Monday, 19 August 2013

Holiday knitting challenge

There's only one way of finding out if I'm up to knitting myself a cardigan, right?

This might take me the rest of the year, or longer. But the yarn and needles are away on holiday with me, in the hopes of getting off to a good start.  Nothing like beginner's enthusiasm*!

Wish me luck...

* luck / ignorance / rushing in where angels fear to tread / delete as appropriate.


Monday, 12 August 2013



My beautiful darling girl turned six. Six! 

There was a homemade crown and cake pops, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

And then, the summer holidays...


Monday, 5 August 2013


A couple of weeks ago, I finished my first pair of Tania culottes. If you follow me on twitter, you already know that I was rather excitable about them. It wasn't the fact that they look just like a skirt - though they do - or the fact that they twirl just like a skirt - though they do. Nor the supreme easiness of making them, nor even the surprise factor of "nice skirt" - "NO, look at this - it's not!"
What I really love about these is the shock early '90s revival factor. An item that everyone hated at the time and is absolutely not expecting to come back in any acceptable way, shape or form - but why yes, I'M WEARING CULOTTES! For the first time since sporting them under duress aged 8! (It was a family do, the outfit was an unsatisfactory compromise between tomboy me and the parental dress code).
These are my second pair, in a floaty but not-too-light viscose knit with good four-way stretch. I left out the zip and just added a stretch waistband, and if you're planning to do this too I would caution you to carefully consider the weight of your fabric. My yoga-style waistband was not strong/tight enough to hold the skirt up, and as I'd already serged it on, I ended up just picking open the waistband's centre-back seam and inserting some elastic. Were I to do the whole thing again, I'd just plan an elasticated waistband from the start, to get a tidier finish. But it's a tiny niggle. Because MAN, are these comfy. As of Friday I'm officially on my hols, and have been struggling to make myself wear other clothes ever since.
Here's my obligatory 'look at the pleat' picture:
I didn't hem them, just trimmed the stretched-out bias bits with a rotary cutter so it's even all the way round. I didn't want to add any bulk to the smooth drape of it all.
Plus, I believe I mentioned the twirling, no?
My only disappointment right now is that in my rush to pack, I didn't put in my first completed pair - being woven and a bit dressier, they failed to qualify for space in my camping gear. I only realised that this meant no proper photos of them after we'd left. So, here's a just-finished mirror selfie that twitter friends have likely already seen:


The fabric was on sale at the Maison Doree but still 7 euros per metre, which was just on the edge of cheap enough for me to buy two (that and the fact that basically it was lying there in the middle of the shop shouting TANIA TANIA TANIA at me).
I had been planning some midi/maxi culottes too, but having done these (with about 10 cm added length on each), I can't see how it's possible. They absolutely eat fabric, and I ended up cutting them out on the cross grain both times.  But I doubt very much that my Tanias mania will stop here. For a start Kirsty's corduroy pair are rather inspiring, and then, well, the shops are going to be full of lovely lightweight wool too soon, aren't they? I think a cold weather version or two is pretty much inevitable...

Yep, I'm a recent culotte convert. You?


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Boneyard shawl

This face here says how much I trust my husband to take a decent picture of me. For the record, this is the best one.

Unless you're also counting the ones of the back of my head. Those turned out ok too.

But alas, the real photographic star of this post is not me. Nor my painstakingly handcrafted, deeply unseasonal neck accessory.

I'm just going to have to give her the shawl, aren't I? And hope she'll relinquish her interest in it before winter.

:: :: ::
  • Pattern: Boneyard shawl, a free ravelry download.
  • Yarn: Katia Irish tweed
  • Needles: 8mm circulars. I ordered these from the Village Haberdashery and they were so lovely to knit with, I requested and got an entire set of interchangeable brass needles for my birthday (though I'm pretty sure the ones I found and pointed out to G were less expensive than that). I have knitting ambitions!
  • My (rather insubstantial) ravelry notes are here - just linking in case any interested ravelers happen to be reading :-)
:: :: ::

I intend to be back very soon to show you my two (yes!) pairs of Tania culottes, which I LOVE. I'm having lots of summer sewing fun but I just can't make myself do the photos/writing/blogging thing. Totally normal, right? The sun is actually shining and I don't have to sit in front of a computer if I don't want to. Do you lose your blogging mojo in summer too?