Friday, 31 May 2013

More Crochet!

As I said in my last post, last week was all about crochet for me.  When I got injured, the only craft I could do was crochet, as I don't have to do much more than glance at it occasionally, so the shawl I'd cast on expecting to take me a year or so grew very quickly mostly due to boredom!

My progress slowed as I was allowed to start doing more again, but then when I got the yarn bowl and I decided to try and finish the shawl.  Two days of near nonstop crochet and I decided it was big enough.

 This is it pre blocking (yes I was good and blocked!).  The pattern is Half Granny Square Shawl by Anastacia Zittel and the yarn is Sirdar Folksong Chunky.

Here it is blocking.  I'm thrilled by the size change, but waiting two days for it to dry drove me a little batty.  I'm used to snipping the last thread and putting my new thing to use!

 Here I am modelling it (and showing it off a little) before larp on Sunday, though this is not destined for kit. 

 And here's a couple of photos of my friend being silly with it!

Have a lovely weekend!  I'll be back on Monday, with some in progress pictures of my latest kit I think.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Yarn Bowl

I have a yarn bowl.  I am more than a little bit in love with it!  In case you (like me up until very recently) don't know what a yarn bowl is, it's a bowl with a notch out of the side of it.  You put your yarn in the bowl, run it through the notch and then knit or crochet as normal, only now your ball of yarn doesn't run away when you tug on it.

Such a good idea!  The person who invented them is a genius!  It's such a simple thing but it really does make a difference and I've really enjoyed my crochet this week because of it.  However, enough of general blether about yarn bowls, I am going to show mine off!

 Isn't it gorgeous?! I really do love it so very, very much!  Green is my favourite colour anyway but this is a particularly lovely green and it's smooth and shiny and beautiful. Using the bowl I've noticed an improvement with my tension and I crochet faster because I do normally have a habit of jerking the yarn and sending the ball flying across the room...

It was made by Em who makes many lovely pottery things (I am particularly in love with her buttons).  Her website is here and she is going to have a stall at the Bath Contemporary Art & Craft Market on Sat 1st of June, so if you are in this part of the world please do go along and see her stuff!
Bath Contemporary Art & Craft Market

Some pictures of me enjoying crafting in the garden.  I may partly be showing off my newly tended garden as well! 

I'm playing with different crochet 'granny squares' at the moment, having treated myself to a few balls of Debbie Bliss Eco-Baby.  I have come to the conclusion that I love how cotton yarn looks when it's done, but that I hate working with it.  Worth persevering for the finished prettiness though!

As this has been a longish post I'm going to stop talking for now and on Friday I will show off the big crochet thing that (thanks to yarn bowl and the enthusaism that stems from having it) got finished last week!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Wedding Kit Continued!

I didn't just make the groom coat for the wedding.  I ran up a couple of capes, to keep myself and one of the other bridesmaids warm, sewed surprise bunting and got to indulge in my less used skills of flower arranging and hairdressing.

 The capes are brown boiled wool and lined with some leftover green polyester lining.  They were trimmed, mine in green and the other bridesmaid had gold.

All three bridesmaids

 I also made the little posies we're carrying.  Flower-wise this was a simple wedding.  For the wedding we each carried a posy and the bride had a bouquet.  For the hand fasting the bride had a slightly bigger bouquet (it needed to be throwable).

Wedding bouquet
Hand fasting bouquet.

 The bouquets were broom, jasmine, ivy, rosemary and bay.  I was quite pleased with them and they smelt wonderful!

The surprise bunting was so called because the groom didn't know about it!  Until we told him about it the day before the hand fasting anyway.  We used it to decorate the woodland glade where the ceremony took place and all the fabric was from the brides stash!

 Lastly, I did the other bridesmaids hair and the brides hair!  I am so much better at doing other peoples hair than my own, but I don't get to play as much as I'd like!

So, there you have it.  A month or so's activities ending in a truly wonderful coupe of weekends!  I've had a week of sewing and instead have been crocheting.  On Monday I hope to have a few makes to show you and a review of thing I was given the other day!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Wedding Kit!

I'm so very pleased to be able to show this off!  Two of my very good friends got married at the weekend and I was asked to make the grooms frock coat.

I've been working on this for a while.  Overall it was a lovely project and I really enjoyed making it, but it came with a few issues along the way.

First up was ordering the pattern.  We decided on an 1830s frock coat pattern, but I couldn't find an English supplier.  So I ordered it from America.  The company weren't very helpful and they forgot to post my order so instead of having the pattern when I needed it I actually ended up with it mid March.

Then I struggled with the pattern on the mock up as several of the lines were missing and the pieces just didn't fit together so I ended up redrafting the skirt and more or less ignoring the pattern directions as they made little to no sense.


This is the mock up.  The first attempt was marginally too small, so I sized up and then it was too big!  Eventually I got it fitted properly and we looked at fabrics for the real thing.

The inspiration is Tristan's coat from Star Dust so we looked at linens.  I did find some lovely ones in Bath but eventually we settled on a lovely Irish linen from my favourite online retailer Herts Specialist Fabrics.  We also got the lining from there, choosing a cream silk.

Several fittings later and it was going well! 

The coat has no interfacing and is mostly shaped by pleats and lots of steaming when it's pressed!  It's a very light and floaty garment.  The buttons are wood and front ones button, but the collar ones are just stitched on top.

Lastly,  here are a few pics of the coat in action!

On Thursday I'll show off a few of the other things I made for the wedding!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The best laid plans...

Sometimes go awry.  As mine did recently.  Larp is a contact sport, which means occasionally people get injured.  Unluckily for me I fell into this small category recently and am working my way through an eye injury.  I'm fine (no really Gran/Mum/all relations) but it's taking a little while to get over. 

This has had two effects on my crafting.  One, I am working a lot slower right now as I need more breaks when my eye gets tired.   It's also meant that updating here has been less of a priority as there's a limit to the amount of screen time I can cope with as well.  Two, any projects with embroidery in them have been curtailed, in fact, hand sewing of any kind is hard right now.  It involves squinting and lots of bad language so I'm trying to avoid it where possible!

However - I have been sewing, mostly for a wedding and on Monday I plan to bombard you all with pictures of my efforts!  In the meantime have a picture of Eirlys' kit that she wears under the coat!

I made the linen tunic and the cotton trousers.  Both to my own pattern and designed so I can add under layers at need.

One last thing - is it worth me making a facebook page for this blog?