Tuesday, November 22


Wow, didn't realise I hadn't posted anything since the 6th of November. Well, that just proves how mad life has been lately. I've been finishing up the evening dress - it's so close I can taste it, but needs some hand-sewing - hope to get to that on Thursday. I've had a custom order for three pairs of socks from my etsy shop, and am half way through knitting those. I've done the fronts and back of a sweater for someone for xmas, and need to tackle the sleeves, bands and possibly a hood (which I will have to chart myself).

The only thing I've managed to knit lately is a pair of simple fingerless gloves, which are a perfect fit to wear inside these wrist splints, which are otherwise quite uncomfortable:

I'm supposed to wear them at night because otherwise I get woken at stupid o'clock with a dead arm (as happened this morning). Yeah, I often forget to put them on. The velcro is horrible, and one morning part of my thumb went dead (took a few days for it to heal and get the sensation back). Knitted these from some acrylic at a crafting show in Peterborough. It was more crafts and less textiles but it was a good show and we had a decent sized stand for free too (and all proceeds from tickets went to the British Legion, as it was the day after Remembrance Day.

I was also asked to pick up some knitting machines from a local widower to pass onto someone who'll appreciate them, and whilst I was there he also had a vintage Singer sewing machine in pristine condition but that would not sew. It was so pretty I couldn't resist taking a photo of it:


Look at the engraving:


My mum has one of these, hers is a much earlier version though with the bullet-shaped bobbin casing. I was so tempted to keep it but I really don't have the space :) Anyway, as luck would have it I took it to Manor House machine knitting club and one of the ladies there is an expert and collector - she had it up and running in moments. I think it was threaded wrong, and I'd turned the needle around as it has to be sideways on that machine and I had it in the modern direction :) This has gone to TWAM and I'm sure its new owner will love it.

Spent a lovely day in Brum with an old friend whom I'd not seen in ages as she has been living down in London. She was far more eloquent than I about it here. We only planned it the day before on facebook - himself couldn't come to Birmingham so I'd decided not to go alone, and then Storm Angus threatened to scupper it (but the rain turned up in force yesterday, instead). So have made a bit of a start on the xmas shopping. Can't believe the year has flown so quickly, and trying to force myself into a festive mood because I think we all need a bit of cheering up at the moment! Got some copper tints to my hair so I can't leave home without them haha! :D

Thanks to Facebook I've got a primary school reunion (33 years?) to go to on Friday night, and next week it's the Cog's birthday so there are a few things planned for that too. So, busier than a busy thing, and that's just my personal life. Oh well, gotta keep on keeping on, not long 'til mulled wine and mince pie time! Yay! :D

Current mood: busybusybusy...

Sunday, November 6

FO: CSM socks and scrunchies

Made two more pairs of socks this weekend:


I love the Knitpicks Felici yarn, I just wish it was permanently available! Have to see how the Stylecraft pair (left) wash.

Got the sewing machine out and made a bunch of scrunchies from some lovely two-tone material I picked up a few months back:


In the process, learned how to join bias strips. Eventually! :)

The weather has definitely turned autumnal this weekend. I think I need to dig out some jumpers or get knitting, one or the other!

Current mood: cold

Sunday, October 30

The Big Textile Show 2016

Had a lovely time at the show yesterday - lots more yarn and fabric stands there this year (possibly because of the GBSB?). I nearly fell for several bits of fabric (Whitetree Fabrics - gorgeous!) but settled for a cleaning brush/needle holder instead (my sewing machine is missing its brush). I've promised myself I'll use some of my fabric up before I buy any more - although I have just sent lots of leftover scraps to Sheila for TWAM. We (Manor House Machine Knitters) started the Sunday by making a corkscrew scarf using a special slip stitch card and then later on just messed about with card 3. There were lots of lovely garments on two rails:


and smaller items on the table (I cannot believe how badly I've photographed this!):


I was aware all day that my camera was "on fumes" in terms of battery power, so may not have been concentrating as well as I might on framing a decent shot. Oops. We were with the lovely Morsbags people (our Bob made himself a bag!) and the local Lace guild (whose flyer I seem to have mislaid!).

There were lots of lovely stalls:


and lots of beautiful quilts and embroideries by local groups:


There seems to be a wealth of crafty people and groups in Leicestershire, which makes me wish Warwickshire would organise something similar (and no, I'm not volunteering to organise it myself, I only wish I had time!).

I bought a lovely decorated handbag mirror from Sue Trevor who was wearing a fabulous fascinator in the shape of a cup and saucer. I also picked up one ball of Stylecraft "Head over Heels" sock yarn - just for scientific purposes, you understand - I had no idea Stylecraft were doing sock yarn! It's in a yummy colourway too!

More pictures here

All in all a lovely day.

In other news, I made a start on an evening gown on Thursday - it's a Very Easy Vogue pattern (the number escapes me), but I need to pick up some skirt lining material because I don't have enough and rats I've just realised I meant to bring it today so I could buy some more in town on the way home tonight. Argh. I'll have to just wing it I think! The dress fabric itself is cut out ready but parts are translucent so the whole thing needs facing. There's a dressmaker's ball being held in Leicester next year and I must admit I'm quite tempted to go!

