Monday, 13 April 2009

Sock Horror

My Om Shanti socks became Omg Shanti socks after a brief dip in luckwarm water. They grew to enormous proportions - previously all these socks were just about the same length:
sock

At least they both match:
omg3

A lady from Chameleon Yarns pm-ed me to say that putting them in the dryer might sort them out. I don't have a dryer but luckily I'm not heart broken about the loss of these socks. Also they might be better once dry. I'll update this post if that is the case.

I finished my froot loop socks and I'm very happy that the yarn looks appropriately edible:
loop2

Today I sorted through my yarn & now I'm in need of an antihistamine. No wonder I only do this once or twice a year! The photos below show a proportion of the non-sock part of my stash.

mess1

mess

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Quilting

Sometimes I look at other people's blogs and feel jealous of their fabulous crafting environment with quilting walls, huge tables and special built in wardrobes. Admittedly this tends to be people who craft for a living rather than a hobby, but still, it's difficult not to wish that we had room for an extension to our small South London maisonette. This week I took two days off and the weather was gorgeous so I moved my sewing machine from the kitchen table to the garden and was completely cured of my jealousy because, as far as I'm concerned, nothing could be nicer.

Sewing


After my intensive spell of working it has been lovely to have a holiday. I decided to carry on working on my sunrise quilt and decided to add three borders to finish off the patchwork.

sunrise

The next step is to layer the quilt with the patchwork on top, wadding in the middle and a backing fabric and then quilt the layers together. To attempt to make the quilting easier I bought an 'even walking foot'. This is a cumbersome looking sewing machine foot which feeds the fabric though from the top at the same rate that the feed dogs feed through the fabric at the bottom. I was petty flummoxed as to how to fit the foot to my Janome DC3050 until I found a fantastic post and a fabulous diagram from Hoppo Bumpo.

I took some photos of the process in case anyone else has the same difficulty as me:
1. Remove the foot holder
sm1

2. Prop the foot handle over the needle clamp
sm3

3. Screw in the foot
sm5

I quilted a test piece of patchwork and was very impressed with the new foot:
test1

From the back:
test2

So the next step will be to attempt the same thing with my much larger sunrise quilt.

Monday, 30 March 2009

G20

On April 1st i.e. tomorrow the G20 summit hits London (and I think 'hits' it going to be very appropriate adjective). I'm one of the thousands of people who work at an investment bank here in London but I promise that I have had nothing to do with
the current economic situation. I work in IT in the glamorous world of address book technology & not anywhere even close to finance. This is a good thing because maths was not my strongest subject and in fact I failed my maths A-level in a spectacular way, although with the current state of the world it probably would have made no difference if some of the banks had handed over all of their accounts to me and my poor arithmetic.

Anyhow we have been told that tomorrow we should dress in casual clothes so we don't stand out amidst all of the rioters. I'm sure that this must be some kind of April fools joke because the bankers I know would be incapable of looking like an anarchist and blending in at a riot unless chinos are now all the rage with the Socialist Workers. I'll be OK because in the whole of my life I have never managed to look smart.

I've not been posting recently or reading other peoples blogs because I've been working all hours including weekends and late nights. Now I should be able to cut back and re-enter my personal life which is an enormous relief.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

70's style

I was born in 1969 so consequently spent my formative years in the 70's and I think that the colours of that time have seeped into my brain. I remember my parent's house where I grew up had a bright orange carpet and purple walls plus brown furniture. This seems to have made a lasting impact on my tastes as I was extremely excited by these fabrics (which I've started to make into yet another bag).

bag making

The blue is Carnaby Street by Robert Kaufman & the other is Poppy Dot Orange by Erin McMorris.

Of course other things in the 70's were lousy. I grew up in an industrial town in the North of England and it got pretty grim as the industries began to disappear and people began to lose their jobs. And in the 80's it got yet grimmer without even the benefit of funky fabrics.

On the knitting front, last week I blocked a Clapotis that I actually finished mid January. The Claoptis isn't the most interesting pattern to knit, but it's good for knitting groups and on the tube when you need something semi-mindless. I made it in Sea Silk & I'm very pleased with the drapyness and the weight of it.


Week 11

clap1clap2

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Sock Factory

As I mentioned previously I want more handknitted socks and so I have become my own personal sock factory. I was lucky enough to buy this lovely Artsygal yarn from Justine (many thanks!!).
IMG_0418

And I'm very pleased with the resulting socks (they look nicer in real life). I like the way that the very bright multicolored yarn is toned down to an almost-grey when knitted up.

broadripple

I am very keen on feather and fan type patters so I based the stitch pattern on Rob Matyska's broadripple.

I tend not to follow a pattern because I knit on the tube a lot. Normally things work out OK but here I've ended up with two different heel shapings (although only an up-close fellow knitter would notice). I think the one on the LHS is the more 'finished' looking one because I've unwrapped my stitches. The RHS is the lazy alternative...

broadripple heel1broadrippleheal

Monday, 23 February 2009

Another 40th

Last Friday was Chris' 40th birthday so we decided to have a quiet weekend away in the New Forest. It felt like spring for the first time this year.
We did some hiking through the woodland:
4flooded
Week 9 - New Forest
We found the perfect pub:
3pub
And went down to the salt marshes:
9water5

I needed a bit of peace and down-time since I'm going to have to work flat out for the next two or three weeks. I can't wait for everything to calm down so I can get back to the sewing machine and needles and maybe even go to a knitting evening or two.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Volksfaden

I know it's a recession and no one can afford to buy stuff, but even without spending any money you can enjoy looking at this beautiful and original on-line fabric shop Volksfaden.