Bobbing Along*

I feel like I’ve not achieved that much with my crafty stuff, but when I have time to put it down here I feel a little better as it does seem like I’m making some sort of progress, even if it’s slow!

Meet Dipley Veg, as he’s been christened:


Jim turned 10 last week (I know, 10, I’m still wondering where 10 years of my life went, maybe I should read back on the blog as I started it when he was 15 months old!) and I made him the dinosaur that I bought the booklet and yarn for at the Knitting and Stitching Show. He’s a Diplodocus and turned out to be a pretty large chap.


He has the sweetest feet though.


The pattern is from Patons booklet 3847 and uses Fab DK. It was easy to follow the pattern but very lacking in detail when it came to construction, ‘attach legs’ doesn’t really tell you a lot does it?  It took me a while day to sew him together and get him stuffed. The pattern suggests wrapping florists wire with pipe cleaners and inserting them into the neck, tail and legs. Personally I know my boys well enough to understand that at some point this Diplodocus will become a weapon with which to attempt to inflict harm on each other so wire of any sort no matter what it’s wrapped with was out of the question. I just stuffed it really firmly and it seems fine, the neck and tail can be bent into different positions and it stands up well on its own. I’m now working on a Triceratops for Piggle’s birthday in June, it has many more pieces to knit and eventually attach so I intend to make sure I get on with it so I’m not attaching horns at midnight the night before!

I haven’t done much sewing recently. I had an accident with my rotary cutter a fortnight ago and ended up in the Minor Injuries Unit. I’m still not sure whether it was good or bad that I’d changed the blade the week before, I guess at least it was a clean cut… Anyway, I need to cut the sashing for my Chicopee quilt but I’ve been a little worried about cutting (injury was down to pure clumsiness, caught the edge of the ruler and went off at a random angle rather than managing to run the blade down the side of it), plus I’m worried that I did my quilt math wrongly and I won’t have enough fabric. I just need to woman-up and get on with it really.

I did manage to get started on the summer pyjamas though which made Piggle very happy as he’s been asking about these since the fabric landed here almost a year ago!


The bottoms are Kwik Sew 1556 and the t-shirt is Kwik Sew Sewing for Children, Piggle is officially too big for the Toddler’s book now, sob… I had to go up a size again as he’s growing like a weed. I’ve got another 2 pairs planned for him and 2 pairs for Jim who hasn’t grown quite as much as his brother and can still wear a few pairs from last year.  Looking at my fabric I’ve hardly got any flannel for next winter, but I do have a ton of knits so I’m thinking it will be a knit year to stash bust some of that.

And finally, some socks. I finished of last year really well with getting everything off the needles and the promptly cast on for everything in sight right afterwards… I am now trying to get the number of projects down again and finishing these off is at least one thing less.


These are Nemesis from Knitty and I used Yarntopia Treasures Bamboo Cotton in Lemons and Limes on 2.5mm needles. This pattern was lovely, so easy to follow, and I love a sock pattern with a long chart, only 3.5 repeats of it and the socks are done, fabulous! The pattern looks a lot more complicated than it is which is always nice. I love the colours of this yarn so these were a joy to make and took just over a month.

Next up to get off the WIP list is a jumper for Piggle which will be the fastest thing to get done as he’s so small. I’m 2/3 of the way down the body and then I just have to knit the sleeves in the round and it’s done. I found some buttons for it today so hopefully it should be done within a couple of weeks.

Back as soon as I have something to show you!

*Hopefully I now have everyone of my generation channelling Angela Lansbury and singing the song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks…

A Bit of Sewing

I did quite a lot of sewing last month, and I made a good dent in the balance between fabric bought and fabric used.  My favourite activity at the moment seems to be filling shopping baskets in online fabric shops and then leaving quickly before I enter my card details.  The odd one is still getting through here and there but I’m a lot more restrained than I was last month!

So, I finished up the pyjamas for the boys, these are for Jim using Kwik Sew 1557 and flannel from the Color Me Flannel co-op group on Yahoogroups.

