All at once, always

Right … you will have suspected that my prolonged silence was a  mixture of Christmas and moving stress. You were right 😀

And I have a feeling that for the foreseeable future (I’d reckon the next 4 – 8 weeks) my blogging will be sporadic at best. Please to forgive me! This whole move thing is causing me several gray hairs a day … but all will be fine, all will be fine, all will be fine *me breathes … in … out … in …. out*.

Anyways, I did manage to make a few t-shirts. After reading raving reviews of the Day-to-Night shirt by Maria Denmark, I decided to give it a whirl. And what can I say that Scruffy Badger and Lizzy haven’t said already? Not much, I’m afraid.

My first muslin was still a bit of a fail, as I’d underestimated my belly. Not for the first time, I tell you … but I’m really hoping living in a warmer climate, maybe with access to an outdoor pool somewhere, will help me shed those stubborn last 5 kg I’d like to lose.

Since I had already graded from M for the shoulders to L at the bottom, I just added a little bit more flare to the sides.

It worked okay enough:

Day-to-Night Snakeskin
Day-to-Night Snakeskin

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the fit, however, so I made a square shoulder adjustment, and moved some of the fabric from the sides to the middle, in a slash-and-spread-ish way (both front and back are cut on the fold, so I just moved the pattern piece a bit away from the fold at the bottom … if that makes any sense at all). Also, the armscyes got raised by ~2 inches to avoid any side-boob incidents.

Day-to-Night Roses
Day-to-Night Roses

And while I was at it, I decided to give the Blank Canvas Tee a go, too:

Blank Canvas Tee
Blank Canvas Tee

I’m not entirely happy with the neckband, as it won’t really lie flat, but other than that, it’s a lovely little pattern I can see myself using again and again, and having a lot of fun with adding my little hacks to it.

On my sewing table I have a fully cut Jalie jeans in a gorgeous eggplant purple, and I’m hoping very much that I get to put it together this weekend. Before the moving madness goes into phase two – flail arms, run in circles and make hen noises. Gack. Gaaa-gack.

Speak soon. I hope.

Self-drafted skirt

A couple of weeks ago, I made this basic pencil skirt block.

Now, as you will have noticed, I’m not really the corporate chic kinda girl, and you might have asked yourself why I bothered.

Well, the reason behind this was that I was hoping to be invited to a 2nd interview for a new job. My contract with my previous employer had come to an end, and to be perfectly honest, by that time I was ready to move on. The only fly in the ointment was that there are not a lot of jobs open right now in my field, and the few there were didn’t thrill me.

Now, that might sound incredibly spoiled and a tad snooty in times of recession, but I do believe that it’s a better deal for everybody involved if you like your work. 40 hours a week are simply too much time to be spent doing something you can’t draw satisfaction from.

Back to the pencil skirt … now, in my line of work, the dress code usually is “business casual”, heavily leaning towards casual – as long as you’ve covered your primary gender characteristics, you should be fine. But interviewing is a whole different affair, and it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and let people know you’re willing to make the effort.

And a quick, inexpensive and easy make to achieve  that – tadaaa, the pencil skirt.

So I bought some purple herringbone suiting and matching lining, and set about drafting a pattern.

Purple Herringbone
Purple Herringbone

Then it turned out that I didn’t have to go the the 2nd interview in person, and that the company I was talking to prided themselves in not having any dress code at all (which is not to be confused with not being dressed for work, mind you!). You see, they’re in Gibraltar, where it’s hot and sunny and sometimes really hot and super sunny. Suits just don’t make a lot of sense in that kind of climate.

So I started rethinking what kind of skirt I could make (since I had all the notions and such), and eventually settled for this as my inspiration:

Inspiration For source click on the image, please.

Some hacking of my basic skirt block later, this was born:

Self-drafted skirt with pocket flaps
Self-drafted skirt with pocket flaps

I think it turned out well. The pocket flaps are fake, there are no real pockets, which is a bit of a bummer, and I’ve hence tried to wrap my head around how to include real pockets underneath, without a real result so far. Tips will be super welcome!

I have not used a waistband here, as I felt the look would be cleaner without, so instead I put a facing on the inside:

Facing
Facing

The zip is inserted as a lapped zipper – I should have known that wasn’t the smartest choice, as it’s a tad bulky due to the heavy-weight corduroy I used (leftovers from this jeans), but in itself it turned out beautifully:

Lapped zipper
Lapped zipper

But of course now I’m all over this, and really want to make this skirt:

Really now … For source, please click on the image.

