Monday, 29 October 2007

Creative Textiles Course : week 6

This week, and next, we're covering Kantha quilting!
One of our ladies who is doing her 2nd year and is a prolific knitter/stitcher, brought along two "samples" she just HAPPENED to have made which were rather fabbo and must have taken her HOURS to stitch!

Its all based on even small running stitches where the work is turned each time to create marvellous patterns which can be quite simple to really intricate!

We each had a go at a small sample and mine is HILARIOUS! nothing like the "easy" "beginners" "idiots guide TO Kantha" - even the tutor had to disguise a snort or two!! (I wasn't much better at drawing it either!)

IF I manage to complete my sample and IF it looks like YOU won't have to disguise a snort or two, I will upload a photo!

We've moved away from hand knitting now, and are looking at stitchwork and I think we might be moving on to patchwork and quilting this side of Christmas too!

The mouse problem has not been sorted - during half term - which we'd hoped. The pest controller came in and took a look but didn't appear to do anything! We're almost certain that the mouse problem IS in fact a MICE problem, as the clerical assistant popped in to say there mouse droppings all over her desk in their office too ..

Next week I have to take my sketchbook to be "marked"! luckily I managed to get it all done during the half term break bar a couple of photo's I plan to print out!

A few photos from our grand day out

I learned to type on one of these! (alright, very similar to one of these!)

Sat, listening to the audio commentary which was actually very interesting and you could choose the period to which you were interested too!

well you just KNEW textiles would have to feature! somehow, somewhere!

A shot from outside in the courtyard of the building which the commentary featured throughout its history through different periods of time giving a picture of how it evolved.

A display cabinet featured lovely gloves and a waistcoat, there was plenty here to give each of us something to find interesting!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Another grand day out!

For a half term day-out, we visited Worcester on Friday and had a lovely day which included a visit to the Commandery. The whole family enjoyed it and we spent considerable time walking through and listening to the audio commentary which kept the lads, at least, occupied!

I spent most of my time examining the *patterns* and *textures* of this historic building and managed to take some 102 shots with my "new camera" some of which I will share later through my flickr page.

Unfortunately dh wasn't very good with my new camera and failed to take the few shots of ME! I've had to explain how come 97 of the shots seemingly show closeups of tiled floors, carved fireplaces and other texturally interesting pieces! (usually such shots OF the floor and various wall/ceiling shots are the result of my aiming the camera and pressing the shutter by mistake! it took me several minutes to explain to the family that I had actually INTENDED taking 97 shots OF the floor, the walls and the ceiling .. bah ..)

Some rather hilarious shots of dh and no.1.son trying on the hats too! Ought to be enough for me to effect a ban on football being viewed on the main tv downstairs for at least PART of the season ..

I did keep an eye out for yarn/sewing shops and though we didn't do much in the way of shopping, we did pass a sewing shop and I had to stop by for a browse!
I noticed they stocked a few magazines, including Flair! the new UK computerised embroidery magazine and quite a lot of P+Q fabrics, kits and goodies too!
A nice shop and a selection of machines too!

We rounded the day off with a nice meal in a pub near Droitwich which dh had visited some years ago when he worked this way; passing through some old haunts of my own too! When I left school at 16yrs I went to a nearby Stable Yard as a working pupil and shared a flat in a converted barn with another girl from Malvern whose name I've temporarily forgotten! Hard to remember that I was not much older than my own son is now when I was doing this and living independantly!

Talking of independance, our younger son is beginning to stretch the boundaries in his quest for independance and I had to smile after he stomped out of the room in a right strop last night to blast music in a bid to *annoy* me. After 15mins he crept down to ask IF the loud music was annoying me? I didn't quite realise he WAS attempting to annoy me, and brightly advised him that his music was marvellous and one can never have TOO LOUD music ..
I regretted that a bit at 1.30am this morning after our - well I hesitate to call them "neighbours" - as that would imply they live NEARBY! they actually reside half way down the next street! but boy do THEY like to party hard and play loud music!
There isn't a single member of their household, from what we can glean, under the age of about 60yrs, as I told the policewoman when I finally gave in during one mammoth session which was still going strong by 3am and I had work the same am!

