Crochet · Projects in Progress

PIP (Project in Progress)

This weeks project in progress is my Woodland Blanket.

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The Woodland Blanket was started as a CAL on the Attic 24 blog and the colours and style of it just captured my attention. Originally I was late in joining in but worked along to my own pace anyway. Then life happened as it so often has a way of happening and work on the blanket stopped.

I’ve completed the first section and the second section begins with the tomato colour. Originally I purchased the kit for this blanket from Wool Warehouse so I didn’t need to worry about having the exact colours in my stash of Sytlecraft DK which is the yarn that comes in the kit and happens to be they yarn I like for most of my crochet blankets. I like its softness and yet I love that I can throw the blankets in the machine when I need to and the blankets don’t get destroyed. I am working the colour rows to the suggestions on the Attic 24 blog. I’m making the blanket to the 4ftx6ft size and I’m using my 4mm Addi crochet hook which are my favourite hooks to use.

I’m ready to begin work again on this blanket and have it ready for snuggling in and under this winter.

Ruth.

Knitting · Sewing · Year of Projects

YOP – year 8 – week 5

Progress this week has been steadily made on my Fintry cardigan. It’s been the one crafting piece that has held my attention all week, other than my book but that is a story for another day. I was nearing the end of the bust increases last week and needed to then cast on the sleeves. I did this and completed both sleeves and joined them into the body of the cardigan and I’m now working on the yoke.

Fintry

I must admit while this has kept me company all through the third and final week of the Tour de France my mind has wandered to my next project. I’d like to get the swatch done so that I’m ready to move straight into the next project. I’m in two minds as to whether I now want to make the Lichen. This is the yarn I have for it and it’s ready to cake up and swatch but during the week I decided I really wanted to knit a Cumulus Blouse, this I don’t have the yarn for yet, it is ordered, but then I liked the look of the No Frills Sweater and think it could also suit this yarn that I had originally intended for the Lichen. So now I’m in two minds about the Lichen and the No Frills Sweater. I will be knitting the Cumulus Blouse though for definite as I think it’s a piece that will slot in seamlessly into my me made wardrobe.

Yarn

My sewing projects went a little slower this week than expected. Home improvements were going on all week  in the hallway with the removal of tiles and putting down of a new floor. There was so much dust from the removal of the tiles I seemed to spend most of my time cleaning down surfaces and the dust is still there! This is the one thing I dislike about home improvements, the mess it makes. It meant though that my sewing had to take a back seat so I only got the seams on my A-Line skirt done. An hour or so this week should see the remainder of it finished and then I can move onto completing the Margot pyjamas.

A-Line Skirt

Yesterday I did have the opportunity to take a local sewing class to make a Simple Summer Dress. The class was in the same place where I learned to make the above A-Line Skirt and some other pieces and it was an all day class from 10am – 3pm. It was lovely having such a long spell of undisturbed sewing time. In my dress I inserted some facing all round the neck and armhole so I didn’t need to use binding like some of the other versions but this did take a little longer and was a new skill to me. It was great picking up this skill as some tops are the next thing to move onto making for my wardrobe after the pyjamas. With this extra step it did mean I didn’t quite finish my dress but all that remains is one seam and the hem something I can complete in my own time at home here. I’m going to spend half a day this week finishing off these projects before moving on.

Simple Summer Dress

There will be a project focus post for each of these finished items once they are complete and I will talk more then about what I did in the making of the items and any changes I made.

This leaves my list looking like this;

Year of Projects 2018-2019 List

Knitted Garments

Sewn Garments

Socks

6 pairs

  • My Dearest Loveliest Elizabeth – started July 16th

You can follow along with my knitted YOP 8 projects HERE

You can find the YOP group and weekly posts HERE

Ruth.

Knitting · Midweek Check-In · Reading

Midweek Check-In

Checking in with what my reading and creative time is being spent on so far this week.

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I’m almost half way though the Theft of Swords which is Volume 1 in The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. I can’t put this book down and every chance I get I’m reading it. On most journeys out and about it’s in my bag and it’s what I opt for over my knitting when I am out.

