Monday, 24 December 2012

Listen, the Snow is Falling

In the 1970s, when Christmas decorations tended to consist of paper chains and lanterns made of tissue honeycombs that would decompose in the loft before they were needed again, my sister and I started making paper snowflakes to stick on the windows. 

She was pretty nifty with the scissors, so hers were delicate with intricate shapes. I was a few years younger and not yet fully in charge of my hands, and my efforts were more like squashed snowballs with a few holes poked through. The memory of us sitting together, concentrating with scissors and covering the floor with little flecks of paper still cheers me.

Now we are in our forties, still making snowflakes.  There were none for several years when our respective paths wandered onto separate maps. But now, every year she sends me new ones to hang up at Christmas. I still have a quite a few from previous years.

This year I was organised enough to make and send some to her while she has a year off from the scissors and paper. It was a nice thing to do whilst watching the telly, although you need a bag on your lap to catch the confetti.

I also made some for our house. This is the sum total of my scissor-work this month:

This one got a bit mangled after being left on the sofa

Far right: one of my sister's snowflakes

These, along with some lights in the birch tree in the garden, are all we have in the way of Christmas decorations. It's our first Christmas as a smaller family; one of us is missing so it will be a quiet, reflective time. 

Little Creature is so excited about Santa; he and Mr K sent a letter up the chimney and received a confirmation text from an elf administrator at Santa's HQ. Things have changed a bit since we used to write our Christmas letters. 
From Burdastyle July 2012

December is hurtling by and I haven't even traced the pattern for this month's project.  I will be doing a short sleeve blouse pattern from Burdastyle using some printed lawn from stash. It looks easy enough; I think tracing the pattern will be the most time consuming part of the project as it's from the magazine (lots of different pattern pieces overprinted on one sheet).  Not very festive but there's not much fabric and this will come in handy at some point next year.

I've got under a week to do this to complete my year-long challenge....

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Almost Blue

My recent burst of creativity and motivation has collided with an unavoidable round of winter virus bingo, which has meant there have been lots of creative thoughts but not so much in the way of actually making stuff. 

Luckily, I finished the nomad jacket just before the latest virus cranked up to full power. Less fortunately, I misjudged placing the buttonhole (which I wrote into the pattern last time round) and it needed to be a couple of rows higher and closer to the edge by a couple of stitches. Ordinarily this wouldn't seem like much of a big deal; it was only 7 rows to rip back and re-do. It took a few evenings to sort it out and it really could have been done in one. 

A few days in the head-clearing spaciousness of Keswick have helped; not enough energy for big walks but we went for a wander along the lakeside and enjoyed the winter sun. 


The dress I wrote about last month has been deferred into next year - too much to do in December without tracing pattern pieces and making toiles etc. I did buy a linen/cotton blend fabric although I'm not so sure about the colour. I bought it online and it looked much bluer on my screen; it's really more of a lilac. (I also bought some habotai silk to line it as it worked out only slightly more expensive than buying an acetate lining). This is only the latest online purchasing mishap. Previous cock-ups this year included ordering a miniscule hat, and fabric that was too light weight for a skirt. The lightweight fabric will get used for something, not so sure about the hat though.

l-r: purple corduroy, printed lawn, habotai, linen/cotton 
So instead of the dress, I might be making a quick and easy skirt using some stash fabric that Kath gave me (purple corduroy, far left) and a previously tested Burda skirt pattern. Or I might make something from the December issue of Burdastyle which has some interesting patterns. It's the first issue I've bought where I'm not sure what to make first. As ever, there's some weird stuff in there too:

Burdastyle weirdness

Next year I'm hoping to use up some stash fabric and work from patterns I have already. That includes a pile of Burdastyle magazines that I haven't tried yet. Each one has at least one worthwhile pattern in. Unfortunately, during the time I took out my subscription there were some monstrosities in there. This Krystle Carrington biker jacket on the right here is an aberration in an otherwise excellent issue.  

The picture below is of the completed nomad jacket. This is the second one I've made, but this time using yarn closer in gauge to the recommended yarn. The colour scheme is a bit 1980s but I'm happy with the fit. I'm pleased to report it looks better on me than it does on my trusty dummy Maria. I'll try and replace this fuzzy pic with a clearer, human one soon.

Nomad Jacket