Tuesday, 11 October 2016

A tea bag top or the stretchy chain mail

Surprisingly, stretchy (or even non-stretchy) chain mail was not the look I was going for but I do worry that that is what I have. I pictured an oh so stylish in a slouchy '80s manner tea bag t. Were they known as tea bag tops, or was that just me? I imagined I was safe when the need for such a summery top descended, as I thought I must have the pattern my Granny used when such knits were fashionable. Sadly not. Possibly I thought I wouldn't embrace 80s fashion again.  But then on  a trip to delightful Jenny Wrens I saw a collection of tea bag style tops in a Wendy booklet. They are calling the style an open stocking stitch top in cotton. Think I'll stick with tea bag t. In case you are unsure what 80s delight I am talking about, here is my version

Do you see what I mean about the chain mail? Though now I have looked at the original pattern it looks rather similar
Possibly I should have avoided grey. Mine has stretched a fair bit at the lower edge - I'm thankful I chose the short length to knit - there is also a longer length, which by now would be around my knees. 

I selected a size which matched my measurements, but aside from the growth in the length, is too baggy at the neckline. This is meant to be slouchy, but mine is constantly slipping off. So I am going to wash this and see if it shrinks a bit. If not, I shall redo it in the smaller size sometime before next summer.

If anyone actually needs some chain mail for a historical re-enactment maybe, here is what I did! The pattern is from a Wendy collection 354 and is the short version of the Open Stocking stitch Top. I used two balls of  dy choice cotton fresh dk in the colour silver, bought from Jenny Wren Yarns. I shall wait to see what magic happens in the washing machine. In the meanwhile, I have another top - cotton and summery again - to show. This time a success... well, if you can overlook certain things. But I shall show more next time, hopefully before it is too chilly and no-one wants to see a cotton string top...

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Friday, 30 September 2016

From Daddy's to Patch's

There is something so very satisfying about taking something from the pile of fabric or what-shall-I-do-withs, and making. This time I found two pairs of Mr R's old jeans which handily, as they were the same make and vintage, had worn evenly and cobbled the bits together to make P a pair of Sandbox Pants (the much loved pattern by Oliver+S)
I do wish I had taken a photograph of the small amount of original jeans left. It was mainly the waistbands, pockets and hems plus the rather worn out parts. It was with sadness though that I realised this is the last time I can make P a pair of trousers this way from Daddy's cast-offs as I used up all available length and width.  These were made by cutting up the original jeans and using them as if a normal piece of fabric, pinning the pattern onto them. I suppose I can still do it, but it will need to be more of a refashion, making use of the original parts of the jeans.

Now I am writing this, I cannot remember at all what size I made... Hmmmm. The photograph above shows though that whatever length I made, I used a much smaller waistband size, something I always do with this pattern
Patch had fun choosing buttons for the back pockets, these sunny buttons came from John Lewis. I was slightly surprised at P's choice but eagerly agreed as they are so sweet and how much longer will P be selecting something like this? Or even wanting to accompany me for button buying... Can you see the sweet face?
As I was looking through the piles I spied a pair of Mr R's pyjama bottoms, so while the pattern was out...

Gosh I am enjoying all this newly found knitting and crochet time while P is at swim club. Still have to block the shawl just finished, and have made a start on a simple autumnal knit which is nearly finished as P had two galas over the weekend. Now to plan the next make...

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A deckchair for a sunny day

Hmm, not so sure I shall be lounging in a deckchair this week. But before it becomes too autumnal for summery makes, I thought I would show my new old deckchair. Luckily for me my Mum had painted this deckchair and had all intentions of furnishing it with a new sling before realising that she wouldn't make much use of it. And so it was offered to me. And I of course quickly said yes, remembering a gorgeously floral new old deckchair Yvonne of dreamy Yvestown had made an age ago. And so here is my floral delight
This is definitely Mummy's chair. I think maybe Daddy worries that it is rather dainty for him (polite way of worrying about my skills with the staple gun) and Patch will happily sit in it but tends to favour either an old small-ish garden chair (what are the folded garden chairs called? I wanted to call it a deckchair, but surely that can't be right... The sort that as a child I remember having to force apart whilst keeping a good watch out for fingers as they suddenly sprang apart. Patch's however pulls apart quite calmly, with no risk to fingers) or one of the sturdy garden chairs with a marshmallow of a cushion. So this tends to be all mine.

I do think Mr R would be safe as the sling part has three layers - the floral with a jolly blue dotty reverse and then some blackout lining - which I handily had and chose for sturdiness - sandwiched in between.  I made the sling longer than needed, and then wrapped and stapled it to wood.  Actually all fabrics were from the pile, so even more satisfying. And you can just see the crochet I am busy with. I have been busy with it for a few years now! Last spring I really did hope to complete it during Sandra of Cherry heart's weekend-along but no. I am so enjoying making it, so really there is no rush, but there are so many other blankets to be started! I shall be good. This week I have finished the hexagons and now need to work out how to add bits to make the edges even. I think I like the idea of straight edges and then a border, but maybe the zig zag look will appeal when I investigate...

