Wednesday, 10 August 2011

More sewing

I promise to return to knitting posts soon. But in the mean time I only have photos of sewing projects & fabric to share.

I randomly entered a Free Fabric Friday over at Sew Mama Sew. My first comment on a sewing blog. And would you believe it, I won! That was so strange seeing my name on the list of winners.

I was REALLY hard choosing a fabric, by I finally decided on this

It's Confetti White from the Happy Mochi Yum Yum collection. I think it may be a dress or peasant top for Mim this summer.

In the meantime she has this pair of overalls to roll around in.

I was given the pattern amongst a big pile of knitting patterns. It's rather cute, but realistically, overly complicated for babies' overalls.

And even though the pattern is a little old (from the early eighties), it's still a tight fit for her cloth nappied bottom.

 There are a few areas where the finish isn't too crash hot. But these are the first thing I've made from a 'proper' pattern since I sewed under supervision.

I AM pretty pleased with the inseam - it has snaps for easy nappy changes. That was a bit of fun with the hammer!

The next pair of overalls I make will be more like these, at Whipstitch. Cute, and not too fussy.

But before I sign off, here's another pic of a cute girl in her cute overalls.

Monday, 8 August 2011

A different type of needle

I'm such a fan of knitting. I love it's portability. I can knit just about anywhere - car, lounge, waiting room, centrelink queue, birthing suite. Aside from that, I have a certain level of trust in what I have knitted. I know that it won't randomly fall apart (my seaming has improved dramatically over the last few years). I know how to read patterns (and ignore them when necessary). And I have all the basic equipment ready to hand - a variety of straights, circs & dpns in many sizes, stitch holders, needle gauges, row counters, post-it notes, safety pins, crochet hooks etc etc.

However, when it comes to sewing - ie fixing together pieces of material, with a needle and thread and/or sewing machine - I've not always been such a fan. It's not particularly portable, and requires a decent amount of room on the dining table or floor (and the floor needs to be clean/swept too). I don't trust a seam I sew not to fray. I'm not too sure on when it's okay to treat the pattern as a guide, and when to follow it to the letter. I haven't had all of the basic supplies to hand. And I have flash backs to sewing attempts as a child: when I seamed straight over pocket holes (instead of going around); cut patterns out the wrong way; forgot to put right sides together; and could make no intelligible sense of a pattern without my mum to interpret.

I've come to realise, funnily enough, that I used to have the same attitude to knitting. And now I'm all grown up (ha ha), and sewing is starting to make a little more sense. I've also realised that it's a lot quicker to sew a garment than to knit it.

Here's my first sewing project. Made in one evening. It took longer to wash & dry the fabric. I don't want to think about how long it would take to knit something similar.

The pattern was rather simple, I downloaded it from here. Overall I'm happy with it, and will make another. A few issues, though. I think the print settings were a little off (I now make sure 'shrink to fit' is not selected). I was a bit rough, and though I pinked the hems, I didn't clip them around the curves, so there's a bit of a pucker under the arms. Finally, I need more practice hemming - the base of the pinafore is circular, and I could have been more careful lining up the two hems.

I love the buttons. I bought them ages ago from Made It, and they were waiting for the right project.

There has been knitting, and more sewing. But that will have to wait for another time.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Growing Room

Towards the end of last winter (2010) I started knitting another little boy's jumper.

The idea was to make one that would have a bit of growing room.

8 months later, there's still plenty of jumper left to grow into.

The pattern is from an Heirloom Color Works booklet published when the yarn was first released. I reworked the sleeves, knitting them from the top down, so I could add more length if needed.

He wasn't too keen on trying this jumper on last year, when it was finished. But now is happy to wear it.

I like the collar, and splits at the side - easy to get over a head & and easy to play in.

Yarn: Heirloom Color Works (for once I actually used the yarn specified in a pattern). I love this yarn, it's so soft to work with, and has a pretty good range of colours. I also like it's Bendigo Woolen Mills doppelganger, Luxury.
Pattern: 'Style 3 Jumper or vest with optional hood' Heirloom Color Works 8 ply.
Needles: Knitpicks (pro) 4mm circulars
Mods: As above, worked the sleeves top down.
My only point of frustration is that, even though Heirloom is an Australian company, they insist on forgetting the 'u' in colour.

I think we'll manage another winter out of this jumper!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Triangle Hat

Quite some time ago, I promised my son a Triangle Hat.

Shy? I don't think so.

He was quite taken with the idea, but it took me some time to get started.

In May we flew out to Lake Eyre. With 6 hours of flights in a (very) small plane I cast on with some rather squooshy dk I found in a little store outside of Christchurch NZ.

The hat was based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's three cornered tam, found in the Knitter's Almanac. The hat starts with a garter stitch band, then starts increasing at three points, before decreasing again at the same three points.

Ready, set, GO!

There was a 'bit' of ripping out of stitches after I realised that the measurements given were for an adult sized hat. Scaled down, the knitting progressed a lot quicker.

The finished item was warmly received, and has been worn often.

New hat AND new gumboots. What more could a little boy want?

I love that my little boy is so willing to wear what his mum makes him. I'll be sorry to see the day when he decides he's too cool to wear a triangle hat.

Taking a photo like mummy

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Checking in

Things have been busy lately.

Once upon a time (in February), a brand new baby girl arrived.

And four months flew by in the blink of an eye, and the click of a knitting needle.

So what do I have to show for that time?

Some crochet

Some (as yet unblocked & unbuttoned) fair isle

Some cables

Some toddler headwear

And some socks

Of course, there's actually more than this, but they're not photographed yet. You'll have to take my word for it.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Holidays are good for ...

going for bike rides. According to my lovely husband - who's been enjoying the time available to try and regain some fitness a baby (then toddler) pinched from him.

As for me ... the extra time at home, and sunny weather has meant more time for knitting, for blogging, and for blocking.

This lovely shawl(ette) has been waiting at least 6 months to be blocked. Since I finished it, I have actually knitted another (in black) for a friend's wedding (worn by one of her bridesmaids).

The pattern is interesting enough to be knitted twice. I charted an extra pattern repeat and changes to the edging for the second shawl - to add some length (and warmth for an August wedding).

Pattern: Japanese Feather and Fan by IzzyKnits (Rav Link)
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18
Needles: 3.5mm (I think)
No mods, written as per the pattern.

Here it is again, modelled by some of our new outdoor furniture - I'm not dressed appropriately for showing off shawls, and wanted photos tonight.

Hopefully a beary friend for the bunny should be finished by this time tomorrow. I like holidays.