The sharks are pretty big on the fabric which made placement a little difficult but I think I did ok with them!

Next up were the final pairs using the same pattern for Jim and 1556 for Piggle.  The boys still like having matching things, I’m sure in the next few years Jim will refuse to be seen in anything his brother would wear!  Flannel came from the same co-op.

When cutting out the trousers for Jim I remembered to put the fabric back to back so I didn’t end up with 2 legs of the same side but totally forgot that I had decided to cut this as a directional print so one of the legs on his pyjamas are ‘upside down’, but I don’t think anyone will notice unless I point it out to them (his are under Piggle’s in this picture so you can’t see either!).  I had to buy buttons for these as I didn’t have anything suitable, my Mother actually chose them, they’re clear and a little chunky and I think they look great.

I’ve had this Summer Reading Library Bag tutorial from Sew Mama Sew bookmarked for ages.  I can only think that someone else linked to it as I don’t read that blog!  Anyway, I was sorting my bookmarks and printed it out.  Later on I was ordering another quilting ruler from Cotton Patch and saw that they did duck cloth so I let the boys pick a print each and bought the fabric for them.

The pattern has an apple on the front to match the fabric but the boys wanted their initial on them.  I played around in Word with fonts until I found one I liked and then went up and up in font size until I got it large enough.  I actually loved the typewriter font the most but it was too thin and would have been a right pain to sew around so I went with this fatter font.  I ironed the fabric onto the fusible web I’ve been using for years now (you iron it onto fabric, pull off the backing and iron that onto something else, very handy), cut out the paper letter and then pinned it onto the fabric and cut around it.  After ironing it onto the bag I machine stitched around the edge of it.  I’m so happy with the way the letters came out, however, the pattern tells you how far over to put your apple/letter from the edge but not how far from the bottom so when it came to sew the corners to make the bottom of the bag square I had to sew at one inch rather than one and a half otherwise I would have sewn the bottom of the letters in.

The bags have a pocket on the strap to hold the library card and I found some great buttons in the button box to go with the fabrics they picked.  The only real mistake I made was whilst cutting the fabric for the first bag.  I should have cut the strap lining first rather than the square pieces as I had to piece the strap lining together on the above bag.  The fabric is so bright you can’t see it but it was a stupid mistake!  Also, the pattern calls for half a yard of patterned fabric and I have tons left over from each, you only need the width for the strap lining.

I love this duck cloth, it’s not cheap but it was really nice to work with.  I washed it first as with kids they’re going to get them dirty at some point and I didn’t want shrinkage.  It was a right pain to iron it flat afterwards but well worth it I think.  The bags also have french seams which was funny to sew on such thick fabric but gives it a lovely finish.  In fact the finish on this bag is really good all around, very well planned by the designer.

There is a front pocket on the bag for storing lists or reading scheme info or just another book or two.  The bag is big enough for the larger books that Piggle gets and holds 5 ‘chapter’ books and a book on CD for Jim.

Overall I’m really chuffed with these, sometimes things don’t turn out how you hope and I made these totally on a whim but we all love them and it’s made keeping track of library books easier as the bags hang on the bedroom door handle and the boys put the books in them when they’re done with them.

Another bit of recent sewing for the boys are some long sleeve t-shirts for Piggle as he’s grown out of most of the ones he’s got.  I used the Minikrea 50220 pattern.  I had traced the 4 year old size for him but when I held it up to him it was going to be too small (he does have long arms and a long torso for his age) so I traced the 6 instead and it fits him very well in that ‘I’ll grow into this soon and it’ll fit me perfectly for about two weeks and then look too small’ ways that kids clothes seem to fit!

I finished up the stripes and bugs fabric finally, used most of the helicopters but still have tons of the emergency vehicle fabric left, I’ve no idea how much I bought but I seem to have been using it for years!

These t-shirts have the cuffs and collar bound with ribbing which took a little getting used to, it was hard to catch the ribbing sometimes but I got there in the end and I like the way it looks.

