Thursday, 22 September 2011


I started this on Tuesday. Shh, I know I said I wouldn't cast on any new projects until October and that those would be Christmas presents, but this was calling to me. I foolishly did a gauge swatch on Monday as I wanted to try out my new Knit Pro Symfonie needles. I've had them weeks now and hadn't tried them yet! I liked the needles and yarn (Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino) so much that I only managed to hold out until Tuesday morning! I think these are my new favourite needles. From what I can find, they're made from rosewood but I'm not certain. Anyone know? I'm curious. They've got a lovely finish on them, so smooth and lovely to knit with! And I love the cheery colours too :)
The pattern is the Scroll Lace Scarf by Ysolda Teague. It's another one from Whimsical Little Knits 2. You knit the lace and then pick up stitches for the body of the scarf. I've worked on it for two days, but now I'm going to limit myself to one lace repeat a day, so I can finish my socks first! And maybe get some sewing in there too. I keep putting the second muslin off because I hate making a second muslin only to find that there's more work to be done. But I'm going to get to it today I think :)
Oh I got my uni timetable for this year too. Not bad. The module I'm least looking forward too is Cognitive Neuroscience. Cognition= baaad!! Neuroscience= baaad!! Mash em together to make Cognitive Neuroscience?! Very very baaaaad!!! It's not that I find it boring, but that I find it hard. There's so much to remember. But thankfully for me, it assessed by an essay! Wooo!! I find essays a lot less stressful than exams. But I'm still not looking forward to the essay. Luckily though I find the actual subject very interesting! It's just keeping the info in my head that I find hard! lol
Right, I'm off to knit my ration of lace goodness :)
Ashley x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Pendrell Dress - part 2

First of all, thank you to Very Berry Handmade for the amazing giveaway a couple of weeks ago! I won a package of 4 fat quarters! Polka dot fat quarters no less!
I'm not sure what to make with them yet, any ideas? Tutorials? Let me know! :)
It's been over a week since my last post, how did that happen?! Well, life ran away with me. There were birthdays, cupboards of my left behind junk at my mums to sort through, helping my brother get into college and a lack of motivation to do much of anything craft related. I've been restless and haven't felt like sitting down to concentrate on anything. 
Anyway, this morning I finally got round to transferring the changes I made to the Pendrell dress muslin! To do it, I marked where the pins had been with a sharpie marker. So I ended up with this:

Then I laid my paper pattern over the top and roughly traced the marks. I measured everything to make sure, and then made the lines smooth and redrew the new seam allowance. I also added just a smidge to the side seam at bust level. 

I just have to trim the pieces where there are new seam allowances and then I can start on the muslin! Before starting on the real thing, I'm going to trace the pieces out again so I have nice fresh sellotape-free pieces :)
I also finished the first Rosebud sock a while ago! Here it is:
It stretches out when it's on my foot and the lace is lovely :) Though currently its a little tight getting it over my heel, so I think I'll give it a gentle stretching out when I wash them like I did with my Snapdragon gloves.
Oh, and we had this stunning view from our window the other day!
Happy Sunday! :)
Ashley x

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Pendrell Dress - part 1

So I've decided to make the Pendrell blouse pattern into a fitted dress. Why? Because I want a princess seamed dress and the Pendrell blouse is the closest thing I have. 
The inspiration for this comes from one of the dresses I bought last week. It fits surprisingly well, and I love how flattering the princess seams are. 
Excuse the shoeless-ness. I love the shape of this dress, and the neck line detail is amazing (I'm sure there was a tutorial on the Colette blog a while ago, but I can't remember what the technique is called to search for it!). I wear the dress with a belt at the waist too, so it makes my waist look nice and small :) What surprises me most about this dress is that it's a Miss Selfridge dress! It was the most expensive dress that I bought (though I got student discount on it as I bought it from House of Fraser). The dress is a size 14 but it fits! I think a 16 would have looked good too, but I like how close fitting it is. It was kind of an impulse buy, as I saw it in the window as we walked past. I don't usually go in House of Fraser as the floor is all wonky and it makes me feel travel sick after a few steps in there. But I wanted that dress! :) 
So the first thing I needed to do was address the extra ease in the Pendrell blouse. After studying the finished garment measurements, I decided to go two sizes smaller than what my actual measurements. I was pretty sure this would be ok. And I was right! Mostly. Here's the back:
I made no alterations to it at all! Other than to add a zip of course. Though I discovered that I can get in and out of it without the zip, but it's a tight fit and I'd rather not put too much stress on the seams. However, the front obviously required quite a large FBA. I split some of this between the front piece and did most of it on the side front piece. Here it is after pinning out some excess:
As you can see I lowered and re-shaped the neckline. Then there was some excess length in the front that I tucked out. It was also gaping out under my chest so I pinned it out. Looking at the photo I also noticed that there is a little bit of bumpy gaping going on at the sides of the neckline. The stripes also emphasise my boobs which isn't a good look! lol Thankfully none of the fabric that I have is stripey. But I think the general shape is ok, though I think I'll let it out a little in the side to give me a smidge more room in the chest. I just need to add length to make it dress length, and maybe add a bit of flare to the skirt. 
Once I have the shell fitting ok, I'm going to draft a peterpan collar (using Casey's tutorial) which will be a contrast colour in the final dress. I'm also going to test out whether the sleeve from Colette patterns Ceylon will work. If it does, then I'm also going to add a contrast colour cuff to the sleeve. If it doesn't, then I'll add a little capped sleeve and bind the rest of the armhole. 
So how on earth do I go about making my changes to my paper pattern?! And ignoring the optical illusion of the stripes, do you think the fit is ok so far? Hopefully I should have muslin number 2 ready soon once I've worked out how to transfer my changes to paper.
Ashley x

