Terpander Socks

15 Oct

I’m off again! I decided to go for a challenge this time, but not restrict myself to finishing the socks within the month. Knowing I was after a challenge, I bought a new book; Sock Knitting Masterclass by Ann Budd. This book has lots of patterns I plan to knit eventually.

I am starting with Terpander. This is the first time I am doing toe-up construction. It is the first time I’ve used a magic loop on a circular needle. It’s the first time I’ve tried knitting both socks at the same time.

Sock toes on circular needlesWish me luck.

New Look 6013

13 Oct

Up until now, I have held the belief that I can’t sew. It turns out I was somewhat misinformed. I have been planning to try to learn for quite a while. I visited the local fabric shop, asked for help picking out an easy pattern, and ended up with New Look 6013, even though it doesn’t say ‘Easy’ on the packet. I also bought the fabric, interfacing, thread and zip, total, just over £14.

I set off, blithely cutting out. That went fine, up until the part when my daughter said she wanted me to make one for her too. That meant I had to preserve a different size. Fine mostly, as it is a smaller size, but there’s a bit on the sleeves I had to be careful not to cut off, and remember to fold back when pinning it onto my fabric.

Then, the actual sewing. Note to self: Remember to switch stitches on the sewing machine after doing the basting. Oops.

Other than that, it all went fine for a while. I sewed the vent at the bottom of the skirt the wrong way, though. Left and right is not my strong point, particularly when the bit I’m supposed to be pressing towards the left is inside out and back to front!

I also managed to attach the back of the dress to the front, getting up to speeds my sewing machine had never seen before. Then disaster stuck. I had stitched one sleeve, then when I started on the second one, the machine clunked to a halt. I had been getting on so cheerfully, feeling how amazing it was that it was all coming together so well, then suddenly my illusion of competence collapsed. I took the machine as apart as I dared, then put it all back together. It made no difference. By this time I was so frustrated. A sewing machine is basically very simple. There isn’t a lot to go wrong if you know it isn’t the motor that’s the problem.

I packed up, and went back to the living room, muttering about the unfairness of all things, just when it was going so well… My husband asked when I’d last oiled the machine. I looked at him blankly. Then I went and found the little bottle of oil (unused) which had come with the machine when I bought it. Thirteen years ago. Ahem. Enough said.

After that point, I got on well. I only sewed one bit wrong – one bit of unpicking isn’t too bad. And I had a couple of little bits that were not completely flat once the interfacing round the neck had been turned round the right way. But I put in a zip! This was the bit that really scared me, but I managed it.

The biggest surprise was that when I tried it on, it fitted! This is the bit that truly amazes me. The fact you can take a piece of flat fabric, and after a bit of cutting and sewing, it fits round a person. I think that’s a kind of magic!

New Look 6013

Catching Up

12 Oct

I do apologise for my long absence!

Those of you with long memories will be delighted to know that I finished my May socks with quarter of an hour of May left to run. My June socks (which were identical to the May ones, given a different start in the position of the yarn) also got completed within June, and yes, I got two pairs of socks from the one ball of wool.

Simple socks

Then, nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. We have moved house, had a long summer holiday and got three kids started at new schools. Packing, unpacking and putting up curtain poles had to take precedence over craft. Now, though, my fingers are itching to get going on more stitchy goodness, and I have to make room in my life for it for the sake of my sanity.

Tomorrow, a foray into sewing or the ups and downs of making New Look 6013!

Patriotic Bunting

17 May

The bunting is complete, too!

I had to lighten this photo so much to make it reasonable. The original shot was very, very dark regardless of the fact all the lights were on. I’ll be hanging this bunting out over the jubilee weekend. What I’ll do with it after that, I’m not quite sure. It’s not in my normal range of colours I choose!

Dinosaur

15 May

Here’s one finished item. This dinosaur has been completed! The pattern came in an insert with Making magazine, although I didn’t use the yarn specified. This yarn choice was based on what was in the bargain acrylics bin outside the local yarn shop. The buttons were ones I had in my jar.

Unfortunately, the movie of choice for my children for the last week or two has been Coraline. When I mentioned that I had buttons for the eyes, my four year old plaintively said ‘I don’t want buttons for eyes!’ Luckily, once they were sewn on, I had no more complaints.

Quite unexpectedly, this dinosaur can stand up by itself. Not very steadily, and it takes more careful placement than a four year old can manage, but I am really pleased that I managed to get a photo to prove it!

Finishing Things

10 May

There is a reason I am knitting such simple socks in May.

Apart from the fact I am hoping to get two pairs of socks from this gloriously gorgeous wool (The first complete sock weighs 24g, the remaining wool weighs 74g according to my scales, so I should manage it), May is to be my month of finishing things. I have too many things in progress, and I need to clear the decks a bit.

There is my dinosaur,

a cardigan for an eight year old,

my red, white and blue bunting,

and a shawl I am knitting from all the left over sock wool.

This is all stuff I have started within the last couple of months. Also still on the go is my crochet hook holder. I bought the fabric, but haven’t taken the scissors to it yet. From the still more distant past is a medieval tapestry (5 years) and a purple dress (7 years). The dress I am so close to finishing (and have been for a couple of years) that I am determined to get that completed this year. The tapestry is different. There is still a huge amount of work needed on that. Perhaps that should be my 2013 challenge!

So for May, I shall complete socks, dinosaur, cardigan and bunting. Hopefully I’ll make good progress on the shawl, too. In June I aim to finish the shawl, crochet hook holder, the dress and, of course a pair of socks. I really do need a tea cosy, though…

April Socks

30 Apr

These were a real joy to make.

This is a pattern I have made before. See Fancy Silk Sock and Fancy Socks, Complete! I have run out of patterns in Knitting Vintage Socks that fit my feet, so I’m back repeating things. This time I knitted them in Jawoll Magic, which gives a lovely finish. I’m much happier with this pair, and they knitted up so quickly this time.

Now I just need to find a new book of sock patterns, but not straight away! My May socks are going to be very plain and simple, and if I can knit them very efficiently and use less than 50g for the pair, my June socks will be identical. Then I will have to have a new book of patterns and I will hunt out the most fiendishly difficult pattern ever. I do like a good challenge.

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