Thursday, January 25, 2007

A mouse named Molly

This is Molly the mouse, my first attempt at a mouse. I think next time I will go for a skinnier version and a shorter nose but this lady is destined for my niece in Belfast. She carries a letter of introduction in her bag and brings her pet, Anastasia, along for the ride. The clothes always give me a bit of trouble, not good with little seams but this time the top has come out really well, I based it on Molly Chicken's brilliant tutorial, such a clever and talented lady. It never occured to me to make them reversible and it does away with turning teeny, tiny seams. Perfect for someone with clumsy fingers like mine.

I speedily botched Anastasia's pattern and just after I had finally got it right I discovered I had a pattern for something very similar in a book, typical huh?

The card idea was inspired by a good old Mini-Boden catalogue, I think Tilly will very likely be wearing Tees with similar designs later this year.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Skirt

My titles are so imaginative don't you think? Anyway, in my rush to show this skirt I couldn't wait for a good light or my husband to take the photos so you will have to apply some imagination. This is a simple A-line skirt (so therefore not nearly so unflattering as it appears on the ill-fitting hangar). I used a Betsy Ross pattern, which was so lovely to use.

No rustling of tissue paper, the patterns are printed on proper paper and comes with a helpful step by step instruction booklet.

I found the Harris Tweed on-line here. The colours are gorgeous and the fabric is beautifully soft. I may have to treat myself to some more while their special offer continues. The pale fabric was perfect for embellishing and although I did orginally plan some more graphic embroidery I lost my nerve and decided to keep it simple with some circles and buttons.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Vintage Knit

Salina from Vintage Knits is finished. I used Yorkshire Tweed 4ply (not DK as specified by the pattern) and managed to get gauge. 4ply is a good weight for me, I like to layer as the temperature from one room of this house to another can vary so much. In spite of my love of colours and dislike of all this grey weather we have been experiencing I do love this shade of grey, it looks great with a splash of bright lipstick or a colourful scarf at the neck. This is my first knit from this book and I may well make it again one day, the shaping is so well thought out, very flattering, typical of what makes Kim Hargreaves such a popular designer. There were no major difficulties with the pattern and it was a quick knit, the yarn is a pleasure to knit with, no nasty surprise knots, doesn't break easily, soft to work with, lovely, a very wearable sweater.

I been tagged twice in the last few weeks and haven't managed to complete either, I am working on them, honest. I find memes ridiculously hard, I procrastinate too much.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Something big and pink

Good gosh, where does the time go? I have been meaning to post for days but something always seems to get in the way. We have had a busy week here, which included one quick trip to casualty and Dylan starting a different school, he is spending a term at a language centre which should bring his Welsh on a treat.

Salina is almost finished, in fact all seamed just the cuffs to attach. It would have been finished sooner but for this...

Debbie Bliss cashmerino chunky, simply gorgeous, very soft and silky, lovely deep colour. Irritatingly big needles but once you get going the knitting simply flies along. The pattern is from Rowan Junior and is well written, a fact that I failed to realise and deciding that I knew better than the good people at Rowan I studied the pattern, messed about a great deal with tape measures and came to the conclusion that their instructions would not create a garment of the length worn by the model. According to my calculations it would only reach the top of Tilly's bum, so I made it quite a lot longer. Ha! I thought, you won't catch me out this time, I have checked the pattern carefully and made the necessary adjustments instead of just following it blindly, I will not be disappointed.

It would appear I had not allowed for the fact that the weight of such a "big" yarn would cause it to hang rather longer. As you can see it is a little big, let's hope the yarn wears well because Tilly will certainly get a couple of years out of this knit.

Salina soon, I am pleased to say that it seems to be fitting just fine.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Baking the blues away

It is wet and windy again. Too horrid to be outside in spite of the mild temperatures. The cosiest room in the house on days like these is the kitchen. A big window looks out on the fields and woodland area of our garden where some escapee sheep are gazing back at me. There is hole in a fence somewhere and these ladies keep making a beeline for my garden, they seem unperturbed by the *dogs who are a little perturbed by their intrusion. The Technical Advisor and our neigbour rounded them up and sent them home yesterday but they are back today. It's hard to say for sure, but somehow I feel it is the same group of reprobates who break out each time.

On days like these I want to be in the kitchen, cooking big pots of soup or stew and baking of course. Nigel Slater's Marmalade Cake fits the bill today. A damp orangey cake, lovely with a cup of tea.

* I discovered Oakley sitting at the table googling ways to discourage sheep.....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Taking a moment

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on the finished quilt, I am pleased to finally have a quilt under my belt and would not have managed it without the advice and tips from so many of you. I am sorry to say that I am very behind in replying to comments, the children are still on holiday until Tuesday so time to myself is rare but I am taking some time this afternoon while they are visiting the pantomime.

I hope all of you have enjoyed good times over the last couple of weeks. We had a lovely peaceful Christmas, spent here, just the four of us, perfect. New Year was spent with at dinner with friends, a good evening. In between we attended the wedding of some close friends. It was a wonderful occasion, very emotional as the couple have had a difficult year. We met up with many friends seen too rarely in recent years.

The bride is Sikh and suggested that it would be lovely if the ladies attending could perhaps wear saris? Just try stopping me!! I have always longed to wear a sari, so early December saw the Technical Advisor and I making a trip to Rusholme in Manchester. This was such an experience, the choices are overwhelming, certainly not comparable to a visit to Topshop. Thankfully the staff were very helpful. I sat down in front of a wall of colour while colours were spread across the on cushions in front of me. Once I began to narrow down colours and fabrics I was taken to a mirror to begin draping them across my shoulders. Initially I was somewhat afraid of the bright colours that I was being encouraged to try, after all this was a very grey winter's day in Manchester! However the assistant knew what she was doing and colours that I wouldn't normally go near turned out to be surprisingly flattering. Eventually 3 or 4 where chosen to try and it was upstairs to the fitting room. The assistant upstairs struggled to disguise here giggles when I came out with the blouse back to front and the petticoat upside down! We got that sorted and the draping began. This long piece of fabric was transformed with some deft pleating, the effect is amazing.

The draping of the sari creates such a beautiful silhouette, flattering to every shape, it creates curves where there are none and disguises those that shouldn't be there. The colours are so vibrant and of course a sari is never out of fashion. Admittedly it took some practise the night before the wedding to get it just right but it really isn't that difficult to master and I loved having the opportunity to wear something like this. All the girls at the wedding looked so colourful and elegant in their saris and although stairs proved tricky we all managed to get the hang of dancing in them.

The bride was of course the star of the day, she is gorgeous and such a warm and friendly person, one of those people who light up the room on entering. Her sari was deepest red and encrusted with hand sewn stone and bead work, heavy to wear but so beautiful.