wisteria jumper -  It needs a sleeve.  Just one sleeve.  *sigh*  But, as it is thick, thick wool, and cables, it's not going to be needed for a few more months.  Hopefully.
  • The Weather in the Streets 
I've done a couple more squares, but I forget which, and I've not made a note, so these numbers will have to do, and I'll have a count tonight or tomorrow and get up to date.
  • Yellow squares - 109/143 done - 34 to go
  • Blue squares - 56/72 done - 16 to go
  • Grey squares - 69/102 - 33 to go
  • Turquoise squares - 2/11 done
  • Orange squares - ALL DONE
  • Pink square - DONE
  • Purple squares - DONE
  • Red squares - 7/10 done
  • Dark Green squares - DONE
  • Pale Blue square - DONE
  • Pale Yellow square - DONE
  • Dark Blue square - DONE
  • Pinky-Red squares - 7/10 done
  • Hattie's 4th birthday blanket - currently getting a pink border.  So, so close to being done.
  • Miette cardigan - cropped cardigans are not very me, so I'm going to add 6 inches to the body, and then call it long enough.  
There has been no progress on any of these, so I'm going to call them the start of next year's list, despite the tiniest little outside chance that I will complete one of these by the end of June.  Tiniest chance on the planet, but still a chance.  
  • Burton Bear Cowl for Hattie. Autumn project.
  • Owl Obsession for one of my godsons.  I had a go at making the owls, and didn't really like the way they looked, so I am going to make him a different sort of owl blanket.  Probably one that's like the Repeat Crafter Me blanket I made Hattie.  I'm using the wool I bought for him, so it won't be exactly the same.  It'll be more controlled, colourwise, as I've got a variegated main colour and white for the edges.  I'll need some brown for the owl body, but some acrylic aran weight will be great for that.  
  • Peacock Mitten - At almost a quarter of the way through this, I'm quite excited that I might even have it finished before it gets cold again.  
  • Coraline cardigan - I'm going to start this once I've finished the Miette cardigan.  It is too pretty to keep on putting off. 
  • Petrie top - it's time for a bit of selfish knitting, I think I'll start it, and see how it goes.    
  • Knitted Coco - same with this one.  I'm so close to finishing the girls' blankets, I'll need some projects to put on the sofa to wind Simon up.
  • Socks for me - I found some sock yarn.  I will take socks with me on holiday with me.  Might even get a whole pair made.  We're there for two weeks.
  • Rainbow jumper - this is an Autumn project.
  • A Little Birds jumper with no steeks - I still need to shred the stash for this.  But I'm pretty sure I bought some yarn that didn't arrive.  Hmm.
  • Reknit an unwearably large jumper for Simon - Measure once, knit twice.  This is probably an Autumn project too.
Done:

Myrna Cardigan
Hattie's cardigan.
A pair of simple socks for the children
Garter Yoke Cardigan
An Owlet for Lucy
Lucy's Cowl
Hattie's Cowl
A Burton Bear Cowl for Lucy
Simon's socks
Boreal
A tiny jumper for Nicholas
Sparkly Owlet for Hattie
Ringo mittens
Aiken
Striped jumper for Lucy
Nicholas' POP blanket