Sunday, June 29, 2014

The trouble with buttons

I'm halfway through my pair of Rye fingerless mitts. All going well, I should have mitt number two all done this week. No issues with the pattern, nice and simple, brainless knitting but I am struggling with a key component of this project. Picking the right buttons.

These mitts have a ribbon that is sewn to the inside of the arm and it loops over the arm band to fasten on the front, creating a gathered sleeve. Buttons are needed to fasten it in place - all very straightforward except for the actual choosing of said buttons. 

I'm already being kind of brave with these mitts. I'm not a pink kind of gal, so these are screaming girly at me right now. The choice of button is therefore crucial to ensure that I'm not tipping totally over the edge into super-girly. Wooden ones I think will be too kitsch, little plastic ones potentially too young-looking and I don't know if metal ones will be quite right either. 

At least I have another mitt to finish before I have to make a decision!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Restrained shopping at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair

It's that time again. Every six months I'm tempted to spend all of my money at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair. Today was no different, except my bank account is still recovering from our Wellington trip and I'm trying to pull back on buying stuff I don't really need. So I tried something new - I gave myself a budget!

I knew I wanted to get a necklace of some sort and I knew it had to look a little bit edgy (maybe because I come across as a girly girl with all the vintage dresses - I have to balance it out a bit).
After one lap of the market, I had my sights set on this awesome carved agate skull necklace from Bailey's Alchemy. And it was within my budget at $45 - bargain.

Congrats to the amazing team who put on this market every six months - it's always great and I'm looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A weekend in windy Wellington

Every time I go to Wellington, I almost refuse to go on the plane back home. Today was no different. Me and husband took Friday off work and flew down to Welly to spend a long weekend eating, exploring and catching up with friends.

Those who know me well know that I'm a coffee addict - the kind who makes slow-pour filter coffee at home on the weekend and is extremely picky about where I get my beans from. Which is why I should live in Wellington. The two best brews of my weekend were found at Memphis Belle's and Flight Coffee Hangar

Field trips included a visit to Weta Workshop and catching a movie at the stunning Roxy Cinema. Between all this there was food. And very cool bars. And more food. And all the vintage shops on Cuba Street. Several times. I didn't buy anything. How impressive is that?

It wouldn't be a holiday without a bit of craft and although I had no time at all for knitting, I did get out to Newtown for the Social Wool Fair with one of my Wellington pals.

I saw the lovely Olive from Spinning A Yarn and added a bit more of her 4ply to the stash. This is for the cardigan I've been planning to make all year. I'm working up to it.

And my favourite find on this trip? Minerva - the textile bookshop and gallery. There is a whole bookshop for craft and textile books. Not just one shelf. All the shelves!

I'm already planning my next trip.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday / crafterday

Here she is, a much better photo of my finished Pogona. The pink is really starting to grow on me.

So much that I've started knitting some arm-warmers. Pink ones. Crazy!
The yarn is some lovely Fleur sock in Raspberry by Red Riding Hood Yarns
I'm knitting a really cute and simple pattern, the RYE fingerless mittens by Eilen Tein. I need to find some very jazzy buttons for the ribbony bit.

And yes, as you can see, second weekend at Sew Love Lounge. I spent the afternoon there today taking in a dress by myself. On a sewing machine. Only partially supervised. My lovely friend Jess shortened a dress and fixed a hem on some trousers. It's so great to have a place to hang out with like-minded people - the place was full today with people making dresses, mending, even a couple making a burlesque costume! Very cool! I've also signed up for my first sewing class in July to teach me the basics; I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pogona - averting disaster

Firstly, apologies for the photos. Winter turned wet and dark. There's not much daylight after work so I've had to resort to indoor lighting. Hopefully if this rain clears up over the weekend, I can get a photo of Pogona in action, if she dries in time. 


As I've mentioned previously, this was the first Stephen West pattern I've knitted. I used a skein of Soft Like Kittens' double helix sock in Midnight Revels. I had it all planned in my head - there was plenty of yarn in one hank for the pattern, but I didn't swatch. Three quarters of the way through I thought it might be a good idea to measure my stitches. Only an extra stitch per inch than was called for, which meant I was running out of yarn, fast.

I started casting off after 12.5 inches instead of 14. I was 20 stitches from the end when I ran out of yarn. Luckily I had some more sock yarn in a similar shade of pink to tie in and finish off. I've just blocked it and managed a grow it a few inches (yay for merino and its growing powers) and once it's dry I'll get those ends all tucked in and hopefully the yarn change on the cast-off edge won't be too noticeable. I'm really happy with the shawl itself though, it'll have a really nice drape when it's dry.

Lesson learnt - swatch.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Sew Love Lounge is open!

Something amazing has happened. The wonderful Sarah Lancaster of Sew Love Tea Do has opened a pop-up space, the Sew Love Lounge, in St Kevin's Arcade. 

Sarah has a big love of reusing, refashioning and bringing communities together, and the Sew Love Lounge is a beautiful combination of all of this. Auckland now has a great craft space for people to drop-in, rent a sewing machine for $5 per half hour and fix, mend and create. Safe to say I will be pretty much moving in.

I was extremely privileged to go along to the opening celebrations yesterday evening with Ellie and have a sneaky peak at the beautiful space.

There are notions, saved fabric, beautiful hand-made clothing and gifts for sale - just what you need to re-fashion something old into something new.

The philosophy of Sew love is pretty simple, be grateful, share and be kind to our planet.

Congratulations Sarah! A space like this has been missing from the Auckland craft scene for so long, and I'm sure the Sew Love Lounge will be a massive success. I can't wait for you to schedule some workshops - I need some sewing tips!

 The Sew Love Lounge is open seven days in St Kevin's Arcade, K Road, 10am-6pm weekdays and 10am-4pm weekends. Check out the Facebook page to find out about workshops and other cool stuff going on!