July 19, 2009

I got buttons! Who wants buttons!

Filed under:Finished Objects,News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 11:12

My trip to Trimmings was a success! Not only did I find buttons to match, but they also currently have a sale on fancy-schmancy quilting-type fabrics upstairs. I got a metre each of two different, very pretty, fabrics… but I will show them to you another day because they involve plans and ideas and all sorts of other things! Anyway, here’s my finished off Amelia.

I like the buttons because they are plain but bring out the blue tones in the yarn. When I get a certain photographer out of bed, you’ll see that I put buttons all the way down the front. In the pattern, there are only about five or six at the top. I don’t like that style. For a start, no matter how stylish the garment is, it makes me look pregnant. And second of all, my experience with garter stitch edging is that it tends to ruffle a lot because it spreads horizontally. I wanted to put buttons lower down on the body to help stretch out the border. I’m glad I did because it certainly does ruffle up unless I button it. Anyway, there are modelled shots to come.

I’ve been pushing to get a few things finished up here. Last night, I decided to go back to my Pioneer. It was all finished up except the ends needed weaving in and I wasn’t happy with the neckline. The scalloped edging is so pretty but it came out far too loose and floppy. I ripped it out and redid it with a 3mm hook and total disregard for the instructions. It was a total success and yes, there are modelled shots of it to come, too!

I hit the gym yesterday and on the way home, we called in by Stitch in Beaumont. They’ve been open about a year now but I’ve never made it out to visit. It’s a nice wee place with a good selection of Sirdar, Patons and Rowan. I picked up some Patons 4ply cotton for a crocheted skirt and was curious about Sirdar’s new Eco Wool. It’s 100% wool and has been produced in an ecologically friendly manner. It comes in some really yummy natural colours so I picked these two for a colourwork hat… I’m planning something along the lines of Derm’s Hat.

And speaking of all things woolly and natural and yummy, check this out! It’s a preview of Jared Flood’s new book with Classic Elite. I can’t wait!

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July 16, 2009

Soft landing

Filed under:Crafty Sites,News!,Spinning,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 13:20

I’ve been feeling pretty pooped lately, what with all my coming and going, so I took yesterday off to potter about. All the talk about Le Tour de Fleece enticed me to get my wheel out and before I knew it, I had this!

It is New Zealand alpaca (white) plied with Irish sheep (brown). I initially intended just plying the alpaca with itself but got a bit carried away spinning the singles on to one bobbin. I am very pleased that not only was I able to keep the consistency of my alpaca singles even, but I was able to spin the brown stuff to a similar consistency. The plied result is a double knit – and quite a lot of it, by the look of it!

I have had a lonesome mitten, NHM #8, waiting to be finished off and join its mate for a few months now. I started on the thumb last night. YAWN! Thumbs are irritating! At least they are small… and at least I will have a pair of mittens for Autumn once I have them done. People seem to have a funny attitude towards mittens: they are passé, old-fashioned, cumbersome. And yet whenever someone tries on a handknit mitten, they want to keep them!

I have been following mitten discussions over on Ravelry and am seriously intrigued by the mention of two books that are due for republication very soon – Magnificent Mittens and Mostly Mittens. However, the one that really tipped me over the edge is Sata Kansanomaista Kuviokudinmallia. I have no idea what it means but it is Finnish and concerns mittens. Many mittens. Many fabulous mittens. I found a knit-along blog here. It is in Finnish but the pictures are pretty!

I have also been chipping away at Branching Out using the Secondo I picked up in Mannheim last week (still no word, by the way)…

…and I couldn’t let the release of the penultimate Harry Potter film pass without some form of related knitting yesterday!

In other Harry Potter-related activities I have also started reading The Philosopher’s Stone… in German. The fact that I am able to get through it is a nice sign how much I’m getting out of my evening classes. It’s hard work, though!

Still no buttons for Amelia, unfortunately. This was mostly due to the inclement weather and the aforementioned poopedness… I never thought it could happen, but it seems there are days when you just don’t want to go buy buttons! Thankfully, today isn’t one of them. I haven’t been to Trimmings on the Quays in ages. Let’s see what I come back with!

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July 11, 2009

Playing the waiting game

Filed under:Music,News!,Stash,Travel,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 12:29

The last three weeks have been really busy. Really busy! I had an audition for a music school in Mannheim (a little south of Frankfurt) on Wednesday. So there has been a lot of practicing, rehearsals and lessons. Tuesday we flew over – I had to bring a singer with me, did the audition on Wednesday afternoon and flew back that evening. Getting there was a piece of cake: there is a train service direct from Frankfurt airport to Mannheim and the airport is really easy to navigate.

The audition went well overall. It was an odd experience, really, and I couldn’t glean any sort of reaction from the panel. But I played well and managed to get through it all without having to resort to speaking in English. Now all I have to do is play the waiting game!

I have been knitting. I started Amelia a few weeks ago. Before I knew it, it was nearly finished. All that remains is to knit the neck band and sew on some buttons. To my reckoning, it fits really nicely but I won’t know for certain until I get the buttons on.

The yarn is Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted and I love the colour! It will match light blue, cream and white – the colours all my blouses seem to be in. Speaking of yarn, I had a little time after my audition on Wednesday before catching the train back to the airport to suss out some wool. I found quite an adequate shop. They had quilting, crewelwork, embroidery, cross-stitch and knitting supplies. Unfortunately all of their embroidery patterns were of the maids-in-bonnets-chasing-geese sort… but I had a good time poking through the wool. At least a third of it was sock wool: they like their handknit socks in Germany! They also had a really good selection of high-grade merino wools in various weights and colours, so if I do end up moving there, I won’t be stuck. I came out with some Lana Grossa Secondo, 55% cotton, 25% polyamide, 20% silk…

…and some Regia Hand Dye Effect sock yarn… although to me, it is far too pretty and nicely spun to use for socks.

Plenty to keep me occupied! Hopefully I will have pictures to show of Amelia tomorrow if I find suitable buttons in town today. In the meantime, keep your fingers, toes, needles and hooks crossed for me!

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