Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sunday Summary (And The First Finish Of Q4!)


I did it!!!  I've actually kept my promise to myself that I would blog at the weekend!  I'm going to try to write a post on either a Saturday or Sunday to try and keep up with myself.  I found that doing the Summersville posts (yes, I'm still adding stories to the page - there are 21 up at the moment) each Saturday or Sunday really helped so I'm going to try going back to that way of thinking.  Wish me luck!

This week has been one of mainly hand quilting the blue and white quilt (or the blue and white bu**er as I think of it) and, as of last night, I've quilted 58 stars (out of 127):
Another #saturdaynightcraftalong with @charmaboutyou, another star to hand quilt.
This is not star number 58, but as they all look the same (or I hope they do), I thought I'd share one which has my supervisor in!

I've also started putting together my pinafore version of the Kate dress (pattern by Sew Me Something, I've adapted it to be a pinafore).  I've made the pockets:
Getting two pockets the same shape always takes longer than you think, doesn't it?! I need to make a cardboard template of the finished size and then I can gather/press around it as I think it'll be easier. That's all the dressmaking I'm doing today as I'
Next time, I'm going to make a cardboard template of the finished pocket and use it to gather/press both pockets to size as getting them identical takes ages!

and now they're attached to the dress front:
Pockets are on. Next job is to mark the 5/8" point on the corners of all the facings, ready for joining. (Joining won't happen today, I've done enough!) • I've fixed the problem with the dart - I'd moved it twice when tracing/adapting! I'm going to look f

I also had a bit of a do with the darts, when I couldn't work out if I was making a daft mistake that afternoon or when I traced and altered the pattern.  It turned out to be the latter, as I'd raised the dart when tracing and then raised it again after.  No wonder it didn't work!  I'm going to get a copy made of the original pattern (when I find a place with an A0 photocopier) so I can make the basic alterations on that and then trace from there, rather than having to trace and alter each time I make a new version. It's now pinned together up the side seams, ready for sewing and then I can start attaching the facing.  (I have a friend helping with the technical bits, thank goodness!)

I've also made great progress with the second DK sock on my FAL list (they grow so fast!)
Just the grafting and darning in the ends to do and I'll have a finished pair of socks! #justintimeforthechillyweather Yarn is Adriafil Knitcol in 'Kandinsky'. #stilldontquitehaveamatchingpair #closeenoughthough

and last night I grafted the toe and darned in the ends.  I'll show the finished pair when the weather fairs up enough for me to get a photo outside.

And, as the title of this post states, I have my first finish from my list!  I decided to make a small Lola pouch out of the scraps of shweshwe fabric I had leftover after making a pair of pouches in the summer.  It's always nice to have an easy finish on your list, and even better when you have a finish so early in the quarter!  Here's the finished pouch:

Small Lola pouch made from shweshwe scraps

Small Lola pouch made from shweshwe scraps

I added a strip of Oakshott on the front because I didn't have a wide enough piece to make an unpieced pouch, and I think it gives a bit more interest.  I also added a strip in the binding because I didn't have enough of the big swirl to make that unpieced either!  The front is quilted with YLI 'royalty' (dark blue variegated) and 'reds' (dark red variegated) and I also used the latter on the back to quilt a little off-centre grid.  My hera marker was downstairs, so I (carefully!) used the top side of the unpicker blade to mark two straight lines and it worked a treat.  Before I got the hera marker, I used to use the top edge of a knife, but I didn't have one of those to hand and the unpicker was in my line of sight.  You have to be careful, but it does in a pinch!

I sent the pouch to Sheila/Budsmam as a long overdue and surprise thank you present.  She'd commented on how much she liked the fabric on the pair of pouches I made last quarter and it seemed like the perfect way to say thank you.

