Monday, August 26, 2013

Lovely "Yellow Brick Road" Cowl, for the lovely lady

I love the lovely lady who gives me lovely massage.  I can't begin to describe how much I love her.  I love her in many ways...

Firstly, she gives me lovely massage.
Secondly, she is just a lovely person.
Thirdly, she and her lovely massage (which to be honest is less than lovely at the time), are the only reason I can still even contemplate knitting.

I think in order, those reasons actually go second, third, first, in priority terms for me.  When I realised that item two on that list was the reason I loved her most, closely followed by item three, I knew I needed to make her something.  That, plus her truck sized hints about loving button up neckwarmers.

Leanne_CowlButtons2

I made the Yellow Brick Road Cowl, which you can find here.  This pattern is lovely and an easy knit.

Leanne_CowlStraightButtoning

Here it is on Jesse.  In traditional form.

I chose Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian Highland Wool) for this pattern, from The Stash Cupboard here in Hobart.  The original link to this pattern has many ways to wear it such as this awesome way:

Leanne_CowlCollarButtoning

And also my favourite way - which is this:

Leanne_CowlHorizontalButtoning

I like this cowl / neckwarmer.  It's easy to make and lovely to look at.  The buttons are from a local fabric shop called Frangipani Fabrics and are very pretty. They are a bit less yellow than they look here (more photos at night...) and more of a pearly cream.

I gave this to her last week and she was super pleased.  She seemed to love it generally and she very much loved the colour :)  I think she likes it, which is the whole point on this one!

Hooray for sharing the crafty love :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Action Kivu - donation time!

Just a quickie to say I just gave to Action Kivu - a charity helping women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo through various initiatives to send children to school and also via a sewing workshop.

I can't imagine anything better than enabling people to make a living and secure place for themselves and their families via sewing and education.  If you feel that way too - please head over to Handmade by Alissa and donate.  There are some amazing prizes just for donating, and the fundraising drive ends tonight (US time) - so be quick about it!

Sew Sweetness Peas and Corn Lunchbag - Pattern Test

The lovely Sara of Sew Sweetness is quite clearly the bag queen (that sounds better than bag lady...).  I was lucky enough to pattern test her latest bag pattern, the Peas and Corn Lunch Bags pattern, and it didn't disappoint.

This pattern includes instructions for the (pictured) round lunchbox, a square top lunch box and two reusable snack bags.  


The zip top lunchbag is deemed advanced, with the round lunchbag being an intermediate pattern (I think the snack bags would be confident beginner probably).  I chose to make the lunchbox out of oilcloth which I had to hand.  Having never worked with oilcloth before, I decided to make the intermediate bag :)

Overall the pattern was well thought out and easy to follow.  I love the little hints to make things go better and I am really pleased with the result.  I would be happier if I had in fact followed one of the hints to keep the shape more regular which I chose to ignore :)  One day I will learn to believe that people writing patterns usually know better than I do!

I have since made one of the snack bags (will be covered in another post) and  that was also well thought out.  It is a simple zipped pouch but was constructed in a different way to how I normally would, so that was interesting to make and I liked the construction.  I really can't get enough of Sara's patterns, so far both of her patterns that I have made have been a step beyond the usual home sewist patterns and I think the resulting bags are very professional and great to sew.

I can see myself making heaps more of these and also trying the zip top version too.  Sewing with the oilcloth was pretty straightforward, though obviously thicker and more rigid than other fabrics might be.  I had to be super careful pressing it, but the extra effort was definitely worth it for the expected longer life of the bag and the fact it can be wiped clean.

Now I just have to decide which of the three people who have staked their claim will be the lucky recipient!!!



Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

A lovely lovely day and an amazing set of presents including:

Birthday_Bag

This gorgeous Fossil bag from Nick and the kids

Birthday_Ring_Closeup
A great ring from my sister (sorry - ghastly picture...)

