Sunday, January 21, 2018

Stashbusting Hetty ( or my Christmas Cast on)

So once I have wrapped all the presents, waited for Father Christmas , fed the family and cleared up my Christmas Tradition for the last nine years has been to cast on a sweater or cardigan for myself. 

Now they haven't always been completed , several have hit the frog pond but this years is a delight!

I am trying very hard to cull both my fabric and yarn stashes as both are rather large, mainly with oddments, but large none the less!

This lovely yellow was left on a cone from a tunic dress that I made back in 2011 it wasn't entirely flattering and I think I ended up giving it away. Anyway there wasn't much yarn left, about 350g , so when I went stash diving I thought it would be great for Hetty.

I have now made Hetty twice, the first version didn't get blogged about or any photos either really, again it was left over yarn and I have worn it lots! This one is even better.

Oh how I love this little cardigan! Because I knew I had a little more yarn than the last time I lengthened both the sleeves and the body and it feels like it is a very flattering shape. I have to confess the decreases on the sleeves are a bit odd as I misread the pattern and kind of made them up , but they seem to work ok.  I love the colour it is just so sunny and joyful and  I finished it with about 50g left over which I plan to use in something else.

 When I cast off I didn't really think it could get much better then I found these cute little wooden heart buttons. Completely adorable!

So that is my first cardigan of the year and with the exception of the buttons it was all from stash.I am working on my other wip and I have been stash diving for February's cast on. I am looking forward to starting although I already know I will probably have to buy a bit of yarn for that.

Till next time


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sunny Dress/Tunic

Evening all,as you probably read I am taking part in the instagram challenge of #Sewmystyle2018 and January's pattern  was the Sunny dress/Top it is a very basic Jersey Dress pattern from the Friday Pattern Company. It  is really a summer type dress or top and I would have to say with the shaped hem neither version are really my style but I figured as it was the first of the 12 patterns I would give it a go.  I am trying to work some of this challenge from stash. This one is  some wool jersey that I got given when I met up with the #sixdodewsbury a group of six   lovely ladies that I met at Sew up North. I made the medium for this version which was pretty much exactly my measurement and then added a neckband as I felt without it , the neckline would be very low.

I think it turned out OK and I have had some compliments for it. I think it would probably make quite a good layering piece as it is quite warm over leggings and boots .... but I just don't love it!
I think the sleeves are the wrong length and too wide and because of that  honestly don't know how much wear it will get.

Anyway not to be beaten I decided to go to the Monday market and some lovely red velour caught my eye.  I needed something to wear to a presentation evening  and I decided  a red  party dress was just what I needed. This time I lengthened it and got rid of the curved hem. I went down a size so it is very clingy and I extended the sleeves to wrist length.

I think I could of probably taken more off the width of the sleeve and as the photos prove I should of probably made them three quarter length as without fail I end up pushing them up! I am quite pleased with this version. It is comfy and easy to wear which is my favourite type of clothing. So there you go two very different dresses from one very basic pattern. Which is your favourite? Did you make one? I would love to see!

Till next time


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Morris Blazer -Grainline Studio

Morning all, this post has been sat for about 2 weeks as the Sunny North is not that sunny and getting any type of pictures has proved to be a nightmare! Anyway I braved the elements and my nosey neighbours and got you some!

However I did manage to get lots done in the last week of my holiday, although it didn't go quite as planned  , I came down with the Lurgy. I did a bit on my Christmas Cast on, cut out my Sunny Dress( from stash) for my January entry to #sewmystyle  and made another Morris Blazer by Grainline Studios for  my #2018makenine so I would have to say I'm pleased with what I have accomplished!
So onto the Morris Blazer, the first one I made out of a lovely warm jersey that I bought on a whim from Fabworks a few months back. I cut it out and using the over-locker whipped it up in an evening.

It ticked a box on my #2017makenine ( you might have seen it in my round up). It is warm, snuggly and more like a cardigan than a Blazer and I am hoping it will be perfect when I get back to work and I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of it as I just love it.

This version, I went all out with ( no over locking here!) The fabric was bought a few months ago again at Fabworks. Such a brilliant shop! It is a double-sided wool and had this great stripe which I loved.
When I got the fabric out on Tuesday I was disappointed as I hadn't realised that the stripe was only on one selvage and I didn't have enough to use it as I was going to play Tetris with the pattern pieces. However the quality of fabric more than makes up for it!

I decided as the jacket was was without a lining it would be perfect to try out Hong Kong seams. What can I say? I just love this finishing technique - OK it takes a lot of time and a lot of bias binding ( I think I used about 10m) but it looks so stylish!

