Running Playlist Right Now

I want to update my running playlist but I don’t want to forget what’s on the current one so I can return stuff later if I want to. So I figured I’ll put the list here and it might be helpful to someone looking for suggestions of what to add to theirs.

  • Angel Interceptor – Ash – I’ve loved this tune since the album came out many many years ago
  • Around Town – The Kooks – their last album was as good as the rest with some great running tunes like this one and the other 2 I have on the playlist
  • Bad Habit – The Kooks – his voice is amazing on this
  • Better Now – The Vespers – I like a slow song now and again, especially when I’m tired or on a hilly bit and starting to panic, I find it calms me down and stops the ‘run run faster faster’ mentality that a really pounding constant soundtrack gives me
  • Blood – Tired Pony – great lyrics and great pounding beat for when I do want it!
  • Bring Me To Life – Everescence – I don’t own anything else by them but I’ve loved this track since it came out. Shouty enough to gasp along with!
  • Call It What You Want – Foster the People – Nice beat, bit bored of it now though
  • Crazy In Love – Snow Patrol cover – I don’t know what effects they put Gary Lightbody’s voice through on this but it’s quite possibly the sexiest he’s ever sounded which, along with him singing about not needing a new dress, is distracting enough to take my mind off what I’m doing!
  • Cross My Mind – Jill Scott – another slow one and nice to sing along too for distraction
  • Cut It Out – Anya Marina – good beat and lyrics
  • Down – The Kooks – Piggle’s favourite song which he calls the ‘down down diggy’ song so it tends to make me laugh whilst I sing along
  • Drumming Song – Florence and the Machine – great beat
  • Electric Twist – A Fine Frenzy – sweet song with a good beat but not a pounding one
  • Everyday I Love You Less and Less – Kaiser Chiefs – bit of a throwback with good beat
  • Hello Kitten – Hefner – good for a laugh singing along about how you’re going to make yourself go blind tonight
  • Hounds of Love – Kate Bush – you have to really don’t you? I also have the Futureheads version on the list as their barking on the backing track cracks me up!
  • Howl – Florence and the Machine – again with the beat and lyrics
  • I Predict a Riot – Kaiser Chiefs – this confuses me when it starts as when this album came out I had this song as my ringtone! Blast from the past.
  • I Want You Back – The Kooks – semi-slow emotional one to get the brain into
  • I’d Die For You – Bon Jovi – singing along loud!
  • Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls – I have never heard another song by them and I don’t even remember the film this was from but it’s another overly emotional tune that the brain can work on
  • It Was London – The Kooks – lots of singing along, love the lyric about how the looters took Fortum and Mason!
  • Kiss That Grrrl – Kate Nash – funny fun song with nice beat
  • Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) – Pink – this song is so me and it makes me laugh
  • Life on the Nickel – Foster the People – can’t remember if it’s this one or the other one by them where they say you’re awesome over and over but the beat is good and it’s always nice to hear you’re awsome!
  • Like I Love You – Justin Timberlake – say what you want about JT but his not meant to be funny but are lyrics and an ass shaking beat always makes me smile
  • Monster – Meg Myers – angryish slow one
  • Move You – Anya Marina – nice beat and good to sing to
  • Mr Brightside – The Killers – I’ve always loved this song, it’s got too many lyrics to sing along with completely, especially near the end of a run, but I can but try!
  • A Night Like This – The Cure – I love the feel of this song and Robert and the boys always make it onto my playlists, they’re my first band love
  • One More Night – Maroon 5 – I’m not comfortable with most of their other lyrics and this one is a bit off but for some reason I like it
  • Processed Beats – Kasabian – on here for the beat but I’m bored to death of it now!
  • Rap for Rejection – Kate Nash – nothing like a feminist rap to chant along with whilst running ‘You try to tell me sexism doesn’t exist, if it doesn’t exist then what the fuck is this?’, adore her
  • Ribbons (live) – Sisters of Mercy – throwback to my teenage self, I love his voice on this version and I still can’t read about Marx without my brain going ‘I tried to tell her about Marx and Engels, god and angels, I don’t know what for, but she looked good in ribbons’, the ‘Incoming’ shouted echoes at the end are breathtaking too.
  • Single Ladies – Beyonce – you know what I’m listening to if you see me throw my hands up whilst running!
  • Stupid Girls – Pink – again for the fun laughs
  • Take Me With U – Apollonia and Prince – medium paced beat and I’ve loved the lyrics of this forever
  • The Last Time – Taylor Swift with Gary Lightbody – the lyric ‘you open your eyes into mine’ makes me feel queasy but besides that it’s a harmless love song with a slower beat to calm down to
  • U and Ur Hand – Pink – have to make sure there aren’t any cars before making hand gestures along to this song, big laughs
  • Vision Thing – Sisters of Mercy – one of my favourite opening lines of all time ’25 whores in the room next door’, wonderful beat and Mr Eldrich’s voice is amazing
  • You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi – makes me laugh when I hear it and has a good beat

Wasn’t a bad playlist, has almost 3 hours of music so I don’t get too many constant repeats, but it’s time for new things for sure, I’ll try and remember to post the new list sometime too.