Inconsiderate. thats what I call it! (of course it might be different if they played DECENT music, loudly! which was what I tried to tell Matt about his loud music .. it didn't have the desired effect and once he realised I was humming along to it, he switched it OFF and announced he was going to READ A BOOK THEN! ..)

teenagers .. weird species! if anyone has any tips to understanding them please do feel free to share them!

The scarf is finished

The scarf is finished! I like this very much, the subtle pattern and varigated shading is nice! I shall wear it to college tomorrow and compare with others who may also have chosen to knit this!!
One ball of Haze was enough and its long enough to be a useful scarf size to wrap at my neck, which is fortunate as I found it fiddly to knit, particularly a night with the fine yarn being tricky to catch on the large needles!
The pattern is easy-peasy, though, and a great project to just sit and knit watching tv!

Currently we are watching series 3 of Lost - the children are firm fans of it now and we're almost caught up to where we'd watched it "live"!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Creative Textiles Course : week 5

Hurrah! its HALF TERM!
no class this week, and a chance to catch up with my sketch book/journal! and HOMEWORK!!

Three ladies passed through store at various times during this weekend, and one had said its as well to get right up to date with coursework as she'd fallen behind during one of the modules and found it hard to catch up.
I am resolved, therefore, to spending part of today in catching up and filling in my entries for the last couple of areas we've covered!

Next week, when we return, we are to look at Kantha quilting!

I'm thoroughly enjoying the course, the ladies are all lovely and the tutor is great too!

Knitting! scarves and bolero's!

I loved the super easy lace pattern and while I am not sure about the shedding from my previous Sublime version, I still like it! and decided to have a go using a ball of Rowan kidsilk haze, as recommended by our tutor. I'm using size 5.5mm needles (because I've not sew it seams got a pair of 6mm and 5.5mm are quite large enough!!) and already the scarf is growing!

My pal at work, Heather, wasn't convinced that one ball will be enough, I am to knit it and report back before she commences! Another student from Creative Textiles class called to store and bought a ball in a blue shade, we'll have to compare scarves after half term!

Decided to run the two projects side by side (cough!) if I'd stopped and looked and realised I'd picked up another sideways styled project I might have had second thoughts! but we had a good bargain with the pattern booklet for free and £5 reduction from yarn purchases. I've not heard from Ann in a while, she has a visitor/old school pal, from Australia, over for a reunion - I must find out if Elizabeth, her daughter, has knitted hers up yet!

Its nice yarn, ggh from RKM Wools and while I had a few scary moments wondering what language the pattern is written in and why I couldn't, apparently, work it out! it all seamed that bit clearer after a bottle of red!
(actually by the end of the bottle, I'd cast the knitting aside and couldn't have cared less!)

Too soon to say how successful it will be, I'll knit some more and report later.

Quilt Project - revisited!

Nearly finished unpicking this! I plan to start again! The panel was bought about 5/6yrs ago and I fancied having a go at quilting and though the ladies in the shop started me off with some good advice I didn't really know what I was doing! hence I gave up about 1/4 of the way in! Over the years about this time of the year I've added a bit more resolving to FINISH IT! and this year I do think I will! but first I must tediously and painfully unpick it all to start AGAIN!!

Sewing : jackets, skirts and trousers

My jacket is all fused and overlocked and ready to sew, my 2nd skirt is all sewn, zipped and awaiting a hem and lining/waistband. Not sure about the style of skirt for the pinstripe fabric, it was either that or a bias cut from a proven pattern and I really fancied trying a different style from this particular pattern. I'll list the Burda pattern details along with the jacket and pair of skirts once they are complete.

Trousers are next! I've been planning for a long time to have a go at making trousers, mostly I was put off following the experiences of my very good sew'n'knit'pal-Ann who had tremendous bother with getting a good fit - indeed I recall her attempts (via Gill Arnold) began IN class some 10years ago! However! I am resolved to not being as fussy over perfecting a fit - I shall be glad IF they FIT !!

