Weekday Knitting

I have been able to knit since a young age and I go through phases of being madly into it and then not doing anything for a good couple of years. I was certainly having a dry spell but since I’ve started sewing and reading blogs I have been inspired by a number of sewistas who finish off their handmade clothes with a funky little cardigan and so I have gotten into it again. I have a number of WIP but did want to show you a little lace beanie I made which has had SO much wear already. I found the pattern in KNIT magazine.

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I really needed to concentrate on the lacy pattern so I couldn’t really knit whilst I watched TV so it was pretty much completed on my commute. It was my first experience of circular needles and I have become a huge fan and now knit using them even when the pattern doesn’t need circular needles.

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The wool is Sublime cashmere merino silk dk – I have already bought another 100g in an inky blue to knit another as this one has proved to be super versatile.

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Worn on my birthday for a walk across the South Downs – this is the lunch stop – champagne in a beaker.

 

Selfie on the beach with the family in Gand background

Selfie on the beach with the family in the background

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I tend to knit every day on the tube and train into work. I keep my WIP in  this little bag I made during my first workshop at a Clothkits – I have had some odd looks when I open my Mulberry and pull out my knitting. I am currently working on a variety of squares to make a blanket for my daughter.

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On the sewing front, I just wanted to share a little peak of how my lace dress is coming along.

Week two of four at Sew a Over It lace dress workshop

Week two of four at Sew a Over It lace dress workshop

And finally, I am LOVING Sewvember – so many interesting glimpses on a daily basis. Have a peek on Instagram at #bpsewvember. So much inspiration; so little time.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

 

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Dahlia: done

I had so wanted to enjoy making Colette Pattern’s Dahlia and had visions of frolicking around the Peaks showing it off – it took much longer than I anticipated so I didn’t get it finished during my week away; I became incredibly disheartened with it.  Well, after a burst of hand sewing this morning (sleeve and neck bindings and hem)  it is finished and I was able to wear it for a little frolic around in the local park.  The weather today has been unbelievable – Remembrance Sunday and I was out in just a cotton dress and a cardi.

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My issues with the Dahlia are many and I hasten to add – are all my fault (just making it clear I am not blaming the pattern). I messed up the yoke so that both seams are not enclosed; I made my bias binding too thin; I clearly did not gather the neck sufficiently so that the dress can actually be worn off the shoulder.  I have just read Sew South London’s blog and she has inserted darts at the back of the neck.  If I were a patient person, I could attempt this remedy but I cannot, I’ll be honest, be arsed to remove the bias binding so I think it is doomed forever to be worn under a cardi.

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That said, I do think it is a great dress for layering.  I bought the fabric at Sew Over it with the intention of making another Sureau but then the Dahlia came out and I thought it would make a perfect Autumn dress.  To be honest, as it is only cotton it is too thin for Autumn.  I do have a lovely blue and red check wool and will probably make my next Dahlia with that.

You are probably wondering why I am already planning on making another Dahlia when I am clearly so disgruntled.  Well . . .  before I encountered my difficulties, I proposed it as a pattern for the next Sewing Bee at work (first one blogged here)and everyone has now agreed to do the Dahlia.  The plan is that we will wear it for the last day of school when we go to the Carol Concert – might be a bit chilly for the half a dozen of us sporting bare shoulders.

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I have read a few blogs lately where people make reference to the need for more intermediate patterns/ books.  I do think the Dahlia is intermediate.  All of the gathering, the enclosed yoke etc.  The only thing I am pleased with is the invisible zip – perhaps whilst people are looking for  the invisible zip they will not notice the gaping neckline.

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For my little photo shoot I used plum coloured accessories as I do love plum – only ever wear plum lipstick. However, there isn’t any plum in the multi coloured fabric at all and I think that a cardi in teal would be better.  So, guess what dear reader? I am making one!  Bought this wool yesterday in a little nearby haberdashery along with the patternbook Rowan Easy Winter Knits – the yarn is 100% merino and called “Big Wool”.  It is beautifully soft although I must say it feels/looks a bit synthetic to me.  The designer for all the knits is Martin Storey whose patchwork blanket I am currently making squares for on my daily commute – the intention being that it will be a Christmas present for my daughter 2015.

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So I have added to the number of WIP – also on the go is the lace dress I started on Wednesday (I have been given a mounting task to do for homework!) and Lauren’s yoke top which I thought might have seen the light of day by now but no.

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On a non-sewing related matter I saw Gone Girl at the cinema this afternoon.  I was wringing my hands so much that I actually wrung my ring off and had to go hunting for it at the end (and this is from someone who has read the book and knew what was coming).  It’s been out a few weeks now so my closing salutation is to encourage you to go.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

Dahlia in disgrace and the joys of being part of sewing communities

I have been feeling a little down.  I proudly boasted in my last post how I was going to make a Dahlia whilst on half term and had visions of elegant poses of me in the Peaks looking suitably smug showing off  my autumnal sewing success.  I did not finish the dress in the week; I have not finished it since; it is currently looking at me from where I have tossed it on the sofa – this particular Dahlia is in deep disgrace.  Its misfortune would have remained private but I have been encouraged to move on and blog, regardless of having anything to share/show, by Sew South London who has blogged today of her own frustrations and an unfinished Dahlia.

Just look at that renegade seam - it is supposed to be on the inside. How did that happen?

Just look at that renegade seam – it is supposed to be on the inside. How did that happen?

So, once my patience has been replenished (the store is currently closed) I will complete the last bit of hand sewing and post photos of my finished dress.  The sewalong started today so I might well have another attempt – I did have some nice navy and red plaid lined up but my confidence is currently depleted.

However, what I did want to share was some of the fun things that are going on at the moment linked to various sewing communities.

1. Tomorrow I am starting a course at Sew Over It  for four consecutive Wednesdays to make a lace dress – hopefully it will look like this:

photo courtesy of Sew Over It

photo courtesy of Sew Over It

The tutor is the brilliant Julie who guided me through my first (only) pair of trousers.  It will be tiring going to a workshop after work but I am excited about having expert help with my sewing and learning some new techniques.  I am also looking forward to meeting some fellow sewistas.

2. By complete chance I read about Bimble and Pimble’s Sewvember on the day it started

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I have been diligently uploading my photos to Instagram (quite a new experience for me) but the really fun thing is all the sticky beaking you can do.  I have been truly over-awed with the sheer size of some people’s stash and the sewing space pictures on Day One are really making me think about how I can pretty up my own space.  I guess that’s what Instagram is about for us – caring, sharing, inspiring and I have been inspired!

Finally, 3. the wonderful Katya Essery of Sew Pretty is starting a Sewing Club at her gorgeous studio in Wimbledon on a twice monthly basis where you can drop in and get help with your projects – no doubt I will be turning up with my Dahlia!

Photo courtesy of Sew Pretty

Photo courtesy of Sew Pretty

Katya has also introduced some new workshops including a winter coat, a tie and Christmas stockings.  If you can get to Wimbledon, do consider taking a class at Sew Pretty – I have done a couple now and love Katya’s relaxed approach which combines really skilful instruction with wine and friendly banter.

Hopefully, I will be able to share a garment, of some description, soon – you can guarantee I will not be saying “this came together really easily”.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda