Friday, March 20, 2009

Unwrapped is finally wrapped.

Yes, that's right - I've finished my first big knitting project since Tick was born. Thanks to all those hours I sit in the car with my two sleeping babies (Bean refuses to nap anywhere else these days... *sigh*) I managed to finish Unwrapped this week. I wove in the ends yesterday, and hey, presto! A new jumper for me. And unexpectedly it's even suitable for nursing...

... well, kind of. When trying it on today I realised that I can pull the v-neck down to uncover the relevant bits, so even though I can hear the poor jumper screaming at such treatment at least I get to wear this piece before it gets too warm for it.

I quickly too some photographs while the sun was shining into the lounge so the jumper is not blocked yet and rolls quite a bit at the bottom. Not that I care! ;-)

This has been such an enjoyable project. I never thought I could enjoy knitting something on 3.25 mm needles so much! I used almost exactly 7 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed (which is fabulous - why, oh why did they discontinue it?) and considering the small needle size it knitted up fairly quickly.

Some alterations:
1) My gauge was off, so I guestimated the size - luckily it fits really well! I ended up knitting the smallest size to make up for 2 cm that my gauge was off, lengthwise.
2) I made the body longer. Somehow, if I follow knitting patterns regarding the length they always turn out slightly too short for me. I must have an extra-long torso or something...
3) I gave the jumper long belled sleeves. I don't particularly like short-sleeved jumpers. They are not something I tend to wear.
4) I altered the bottom of the jumper. My version only has a slit on one side, and I only used one repeat of the lace pattern at the bottom and the end of the sleeves.

One mistake: I somehow messed up the lace (not really lace but a textured stitch pattern) at the neckline. The slipped stitches are not supposed to line up but to alternate. It's not particularly noticeable so I may or may not undo the neck... Right now I'm kind of done with this and want to wear it for a bit!

And what next?

Out of the chaos of my everyday life emerges another knitting project. This time it's Ingenue from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits. :-)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Random post...

... in which I gush over recent acquisitions.

MIL is moving house soon and, in the spirit of getting herself organised, has been clearing out a lot of stuff. She used to sew quite a bit, although not so much recently, and she also, over the years, acquired a lot of sewing materials that came from other members of the family. And since she knows that I'm always interested in adding to my already far too large stash she asked me if I wanted to have a look to see if I wanted any of the things she was thinking of throwing out.

First on the list was a stack of old sewing patterns - isn't that 60s dress pattern adorable? I think it originally came from D's gran.

Then there was a higgledy-piggledy stash of fabrics. I only took some of them, and no, I obviously have no idea what to use them for.

And then there was some linen - a beautiful embroidered tablecloth and napkins (what is it about crisp white linen that's just so irresistible?) and two pieces of fabric that I assume were samplers, with some pretty stitching.

My stash may already have reached critical mass, but can you blame me for taking these little treasures home with me?

Oh, and the first picture is of course Unwrapped again - I couldn't resist taking a picture when I saw the sun shining on her like that. I'm knitting the first sleeve now so soon, soon...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Soon, soon, ...

... there will be pictures of Unwrapped. I was going to take a few pictures yesterday but then decided against it because it would have meant putting the jumper on scrap yarn again, etc, etc... I just wanted to use the few minutes that I had to knit instead!

Suffice to say that the jumper is coming along nicely. I have made a few alterations, but more on that when I have finished it. I am nearing the end of the body section and am already planning the sleeves. Again, I will alter the pattern here, because quite frankly, I don't get short sleeves on knitted jumpers - when I'm wearing something made out of wool I want to be warm, meaning that I want to be warm on my arms too. And when I'm warm enough for short sleeves I don't want 100% wool on my body either. *shrugs*

In the meantime I have been baking. It was D's birthday and I made him a Beetroot - Chocolate cake. It was delicious, although very rich. And it's supposed to be mixed in a food blender but only ever having used the mixer/juicer side of mine I didn't realise that my blender doesn't actually work. It probably never did work, but I didn't know. This is somewhat annoying because of course the guarantee has long run out.

This meant that I had to mix the cake by hand, which was possible but rather hard work - grating the beetroot and mixing in the oil (the recipe asks for oil rather than butter and it doesn't blend all too well when mixed in by hand). Still, a lot of love was stirred into that cake too. :-)

D was very pleased with his presents. He got a juicer from me (for his homebrew - D thinks it will revolutionise the way he deals with our apple harvest), Tick made him a sand imprint of his foot, and Bean crafted a card. He was so excited that he told D all about it the evening before, when he was in the bath: "Glitter!" he kept on saying, and "Fish on it!", referring to the fish stickers he used to decorate the card with. D had no idea what was going on, but it all became clear the next morning. ;-)

Bean has also been using my camera recently. It's been a lot of fun. Amongst the many many self-portraits and shots right up his little nose there were also these:

Random pile of toys and pompoms...

and Tick in his play gym...

The world through the eyes of a toddler...