29 May 2006
It started out simply enough: One morning, dashing for the door, I had to make a quick decision and grab something to knit on the train. I grabbed something that had been brewing for a while: Yarn like squashed blackberries, procured last year with mittens in mind, and a long 4mm addi circular.
I'd been flicking through Last Minute Knitted Gifts and figured I could start some ribbed wrist warmers: ribbing for a few inches, then make a thumb hole. Or I could cast on more stitches and make a ribbed beanie. Both simple enough. Both very last minute. Both froggable if they didn't turn out so well. Definitely fulfilling the immediate need for something to knit on the train.
Progress went something like this:
Step 1: Knit a wristwarmer with 34 sts in K2 P2 ribbing, with a vertical opening for my thumb (very a la LMKG).
Problem 1: Too tight. Need a few more stitches.
Step 2: Knit another wristwarmer with 38 sts and a vertical opening for my thumb. Perfect.
Step 3: Knit a third wristwarmer to match second wristwarmer. Indulge in second ever knitting related conversation with bright and chirpy and inquisitive fellow passenger, who can knit too- just plain stitch scarves- but was quite fascinated with the whole circular needle thing.
Step 4: Start wearing wristwarmers two and three, and frog the first one.
Problem 2: Observe that thumb gets quite cold on frosty winter mornings whilst waiting for the train. Remember I have bookmarked Voodoo wristwarmers. Check pattern. A horizontal thumb hole (a buttonhole on steroids). Looks warmer than having my whole thumb exposed. Consider whether I can be bothered frogging the top half of the wristwarmers that I'm already enjoying wearing (ahh the pleasure of 80's flashbacks...).
Step 5: Cast on for beanie (whilst debating whether I'll frog wristwarmers two and three) with the reasonable quanity of leftover yarn. Don't even bother looking at a pattern- just wing it: cast on about 100 sts and hope that it will fit.
Step 6: Laugh at self's desperation to knit which leads one to knit whilst standing on the train platform with the yarn that one is wearing on one's hands (Not the actual strand that one is wearing mind you- that would be silly). Decide that one won't do this again. It just looks too dorky.
Problem 3: Loose one wristwarmer whilst window shopping. Retrace steps. Curse that my everyday handbag is already too perfectly sized to be able to accommodate my new wristwarmers safely.
Step 7: Finish a beanie of sorts, making up the decreases as I go, and crossing my fingers that the shape will be OK. There was a second, about 20 rows in when I tried it on for size, when I considered leaving it as a headband for a true 80's revival experience, but it was only the briefest of seconds.
Step 8: Cast on a fourth wristwarmer with the still reaonsable quanitity of leftover yarn. Decide to give the steroidal buttonhole a shot.
Step 9: Indulge in third ever knitting related conversation with fellow passanger, who was watching every stitch as I cast off, and was really interested to see what it was I had created. Decide that buttonholes on steroids are perfect for thumbs.
Step 10: Frog back part of second wristwarmer (or was it the third?) and reknit to match wristwarmer #4.
Step 11: Wear frequently, with warmth.
I still have just enough left to knit one more wristwarmer I think... I'm debating whether I should, just so I have a spare ready to wear next time I loose one. But by the end of four wristwarmers I was feeling ready for a change, so I cast on for some socks while I was attending a lovely little craft afternoon at Carolyn's yesterday. My wristwarmers were there with me though, and were worn by Prue for an hour or so while she got started on making some of her own. Which put a smile on my face.
24 May 2006
Wearing my boxy skirt!
Originally uploaded by Clementine's Shoes.
I've been wearing my boxy skirt. In fact, I've worn it a couple of times.
I wore it to work today, with my favorite Helmut Lang boots, and met up with my sewing buddy for lunch. She was wearing her own Pattern Magic skirt- a fuller circle skirt with a pieced section spiralling into a deep pocket (I haven't posted any photos of the pattern- imagine a black hole in the side of a floaty flared skirt). We were a pair of Pattern Magic buddies.
I must say I'm really pleased with the skirt- the Ermenegildo Zegna fabric is divine to wear- as I would have expected- although it does crease up a bit by the end of the day, as you can see. It holds the shape of the boxes really well- they stand up nice and crisp, and bounce back each time they get squished.
I like the fact that it's quite original, yet subtle. I feel like I'm wearing something quite cool and funky, but I haven't been attracting any bemused stares. Perfect. Even more perfect when I'm wearing my favorite boots too.
21 May 2006
I have to say I was very excited and pleased -surprised even- that these were snapped up so quickly. I was really happy with how the colours and patterns worked on them- it's been a bit of a learning process to figure out what sort of fabrics and combinations work well. So satisfyling to send them off to new homes- I'm sure they'll be happy there.
I only wish I had more time to indulge in making things to sell. At times just getting access to the sewing machine is hard- someone else has been hanging out in the craft room...
Scott has been having fun with the newly refurbished Singer. Sadly to say, shortly after the photos were taken, the Singer, which had been happily stitching it's way through thick cow hide as if it was butter, my very own Fabio noted that it was making a strange noise, followed by a strange smell, and the sight of something dripping from the back of the motor.
Somehow it fried itself, but even with a dead motor, my mechanically minded man soldiered on turning the wheel by hand, to create a leather slip jacket for a sketch book for all his "crazy ideas" (as he calls them):
Pretty clever huh? I don't know if the Singer's motor can be repaired without modernising it somewhat (I'd rather keep it "original"), and someone tells me controlling it by hand is fine, so it may stay motorless. At least Scott rigged up the power so the light works (as I said, pretty clever huh?).
OK- enough blogging for now. Back to the craft pile: there are ends to sew in, hems to finish, photos to be styled. I'll share some progress on things from my check list (and a few things that didn't even feature there (!)) soon...
7 May 2006
Book flights for honeymoon [Tick] (New Zealand, in case you were wondering, or have some tips to offer?)
Check out "Calico and Chintz" at Auburn Road, Hawthorn, just under Auburn Station [Tick] (which also entailed selecting a couple of fat quarters, beautifully presented with ribbon wrapping, and fondling some Jo Sharp alpaca silk yarns, Dale Garn Baby Ull and Stork, and Art Yarns Supermerino)
Visit WoolBaa and swap leftover yarn from my illfated attempt at sporting paraphernalia for my dad (Apparently the blue was all wrong... and I doubt that a handknit scarf would help the team's dismal performance this season) for something luscious and white and soft for a scarf for me. These autumn mornings are getting chilly.
Finish making bag to swap with Fiona [Tick]
Finish making box bags for my etsy shop [Tick]
Next on the list:
Finish my skirt.
Finish another bag for the shop (just need to pick up some more interfacing).
Cast on for a scarf.
Cast on for an Hourglass sweater in my mossy green Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed.
Cast on some new socks (Pattern not yet selected. Several yarns in the stash vying for attention).