When it's time, I'll be linking up this post (for this Lola pouch finish, which you will find on my Q4 list as item 38) with the Finish-Along
2016 FAL

Earlier in the week, Archie was a bit miffed at being put outside when all he wanted was to lie on his new blanket
I don't want to be out here, let me in!
I don't want to be out here.  Let me in.  Please?
Back inside and flat out...
Ahhhh, this is better!
Thanks for popping in!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Share Your Hopes For Quarter Four!

Finish A Long 2016

It doesn't seem like two weeks since I was invited to be one of the new hosts of the Finish-Along, and yet here we are at the start of the final quarter of 2016 - doesn't time fly when you're having fun watching people finish things?  (And/or poking them with a big stick to 'encourage' them to finish something *grins*)

Just to remind you, here are a list of the hosts of this year's Finish-Along:

For new participants of the FAL, it's a place to find encouragement and motivation to finish off some long-standing UFOs or your stubbornly never-seem-to-get-any-closer-to-being-finished WIPs.   You can even add the pattern and fabric pull for that quilt you've always wanted to make but never have and you've decided that now is the time to make it.  Each quarter, you publish (and link up) a list of the things you'd like to finish in the coming three months and then at the end of the quarter, you link up (from a blog, Flickr or Instagram) anything you've finished from that list and each eligible finish gives you entry into a draw, where you can win one of the prizes offered by our fabulous sponsors (details below).

There are no penalties for not finishing things on your list (which is a good job, because I've been rolling one project over since Q2 2013 and it's been on nine lists.  Yes, nine.  And it's on my Q4 list, which you can find here.  I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of Q1 2017...or maybe Q2!)

If you need a reminder, you can find all the FAL rules on my permanent FAL page, please ask if you have any questions.

Here is a list of our wonderfully generous sponsors for Q4 of the 2016 FAL and you'll find details of the prize each is offering under their logo.  Feel free to thank them for their generosity by clicking through to visit their shop and spending some money *winks*

As you will probably have noticed, we have brought back the tutorial week at the end of each quarter and would love your feedback.  Rhonda provided an excellent round up of all the tutorials from the past four years of the FAL so if you'd like to revisit them, that's the place to find the links.  If you would like to share a tutorial, please let one of us know.

Your list needs to consist of a current photo of each project as well as a list of the projects you'd like to finish this quarter.  Please make sure that each item on your list is an eligible project - at the bare minimum, it must be a fabric pull and an accompanying pattern/plan (the same goes for yarn and needlework projects).  Remember that only completely finished projects (a finished jumper which you can wear, a quilted and bound quilt) count as eligible finishes and will give you an entry into the draw.  A pile of bee blocks, while lovely, doesn't count as a completed, usable project.  If in doubt, ask!

If you're linking up from Instagram, it's really helpful if you tag your list (and all finishes from this quarter) with your personalised hashtag: #FALQ4yourname (so mine is #FALQ4ArchieWonderDog) as this helps us find lists and finishes at the end of the quarter. If you are using Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link up if you need it.

Please link up your list on one of the hosting blogs - you only need to link up on one blog and it will appear on all of them.  Please become part of the FAL community and visit some of the other links to encourage other participants, as well as sharing your finishes.  There's no doubt that seeing others people's finishes, as well as having encouragement to plod on with the projects on your list, really helps!

The list link up is now open (from 6am 8th October BST) and will close next week (at 4am 17th October BST) - please remember to check the times in your timezone.  If you're having trouble working it out, there's a little countdown at the bottom right-hand corner of the link which tells you how long you have left until the link ('collection') closes.  If in doubt, link up earlier rather than later!

Archie is, once again, very keen to keep you all on the ball - he's watching!!

Hello! I'm joining in my first photo hop, #sewphotohop with @HouseOFpinheiro. I'm primarily a quilter/knitter/embroiderer, but am just re-starting dressmaking after about a twelve years gap (I mainly made simple A line skirts so don't have a vast range of
Are you sure that's on your list?  You'd better check, and if it isn't, put it down right this minute and pick up something that is on your list!
Go on, it's for your own good!

