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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Very quick post

Because I am exhausted! I feel like I lost an hour's sleep in the timechange last night rather than gaining one. However, things are going well on the dressmaking front. All the underlining pieces are now basted to the relevant fabric piece and I had a good read through the dress pattern today and I'm fairly confident that I understand what's going on at each step.

I'm also making good progress on the Knotty gloves - glove number one is done and I'm three rounds into glove number two. I'm starting to think that gloves may be the new socks. I'm sure there must be as many ways to work a thumb gusset as to turn a heel.

To Bee (who didn't come off at all stalkerish in her comment the other day), yes, the gloves I was working on at the bus stop were the Knotty gloves. Here you can see glove #1 in all its three-fingered glory.

Knotty gloves

If you see us again at the bus stop do feel free to say "hi". It's a bit strange for me when the blog and the real world collide but I'm sure I'll manage.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Actual sewing

It's been all go on the wedding dress front. I picked up the pattern from Darn it and Stitch on Saturday and then had a lovely afternoon in Reading with Felix on Sunday picking out fabric, lining, and notions for the muslin followed by tea at Bill's Restaurant and Produce Store. I love this place and am hoping to make a return visit very soon.

Anyway since then I must have put in at least fifteen hours' work on the muslin but it's only today that I got on to any actual sewing. It took two or three hours to cut out all the paper pieces and then around another seven to cut out the fabric and lining pieces. There are 18 numbered pieces some of which have to be cut out several times (in both fabric and lining) and three of which have extensions which have to be taped on. Then there's not only lining but also underlining which means even more cutting out! Still, it's all done now and I spent a very jolly evening watching Strictly and Merlin* and basting the fabric pieces to the underlining to create a double thickness. I really like this method of construction. The underlining really adds stability to the satin fabric which is otherwise prone to stretching out of shape on the bias and it should make for a much more secure base layer underneath the drapes. Plus it means I'll have at least three layers of fabric (four with the drapes) to keep me warm in chilly February.

I'll take some pictures of the basted pieces tomorrow - they look so neat with the claret fabric and blue stitching - but today I'll leave you with just the cut out pieces.

V8150 pattern pieces

See what I mean about the multiplicity of pieces? I can see at least three number 16s in this photo alone. The pinned-on labels are, I find, essential for maintaining my sanity. You can tell which piece is which by comparing it with the schematic but it makes life so much easier if you number them as you go along.

* This week Merlin and Arthur seemed to have strayed into Middle Earth. There were winged nazgul and a mini Barad-dur and at one point the Fisher King gave Merlin the light of Elendil. OK, it was the water of Avalon but he more or less said that it would be a light for him in dark places, when all other lights go out.

Friday, October 29, 2010

FO - raspberry Veyla mittens

Finished Veyla mittens

Pattern: Veyla from Whimsical Little Knits 2 by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Pure Dyed Ryeland 4 ply from Blacker Designs (less than one ball!)
Needles: 3.25mm dpns
Wee vintage buttons from Darn it and Stitch.

Veyla button detail

Look at the little buttons!

Veyla leaf detail

And the sweet little leaf! These mittens match my blog.

Knotty cable detail

These gloves match my blog too! I'm really enjoying knitting these. The cable pattern is beautifully plump and squishy and good fun to knit. In fact I'm going back to knitting them right now whilst I watch the second half of It Takes Two and enjoy a tasty, toasty treat.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You know it’s Autumn when…

There are beautiful autumn leaves on the tree in the little quad at work.

Autumn leaves

And fabulous Hallowe’en cakes in the window of the patisserie that I walk past in the mornings.

Hallowe'en window display

And I have two pairs of gloves on the go in my knitting bag.

The Veyla mittens now have the perfect vintage buttons from Darn it and Stitch. I saw them when I was in there at the weekend picking up the pattern for my wedding dress (squee!) but didn’t have the mittens with me in order to check the colour. The only question now is do I keep these for myself or save them to be a Christmas present for someone? FO post tomorrow.