I’ve made a sweatshirt for Jim too but the sleeves have come out far too long for him so when I have better use of my hand I need to go back and shorten them so he can actually use his hands whilst wearing it.  I’ve got a couple of other things still to show too, back soon!

Getting It Out the Door

First up last week’s FO, a shirt using Simplicity 8523.  The fabric is from my recent Abakhan haul, I ordered 3 metres and it came as a two metre cut and a one metre cut.  For some reason I just really wanted to use the fabric right away so I looked through my patterns and came up with a simple shape for it (it’s really slippy synthetic, not what I usually sew).

This fabric frayed more than any fabric I can remember working with.  At one point, turning it right side out to press a seam I somehow managed to rip the seam, the fabric just gave way.  I used french seams as it’s quite see-through and overlocking would have showed through.

I was glad in the end that this was a simple pattern as I found the fabric really hard work, it took a lot longer to make this than it would have done a cotton version.  As you can see from the picture it’s too tight around the hips for me at the moment.  It was supposed to have side vents but I’m not a fan and I also couldn’t figure out how to do them with the french seams.  Apparently they’re worked into the fit of the garment rather than being for looks, but it will fit one day.

It’s been hanging on the dressform in the hall for a week and I still can’t decide if the fabric is great or something my 99 year old Grandmother would wear though…

On the way to bed Friday evening I stopped off in the sewing room to see if I could decide what I wanted to make over the weekend and get anything ready for it.  Each time I open the door I’m faced with this

and I thought to myself ‘shit, that’s a lot of fabric’….

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of my stash, nor do I usually feel that it’s too big.  I’ve been collecting fabric for about 8 years now and it’s all been bought very cheaply, I still go by the rule that if I can’t make it cheaper than I could buy it I won’t do it.  What’s getting to me, I think, is that I’ve bought an awful lot of fabric recently and since the new electric heating has been installed (you can see the thingy in the right of the picture) I can’t put my stash neatly in the alcove any more.  This means that it’s very precariously stacked and every time I go looking for something there is an avalanche and it ends up piled up even more messily.  Combined with this recent buying is the fact that I’ve not been sewing a lot so my ‘try to sew more than I buy’ strategy isn’t anywhere near working at the moment (I don’t mind if I break even as long as the stash doesn’t grow and grow and really become too large to deal with).  I know I have just under 6 months to bring it back into balance and I’m pretty sure I can do it, but right now things are looking a little grim and I really need to see some progress.

The best and quickest way to make progress is pyjamas.  I had a good look at how the boy’s pyjamas are fitting them and made the relevant decisions on which sizes I needed to make and then got to work.

These two pairs are for Piggle.  I used Kwik Sew 1556.  I really like this collarless version, it looks really neat I think and does away with having to fiddle about fitting a collar on a small shirt. This flannel came from a fabric Co-op and the buttons are from my button box.

After those I did a pair for Jim

The bottoms of these are Kwik Sew 1557 (the larger sized patter identical to 1556) and the top is Kwik Sew Sewing for Children.  I did want to do a red or yellow top with the opposite colour cuffs and neckband but it seems I have used up both of those colours so I used the light grey that I found whilst looking for those colours in the stash.

I’ve got another pair of the collarless ones cut out and overlocked for Jim and then there is one final pair for each of them using robots flannel that they both picked out and love.  So this weekend I’ve managed to get six and a half yards of fabric out of the stash and the other three pairs will get another seven out.  I’m going to work on my quilt next weekend when the boys are with their Dad, the last of my supplies for it should be arriving in the post this week and I’m quite excited to have a go with quilting and get it finished.  That project alone will get another 10 yards out of the stash which will feel like real progress.

After that I just need to keep going and keep making things (and stop buying for a while!), I have plenty of ideas it’s just the time and the motivation that are sometimes lacking!