This jacket is more fitted than the Jersey version as I used larger seam allowances , this makes this version a more Spring or Autumn piece but I do think it  looks great with a little Ogden Cami underneath and Jeans ( maybe I need to add some of those to this years makes)

Anyway till next time.
Arianwen x

Monday, January 01, 2018

Oh boy, 2018, do I have plans for you!

Hello Happy New Year!

Can you believe how fast 2017 skidded by? Me neither and I can't think that 2018 will be any slower especially all of the stitchy plans that I want to fit in!

My main focus is going to be downsizing my stashes of both yarn and fabric although I do know that there will be one big fabric purchase in February but I will get onto that in a minute.

So in order to keep me focused and using both fabric and yarn I already own I have signed up for three different challenges.

The first is a knitting one on Ravelry IntSweMoDo2018 I have taken part in the past but the last few years I haven't really bothered. The idea is that you knit 12 adult size sweaters. Mine are going to be from stash. I already have two started ( which do count) my Christmas cast on and a cardigan I cast on way back in Easter I think last year. I haven't married yarn to patterns yet but my stash and ravelry queue are both enormous so I don't think I will have too much trouble!

The next is going to be the #2018makenine on instagram again I am going to try and work from stash and from patterns I own. With one exception!

So from top left

Belledone dress  Dear and Doe I got this pattern and fabric for my birthday last year

Rosari skirt  Pauline Alice

Datura Blouse Dear and Doe

Hampton Jean Jacket  Alina Design Company

Rumana Coat By Hand London

Nita Wrap Skirt Sew Diy

Moneta Dress Collette Patterns

Boylston Bra Orange Lingerie

Morris Blazer Grainline Studios

My final New Year Challenge is the #SewMyStyle  this has been running for a couple of years but it is my first time getting involved is one that I am not going to be too precious about as some of the patterns probably aren't anything either me or the girls would wear and also the idea of unseen patterns kind of fills me with fear. So it is one that I may well dip in and out of. However I do plan on making a Sunny top. The Rumana coat ( one of my make nine). The Marigold Jumpsuit and the Tote Bag. The Lingerie is one of the unseen patterns and I keep buying knicker patterns and not making them, I may just use a pattern that I have.

As you might of guessed the Rumana is my investment piece. I haven't made a coat before mainly because I own quite a lot of  different ones already and don't really need another. However I have fallen in love with this coat as I think it is pretty much the ultimate coat shape and I would probably c wack it on my  card if I saw it to buy in any shop regardless of the colour. For my own version I am thinking probably black or grey with amazing lining but I have a month of planning on this so I guess it is watch this space!
So those are my plans! I would love to know yours. Are you joining in the same challenges as me ? Or are there others that I should know about? Or are you just going to make as the spirit takes you? Let me know!
Wishing you all a wonderful, happy and peaceful New Year
A x

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 - Gosh I made a lot of stuff!

 I hope you  have all had a wonderful and restful few days off. I know I have!  Recently I purchased a bullet journal and although I am not going to show you my scribbles, I will say that I am really getting into the planning! This year although I have made a lot of stuff much of it is undocumented. Either here or on instagram ( in some cases I haven't even got photos) which in hindsight I am a little sad about.
Anyway I though I would do a bit of a round up of my makes as best I can and hopefully start a fresh in the new year.

So my #2017makenine overall I was pretty pleased with how this worked out. I have made 7 of 9. My Anna and Cleo dresses have been the best makes as I have made both multiple times and I have worn them all lots! The funny thing about the Anna dress is that I have had it literally years but just never got around to it. The others I have made only once, but with the exception of the Heather dress I will probably make them again. My little Morris blazer was made on Friday night so fairly close to the wire but it  was a quick make and if I hadn't had to put the sewing machine away I would probably have made another straight away.

The fabric was from Fabworks about 6 weeks ago and was an impulse purchase ( the lady in front of me had it in her pile and I grabbed some). It doesnt really show in the photo what a gorgeous combination of green and blue it is, but you can tell that it is a great pattern and looks good with jeans. I am hoping it will look equally good dressed up.

Then there have been all of the other things that have been made. I joined in two sewing challenges on Instagram. One was a to make a shirt dress and I made the little red one above. McCalls m6696 a very popular pattern in the sewing community and I can see why . Good instructions, and pieces that fit together very well. I would definitely like to make this again. 

The other was sleevefest you had to design a sleeve for a garment. I really enjoyed this and spent a lot of time looking at tattoos. The dress which it is in the picture above made the finals at which point I promptly took it apart again as I plan on doing more embroidery on it.