French_Curve
A French curve - also from Nick and the kids (more on the plans for using this later...). It arrived from Tessuti, beautifully wrapped in a pattern piece from some McCalls pattern - great packaging!

Birthday_Bubbles

A nice glass of bubbles and a new Breaking Bad :)

A family and friends party on Saturday and lots of love and cuddles from the small people (not pictured).

What more could anyone want?

Haul from the craft fair (Melbourne)

For the last two years (three including this one), I have headed off somewhere to one of the craft fairs somewhere else in Australia.  We get one here in Tassie but there tends to be fewer stalls and to be honest, it's a good excuse to go fabric and other shopping elsewhere :)

I have yet to revisit the previous posts on the craft fair - I like to check what I was planning and whether I fulfilled any of it in the intervening year, though it can be depressing!  I will do that later...meanwhile - here is the haul from this year, complete with grand plans for most of it :)

(That's an Australian twenty cent piece for those who might know what that means in size terms!)

Black_ItalianWool_Cleggs

This does not photograph very well at all (and to be fair, it was snapped in poor light...).  This is Italian wool and is black with a kind of textured stripe which is just about visible in the above picture.  Amazingly, this was $20 a metre at Cleggs.  I plan to remake my "smart" winter coat in this, potentially by unpicking the existing (veeeeery old) coat to use as a pattern.

Grey_ItalianWool_Cleggs

This is also Italian wool from Cleggs - it looks a bit brown in this picture but is a lovely soft grey colour.  This will likely be a skirt - see a later post for the plan in this regard :)

NanoIro_DG_Kelani

This is a Nano Iro double gauze, a remnant purchased from the Kelani Fabrics stall at the craft fair.  It's a piece measuring 85 x 110cm and is a bit more purpley in the flowers than it appears.  I am not sure if that's enough for a top so it might have to be combined with something else for a top or skirt for summer.  OR I could make something for Issy instead, though it seems a *little* extravagant to make a six year old clothes from Nano Iro double gauze...particularly when I don't have any :)

Teal_Knit_Tessuti

This is a teal knit remant from the table at Tessuti.  Apparently it's faulty but I can't find it yet...It measures 1m x 145cm which is a sizeable piece and is a merino wool / modal blend, which makes it possibly the most awesome fabric in the whole world.  It feels amazing. I will be making a top for ME out of this, though I don't know which one yet.

Echino_Cars_Kelani

This is awesome Echino.  It is brown and aqua rather than black, as it looks in my really terrible picture.  This will be something for Marcus, though I haven't yet decided what.  It measures 70 x 110cm and was another Kelani remnant from the fair.

Echino_MustardSpot_Kelani

More Echino.  Again, likely something for Marcus, though am unsure what.  Would summer shorts made from this make him look too clown-like?  I think maybe a cuff of this combined with another fabric to break it up a bit perhaps...it's a more mustard colour than it looks in that picture and is 95 x 110.

Butterfly_Laminate_Kelani

I am possibly most excited by this fabric (well maybe a tie between this and the Italian wool...).  Soft grey butterfly laminate from Kelani again - I nabbed two fairly sizable pieces which should be just enough to make the Oliver and S School days jacket as a raincoat for Issy.  Totally stoked.

CottonLinen_Shirting_Tessuti

Another Tessuti remnant which photographs truly appallingly.  It is actually an off-white and soft bluey grey colour, rather than nicotine yellow and charcoal as it looks here (I know I could have done better with these pics but am tired and it's my birthday, so you have to cut me some slack!).  This is Japanese cotton and linen blend and has the most lovely hand.  I scored a huge 290 x 113cm for only $31 (in.SANE.).  I will probably make Marcus a shirt (or four) from this - though am wondering whether it's enough to make one instead for Nick...we'll see.

So that's the fabric haul.  I bought a few other things for me (boots...yay!) and generally had a lovely time catching up with friends, eating out, swimming in the lovely pool and generally having me time.

Hope that wasn't too dull, but the haul is never to be skipped over :)