Thursday, September 18, 2014

Completed - Vintage teal cardigan!

I have been working on this for some time now, but I am happy to present my new teal cardigan!
(Excuse my shirt peeping out from underneath)

Pattern: Cardigan, by Patons Australia (a very old pattern from the 70s I think)

This pattern was given to my by my great-auntie Norma (my dad's auntie).  I liked a few things in this little booklet but this is by far my favourite:
It was written for Patons Bluebell yarn, which is a 5-ply.  I think it's still available, but I had some Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5ply in my stash in a gorgeous jewel teal colour so I decided to use that!
My only modification was to omit the pointy shoulders.  They are achived by increasing on either side of the moss stitch band in the sleeve for a couple of inches, at the same time decreasing for the set-in sleeve.  So I just didn't increase at the moss stitch band.
This cardigan is made on size 3.5mm needles in pieces.  The body is plain stocking stitch but the edges are done in a lovely moss stitch pattern.  This moss stitch band goes right up the sleeves and forms a saddle shoulder at the top.
You can see clearly here how the moss stitch goes across the shoulder, continuing down the sleeves.
Before blocking the whole thing felt a little itchy and coarse but after a good soak, it softened considerably and now feels super lightweight and comfortable.  It's like a completely different fibre now!
I chose 6 wooden pentagon buttons - aren't they cute!
Back - as you can see it's not so fitted that it's uncomfortable.
This took me quite a while to knit becaue of the relatively fine gauge and moss stitch pattern.  But now I have it I'm practically wearing it constantly!  What did I do without it?!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Completed - Jacket!!

Things have been a bit quiet here on the ol' blog.  I apologise!  Work and husband stuff has been taking up my life.  Husband stuff is not what you'd think, it's actually us doing a whole lot of performances and work for his studies.  It's fun and I'd never say no, but it takes time.

So!  Here's the jacket I made last term (!) for my course at CIT.  I am really happy with it, and wow I even passed the course!
I'm afraid that's the best photo there is.  

The pattern is Vogue 8701, which also has a really nice dress pattern.  Might get onto that soon too!

No buttons, just pinned at CIT.

The fabric is a wool tweed I found at a St Vinnie's in Braidwood.  The places you find things!

The lining is a silk/cotton from Spoonflower, which has small screw heads as the print!

Cute back pleat detail.

So yes!  I'm loving this new jacket.  It's wonderfully warm and structured.  It took me a loooong time to complete, as it's so detailed and difficult, but it was worth the effort.  I have some lovely dark brown wool to make a second version now too!!

In one of my recent Craft Catchup videos I looked at this jacket in detail.  Worth a look if you're interested in jackets!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Arts and Crafts Show 2014 - Snapshots!

Today I've finally got some snapshots from this year's Arts and Crafts Show at my church.  I personally made about $150 from selling my homemade lemon marmalade and a couple of knitted hats!  I also sold another Dr Who scarf and a crochet blanket!  It was funny, I was actually on the sales desk and was the person to sell the blanket to the buyer, and she was so pleased to meet the maker.  The Show is such a lovely community event!
Notes below each picture!

Christmas cakes!  These are supposed to keep for over 6 months and they looked amazing!

Cute little pincushions made of colourful socks!

A small selection of the silk scarves

Colourful knitting for children

Isn't this little cardigan adorbs?  I'm thinking of making a big one for myself!

Cute little toys.  I'm sure I had a scarecrow just like this little fellow.

Covered coathangers - always useful!

Super cute felt Christmas decorations - these angels went flying out the door

Some pottery Potato Pots (for making the perfect microwave potato) and muffin pots!

More lovely glazed pottery

Some lovely earrings - I spoke to the lady who made these who explained the process of heating the metal, adding chemicals to get all the colours, then adding more chemicals and doing more heating and cooling.... each earring is different!  It was like alchemy.

This year the Arts and Crafts Show raised around $8000 for charities.  We gave money to some homelessness charities, Companion House (for refugees), Samaritan Fund (a Canberra Hospital charity that provides essentials to people who came to hospital with nothing), Paperworks (a local charity helping the disabled), as well as several others.

As well as craft, there were daily concerts in the church hall where Charles and I played as Sticks and Tones!  There were also billions of choirs and other ensembles.

Next year the Show is on the last weekend in June - the 26th, 27th, and 28th.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

New venture - Christina's Craft Catchup on youtube!

I've been a bit silent on the blog for a while... but that doesn't mean I haven't been making things!
So... I've made some vlogs!  I call them "Christina's Craft Catchup" because I'm catching you up on all the crafts I've been doing!  Mostly knitting and sewing honestly, but some other things will be included too.  My channel is called Christina's Craft. 
I'm planning to record vlogs every Friday, but it's been a bit less frequent than that so far - just because of work and being away etc. Hopefully I can get into a better routine!

