Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Neapolitan Blanket

Everso aptly named by Jennifer from Thistlebear, my baby blanket which echoes the palette of a Neapolitan ice cream tub is complete. 

Gentle strawberry, chocolate and mint colours ripple into a pleasing baby blanket.

I left the wavy edge and finished it with two rounds of double crochet and my favourite border, crab stitch. I could have been all girly and added a shell edge but the wavy edge made that quite perplexing.

This project has well and truly allowed me to fall back in love with my evening yarn time all over again. After a run of bad luck with the needles this one made me feel successful once more.

No rhyme or reason, I just added another two rows of whichever colour came out of the basket. Yarn wise I used Sirdar Country style which was in a donated bag given to me last year. I have one whole ball of mint and one whole ball of pale pink left to make a little baby knit to go with it: maybe a cardigan, hat or booties.

Such a soothing photo. Happy days!

Jo xxxxx

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Best Dress Tunic

 Hello! Well, here is Burda 9380 take two. This version has a few little alterations which makes for the most comfy best dress tunic.

I have made my older girl this pattern in jersey here. Little M wanted one too, in fact it was her I chose the pattern for in the first place but I got side-tracked experimenting with knit fabric.

 My youngest girl will wear virtually anything colour wise so long as it is modest and comfortable. I don't know why. She hates wearing sleeveless or strappy tops or having bare legs - it may stem from  always being very slim, maybe she is trying to pad herself out a bit - who knows. Anyway, I knew this dress had to be lined so that she would find it comfortable with leggings as a tunic.

I also predicted that she would not like cotton sleeves which got stuck inside her cardigan sleeves so I made them in jersey and the main dress in cotton. This red fabric is a light cotton weave ideal for hard wearing children's clothes matched with a coordinating jersey.

I turned the raw edge of the jersey hem over once and ironed it down with hem tape then used a decorative stitch to 'overlock' the raw edge on the inside and leave a nice finish on the outside. I have used this technique a lot lately because my overlocker has been playing up. The hem tape stops the hem stretching and rippling so it looks sharp.

We added the iron on motif just because we had it and it matched the colours. Minerva have lots. I have a selection at home for ironing over holes in jeans.

She loved it and said it was soooo slippy on the inside. 
That is a good thing!

A great pattern with so much potential for using up bits and pieces.

Thanks for looking. Bye for now. Jo xxx

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Stretch Knit Two Ways

Whizzing up two useful tops in stretch jersey couldn't be easier. Both patterns are tried and tested ones for me so it was nice to just cut and sew for instant success. 

This is the top from New Look 6217. I have made this many times in both stretch, crepe and rayon. My recommendation is to go down a size when making the stretch knit ones otherwise the neckline is too wide. They make great pyjama tops too to go with your favourite trouser bottom pattern.

It is an intermediate make because there is a neck binding but it is easy to do with this fabric because it is quite firm and doesn't roll away from the sewing foot. The sleeves are folded over once and then sewn with a patterned stitch. 

This fabric colour works well with denim, grey and black. It doesn't crease so would be ideal for holiday clothes or lazy people who don't like to iron - needless to say I love it!

The second top I made from my two metres of fabric was the one hour top from Fancy Tiger crafts. It is a free pattern download from their website and apart from sticking the PDF pattern together it really does take an hour from cutting to wearing. I already had the pattern all pieced together. 

I did not use a serger/overlocker for either of these makes, buying four spools of thread in yellow seemed an extravagance too far. Instead, I selected a decorative stitch from my machine which would look good on the right side, stretch and finish the inside edges all at the same time. 

Here you can see the raw edge, right side finish and the inside all unpressed. I used a press cloth with this fabric to avoid any melt.

There is not a neck binding on this top so I would highly recommend it for beginners. You simply turn the neck edge over and sew as described. I did tack/baste the neck in place just to make sure I was concentrating on the sewing line and not on turning the hem over as I was sewing like I did on the straight cuffs and hemline.

Another winner, this one has seen me through Autumn. I have a mustard and grey checked wool skirt which will be the perfect partner for work wear. 

This stretch knit is a nice weight making a good autumn or winter fabric. It appears to be sold out but the link is to a similar fabric. Thanks Minerva for letting me review this fabric.

 Thanks for calling in as ever. Jo x

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Feeling Sheepish

I was given three bin bags of unwanted wool in November. I am quite ruthless when I get a big haul like this. 

I NEVER put it in the spare room and say I will sort it out sometime. These piles of stuff are only ever allowed in the house as far as the Kitchen, they are picked over (I have had mouse poo yarn in the past) and I think carefully about what I will realistically use myself. There is a sense that they are still near the back door and can be divvied out to others quickly or in the case of the mousey ones, binned. On this good occasion some went to my Auntie, some to my mum, some into my craft class box and some to the charity shop. 