Or maybe something with double-welt pockets.

Oh, and the job? I’ve got it, and I’ll be moving to Gibraltar by mid January. I am so excited – they have monkeys over there!!

Monkey in Gibraltar. For source, please click on the image.

 

Another stripey triangle

Looking back over the makes of the last months, it’s clear that I have been fascinated by the interaction between colour and texture. A lot of my makes utilise purl ridges to make a contrast colour really pop – like my Caterpillar Cardigan.

This triangle shawl uses the same basic technique, and even very similar yarns. The green lambswool has been replacec by (naturally) brown shetland lace, but the long colour changes are provided by some Kauni effect yarn in pink/beige (or EJ, on the linked page):

Kauni effect yarn pink/beige

Other than that, it’s a very simple, classic triangle shawl. Started at the top of the “spine”, I just alternated 2 rows of Shetland in garter stitch with 2 rows of Kauni in stockinette until I thought it was big enough (it’s just about, could have done with a couple of more inches, as I really wanted a huge shawl to wrap around me and use as jacket substitute).

Stripey triangle blocking
Stripey triangle blocking

Initially, I was going to do a bi-colour ruffled edging, but then ran out of yarn. Or, as it turned out, didn’t really, however could not find the 2 balls I was sure were somewhere (a project bag in the big seagrass box all my WIPs live in – in other words, exactly where they should have been. I’m not sure how that temporary blindness came over me …) but couldn’t locate at the time.

So I ripped it out, smartly without having taken any photos, and replaced it by a simple variation on a Van Dyke Edging.

Stripey triangle van dyke-ish edging
Stripey triangle van dyke-ish edging

I really like the effect these long colour changes have when combined with a solid contrast colour, and have a feeling I’m not done playing with that … I think a striped cardigan might be next, this time leaving out the purl ridges and sticking to stockinette.

Stripey triangle
Stripey triangle

Or maybe another shawl, as I have a a skein of Kauni lace …

Another shawl?

A scarf for Him

This scarf has been made as a (by now embarrassingly late) birthday present for my mum’s hubby. He specified it should be “black” and “soft”.

That, it is:

Diagonally textured scarf

I used Rowan Cashsoft, which is indeed wonderfully soft. I’m still a bit miffed about the splicing bumps, and I do have a feeling it’ll pill quite badly, but that remains to be seen.

At this point, I’m happy with how the scarf turned out, and hope the recipient will like it, too!

Other than that it’s been quiet on the blog, and you know by now that means my life has taken a turn in one way or another. I’ll give you more details as soon as I have convinced myself I’m not dreaming, and this is all really happening 😀 Only so much – it’s all good, and I believe I’ve just been given a great opportunity.

Now move along, please. Nothing to see.

 

Ewe can suck it

Thank you all for your well-wishes for my b’day 😀 I had a lovely evening, with a roast duck that turned out pretty much perfectly, great friends to share it with, nice champagne to help it swim, and baked cheesecake to keep it down.

The next day was rather laid back … except that one of my friends had given me some yarn I’d been coveting for ages: KnitPicks Chroma in the Regency colourway. I just love the colourway, and when I finally held it in my hands, I Oooooh’ed and Aaaaw’ed, I opened it’s bag and petted it, and I wanted to play with it right there and then.

The only thing standing between me and a new sock affair was … of course half a sock, hanging limply off the set of needles I needed. Well, only one thing a  knitter can do … put the nose to the grindstone, and get on with it.

So I quickly finished off the last half of a pair of socks made from “At Knit’s end” yarn, in the “Ewe can suck it” colourway – simple things with a 3-1 ribbing:

Ewe can suck it
Ewe can suck it

The only thing new (for me) about this sock was that I decided to try a Fleegle Heel. The ease of knitting is a huge win, as I never quite seem to get the math for a heel flap right. We’ll see how it wears … so far, it’s been good.

Fleegle Heel
Fleegle Heel

So, next up … yay! The new yarn:

Regency socks
Regency socks

Another fairly simple pair, with a mock cable rib pattern. I’m loving the yarn – it’s soft and squishy. A tad splitty, because it’s a single ply, but not too bad. And the colours are just my cup of tea, really.

Since I have two skeins, I’m already scheming what to do with the second one. A cowl maybe?