Monday, July 29, 2013

Crafty reading list 29/07/2013

A nice treat as a reward for finishing my sweater - Extra Curricular issue 12 arrived over the weekend. 
I got to interview the lovely Erica Harrison from Supercrafti - isn't her print on the cover just awesome?

I also treated myself to a new craft book - something I haven't done in a little while. I'm trying to be better at using the library but sometimes I just can't help myself... 

I'm loving Thrifty Style by Janine Chisholm. It's a great addition to my ever growing collection of "vintage repurposing" books. The most useful thing about it is the great appendix of techniques and equipment. I'm not a great sewer; I'm trying but it's usually easier to just watch Mum do it all. 

This book though has really clear instructions on how to insert zips and apply bindings and make darts - basics that you wouldn't know how to do unless you've done a couple of classes or someone to teach you. It's given me some fresh inspiration. Maybe I'll take up the solo sewing challenge again soon!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The finished Fair Isle Band Sweater

It's official - the Fair Isle Band Sweater is finished and the set-in sleeves don't look too horrific.

I was pretty nervous when sewing it all together - thanks so much everyone who gave me advice on the best way to do it. That plus several YouTube videos definitely helped.

I did find that the sleeves were a little bit bigger than the sleeve caps; I'm not sure whether this was my tension or just a weird outcome of the pattern.They are a little bit bunched in, but it's not so noticeable when I'm wearing it.

For me the best thing to do was really take my time. There were a few moments where I wasn't quite happy with my sewing, but I didn't hesitate to undo a few stitches and start over. I'm definitely keen to knit more patterns with set-in sleeves and look at improving my technique. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Set-in sleeves. I'm scared

I've been pretty good at avoiding what I consider to be standard but pretty intimidating skills in the knitter's repertoire. It took me a while to get up the courage to do stranded knitting. 
Even longer to master a scarf and get good at grafting the toes. Lace - I still can't go there. But even after several jumpers, I've still never made one that needed set-in sleeves. I've become really good at avoiding them and going for the trusty raglan shaping instead. It's about time I tried something new though, and I'm at the point with my Fair Isle Band Sweater that it can't be avoided any longer.

There was plenty stopping me though. This guy was my first obstacle.

After removing sleepy Dougal I started work on the shoulder seams. I've never done these before, but I think the resulting first attempt is okay.

Then came the ribbed neckline.

This morning I finished and cast-off the neck.

and now I'm trying to bring myself to start the sleeves.

I think I need another cup of tea. And the sleeves also. Those might be handy.
Any tips on sewing in a set-in sleeve? Should I join the body's side seams first?
What about the arm sleeves? So many questions!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Crafty weekend plans

Look! A finished sock! It only took me three months! Pretty poor form on my part; socks shouldn't take much longer than a week especially if you're like me and only make plain ones.
I'm being more proactive with the second one, only an inch to go until the heel turn.
These are being made with Soft Like Kittens' Unicorn Sock yarn. And I love it. 

Other than knitting, I'm trying to have a creative and generally crafty weekend. That can only start at one place - Junk and Disorderly. Here are some of the cool crafty bits and pieces they had today.

I was very restrained and only came away with these amazing ribbons.

Not quite sure what to do with them yet, but if all else fails, Sir Dougal is more than happy to sit on them.

And today marks the last day of my six week photography course. As long as it doesn't rain we'll be out taking long exposure shots of the city tonight. Here's hoping the weather holds out!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Get involved! The Wilson Woolly Park

My good friend Knitty Graffity is looking for volunteers to help decorate a lovely park with knitted things. It's not just about decorating a local public park though - this park is part of The Wilson Home, a centre for disabled children.

She is wanting to give the children and their families, as well as the public who can also use the park, a wonderful knitted surprise and she'd love your help!

This is what she needs some help making:

A knitted sign to sit on the fence facing the road.

Covers for poles around a veranda and an entrance and some for skinny trees.

Little surprises to be dotted around the park, including pompoms, flowers and little animals and creatures.

If you're keen to get involved please email or visit the Facebook page.
Knitty can then give you the measurements for pieces and details 
for the installation.
Thanks for your help with this very special project!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

On my reading list - Knitting yarns: Writers on knitting

I don't have any knitting to show this week (Stuff is happening. The sweater is almost there. One bamboo sock just needs a grafted toe. We'll get there) but I do want to flag what looks to be an awesome anthology that will be published in November (note to Husband, birthday month). 

Knitting yarns: Writers on knitting is an anthology all about writers who knit. It pretty much combines two of my favourite things.
I love a good book. I also love the cheesy knitting novels based around yarn stores with crime solving and good looking romantic interests. But most of all, I love biographies, and stories based on personal experiences. 
The essays are written by 27 different authors and pulled together by editor Ann Hood, showing the transformative powers of knitting and why the craft is loved by many writers. 
Five knitting patterns are included too - what's not to love.

It is being published by W.W. Norton & Company Inc, and I'm adding this one to my book list for my summer reading.