Monday, 5 September 2011

Snapdragon flip top gloves - finished!

I finished these at the weekend. They're the matching gloves to my Snapdragon tam. I can't remember the last time I has a matching hat and gloves set! I'm very tempted to make an I-cord so I can have them strung through my coat like when I was 3 or 4. I only just had enough yarn to finish them though. I suppose I could do a contrast one with yarn I have left over from other projects! :)
My gauge was off so they were a bit tight when they were finished. I'd added extra length in the flip top and thumb so the length was ok (adding the length is what made me nearly run out of yarn!). So when I blocked them, I gently pulled them width ways and laid my hand over them until they were a bit wider than my hand. I wish I'd taken before and after photos as there's quite a difference! 
I really like the Snapdragon patterns and this yarn. The patterns are by Ysolda Teague and are in her book Whimsical Little Knits 2. The yarn is Rico Essentials merino DK, and is very soft and has great stitch definition!
I've picked up the Rosebud socks I started ages ago again, and I'm going to try very hard not to cast on any other projects. I currently have three WiPs which is plenty. Though I plan on starting my Christmas knitting at the beginning of October to make sure it's all finished on time. So they are the only new projects I'm allowed to cast on, but not until October! ;) 
Ashley x

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Circle skirt - finished!

Yay I finished it! I measured the hem when I was done, and it was about 5 metres! Unfortunately I probably won't get to wear it till next year now, as summer seems to be over. I'd feel silly wearing such a summery print and colour when it was cloudy and chilly!
I actually used a pattern for this as I couldn't be bothered to draft my own, and there was a sale when I got it. I used M5811, it's great :) I like the length on it, it's quite long but still nice and cool for when its hot. 
You may have noticed you only get one photo today and even that doesn't have my face in it properly. I just could not get a decent photo of myself today. I'm not particularly photogenic normally, but today they all just came out weird! lol
My next project will be my most challenging yet I think. But more on that soon :)
Ashley x

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Scalloped dishcloth

Now that we have a freezer instead of a dishwasher, I decided it was about time that I knitted us a dishcloth. I was just going to knit a plain garter stitch square, but then I remembered seeing dishcloth patterns on Ravelry that were pretty. I picked this one, as I thought the scallops might be interesting to knit. They were! :) I think the scallop pattern is so pretty that it would also make a lovely scarf if you used a pretty yarn. The yarn I used is Wendy's dishcloth cotton. The Ravelry pattern page is here. :)
Ashley x

Thursday, 1 September 2011

August - Finished projects

I actually finished a sewing project this month! I also completed my most complex knitting project yet, the tam/beret. I've almost finished the second matching glove too! 
I want to start the hour of sewing a day again, and to try and actually keep it up this time. My main problem is getting up late. I turn the alarm off and go back to bed, and the alarm doesn't usually wake Dom up so he can't make me get up either. I know, lazy! lol But today we got up at 6 so that we could be ready for the maintenance man to bring us our freezer. It can be here as early as 8, and I'd rather not be in bed when he got here! I like being up this early, but I hate actually getting out of bed. 
So yes, the goal for this month is to get up early and try and keep up the hour a day! :)
Ashley x


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