Sunday, November 29, 2015

That run-out-of-yarn panic

It's happened again. For the second cardigan in a row, I'm pretty sure I haven't got enough yarn to finish it. I can't remember having this kind of issue prior to knitting cardigans!

My Netherton is knitting up so nicely, and I already know that this will become a favourite go-to option with it's three-quarter sleeves and cropped length. But once again, as with the last cardigan I knitted, I am convinced I'm going to run out of yarn. 

I have the exact amount of yarn - down to the yard - required by the pattern. My gauge is spot on. I've used up two of my three skeins on the body, and the remaining one is turning into sleeve number one. But I don't think there will be enough for sleeve number two. I just have this feeling.

The yarn is special. Limited edition Vintage Purls' Max DK Falcon's Keep. It's the kind of green I've been searching for, for a very long time. I bought it with this exact pattern in mind, three skeins with just enough yarn to finish the size I wanted to make. I'm trying my best to not buy more than I need, to save myself some money and avoid wasting yarn. You can imagine my horror then, as I slowly make progress through the sleeve, that I'm convinced there's not enough left. The weighing scales are also suggesting that I might be short. 

An emergency email to the lovely Morag, amazing yarn dyer behind Vintage Purls, was quickly sent. Limited edition yarns often sell out quickly, and I got the yarn a few months ago, meaning my chances of finding another skein were quite low. While I waited for the reply, I sat thinking of ways I could try and find some more yarn. I'd get in touch with every knitter I knew. Post on a bunch of message boards on Ravelry and Facebook. Continue the search over on Instagram. Try finding a similar yarn?

I didn't have to wait long to get a reply from Morag. She had one skein left. One! Queue very quick payment followed by an overwhelming sense of relief. I couldn't imagine not being able to finish this cardigan. The yarn just isn't meant for anything else. Unravelling it would have been such a disappointment. Thank you Morag for saving my cardigan!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A conscious Christmas

It's that time of year again! By that time, I mean way too early for Christmas decorations to be up and carol singers to be performing outside department stores, as we still have a whole month to go! But the singers did prompt me to think about getting myself all together for the festive season.

 Christmas for us is always about food - food as gifts and lots of giant meals. It's not about spending a heap of cash on extravagant stuff that people don't really need, which is why my gifts tend to be home made or ethically produced. 

This year, it seems like all of my girlfriends have had babies. And not all of those babies will quite appreciate shortbread. Therefore, planning is underway for home made plushy toys, using up leftovers from other sewing projects.

So my plan is to make a small army of plushy cats. Cats because everyone should own one, and I've found an incredibly simple pattern, that kind of looks like a starfish with a head and ears, which should make for some very quick sewing. Now I just need some toy stuffing!

Have you started planning your Christmas makes?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

On the needles - Netherton

With all my posts recently about sewing successes, it might seem like I've been avoiding my knitting. I haven't been avoiding, but it has been going a little slowly - I blame the change in seasons.

After my first success at a cardigan, I've cast on another design by Lydia Gluck and also from Pompom Quarterly. This one is her Netherton pattern, from the very first issue. It's another top-down design that so far has been pretty easy to knit - the test will come when I get to the chevron pattern along the waist that's going to have me referring to the stitch glossary a lot I expect!

I'm using my KAN yarn that I purchased with this pattern in mind, Vintage Purls Max. I don't think I've knitted with a Vintage Purls yarn before but I'm really loving the stitch definition and the vibrant colours - let's just hope I have enough for the whole pattern.

And one last thing - my latest Moneta dress in action. It is very yellow, but given summer's coming, I think that's a good thing!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Slow Fashion October wrap up

It's November. Which means I'm a few days behind on my last installment for Slow Fashion October. I'm okay with this. I had written a great post at the end of last week, but for some reason or other I was having issues saving my post, and everything got deleted. And then I went on holiday to Queenstown for the weekend, so I prioritised that!

I thought about what I would write for this last update for Slow Fashion October. Initially I thought I would write about the themes for the last two weeks and how they apply to my wardrobe, but instead I thought I'd share two things I've almost finished making.

The first is the Delphine Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons' book, Love at First Stitch. I've been slowly working my way through this book over the past year, but the real highlight of this project is that it was made entirely unassisted. I cut all the pieces and did all the sewing in an evening last week, without any help. This has never happened before, so this skirt is a testament to my learning. I made it with fabric purchased at the most recent Auckland Fabric-a-brac, a really heavy cotton that holds the A-line shape really well.

And that leads me to my second solo creation. After the success of the first project, the day after I decided to get straight on with something new, my second Moneta Dress, in yellow knit fabric from the Wellington Fabric-a-brac. She's not quite finished yet, my sewing machine is throwing a bit of a tantrum with twin needle hemming, so I'll put the last finishing touches on tomorrow.

Both of these projects have shown me that I can do this stuff by myself, which is an incredibly big deal to me. I never thought I'd be able to successfully sew without asking for someone's help every step of the way, and for me this is what Slow Fashion October is all about. Learning new skills and creating your own style, enjoying the process and being proud of your special, handmade and unique clothes.