This week I’ve started using the Zombies, Run! ap for my runs. It’s gotten me back up to 40 minute runs after a break from anything longer than 30 (I took a week off and then of course the next week I was ill so I’ve been trying to build my fitness as well, alongside doing harder yoga every day which makes me legs more tired than I ever believed it would!). Each mission so far has said it’s 40 minutes when really it is only about 35, but as I commit to 40 at the start I keep going and it uses your playlist as a radio station. It’s fun to have something to listen to besides just music and the static in my brain. I’m running on the treadmill at the moment too as I can’t spare the extra time for outside runs (I live on a big hill so I either walk at the start to get to a flat bit or have to walk up the hill after finishing my run at the bottom, sometimes both). I figure a run is a run and the treadmill will help me work on even pacing as I’m not very good at that!

Another Photo Dump Catch Up

It’s not just sewing that I am lacking time for, it’s the posting of the sewing (and knitting) to the blog so I fear that these posts with ‘here’s everything I’ve made in the last x months’ will become the norm until I figure out how to force the day to either have more hours or move more slowly.

First up is Quick Sand, which was really fast as it took me just over a month to knit.Quick Sand
Quick Sand
Quick SandIt’s a really simple knit using lifted increases to shape it. I used Rowan Cotton Jeans in Cheesecloth. You can’t see the colour variation in this pictures, this one is slightly better:Quick Sand
It’s got a bit of blue in it as well as browns and tans. I used 5.5 Knitpro Cubix needles for the first time and I really liked them. Larger needles make my hands hurt and the square shape of these needles did help with that so I will definitely buy more when I need anything above 5mm. I’m working on the version of this pattern for thinner yarn called Fine Sand and it’s coming along nicely.
Birthday Quilt for MumBirthday Quilt This is where most of my sewing time has gone over the last few months. My Mother asked for a quilt for her significant Birthday and picked out a pattern, from Elizabeth Hartman’s first book, and the fabric for the blocks from my stash. This was a pretty easy quilt to put together except for the rosettes which I hated every minute of and took me ages to get right.Birthday QuiltBirthday Quilt
This was an interesting make for me as I don’t think I would have picked this pattern for myself and I definitely wouldn’t have used these fabrics if I had chosen the pattern. I am happy with the way it came out and my Mum really likes it so job done!

As it’s a new school year I need a new bag! Actually, I love my quilted huge bag still and will continue to use it, but what I wanted was a bag that zipped closed for when I take my laptop to campus with me so I gathered the bits together and made the Zip Top Tote from the Noodlehead book.Zip Top ToteZip Top Tote
I knew I wanted to use the denim but I went through about five different fabric combinations for the rest of it, when she says you need 54″ wide fabric she means it so none of the half yards of quilting fabric I wanted to use would work for the outside. This green has been in my stash for a while so I settled on it and I like the way it came out.
Zip Top ToteThere are ‘hidden’ outside pockets on each side. I made mine 8×8″ rather than 8×6″ like the pattern said as I want to be able to put my travel cup in them and I can so I’m happy with the change. The fun comes on the inside of the bagZip Top Tote InteriorZip Top Tote InteriorHidden funny men! This is a Christmas print I believe but I think it’s not overly Christmassy. The zip pocket is huge, big enough for my purse and phone and anything else I don’t want floating around the bag. I made the handle slightly longer as I like to push my bag around onto my back sometimes rather than always having it stuck under my arm. I’ve used it a few times and I’m happy with it, I can fit everything I need in it including my lunch and still zip it up so it’s fit for purpose!

