Sunday, 25 January 2015

Mother #@**%& Knitting!

I can't knit.

Actually no, let's make this a positive. I can't knit yet.

I've tried, god knows I've tried. Four generations of my family have tried to teach me and still nadda. Not long ago however when cruising through ravelery I thought it was about time to try again. The truth of the matter is... I don't really like how the majority of crochet jumpers/cardigans look on me. There I said it, though I'll probably be chucked out of the crochet guild for that. 

I made this so why can't I knit!?

I'm an intermediate crocheter. I can make really quite complex, and I hope I can say lovely, things with a hook and a ball of yarn. Surely I should be able to knit, surely? What gives me hope is garment sewing. I remember a time not so long past where I rang my sister in tears because I was trying to make a cushion and I. just. couldn't. get. the. seams. straight. We hit on the genius idea of telling people I had been drinking if they commented on my decidedly wonky seams. 

The bumble bee skirt for an ugly bug ball. It was supposed to be a pencil skirt.

I then tried to make a pencil skirt which came out three sizes too small. At the time I thought this was because I'd done it wrong. I realise now that it would be because I selected a pattern based on the size I would wear if I bought a skirt from a shop. Many people who don't sew from patterns would read that and think it sounds eminently sensible. Ha but it's not! This is how pattern companies screw the uninitiated. You have to go by the measurements not the dress size. Of course you do so why bother putting the damn size on then! 

From this  with a few years practice I can now make a man's shirt, an evening dress and fairly technical jumper. If I can learn that I can learn this so I found a basic teaching course and bought some really pretty yarn. I don't usually bother with artisan yarn as it's expensive and I'm cheap but this time I thought it's only a scarf, get something pretty to learn with. I chose this yarn in the 9709 colourway as it's self variegating which means it changes colour along the strand of yarn which I thought with a basic scarf pattern from tincanknits learn to knit range adds interest without me having to do anything fancy. It's also cotton as I can't really stand the feel of wool.

Come on I'm a potty mouthed Cath Kidson, I can do this!

Monday, 5 January 2015

On the wagon

As the rather fine button to my right proclaims I am on the waggon participating in dryathlon for cancer research.

On my pinterest wanderings I came across this recipe for a virgin gin and tonic. Brilliant! I thought because there really is nothing better than coming home from work and fixing a cocktail. If I can still do that and remove the alcohol then mores the better. It would also be good when friends start ending up in the family way....wait contains juniper berries which pregnant women should avoid, ah maybe not.

So full of hope I toasted my aromatics and left them to steep in my non-alcoholic wine to ape the botanics in gin. I prepared my glass with one slice of lime rubbed around the rim and another dropped into the glass like I've seen them do in bars. I add Fevertree tonic (which frankly for me is really the best) and a shot of my virgin gin.

Gordon's do not endorse this beverage and neither do I.
Then......... well as long as you don't actually know what a gin and tonic tastes like you could believe this is one. The tonic and the lime is familiar so you could trick yourself that it's the real deal but then you get a bizarre aftertaste of grapes. I suppose I should have guessed by the fact that all of the comments are 'ooo I must try this' rather than 'I did try this and it was lovely'.

This is the cauliflower chicken nuggets all over again. I was willing to believe, really I was but some things are just too far fetched to be true. As a side note Chocolate Covered Katie may have failed to convince me with cauliflower but her black bean brownies truly are what they promise to be, delicious fudgey brownies that you really wouldn't know were healthy. Here's the recipe, have a go they're lovely.

So I guess from now on it's mocktails which are just tasty drinks in themselves rather than trying to be something else. There we go, philosophy from the bottom of a glass. Never try to imitate something else as you'll just end up a poor copy, be your own special creation. Oh dear life lessons have set in, probably best leave it there really...

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Looking backwards to move forwards (is a pretty good way to trip up a curb).

I've been looking at all of the review posts that have been popping up. Obviously I'm too new at this to do one this year but I think having everything posted in once place will be good to help me reflect and review for 2016.

To avoid wishing my life away though I'll focus on the here and now. First completed project is this:

A lady's version of Thread Theories Newcastle Cardigan. I'd previously made one for the fella for Christmas and I really love masculine features in my own clothing so I made me one too. I did have to add four inches to the pattern at the bottom because in my defense it's a men's pattern and I've got a lot of junk in my trunk.

As mentioned in my last post it's made of really gorgeous charcoal fleece from Plush Addict which despite some misgivings from me about whether it was too bulky (especially when attaching the facing and collar as you are going through a lot of fabric) my sewing machine coped really well. I love this stuff and it's as snug as I had hoped. What I do not love is the stretch fusible interfacing. It stretches definitely but won't fuse to anything other than my sodding ironing board. That stuff is the work of the devil. Imagine trying to fold a rapidly melting choc ice into a neat fold. That's what working with this stuff is like.

I have one additional amendment to the pattern and that is I think it needs pockets so my next job will be drafting some pouch pockets with a, just visible, pretty floral lining. I'm not gonna look up a tutorial for this one which is my usual habit to see if I can work it out.

Yesterday was a pretty full on stitching day as I got this cardigan finished and pretty much finished a coco top which I was planning to wear. I hadn't hemmed it though so I figured I could either do a rush job and wear it or put on something else and give the finish more care and attention. I went down the care and attention line....well I did after I did a haphazard rush job of trying to bring it in at the waist which I'll have to unpick as it gives weird baggy bits.  Note to self when I start skim reading instructions this is a good point to move away from the sewing machine.