I’ve started the first sleeve for my Fintry and just like with the book, this is the project I want to knit on when I get the chance. The Fintry is worked bottom up and I’m as far as the armholes so the sleeves are next to be worked and like I said, it’s all I want to work on.

Ruth.

Projects in Progress · Sewing

PIP (Project in Progress)

With my ever growing interest in sewing, I wanted to try my hand at some quilting. Knowing nothing about the how to and mechanics of it, I naturally turned to some books to learn something about quilts and making them. A browse through Amazon and a Quilt-As-You-Go series caught my attention. I liked the idea of a large quilt being broken down to more manageable pieces. This seemed like something I could do while learning about quilting and yet not feeling overwhelmed by the whole process. I ordered both books, Quilt-As-You-Go Made Modern and Quilt-As-You-Go Made Vintage.

I browsed through the books and the options for quilts and chose the High Tea Sampler Quilt in the Quilt-As-You-Go Made Vintage book. This sampler quilt uses 48 out of the 51 blocks shown in the book and it is a reversible quilt all of which were things that appealed to me to learn.

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I’ve bought a selection of fabrics both for the squares and as background and binding, I’ve gotten the batting ready and I’ve cut out the pieces for the first square on the front. The squares on the back will just be plain squares. I’ve now just got to make up the square and proceed with quilting it where it will be joined with the others as I go.

I have one question with regards to quilting and I’ve not learned or come across the answer yet. I know I need my walking foot for the quilting of the squares as this is the part with the layers of fabric and I will need it fed through evenly top and bottom. But my question is, do I need the walking foot to piece the initial squares together? Or is my regular foot sufficient?

If anybody knows the answer, I’d love to hear otherwise I will keep looking and once I have the answer, get started with this project, which for the moment has not time frame for completion.

Ruth.

Knitting · Sewing · Year of Projects

YOP – year 8 – week 4

It’s Sunday and that means it’s time to stop and take a look at what has been accomplished towards the YOP (year of projects) list.

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I’ve been working steadily most days on my Fintry cardigan by Kate Davies. I’m using some Rauma yarn to make this version and I’m working away to my own gauge and tweaking the numbers to it as I go along. As I’ve been watching the Tour de France most days I’ve found this to be a pleasing project to work on.

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On Monday I took the younger children to the cinema to see The Incredibles 2 movie, which they loved, but my garment is just too big to take along so I cast on a pair of socks. This is a toe up version of My Dearest Loveliest Elizabeth so I just had the plain stockinette of the toe and foot. I cast on one toe and was ready to work on the foot when I hit the cinema. I will be casting on the second and will work them in my favourite concurrent magic loop fashion.

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I’ve made a start on two sewing projects by cutting out my A-Line Summer Skirt and both pairs of Margot Pyjamas that I want to make, one for my daughter and one for myself. I will work on only the summer skirt first, I just happened to be in a cutting out mood on Thursday evening.

This is how my list is looking now;

Year of Projects 2018-2019 List

Knitted Garments

Sewn Garments

Socks

6 pairs

  • My Dearest Loveliest Elizabeth – started July 16th

You can follow along with my knitted YOP 8 projects HERE

You can find the YOP group and weekly posts HERE

Ruth.

Knitting · Projects in Progress · Sewing

PIPs (Projects in Progress)

Projects in Progress is later this week than I intended but it’s a post you can see appearing earlier in the week. These projects are not just projects I’m working on but they have brought me joy. Included are, a Fintry cardigan, socks, a summer skirt and some Margot pyjamas.

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The Fintry cardigan is a design by Kate Davies and featured in her Yokes book. For my Fintry I’m using some Rauma 3tr Strikkegarn in the colour 147 which is a dark navy blue. My gauge was off on the stated 3.25mm needles so I went down to a 3mm needle and was nearer but still off. The fabric on the 3mm is dense and lovely so I decided to work with my gauge and the pattern to get a cardigan that will hopefully fit well.