Fractal DangerFractal DangerThis is Fractal Danger which I finished back in September with some Yarntopia Treasures cotton in a new to me weight. I really enjoyed this knit from both the respect of the pattern and the yarn, I’ve made a lot of patterns from this designer, in fact I’m working on another at the moment. Aberdeen Issues
This is the Seamwork Aberdeen pattern UFO that’s thrown in a corner of my sewing room at the moment. I put off subscribing to Seamwork as I didn’t want underwear patterns and, to be honest, I’d rather sew than read about sewing any time so the articles aren’t really a draw. Then two months ago they had two patterns I liked so I subscribed and my heart sank this month when they said it was menswear as I really don’t need that. However, they have changed so you can use your pattern credits for older patterns you want if you don’t want the ones in the current issue. Obviously this is only good for as long as there are older patterns I still want to own but I grabbed two, Aberdeen being one. I wish I had Googled first though as the neckband is a real issue. The instructions are one line and they don’t work. I literally sewed, ripped, re-sewed, ripped for an hour and it’s only just in in a fashion that I can live with. I had to change the seam allowance as my fabric has holes in it from the repeated ripping. Then, when I had the point right I found that it doesn’t lie flat… When I’m less angry with it I will rip again (leaving the point intact) and see if I can get it to lay down. It should be a really simple pattern if this were drafted in a way that makes it possible to be put in correctly, I read that they did change it but if this is a revised version it still sucks…

Finally, this is Fen:
I loved this pattern as soon as I saw it and even more when I realised that the dress version is part of the pattern and not a separate pattern! I added four inches to the length of this as I don’t have a belly I want to show off. However, that was a bit OTT and 3 inches will do fine next time. I didn’t totally get the way this neckband was put on, must have been a day for bad neckbands, but hopefully after doing it a few more times it will sink in. There is a lot of ease in this pattern. Technically from the pattern measurements it shouldn’t fit me but it does with a nice amount of ease. I’ll be making more versions of this with both round neck and v-neck and the different hem treatments, plus sticking the dress pattern together is on my list too. It took less fabric than the pattern called for, this is a vintage piece which was narrower than modern fabric and I still only used just over 1m.

I have one more jumper that I finished a while back but for some reason haven’t taken pictures of and then I’m totally up to date with what I’ve made! See you when I’ve got more to share!

Planning and Cutting (more like wishing and hoping)

So we’re back into the school year routine for all of us and I’ve got a massively busy two years ahead of me finishing off the PhD and trying to get experience and knowledge that will actually help me get a job after I’m done. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for sewing which I really miss, I don’t long for the days when I did nothing much but sew as I love what I’m doing, but I do wish I had a bit more down time where I wasn’t so tired that all I can manage is to knit something simple in front of a dvd.

When I can’t sew I seem to buy stuff for sewing, Lots of pdf patterns have been printed and I’ve had several parcels arrive from The Textile Centre on Ebay Fabric HaulThis one I was focusing on getting some plainer fabrics into my stash, I still like my bright prints, but I’m feeling a need for slightly more subtle fabric these days. However the next parcel from them included 3m of a bright camera print so I’m not completely boring and grown up just yet!

I decided to cut out some things I want to make so that I can nip into the sewing room for half an hour and sew a couple of seams, or press a few seams ready for the next step in sewing. Having to get out the pattern and press the fabric etc. can be off-putting when you’ve not got a lot of time, so last weekend I spent my time prepping projects. I assembled four pdf patterns (three in one go!) and cut out a stack of projects. This is my current sewing plan: 20151010_145534

Sutton Shirt in dark blue and testing out this t-shirt pattern in a cream knit I’ve had forever and a day. The t-shirt pattern needed to be made bigger, I added two sizes when cutting it out. If it works how I want it to work it’ll be the perfect t-shirt and I have several fabrics waiting to be used, if not it’s back to searching for a good slouchy cool and yet un-messy t-shirt pattern. Both of these are cut out and ready to go.
20151010_145655I’m trying the blouse version of the Arum as I don’t think it’s going to fit but I want to know how badly it doesn’t fit! It’s cut out ready to go and in fact yesterday evening I overlocked the edges so I’ll be sewing some seams next time I get into the sewing room. I haven’t traced the pattern for the Noodlehead chambray dress yet, the fabric is pressed though and I will get to it soon.