Catch Up

So, as I said, I’ve not really been feeling like sewing for a while now (well, just over a month but for me that’s a long while!).  I keep going in the sewing room and looking at things, matching fabric with patterns, cutting patterns, actually cutting fabric from time to time, but not really feeling like doing the actual sewing.  I was working on a dress very very slowly and then I lost part of the facing (my room is teeny tiny and it’s stupid how often I misplace stuff in there, I’ve lost two seam rippers recently).  Without the facing I couldn’t carry on (the pattern piece was attached to it so I couldn’t cut another one) so that got thrown aside and more projects were planned but nothing worked on.  I did finish off the shirt I started before the death of the iron (and so far I love my new iron) but I haven’t uploaded those pictures yet so until then I will show you what I do have pictures of on my computer!

I had this fabric out for something else but decided at the very last second to make another Simplicity 2147 from it.  Again this has french seams and will require a tank top to be worn under it, but as it appears we aren’t getting Spring here in the UK let along any hint of summer approaching that will be fine.  The neck of this design is really wide, pattern companies assume that larger women have line backer shoulders obviously.  If I use this pattern for a fabric that doesn’t require a tank top under it I will make sure to narrow it by at least an inch each side.  I really like this pattern though and I have loved this fabric since I bought it (over 5 years ago) so it’s nice to have it hanging in my wardrobe instead of in the stash.

Another pair of pjs for Jim.  I messed up the sleeve length of these.  I didn’t have enough fabric for full length so decided to do short sleeves but rather than doing anything sensible like measuring or comparing a short-sleeved pattern to what I was doing I just randomly cut and ended up with elbow length sleeves.  Jim apparently likes them as he won’t let me change them so I have to face my error over and over again.  This was Kwik Sew Sewing for Children trousers and Simplicity 2134 top.  I’m done with the Simplicity pattern, I just don’t get along with it at all and I managed to locate the next size up in my favourite Kwik Sew Pattern (1556 is the smaller sizes, 1557 the larger) so I will make the final summer pair using that and probably throw this pattern into the bag for the charity shop.

Finally for today another Lisette pattern.  This pattern has convinced me that Lisette patterns are sized differently from the measurements on the pattern envelope for the larger sizes.  I always double-check the finished measurements of garments to decide how I want something to fit rather than going with just the size and almost all the Lisette patterns I have made to date have come up smaller than the pattern says they will.  This should have fit me with several inches ease and instead it is like a sausage casing.  I haven’t read anyone else complaining about this which is why I’m assuming it’s the larger sizes that have the issues as I’ve not seen any of the Bloggers I follow who are a similar size to me making these patterns.

Anyway, this is Simplicity 1878 and it is supposed to be a mini-dress.  As I would not be caught dead in a dress that short and didn’t have enough fabric for the longer version I took 6″ off the bottom of the pattern and made a tunic instead.  The only other change I made to the pattern was to not do a lapped zip as I have terrible luck with those, I think my invisible zip came out fine and it certainly required less swearing.

I like the style of this and the shaping, it’s very similar to many of the vintage tunic patterns I’ve used.  I seem to have a thing for necklines like this too even though I hate sewing the damn things, getting into the dot evenly on both sides can be a real pain but this one came out really well.

This picture also shows the seamlines and top stitching on the front which are a little lost in this fabric, I probably should have gone with a green thread rather than the white if I’d been concerned with really making it stand out.

So, that was my sewing up until the start of April.  I have knitted FOs to show as well, I don’t seem to have lost my knitting mojo which is good.  In fact I have been feeling a real urge to pick up speed and get some of the large number of garments I have yarn stashed for actually made.  It’s nice to be finishing something that’s for sure!

Lisette and Pyjamas

The first FO I have to show you I actually started before Christmas and finally finished at the start of this month.  I’ve said it before, it’s really rare for me to have a sewing UFO, knitting hell yes, but with sewing once I get going on something I normally see it through to the end.  The reason I didn’t finish these Lisette Simplicity 2245 trousers off is that when I’d sewn the legs together and tried them on they didn’t fit me which was annoying as according to the sizes on the pattern they should have done.  Does anyone else have issues with Lisette sizings?  I made a tunic that should have fit according to the pattern measurements but still doesn’t.

