Tag Archives: crochet

boxing it up

[I see Comments have disappeared. Again. And there is no earthly reason for it. Have spent an hour double-checking everything. My apologies, Dear Ones! Click to this post and use the Comments.]

Left: Camel cut from old tablecloth, backed & stuffed for hanging. Below, Right, is the back.

Hope everyone has had time to rejoice and celebrate❣️

I’m taking this week between holidays to exhale slowly and let Life settle. “Digestion” takes time, and this year may take more than most. 🥴

But hands don’t have to idle, and to that end I have several yarny projects on the go.

They started out as it: a single ski hat in my TNT pattern. Details are here. However…..

This scrummy yarn has two threads of colour in a single strand. As I had doubled the strands, that frequently meant four different colours.

Ever notice how combined colour yarns make distinguishing the stitch pattern more difficult? I did.

After too much frustration searching for back loops, I frogged it, and started over, this time as two projects.

The very solid piece on the right, is single crochet. I needed a rest after the hat tussle. It will be a rug for a pair of pirates of a feline nature.

The narrow one below will be a tasseled scarf. And there’s always the “forgotten project at the bottom of the pile. 🤣

Tuesday I did my traditional Christmas listen to A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College (Cambridge). Thank you BBC Four, for carrying it live. Incidentally, if you’d like to have a listen, it’s available here for a month.

Hoping everything in your world is fresh and new and creating beauty for you to enjoy. ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️

remember this?

This is Version Two. The centre hole has two slightly smaller holes sort of north east of centre. See ’em? They’re not supposed to be there. 😩

Version one had the same problem, but the holes were bigger. 😣

After weeks of faffing about trying to avoid the inevitable I finally faced fact, and did what needed to be done.

🐸 rip-it 🐸 rip-it 🐸

I was worried that the yarn would be too worn from all the ripping out sessions, but it seems to have held up, thank goodness.

Changing subjects, did a bit of reading over the last heat wave. . . 😅

Scott at Furrowed Middlebrow had just released nine more long-unavailable British women authors’ books. He’s been reviewing them on his blog since they were published August 5th.

So far I’ve read Spam Tomorrow (Verily Anderson, 1956), and totally cannot decide what to read next.

Spam was excellent, after a doubtful start. It’s autobiographical and starts in the English countryside before the war began in 1939.

Initially I was a bit put off by Anderson’s unconventional family, and didn’t know if I would enjoy the rest of the book, but I did. In fact, I was sorry there wasn’t another whole book to get us further into her experiences.

All of Scott’s volumes are published by Dean Street Press, under the Furrowed Middlebrow name, and are available in paperback or electronic copies via Amazon U.S. and U.K. I downloaded a copy to save shelf space, the environment and a little dosh (for more books 😉). I’m not affiliated with any of the above, and if I don’t like a book I’ll say so!

I’ve not decided what to read next, but am thinking about one of Carola Oman’s two books, Nothing to Report, or Somewhere in England. Has anybody read either of them?

All for now, Lovely Readers . . . toodles ❣️😘

playing

Had a bit of a play lately.

Figured I had earned it after polishing off my black linen skirt and finally getting the handles sewn onto the veggie bag.

So here’s what I did with some wonderful crocheted doilies gifted to me by Ali, who knows the woman that made them. (Thanks again, hon!)

However, I do think they could use a spot of colour, don’t you? Maybe some ribbon to hide the rubber bands. Hm…

Have been meaning to post this update to that peppermint stripe outfit: It started pilling less than a month after I finished it. Good thing I’d mentally tagged the fabric for stretchy muslins.

Oddly, the bermudas seem to be okay. Wait! Better check the seat . . . . it’s okay! Don’t feel so bad now.

click pic for original post

Have been wanting something in a solid green and remembered this from my Chicago days, languishing in the Needs Refashioning pile. Spent quite some time taking the waist apart, trying to figure out what on earth I’d done. It took a couple of long ripping out sessions.

