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Three children *** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Thank you….

  • Craft Mother A shared experience is always a good bonding exercise. It was a fun few hours. 23 Apr
  • Craft Mother Thank you! I think the cable does show better with the lighter yarn. The children had lots of fun climbing and whizzing. Hope you had... 23 Apr
  • Craft Mother They don't seem to mind the height at all. 23 Apr
  • Craft Mother Yes, there is so much to see. Worth a visit. 23 Apr
  • Craft Mother They are amazing. I can almost hear the music I imagine they are dancing to. 23 Apr
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handmade clothes for women

Yarn Along March – Purple cardigan

I finished knitting my purple cardigan. I love it. It could very well be the best thing I’ve ever knitted. I’m really happy with the fit and love wearing it. From my notes, I reckon it’s taken me eight weeks to knit, which is impressive for me.

The only part I need to work on is the curling hem. I have blocked it, but not enough, it seems. If anyone has got a tried and tested method to make the hem behave, please let me know.

I used King Cole Merino blend dk. 100% wool. It is now my favourite yarn to use. A real pleasure to knit with. I’ve made hats with it before as it’s anti-tickle, and have often thought it would be good for something bigger. I bought the yarn in the sales, which reduced the cost down to a do-able price. I’ve found it priced at anything between £3 to £3.79 per ball. Back in January, I bought it for £1.79 per ball making the cardigan work out at just over £25 to make, instead of the usual £42. Perfect!

The cardigan pattern is King Cole 4076. There is a choice of a cardigan or jumper. Both are long line with side vents. I found the pattern straightforward. The cable panel is easy once you get into the swing of it. After a while, I stopped referring to the instructions, as the it’s obvious what to do from the previous row, if you see what I mean. Total joy to knit.So on to the next knit. Yes, I’ve cast on, but the photo really doesn’t give a fair representation of the amount of time it has taken. I’m using Wendy air yarn. It is wispy thin. Never underestimate how long it can take to find the start of the yarn in a ball like this. Lots. I’ve tried the first row a few times, but undone it. I’m not charging ahead with this one. I’m sure I’ll find my way with it. Eventually. It is such a contrast from my last project.

As it’s Yarn Along time again, I’m including my book, which I am loving. Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time. I’ve nearly finished it and am dragging out the end, because I don’t want to finish it yet. Savouring every last page. It is difficult to put down. It’s so good, I find myself reading and preparing the evening meal at the same time. The book in one hand and a spoon in the other. Children mumbling that I’m ignoring them.

Last photo of my cardigan. I’ve ordered some more wool to make the jumper version next. I’ve found it again at the same price, so hopefully they have enough of the same dye lot, which caught me out last time. I had to change colours. Fingers crossed. It is such a good pattern.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. What have you got on the needles at the moment? Are you reading a good book? Oh, and any advise on my curling hem, would be much appreciated.

 

Leafy cardigan, Sirdar 9428

Hello again. Seems like a while since I’ve written a post. No apologies. Half way through the summer holidays and I’m facing the fact that it’s proving a monumental task to do everything. Who knew? All work and play, leaves no time for blogging. I’ve also fallen into the trap that it’s quicker to post a photo up on Instagram, but then I go on and gabble away, which rather undoes the quick part.

Talking of which, if you do follow me over on Instagram, you’ll have seen that our summer has been filled with sun and crafting. I have so many projects to share here. Starting, as it’s as good a place as any, with my latest finished knit. I finished my leafy cardigan, on one of the hottest days of the summer. It’s remained too hot to wear, except in the evenings. Sirdar 9428, which is not a catchy title, so I’ll stick with leafy cardigan.

I loved this knit. The leaves only go on either side of the centre front, but I was actually bottom-lip-pouting sad when I finished the front panels. These leaves are good to knit. At the start, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get the hang of this stitch pattern, but perseverance won out, as you can see. Otherwise I’d be calling this project, my teal or modern art/abstract/slightly messy cardigan, I guess. Or not showing it at all. Anyway, here it is. It took one repeat of the rows, before I was liking it.

I was impressed at how the leaves almost look like they are about to grow out of the garment. One curly stem at a time. A slight breeze and they could almost flap elegantly and lazily. Eldest Teen even exclaimed that she didn’t know you could make something like this with knitting, which I take as a compliment.

I wanted to avoid the cardigan looking too homemade. It kind of knocks my enthusiasm to wear something if I’m greeted with “Did you make that?” everywhere I go. Self doubt creeps in. Not a good feeling. I find my ribbing always gives the game away, so I purposely chose a pattern that did not use a knit one, purl one rib. This one is knit three, purl three and it does seem to give a smarter finish.

The pattern also calls for one, lone button at the top, which looked fabulous on the pattern’s front cover model.  Once I tried the finished cardigan on, I realised that this style does not suit me. The front opening makes diagonal lines across my front, not almost straight down like the model. The diagonals were doing no favours to my midriff. Seriously, not a look I need.