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My socks are a toe up version of My Dearest Loveliest Elizabeth and I cast them on for a trip to the cinema with the children. I’m using some Eden Cottage Yarns Tempo 4ply yarn in the colours Apricot Tulip and Geum.

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I’ve cut out my last version of this summer skirt in a cute navy spot fabric that my Aunt gifted me. She was out in a fabric shop and saw it and thought of me! I need to pick up some binding and a zip and it will be quick enough to make up then, having made the last one in a day.

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Last project that I’m working on this week happens to be another sewing project. I really only like to work on one project at a time but I cut out some Margot pyjamas that I’ve been wanting to make for both my daughter and I for quite a while. My daughters are cut out but the light had faded the other evening when I was cutting out so I’ll cut out my pair at some point this week and I can begin those once the summer skirt is finished.

Apart from cutting out the sewing projects which took up an evening and a bit, most days I’ve worked on only one of these projects and I’ve enjoyed the slow steady rhythm that this has brought my days. My Fintry cardigan having been the main project of the week and its been very enjoyable.

Ruth.

Project Focus · Sewing

Project Focus – A-Line Summer Skirt

 

Today’s Project Focus post is looking at my newly completed A-line summer skirt.

 

For this version I chose a lilac cotton with embroidered flowers on it. It feels a lot like a light to medium weight cotton and although will have movement and drape it does have a little more structure to it than other versions that I made of this skirt.

This was the first garment I made at a class I took earlier this summer and the pattern I have is from that class, so I have no reference or link to offer.

I picked up a white zip locally as no lilac ones were available and some cotton binding in a dark purple to match the embroidery on the fabric.

A wash and press of the fabric and I cut the fabric out, pinned and sewed the central back seam, then sewing both side seams. After pressing them open I zig zagged along the edges as at this moment I don’t have an overlocker and I’m hoping this will at least work somewhat on the edges. I’ve read that it will but that remains to be seen.

After that the zip got inserted and I made it an invisible zip. All that remained was the binding on the hem and waist with extra left to make some cute little ties and the skirt was complete. A perfect sew to accomplish in a day even for a beginner like me and it becomes a garment that’s easy to team with a t-shirt to wear and enjoy in the spell of hot sunny summer weather we are currently enjoying.

Ruth.

 

Knitting · Sewing · Year of Projects

YOP – year 8 – the list

 

Year of projects began again for the 8th year on July 1st. Year of projects (YOP) is a group of bloggers who set themselves a year long challenge of projects to knit, crochet, sew or make through whatever other craft that they happen to do.

I have participated from the beginning having come across the group HERE way back then on Ravelry. I loved the whole idea of setting out the challenge and through the medium of blogging meeting those challenges and getting to know the members, many of whom I’ve remained friends with and are still some of my longest online friends to date. In recent years with trying to become a designer this ate into my available time and while I started I never quite got to the finish line. With my circumstances changed now though I’m looking forward to participating once again, and not just participating but once again finishing and meeting the challenge.

I’m a little late to joining the party but in reality you can sign up at any stage. Officially the Year of Projects runs from July 1st to June 30th each year but there are members who prefer to run Jan 1st to Dec 31st. So when you start doesn’t really matter, what matters more is the joining, participating through weekly Sunday posts on how your progress is going with your various projects, visiting others members blogs and commenting, and then ultimately finishing the challenge while having a host of completed projects. It is a wonderful way to blog and get into a regular pattern of blogging which only adds to the creativity we are led by in forming our lists to meet the challenge.

So I’m going to jump right in here on week 3 of year 8 of the YOP challenge and post my list. My list this year centers around my personal challenge and desire to create a me made wardrobe. My other main for the year is to enjoy each project fully from beginning to end and to accomplish this I am aiming to predominately work on one knitted and one sewn project at a time. My ideas for my me made wardrobe and YOP list are long and may very well change throughout the year but the main other thing I will be trying to remember is to think through each project and how it will be used and fit into my concept of a me made wardrobe. Now that you have an idea of what YOP is and how it works along with my aims and what I hope to get out of this coming year, lets get down to the meat and bones of the list.

