New Year, New…Me?

I realised since I started this blog I’ve never really talked about myself all that much – other than what projects I’m doing/the crafts I enjoy.

So, in lieu of that, I decided I’d write an introduction – a little longer than my about me page, just so that you can get to know a little bit more about the person behind the blog!  Continue reading

New Year, New Project

Okay, I’ll be honest – I technically started this project before the new year. But since 90% of it will be done in the new year, I’m calling it a new year project!!

I’ve adored Andi Satterlund’s patterns ever since I first found Ravelry. Miette was my first ever saved pattern. So when I chose my first non-accessory project, I always knew it’d be one of her patterns. I actually ended up choosing a fairly new pattern from her, Myrna.

Isn’t she gorgeous! Photo belongs to Andi Satterlund

The perfect just-on-the-waist length, the just long enough to stop me getting burnt sleeves, and the classy-yet-just-enough cleavage? That’s my kind of cardigan!

I ordered my yarn from Knit Picks when I bought some interchangeable needles. I chose Wool Of The Andes in Cranberry (I also got enough for a second cardigan in Spruce), and the colour is just what I had hoped. A beautiful, warm red, and the yarn is lovely and soft.

I started the day after my order arrived, and just on a week later I have completed the upper back!

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I am really pleased with it – the keyhole needs a little tidying up – but other than that I am pretty happy. I’m about to pick up and start the right upper front. Wish me luck, I’ll share my progress with you once I’ve made some!

What project is currently on your needles?

New Year, New Blog

Happy 2015 everyone!

This year has the chance of being freaking awesome in the world of Heather.

This will be the first full year where I have a full time, professional job. James and I have been together for SIX YEARS this month (seriously!). I turn a quarter century this year. James turns a quarter century this year. If all things go to plan, we’ll be looking at buying or building a house this year. (Can someone tell me when we became adults? Last I remember we were having icecream for dinner…wait, that was last night…hmmm…pseudo-adults?)

And on top of all that, I’m going to actually start blogging properly.

Hey! Stop laughing! I know, I know, you’ve seen this post before. Several times. But the one bonus of having a full time job is that everything is scheduled pretty well, so adding in blog scheduling won’t be a big leap.

I signed up for the Blogging 101 course through WordPress, that starts in a couple of days, and with any luck will take my blogging skills to new heights (or at least mean I can work the site a little better!).

I’m also really wanting to make more practical clothes so I can participate in Me Made May ’15. Rochelle got me inspired with her 4 months, 17 weeks, 120 days post, and I am going to work hard this year on sewing things I will actually wear. Sure, I love party dresses. I adore them. But I don’t wear them nearly enough, so I’ve got to stop sewing them so often!!

So, there’s a lot of things I’m looking forward to for 2015, blogging and craft-wise as well as real life-wise. What’re you looking forward to this year?

First stranded knitting project

So lately I have really enjoyed knitting. A lot of what I was knitting was sometimes just for the act of knitting. I love working with the wool, and the satisfaction of making things. But, with my growing collection of single fingerless mitts (“Oh hey, that pattern looks fun to make”), some oddly coloured hats, and a cowl, I reached the point where sewing for other people was a great option. I got the action of knitting without the product.

Father’s day here is the first Sunday in September, and I jumped at the chance to knit something for my dad. Of course, that’s when I was stumped. Dad is practical. He doesn’t really go for things that are aesthetic without being functional. So a hat was a great choice – he plays tennis, golf, goes fishing, as well as owning a convertible car. But I really didn’t want to just knit a plain beanie. Sure, he’d love it! But I wanted to challenge myself as well as get a fantastic gift made.

When I found the Owl Service Hat by Archives and Old Lace, I knew I had found my pattern. Dad loved that book when he was a kid, and he got me to read it when I was young too; I then studied it at University and gained even more love for it. So of course, I was going to make this pattern up! One problem – it was for a tam. Okay, yep, I’d wear that. I’d wear that in a heart-beat. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen my father in a hat that wasn’t a cap or a beanie. EVER. And I’m 24. My mother probably hasn’t seen him in anything else and they’ve been married for 30 years!!

So I set about making the pattern fit a beanie, and with my father having a big head (which I inherited to a point, curses), I didn’t need to do much! Take out the increases, do a plain band of ribbing, and add one extra stitch at the beginning and end of each round, and it turned out beautifully.

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As you can see it is long enough for the end of it to be folded up, which I like, and the owls are really very visible, if only entirely upside down!

The best thing for me is that Dad loves it – that’s him modelling it at our bach, where he was about to head to the golf course.

A non-sewing update

I know there hasn’t been a lot of noise from me of late – full time work has me run ragged!! At least it means I have lots of sewing funding hehe.

Anyway, I do have an update of sorts. I’ve taken charge of nutrition and health of late. And I’m feeling fantastic!

My favourite breakfast is a green smoothie. Here’s todays:

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Thismorning I have banana, spinach, and peach with coconut almond milk for the liquid. And it’s damn good! (And yes, I even got myself a special blender for them)

Since starting my green smoothie journey about a week ago, I’ve felt far more refreshed and energised; it is the most fantastic feeling, as I haven’t felt this good for a long, long time. And, as a bonus, they are delicious as well as portable and quick to make, so I dont have to faff around with breakfast anymore!

Hopefully over the weekend I get some crafting done so I can share it.

Have you got any favourite green smoothie recipes? I’d love to try them!

Anima Shorts – and I’m more excited than you’d guess!

So, recently I saw that PaperCut Patterns was having a competition to make their Anima pant, style it, and post to Instagram to win some pretty awesome prizes.