But newly washed and ironed, it’s hanging whilst I gather my courage to cut into a summer dress I’d put in the refashion pile earlier this year. Hoping to use the dress for waistband facing and a sleeveless blouse. Fingers crossed! 😉

Meanwhile, hope everyone is surviving their season! ❣️❣️❣️

ps… The Guardian had an interesting article on craft/activism here.

monday mishmash

Hello, Lovelies! It is Monday. Again. And the First Day of July. Where is this year speeding off to, and why? Herewith, despite despair at all that wasn’t accomplished, are a few of the bits that were. . .

I’m thinking of changing my gravatar…

You know, this thingey that pops up whenever I write here or comment elsewhere.

My sticking point is this gravatar connects to two things—the C with CurlsnSkirls, and the thistles with my Scots sewing and crocheting grannies, bless ’em.

What do you all think ? ? ?

Pleeese be very honest and say if you think it’s a nutty idea. I promise I won’t be upset.

Oh. What would replace it? Am considering this, if you can imagine it reduced to 1/4 inch-size.

The left side is undyed

Things are ticking over at the usual hot summer pace, which isn’t spectacularly speedy.

I decided to fiddle about—again—with the dotted duster. I took a good look at it whilst outside at high noon one day and decided it was too white and I wanted a more subdued effect.

Soaking in hot tea

My solution (no pun intended) was to tea dye it in the kitchen sink. Not something I do often, but there were tea bags left from the last bout.

I wrote about it even before that session, so that giant box in the photo was good value.

(For tea drinking I prefer decaf English Breakfast, and other black teas which never get used for anything but drinking!)

Hey-ho. Not much photographic difference, but to me, in full sun, there is. 🤣

Stop the presses! I cleaned off my sewing table! And resolve to stop piling things on the end except when I’m sewing.

It’s about 14″ x 22″

One of those little but pesky (aka, put off forever) sewing projects is done: I cut down an extra pillow case for a little pillow made years ago. It’s gotten a lot of use, and always needed a pillow case. Minorly major or majorly minor, am not sure, but pleasurable every night when I see it.

Slowly but surely more rounds are being added to the crochet project. Baby steps, but that’s fine. No rush!

We have a strange week here in the U.S. At least it seems strange to me. The Powers That Be usually move whatever day a major holiday falls on to the following Monday so everyone has a three day weekend.

However, this week it’s Fourth of July/Independence Day on Thursday. I guess moving that to Monday would not be appropriate. So we have a national holiday on Thursday. It just feels odd.

Maybe we’re practicing for Thanksgiving? 🤔 🦃

Downtown Chicago’s Grant Park, 2008

connecting dots

I’d been wearing my dotted duster a few times and decided that the facings along the length of the front, although attached at the bottom, were still entirely too flappy. Time to get out the needle and thread and do a proper stitching all the way round.

So I did just that, whilst enjoying the third Jane Harper book, The Lost Man. Another Aussie mystery, set this time in the outback of Queensland. It was marvelous listening!

In case you’re interested, Harper has done a great 10 minute TED Talk on practical creativity, and it’s on the site.

I spent part of Saturday cutting out a 1998 OOP pattern, Butterick 5487, which I’d just seen over at Anne’s The Compulsive Seamstress. It immediately reminded me of a linen knit top I’d loved and wanted to replace. B5487 is close enough to the linen to have immediately caught my eye, and luckily saw a copy on Etsy.

In between that I finally started an early crochet pattern from Lucy at Attic24, and realized Sunday I was using half double crochet instead of double (U.S. terms). Oops. 🤭 Why I keep confusing these two stitches is beyond me.

Had quite a bit done but decided to frog it all out and start over. Glad I did and it’s progressing much faster as I’m now familiar with the first part of the directions.

Also on the sewing table is a black linen skirt, which I decided last week was too dowdy and needed to be shortened about three inches. The midi look I’d wanted just wasn’t working.

However, because I’d hacked an RTW maxi dress, it was the original hem. All I’d done was cut the dress at the waist, made a casing and inserted elastic. A quick fix.