Vogue sewing patterns are half price, currently, and I decided upon V7468 one of Claire Shaeffer's Custom Couture Collection.

Friday, 19 October 2007

How many knitting projects? (OTN's sew far..)

Scarf is nearly finished, about 2 or 3 pattern repeats I estimate before run out of yarn!
Vague plans for more lacey projects including two from recent knitting magazines but SERIOUSLY, HOW MANY knitting projects do I really want on the go!?

Currently OTN's :

  • Still the sideways cardi in self stripe yarn, getting bigger but not longer by the day!
  • About to come OFF TN's is the Sublime easy lace scarf
  • About to go OTN's is the GGH Rebecca shrug (bought another pair size 5.5mm bamboo needles to get this going alongside the sideways cardi
  • About to go OTN's is sock 2 of the broad spiral stripe in grey/lilac faux fairisle
Currently UTF:

  • Under The Foot of the sewing machine is pinstripe skirt no.2
  • About to go UTF is pinstripe jacket no.1
  • On the cutting table is orange for jacket to go with skirt already complete
  • On the cutting table is lilac knit for the new look wrap tee, my 3rd trial before I splash out and spend ££ on some jersey print for "project proper"!

PATTERNS ON OFFER at work currently include all from Simplicity book and there is a whisper that next will be Vogue! in anticipation I have been looking for patterns and have earmarked two or three including a Claire Schaeffer trouser pattern for "todays fit".

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Interesting effects with leaves for Val

A load of rotting leaves on someone's slabbed drive and a few random selections on photoshop and one might almost think I knew what I was doing!
(I'm trying to be creative here, btw! and I don't want any clever comments either! cough ;-)

MUM! .. there's a FROG in my bed ..

thankfully this won't be shrieked down the stairs at me ..
MUCH shrieking this morning! to rival that of tutor on Monday with the MOUSE ..

Our rather splendid cat, Bertie, who isn't normally up to much in the hunting department beyond flies, wasps and the occasional butterfly, managed to catch and drag upstairs a HUGE FROG!

I'm stood in the kitchen doing dishes and pondering how to make "sausage and chips" sound like a planned meal and not a this is all we have LEFT to the family tonight when I hear this SHRIEKING.

I immediately think of Lilly and suspect she's in trouble and/or has caught a baby bird. but no. she's outside pondering about and looking surprised ..

Ignore the shrieking.
Finish the dishes, discover a tin that has a label missing and try to remember IF dh had said no.2.son had it for homework and to remember that the contents were "baked beans" or did he say "kidney beans" ..
more shrieking this time I can't ignore it as its more like SCREAMING!

RUSH up the stairs and find BERTIE trying to clambour up the bunk bed ladders with "something" gripped in his mouth waving arms and legs and SCREECHING!
it was HORRIBLE!
it was like a NIGHTMARE!
I could SEE it wasn't a baby bird!
The noise it was making was odd and sounded like a baby!
IMMEDIATELY I panicked as I got closer and discovered it looked a bit green and thought "my GOD! he's gone and caught the MMG!!! and now he's EATING THE MMG!"

(note to blog-readers other than those off Delphi forums: the MMG is the Miserable Martian Gremlin that resides in my pc but occasionally travels to other areas mostly my sewing machine to visit Mrs MMG but has been known to poke his long pointy fingers at the lads' pc! and was last seen IN the lads' pc messing about with virus protection)

I wondered. for a moment. whether I should fling open the window and hurl the cat AND the "thing" out of the window, shut it and pretend it never happened .. but that would mean getting close to the "thing" which, thankfully, Bertie dropped! (in order to screech at me at how WONDERFUL he was and how MUCH my son was going to LOVE this particular prized treasure he was clearly intent on burying IN his duvet ..)

and I saw! it was a FROG! still alive and very panicked!
(me. panicked. I mean. the frog I think was just struck frozen with fear!)

the last time I picked up a frog I was about 5yrs I think. and I'd found one in our garden and took it in to show Dad. who was on the phone. and didn't want to look. so I put it in the washing up bowl and forgot all about it. until Dad finished his phone call. came back to finish the washing up and FOUND IT. There was a lot of screeching and panicking and frozen fear then if I remember rightly!).
But I'm not 5yrs and I'm NOT going to TOUCH THIS FROG! A moment of inspiration! I fling a tea towel over it! and fling a bath towel over that! and scoop it up! take it into the garden and carefully unwrap the parcel and find the frog is still frozen with fear but has at least stopped screeching and is apparently breathing.