I haven’t cut the jacket yet, I don’t have enough nerve at the moment for a lined jacket but I will do it soon. I’m going to use the instructions Marilla Walker put out for adding a placket to the jacket as I didn’t buy the pattern until she’d mentioned the change having seen versions online with the lining poking out which would totally have annoyed me. Cutting the pattern and making the adjustment are small jobs that I can do here and there before taking a day to cut some slipping fabric! I wore my first Schoolhouse Tunic the other day (don’t know where the second version went, I think it must have found its way to a charity shop at some point as I haven’t seen it in ages) and had a revelation that I would find it much more wearable if I added two inches to the bodice length. So, that is what I did when I cut into this lawn from Ditto and I have high hopes for this version.
20151010_145728A major part of my planned ‘look’, if you can call it that, is simple shirts and you can’t never try out enough different versions! I have cut both of these and in fact finished that Fen yesterday so I’ll show you the results soon. I plan to try the dress version next, still looking for that perfect easy to wear ‘uniform’ dress pattern! The Akita is a strange one piece pattern that I’m not totally convinced about (especially after my experiences yesterday with another Seamwork pattern) so I’m using some cheap old fabric to see how/if it works. That one is also cut ready to go.

20151010_145856I have pulled out many different fabrics for the Mississippi Avenue shirt/dress and haven’t settled on one yet so this is still on the ‘soon’ pile. I think the fact that it’s cold here now is putting me off trying it right now too but it’s been on my radar for ages now and I do want to give it a go. The Aberdeen is the pattern that I had a major falling out with yesterday. I think part of the problem is my fabric, but not all of it. I will post about that soon. I’m disappointed that it’s not as simple as it is supposed to be as I was hoping it’d be a go to pattern for winter weight t-shirts.
20151010_145759Neither of these are cut yet. The Moji pants I have pulled out some odd brown fabric that I don’t know why I bought to try a muslin as I’ve not made trousers in ages and I don’t want to waste good fabric. This style of trouser is part of my mental ‘plan’ along with the Boyfriend Jeans from Named Pattern. I’m still too big for that pattern so I’m putting off buying it, but the Moji is similar and goes up to my size so I’ll try that one first. I’m going to make the shirt without the collar with the lawn under it. Still very much into the blues at the moment and this will be a nice variation of shirt from the other styles I’ve picked.

20151010_145836These are my fun but not necessary sewing projects. I want a taller tote from the Elizabeth Hartman pattern and I’m going to add a zip to the top of it too. I bought black linen from The Textile Centre for the non patchwork bit of the bag. The caddy pattern I bought on a whim when there was a pattern sale, it might be good for socks or a hand quilting project, it’s just a bit of amusement using some fun fabrics really.

So, that’s the sewing plan at present. I’m sure I’ll add things to it and some of the things I’ve cut out will sit there forever, but at least I have stuff to work on, I’ve made the decisions on fabric etc and I can do small bits. I’m also trying to work towards things that can be worn together. If the jacket works then I have fabric in mind for a black version and possibly a blue version to be worn with the trousers and shirts or over a t-shirt with jeans. It’s a very loose plan but I feel like I’m honing in on some sort of style that feels right for me right now. Of course I might give up and go back to making tons of bright things that don’t go together, but I’ll deal with that when it happens!

The Summer That Was

Re-entry after this summer has been really hard, I did not want it to end, we had such a busy time doing lots and lots of things and visiting many places. On the first day of school the weather decided, boom, it was time for autumn and all of a sudden it was done and I’m battling to try to get my head back into my work having taken the summer off (not on purpose but we were doing so much I just never got any work done!).

Anyway one of our two summer holidays (the second being ‘glamping’ with my parents at Hadrian’s Wall) was 4 days in Brighton. I had saved up for a trip to Fabric Land as I’d not been in about 4 years and hadn’t visited in a decent dress fabric shop for a very long time. I managed to come home with about 50 metres of fabric and am ready for next summer’s pyjamas now, along with adding some solids to my stash as I’m feeling more and more that I’m crossing that border between cool and middle-aged with my prints… The middle top two fabrics are from Ditto. I normally don’t find anything I like or can afford in there but these lawns were on sale. It’s still undecided whether the foxes will end up with one of the boys or if I’ll claim them! Stash Enhancement

I just slipped and ordered another 9m of fabric from The Textile Centre on Ebay. 1m is to cover the seats of my kitchen chairs, but the rest is all blue and a lot of the pile of things waiting to be made are blue and I have 1 blue cardigan on the needles and another about to launch, obviously that is my current colour…

These projects aren’t in any order I don’t think. I got this striped fabric from the local fabric sale and my Mother and I both agreed that it needed to be pyjamas. It’s another that feels like cotton but I think it might have some synthetic in it.