Anyway, I got around to getting these done, they still don’t fit but as I’m slowly shrinking they should do soon.  They are unhemmed as I won’t know where I need to hem them until I can actually wear them.

I didn’t add as many buttons to the tabs as the pattern called for as I want them to function as belt loops, for the same reason I added another two at the back.  This fabric is very odd, it’s almost like a mock moleskin.  It’s really soft but I’m sure it’s going to pick up cat fur and dust like no-one’s business.  Anyway, hopefully I will get to hem these soon and take them for a spin.

Out comes Kwik Sew 1556 again, I only used the larger sizes for Jim but I’m making up for that by using all the smaller ones for Piggle now.

I bought this fabric for Jim when he was about Piggle’s age but never got around to using it.  That’s the good thing about having 2 boys, I get to have a second pass through my fabric stash to use up all the shorter pieces or younger prints for the second one so they don’t go to waste!  The only change I make to this pattern is to cut the sleeves as one piece rather than doing the cuff for them.  This size is still a little too big to get away with for Piggle but he is still fitting into last year’s pyjamas at the moment so once they get to short we’ll have the next size all ready to go.

Something I love is finally using  up a piece of fabric I’ve had for longer than I can remember.  This particular cotton has been out over and over again as I’ve tried to match it with patterns and it finally found one that worked, Simplicity 2059.  I have to admit that until I saw this blouse made up by another blogger (wish I could remember who it was ) I’d completely ignored it on the pattern as it looked so plain and dull.  I’m glad to say that it’s a lot more interesting made up and I’m looking forward to wearing this one when the weather is a little bit warmer (I don’t think I have a cardigan besides the black one I live in that would go with this and it would be a shame to hide the back).

The back gathered section is a little hard to see in this picture so I took a blurry close-up for your viewing pleasure…

This went together really easily and quickly, the only problem I had was when I ran out of thread with only the sleeves to attach and the hem to do but I was saved by my Mother delivering some more to my door.  I added two inches in length to this and I’m really glad that I did as it would have been too short for me otherwise.  That’s actually saying something as I am quite short in the body so make sure that you check the length of this before you make it (I’m not a fan of waist-length anything).

So, onwards to more pyjamas, this time for Jim from Simplicity 3124.

He has these on now and looks like he may have just escaped from clown prison…  I was disappointed to see that the shirt isn’t going to last long on him, he appears to be long-bodied at the moment.  I will need to remember to do a smaller hem on the pair that I’ve already cut out to sew next and to lengthen the third and final pair when I make them.

And last but not least the last of Piggle’s summer pyjamas.

This is another piece of fabric that I bought specifically for Jim when he was little.  When he went from babygros to ‘big boy’ vests I ironed on appliques to the front of them all (was lazy with Piggle and never got around to it, opps) and one of the designs I used was of these ‘dancing dudes’ as we used to call them.  I snapped up this fabric when I saw it on a co-op but his tastes changed and I ended up using other prints for him.  I was going to foist it upon him this year, maybe for shorts and a short sleeve shirt as it was only 2 yards, but when Piggle saw it he got very excited and said he wanted it so he got it.  This is Kwik Sew 1556 again and now that these are done it’s been put away for a few months before I need to pull it out for new winter pyjamas.

