Bits and pieces..

I hope all is well in your part of the world… Things are OK for now, but alot can happen in a few weeks and I’m wondering when life will feel predictable again.. I know it never really is! But there would be a comfort in knowing plans could be made and friends could be gathered….. in the meantime we find a distraction….

The best distraction is a bracing swim in open water…!

I’m trying to get as many ‘last’ swims in before the weather changes drastically… Each one gets savoured in case it is the actual last, but maybe I’ll be able to brace the cold for another while!

Otherwise I spend alot of time thinking about making, but not enough time actually making (for myself at least)…

Some things I’m enjoying making – like this teeny tiny Cardigan for a baby gift:

Its the fuss free baby Cardigan (pattern available on Ravelry).

Other items I dread sewing.. (why did I agree to alter a dress?)… I forget how little sewing time there is and then regret using it up doing sewing that’s not for me! 🤣 (update: the dress is done, and gratefully received… and I’ve reminded myself how to say no, and to stop worrying about causing offence😆).

My cardi is getting lots of wear!

I also have a new finished object that’s almost ready to share, it’s a Punch needle picture that I started in March, using leftover yarn. I just need to get a frame to pin it onto, and I can hang it up.

Fluffy detail of the Punch needle picture!

Other than that I hope to get some sewing cut out and some more knitting cast on, in the hope that it’ll kick start my motivation again!

Scrap happy sewing

My green dress needs one more pocket to be stitched and it’ll be finished, but I keep putting it to one side!

In the meantime, while I wait in the car for the rain to stop….. I thought I’d show off this appliqué top!

Good nail day😉

It started out as a plain top:

Before

There were one or two tiny marks that wouldn’t come out in the wash, so I decide to use some colourful scraps of fabric to jazz it up a bit.

I have lots of embroidery transfers that are years old (maybe 20+!), from a time when I bought an embroidery magazine every fortnite that had a kit attached. (Such a mis-spent youth 😂)!

Image was transferred using a hot iron.

I cut out flower shapes that interested me and strategically placed them to cover any marks and then ironed the design in place.

I then used the transfer to cut out the coloured shapes – those pieces of fabric had bondaweb ironed to the reverse.

The coloured shapes were then ironed in place using the transfer lines as a guide to placement.

Appliques pieces being positioned onto the tee shirt

Once that was done, I used a mixture of machine and then hand embroidery stitches to hold the pieces in place, using running, chain and buttonhole stitches. It was finished over a few nights in front of the TV, a really nice relaxing project that didn’t turn out too badly! I love the colours together.

Close up of the stitching.

In other sewing related news, I thought this might be of interest:

Colourful lobster pots

On one of our walks at the beach, I stopped to photograph the lobster pots that were lined up on the Quay, when we noticed some creative stitching:

Repurposed drums!

These pot’s were made from repurposed drums that had net stitched around a cut-out opening! So clever!

That’s it for now, I hope all is well wherever you’re reading this from. The rain has changed to a foggy blanket, but I’m keeping hopeful that’ll well get a few more days of summer before August ends!

Caramel Cardigan

Sunset Posing

I started this Cardigan in April I think… And I finally finished it last weekend when I was nursing a sore back… (Nothing serious just too much running around on my week off work!).

The design was heavily inspired by one I had seen in a shop:

I didn’t have a pattern so I used a similar shaped coatigan to check my finished measurements:

This first sleeve attempt had to be ripped back…

I knitted the sleeves two at a time, to keep the shaping even. Checking them against the grey coatigan.

I only took rough notes as I was working on it in fits and spurts, so I might not be able to recreate it!

Shoulders are a bit wide here (also see 4 stitches at the seams)

It’s made from the bottom up with a seamless body and raglan sleeves, with 4 purl stitches at the seam.

I used short rows to build up the back neck and also to bring the shoulders in towards the neckline. The short rows blended well with the moss stitch.

Shawl collar and raglan seam reduced to 2 stitches

There were 4 stitches at the raglan seams, but after trying it on, I used mattress stitch to close 2 of them up so, that the seam was sturdier and narrower. (The raglan seams could be a bit neater as I think I mixed up a few k2tog with k1sl1psso!).

