Wednesday, 25 November 2015

There's only one thing I hate more than lying: skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk

Despite not getting into the rhythm of work and home and all the other fun things I do, I managed to do some sewing.  Both are jersey knits, and both were cut out and sat fermenting in the back room while I summoned the energy to finish them.  Of course, once I actually got on with them, they took less than two hours to make.  Between them.

This is a Grainline Lark Tee Shirt.  You can get the pattern from here if you're in the UK.  The fabric is from eBay, and cost about £3.50 a metre, so nice and cheap, and actually probably cheaper than I could buy RTW.  It is soft and cosy, but not particularly structured, so the top is fairly thin.  This is fine, because I layer a short sleeved knitted jumper over the top and look utterly, utterly fabulous (natch).  This tee-shirt is a measure of my commitment to my handmade wardrobe: it is pretty boring, it wasn't hard to make, it was only just cheaper than buying one, but I want to make my own clothes, so if I need a grey long-sleeved tee-shirt, and I really, really do, I must make myself one.  It fits better than a shop-bought one too, and I've worn it twice already.  I love it as much as you can love a grey long-sleeved tee.

This dress looks very 1970s curtains, I think, and I'm not sure what it'll look like on, but I love it in all its flowery fabulousness.  The fabric is from Hawthorne Threads in the US; my husband brought it back last time he went to the States.  I ordered it and paid for it, he's great, but not that great.  The pattern is the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress, and was very, very quick to put together.  It helps that I've made it several times for the children, and once before for myself, so there were no surprises.  It's a very quick and easy pattern to make. 

Both of these garments are being modelled by Nigella, my new dressmaker's dummy.  One of the many things the real Nige and I have in common, alongside fabulous hair, superior cooking skills and general awesomeness, is large boobs, so it seemed fitting to name my dressform after the woman I want to be when I grow up.  Also, I got her new book for my birthday too, so, you know, synergy or something.  The dressform is amazing, and is currently the same measurements as me.  It cheers me up to know that things will fit, and it will be very, very useful when putting together my next Cambie dress.  More on that at another date.

Right, there's rubbish telly to watch, and mittens to finish.  Also, wine to drink. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Hey Nolan, I came here to watch Batman, not Kung Fu Panda.

The collect for the day.

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee by plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The will was stirred up, the fruit was plenteously brought forth from Tesco, and the reward will be an inadvertently egg-free Christmas pudding on the 25th.  I do love a family tradition, and I've made this pudding by Dan Lepard for the past 3 years, and we all stir and wish and generally our wishes come at least partly true.

It doesn't look much now, but it will taste wonderful.  Even without eggs.

Anyway, enough of that.  On with the knitting.

Peacock Mittens: This is the second one, and I've done more than that since I took this photo.  I might even finish them this week.  Might.  

Hexipuff Quilt: I've made another 2 today.  When there are 8 more, I'll recount, and see where we are with the whole 500 titchy little hexagons.

Simon's massive man socks: still the same.

The Rainbow Raglan: Still waiting for sleeves.  Having just been stuck on sleeve island with the Wisteria, I'm disinclined to make another trip there.

This One's for Parties Vintage Jumper: Still not happy with it.

The Yellow Petrie: Shshshsh

These are things that are waiting to be started.  Still.

A present for Robin: I've changed my mind again.  I'm going to make him the same blanket as I made his sister, but in different colours.  And not as many circles.  And not for Christmas.  Maybe for Easter.

Reknit Simon's Cobblestone jumper - I'm getting moaning about this, so this is up next.

Miette cardigan in Lemon
Cream and Beige Coco style boatneck striped top
Sun-Ray Ribbing Vintage Jumper
Ishbel scarf thing
Waterhouse Mittens
Mini Hetty cardigan with sleeves for Lucy 
Bright Rainbow Blanket for Lucy
Burton Bear cowl for Hattie
Mini Hetty cardigan with sleeves for Hattie
Minion blanket for Hattie


Elwood Mittens for Lucy
Weather Blanket
Separate but matching vests for twin boys
Urchin hat

I'm sure I've made more than that; it doesn't seem that much really.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I wrote a book. "The First Historical Guide to Pawnee." I wrote it as a reference for myself, but then my campaign advisors said we should make it a big wide release. So we had people contribute, we added pictures, and we removed a lot of my poems and emotional ramblings and pictures of unicorns and here it is!

I'm not getting into a rhythm at all at work.  Well, I am, but it's not really a sustainable one.  Now I've actually got my job, I'm going to try to set my own hours to a certain extent; baby steps.  I feel I'm going to be full time before I really want to be.  Ah teaching, the job that keeps on taking.

Still, there's been a bit of a break in the clouds today, in the unlikely shape of Hat having a very high temperature and fever and Simon working in town, meaning that I had to stay at home and not go in at all.  In between fetching and carrying and doing my planning, I was able to knit, bake bread, make soup, dye a jacket and do two loads of washing, and bizarrely all these things meant that I could reset my brain.

So.  In the last month, what have I made from the never-ending list?

I finished my Wisteria jumper this afternoon.  It has taken FOREVER to make, with its complicated cables that require concentration.  I immediately wondered whether I had it in me to make a grey one out of Cascade 220; turns out, I don't.

The jumper is made out of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, in the Prairie Fire colour.  The yarn is a mohair blend and very fuzzy and gorgeous.  I used 6 mm needles, in the round for the body, and DPNs for the sleeves.  It took such a long time because I spent a lot of time willing it to finish itself, and I didn't really want to work on it during the summer.  A couple of kilos of mohair on your lap is not conducive to keeping cool.

A very dear friend of mine had twin boys, so they needed a gift.  Each.  I felt that they needed a separate but matching vest top, in vibrant rainbow shades.  I used the same pattern for both and the same balls of yarn but in a different order, and I think they are pretty striking.  The necklines might be a bit tight, but I stretched them out over a pretty big pumpkin and they went over fine, and the boys have smaller heads than the pumpkin.

I made an Urchin hat as part of the FESA thing, but I haven't photographed yet.  Too busy wearing it constantly.

Hexipuff Quilt: I think it is now 195 out of 500.  Not sure.  I should probably count them at some point; I think I will make another ten and then count.

Vianne cardigan: Finished.  I gave it a new button band, and a new ribbon and I'm really pleased with it now.  It sat on my new dressmaker's dummy for a while, and looked smashing.

Simon's massive man socks: I've made one.  I can't now find the other ball of black flecked sock yarn.  Bum.  It's either in the stash somewhere, or I went mad and only bought one ball.

The Rainbow Raglan: Still waiting for sleeves.

This One's for Parties Vintage Jumper: I'm not entirely happy with this.  I've shelved it for now, and I will get back to it.  Maybe a 2016 vintage pledge.  Hem.

The Yellow Petrie: I want to say I've finished this, but I can't.

These are things that are waiting to be started.  Still.  They will (may) get made before July, or they may not.

A present for Robin: I don't like that owl blanket.  I'm going to make him a vest in the Knit Picks wool I bought about two years ago.  

Finish the Peacock Mittens
Miette cardigan in Lemon
Cream and Beige Coco style boatneck striped top
Sun-Ray Ribbing Vintage Jumper
Ishbel scarf thing
Waterhouse Mittens

Reknit Simon's Cobblestone jumper

Mini Hetty cardigan with sleeves for Lucy 
Bright Rainbow Blanket for Lucy

Burton Bear cowl for Hattie
Mini Hetty cardigan with sleeves also for Hattie
Minion blanket for Hattie