This is the sort of activity going on in our household this week
I have hurt my back so it's been a gentle week not doing much. Miss Ethel's favourite kind of week. And along with kit cuddles I have enjoyed lots of reading. This was one of my aims for the year, and with just over three months of the year to go I have a lot left!

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A cloud tote

Oh how I love this fabric. So cheery and summery. I do so wish it had been available to buy by the metre - I certainly would have bought yards of it. But I did find some bundles of tea-towels reduced and purchased a few. Some are being used for their intended purpose, one set has been transformed into my summery bag which means that I still have another set to play with. A cushion maybe?

It only seemed right that I use a Cath pattern for the bag - the tote bag from Cath Kidston's Sewing Book. I kept to the original sizing, the only thing I changed was to use some webbing for the handles. Bright yellow webbing that has been curled up in a drawer for an age, so using it up made me happy. I couldn't fit both side panels onto the cloud print, and rather than reduce the size of the bag I accepted that one side would be clouds and the other a sunny yellow, just like the back
The bag is lined for extra sturdiness and tidiness. I really wanted to use some fabric from the piles, and found an old shirt which has the happy advantage of a ready-made pocket
and a row of buttons! These have no purpose as I decided I had no call for a secret hidden compartment in my bag, but they make me smile. As does the bag every time I use it.

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Monday, 5 September 2016

Summer birthday makes and other things

Catchy title. I was going to write summery birthday makes until I remembered that some of these were not actually for a birthday, but just because. Not that you would have known that, so I probably could have got away with the slightly more succinct version, with no need for all this waffle.

Hello! Our summer continued in its rather gentle manner, though we moved location to Dorset for a relaxing camping holiday. It really was dreamy. And then back home for a final summer holiday weekend with the loveliest of friends. Now the school term has started, P is happy to be back but I am missing him so. P also starts swimming club this week, so he will be swimming three times a week... which means extra crochet or knitting time for me! I shall have to find a suitably easily portable project before his first meet tomorrow. Oh, lovely new projects and finishing off others...

I have got a pile (small) of finished makes waiting to be photographed but today is a little too murky, so I shall show you some things made earlier this summer. Whilst searching for some suitable fabric for a skirt requested by P's friend Molly I came a cross an old dress of mine in the pile. The detail on the hem had saved this dress from the charity shop, and was waiting to be turned into a simple skirt. I cut off the bodice section and then made a channel for the elastic. So quick and just the right size for Molly
And then this was the skirt that Molly actually requested. I'm told that she was sitting in the bath one eve studying the delicious effects of a bath bomb and wondered if I could make her a skirt that exact colour - a bubblegum pink. Of course, Molly!
I had some fabric that I hoped was suitably bubbley-gummy and added the giant ric-rac from the overflowing (of course) trim box as I felt that it needed a little extra something and stopped it being quite so pink!

And another make for Molly - this time for her birthday
and a t-shirt for the other birthday boy, Dan
Right, I'm off to see what make I will take along to swimming tomorrow...

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Monday, 15 August 2016

Merchant and Mills Orton Bag

This may just be the perfect summer bag for taking to the beach or park. (Mr R did question that statement, and wondered why this bag was in any way better than the purchased reusable-type canvas bags we had previously been using. I ignored him.)

This is Merchant and Mills' free Orton bag pattern, described as a marvellous oversized linen bag... it really is! Both marvellous and oversized
Fabric is some linen in gooseberry from FabricRehab. I may have chosen this colour simply because it is called gooseberry.

The pattern asks for the facings to be kept in place with a cross stitch on either side panel so I managed to introduce a little grey because this greeny-yellow and grey - perfect!
Hope you are enjoying these summer days... I've managed to find some crochet time as well as early morning sewing. Happy summer!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A french rose and powdered egg citron

This wool was purchased just because I couldn't walk away leaving it on the shelf - they looked so delicious all piled together. Though I had no plans for them I bought a couple of balls of each of the beautifully named powdered egg and french rose, a 4 ply wool by Excelana. I then spent a happy while looking through my Ravelry oh-yes-one-days and decided on the Citron shawl by Hilary Smith Callis. This really is a summery, ice-creamy sort of shawl
I knitted two extra repeats, which meant that by the end I had over 730 stitches on that ruffle edge, but it was simple knitting, just the thing for television watching and days out and about. Now to finish some other ongoing makes. Oh, and short and sweet blog posts are about all I can squeeze into these gentle summer days!