But as I had a few more cd’s of The Lost Man to listen to I decided to keep the original hem and take the skirt up from the waist. Picking out that seam wasn’t as bad as I feared, and the skirt is on deck to get finished whenever I remember to try it on and measure exactly where to cut a bit more off.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week with decent weather. For those of us desperately wishing for the season to end, the solstice arrives tomorrow, and soon every day will start getting shorter (or longer if you’re south of the equator).

I knew I was forgetting something! Remember my peppermint stripe outfit from last week? It got worn this weekend, and a bit of work has been done to make it more, um, palatable.

The shoulder seams got hoicked up, which raised the arm holes and neck-—already high enough. I also did a 3″ slit on either side, using the side seams. If I feel inclined in the future, I’ll cut more binding and fix the arms.

The other fix is for the shorts. I realized they were a couple inches too long and started fiddling, then realized I should tighten the elastic waist… then realized if I did that I should consider chopping a couple inches off at the waist. That would raise the waist, the legs, and the crotch. Then I remembered adding extra to the top of the waist when cutting out… why, I don’t recall. Duh!

So there’s plenty to do round here. Wonder if I could find another fascinating audio book at the library…

monday . . ⛈ ⛈ ⛈

Three pieces of tissue viscose/rayon, purchased in 2016, have slowly been rising to the top of the ToDo list.

Thinking to finally get them made up, I decided to drag out a piece of heavier cotton knit to toile a couple of patterns I’ve had since forever.

Yes, I know there’s definite differences between the weights of the two fabrics, but somehow that didn’t seem important.

First up was the cammie version from Lois Hinse’s Tank Dress Group, No. 5305. Just found it on Vogue’s site and still available.

I also cut some shorts from a TNT pattern, Butterick’s B5432. I did a mid-knee version to see if I liked it. The jury’s still out. 🤔

Incidentally, witness2fashion on WordPress did an excellent review of the many trouser names and lengths from the ’70’s. Guess mine are the Bermuda length.

For some reason I put off wear-testing the new duo, but when I did I was surprised by how the top fit.

Look at the neckline in this photo. I hadn’t given it much thought because I’d cut out the tank top pattern, narrowing the shoulder straps.

When I tried it on I realized it wasn’t anything like the photo, even with the narrowed straps. Hm.

See how narrow this neckline is? Compare it to the camisole picture. See a difference?

My opinion is what’s labeled as the camisole pattern has is the same neck and straps as the dress version, but I keep forgetting to get the pattern back out and check.

What do you Lovelies think? Are they different necklines. Suggestions welcomed!

Did I get the wrong pattern pieces? No. There are only four, and the other two are definitely the dress pattern because they’re miles long.

Sure, I could fix it by redrafting the pattern, but I don’t want to. Instead, I’m considering this toile for lounging at home only. And I’m giving more thought to hacking my Hemlock tee from last winter.

But on the other hand, do I want to go to the trouble of hacking the Hemlock?As you can see, heat-induced summer ennui has set in. 🙄

Adding complexity was a recent Love to Sew episode on how to rub off (copy without cutting up) an RTW. If I had a good RTW cammie I might give that a try . . .

Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh! 🤪

Time to switch gears and crochet!

My latest autumnal crochet project’s yarn (Brett’s Marble Chunky – MC07) is still a delight to work with—all that luscious coloured softness running through my fingers is sooo satisfying!

The ski cap is completed, and whilst browsing through early posts of Lucy’s Attic24 I spied an idea for how to use up the large remainder.

Watch this space. 😉

Meanwhile, hope you have lovely things planned for your June. If I can dash out between the raindrops and get to the library, there are several goodies waiting.

Enjoy, Lovelies!

thursday thingies

As you see, all four buds of this year’s amaryllis have now opened, and that first one is looking a bit tatty. Living in an apartment complex with oh-so-carefully manicured landscaping there isn’t the option to replant the bulb outdoors. What to do with it? Suggestions welcomed!

Moving onward, below is the inspiration for my mystery crochet. It’s from Knit ‘n Sew, October 2010, p. 87.

