Monday, 27 May 2013

Long post, lots of photos

First up - embroidery. The stocking is currently making good progress, which is nice. I'm sure it will slow down again when I get back to some of the more bitsy bits, but I'm enjoying seeing actual progress while it lasts.

(For some reason it will happily go every way except upright. A sideways picture will do, I can't be bothered arguing with it)

I've also been knitting a bunch of Small Things, although I think the only new items are a pair of mittens (so quick to make!), and a Very Small Singlet.

Mitten pattern is The Stay Put Mini Mitts, wool is John Q Heather DK from my stash. I used half of a 50g ball, so I may do a second pair the same, but will more likely use a different colour for the emergency backup mittens.

Singlet is shown with the 18 month size one, and it really is ridiculously tiny. (I have compared it to other clothing of an appropriate size, and it appears to be correct...). The larger singlet used 83g of wool, this one used only 34g of Vintage Purls Sock - which is lucky, as I only had 35g of it!
Next singlet-related job will be writing up the pattern, and seeing if it makes sense to anyone. This is my first attempt at making a knitting pattern to fit multiple sizes, and as far as I can tell from my two samples it looks at least somewhat plausible that it is correct.

On the sewing front I have finished my first ever Proper Trousers. Peter hates trying to find decent trousers, so I finally convinced him to let me try making a pair. The pattern is taken from a pair he had made when we passed through Bangkok on the way to Europe a few years ago, so it should fit fairly well.

The fabric was from the $8 table at Fabric Vision (when they had their last 25% off sale), and is a heavy cotton broken twill. It got a wee bit creased when I prewashed, but for a pair of prototype pants it'll do. There are a few things where I could have done things in a slightly different order, but I've never done a trouser fly before and I was making it up as I go along. I think at very least they have worked to prove that I can make something that fits from the pattern, and that trousers aren't really that horrendous to put together. Next pair will be trying out some moleskin from the same sale.
I have also reached the decision that I really need to do something about my wardrobe. I haven't really added anything to it for a while now, and it's getting pretty dire. First new item is (theoretically) going to be a top from a blue striped knit fabric.

Not sure what it is, but it has a nice drape. I may test some to try to work it out, but I'm not sure I actually care enough. It will be a bit of an adventure, since the styles of clothing I like best are nicely fitted woven fabrics, but that's not really practical with constantly changing size/shape and needing access for feeding Small People. One day I can go back to that, but in the meantime I will have to venture into the world of knits.

And lastly, spinning! I have just acquired a second-hand Majacraft Suzie.

I suspect it's quite old, given some of the features, like the metal knob on the front that is now being made from wood, and the straight plates on the crank assembly. Also, it has hooks on the flyer, rather than the sliding hooks that are the norm on all the other ones I've seen.

I've started spinning some merino on it, and it spins nicely. When I've finished the first half I will go through and do some maintenance/tweaking, and spin the second half. It definitely feels more enticing to sit down and spin with it than with my old wheel (an Ashford Traveller - nothing wrong with it, the Suzie just feels a lot more Engineered).
I also finished off the purple corriedale that had been sitting half spun for far too long.

I couldn't quite ply it all onto one bobbin, so there is a smaller second skein with the purple, and I found a bobbin with a bit of brown corriedale to finish off the uneven end with. So I not only finished up some long delayed spinning, I also cleared an extra bobbin.

Whew, that was long.

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Singlet 2 is growing, but I'm currently procrastinating on undoing the front to make it better. It needs to happen, I just want it to magically fix itself...

And as successful procrastination goes, the purple corriedale is nearly spun. I'm hoping to finish the second half tonight and ply tomorrow. Hopefully there will be some photos soon.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Singlet, Spinning, and (thankfully) No Moths

I finished the singlet prototype last weekend, shown here (18m size). This has a couple of inches added to the length of what I theoretically worked out, because The Monkey is long and thin.

Wool is Baby 4 ply from The Wool Company in Utiku, this singlet ate 83g. It should be nice and warm for winter though!

I have started work on a 0-3 month one now, after tweaking a few things in the pattern. The neckline will be slightly different, and the construction should (hopefully) be improved. I have calculated that I should need 36g of yarn, and the leftover I have found to use is 35g. This could be interesting!

I have theoretically acquired a new spinning wheel, although I'll wait until I managed to get it off my mother to celebrate. (Bought on Trademe, she picked it up and has been playing with it since. I won't get a chance at it until next week, by which stage I don't know if I'll be allowed to have it!).

This has given me the push I needed to finish up the spinning that was sitting around nearly half done for a while. I dragged the wheel out the other day and have now finished the first half of a 100g pack of Passionfruit Corriedale from The Little Wool Company. I have done the first half as is, and have just started the second half with the colours stripped apart. I have no idea how it will come out, or what it will be, but it will be good to get it finished.

In the process of finishing the first half, I found a few insect casings in a bit of the fibre. My first thought was moths, but a bit of reading online helped me decide that actually it was just fly/maggot casings. Still unpleasant, but I'm pretty sure I know how and when that would have happened. Every now and then the cat leaves us special presents, and at certain times of year if we don't see them then they go unnoticed (they dry out before they start smelling). A while ago I discovered one under an armchair, with a few of said casings around, and I guess I must have had the wheel and fibre out in the lounge nearby at that point. So, no moth crisis, just a brief panic!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Half a singlet!

The top half is done, here's hoping that the bottom half works and it all comes together how I am imagining it. With any luck the first version will be finished by the end of the weekend (and then I can work out what needs to change for the second incarnation). I guess we might have a warm little boy this winter after all, and no belly hanging out of his singlets.

Monday, 6 May 2013


In the last week or so I have finished a baby blanket. Wool is Utiku Corriedale in Cream, Avocado, Amethyst, Aqua, Raspberry and Gems. Pattern is Dream Catcher Baby Blanket by Susan B. Anderson.

I have also moved onto page 2 of The Stocking.

I have also started working on a pattern for a knitted baby singlet, since I couldn't find anything that looked like what I wanted. Always so fussy!

Friday, 3 May 2013


After a while in hibernation, I have finally worked out the pattern for the smaller size of this shawl. It used two colours of Vintage Purls sock yarn (85g of The Oceanographer, and 65g of Soho Backstreet). I bought the variegated yarn because I love the colours in it, but (like many people) I have difficulty finding something to make with highly variegated yarns because they tend to hide patterns. I think this shawl tames it down a bit, while still showing off all the gorgeous colours.

The pattern is mostly written (for both sizes), and just needs a few more tweaks. I am hoping to have it ready for testing by the end of the weekend. (If you're interested in testing, let me know!)

While I also love how this one sits I think I preferred the larger size, so I may have to remake one for me to keep at some point. Of course, that means I'll have to work out what colours I want...