Good luck!!!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Everyday Blouse - The First Of Many, I Hope!

A couple of months ago, I read Rachel's post about her new pattern, The Everyday Blouse, and I was lucky enough to win a copy of her pattern (and a surprise £30 voucher for Abakhan Fabrics to buy supplies) in return for a couple of photos of my finished make and an honest review.  You can buy the (PDF) pattern from UpCraft Club.

I chose this navy and white poplin from their autumn/winter 2016 section (choosing from this section was required by Abakhan) and, although it's the first time I've bought dressmaking fabric online, I'm very pleased with my choice.

I printed out my pattern, which wasn't without its difficulties - first I printed it portrait when it should have been landscape (I caught it after a few pages and then just printed the right way on the back of them) and then taped it together.  Again, this wasn't without its difficulties as I couldn't get the lines to match up, and if I taped them how I thought they should be taped, then the lines didn't meet.  After a few (okay, about a dozen!) Twitter messages with Beth, it became clear that the problem was my printer - like many domestic printers, it doesn't print right to the edge of the page and my first instinct (to leave a 1/8" gap between the lines so that the curves looked right) was right.  Now I know that about my printer, I'll be more confident when taping together pdf patterns and won't need to bother Beth!

#sewphotohop Day 5: Prints or Solids I think I tend to wear far more solids than prints at the moment (mainly because I haven't been well enough to go clothes shopping for ages so I've been living in plain short-sleeved tops from LTS and jeans), but I lov
If you look closely, you can see the gap in the grainline where the two pages meet

I set to cutting out the pattern and the fabric (I decided that because I was reviewing the pattern, I'd make it as the pattern, with no alterations and view it as a wearable toile) and started assembling it.  I did, if I say so myself, some nicely neat understitching on the neck facing:

Everyday blouse - understitching

And stitched my first exposed zip:

Everyday blouse - exposed zip
I couldn't work out how to finish the ends of the zip tape so ended up folding them back at 45deg.  I thought I'd need to cover them with ribbon to stop them itching, but they don't bother me.  Rachel is going to do a tutorial on the zip in the near future.

It wasn't long before my blouse was finished:

Everyday blouse pattern

I'm very pleased with how it fits for a first attempt.  Having worn it a couple of times, I've made a note of alterations I need to make to get it to fit better and have lowered the bust dart, raised the elbow dart and removed the underarm facings on this version.  I've made alterations to the pattern (adding length, etc.), and already have the fabric for my next one.  (Yes, it'll be on my Q4 FAL list!)

Here's my (poor) attempt to show you the elastic detail at the neck - it's subtle, but it makes a big difference to how it fits, as well as making it easier to get on and off!!

everyday blouse - neck detail

And here's an odd photo of (some of) me wearing it:

Everyday blouse

All in all, I think it fits okay for a first try (at least as well as a shop bought blouse) and is perfectly wearable - it's already had quite a few compliments and the elastic detail at the neck is something many people have admired.

Thank you, Rachel, for the opportunity - this pattern is going to become a wardrobe staple! Now, if I could just find a cami top to wear under it in the winter, I'll be set...

Archie is still insisting on a warm breakfast served in the conservatory (and this morning ate half of it, realised his treat from Sheila wasn't on it, and refused to eat the rest until it was added), and I thought he might like his breakfast outside on Sunday.  He didn't:

I don't think this counts as taking breakfast in the garden - I need a huge pot of tea and some croissants for that. As well as sun with some warmth in it and a decent book or the Sunday paper. Now, be a love and move my bowl back inside. You could put it
I don't think this counts as taking breakfast in the garden - I need a huge pot of tea and some croissants for that. As well as sun with some warmth in it and a decent book or the Sunday paper. Now, be a love and move my bowl back inside. You could put it on my bed if you like...

Thanks for popping in!!