I was thinking today that it’s funny that I’m not incredibly bored with pyjamas yet.  Adding together the years I’ve been making them for the boys I have now sewn about 11 years worth and I intend to keep going for as long as they will let me.  I’ve already started keeping an eye out for older boy’s fabric for Jim as he won’t want to wear cartoons or animal prints forever and things like stripes and stars will be used instead.  Some years I do try different styles and patterns but this is relaxing sewing for me, I can sew 2 pairs in a day (and have time to work on something else if it’s a full day I’ve got available).  I feel the same way about t-shirts for the boys and I can’t wait for the new MiniKrea pattern I ordered to arrive so I can get tracing and cutting and fill up the boy’s drawers with some new fun print t-shirts for the summer.  I do love sewing new patterns too and trying out new things for myself and the boys but it’s the repetition, the memory of what I made with the pattern for Jim that I’m now using for Piggle and the fact that they both get really excited about their new pyjamas and want to wear them right away that keeps me going back.  Remind me of this when I’m swearing my way through the next 2 pairs required for summer won’t you?!?

Moving Slowly

I just don’t seem to have been able to gather steam in my sewing or knitting this month.  I had the carpel tunnel surgery just before Christmas and rediscovered that I am really terrible at not being able to do things for myself, at relying on other people or asking for help.  My preference will always be to do things for myself by myself and I can’t see that changing. Wonderfully my right hand now does not fall asleep (although I do still have stiff knuckles and trigger finger in my index finger most likely from knitting I’d imagine) so I can knit for longer when I do pick up the needles.  I don’t know why I’ve not been sewing much, I imagine it’s got something to do with my body dissatisfaction at the moment (failing is not the word for my lack of exercise and healthy eating this month, apathy would fit better) and the fact that I don’t seem to be able to find time to work on it.

Saying that, things are progressing very slowly and I do have some FO’s of both craft to show you so things are progressing.

First FO of the year was Citron

This is an incredibly simple knit, you just increase and decrease a lot to make the ruffled bits.  I didn’t bother blocking it as I thought it might end up ruffle-less and having spent all the time knitting them I wasn’t willing to risk it.  This knit was made infinitely harder by the yarn I used.  It’s the colour changing yarn that is advertised on Ravelry a lot.  I got a skein that was faulty, which sounds odd for yarn!  The yarn is made up of 5 single strands of cotton, over time the strands change one by one to the new colour which is what gives it a graduated effect.  The strands are all wound at the same time but for some reason my skein did not unwind that way, several of the strands unwound faster than the others which meant for almost constant adjustments and tangles.  I actually had to cut the yarn twice as the tangles got so bad and within minutes of resuming knitting the problem began again.  I am in no way blaming the seller as her products are used by a lot of people with no issues and she very kindly refunded me when I let her know that there was an issue with this skein.  I bought another colourway at the same time and it’s going to be a long while before I get up the courage to knit with it!

The only change I made with this pattern was to not knit all of the final ruffle as I ran out of yarn. I kept weighing what I had left until there wasn’t enough left to do 2 full rows and then I cast it off.  I’m glad I made this, despite the yarn issue, and I do like the way the yarn changes although I kind of wish there was a bit more solid grey at the end but it came out the way it did due to the sheer number of stitches in each row!

I finally hit the sewing room last weekend for the first time in forever.  I have a nice stack of projects that I’m looking forward to working on just not the time or the mojo to get to them, it’ll come back I’m sure, it always does!

First up was Simplicity 2863 which is an out of print Built by Wendy pattern (I got my copy on Ebay).

This is a really simple fast make. I did change the construction order as it didn’t make sense to me to try to add the tabs after doing the side seams, far quicker to do them while you can have the garment flat!  The fabric is a really drapey knit from Boyes.  I like this fabric so much that I have bought 3 separate pieces so far and if it’s still on sale next time I go in there I will buy another length, grey and black stripes are never going to be dated!  I made a size smaller than the pattern suggested that I needed as the amount of ease it allows for is slightly comical and it fits me just fine.

The buttons are old ones from my button box.  You can wear the sleeves up or down (or fold them rather than gather them).  I am sure I will use this again when I find some more drapey fabric and there is a dress on the pattern that I would love to make, keeping an eye out for fabric for it.  I got the Sew U knits book for Christmas and am looking forward to trying some of the patterns soon.

Next up are the first pair of pyjamas for the year using Kwik Sew 1556 for Piggle.