The original was knitted, but I crocheted one long piece, twisted it once, then sewed the two ends together. (Not as in sewed with thread or machine. 😉 Used yarn, crochet hook and large tapestry needle.)

The stitch used in mine is half double crochet in the back post (U.S. crochet terms). That back post gives both stretch and an interesting three-dimensional ridge to the piece.

Enter the scrumptious yarn from James C. Brett (below right) which kept begging me to make something more wearable than a very slowly knitted scarf. I finally listened, frogged the knitting, and voila. The remainder of a second 200 gram ball is becoming a hat. Which will be worn outdoors.

And speaking of outdoors, last week this duster got its first outing, accessorised as shown.

Happy Sewing, Lovelies! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

a bit of a mix

Enjoying your weekend?! I’m spending it crocheting because my squidgy package arrived Saturday. Yeah!

I’ve also been reviving my listing on Ravelry, so stop by at CurlsnSkirls and say hello if you’re a member. Long ago Chicago efforts are listed, but I’m working on getting things updated.

Valentine’s Day is Thursday and the appropriate cotton cloth (top) is gracing a bedside table. When my voice studio was open I made seasonal table toppers (any excuse to buy fabric) and I still enjoy seeing them each year.

Curvy Sewing Collective had two great posts this week. Both inclusive sizing and inclusive language are extremely important, so do take a look.

And speaking of inclusive sizing, Grainline Studios (Chicago) is increasing their size range and has a questionnaire open to anyone who would like to make suggestions.

For anyone looking for podcasts about sewing, you cannot beat Love to Sew (Canadian) and The Fold Line (London).

Here’s that finished skirt topped with a gorgeous suede jacket from a closing consignment store in Chicago. (Yes, the skirt’s been that long in the making.) Anyone have suggestions for how to clean the suede without going to a cleaner who will charge multiple times my original cost and use icky chemicals?

Here’s one last suggestion for those of us struggling to get better at, or just get back into sewing – Lucie wrote a great post last week about her own experience. Much food for thought!

Meanwhile, hope everyone can hunker down and get to creating something. Creativity is positive! There’s nothing better for overcoming negatives.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

tuesday

Have been working on a rogue skirt on the weekend, a remnant I picked up whilst living in Chicago because I couldn’t resist the feel. Although 54″ wide, there’s only enough for a gathered skirt.

Imagine a buttery soft rayon twill with a perfect amount of weight, and such intriguing colours and pattern. Heavenly! And it doesn’t wrinkle easily.

The skirt is mid-calf, no pockets or zip, elasticated waist and will be ever so delicious to wear! Another possible match with that batik duster?

books

Haven’t been including any books, although I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the three Mrs. Tim books re-released earlier this month by Scott’s Furrowed Middlebrow subset of Dean Street Press.

Finished all three and cannot say enough how totally enjoyable they are. As Alexander McCall Smith wrote in his introduction,

“One of the main features of Stevenson’s novels is their simplicity. That is a quality that is not rated in fiction today. Many writers now feel that in order to be noticed they must go out of their way to be clever –even to the extent of being opaque. Nothing should be portrayed as it seems to be; cynicism is all; sincerity is hopelessly naïve. In such a climate, direct stories that follow a fairly strict chronological pattern, that eschew obfuscation, and that place feasible and, in many cases, rather likeable characters centre-stage are not highly regarded. And yet that is exactly what Stevenson does, and that is what many readers still seem to want. Add humour to the equation and the mixture will find a ready audience…

“These are gentle books, very fitting for times of uncertainty and conflict. Some books can be prescribed for anxiety – these are in that category. And it is an honourable and important one.”

Am also wending my way through the short stories in Silent Night, edited by Martin Edwards. Was very impressed with the Sayers short story, and will at some point reread her Wimsey books.

The mystery crochet project has run out of yarn, so a squidgy package has been ordered. Goodies from across the pond – yeah!

On that good thought, will wish you Lovely Readers happy sewing!