April 1, 2013

Easter Monday top and some other stuff

I hope everyone’s enjoying the long weekend! I’m sitting out in my shorts and flip flops with a coffee and my knitting, squeezing every last drop out of the sun! Next week I go back to cycling in 5°C weather.

Here’s what I’ve been working on this week. First up, some crochet doilies.

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I find the whole Japanese zakka ideal very inspiring. When I saw the new Debbie Bliss book for home in This is Knit, I knew what I wanted to bring with me on holidays. I have a lot of crochet motif resources myself so I spent some time perusing and settled on this design from a Japanese magazine. Lisa and Eimear helped me pick out the colors.

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The yarn is a Rico Essentials cotton and I used a 3mm hook. These turned out a really nice size so I can use them as coasters, tea pot mat, that kind of thing. They were really easy to pick up and I could complete one in less than an hour.

My main project has been this.

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I didn’t like how the Pomegranate sweater was going. The lace chart, though beautiful, was to fiddly to follow without total concentration. I realised after putting it down to consider my progress that, really, all I wanted was a plain sweater in this colour. I immediately cast on for a top down raglan à la Barbara Walker. I’m at the waist now.

And the sewing FO for today is the Madeleine blouse from Deer and Doe.

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I’ve had the pattern for ages and have been dying to try it out. It’s perfect for light fabrics – I used a cotton voile from Hickey’s. I made some modifications. For a start, I cut out at least 2 sizes smaller than the recommended size after checking out the finished measurements. This was a good idea!

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There are a lot of gathers. I did the ones at the shoulders but did pleats instead at the cuffs. You might notice, too, that I didn’t do the collar like in the pattern. I thought it would be too fussy for what I wanted. I also didn’t have interfacing light enough for my material so I just left it. I used my bias tape maker to great effect and made enough binding for the neckline and the little bow. I didn’t have quite enough to tie the bow so I just sewed it in place by hand.

Paired here with my denim shorts from last summer, it’s a nice outfit for the weather today.

Home tomorrow! I’ll bring as much sun as I can…

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October 3, 2012

Autumn pursuits

Filed under:Crochet,Finished Objects,Hats,Mittens,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 13:37

It’s been unseasonably cool here recently. There’s nothing better to kick-start one’s knitting.

Mittens for Alb.

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New hat for Alb.

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Wool for a new jumper…for Alb.

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Someone’s been putting on the squeeze. Wool for the above projects was leftovers from his last jumper, knit from Drops Karisma. It’s a superwash and I can testify that it is perfect for anything a guy can throw at knitting: food, drink, beer, repeated snagging on door handles, countless machine washes. It’s trojan. He has requested another exactly the same.

As satisfying as it is to keep my guy warm, man knitting can only sustain me for so long.

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It’s a small motif for a lace collar. There are five of these, surrounded by four larger motifs. Like the last lace project, I downloaded this from a Japanese website which was a project in itself. It is sooo pretty, I’m really enjoying it. My next task is to figure out how I can wear it…

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September 22, 2012

The little things

Filed under:Baking,Crochet,Sewing,Stash Down,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 21:23

Learned shuttle tatting at the marvellous HandmAid event today. Still getting the hang of it but that’s not stopping me from dreaming of fancy collars for future blouses…

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After my first full week of teaching and meeting over thirty new students, I treated myself to a Lolly & Cooks gluten free cupcake.

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Sewed the sleeves and sewed the lining into my linen Passport Jacket. Only hemming left and delighted with the fit.

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Big plans afoot for Autumn with lots of swatching and cutting. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

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June 4, 2012

A few random FOs

Filed under:Crochet,Finished Objects,Lace,Market,News!,Sewing,Stash Down — Aileen @ 14:47

I finished my lacy scarf. Here it is in its blocked glory.

I used a 1.5mm hook and DMC Petra 8 cotton from here. A few things: 1. The little metal cap that goes on my hook? That doesn’t get old. I was really careful to put it into my project bag every time I took it off and miraculously, we survived the project intact. 2. The yarn blocks out wonderfully. It’s almost like silk, it’s so shiny and soft. I don’t think I even used half the ball so that’s pretty good bang for my buck right there. 3. This is Knit’s online service is a thing of beauty. They recently revamped their site and it’s great. I ordered my yarn and hook and they were posted the same day, so I had them the following morning. It’s not quite instant gratification but it’s about as close as you’re going to get by post.

The last time I was in Galway, I picked up some fresh, loose lavender from the market stall that sells olives. Olives are one of the few things I dislike to eat. I’ve given them a fair try, too, eating them fresh in Greece, Italy and Argentina. Yuck. But fresh lavender? Swoon! They gave me a bag and I took what I wanted. It didn’t seem such an enterprising system on their part because, charging by weight, they basically charged me for a bag of air – I got a big bag of it for €2. I have a big wad of scraps so I cut up some squares and made these. Lavender sachets.

I spent a little while yesterday making them up. Very easy. If you have a lavender bush at home, this is an easy project for the summer. I have about a third of my lavender left over so I will make a few more, I think.

Last but not least, here’s a modelled shot of my Wiksten tank.

Fabric: Quilting cotton from Pippa Blue. I bought 1.5m but only needed a little over 1m.

We’ve had some warm weather recently so I have been wearing it a lot with my denim shorts. It is extremely comfortable!

Today was the day I finally got around to taking modelled shots of what I’ve been making lately. I have a lot of projects to share this week!

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May 18, 2012

Hook, line and… scarf

Filed under:Crochet,News! — Aileen @ 11:29

I started it last night and I haven’t been able to put it down.

When I got the yarn – the DMC Perla ‘8’ I was telling you about – I thought, oh no, it’s like thread. Don’t get me wrong, I was expecting it but it still seemed awfully thin. And the hook? Practically invisible.

But once I got going, each of those teeny-tiny chains built up so quickly that I had to keep going. When you see it worked up, the yarn doesn’t even seem so thin anymore. Speaking of the yarn, it’s the exact same consistency as the Perla ‘3’ even though it’s thinner. It has the same subtle sheen but isn’t slippery. The next favouritest* thing about this project is the hook.

The really tiny Clover soft touch hooks come with a metal hood to pop on when it’s not in use so that it doesn’t tear up all and sundry in your project bag. Very cool.

*In the job I started in February, I inherited a class of young kids, between 6-8, who regularly rank their ‘favouritest’ things for me. This is usually part of their ‘can I tell you something’ section of the lesson. Yesterday, I debated with a 6 year old girl why the semibreve was her favourite note. I said, what about the dotted minim, with her beauty spot and three beats? (We had just learned about it) She said, well, she’s my next favouritest. Cute, but doesn’t come close to a normally taciturn 7 year old boy I have who, a few weeks ago, suddenly felt compelled to tell me about how they have an electric keyboard that lights up when you play it and then the cat got sick and then it threw up on the keyboard and now it doesn’t light up anymore and it smells funny.

Have a great weekend!

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