Of course I had both Bertie AND Lilly milling around at this point and I grasped them both and they are now shut in the house looking accusingly at me and pointedly at the closed patio door and I suspect they are cross with me or at least, puzzled by me!

I shall give it half an hour and hopefully by then the frog will have hopped off to safety!
Had I known owning cats would be this exciting I might not have gone in for TWO ..

Easy Lace Scarf: Sublime yarn

RUSHED out of college and headed straight for House of Fraser, dept store, where they had a 25 sale including haby/yarn for some SUBLIME angora merino to make a scarf based on a pattern given us by the tutor to practice lace knitting!
Discovered the sale is now 50%!
RESISTED the urge to buy MORE Sirdar Just Bamboo and stuck to my intention of scarf-yarn only!
(oh. I did pick up 4x skirt concealed zips and a plastic quilt-y thing that adds 1/4" to seams and a pack of 5.5mm bamboo knitting needles but like I said, 50% off at half price is like getting it for FREE .. almost?).

The yarn is one which I've wanted to knit with for ages but at nearly £5 a ball I've been waiting for an opportunity such as a sale and I might go back for a garments worth .. later!

Scarf, as you can see, is nearly through the first ball, the pattern calls for one ball of Rowan Kidsilk Spray and pair of 6mm needles, but I've bought two balls of the sublime and pair of 5.5mm's

  • cast on 38st loosely
  • row 1 (rs) knit
  • row 2 purl
  • row 3 k1 *(k2 tog) 3 times (yo, k1) 6times (k2 tog) 3 times*
    • repeat from * to * until 1st left, k1
  • row 4 knit
  • repeat until yarn runs out
  • cast off loosely
  • block to shape
it IS but I was too excited and rushed into the pattern before realising I had to do the k2tog times TWICE in the middle before the yok1 and it shows that rushing in thinking is EASY can trip you up!

New Camera!

I'm not yet fully convinced its a good idea to stand in someones drive and take shots of their interesting fallen leaves about their slabbed driveway HOWEVER at least with my new super duper slimline teeny-weeny CAMERA I can pretend to be adjusting shoe laces while squatting down taking shots of leaves against slabbed drives and RUN QUICK when the inevitable happens and the homeowner bangs on the WINDOW!

On Sunday we went round to my brother's house for a lesson on running away quick, I mean taking shots of people's drives, I mean of nature! and in exchange for a gifted camera, I embroidered a set of bath sheet, hand towel and guest towel with Pete's name!

Took loads of shots of falling leaves and trees in a local park and then did rather weird things in PhotoShop! I'm hoping to further impress the tutor on my course with my photo's which I hope ALSO will spark inspiration for my "final piece".

(we've not discussed "final piece" much. yet. gulp. )

Anyway, Pete seemed pleased with his towels! and I'm pleased with my smart new camera!

Creative Textiles Course : week 4

Excitement in class today!
We arrived to discover the table filled with lace projects, swatches and scarves ..
Lots of shrieking!
but not all necessarily over the afforementioned lace goodies!
and sure enough, there WAS a mouse!
our tutor was practically ON the table top! she hates mice! (perhaps it wasn't wise to mention mouse ususally means MICE?)
Anyway it wasn't too long before the mouse was forgotten and we got back to the subject of this week, LACE KNITTING!
It was reassuring that other ladies who also knit, had had bother doing their cable swatches from the week before! I practically had my ripped off the needles and hurled in direction of the bin!
Some very kind knitters on Knit'n'Chat made sensible suggestions about reading charts and identifying symbols and I aim to calm down and try to get to grips with this using some of the tips!
(I'll let you know how I get on!).
Back to lace.
We looked at some patterns and we discussed how to manage shaping while maintaining pattern (this was a point I'd put forward after the disastrous attempt using the Patons cotton 4ply earlier this year which, you'll remember, I abandoned and took yarn back for refund!)
Anyway, Sarah has promised to look at this after half term with a view to sharing with class how to shape and maintain pattern (I think I'll have to let her off, however, as I don't think she realised quite how complicated this particular pattern actually IS!!).