The other gloves are definitely going to be for me. I’ve wanted to make the Knotty gloves ever since I first saw the pattern but never quite seemed to have the right yarn. Then I realised yesterday that I probably had just enough Oxford Kitchen Yarns sock to make a pair of gloves. I’ve had the skein hanging around for quite some time, in fact at one point it was half a pair of Interlocking Leaves socks, and never found the right project for it until now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pretty little mittens

I'm quite enamoured of this pattern. I'm on Veyla mark two and I think there'll be another pair after this.

Veyla mitten

I love the fancy cuff and the lacy edging and the wee buttons at the wrist. Ok there are no wee buttons as yet but I have some in mind.

It's very much the season for knitting accessories, some cosy mittens here, a woolly hat there. And whilst I'm knitting little things I can get back to working out what the next big thing will be.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Full speed ahead

The wedding planning has been cranked up a notch here. Although the boyfriend and I got engaged waaaaaay back in January we didn't get going with preparations until a week last Thursday when we visited the priest to arrange a date. Since then we've obtained certificates of baptism which in my case involved quite a bit of ringing round as the church where I was baptized closed down in 1990 and is now an antiques centre. Eventually I tracked down the records from the church in the archives of my home town's public library. I got a very sweet email back from the museum assistant who seemed to think it was quite exciting to help me find my records so I could get married (probably makes a change from all the genealogy enthusiasts). On Saturday we went on a marriage preparation day which was really nice. It answered a lot of my questions about what the service would be like, encouraged us to think about some fairly important questions, and generally made me feel I was very lucky to be marrying such a lovely guy. Then today we found out that we have a provisional booking for a reception venue which I'm really excited about. We won't be able to visit it to look round for a few days but that's quite a good thing as it gives us time to get some quotes from other places for comparison. The other really exciting thing that's happened today is I've ordered a dress pattern (for THE dress) from Darn It and Stitch. Squeee!

Away from all the wedding fever we have a finished object.

FO: Shimmer Socks

Shimmer socks

Pattern: Shimmer Socks by Meg Croft
Yarn: Merino slim sock in Merlot by The Knittery
Needles: 2.5mm dpns

I'm really pleased with these. I didn't follow the pattern all the way through, just used the stitch pattern and added in my own toe, heel and cuff. I love how the lifted stitches highlight the semi-solid yarn. I initially went for a picot turned hem but after seeing Felix's socks changed to a 2x2 rib cuff - there's a reason why it's a classic.

Next up - I just started swatching for the o w l s sweater of dreams. Stay tuned for progress.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Roses in autumn

The boyfriend and I had the loveliest afternoon in Blenheim today. We went to hear the choir of St Martin in the Fields singing in the chapel (just fabulous) and then went for a walk to the rose garden and back.

You'd think it was the height of summer from these pictures.

Blenheim roses

I love the rose garden at Blenheim. It's a shame that the boyfriend and I are planning to get married in the middle of winter, otherwise I'd be very tempted to sneak in there for some wedding pics.

Back at the flat I managed a bit of craftiness involving some buttons and an inexpensive M&S sweater.


Just a few buttons


Just a few buttons

For just £2.50 worth of buttons from Darn It & Stitch it's a much fancier sweater. I was going to make little pleats at each button to gather the neck in more but didn't have the right coloured cotton thread. Besides, the neckline is fine if I wear it over a t-shirt and in our office at the moment layering is a good thing. I can't tell from one day to the next if I'll be freezing cold or massively overheated. It almost makes me impatient for the predictability of winter when I know I'll be cold all the time!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Twinkle toes

FO - Hedera socks


Pattern: Hedera by Cookie A.
Yarn: Louet Gems Opal
Needles: 2.75mm

Woot! I have new socks, I've made good progress on a previously stalled pair of socks, and we've just Freecycled our unwanted sofa. I love Freecycle - it's a complete win-win. The nice chap who turned up with a white van got a free sofa and we got rid of our old sofa just over 24 hours after posting an "offered" notice. Admittedly the old table lamp (also up on Freecycle) isn't going quite as quickly but then it's not taking up as much space in our living room. I was really relieved when the guy who took the sofa arrived in a van - one response to the ad asked whether the sofa would fit in a Picasso. It might, but only with great difficulty.

Plus I have new yarn and a shiny new pattern idea which I'm very excited about. I'm going to get knitting on that now whilst watching Spooks.