I jumped at the chance, and set about deciding what kind of Anima I’d make. And kinda fell flat there. I had no idea. I don’t often wear sweatpants/yoga pants. Just isn’t my style.

Then, about a week before the competition was due to close, I was staring at the left-over fabric from my first Lekala 4245 top that I made for Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch, and had a brainwave – orange polkadot shorts. What could possibly go wrong?!

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Not a lot, apparently! I had a little trouble inserting the elastic, but that was mainly to do with my wrists playing up from the cold at the moment, I found it hard to stretch the fabric out for long periods of time. But in the end, it was well worth it I think!

The shorts are so comfortable, and for someone who is plus sized not needing to alter a pattern is a brilliant option. Only changes I made were to reduce the seams to 8mm (rather than 15mm – my usual change) and I added about 10mm to the hems to make them just a touch longer. They wear well, and are so, so warm, it’s lovely.

I now fully intend to make up some longer pairs! They’re a lot tidier than RTW sweatpants/yoga pants, and fit better too!

Thoughts on online communities

Recently I was struck by something odd. I was talking to a friend about my current favourite knit top pattern (Lekala #4245), and how one of the best parts of it was that it was a 1 yard pattern. It was when she, very confused, asked how big a yard was that I realised how much the online community has changed me. And generally in a good way too!

Since I’m from New Zealand, I grew up with the good old metric system – everything comes in 10s. And it’s great. Really simple when you’re a kid too – there are 10mm in 1cm, 100cm in 1m, 1000m in 1km. Nice and simple, all in 10s. I liked it. It worked well for me. And then I joined the online crafting community, and learned about inches. And yards.

Where as I used to only know my measurements in centimetres, and had to find a converter every time I was looking at a size chart in inches, I now know both. I can visualise a yard of fabric in my head just as well as a metre of fabric. I know my height in both centimetres and feet. The phrase ‘I wouldn’t touch it with a 10ft barge pole’ no longer confuses me with how long that barge pole is, no more than if it was a 2m barge pole. I know there are 12 inches in a foot, and 3ft in a yard. That’s 36 inches in a yard. I know that for a lot of readers this seems really basic, but I had barely even heard of the imperial system until I started in the online sewing community.

And for me that’s really cool! Sure, I’ve learned a lot of really awesome sewing and knitting techniques, but being able to understand a pattern without a length converter? That’s a real skill that I can use outside of sewing things. And that’s pretty cool.

So many parcels incoming!

Today I had a slightly mad internet shopping spree. Because why not?!

I used my voucher for Britex Fabrics, which I was lucky enough to win from the Sewing Indie Month bonus prize. After a lot of thought, I finally decided on my fabrics. And all three of them are already planned into projects – wahoo!

So, here they are:

Photo property of Britex Fabrics

This beautiful polyester caught my eye the minute I saw it. It looks so gorgeous, it’s shades that I wear readily, and goodness the print is rather cute. I got this fabric with the intention of making the Giselle Dress from KateNRose Patterns, which I also won.

Next, I chose a fabric for my Ehlen Blouse from Sew Chic Patterns, which arrived yesterday.

Photo property of Britex Fabrics

This fabric is just so gorgeous, I knew I needed it in my life. I can’t wait to make it into the Ehlen blouse, and I have gorgeous vintage blue buttons that will work perfectly with it. Since it is semi-sheer I’m going to get some plain white cotton to use as an interlining, so it becomes a bit sturdier.

 

And finally, something just that little bit whacky

Photo property of Britex Fabrics

Isn’t this tissue knit gorgeous?! I am going to make another Lekala #4245 with this, so only needed to get 1 yard of it. I love having a 1 yard pattern! And it is so comfy, I adore wearing them.

 

I also had a wee spree on LoveKnitting, getting myself 9 balls of yarn. 9! That’s actually rather a lot for me haha. Three are for a hat for my partner, four are for a hat for me, and two are for a hat for my dad for Father’s Day in September. Once I’ve got those projects up and running, I’ll introduce them.

And, if you are a knitting fan like I and haven’t heard of them, head on over to LoveKnitting and get 15% off your first order – because there’s nothing better than discounts! They have really lovely yarns, in pretty much every colour you could ever want, and have a permanent deal where if you buy 10 yarns of the same brand and shade, you only pay for 9. Score! Makes those big projects a little easier on the pocket

Hope all my southern hemisphere readers are keeping warm, Christchurch is pretty cold tonight! Perfect time to snuggle down with ST:TNG re-reruns and knitting, don’t you think?

No pictures, but a post

I am seriously, seriously lax when it comes to posting at the moment. I’ve somehow come down with a ‘nothing to write’ vibe, which for a English degree holder is kinda a weird feeling. But, my knitting has been progressing pretty nicely.

In just over a week I have completed two adult hats, a baby hat, and two fingerless gloves (not a pair, one off a Ravelry pattern, and one a self draft – I still need to make them each a friend!) I also cut out two blouses today, and sewed one together. I’ve been rather adoring of crafting lately, it relaxes me so much, and really makes me feel whole. With the real person job search on, I do worry that I will lose a lot of my crafting so am doing my best to fit in as much as I can before I am working 9-5. But, at least a proper job will mean a proper income, and that means that when I do find a gorgeous piece of fabric or that perfect coloured yarn, I can get it even if I don’t have a plan for it, because I won’t need to budget as hard for it.

Speaking of fabric, I should be ordering some from Britex Fabrics tomorrow with my voucher from the Sewing Indie Month Bonus Prize. I’ve found three fabrics, and all three have plans, and I can’t wait to share those makes with you.

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow I’ll remember to take some photos of my knitting to share!