I shared a couple of knitting magazines that had articles in them this issue (October) on articles on lace knitting, sock knitting and a masterclass in fairisle.
I wouldn't normally buy two similar mags from one month (in addition to the subscribed issue of Simply Knitting that should be arriving albeit late due to postal disturbances!) however due TO postal disturbances, I decided to buy the magazines anyway!

I'm knitting some samples for my folder and we were given a simple lace pattern to create a scarf (see next post for details and pictures).

My folder/sketch book is coming along well!
Up until now it has been a blank book!
I wasn't sure about how to go about setting it out and was confused with the idea of running TWO books. Last week I got stuck in and did three pages which I showed our tutor and she said it was rather fantastic and exceeded expectations which rather pleased me!
I might take a picture of it and share!

This week ended our sessions on hand knitting and after the half term break we move on to Kantha stitching and various other aspects of this and I'm not sure if she's moving patchwork/quilting in with this as it should have been surface design next!

I've chosen, too! my short presentation subject!
As we're now split into two groups, I'm in Level I along with the other newbies, it isn't obligatory for the Level I's to do this as part of the course offically as it is with our Level II group of ladies, however Sarah thinks it will be good for us as a group, therefore I'm not now going to do "socks" I'm going to blither on for 10mins generally about the history of hand knitting and tie it into my OWN history (okay, I confess, Sarah suggested that I could pass my folder round and let everyone spend 10mins reading my page on "my personal knitting history" which made me THINK .. what a blooming good idea!!)

Anyway, I'm not one for passing up the opportunity for talking for 10mins about what I enjoy MOST, they can read the journal entry in their OWN time!!

I need to complete my 2nd cable sample and set out pages for cable and fairisle and knit some lace samples and complete that page before concluding with a reflection of my own on this aspect - easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy SHOULD get that done in a WEEK .. ?

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Another top with lace and embroidery

Ignore the slightly scary hair that look like it would prefer not to be associated with the photo or ME indeed! and the failed red eye removal.
This is me wearing the pink top I made from this New Look pattern and you'll see that I've added a rather super embroidery from one of my Late Mother's embroidery cards, a Brother design boutique florals 1, design 10 and some pretty lace trim at the neckline!
I can't lie. I had to. Add the lace. On account of I forgot my bearings and in the making up process failed first to account for the two seam allowances at the back to be elminated when I placed the pattern on the fold to take out the unnecessary seam, and then I went a bit mad with the fusing and pressing and somehow managed to not only fuse strips of interfacing TO the iron, but also stretched the neckline.
Trying to work out quite how successfully I will manage to CONvince dh tonight that it was HE that "burnt" the iron sole plate. The strips/evidence, however, make it a bit obvious? Never mind. could do with a new iron!
You'll see that a bit of fierce stitching at the point where the fronts cross over holds it all nicely in place and preserves my modesty should I feel the need to bow or curtsey I can feel assured that no one will faint. or laugh.
This time I made the top 3" longer that the viewE, but 2" shorter than the full lengthed versions and I'm pleased with that, at least!
Being a slightly thicker fabric, I had to be careful seaming and this time used a twin needle and the roller foot and left the inside flapped "front" loose and well trimmed shorter than the hemmed back and outer "front".

While knitting I ..but when sewing I ..

when KNITTING I prefer to watch the tv!
and currently its pretty good! I'm watching reruns on each evening at 10pm Tenko! and tomorrow and Fri are the concluding episodes on the rather wicked House of Cards!

when SEWING I prefer to listen to music!
occasionally I have to have total silence - particularly when working out my pattern alterations! but I enjoy my sewing much more when the music is ON and is LOUD!