Instead, I decided to add two more buttons. I’ve not added buttonholes to a finished knit before, but I’ve seen it done. When it came to the point of cutting into one of my stitches, I took a deep breath as there was no going back. The other fly in the ointment was that the knitted rows meant that the two new buttonholes would be vertical rather than matching the top button’s horizontal alignment. No choice but to go for it and I’m not sure anyone could really tell unless they got close up and invaded my personal space.

The buttons are 23mm Knit Pro wooden buttons. My sister gifted me the first one, a few years ago. Fortunately, I found two more. I love how they look against the teal wool. I used Hayfield double knit with wool, which is the same type as I used for the two hoodie’s last summer. I’m not sure it shows how vibrant this colour is in the photos.

I made it in the fifth size. I wish I’d gone down to the fourth as it’s a bit too big. All that running and giving up crisps since I started knitting it, has made a difference. Optimistically, I washed it straight away, but it still feels a little looser than I’d like. I’ve also found I prefer to wear it with more figure hugging, plain dresses, as it’s more flattering if it’s not competing with anything else.

I tried it on with my brown, linen, sheath dress today, for the photos, and it makes a perfect combination, I think.

Only other change I made was to make the sleeves, slightly longer. I had plenty of yarn. Ah, yes. OK. I’ll admit. Between you and me, I managed to over order the yarn again. Again! When will I learn. I really don’t know how I do it. I probably have enough left over to knit another in a smaller size, but I won’t.

One is enough.

I’m very happy with my new leafy cardigan. It is warm and comfortable. I’ve cast on a different jumper already. Struggling with the first row, as the ribbing is complex, to say the least. I will get there. Just got to keep going. I’ve opted for a smaller size, too. And less yarn. Definitely less yarn, this time.

Right. Back soon with my next summer crafting project. It’s a doozy, as they say.

I made a beetle blouse

I’ve been sewing again. Tra la la! Little dance of joy. Sewing definitely makes me happy. Escaping for even a short time to play with my creative ideas, is good time. On my own. It means later I can take a back seat while encouraging others to be creative. Resisting the temptation to wade in, with my sleeves stylishly rolled up, and take over their projects. It’s OK. I’ve already had my own creative time. Instead I can nudge them to think deeper and out of the box, without spelling out how I would do it.

May is the best time for me to feel a fresh burst of creativity. I find I’m inspired by the increasing number of different flowers appearing in the local hedgerows and our garden. Oh, the colours. Not just the colour, but also the scent promises wonderful times to be had outside, in the coming months. Even the different shades of foliage add to it all. So beautiful. It’s probably no coincidence that my handmade wardrobe offers up more spring outfits than any other season. The burst of colour sends me dashing to rifle through my fabric stash for just the shade to complement it all. Again.

This year is no different. I opted for a blouse made out of green fabric with beetles on it.

Regular readers of my blog probably won’t be surprised by my choice of a beetle fabric. Way back when, before career apps were even a twinkle in their programmer’s eye, I was researching my next steps in the dismal, back room at school, that passed for our career office, I wish someone had pulled out the paper brochure for entomologist. I suspect it wouldn’t have had a well worn spine, with bent edges, as some of the other brochures (I’m looking at you, accountancy and law), but it would have opened my eyes to another possibility. I might have been put off by the forecast salary, but at least I’d have known it existed.

As it happens, I had to wait until my first born came home from primary school with a mini-beast project, before I even came across the word “entomology” and the concept that you could study and earn money by being one.

All’s well that ends well, as they say, as I can still indulge my amateur interest in all things bug like.

I like bugs. Especially beetles as there is such a variety. Vast majority have not been categorized and have no name. Just imagine. We know so little.

Back to spring time sewing. I pulled out New Look 6598 from my pattern collection. It’s one I’ve used before (here and here) and find this style of blouse works well for me. This time I went for view D and left out the sleeve cuff, to cut down on the unnecessary bulk.

One of the reasons I love making my own clothes is that I can add creative details to it. Making it mine. This time, the fabric on its own seemed too plain, which I know sounds odd, seeing as it’s covered in beetles, but believe me, it did. It was calling out for something extra. Digging through my trimmings collection, I unearthed a length of white daisy flowers. Still in theme with the beetles and added a much needed contrast.

At first I was just going to add it to the sleeves, to draw the eye. Then I looked at adding it to the neck edge only. In the end, I threw caution to the wind and went for both. As they say, go big or go home, and it is my top.

The buttons were a lucky find. One night, I searched in my button tin and couldn’t find four matching green buttons. Unwilling to wait till the morning for the fabric shop to throw open its doors, I started looking for any four matching buttons, the right size. I’m not sure I’d have considered the black ones otherwise, but the more I looked at them, the more sense they made.

Do you see the many surfaces? They remind me of an insect’s eye. Perfect. I have no idea where they came from but they must have been waiting for this project.

Blouse done. I can see this one being worn on a regular basis. The green is vibrant and the little beetles cute. I suspect some people might be eeked out by the idea of beetles, but I am one happy person.

Thank you to Youngest, who took the photos and to Hero who opted to stay out of the photos, unlike previous hounds. A cool spot directing, from behind the camera, is more his style, it seems.

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