Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Venturing into dressmaking

I have wanted to make my own clothes for ages, indeed I dipped my toes into the water years ago and successfully made a 50’s circle skirted dress. Sadly with one thing and another I didn’t venture any further. A couple of weeks ago, however, I went on a dressmaking day course where I began on a pencil skirt. Unlike some day courses which I’ve attended it was very relaxed, everybody worked at their own speed, there was no feeling of being in “the dunce’s corner” and everybody was very supportive.

Life is a bit manic at the moment so it wasn’t until this past week that I had time to pick my project up again. It was a cold and rainy day so I set my machine up and got everything out. By the time it was time to put tea on to cook I had a complete skirt and I was very pleased with it

Now I know where there is an excellent dressmaking fabric stall (Darlington market, a bit of a trek but worth it) I am going to dig out the patterns that I have squirreled away over the years – mostly vintage repro ones – and have a try at some other garments.


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Playing catch up.

I am so bad at keeping this blog going but I must make the effort even if nobody ever reads it!

So, what have I been up to craft wise over the last few months?

I had a splurge of pattern buying and ended up with this gem


It was too good for a bedjacket so after a bit of figuring out what yarn I should use I bought a cone of Gansey yarn and turned it into this


Not as svelte as Knitting Pattern Lady but it could be worse (maybe need to reactivate my SW membership though!)

I was partway through a fairly thick cardigan/jacket when the heatwave hit so I put it to one side in favourite of small projects. The heat wiped me out somewhat; I am comfortable in temps up to about 24°C and the thermometer was hitting 30°C most days for about two weeks. So I sat mainly indoors with all doors and windows open and fan going and caught up on knitting and reading.




More socks….



And I finished a bag which had been languishing in the cupboard for a year, I thought I had more to do to it than I actually did. It has proved most useful as a “throw everything in and head to the beach” kind of bag.

I have finished two more pairs of socks and a scarf but haven’t quite got round to photographing them in all their glory. Procrastination is my other middle name!

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I have taken the plunge (with occasional wonderings at my wisdom) and signed up for Woolly Wormhead’s Mystery Hat Knit-A-Long, which began today http://www.woollywormhead.com/blog/ (sorry I can’t do fancy one word clicky links and nobody seems willing to tell me how, in spite of my asking again and again!) I am all set up and ready to cast on, except I am waiting for my long cable to arrive, posted today so hopefully tomorrow will the The Day! I am using some thickish sock yarn from Willo Alpacas, a company local to me who sell at shows and farmer’s markets http://www.willoalpacas.com/ It is purple with silver sparkles in and I hope it’s ok. Being lazy I am not knitting a swatch, because the hat will always fit somebody so it can be a gift if it isn’t right for me.

Hurry up Postman, I want to get going on the first installment!!

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Being too tight to pay for a case for my shiny new phone I had to get my finger out and make one. So here it is; simple, cheap and cheerful and will do the job of keeping my phone reasonably clean and scratch-free while it’s kicking about in my handbag.


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More socks

I decided to knit a pair of knee high socks to wear in my boots this winter. Of course because I’m all prepared with warm socks and wellies we won’t have snow this year and probably not much cold either! I picked bits out of 3 different patterns and with a bit of tweaking they turned out not too bad, a tiny bit less snug at the top but that’s easily solved next time by casting on less stitches. I only didn’t for sock 2 because the difference would drive me crazy when I wore them!

Now I really need to sew the buttons onto the patchwork blanket I made in June so I can post a photo of that, especially as return to work tomorrow will mean less output of nice things.

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Knitting finishes

In an effort to not go stir crazy while suffering The Mystery Virus I did a bit of knitting. (the images are all clicky-to-make-bigger if you would like to see them better)

First up; socks – the purple pair were actually finished before I got poorly, the rainbow pair were half done pre-virus and it took me ages to do sock #2!!

Then I found a book of knitted animal patterns in a drawer while looking for something completely different (order and method are not my strong points!) and made a lion for my niece.

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The Weekend

I was going to write this post on Sunday but fatigue wouldn’t allow it. Better late than never.

I had a very inspiring weekend, visiting quilt shows on both days. Saturday’s one was a small local one in Sleights. They have one every year and the standard is usually very high. I was not disappointed; the high standard was adhered to and the quilts were beautifully displayed. The North Yorkshire quilting world being relatively small you usually end up seeing somebody you know with whom you can chat so it was a very pleasant afternoon indeed – especially as it involved both tea and home made cake at the show followed by a stop at an ice cream van at the Hole of Horcum on the way home.

Sunday we trekked up to Belsay Hall up in Northumberland. Arriving at lunchtime we were pleased to see the cafe at the gates was still there and still producing home cooked food. Belsay has it’s exhibition every 2 years and we didn’t go to the last one due to various illnesses of the household quilters. Again the standard was a good one, with one or two poorer ones (I like these because I know I can do better!) I came away from both quilt shows feeling inspired to quilt again. I have several unfinished quilts and I would like to finish a few of these and even start something fresh afterwards. I have enough fabric to make several quilts so the only thing stopping me is the fact my sewing machine needs a clean, a drink of oil and the feed dog knob unjamming before it’s ready to go (my machine is older than I am, I hasten to add!)

I did take some photos of the quilts but I’m unsure about the niceties of posting photos of other people’s work without their permission. Although the actual photos are mine, the subject isn’t. Advice from Those Who Know is welcome.

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