My children, when they do their homework, are different in that one has to have total silence in order to concentrate, and the younger works better (SEW he says!) when he has Pink and Avril Lavigne blasting out!

Please vote using the poll to the side, substituting "knitting" for your preferred craft, eg sewing or card making if you wish, just for fun!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Quilt Fabrics (for val!)

Not. obviously FOR Val. for ME! rather! but the photo is for Val! she uploaded some of her scrummy fabrics and I thought I'd do likewise!
Most of these I purchased at the monthly Quilt Club over the summer when they had a visiting quilt supplier attend one of the sessions.
Not sure what I shall do with them. Other than fondle and admire them!
I would, however, like to do SOMETHING quilty!

Sideways cardigan

I'm really just not sure about this! have knitted the left front and now about to commence the back. it seems. awfully. SHORT. don't you think? am wondering if I can manage to give it a good heave and a scare with a fiercely steaming ironing to frighten it into lengthening.
Either that. or I can just claim it to be a bolero.

Projects: sewing and fabrics

Finished attaching the lining on my latest skirt, managed a better finish on this one by sewing the lining to a facing rather than waistband, it fits comfortably and as I generally wear skirts with this waist I'm hoping it will successful (I've nearly run out of fasteners, hence the other method!).
I have to make a jacket to accompany this skirt which can then be used for work, plenty of fabric I thought I might try another variation of skirt to maximise use.
The scarf was a quick project, just a narrow hem overlocked either side and left the shorter edges with the fringey selvedge, I wear these a lot for work.

The TOP! the New Look wraptop! is brilliant! I cut this out straight as from the pattern without any adjustments to see what the fit was like before I started jigging about with pivoting and sliding and bits of pinned tissue paper! pleasantly surprised that this is definitely wearable and due to the nature of stretch fabrics would be confident of making it up again as it is!

The fabric is well aged! I bought this for £0.25p/m at a local (ex) fabric outlet when my children were baby/toddler! it was meant for them! and indeed I did make them tiny tees too!! It is a bit bright, it probably IS as bright as it looks as you look at it now! it needs something, a bit of relief, I feel, perhaps some embroidery? I shall consider this on my next project before seaming.

The overlocker behaved very well and seamed it up with a finish on the sleeve and neck using my sewing machine's stitch no: 14, described as a "jersey stitch". A twin stretch needle produced a double st. st lower hem. I added stabiliser to the back/shoulders and also down each front neckline.

Napkins! Christmas napkins! I bought these about two years ago, and last year discovered a marvellous method, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, for perfect mitred corners! Unfortunately I didn't FINISH the job, and in the meantime temporarily LOST the link/instructions! happily I found it again (much to the relief of my cyber-pals!) and the close up shows just why I am pleased with these!

Monday, 8 October 2007

Creative Textiles Course : week 3

This week (due to popular demand. which basically means ME and another lady!!) we continued our theme of knitting, exploring this time cabling! Had a thoroughly good two hours knitting swatches and drooling over Rowan cable knits that Sarah had brought in to show us.
Sarah promises to bring the studio booklet in that has the pattern for the particular garment which had cabling and short sleeves in a cardi/jacket style and was SERIOUSLY YUMMY!! Now I THINK it may be this book, Studio Issue 2, it looks very like the last image but I shall confirm this next week!

Much admiration must be expressed to the ladies on the course who are complete NEWBIES to knitting and have tackled fairisle and cabling! The nice thing about being on a lovely group of mixed crafters, is that we each have our own areas of interest to share and mix.

Next week we are to complete our section on hand knitting and the history and tradition aspect in particular with "lace" knitting!

On the way home I called in to a local charity shop and managed to pick up a super booklet of vintage patterns in wool for cable knits, including socks! and also some circular knitting needles too!

Finally! Sarah is knitting a pair of socks too! in delicious self patterning in yummiest of PINKS and other colours its just like being a member of a "club"! sock knitters united!!

