Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lotta Tote

I first saw this book at Disdressed and then Caroline got a copy and I just loved the look of her tote, my finger was still hovering over the order button at that point and then the tote appeared again here and that was that. I am sure there is no need to add my review to the others out there, Liesl in particular gives a very thorough review. I will just say that the book is beautifully presented and the projects simple but clever and easy to adapt or build upon.

I quickly made up the hat. It was very straightforward and such a handy pattern to have to hand given the rate at which my children lose hats.
I have already messed with the pattern to create a couple of other versions and it was very easy to adjust to child size.
As others have said, I am not sure this book is ideal for complete beginners, the instructions are a little lacking in detail at some points although to be honest this suits me in the same way that I like working from the Japanese pattern books, I think it frees me up to stop panicking about the fussy bits and just get on with it, finding solutions as I go and learning a lot on the job so to speak. Having read Caroline and Wise Craft's accounts I opted to use interfacing, a very stiff sew in interfacing in the bottom of the bag, the same sort I used for the Weekend Bag and a heavyweight iron-on interfacing for the rest of the bag as I anticipate it getting a lot of use. The interfacing also helped with the problem of linen fraying easily at the seams. Afterwards I wished I had used a magnetic closure but I will add button and loop closure as soon as I work out how to do the loop however on the whole I am very pleased with the bag and foresee this tote and I spending a long and happy future together.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lovely in Lilac

I finally finished seaming Evie just in time for Easter but have only just got around to sharing. Knitted in Rowan 4ply cotton which comes in so many lovely shades but is seems to be so slow for me to knit with, something to do with the lack of give in the yarn? I'm not sure, but whatever it is it makes for slow knitting for a child's garment. I do love it though and a cotton sweater is so useful for cooler spring and summer days.

The sizing is huge again, I made age 4-5, Tilly will be 5 in November, in particular it seems very wide, this seems to be case with so many children's patterns but I never quite have the nerve to adjust them. Oh well, at least she will get plenty of wear out of it.

The daisy embroidery continues, I made a sample to begin with and I love how that came out but can't seem to get the same fluidity in the second attempt, typical huh? It is the same with taking photographs for the blog, I take maybe 15 shots but the first one is still the best.

And now I must go and do some watering in the garden, yes that's right, water, in April!! Crazy I know but precious new plants are fading in this amazing weather. Where are those April showers?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lovely linen

A new fabric shop opened in town, sadly nothing to get really excited about but there was this lovely linen. Quite a heavy weight linen, the colour is so lovely, a perfect background to white trim or lively patterns.
This smock top is from one of my growing collection of Japanese Craft books, the second I have made, very simple but this time I cheated and bought the ready made bias binding, boy is that easier! It looks lovely with just a white blouse and white cropped trousers but I think I will make some matching trousers (well I bought a lot of the linen just so no one else could.)

The top still needs something, I am playing with embroidery, a simple daisy design is in my head and I am struggling to translate it to thread and fabric. My embroidery skills are alarmingly limited but I think this is one of those things that needs to be kept simple and I probably need to stop procrastinating and just jump in, what will be will be.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Warning, this post may contain gratuitous yarn pictures

Fellow knitters and crafters I know you all appreciate the joy of receiving one of those lovely parcels in the post, you know the ones, a squashyness in the packet gives it away. On Saturday morning the children excitedly brought through a parcel with my name on it, they watched with baited breath and then confusion at my absolute joy as I fondled the contents. Sigh, they just don't get it, thank goodness I can share it here.

I won Heather's prize draw and this is my prize, a fabulous one, Piece of Beauty sock yarn. This yarn is gorgeous, so soft and the colours are so deep and rich. Thus far I have only knitted socks in Opal so this is a real treat for me and I cannot wait to cast on, but wait I must as I am still strongly practising project monogamy. Soon however, soon.

Right now I like to gaze at it and imagine how pretty it will look in my work basket, wrapped around bamboo needles, pleasing my senses. You all know what I am talking about, don't you? That wonderful yarn lust feeling, the early honeymoon period when still in the first throes of love for a new yarn, when you just have to stroke it once in a while.....

Thank you so much Heather, this was such a lovely surprise, you quite made my day.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

And the winner is.....

Kim. If you can please email me your address I will get your prize in the post. Thank you to everyone who left a comment, it is so nice to hear from you all.

In spite of my pledge to post more often I find a week as gone by already without posting. In my defence it has been a busy week, the Easter weather has been just incredible and our weekend visitors smugly congratulated themselves on the weather as it seems they are always lucky when they come to visit.

Life here has been centred around outdoors to make the most of this perfect Spring weather but I have managed a little sewing and knitting too and have managed to finish off a couple of things this week, photo session soon!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

School Holidays Again

Thank you all for your lovely comments on Sunday's post and it was so lovely to hear from some of you who haven't posted before. You still have until tomorrow if you wish to enter the draw.

The Easter break is upon us already and Day 2 sees the briefly controlled laundry raging out of control once more. Yesterday was a day filled with beautiful spring sunshine and the children spent all day outdoors, isn't it great when messy things like painting can be taken outside? I even took my seaming outside (yes, that's right, still seaming, keep managing to be distracted by other things....). Today is not so good but at least it isn't raining.

The image at the beginning of the post is my current project, the silk shrug from Erika Knight's Classic Knits. I am using Debbie Bliss Silk dk and a really strange colour choice for me, it is a sort of silvery shade but I like it, not sure what on earth I will wear it with, perhaps I will have to buy something.... I do like the colour though and while reading trashy magazines at the hairdressers (actually my main reason for going to the hairdressers is to read all the magazines that I am normally to embarassed to buy, having my roots done is just a pleasant bonus), I was pleased to see that metallic shades are the thing to wear this summer so my cardigan should be the height of fashion if not its wearer.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Good Grief, fallen off the blog again! It seems so easy to get out of the habit of something. I realised this week that I have missed my first blog anniversary and it also struck me that as I have been blogging less these last couple of months I have been taking less photographs too. I have really enjoyed blogging for the last year, I like the way it makes me look at the world around me, considering posts and photographs. It seems the blog takes on a life of its own, I began thinking that for me it would be about the writing but actually the writing has been very secondary to the crafting. This little community of crafters has given me the confidence to try so many new things, my sewing machine has received a reprieve from its dark cupboard and now spends most days ready and waiting on the dining room table.

To mark my Bloggiversary I offer a prize draw. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will put all the names in a hat of Wednesday, the first name drawn will receive a brooch like the one in the picture above. I know it is a little corny but I just love when other people do this and I really appreciate that people take the time to comment, it is part of what makes this community so lovely.

I have decided to make a pledge to post more often, for the next month anyway, to see how it goes. It is said that it takes 30 days to form a habit so a month should be enough to get me back into the swing. I continue to be frustrated by blogger's shortcomings in the comment side of things. It is so much easier to reply when I can just click the link provided in the email and such a shame when blogger does not supply any contact information at all. I know I should stop moaning about this and just move elsewhere but I just want to say that if anyone has asked a specific question and not heard from me then please email me directly and I will endeavour to respond. Of course more frequent posting will mean that not all posts will be craft related and I do hope this will not put you off reading!

Now for today I am off to seam, seam and seam. The sun is shining, a perfect Spring day and I think I will take my work basket to the garden. No roast to cook today, we have been invited to friends for dinner. There is bread rising in the kitchen, the laundry is under control, a Power Ranger and a Super Fairy are taking care of things in the garden and The Technical Advisor is spending the day hanging on the end of the telephone/web trying to buy Glastonbury tickets.