Saturday, 8 December 2012

Increases and decreases

Oh boy I'm so proud of myself, I've managed to knit increases and have nearly finished the cardigan for Melody. It's not as hard as I thought it would be but I've had to come to terms with something I've learnt along the way. I knit a little oddly... When doing a knit stitch my right needle goes straight behind behind my left needle, like this

but all the videos I've seen they put the right needle in the front first then it goes behind the left like this.

One stitch is horizontal when working and the other is vertical I don't think there is any difference in either method when it comes to the final look of the work but I tell you now it took me some time to figure out how I needed to complete the increases, but once I got my brain round it they were rather easy. The decreases however were even worse to try and suss out.  For example I cannot for the life of me fathom out why I would even bother following the SSK directions correctly, why bother slipping two stitches onto the other needle when I can just knit two together... And the K2Tog instructions well that was fun, I'm already knitting two together why are there two different terms for the same thing, and thing I figured out that it was knitting two together in the front.

Well... Why don't they name them K2Tog Front and K2Tog Back so you knit the stitches together in the front or knit them in the back and leave out all this slipping stitches malarky!

Anyhoo I'm nearly done with the cardigan just the rest of a sleeve and the seaming of the hood to finish and now Melody seems to be sleeping again at night I might finish it soon.  This is how it looked a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Trouser Progress

Getting there slowly but surely...

Since I brought the denim for my trousers I have been slowly making progress.  Stitching one maybe two lines a day, mainly whilst my husband has been at home to keep the munchkin entertained.  This going slow lark is actually quite refreshing as I have been determined that these trousers will be very well made.

However with two things left to do, waistband facing and hems, I am stuck regarding the waistband facing.  Now I usually suck at these and I want this facing to look fabulous (especially since it is cupcakes!!).  I seem to have issues getting it attached at the bottom and usually have major issues ironing that damn seam allowance on at the bottom.  In a brainwave the other night I decided to baste stitch the seam allowance and the iron that up before attaching.  This seems to have worked so far, but now I have the dreaded task of attaching it to the waistband.  Usually I totally screw this up despite any careful pinning I have done (see yellow blobs in picture).  I'm torn between hand sewing the facing (I hate hand sewing and as a result I'm awful at it) and just going all gung ho on the machine.  Decisions descisions....
P.s. excuse the awful phone photo, my camera has decided to eat all of he batteries in the house!

Knitting update:
Cardigan progress is going well, I think I have mastered increases but only time will tell. I'm not entirely sure but I think I'm currently doing something to allow the arms to be made, it seems to be developing shoulders. Although if I am at the stage I think I am I'm not really sure how they break away to be armholes, hmmm....

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


After making my plans official last week I took myself to the shop for supplies as I have begun to get the creating itch again. I managed to get 2m of denim for my jean trousers and also some yarn for my venture into knitting shapes.

I had to wait before starting my new knitting project as the shop didn't have the right size needles in stock so had to order them online, which turned out to be better actually as I was able to buy bamboo needles instead of metal. Metal is just far to cold for my hands to do a lot of knitting with and they arrived last week. I have knitted my test square and I think it's the right size so have started the cardigan. So far so good as the first 7 inches have no change in size think I'm up to about inch 3.  A bonus though I've found out I can knit with Melody asleep on my lap, which mean I might get this finished before Christmas, whoop!

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Attempting to get back into some posting I thought I'd share some plans with you.  Due to an attention grabbing little monkey I've decided not to set the bar to high and have only set myself three goals to complete by Christmas.

1. Sew a bag for my sister-in-law for Christmas
I should have done this for her birthday but life was a little too hectic at that time so I failed to get around to it.  The theory is this will be a shoulder style bag in black with purple accents/lining.

2. Learn to knit something that isn't a rectangle/square
The long term goal for this is to knit myself a lush chunky knit cardigan but I've got to learn how to do this whole increase/decrease thing first.  I have managed to figure out cables though, they are a heck of a lot easier than I expected.  For this I will probably end up knitting a cardigan for Melody (hopefully) since it will be small and I found a pattern that looks relatively easy via Ravelry - Easy Baby Cardigan

3. Sew something for myself
Not entirely sure what this is going to be yet but I am toying with the idea of a pair of jean/trousers inspired by Lladybird although instead of Thurlow I will use Butterick 5682 from which I made these trousers.  Another idea I am toying with is a handbag for myself using the purse frame I treated myself to for my birthday (back in May!!) from U-handbag
Wish me luck :)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

That crazy little thing called life

Wowzers how much time has passed since I last posted anything?!? Mind you when I look back at what has happened since May it has been a mighty crazy few months.

We moved house at the end of May, the new place is fabulous and it felt like home as soon as we got the keys, even though we had nothing in here yet.  The good thing about the new place, and one of the many reasons we chose this house, is that we now have a hobby room big enough for both of our hobbies that isn't taking the place of what would be a bedroom (B likes to paint and convert miniatures of the war-gaming variety).

My side is a tip!! Best get that sorted (edit, it is now tidy, just haven't got a picture of it).

We now have a space to sit together and don't feel like we are abandoning each other when we want to do something hobby related. However I've not had much chance to do anything lately due to the arrival of a certain little lady, meet our daughter Melody

She will be 8 weeks old on Friday and we are totally besotted with her despite the lack of sleep and all the worries that come with being parents. That fact that she is so cute makes up for the lack of sewing and posting I've been able to do.  This is now the 4th 5th time I've sat down to post something!

Anyway, before we moved I had managed to perfect my renfrew pattern by adjusting the bottom part of the top to come back in under the bump instead of dropping like a dead weight.  I did this by taking the pattern back to the normal measurements starting around 3 inches from the hem line.  Once this adjustment had been made I made two versions.

3/4 length sleeve in Navy for work - pictures taken pre-move near the end of May

Short sleeve in Wham! jersey for fun - Pictures taken post-move about a week before Melody was born.

Despite the awesome Wham! fabric I actually preferred the Navy version because the fabric was better quality, although Wham! is thick jersey it just lacks stability so just felt off when it was worn and also massive on me even though I used the same pattern pieces.  Isn't it strange how you can get two different feelings about the same top just because of the difference in fabric.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Liberty book bargain

Wandering around the shops the other day and I find myself in The Works, and what do I find in there?  The Liberty Book of Home Sewing for £6.99. Superbargain!

I think my first project from the book will be something easy after all the cray adapting of patterns I have been doing of late.  The Eco Shopper seems like a good easy project and who doesn't need a gizillion bags?

My other amazing find was this Jersey, makes me think of the old Batman TV series don't you think?  Thud! Thwack!  Kapow! Shame it only says Wham! but awesome all the same.  I think this is destined for Renfrew once I get the adjustments right.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Renfrew adjusted

This adaptation lark is trickier than I first thought, I've scoured the tinterweb for adaptation techniques for an increasing growth at the front maternity wear and so far there really isn't much out there but I stumbled upon this post and decided to give it a go with the Renfrew pattern.

After tracing the pattern I read the instructions and decided to add 5 inches to the front pattern piece and 1 inch to the back

The next step is to figure out the point under your bust and also where your "waist".  Draw a 2 inch line from the waist marking and then a steep curve from the bust to the new waist point. Re-draw the side line.

Pattern adapted, i cut out some thin jersey as a test run - It's not bad, the gathers and extra width at the sides help

But I don't like how it hangs like a dead weight at the bottom of my belly.  I think I need to adapt further to curve back into the original hem line, which might make it a bit tighter around the hips and more to my liking.
Back to the drawing board on this one me thinks.