PyjamasI used my standard Ottobre pyjama bottom pattern and just added as much length as I could with the fabric I had. I had a big piece left that I didn’t want to waste so I tried out the free By Hand Polly Tank (why you have to register on their site for a free pattern I don’t know, something I find really irritating online). I used some unidentified white cotton from my stash, I think it might be sheeting left over from making Piggle a duvet cover when he was little but it works and it was there waiting to be used. The By Hand pattern has the usual larger bust issues of gaping armholes and too wide neckline, it’s ok for a pyjama top that hardly anyone will see but I’d not bother making it was day wear, it’d take too many alterations to make it fit properly. I like these pyjamas though and they’re quite comfortable and used up stash fabric so win win.

Using up more stash fabric and trying to use some of the many PDF patterns I bought or printed off when I was busy working and couldn’t sew) I made this Riff t-shirt by Cake with some PRR ice cream jersey I’ve had for far too long (still loads left too, why did I buy so much?). It’s not a bad pattern but the neckline doesn’t quite lay flat as you can see and has a slightly odd shape to it. I’ll try a few different versions in the future I’m sure, it could be my fabric as the jersey has virtually no stretch and the cotton ribbing is a little floppy.
Cake T-shirt

It’s wearable though and, again, using up stash fabric rather than letting it sit there forever!

Plain SockAnd, finally, I finished off these plain socks made using Yarntopia Treasure’s Bamboo Cotton Sock yarn. Quite a subtle colour way I think, I won’t misplace my feet!

Now we’re back to it and I am working on finishing up a quilt that my Mother requested for her significant Birthday (I just pin basted it together and have 3 weeks to quilt and bind it so I should finish it, fingers crossed).

I have a big stack of projects waiting to be made and have been thinking a lot about what I want to make and wear and how I want to look, I would like to do a post on that if I find the time as it’s something I’ve been working on for a long time and recently I feel like my style is changing and wondering what the reasons are along with what clothing I want. That was a very confusing sentence!

Anyway, onwards, hopefully will have more to show you soon, the log burner was put to use for the first time last night after a huge delivery of logs arrived so there will be more knitting coming, plenty of projects to finish off so I can start new things!

If you want to see what I’m up to in real time I’m using Instagram as finallywakingup and am the same on Twitter. Not giving up blogging yet though!

Fitting Issues

I’m having issues not just with fitting things in, but with actually making things that fit at the moment. The last two sewing projects I’ve made I can’t wear, which is a little frustrating to say the least. I will keep them both and put them in the suitcase of hopefully this will fit one day and carry on sewing, next up is a t-shirt which should fit, I mean it’s stretchy for goodness sake, but I’m still a little worried that it’ll be another waste of the sewing time I have during the school holiday.

Right after school ended the boys went to their Dad’s for a week, I wrote a sewing list and then realised that not only was I totally knackered and in need of some rest before they came back, but also I am not a sewing machine who can work 24/7, so the list has become for the entire summer rather than just one week, and even in that time period it’s probably too much!

I powered through some small projects to begin with. I bought a voice recorder for my PhD fieldwork as it would be silly to drive back and forth to University to borrow one over and over again, the recorder cost about as much as two journeys so it was worth it. Of course, I like everything to have a case, so I pulled out some scraps and the case pattern that I’ve used several times before and in about half an hour start to finish I now have a case that makes me happy to see in my bag.

Recorder PouchRecorder Pouch
Recorder PouchYes, the fabric is sideways, but I love the fabric and can live with it!

I was still in the mood for something quick and easy so I pulled out the Sock Sack pattern, fabric and zip that I’d put together a few months back and sewed it up. Like my first version I lined the sack so that all the seams were hidden (and it just looks prettier that way). I love these sock sacks and am going to have to be careful that I don’t end up with a whole heap of them like I did with the Japanese bags I made many moons back. Sock SackSock SackWhilst watching all three series of Vikings available on Amazon Prime (I love Ragnar and Co., can’t wait for the next series!) I worked on the Hexy MF quilt that has been hanging around forever and a day. I finished connecting all the flowers together into one piece (except for 6 that will be scattered top and bottom) and earlier on Piggle and I pinned it onto the backing (which is the front, front backing, backing of the quilt top???). Now I have to appliqué around the whole thing, that shouldn’t take long right?!?

I also finished off Piggle’s Ziggy Jumper and I’m really happy with the way it came out.