P.S.  You can read the reviews about the blouse here, and find it on instagram with the tag #everydayblousepattern

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

FAL Finish: Socks For Sarah

Finish A Long 2016

This is my final 'must catch up with Q3 finishes' post and I'm now pretending it's the end of September!  I had four knitting projects on my Q3 FAL list, and have finished one of them.  At the start of the quarter, this is what Sarah's socks looked like:

Trying again, hopefully this time with the right yarn! Is this better, @sleepinsarah?!! #numpty #makingsocksforaweegem

This is the second pair of socks I knitted (the first pair, which I knitted toe up, are here), and I decided to go cuff down for these, so I needed to learn a stretchy cast on and chose the Estonian/Latvian cast on, which looked liked this when the stitches were on the needle:
I'm making a start on the second sock while watching Gardeners' World and am joining @charmaboutyou for the #saturdaynightcraftalong.

I needed to slightly change the plain stocking stitch leg and did *four rounds of knit, two rounds of purl, four rounds of knit (and repeated from the *) until the leg was long enough.  This gave me a garter ridge every eight rounds and added a bit of interest.  I was slightly shaping the leg, so the stitch markers are there to remind me to decrease every ten rounds (just after the two purl rounds, which nicely hid the decrease):

It's growing, @sleepinsarah! #socksforaweegem
I then did a plain stocking stitch heel flap, turned the heel, did the instep shaping and then carried on in plain knit rounds along the foot:

I've shaped the heel (I think it's right!) and am ready to pick up for the instep, but first I need a cup of tea! #socksforaweegem

That's better! (I'd done one row too many on the heel flap and so had set off in the wrong direction when I started picking up the instep - no wonder it didn't feel right!) #socksforaweegem • • I've enjoyed joining @charmaboutyou for the #saturdaynightcra

It's growing, @sleepinsarah! #socksforaweegem #2016fal #FALQ3Archiewonderdog #ridiculouslylongFALlist #ridiculouslylongfallistgang

I decided to put the toe stitches onto a piece of yarn and graft both toes at the same time to get the Kitchener stitch embedded in my head.

Despite very careful measuring of both balls of yarn and putting a slip knot and marker in the right place on the second ball, the socks don't match, and I didn't notice until I'd turned the heel on the second sock!  Sarah said they were okay, though, so I left them.
Why you shouldn't start something when you're tired, the sock edition. These were supposed to be a matching pair. Spot the difference... What say you, @sleepinsarah, carry on or rip out and start again? #socksforaweegem
I then grafted the toes, darned in the ends and packed them off to Sarah.  (No, I didn't bother blocking them!)

Look what I've just finished, @sleepinsarah! I'll get them in the post on Monday, probably Stingy class ;o) #socksforaweegem This is my seventh finish for this quarter of the #2016fal (and guess how many I've blogged. That's right, none of them! #musttryh

I really enjoyed knitting them and because they're knitted with double knitting yarn, they went an awful lot quicker than my first (4 ply) pair!!!

Sock details
Pattern: Regia cuff down
Adaptations: added two rounds of purl once in every ten rounds (K4, P2, K4), cast on 60 stitches and decreased by two stitches every ten rounds until there were 48 stitches at the bottom of the leg, missed out the final round of knitting at the toe shaping and went straight to the 'knit round until you reach the beginning of the heel needles' round
Cast on: Estonian/Latvian
Yarn: Adriafil Knitcol 'Beethoven Fancy' (100% wool) (from Love Knitting)
Needle size: 3.25mm KnitPro Symfonie dpns

And that's the end of my finishes for quarter three!  I've made some progress on a couple of other projects on the list and have made something not on my list, so I'll hopefully do a more normal 'what I've been up to' post sometime this week.

The other thing I've done this quarter is a guest post on a friend's (gardening) blog - I hope you enjoy it!

And finally, this is one of my favourite photos of Archie:

Thank you for giving me my own way over breakfast - I'm just taking advantage of the sunny mornings while they last, it is almost October, you know.
Aren't I angelically handsome?
Thanks for popping in!!!

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