I got this fabric from Fabricland in Brighton probably 2 years ago now I think (I shall be visiting next month and hoping their prices haven’t gone up too much since I was last there).  I have the same print with a cream background for Jim.  I can get away with making the summer pyjamas earlier this year as both boys are going up a pattern size which means there is no worry of them growing out of them before getting to wear them.  We had a fabric choosing where they both claimed bits of fabric from the stash and now I just need to get on with it.  I have another pair for Piggle cut out ready to go so hopefully they will get made up soon.  Next on the sewing table are the half done Lisette trousers I abandoned a few months back.

I want to get back to the Knit/Wear project soon too, I have a photo waiting for a post so hopefully I will get to that soon.  Knitting wise I am working on a few things at the moment.  I’m doing a dog jacket for my sister’s lurcher/border collie cross Moss who is very cold at the moment.  She’s been wearing t-shirts that Piggle has grown out of so I’m making her a nice warm jumper from some acrylic.  I’m doing the leg holes at the moment so it shouldn’t take too much longer I hope.  Never thought I’d make one of those!  I am also working on my Coleus shawl, in fact this is the project that I’ve worked on most this year which is why I’m about to start the second and final chart.  It’s not hard lace and I’m really enjoying it.  The other thing I’m working on is Grenadine which I’m making in a lovely pinky orange Rowan yarn which I got for 99p from Kemps.  I cast on for this as soon as I got the yarn and then it sat there with 4 rows done for a few months.  I have been watching La femme Nikita (yes, I know I’m about 15 years late) and have really gotten into it and Grenadine is really good knitting for tv viewing, a little counting but not so much that you can’t laugh about what they’re wearing and how big their hair is and how high their waistbands are!  I’m trying to throw in a few rows of the Granny Stripe blanket here and there but it’s very slow progress (plus I keep losing my 4mm crochet hook, I must have bought 5 of them now).  I appear to have just slipped and started a crochet scarf with some Circus yarn too, it’s a very simple pattern and I’ve had the yarn too long for something that simple!

Right, going to go and try to keep the momentum going, I’ve achieved all kinds of jobs this weekend that have been waiting to be done forever and I don’t want to stop now!


Catching Up Again

I have yet to find a university/sewing/knitting/home life balance of any kind. I am still in the stage where whatever I’m doing I feel like I should be doing something else which makes it really hard to concentrate on or enjoy anything.  I’ll get there one day but until then it seems that blogging is suffering as when I do have time/allow myself to spend time doing something other than raising two children or doing University work I want to sew or knit rather than write about it!

So, here are some pictures that have been lurking on my computer for too long and some commentary to go with them!

I bought some more flannel from the Co-op I rejoined, she had some robot flannel which I knew the boys would love and also this fabulous owl print (I love owls and have quite a few pictures and china ones around my house, I’m also very slowly collecting fabric for an owl quilt should I ever finish the first quilt that’s been sitting there 2 years so far).

The selvedge says that it’s from Joannes which I guess means it’s common and readily available to those of you in the US but even with air mail postage it comes in cheaper than buying flannel in this country and we really don’t get much of a choice of prints either.

I used my standard Ottobre pattern for these lengthening it as usual from cropped to full length and I remembered to add the seam allowance to these making them a lot more comfortable than the last pair I made.  I’ve worn these tons already and will continue to do so until it’s too warm for them and then I’ll be sad until I can wear them again.

These are my November socks from a pattern/recipe called Socks of Kindness (the English version is on Flickr not the pdf link).  The yarn I used for these was bamboo cotton by Yarntopia Treasures in the colourway Tango.  I adore the way the black has striped and I think these are gorgeous!  The dye did make my fingers and the needles a bit pink but with the amount of colour that this yarn has I’m not surprised or worried about it.

I finished these about 2/3 of the way through November and felt all smug and happy that I had ages until I needed to finish the final pair for my ‘pair of socks a month self challenge’.  I then remembered that on the 20th of December I am having carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand so I need to get the final pair done by then (I’m on schedule having turned the heel of the second sock today).

