Friday, April 18, 2014

The Coat. It's okay, she's vintage!

Yes yes, I know. I'm not supposed to be shopping. But something amazing happened this week - I paid off my student loan! There was definitely a nice surprise in my pay this week - a nice chunk extra that I've never had before, so I decided to treat myself with one big winter clothing purchase. 

I found her in Thrifted and Modern's Etsy shop, and it was love at first sight. Firstly, my favourite colour combination. Secondly, 1960s. Thirdly, wool. Fourthly, three quarter sleeves! Before I decided to buy her, I consulted half of my colleagues, husband on numerous occasions, I wrote out a pros and cons list and at the end of the day, I think I made the right decision.

Considering this coat is about 50 years old, I am so impressed with the condition she's in. No loose threads or buttons, no major pilling in the boucle wool, no marks or stains. I wore her to work yesterday to survive the ex-cyclone wind and rain, and she was perfect. I think I might just live in her.

But now I promise to save all equivalent student loan money. I'm done with shopping!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yes. More stuff for the stash.

So it kind of looks like I've been shopping again this week, but it's only partly true.
The yarn is my Pledgeme order from Red Riding Hood Yarns. I think I ordered it in September, and the lovely Hannah has had so much to dye along with all her day-to-day yarn that I was extremely excited to unwrap these two beautiful skeins this week. Totally worth the wait!

The lovely teal is Song of the Tui in Dame DK - a merino, cashmere and nylon blend.
The purple is called Lavandula, in the same base.
I'm thinking this special yarn needs to be knitted into something to be seen by all - maybe a hat or mittens?

Okay, I did go shopping for the fabric. Nick's Fabrics on Dominion Road is moving (bad news, but good news for my bank balance) so they're having a sale. Last week I mentioned I was planning on getting another dress made from fabric that was used as table-clothes at our wedding, but there is a very good chance that the fabric is way too light for the style of dress we're making. So I got this. And since they are moving, it was on sale! 3.5m for $12! Totally doesn't count!

And you all must forgive me for this little plug.

This week my lovely sister-in-law launched an online cruelty-free make-up and beauty shop.
She Lives Cruelty Free has amazing products, and yes, I've already been shopping there. I'm waiting for payday to buy more! They guarantee that the products they stock have in no way been tested on animals, and if you're conscious of these things when shopping, check it out!

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's time for a wardrobe cull. And a shopping ban.

Today I was bad. Actually, it's not just today. I've been bad for the past few weeks. It all started with a friend's wedding. I needed a dress to wear. Some of you who've been reading for a while are well aware of my lack of self control for vintage or vintage style dresses. I pretty much have none. I got a dress made for the wedding from a vintage pattern with vintage fabric, thanks to the lovely Mintage. While I was getting that all measured up, there was another amazing dress on the mannequin that just needed a few adjustments, so I got that too.

The day before the wedding, I was packing my weekend bag and discovered my favourite skirt was MIA. Nowhere to be found. It's not often you find the perfect skirt that can be a bit casual or a bit dressy - this one was it. Purchased in a fancy secondhand shop, local designer but many seasons old, this skirt was the one skirt I would keep if I had to only keep one from my entire wardrobe.

Devastated, I started filling the void. A skirt and a dress from a shop near work. A skirt and a top - both bargains, if I must say so, from Trademe. Another two dresses from vintage and second hand shops.

It's getting a tad out of hand. Then I went back to my dress lady to adjust a strap on one of the dresses I'd ordered, and I ordered another one. I'm hoping to offset this somehow by making it with the tablecloth fabric from our wedding, if it's suitable.

So that brings me to Saturday afternoon. I found the skirt. She was tucked into another skirt in my skirt drawer, in the same place I thought she was. I was ecstatic. So excited that I went on Etsy and browsed for winter coats, because eventually this summer will end and I need to keep warm. And then I saw her.  A 1960s swing coat, cut above the knee, royal blue with ivory stripes from the waist down. I literally had dreams about her two nights in a row. Today I bought her. And today I vowed to do a clothes cull.

Just look at the dress collection. That's not even half of the stack in my wardrobe. And I'm happy that a good chunk of them are vintage, second hand or hand made (half of my wardrobe at any one time needs to be one of those three things - better for the planet and it makes me feel better about buying so much). But after my most recent shopping spree, a cull needs to happen. So this week, I'm going through this wardrobe with a fine-tooth comb and taking the really good stuff to one of the fancy second hand shops that buys clothes, and the other stuff will be donated. Any money I make will go a way to paying back that coat.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Daylight saving = craft Sunday.

It still doesn't seem like summer will ever really end this year. There's a little chill in the air in the mornings, but by lunch the sunblock is out and knitting is the last thing on my mind. We're getting a step closer to winter though - daylight saving ended this morning. Loved the extra hour of sleep, but very confused when it was dark by 7pm. The shorter days do mean the start of a new tradition though - Craft Sunday. 

I got to work on my sweater - side seams are all done now, while one of my crafty friends got creative with a blanket cushion - this one's going to be a gorilla!

I'm hoping this becomes a regular autumn / winter tradition - what else to do with the shorter days than do craft and drink tea?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

So much variation in one dye lot!

This morning I gulped down a very big cup of very strong coffee to get the motivation to progress my Beaubourg. The neckline and sleeve shaping of the left side is now done, and after a panic that I'd run out of my current skein just before I cast of she shoulder edge (it was close people, only five inches of tail remain) I made some serious progress. 

What I never noticed until I took this photo though is how different each skein is in colour variation. I've checked the dye lots - all six are the same. I guess I should have alternated skeins at the beginning of every row, but when the pattern asks to slip stitches at the beginning of each, it would've got messy. I'm hoping though that once it's being worn, it will be less noticeable, considering the dye is so varied anyway. Happy with how she's knitting up though - might get most of it done this weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Away for a wedding / crafty time

The lovely bloggy is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment. She's a tad neglected. Life has a habit of getting in the way right now, and quite often recently it's been me choosing sleep over knitting and blogging. So there isn't much in the way of completed projects around here - the same ones are still on the needles, waiting for me to find some time. We did go away for a lovely wedding at the weekend though, and there was a bit of crafty time involved.

There was a bit on the plane.

And in the house we shared with friends - one of which happened to be making the cake.

And there was more as we watched the cyclone roll in.
The weather couldn't dampen our time, and I'm so glad I got a bit of craft in!

Resolution for April - make time for craft!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Derailed dye plans

For what seems like the first weekend in ages, I had some time to chill at home. After a quick brunch with a friend, I figured today was as good a day as any to start dyeing some yarn.

I've had three hanks of undyed chunky yarn sitting in the stash for over two years and I need to do something with it. I figured it would be the perfect yarn for a dye project, so earlier today I went out on a mission to get some supplies. I hit the $2 shops and the supermarket to get some preserving jars, pots, stainless steel bowls and sieves, and rushed home to combine this lot with my alum and frozen mixed berries.

In my excitement though, I totally forgot to get some cream of tartar. I was pretty sure I had some in the pantry, but it appears I may have chucked it out in the most recent house-move. I can't really be bothered walking back down to the shops, so maybe I can get on with the mordanting a bit later in the week. At least I'm almost all prepared now - I'll just work on a bit more of Beaubourg!