ZiggyThe photo isn’t odd, it is a long thin jumper for a long thin boy! I used Woolcraft Nuvo DK from Kemps, it took 2.5 balls which means this jumper cost about £4! It’s a really soft acrylic that knit up really evenly and nicely. We’ll see how it washes but if it goes well I’ll definitely buy another colour way or two for more jumpers for the boys. I did find myself trying to pick out the flecks like they shouldn’t be there, took a while to convince my brain they were ok but I got there in the end. I did the body length for an 8 year old and the sleeve length for a 9 year old as he has monkey arms and always grows out of the sleeves of things first. It’s a good fit, not too huge but with a few inches of growth in it and he’s happy with it so it’s a winner.  

I seem to have bought quite a few patterns online in the last six month, I’ve got a stack of printed PDFs that need sticking together and using. Maybe when I’m not able to sew buying sewing things makes me feel like I’m doing something! All the PDF patterns are on my to do list but I decided to try the Bettine Dress from Tilly and the Buttons first. I’ve never made one of her patterns before as they aren’t really my style and I don’t think they would suit my body type, but I’m still looking for that perfect dress pattern and had high hopes for this. Bettine Dress

I added two inches to the bodice length and I’m glad that I did as it *just* hits me on my waist, there’s none of the blousey goings on that the pattern shows in the picture and I’m really short waisted, so if you have larger boobs to fit into the dress I’d bear that in mind. The pattern is well drafted and went together quickly, there are some nice details and I love the big pockets.

Bettine DressThe fabric is from Abakhan so it’s another 7 year oldish piece. I have enough left for a Scout so I may make that soon as I’ll not be wearing this dress this summer as sadly it doesn’t fit me. The bust just fits, despite the pattern claiming that it was going to be 2 inches larger than my bust, and the waist and hips are too tight on me. Should it ever fit it is a high contender for the uniform dress I’m looking for I think, but until then it’s into the suitcase with it.

Next up was the Aida Top which I’d bought the pattern for ages ago. I used a piece of the vintage fabric from the local sale. Again, like the last piece I used, it stinks of old lady house when being ironed and it’s another synthetic that looks like cotton, although it has a slight sheen to it. Aida Top Aida Top

That back collar isn’t fabulous, but it would be covered with hair. Some serious french seaming went into this, the collar was sewn many times what with two lots of french seams and under stitching. This is the second project that doesn’t fit me though, I’m not too gutted about it actually as I think this crosses the line from ‘vintage looking’ to ‘granny cleaning smock’, it’s a very narrow line and I feel like I walk the edge of it a lot when it comes to using vintage fabric or patterns. I didn’t make buttonholes as it wasn’t worth the swearing with this fabric and I knew by that point that I wasn’t going to be wearing it (maybe ever) so the buttons are just sewn through both layers. We’ll see how I feel about it should it ever fit or if it goes right to the charity shop (although I’ll have to change the buttons if it does as those are vintage from my Granny or Great Aunt’s collections that I inherited).

Anyway, as I said, it’s a t-shirt up next using the Cake Riff pattern, hopefully that will be wearable this summer. My list has about another 10 projects on it, maybe more (and two of those are quilts, I dream big!), so hopefully I will be back to show you more finished things soon. I still haven’t blocked the other jumper I finished a few weeks back so I must get that done sometime too.

Hope it’s not raining everywhere, and if it is that you’re getting to take advantage of the sewing time!

A New Troop of Scouts

I’ve been living in Scout’s in summer for quite a few years now, back when the pattern was free as I definitely wouldn’t have paid the current price for such a simple pattern. Anyway, I think that the reason I was so annoyed with the Archer sweatshirts is because the Scout pattern has always worked so well for me, it’s comfortable, it shows off nice fabrics simply and it’s easy to wear. I go through a few each summer from wearing the to death and/or spilling stuff on them and I realised a few weeks back that I was down to my last one in the cupboard (and I’ve since had to admit that no matter how much I loved that one it really needed to be binned) so I cut and batch sewed three for this summer. I add an inch or so to the bottom of the pattern so they hit where I want, depends on how much fabric I have available as to how much gets added on.
ScoutThis fabric was from Abakan so it’s at least 7 years old now, and I’ve got enough to make something else with it to as the piece was about 3m long. If you look at it hard you’ll notice that it’s a misprint, the dots are a bit wrong and sometimes fuzzy, but that kind of makes me like it more! ScoutThis fabric was from Fabricland in Brighton probably about, maybe, 4 years or so now I think. We’re going to Brighton again in the summer so I’ve made sure there is money available on the credit card for a visit, it’s been too long since I’ve been to a fabric shop and I’m looking forward to it and hoping they have some good kids prints for pjs as I’m totally out now! The print on this is raised and slightly plasticy which means that it has to be ironed on the wrong side or the iron doesn’t move over it which was a little annoying but I got there in the end. ScoutThis is a piece of the vintage fabric I got from the local sale. It looks a lot like lawn and hangs that way but it’s actually a synthetic. It will either be really nice and breezy or I’ll suffocate in it, we’ll have to see. The fabric smells of old lady house when it’s ironed, I can never figure out where that scent comes from but it’s unmistakeable! Luckily the fabric doesn’t smell when not boiling hot under an iron otherwise I’d not be able to wear it due to being very sensitive to smell! All of these have french seams, which is always good for some comedy moments when trying to set in gathered sleeves as I forget which sides to match every single time!