Probably my favourite make of the year has got to be Oriana's prom dress. We planned it and made it together. It fit her like a glove and she loved wearing it especially as it was completely unique for her.
My most used patterns of the year have been the SOI pussy bow blouse and the SOI ultimate pencil skirt. The skirt pattern has been used 6 times. 3 for me and 3 for Elenya . I have made the blouse 4 times, once for me and three times for Elenya. They are the perfect work wear combination. Although my skirts and blouse are too wild to put year I must make some plain stuff!

Knitting wise I have been quite slow. I finished the socks for mum's christmas present and I managed to complete my Agatha Cardigan Andi Satterlund that I cast on last christmas but that has been about it. I have cast Hetty by Andi Satterlund on Christmas day( can you see a recurring theme)  so hopefully should be able to share a finished garment with you in the next week or two.

Anyway that is my round up wishing you a wonderful new year.

A x

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Well hello Dolly!

Afternoon all,

So today I really want  to talk about the unloved projects. You know the ones that you rushed out and got all the materials for, started with such enthusiasm and left in the drawer. Am I the only one who has these ? Surely not!

Anyway I have been trying to declutter over the last couple of months and it seems it is not just me that has a few of these projects ,but the kids did too and were keen to chuck them all out! Well  I couldn't let yarn go in the bin without first having a rummage . It is true what they say one person's rummage is another's treasure.

Some of them I couldn’t work out what they were supposed to be and those went into the local pet charity but two of them I kept.  A pair of striped socks and a little hand knitted doll.
The socks I am yet to find the pattern for so they might have to wait , But the doll I was in love with and I wanted to cast on straight away.

The AK Traditions doll and clothes I bought at Harrogate probably about nine years ago. At the time I was struck by her vibrant clothes and thought she would be a perfect project for a budding knitter. However the yarn is quite stiff ( with lots of knots) and on smaller needles was too tough for little hands. So the project languished, barely started.

So I frogged the few stitches and cast on. The instructions had a lot of faults, just little things stitch counts mainly,but the doll itself didn’t take much knitting,. A couple of evenings in front of the T.V she was done.

As she isn’t for a child I decided to fill her with cloves and cinnamon ( you can’t tell in the feel, because of how packed the stuffing is)She does smell very nice, rather like a pretty  potpourri!

Then it was onto the clothes. This was a little bit more problematic as I couldn’t find most of the patterns. All those lovely pictures and no patterns, very frustrating! I even emailed the company and messaged a couple of people on Ravelry to see if I could buy more. Luckily the knitting gods were smiling on me as cast off the last leg of the doll , I found the patterns yippee!

Ooh the clothes!!! There are so many amazing combinations you could be at it forever, but as I am just on a yarn using spree I just made these.

I loved making the little skirt, blouse and shoes, it kind of made me feel like I was in the  Elves and the shoemaker ( not a bad feeling this close to Christmas). I am not going to make any more clothes for her I don't think as she isn't that kind of Dolly but if ever get to make another I will definitely make more clothes  as there are so many potentials.

I am wondering if I can finish any more wips before my Christmas Cast on ....Watch this space!

Till next time


Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Saga and Success of the Good Vintage Cardigan

Afternoon all,
today I want to tell you about a project that nearly didn't happen. A good vintage cardigan by Fran Morgan. I saw pictures of the front cover of simply crochet way back in late February and instantly fell in love. As soon as I could I  rushed into town to try and get it, but it seemed everyone else had the same idea.

Unfortuantely everywhere was sold out at which point I had a senior moment and instead of looking on Ravelry I decided to download the app and buy the magazine. The app is shockingly bad and it took several attempts to download before I could actually print out a copy.

The next problem was the yarn King Cole 4ply  silver grey, which is the main colour  had been discontinued . What I predominately liked about the cardigan was the grey. Luckily I have a very good friend, Chris , who owns a Fine Yarn in Darlington and she managed to source the grey for my cardigan and for a friend who also wanted to make it and some of the other colours needed.

By mid July I had finally manged to get the rest of the colours together except the Scarlet, which I had decided to substitute for Rose as I found the scarlet too strong against the other colours.  I realised early on that even though the grey was the same dyelots the grey varied from silver grey to brown grey dependant on the ball so I striped the yarn. Everything was going really well, the pattern is easy to follow and with the exception of the sleeve heads could be done in front of the TV, then the ultimate disaster. I ran out of the grey. I only needed two grey stripes at the top of the sleeves and the button bands although I could of done other colours with them.

No where had any more! Chris hadn't got any more, the internet was drawing a blank. Luckily my friend who wanted also wanted to  make it, hadn't started hers and was willing to lend me the extra yarn that I needed. Thank you Kathy!

I am so glad that I persevered with this as I love the finished result! It is so much fun and very cheerful for grey days. It goes really well with denim which is a bonus as it is an excuse to make yet another Cleo although that might have to wait until after Christmas.

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