Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Monthly Stitch November challenge - From a Sewing Book

 The challenge for November was to make something from a sewing book.   I have had this sewing book for 2 or 3 years and have made a couple of other items from it. The designer is Natsuno Hiraiwa, her website is gorgeous to look at. Both of her books are now available in English but it isn't too hard to follow the illustrated instructions in the Japanese versions. I made the skirt shown on the cover, however my photo is not as artistic, so here is my skirt looking slightly crumpled because it has been worn and is made from linen.

And here it is with the buttons done up.  You can also spin the skirt around and have the buttons done up on the side, no photo of that as my photographer had to go to school.


 While this is not the most glamorous skirt I like it and can see myself wearing it a lot this summer.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Bertie Bunny

This is Bertie Bunny, my first proper attempt at needle-felting.  I enrolled in Needle Felt a Furry Friend class from The Amazings and just followed the instructions.  I like the format of the video lessons in The Amazings classes, there is a tutor and a student and it is quite friendly and chatty.  At the moment I think you can have a free trial of most of the classes, which is a good way of seeing if you like this style of  class or not. 

I have read needle felt instructions in a few books and magazines but this class is more like going to a workshop, only cheaper. One handy tip I learnt was to use fibre-fill as the main core of the body and limbs and then cover it with the wool, this saves using so much wool and the fibre fill is a lot cheaper.  I've also discovered that if you leave bits of wool and the felting needles out, other members of the household will not be able to resist the temptation to try their hand at needle felting too. It is good fun and slightly therapeutic as you stab away, just watch out for your fingers.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Bigger on the inside

 My new shawl/scarf ready for our trip to watch "The Day of the Doctor" next weekend.

Pattern: Bigger on the inside from
Yarn: Naturally Haven 4 ply, shade 452

Monday, 11 November 2013

Rainbow bright

It was a dyeing try-it day at spinning group last week and here are my two efforts.  It's lots of fun, you don't really know how it will turn out, at least you don't when it's your first go. I already have a few ideas on what to do differently next time.

 Top yarn : commercial Alpaca boucle
Bottom yarn: handspun wool (unknown breed)

 The spinning group has a set of Ashford wool dyes and I used hot pink, purple, yellow and blue.  The yarn was wrapped up in glad wrap and then steamed in the microwave. I haven't decided what to do with the handspun yet but I knitted up the alpaca into a very basic cowl.


Guaranteed to brighten up any day.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

“Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!”

It's a long weekend here and I'm celebrating by doing nothing much.
I went to Armageddon and came home with Doctor Whooves.

I'm tempted by the Doctor Who Sewalong but don't know what to make.

Doctor Who Sew Along on

While I think about it, I'm having fun watching clips like this:

And for those of you who aren't Doctor Who fans (if that's possible) I'm also reading this:

Friday, 11 October 2013

September Monthly Stitch Challenge finished

I finally finished my dress for the Monthly Stitch Vintage Pattern challenge though it did spend a bit of time hanging around waiting for me to hem it.  And then the weather packed it in and if it wasn't raining when I wanted to get a photo, it was blowing a howling gale. So here it is: 
Pattern: Very Easy Vogue 9340
Fabric: wool/wool blend from The Fabric Store

As you can see, the belt is necessary unless you want to look like you're wearing a sack, a rather nice woollen sack but a sack nonetheless.

 And one more photo, because there's no such thing as too many photos of a cute dog.  A dog who was seen running under the house today, with a dead (at least I hope it was dead) rat in her mouth.   Why my husband thought that Bonnie would just sit and watch him kill the rat in the compost bin (a rat that she has been stalking for days) I don't know.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Vintage knitting

The sewing is progressing, in the mean time I offer photos of a couple of vintage knitting patterns that I obtained recently.  The patterns, themselves, aren't anything super special though I do like the suit but when I opened them up look what was inside:

Original labels were just too hard for me to resist.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Monthly Stitch Challenge - September

Well the Monthly Stitch challenge for this month was to make something using a vintage pattern.  I was all organised, had a paper chosen at the beginning of the month and then someone stole all my days and now it is the last day of September and this is all I have to show.  It's not even my original choice of pattern, I don't really think the seventies are vintage,  and I'm not sure it will fit as the size is too small.  I'm hoping that "very loose fitting" in the description means that I can squeeze into it.
So now I'm off to do some last-minute sewing and I'll leave you with this picture of a kereru in our loquat tree.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

My new favourite bag

 Remember those granny squares I started ages ago, well I've finally made something with them. Thirteen squares and a bit more crochet and I have an awesome bag which makes me smile when I see it.


  Also making me smile, some more dyeing with jelly crystals. This yarn was some free alpaca fibre that I was given, unfortunately it has a lot of guard hairs in it so it sheds almost as much as the dog.  But on the plus side, that meant I wasn't worried about trying to dye it. Now I just need to think of something to make from it.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

  So, here's my cape for The Monthly Stitch Cape Challenge. I was beginning to wonder if I would finish it in time, it has been waiting for me to sew the hem for the last week. The pattern is from Burda 8/2011, and the fabric is an op-shop find from a couple of years ago.  I think the fabric is woollen, I haven't done a burn test but it feels and behaves like wool. The arm slits could probably be a little higher but I'm not fussed enough to unpick them and resew.  Next month's challenge is vintage patterns, not sure what I'm going to do yet but I'd better get planning.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Jelly Dyeing

 A little bit of fun, dyeing wool with jelly crystals. 

You need:
  • 50g fibre (I think white merino wool would be best to start with)
  • 1 packet (85g) jelly crystals
  • 500mL hot water
  • 475 mL cold water
  • 25mL white vinegar
  • wooden spoon
  • 4L microwave safe dish
  • microwave oven
  1. Soak the wool in warm water, making sure it is wet through.
  2. In the microwave dish, dissolve the jelly crystals in the hot water and vinegar. 
  3. Add the cold water and stir.
  4. Drain the wet wool and lay in the microwave dish, making sure it is all covered by the dye.
  5. Place in the microwave over and cook on full power for 4 minutes (1200W oven)
  6. Remove the dish from the oven, leave the wool to cool in the dye.
  7. Once the wool is cool, rinse it until the water is clear.
  8. Dry the wool and make something with it, or just admire how it pretty is looks.

My microwave oven is 1000W so I cooked the wool for 6 minutes.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Mini Annis


Pattern: Annis shawl full size pattern Knitty link, Mini Annis ravelry link
Fibre: fibre2go 50% silk 50% merino, colourway: Paua

 I had actually knitted this yarn up into another scarf, but ran out right near the end, and so there was muttering of rude works and the unfinished scarf was left in a heap somewhere.  Then I was introduced to this pattern at the Creative Fibre Retreat, discovered on ravelry that there was a mini version, and so ripping occurred and knitting started.  Mini Annis is a fairly quick knit, the lace pattern is easy to follow (I used my new stitch markers) and I'm really happy with the finished shawl.