Eddie the cat refused to come in last night and refused to be petted this morning, preferring to hide under the table. Confused as to why he thinks we're his enemies again today. Weird cat - he did get shut in the front bedroom for a large part of Saturday but that was a mistake (he is SO sneaky!) He was in all day Sunday too, was hoping he'd be out during the day as it's Divali AND bonfire night week here. Oh well! Hopefully he'll be pleased to see me later. So I'm somewhat confused by the extra hour (it's weird how the body somehow knows!) AND the skittish cat.

Current mood: confused

Monday, October 24

FOs and WIP

Rotten photo, this bag charm is sewing-themed and is attached to my sewing machine bag. You might be able to make out a tailor's dummy, scissors, safety pin and bodkin:


Cranked these out at the weekend, yarn is Knitpicks Felici:

Almost wish I hadn't accidentally bought such a big loom - it takes up most of the table. Almost! Since redecorating, the warp got loose, the ratchets swung open. I will try and make sure that doesn't happen again, because some of the warp is now very tight and I can't figure out what's causing it as it was warped up pretty well before the move. Oh well.

Had weird dream that not only was Dad still alive, but that he was Mum's second husband and she'd secretly been married to a Spaniard. Pay no mind, it's mostly the plot of a book I'm currently reading!

Current mood: curious

Wednesday, October 19

FO: charmed things and the dress again

As promised, some shots of the dress on me - why yes, all bloggers are headless! I could do with adding something to the neckline to keep it attached to my bra, the neck is a bit big.


I decided to use the charms to add some bling to my bag - I spotted a designer bag in Selfridges once that had all these charms attached to it and thought, you know what? I could do that for a lot less money, and they could be things personal to me. So I did!

Love themed

Keys, crucifix, heart, scissors

You'd know it was my bag anywhere with all those badges!

The parrot is a gift from a work colleague, the heart was a souvenir from Iceland (about all I could afford, haha, and it turned out there's a branch of Tiger in Coventry anyway), the sheep keyring a present from my sister and the scissors a freebie with a new overlocker case.

Of course, as soon as I tried to convert my Passap swatch into a proper hat, everything went wrong again, so after two hours trying to get something sensible out of the machine I gave up. Ms Passap just isn't happy doing single bed tuck, so no hat, and therefore no competition entry for me. Bah.

Current mood: working

Thursday, October 13

FO: New Look dress 6371


This is New Look 6371 - material (challis? cotton with a ripple, anyway!) bought from Coventry market. I think I could probably have gone down a size to be fair. After all the hassles I had getting the invisible zip in - the first one had to be scrapped after I ripped into it whilst trying to unpick it, having sewn into the teeth and rendered it useless - it turns out I can actually get this dress on with the zip closed! It's a dropped waist and handkerchief hem skirt (you can see it better on the pattern website). Very pleased with it, anyway. I've got some oversewing to do on some raw edges on the sleeves and then I'll get a proper picture taken with me in it! Of course we're now definitely into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (autumn for those who don't know their poetry), so it'll have to be worn with leggings. Next project is either a crossover top in a satiny polyester, or an evening gown for xmas with that really expensive fabric I got in 2009. Hmm. The former is a freebie pattern from a magazine a month or so, the latter is a pattern I picked up at Ally Pally at the weekend - rather like this one but I don't think the front is quite as gathered.

I finally got a decent single-bed tuck out of the Passap E6000 - but only because I used a comb and weights. So despite all the blurb about Passaps needing no weights, my machine clearly does! The proper 5mm combs aren't that easy to come by either although I'm sure most machine knitters of some experience are ingenious enough to rig something up. I know my fellow Rav mod Ozlorna once worked some lovely single bed tuck (guipiure? which I cannot spell?) by weighting it with a series of small padlocks.

Current mood: happy

Monday, October 10

Charmed and uncharmed

Charmed: I may have gone a little mad for charms at this year's Ally Pally. Lots of lovely yarn and sewing stuff this year though not Doughtys whom I was particularly hoping to see. Not Uppinghams either. I also picked up a point turner, some quilter's tape, some spare bobbins for the sewing machine and some bobbin tidies, plus "Joanna the vest scarf ever" (a scarf with holes in that can be worn as a waistcoat). Didn't think these items were worthy of a picture really!


The large scissors at the bottom I can wear on a neck chain. I'm glad I bought so many pairs of scissors, as I foolishly wore the charm bracelet in the previous post and almost immediately lost the rather soft looking scissors in the melee. Not a clue what I shall do with the rest of them, they all pertain to various hobbies and interests. Bag charms maybe. From Creatotaal.

Uncharmed: Trying to get a half-decent sample of the Passap E6000's version of card 3. Yep, full of dropped stitches (green) and doubled stitches (cyan). Next attempt, if there's time, I'll be using the comb as weight, because this is just not acceptable! One or two dropped stitches I could repair, but not this many!

tuck error small

In other news, I'm almost done on another dress, bar the sleeves, and I have sewn "Needles of Steel" labels into lots of my jumpers. A silly thing, but it tickles me to see them.

Current mood: annoyed