Monday, August 22

Ravellenic medals

Not a great haul this time around, I keep having to drag my mind away from dressmaking and towards knitting. The verdict on the carpal tunnel was "it's too mild, we won't operate, try wearing the splint at night for at least 8 weeks". So no handicrafts to be done, unless I can figure out a way of handknitting or crocheting in a different manner. Sigh.







And one that Selvedge kindly designed for the machine knitters:


Sunday, August 21

Ravellenics dash and more sewing

Picture 003
Socks for a friend after knee surgery

Picture 008
A not very good hat for charity

Picture 010
A blanket - bit of a weird shape, but used up a few yarn ends from stash.

Picture 002

Picture 007
Some Lutterloh shorts - very pleased with them, although the waistband could have been better (it was a squeeze to get the shorts out of the fabric I had available). Good enough for schlepping around the house, anyway. Of course, it's hardly stopped raining since I finished them. Oh the irony.

Started cutting out for another dress yesterday - New look 6371 - and was lazy and didn't do a FBA on the bodice. We'll see what happens.

Current mood: tired

Monday, August 15


The UK is busy having one of its usual mediocre summers - overcast, no breeze, no sunshine, but muggy. As most houses don't have air-con over here - with such poor summers, what would be the point? - it makes for sticky times when one is crafting (or attempting to craft).

Saturday was spent running various errands - the car needs a pair of new tyres and decided to start demanding an oil change on Saturday, both of which are booked in for this week, the food shop had to be done, sandwiches bought and delivered to himself etc etc. Sunday I decided to revisit the Dream Week challenge item, the first attempt of which was almost completely hanging off the machine (it's now circling dangerously around the circular file). Made a start on a simpler garment, which had similar problems. The challenge yarn is a pretty boucle which hangs up on the gatepegs every. single. time. it is used. So anyone knitting this with a gatepegged machine (about 90% of us I guess) is going to be tearing their hair out.

Whilst I was pondering said challenging item, I thought I'd quickly rewind the Knitpicks sock yarns and make a few pairs on the CSM. Ha, folly! The yarn is nice enough but it's quite soft, and pulling the centre out of the ball resulted in three of them making such tangles of yarn vomit it took me the best part of the day to calm down enough to detangle them (and two I ended up snapping the yarn out of sheer frustration). Soft yarns produce fluff when various strands rub against each other - a student of mine called them "flufflinks" which works rather well I think. I am thinking of writing an article explaining about how I make my CSM socks, and the biggest time suck can actually be the yarn preparation itself. If I could locate lovely space dyed yarn on cone, in the correct 80-20 wool-nylon, I would do. Alas, Texere went pop, taking Jura with it (and that was a single colour anyway) so I must needs rewind balls of yarn into cakes before I can even start a sock. So it's never a case of 3 hours for a pair of socks, however effortless the fast bits (ankle and foot) might at first appear.

I managed to get them all rewound eventually, and in between I made a stripey pair of socks which I've completely forgotten to photograph. So much for the sock marathon I had planned though - by the time I'd grafted both toes it was pretty much tea time and I was all out of patience. I've ironing to do tonight, and we'll see if the current DW is going to be big enough or whether another piece needs to be knitted. My money's on the latter, alas.

Current mood: moody

Thursday, August 11


No craft, not even of any kind, to report folks, hence the radio silence. The Cog and I took our weary selves to Lake Como in Italy for a week, with a boat trip to Bellagio, a drive to Lecco and Locarno, a train trip to Milan on the only day it rained (and Milan was not very interesting, although perhaps with a map and/or a decent GPS signal we'd've done better). Lots of good food, sunny weather, excellent conversation, walking, reading, good coffee. Shock to the system to come home from temps in the low 30s to the high teens back in the UK (and as we flew home Monday, straight back to work, too!). Hotel was fine, only 5 mins walk into town and an excellent buffet breakfast featuring 5 different kinds of cake every day (amongst other things). Only thing I missed out on was taking a dip somewhere. Maybe if we go again we'll try and rent a villa with a pool.



