Archive for September, 2011


September 26, 2011

Yesterday, we took a trip to the seaside to visit Jenny and meet the baby. It’s been far too long since the six of us were all together in one place and it was a great day. There was an excess of cake, a brief spell of sunshine as we walked along the side of the beach, lots of laughs, some contemplation of whether the presentation of lots of knitted gifts in childhood would cause a later fear of knitted things and, of course, a very cute baby.

And there were presents.  We handed over the blanket we’d collaborated over and sewn together one afternoon in May on the South Bank (and lined by Amanda after we finished)

Louise gave her the fab little dog that she’d made.  And I finally got to hand over the bootees which I have been hiding for the last few months.

Two bootees, one face

I wanted to do something a little different to the traditional animal bootees you see. I got the idea for the bootees from a pair of Japanese socks I bought a while ago in Covent Garden. Those had a single panda face over the two socks and always make me smile when I know I’m wearing them.

The other big event was that we  planned a secret surprise for Amanda’s big birthday – a big basket of craft related presents. I made a case for a pair of good sewing scissors –

Grey felt, red embroidery. I’ve always loved the combination of red and grey. I’ve always thought of myself mostly as a knitter, but it seems these days that I sew more often than anything.


Bastard moths: part 2

September 11, 2011

I recently found that the lightweight cardigan I had been knitting had a couple of moth holes in it.  Well, I found out where the little buggers had been living.

This coat, I should explain, is an old favourite. I have owned it for over 10 years, having rescued it from a bag of old clothes that my mum and dad’s neighbour wanted to get rid of.  When the original buttons came off, I replaced them. When the lining shredded, I carefully removed it – discovering in the process that the coat was from the Canda Couture label* – and replaced it with a hot pink heavy satin lining.

I love this coat.

And the bastard moths decided to eat  it.  In a really visible place.

I was getting myself ready to part with it, but this afternoon someone suggested that I could possibly do something to repair it.  And I got thinking. The coat does have a separate bodice and skirt. And the damage is entirely on the bodice – everything else has been left untouched.  Could I do something with the bodice to disguise the damage, without it looking a bit poundshop Desigual or (worst fate of all) a bit Per Una? I think it’s time for it to go off to the dry cleaners to kill off any remnants of the little flying bastards while I ponder the repair job.

*that would be C&A’s classy label in the 60s

Perry Girl part 2: It turns out oranges weren’t big enough.

September 11, 2011

We had our monthly far north London knitting group this afternoon and I made good progress on finishing the short row shaping on the Fred Perry inspired top I have been knitting on and off since June.  Now, the reason why I have made slow progress is that, in order to get a good fit, there has been some serious maths involved in knitting the front of the top.  This being because a standard knit (and the majority of shop-bought knits) have identical measurements across the front and back. And I’m just not built like that.  The front needs to be wider and I need an extra four inches in length at the front if a fitted top isn’t going to ride up.

So, this is where darts come in. The vertical ones are easy – these are just sets of increases and decreases. But I also needed horizontal ones to prevent armhole gape and allow the vertical ease in the top. This is where short row shaping comes in.

Vertical darts

horizontal darts

While out this afternoon, I couldn’t resist shoving my fist into the top to show how the short row shaping had worked out. Lorena suggested that I could use oranges or grapefruits for photography purposes. Turns out my corner shop did not have large enough oranges.

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