I kept a stash of Lopi icelandic fleece in cream and a few of balls of brown. It was real wool that smelt of sheep, what you might call sheepish. Not everyone is a fan of real wool but with a soft layer underneath, jumpers knit in wool really do keep out the chills and I love them.

With half an eye on climate change involving colder winters and the other eye on having something easy to knit, I have chosen the Simplest Sweater pattern from Ravelry. It is a free download which I have made before. In fact, it was my first attempt  at a top down sweater way back in 2010. I shrunk it to a size beyond anyone in our family!

I have plans to knit the top in cream and use the browns to create some kind of pattern around the bottom - stripes, snowflakes, something geometric, who knows? I will get to that part then do a stitch count and a bit of maths. That is how I roll, I know it gets me into trouble but I am one of life's risk takers. It is what makes knitting exciting. 

In other knitting news I have got my cotton sweater back on track. It is enjoyable once more even with the really long rows which incorporate the front, back and shoulder all in each row. Imagine the work in the photo folded in half and it should make more sense. Time to split for the neck soon. Great fun again!

A pair of socks beckons too. I haven't had a pair on the go for a while and I picked up this lovely ball of yarn in the half term break from Yarn in the Hills. The girls were lured there with the promise of a walk in the valley's stream along with lunch out but really I wanted wool. I wore my sheepish grin that day.

 I love wool shops; a place to chat about your hobby and really engage with the owner. I mean where else can you remove your boots, show the shopkeeper your socks while she swoons at a discontinued colourway simultaneously leading you to the new range on the Stylecraft shelf. Happy shopping indeed.

  1. showing or feeling embarrassment from shame or a lack of self-confidence.

    "a sheepish grin"

Hope you are all making something warm for the coming Northern Hemisphere season?

Jo xxxxxx

Friday, 9 November 2018


Welcome to November...ing

Remembering - Family members on poppy day while making knitted and crocheted poppies for a community exhibition.

Making - A new going out top for the Winter season in stretch velvet.

Buying - A king size duvet and cover for our king size bed. Enough of those night time draughts and making do with the old one that is a double and too small.

Building - Internal stud walls. Rooms are taking shape now in our new house. Today I took a photo from the top level of the scaffolding.

Thinking - How lucky we are to have such great opportunities.

Loving -  November Skies at home, our current back door view.

Wondering - When to take blog photos now that we have long nights and shorter days.

Eating - Stuffed peppers with pesto potatoes and feta cheese.

Growing - Cress in tights!

Getting - A whole box of fruit and veg for £1.50. It is part of a supermarket's No waste policy.

Watching - The last blooms on my Strawberry Hill Rose. They must be the last surely?? It has been producing flowers since June.

Disliking - Scraping the car windscreen in the mornings.

Considering - Where to book a holiday for 2019.

Enjoying - Catching up with some family scrapbooking.

Deciding - What to keep out of a big new stash of donated yarn. Some can stay and some has to go...decisions, decisions.

Admiring - My daughters creativity to turn a little handful of  pre-knitted flowers from the bottom of the aforementioned bin bag into a new tea cosy.

Feeling - In a much better place working three days a week.

Jo xxxx

Monday, 5 November 2018

Fabulous Fabrics

I have embarked on one of my epic cutting out sessions. It is so rare to get the table in the dining room empty that when the opportunity arises, I monopolise it for a couple of days and cut out a load of stuff all at once. The skirt pictured above was the last item to complete from my last batch cutting session. It is a wonderful winter style wrap skirt from some free donated fabric and a free pattern download. The straps were free on the front of a magazine about 10 years ago!

I really like this skirt and the pattern matching on the seams and the front wrap bring me immense joy. This skirt lends it self to some future growth around the waist, if required. I was hoping to wear the Beatnik sweater with it but it was not to be.

As with many of my crafting projects lately, they have been thought about, got out of the cupboard and then shoved in a box all in a jumble. I had a rare day to myself and decided to get some semblance of order to the proceedings.

Beautiful stretch velour will be my new going out top. A tricky cut when you have to consider direction of velvet, direction of stretch and pattern placement. Cut.

This geometric ponte roma will be my new cosy winter dress. Cut

I did a book swap with my sewing friend and fell in love with this collared blouse. Cut.

In total I cut out seven garments. A cord dress for Christmas day, a stretch dress for winter, a t-shirt, the collared blouse, pointelle floral Pjs for me, bunny Pjs for big girl and a party top. 

That should see me through to the new year I reckon. All bagged up, labelled, complete with notions, ready to sew. 

Do you batch cut? It is a good way to stop oneself procrastinating and maximise your sewing time.

Jo xxx