Seems I never showed you Caramel which I finished back at the end of May Caramel CaramelCaramelI think I’m done with these blanket front cardigans for a little while, although there’s still a few on my queue to try. Don’t know why I made two in quick succession right before the summer… Anyway, this is made from Sirdar Simply Recycled DK (Kemps have more of this and the Aran weight on sale at something stupid like 79p a ball, I’ve stocked up with more than enough from previous sale prices though I think!). I like the grey and the green together and this yarn is a favourite of mine which means that it’s been discontinued!

This was a really easy knit, just back and forth forever and ever. The pattern calls for the sleeves to be knit in the round but my gauge differs so much between back and forth and the round that I knit them flat and seamed them instead. I like the way this turned out and it’s comfortable to wear.

Yesterday I finished off my second version of the Atelier pattern using some Freedom Gorgeous that I got from Kemps (again discontinued so I’ve got a good stash of it). I love this pattern, it’s simple and yet interesting at the same time. The yarn colour is called Parsley and the first picture is the closest to true. I made the non-icord version this time around for a change, I do like the i-cord but I think with bamboo it wouldn’t have held it’s roundness anyway.
20150710_174809Atelier 2Atelier 2You knit the yoke and then the sleeves and once they’re seamed you pick up around the fronts of the yoke and work downwards from there with some shaping. I love the way this bamboo acrylic yarn shows off the difference between the garter and stocking stitch sections, it isn’t as clear in the marled version I made previously. I’m sure I’ll use this pattern over and over again as the finished cardigan is so comfortable and useful.

I finished off another knitted project this morning but I’m not all that enamoured with it and it needs blocking so it’s on a time out before I will show it to you. It’s not horrid, just not what I hoped it would be and it had some issues along the way that have made us less than best friends!

Finally, this is the final block I made for the Do Good Stitches bee. I had to drop out because I just was finding it hard to fit in the blocks and when I did I felt a bit annoyed about having to do them, which really wasn’t all that charitable! I decided that, sadly as I enjoy Bees, that I need to keep my sewing time as stress relief rather than stress causing.

Do Good Stitches block, June 2015I think that’s everything I’ve completed of late. I’ve been working on a quilt but I’m still a long way off finishing it. I bought a load of patterns a few weeks back for some reason so those have gone in the big pile. My Mother has asked for a quilt for her significant Birthday coming up and being efficient she picked out the pattern and fabrics from my stash when she was here forPiggle’s Birthday so I just need to buy some solids and backing and get it made, I’m going to start cutting later today. I have warned her that she’ll probably not get it in September, especially considering it took about three weeks to make three simple shirts! I’m hoping that once it’s cut it’ll be something that I can nip in andpiece a block in an evening so it keeps makingsteady progress, also with the summer holidays coming up I might be able to spend more time on it, we’ll see. It will be nice to get another quilt made though, I have fabric for about six in my sewing room that have been waiting for a few years now. At least my Mum’s quilt is 16FQs out of the stash rather than them just sitting there looking at me!

Good Busy

After saying how I haven’t been managing to get much done I’ve had two days where I’ve done quite a bit. Fair enough none of it is University work, but all things that were on my long mental list of things to do!

We went out yesterday to use our year long tickets at Alnwick Castle one more time before they run out just before Piggle’s Birthday. We had seen that the jesters would be there again and we enjoyed their show a lot before. Of course, being us nipping to Alnwick also involves a tip to Sainsburys, the dump (why Northumberland doesn’t collect glass with the other recycling I don’t know) and this time to Homebase too as I’ve decided to add a raised bed of vegetables to the things I want to spend time on (hah!). The bed they had there was ok but I’m looking online to see if I can find something cheaper that can be delivered to the house. I did come away with 120l of compost to start filling it when I do buy one though!