I'm not going to bore anyone with more holiday snaps, the rest are here if you are curious. Now I'm back I need to knit a secret item for the upcoming dream week with a challenging boucle yarn, and try and find time (and mojo) to knit something for the ongoing Ravellenic games. The naughty child in me wants to sew some shorts, even though the holiday they were intended for has already passed. There's no accounting for children, eh?! :)

Current mood: enthralled

Sunday, July 31

Tony Bennett swatches / Fibre East

Belatedly posting these samples from a few weeks ago because I never got around to taking pictures at the time.

Picture 064
Flat seaming

Picture 061

Picture 062
"Windows" technique, and drat it if I can remember how he did this right now - it was hand-manipulated anyway...

Picture 065
A bit of partial knitting, with a doubled cast on and cast off edge which would look better if I hadn't changed the yarn.

Picture 055

Picture 056

Fibre East - another case of, took my camera and even hooked it into my belt and STILL I only thought to take pictures of the Guild stand, rather late in the day, and nothing else. Oh well. Heather did a fantastic job coordinating everything to put the display together, and the eagle-eyed blog readers amongst you might even spot two of my garments. I only did the saturday and the weather stayed kind - as the carpal tunnel is still hanging on I refrained from buying any yarn although I did pet plenty. I bought a cute little woven shrug (think Saori weaving) for wearing on cool evenings, and a needle threader because despite not wanting to admit it, I do need reading glasses to thread my sewing machine needle. As luck would have it, we were in one of the first buildings you come to when you enter the school, so we were very busy in the morning before people tired themselves out with all the yarny loveliness! :) So it was very busy in the morning, and calmed down after lunch. I'm not sure we signed up any new members BUT we demonstrated the machine to lots of people who'd never seen one in action, so that has to be worth something.

Anyway, it's almost August! Yikes! I must a-bed! :)

A Lutterloh toile

Thought I'd better make a toile of some shorts I'm planning on sewing, as I don't have a lot of the planned material (and it was the end of a roll). I was expecting to have to add more fabric to the back and take from the front, my side trousers seams tend to skew because of the way I stand, but these fit really well! No zip and no waistband, and I'll probably make them a bit longer if I can squeeze it out of the fabric, because I was hoping to make more of a Bermuda short - I only seem to be able to get short-shorts for women this year, and even that's getting tricky now as the autumn clothing is now appearing in all the shops.

Picture 057

Picture 059

No, I'm not pregnant, it's just a very weird camera angle to try and get my legs in the shot, and yes I do have a little middle-aged spread, although in my head I'm stuck at about 28 :) I really do need to clean that mirror, too! Feh...

If anyone has the Lutterloh system, these are pattern no 3 on the leaflet that comes in the front of the book. They have back darts, four front pleats (my first!) and turned up leg cuffs.

Current mood: energetic and excited - which is great, but it's late here and I really ought to be sleeping! :S

Tuesday, July 26

The black mix grigna skirt: a better photo


It's a little sheer, so I need to dig out or obtain a black slip to wear under it I think. Very pleased with it though! First time I've had chance to wear it as it's been too muggy lately to consider anything as warm as opaque tights!

Apologies for the ugly background but it's got the biggest mirror I know! :)

Current mood: hot

Monday, July 25

Busy weekend

Well, I thought I'd better do something with the two half-hour shawls, and a poncho/shawl wasn't really doing it for me, so with the help of the sewing machine, I turned them into another skirt:


After a very hot nordic walk last week, I decided I needed a water bottle carrier of some sort - I made this one, but without the wadding:


And using up some leftover fabric made another shopping bag:


I've dabbled in a bit of handknitting lately, and the carpal tunnel seems to have cleared up a bit, so I've started the heel on the cable socks I started in March. I'm still plugging away at the cross-stitch, but keep making mistakes, I only hope I'm going to have enough thread to take the wastage from the mistakes into account!

Yesterday I drafted a shorts pattern from Lutterloh, hoping to make a toile this week of them. I've not had great results with trousers before, I think it can be quite tricky fitting them.

Current mood: happy