Year of Projects 2018-2019 List

Knitted Garments

Sewn Garments

Socks

6 pairs

  • My Dearest Loveliest Elizabeth – started July 16th

You can follow along with my knitted YOP 8 projects HERE

You can find the YOP group and weekly posts HERE

There it is. and now that I’m looking at it all written down, it looks like quite a lot but each of those garments are pieces I’d like to see in my wardrobe over the coming year. They are in no particular order and I’ll work from the list as the mood and desire strikes. Because I’m also out and about at various times with the children, it’s not practical to take garments with me, specially when they get big. So the socks are the items for my wardrobe that I’ll add in as I want and need throughout the year.

I’ll be back later in the week with an update on how the progress has been going.

Ruth.

General

The beginning…

There are times when you need to start off with a fresh new notebook, clean and unsullied, and that first blank page in the notebook holds so much promise. It can be anything, can hold anything and can lead to anywhere!

That’s what this post is, the first blank page of this journey. A chance to reinvent and start fresh after recent months, a chance to return to enjoying the fruits of my creative mind.

Loss and grief have a way of making you take stock. Look at where you are and where you’re going and asking yourself if that’s the direction you want to be headed in. These things had been to the forefront of my mind already and I wouldn’t have done anything about those thoughts if life hadn’t stepped in and made me take stock.

While I’ve always had a creative mind, in typical fashion I can’t remember a time I wasn’t creative, and as a creative it invariably starts off as hobbies. The dream is always to then be able to be paid to work at that hobby.

A few years ago I followed that dream and began to design and write knitting patterns. It was finally a chance to let my creative mind flow and expand. Ideas came to fruition and it was a joy to see others take as much delight in recreating those designs for themselves. It will be the thing I think I will miss most. The thing with being a creative in business for yourself is the hours that you put in and at first you don’t mind, after all, you’re just getting started. You are trying to build up your profile, get off the ground and get your designs out there and I did, for more than two years I gave it my all, my profile rose and my designs were out there but in recent months the more I worked the less I enjoyed it. All the hours I worked just seemed to add up with little to nothing in return and in the two years I produced and sold patterns, none of them ended in profit. I was still only covering costs. On the one hand I was feeding my creative mind but as a business I was failing. Not only was I not being paid for the endless hours I was putting in and missing away from family but I was seeing a lot of the same old things. I was starting to feel undervalued and in a rat race of producing more, to be noticed more, in order to make the business begin to pay for itself. I was resentful and I disliked how I was beginning to feel towards my work and design.

Then as I said life stepped in and helped me make the decision I was so reluctant to make, reluctant in fact to admit. When I took this summer off it became quickly apparent how much I’d been tied to the business and how much I’d lost the love of just creating.

At first I didn’t create anything, instead immersing myself in the books I’d long forgotten to read, the books I so wanted to read but had no time to read. Then I slowly began to create just for me again, with no pressure, and with no time frame. There were no deadlines to meet and I could start and finish when I wanted to. I began to once again enjoy the time I spent creating. I thought about what other things I’d wanted to do but didn’t have time to do. Sewing was top of the list. I’d always wanted to learn to sew my own clothes so I set about taking steps to do just that. I took a couple of lessons and started from there. This led me onto being able to realise the other dream of creating a me made wardrobe. With this in mind I finally picked up my knitting needles and chose a garment pattern that I had wanted to make but again, didn’t have time to. This garment fed into my dream of a me made wardrobe and so I started from there.

I’m working now on one project at a time. Enjoying every aspect of each project, from the deciding of the item either knitted or sewn. The materials I’ll need, whether they’ll fit in with my overall aesthetic and how they will work in my wardrobe. I am now able to slow down to a pace I like, a pace that allows me enjoy each of the moments of life and not just count those moments.

So that’s where I am at the moment, just enjoying being creative again, one project at a time.

Ruth.