Friday, 29 June 2012

Everything in Its Right Place

A month sounds like a long time in which to make a garment. I haven't exactly chosen anything complicated to make so far but quite often, by the time I've done all my chores and the Little Creature is in bed, I can't be bothered to kneel on a bony floor and trace patterns, or - most dreaded sewing chore of all - cut out fabric.

The other evening I could have got cracking with my next project. Mr K suggested we watch Star Trek instead and leave sewing for another day. "You can make me a tabard," he said blithely. "It'll only take an hour." Star Trek won on that occasion, but be careful what you wish for, Mr K...

I also missed an evening of sewing time by going to the pictures to see Prometheus. Despite all the fantastic effects and super technology of the future (instant carbon dating on unknown planets for example, or a Photo-Me booth that performs surgery), Mr K spotted a serious flaw of the future - poor quality luggage. If you'd travelled across space to collect a valuable artefact, you'd likely have a special kind of case for it - perhaps one that floats or has lights or something. Or has a strap. They forgot to pack such a thing on the Prometheus. Next, you have to transport the head of an android containing life changing information on man's creators to your spaceship. Would you be using some old bag with a dodgy zip that would show you up at the launderette..? I suppose even in the future people will be grappling with the futility of bad design.  

In a blatant act of procrastination poorly excused as an effort to get more sewing and knitting done, I have been tidying up my sewing room. Somewhere in this room there is a dead slug. It left a silvery pattern on the rug last month but I never tracked it down. If I push on with this project-dodging tidying up I expect I'll find it under a pile of papers or stuck to a pattern piece. If I cleared out all the boxes of yarn, fabric and ephemera from under the bed I'd probably find it fairly quickly, but this is exactly the task that will push me back to my sewing project. The slug can wait.

Mr K gave me these old crates for storing my knitting patterns and sewing books which has made the room appear instantly tidier:

New purpose for old crates found in the shed
Well after a delayed start, I decided to make the Vogue 2011 long sleeve top next - thought I'd better tackle my fear of the overlocker with a nice easy project. It's turned out to be a good choice as it's a quick make and I was able to use the overlocker for most of the project. I followed the pattern instructions fairly closely but they don't account for overlocking. I'm not so pleased with the armholes but I'm not sure how much I can do to resolve that on this garment. If I make it again I will need to adjust the pattern to take account of my narrow shoulders. It might be worth resetting in the sleeves to see if I can ease the puckering in the upper third of the armhole.

June top and April skirt
There was some faffing about with the machine to get a 3-stitch overlock set up, a little slower than setting up a sewing machine as there are more things to thread and it's a bit fiddly. But the results were pleasing, and quick too. I think I need a bit more practice to get more control with the foot pedal - at the moment it's either warp factor 8 or nothing. (Using my sewing machine after that feels tediously slow). I used woolly nylon in the loopers for the first time for this project and I'm quite happy with the results; it's got a nice stretch and soft feel.

Overall, I think I chose the right size and made a reasonable fabric choice for this project. (The fabric's a little clingy for my liking but it does feel very comfortable). It's been a good opportunity to make friends with my overlocker. Now I have a better understanding of setting it up for different requirements.
I like the cap sleeve version

Next up is a dress for Kath's wedding in October. Better start thinking about it now so I can get some fabric and start sewing! I've got this Butterick one as a possibility but am still looking, perhaps I should go for something more Autumnal like a wool blend suit.

There's a very nice version of this dress here.

So for July, I'd better get on with the delayed Vogue trousers. I've got the fabric and the toile (but not altered yet). Got some baby knitting on the go too.

Still haven't found the slug.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


In the mornings, the sea reflects its restless patterns on the ceiling above our bed. High tide or low, the sound is constant and soothing, even when the sea is rough. The high tide rolls in within metres of our front door, although there's a six foot climb down a ladder to the rocks and the sea. This place feels safe and cosy. It's ours for the week...  

On the first night we heard seals singing in the bay. Earlier we had seen them lolling about on rocks further out as Mr K and I clambered over the beach (rocks, no sand) discovering assorted debris dragged in by the sea - medical waste, battered old diesel cans, nylon rope, golfballs etc. 

Along from the harbour, a fisherman opened a bucket for Little Creature to see crabs, big as dinner plates. LC eyed them warily from a safe distance.

We've had a few warm sunny days, a couple of dreich ones, and a full-on wet day when we decided to walk the coastal path to the nearest town. We found out along the way that our jackets are no longer waterproof and my walking boots leak quite badly now. I'm not sure a weatherproof jacket is something I'm capable of making to any decent standard. I'll have to make do with the one I have and hope for dry weather.

Knowing I'd be away for a week this month, I stuck with the portable knitting project. Other than a documentary on tv that my sister had recommended, we (Mr K, Little Creature, Granny, and I) didn't bother with radio, telly, newspapers or internet. I wrote the start of this post in my knitting notebook. We're home now; it was nice to just be in a restful place in good company. 

So the Nomad jacket was finished a few days into June. Had a bit of a delay by leaving behind the needles for the front borders and yoke, but managed to pick up another pair in Berwick plus some unnecessary merino dk to add to my yarn stash. Here's the finished garment, I'll try and get Mr K to take a better pic but for now:

I suspect this may end up as a gardening jacket
I think it looks a bit dumpy. The yarn I used knitted up a wee bit wider than the one recommended for this pattern. I'd probably do this again but with a different yarn. The text was straightforward; I do like Sirdar patterns for layout and clarity.

The pick ups were slow going. It took a fair bit of poking about with the needle to make the stitches, the knitted up yarn is so dense. I also discovered in the text that the jacket is fastened with poppers and the button is purely ornamental. Sod that, I paid £2.50 for one button, it's going to get used! So I made a buttonhole. 

Swirly resin button

I suppose I should get round to making the trousers now. I also threatened to make a long sleeve overlocked top last month which of course didn't get further than my tracing the pattern. I have fabric ready for both garments. I also need to think about what to make for Kath's wedding in October. Maybe that can be my project for July.