For those of you who’ve been reading forever may recall back in the mists of time I had issues with my hands after Jim was born.  Some physio sorted that out eventually and I was fine and dandy until I had Piggle when the problems returned.  This time around I have had 3 goes with the physio, x-rays, blood tests, consultations, wrist braces etc over the course of 4 years and nothing has worked.  They are pretty sure it’s carpel tunnel, although as with the majority of physical issues I get it’s not cut and dried (even the Dr said I don’t get plain and simple illnesses).  The specialist says that there is a 90% chance of getting full use of my hands back after the surgery so we’ll give it a go even though it’s been a logistical nightmare as I won’t be able to drive and will need a lot of help with the boys when I only have the use of one hand.  Once the right hand has recovered I have the joy or reorganising my whole life again so I can have the left one done…

The thing that has kept me going back over and over to try and sort this out (I am pretty used to dropping things being incredibly clumsy) is that my knitting is really not going well.  I have to stop halfway through a row to wait for the feeling to come back and the pain to subside and my knitting with 100% cotton is nowhere near as neat as I am used to and it’s depressing.  Not being able to do something I love because I’m not physically able is incredibly frustrating and I’m hoping that this surgery will sort it out and things can go back to their normal knitting whenever I can ways.

This would normally be the time of year I look at my knitting basket and bags and decide what I want off the needles by January 1st.  In fact I’ve mentally done the planning but there is no way I will be capable of getting it done, surgery or not, which is a shame.  I will be working through the pain and getting this sock done though, I’m not getting this far with the challenge and flaking out!

This is my version of  Onion 2031 which was one of the patterns I gave away recently.  Please excuse the bathroom shots, my dressform no longer fits in my sewing room and the hallway where it stands is too dark for photos.

The fabric is from Ebay, a shop called Price Immaterial which I bought a lot of fabric from for a while.  Sadly it now seems to have stopped selling, I check every now and again to see if it’s returned.  This is a cotton with a raised rib on it, sort of like cord but not.  Oddly the next garment I made for myself also is paisley, don’t have a picture of that to show you yet though.

I worried about the front of this dress and kept putting it off as I hate the slashing to the dot, turning it, ironing it and then realising that it’s completely wonky or not centred.  I seem to have done an ok job with this one though and the button is from my button box, it’s antique and I only had one.

The ribbon is actually from one of those annoying ones they sew in shop bought t-shirts to stop them falling off the hanger.  I tend to chop them off and throw them in the bag that goes to my son’s school for the cutting and sticking area but I dug out a black one to use for this.

The shoulders have elastic in them and they connect to the front in a slightly fiddly but oh so neat when you get it right.

And finally there are sleeve bands and pleats.  This pattern went together incredibly easily and quickly once I got over my unfounded fear and worked on the damn thing.  It does fit me, not as well as I’d like but that’s my gut’s fault and not the pattern’s.  Sadly it is too cold to wear it at the moment, even with a cardigan and tights so it will have to wait until Spring, but wear it I will!

I have two more pattern give aways to do which I will get to soon, promise!

I seem to have strayed away from my sewing to do list and am just grabbing whatever project I feel like at the time.  I’ve been pulling out fabric that I have a plan for and trying to get on with it.  I cut out two pairs of summer pyjamas for Piggle as I know he needs to go up a size and the fabric is there and waiting.  He’s picked the fabric for the third pair so I can cut those soon too.  Jim has fabric ready for two pairs, again he needs to go up a size so it’s safe to make them, but we need to have a dig and find something for the third pair as I think he’ll have grown out of last year’s ones by the time it’s warm enough to wear them (except for the dinosaur pair which are still pretty big).

I have a single Christmas present to make which I want to get done this weekend pre-surgery and I’m hoping to break the 100 metres/yards sewn barrier for the year, even if it’s by a tiny amount, I think that would be a great achievement even if I have bought about 70 odd to fill the space…

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with more to show you!