Craft Catchup no. 1

In this vlog I talked about my new "Shilshole" hoodie; a bunch of underpants (for me AND Charles); and my plans to make a shirt, a dress, and knit a cardigan:

Craft Catchup no. 2
In this vlog, I talked about my new Marion cardigan; Lady Skater Dress; and blouse; and discussed my plans to make a fair isle jumper, another dress, and bath bombs.

Craft Catchup no. 3

This one was a bit shorter as I'd started back at work and had less time to craft.  I talked about my new fair isle jumper of my own design, my bath bombs, and some vintage knitting patterns I'm going to try.

I find it quite hard to watch these because I've never listened to my voice before!  It's the worst!  So it's quite embarrassing to film and edit.  But we'll see how it goes the first few times and if it's good, I'll continue!

Constructive criticism welcome!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Completed - Colourwork jumper!

This knit was lightening fast you guys!  It took me a week!  A WEEK!  It would have taken 6 days but I fell into some difficulties...
Wool: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 10ply in Lotus, Aquarium, Slate, etc.
This pattern doesn't actually have hearts and diamonds and stripes and spots on it.  I made that part up!  I took the basic sweater instructions and made myself an Excel spreadsheet outline (making all the boxes square).  Then I basically... coloured in!  Making sure all the stripes lined up, and there weren't more than 2 colours in a row.
I obviously made some changes from my design, and that was because I almost ran out of white! So pink hearts made an appearance. If I were to do a similar thing again, I'd make sure the hearts ran across the bust line, because they're prettier than diamonds. 

 I made sure all the stripes lined up over the sleeves too.  I changed the sleeve construction by doing them flat and then seaming them into the armhole, instead of doing the short rows.  I just couldn't face colourwork with 4 needles!  This photo is to show the colours lining up:
 When I sewed in the sleeves I discovered that the armhole was hanging way too low.  It made the sleeve kind of weird and low and tight under my arm.  So I took the sleeves off again and made a kind of gusset to fill in the space.  I did this by picking up stitches from the underarm and knitting up, and doing the same to the sleeve so I didn't have weird excess fabric.  It worked out perfectly, and you can't see unless I show you!  I think it's because my gauge is so loose that it ended up so long.  The original design looks cropped, and mine does not look cropped!
 Despite it being a little larger than the design, I like it because it doesn't stretch the fair isle out of shape.  A loose jumper is much more snuggly too.  Don't worry it does fit!  But Andi Satterlund's designs are often made with 2" of negative ease, and I think this has no ease.
What do you think?  Will you try making your own fair isle designs now?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pyjamas for Charles!

This is a bit late coming, but look!  I made Charles some pyjamas!
On The Great British Sewing Bee episode about patterned fabric, all the contestants had to make mens pyjamas out of a patterned fabric of their choice.  After watching that, Charles demanded a set for himself!  This is the pattern I chose, Kwik Sew K2388.
Simple button down shirt with a revere collar and piping, and regular elastic waist pants.  I omitted the pocket and the piping on the pants, as well as the drawstring (it's only decorative anyway... although now Charles has to look really hard to figure out which way is the front).
And the result (a bit rumpled as he just got out of bed)...
A roaring success!  I used navy spotted cotton, which is quite crisp and not what you'd usually use for pyjamas.  Charles didn't want flannelette as it's too warm for him.  I came across some problems with the fabric as it was super narrow.  I needed much more metreage because the pieces wouldn't all fit across the fabric like in the suggested marker.  I also had to add a bit on to the end of the pants, but you can't see unless you know about it!
This was my first time doing piping and I think it turned out ok!  Luckily the seam allowance is only 6mm, which was the same width I needed to sew the piping on correctly.
Piping!  Woo!
I made the set in the size small, with the length of the size L.  Charles is a tall dude!
He loves them and wears them all the time, so we're both happy :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Completed - Marion Cardigan!

I'm ripping through the knits these days you guys.

I bought this pattern a while ago, and sent it to my friend Violet for her birthday.  We both knit it at the same time and it's amazing how different they are!  Hers is in a beautiful deep red and turned out much smaller in length AND width.  Hers is quite lovely!  I almost went and bought red yarn and made myself another!
The only modification I made to this pattern was to put in an extra buttonhole above the others (which I can't use because the buttonband gapes), and to go down a needle size (as usual).  The cable patterns were fine once I got used to them but at first they were pretty confusing.  I'm bad at visualising what I'm doing when I'm knitting upside down (this is a top-down knit).
The wool is ... very pink.  I didn't expect it to be this pink!  It looked like a soft coral on the swatch but then turned out to be all HELLO HIGHLIGHTER PINK.  I still like it.
It came out a little longer than the original, I think because my gauge is quite loose.  I find it hard to get a gauge that matches the prescribed gauge both ways.  Although mine matches horizontally, it's still a tiny bit longer.  I don't mind though, as now I can wear it with pants!  I LOVE PANTS.  Although clearly not with these pants.