Reducing raglan seam using mattress stitch

I also added a row of crochet chain across the inside back neck for some extra strength. The front bands were knitted by picking-up stitches along the edges and around the back neck. Short rows and increases shaped the shawl collar.

Love the sleeve length… I like my thumbs to be almost covered!

This next one is for Stephanie! I found a moth wearing colours to match!

Wondering if I should add buttons..

I might add buttons and maybe pockets, but I’ll wear it a while first and see how it feels.

I’ll sign off with a lovely calm picture of a nearby beach cove… I love the evening colours over the sea.

Some knitting, some sewing

How are you? All is well here..for the most part…ups and downs and new normals😆.

I’ve been knitting:

Caramel Cardigan

And I’ve been sewing a little:

I worked in a hotel one summer and this colour always reminds me of the uniform!

But mostly this week I’ve been reading…

Writing doesn’t come naturally to me…essays don’t roll off my keyboard and I’ve always preferred numbers to letters!

There are many makers who I admire and whose writing has struck a chord with me, these posts are just two that I’d encourage you to read:

I’ve followed Dana at Yards of Happiness for a couple of years, she is a fantastic knitter and her use of colour is inspiring. I’ve noticed I knit more when I’m stressed, my worries are small in comparison to others, but knitting helps to distract …

Here Dana explains in her own words why she can’t just knit….

https://yardsofhappiness.com/2020/06/01/i-cant-just-knit/

I like to hear about other peoples lives, and how creativity is a part of that life…it’s what drew me to following blogs, and creating my own. The Sewcialist blog shares stories from so many creative people, and this post from Jasika (you can find her blog at http://jasikanicole.com/try-curious-blog/ ) is a very thought provoking piece: https://thesewcialists.com/2017/12/15/my-crafting-like-my-feminism-is-intersectional/.

Slán go fóill x C

Soldotna – colourful knit

I hope everyone is doing ok, given the circumstances x. This week restrictions here have lifted a little, in terms of increasing to a 5k distance from home for exercise, which has been very welcome. We have lots of nice beaches less than 5km from home and we made the most of them at the weekend. I’m working normal office hours during the week and keeping busy with cycling or making in the evenings.

One edge of a local beach, which we had to ourselves on our cycle Sunday morning.

I have a few different projects on the go at the minute, a caramel knitted cardigan and I’ve been working on a needlepunch picture, neither of which is finished. So here’s an in-progress look:

And heres something I finished a little while ago.

The Soldotna crop top pattern has been a big hit on Ravelry.

It ticks so many boxes – knit in one piece, great way to use colourful scraps, no sleeves, and cropped – a quick knit even though it’s colourwork.

Just some of the beautiful sweaters made from this pattern.

I saved alot of finished tops as inspiration for mine – but when I shopped for yarn I went with very different colours than originally planned.

Pinks and Blues

In order to substitute the colours – I printed the colour chart and took a photo which I altered to greyscale. And then arranged my yarn to see if I could get the same tonal difference:

Using grayscale this way makes it easier to compare the tones of different coloured yarn.

After knitting some of the yoke, I realised I wasn’t too keen on the colours, so tried it on a passing child … and she liked it, so she became the new owner.

Someone else liked it more than I did 🙂

I used hair clips (grips!) To mark the divide for armholes and continued on :

I thought it might look nice as a dress so I kept knitting until I was happy with the length and then added some colourwork at the hem – but it just didn’t sit right- the shape was just odd. The colourwork narrowed the hem of the dress so it took on a balloon/lantern shape.

Instead of unravelling it all – I cut off the unwanted length and thought about making a two-piece outfit but neither of us liked it on!

After separating.

I kept the extra piece and might make it into a cowl at a later stage. The top was finished with a 2×2 rib, and looks great worn with jeans:

I would still like to make one for myself, so I might return to the inspiration pics once the shops reopen and pick out some new colours:)

Mind yourselves. Slán xc