Jim had seen a sign for Dunstaburgh Castle on the way to Alnwick so we decided to ‘pop over’ for a visit. It was a little further than I thought it would be and I wondered on the way if it was the one on the coast I’d just seen a picture of. After finding a space in the pay and display car park that is signed for the castle we wandered around a bit as there is no signage at all to tell you which way to go out of the car park, very confusing. Turned out that it’s actually a pretty long walk to get there and the boys moaned all the way about it, I tried to ignore them and enjoy the view.

20150525_163208The way we came from
20150525_155045The castle.

It was absolutely beautiful, best placement for a castle I’ve ever seen I think. Northumberland is such an amazing place and I don’t think there’s anywhere in the UK that’s better for National Trust and English Heritage membership, we have joined both and use them all the time. We’re looking forward to another summer of investigating local places, we did tons last year and only scratched the surface. I’ve got 4 days planned just for Hadrians Wall with some glamping this summer as a surprise for the boys who have been asking to go camping for ages (I won’t tow anything and I don’t sleep on the ground so glamping will have to do them!).

Whilst in Sainsburys pre-castles I picked up some bits to make some jam using the rhubarb that has shot up again in the garden and also bought some cucumbers etc to make pickles. While the jam was cooking I sat down and made a list of what I want to can this summer.

IMG_20150525_190113I then went onto Amazon and ordered more jars and lids! It’s going to be a tasty year that’s for sure.

I thought I’d wait until today to start doing that but I was in the mood last night so I got the canning pot going and set to work. It turned out to be a very pink evening.
IMG_20150525_225229Three jars of Sweet and Sour Pickled Red Onions, Rhubarb juice to make Rhubarb Syrup today and 4 jars of Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam. All the recipes are Food in Jars, the jam is from the website.
I also prepped the cucumbers, onions and peppers for the Bread and Butter Pickes that I made today along with the syrup.
IMG_20150526_122758Those are 1 litre jars at the back, they are seriously good pickles! I’m going to make another batch as soon as I’ve ordered a few more large bottles of cider vinegar, the little Aspell organic ones aren’t big enough for this recipe and are too pricey for canning. The Rhubarb Syrup I’m thinking will taste good with tonic water, haven’t decided whether it would go best with gin or vodka yet, will make a choice and buy some to try soon!

I have apricots waiting for the jam thermometer to arrive tomorrow too and another shopping list of bits to buy for the next lot. It’s really enjoyable to see the shelf in the storage room filling up with jars and I’m hoping the rhubarb grows fast as I’ve got jam and jelly that I want to make with it!

This afternoon I finished up two sets of summer pjs for Jim (Piggle’s from last year will do another year thankfully).
Simplicity 9499
Simplicity 9499

I don’t bother ironing too well as he’s just going to lie on them!

These are Simplicity 9499, mainly for the fact that it was the right size for him and I wouldn’t have to adjust it too much. I ran out of Swedish tracing paper a while back and that sewing reality show thing that used it put the price right up so I’ve not bought any more and therefore can’t trace larger sizes of my Ottobre or Kwik Sew patterns. I had to take 1.5 inches off the bottom of the trousers and like all Big 4 patterns they’re pretty boxy and baggy but that’s what you want from pjs really I think. The green is ribbing that I dyed Dylon olive green in the machine. For some reason I have about 20 metres of white ribbing, and I’m not kidding, there’s tons of it in my stash that I have inherited from other people who bought too much, so I figured using up a few metres of it for pjs was a good idea. The cowboy print I got from Abakhan donkey’s ago and have wondered ever since why I bought it, but Jim liked it so it’s used up now.

I was trying to think of how many times I’ve used the dinosaur print now and I got to 4 minimum. This is the last big bits of it (I have a few small pieces I kept for facings and sentimentality as Jim was a toddler the first time he had pjs from it) and I didn’t have enough for the back of the t-shirt so that’s the solid green. The necks are really wide for some reason, I probably should have cut them down a bit but I’m not taking them off and playing with them. Jim has a horrid habit of chewing neckbands anyway so they won’t stay white and clean for long, how baggy they are really won’t matter!

Next up I’m cutting out a blouse for myself and then I’m going to work on my last bee block, I’d like to get both those done by the end of the week but I also have essay marking to do, a presentation to get ready for next Monday, more canning and another day out to the seaside with the boys so we’ll see how I get on! Hopefully the enthusiasm will continue to keep me moving.

Now off to see if I can finish off the sleeve of a cardigan so I can sew that up and get it off the never ending list this week!