I have a day off this week too! lots to catch up with and many projects on the go - hope to be able to share progress presently!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Well. not quite in correct sequence but I've spent 10mins faffing about and I'm not arguing any longer with the pc about it!
Latest batch of photo's of my cat, Bertie, who feels he IS afterall in charge some how ..

New Look 6843 and Burda 8390

Two of the four skirts I'm currently sewing up!
Atop is a lovely piece of grey/beige check fabric long since bought from goodness knows where! well aged, shall we say? made up using my favourite A-line skirt from New Look, 6843.

I like this pattern very much not least because I went to considerable effort to perfect the fit using a combination of pattern alterations as recommended by Gill Arnold to suit my figure and some of my own adaptations based originally on the theory that if you tug at the skirt prior to fitting waistband while held snug with length of elastic, eventually you'll find it wide enough to cover the hips!
Its a quick and easy pattern to make up, and my pattern is now copied onto pieces of fabri-baste which is wonderful and far better than dressmakers tissue paper, in my opinion!

Next is another fast becoming "favourite" pattern! my orange linen fabric is suitably aged and just awaits its co-ordinating jacket! Burda 8390 is a fabulous jacket with skirt and trousers pattern in the sort of style that both suits my shape and suitable for both work and leisure!

I have made up this jacket 4 times now, with and without the collar, and one has the side panels embroidered to further extend the wearability of this lovely pattern!

The linen skirt looks far better ON than on the hanger, I promise! and is very comfortable to wear.

My final skirt is again from the New Look pattern, and is a pin stripe in predominantly black and, as before, well aged having come from a sale at one of Gill's events years ago when I thought I might make a suit for *interviews* at a time when I was considering returning to work!
Happily I am now at work, albeit a more leisurely *j-obby* (a mix of job and hobby which um, well they BOTH are in fact being as I work within the sewing field!). Also, happily, I am required to wear smart suit based workwear, this ought to see me through the winter! I have not decided which jacket to make to accompany it but almost certainly it will be one of my Burda collection as I've worked hard on 5 patterns now to give me the best fit I feel I can achieve short of actually BEING "fitted".

I've been waiting for my Brother overlocker to pack up and die on me.
For about 8yrs.
But (happily) it is in good health and refuses.
I cannot in any way see how I can justify buying - first the marvellous BERNINA - which I was disappointed didn't perform at all well on my sample fabrics and even my very pro-bernina dealer was urging me to hang onto my Brother and put my plastic away!
Then the super-duper Babylock - which I've wanted for AGES and had to be dragged off by my sewing-pal-Ann at a show years ago following a demonstration by the dealer and Ann came by just as I and two other ladies were about to make the dealer's DAY by flinging plastic at her!

sigh ..
and now, at work! I've been polishing and whispering to our latest model, the Elna - and over which I nearly had a push'n'shove fight over with my colleague who claims first preference on account of HER badge says "Elna" ..

but, really my little cheapie, Brother just never lets me down! always produces a neat and uniform stitch what ever the fabric I thrust under its foot, is EASY-PEASY-LEMON-SQUEEZY to thread up and all in all is ALL I ACTUALLY NEED/WOULD USE IN AN OVERLOCKER!

but is IS nice to drool over new machines .. ?

Fairisle Sample and next sock!

My knitted Fairisle sample for the Creative Textiles course was fun, I knitted a border to show off the two colour patterning to effect and swiped the top section from one of the samples suggested in my newest book, "More Sensational Knitted Socks"!

From where, also, came the Broad Spiral Rib pattern on my latest sock! Knitted using the Lana Grossa sock yarn bought from my local ebay seller and finished late last night!
hmmm. DOES my foot look fat in this .. ?

I'll wait until knitted sock no.2 before deciding!
The pattern was a repeat of 4 rounds and once I'd got into the swing of it I was able to knit it without referring to the pattern and I'm pleased I did unpick it when I went wrong at the very start as I feel certain it would have become very obvious by the end and I'd have not been happy!

Waiting to find out what size shoe my SIL-on-loan takes before sorting out a pattern for a pair of birthday socks for her. After THAT I think I'll be ready to take on my yummiest of all luxury yarns and those will all be for ME!