Monday, 26 September 2011
Anyway, I've got some braid, I've got a sewing pattern to work with (New Look 6981), now what colour to make the skirt? I was thinking a dusty pink, reasoning that red is next to orange on the colour wheel (as blue is next to green) but wanting to mute it down a bit. That's actually coral there above and some other combinations that fell out of my fabric cupboard when I opened it are below. But hmm, what about lavender?
Friday, 23 September 2011
And it's a pleasure to work on it. You pick it up without even deliberating between this and the dozen or so other things that are on the needles. And lo and behold, things actually go pretty quickly when you work exclusively on one thing - I've divided for the sleeves already. This yarn - Karabella Aurora 8 - is knitting up beautifully. The cables are so squishy. That's my project - the cables are so squishy.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
But autumn weather is upon us here in Seattle (gorgeous weather, crisp morning, warm sunny day, cool evening) and miss bear is going to need something warm soon. She has, sadly, outgrown her tomten and I fell in knit-love with Rossbeg as soon as I saw it.
I also had yarn all set to go - nine skeins of Karabella Aurora 8 in colourway 5 'crimson', purchased at Capitol Hill Value Village for about $1 per ball *. Yes, I decided that what I had saved on yarn I could spend on the pattern book.
* That was an amazing thrift day: I also got four skeins of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, five skeins of Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Chunky, two skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and three skeins of Karabella Gossamer. All for one dollar each.
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Miss bear has turned five and started school, baby B has returned to toddler group and I now have four whole hours a week (count 'em) alone, to my self, solo.
And there is afternoon nap time all to myself as well, five days a week now. Until school pick-up time, which is right in the middle of nap time.
Routine: we'll get there eventually.
So far I've managed to catch up with a couple of old friends - my Alabama Chanin dress and Tibetan Clouds (un)Beaded Stole. I completed stitching on two more of the large dark blue spirals and finished the eighth repeat on the stole. I'll get there eventually.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
... A second and more recent phase of production moves now into the realm of thicker and more voluminous handknits.
Driving Pugnat is a vision of knitwear that is sophisticated, beautiful, and unpredictable. In stylistic terms, she plays with idiosyncratic color, with transparency and lightness, but at the same time with sculptural, monochromatic, and organic structures. Her distinctly romantic approach features experimental finishes, and she explores materials in unexpected ways in order to propel her knitwear towards sensuality and luxury. Inspiring her designs is a search for the kind of individualized techniques which lead simultaneously toward heightened delicacy and fragility, and toward greater voluminosity and sculptural shape."
And yes, I would like someone to provide me with a pattern. Even more so, I would also like to sit for days and weeks and swatch all sorts of increases and decreases to use as a little reference library to create my own. Realistically, it is more likely that someone else will provide a suitable pattern than it is that I will find the time to swatch.
In the meantime, I'm considering Teva Durham's Diagonal Twist Princess-Seam Jacket from Loop-d-loop which shares some of the design elements. Maybe I'll experiment with the collar and cuffs and shoulder shaping ...
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Tea drinking does not seem to be of such grave importance generally here in the US and boiling water can be hard to come by. It's all espresso makers, mr coffee and drive-through Starbucks. Anyway, we have been through a couple of electric kettles since we arrived in Seattle. The first was turning itself off before the water was truly roiling and the second just stopped heating all together. Tim, of the quaint old-fashioned notion that things should really last forever, insisted that we not get another electric kettle but instead a stove top version.
So, I took the opportunity to procure an item a that I have long admired - the Alessi whistling bird kettle (thank you ebay), designed by American architect Michael Graves. I'm not sure when I became aware of this kettle (it was introduced in 1985) but probably sometime while I was working at a department store in my university years (a decade later). I always loved its sense of humour and I'm delighted to have finally bought one in my own sweet time (ages down the track) and my own sweet fashion (second hand).
(ooh, and here's something that I bought at an estate sale recently and something that I did not buy because it was too small (thankfully)).
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Alas, all of my research came up with nowt so I took matters into my own hands and started to collect images and details of suitable jacquard ribbons (you can see the collection at Pinterest). Imagine my delight when I checked the web page for Esther's Fabrics (go on, take a look too) while organising our trip to Bainbridge Island and saw one of the ribbons!
The photo must have been taken a while ago because they only had one colourway still available in said ribbon, a blue/orange/bronze combination. I'm not sure whether I would have chosen this one (over the garnet/fuschia/black or pink/cream/green alternatives) but I am delighted to have some in my hot little hands.
And to think that I can now actually start making my own folk skirt. I'm going to look for some poplin in cotton and experiment a bit with how to get the look of those lace appliqués: draw them on with a fabric pen or (Alabama-Chanin style) just with a Sharpie? freehand or make a stencil? or then actually go to the trouble of screenprinting? And of course, what colour fabric for the skirt??
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
I was looking mainly for toggles to finish mulbermot. It has been a really long time coming but I have almost completed it, again and again and some three or four times over. Yes, I have crocheted and ripped out this garment so many times as I fine tuned the waist shaping and the sleeves. Really, I could have completed it three times over by now. And the toggles - Rowan appears to have discontinued their button range and of course I have my heart set on the horn toggles featured on the garment. they are button number 00411 in case anyone has half a dozen sitting around needing a new home.
Anyway, no toggle luck at Churchmouse but I did take a deep breath and got a little buzzed on the yarn fumes. Then in a slightly altered mental state I went and spent up big at Esther's; yes, toggles (made of antler, stiull not sure about them though and waiting for word from Di in Melbourne on some other options) and also two Oliver + S sewing patterns, Sewn with Love by Fiona Bell, two lengths of ribbon trim, some Anna Maria Horner cotton voile from the Loulouthi range, and a Leisure Arts pamphlet called Simple Pleasures in Redwork by Kathy Schmitz. Then at the book shop I bought Growing up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee (new), and Felted Knits by Bev Galeskas , Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham and Heartfelt by Teresa Searle (all second hand).
Umm, like I needed any more inspiration/projects/ideas. But at least now I can maybe finish mulbermot and perhaps get started on my folk skirt.
Saturday, 3 September 2011
In fact, it has become my life's new mission (on the sewing front at least) to track down and acquire this pattern. I have saved a search for it on ebay, trawled google, searched vintage sewing pattern sites. Short of actually going to Florida (school starts next week you know), any other suggestions?
A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch - also a period mystery (although somewhat earlier), also with aristocracy, servants and murder. Not as good as Dandy Gilver but thankfully the first in a series of four.
Thursday, 1 September 2011
I am ready to make a toile of Vogue 1573 in the actual weight fabric that I intend to use. May I stress, this is not the fabric that I intend to use for the final version. No way. I'm just serious about making sure that when I do cut into that beautiful Italian cotton voile that what I make is going to be something that I will wear. Surely there is no quicker way to put yourself off home dressmaking than to rush through it and produce a ... significant waste of funds. Experience is always invaluable.
And to that end I am prepared to sew with this violent voile. Maybe I'll use the wrong side instead.