It feels a bit weird to be sitting inside on a 28 C day, knitting away despite the sunshine calling my name, but I've become an aunty for the first time on my husband's side so I couldn't let this momentous occasion slip by without a handknit now, could I?
Besides, I'm a big believer in welcoming a brand new, much-longed-for soul into the world with their very own knit, made for nobody else but them. And despite the copious sunshine today, the weather is predicted to take a turn for the worse, if not for the nasty, so while it will be bad for all the hypothermic race goers, it will be pleasant indeed for me. I shall spend the weekend contentedly perched on the couch, knitting away with a cup of tea near by, happily listening to the rain as I think joyful thoughts about the wee one that has come safely into this world.
Besides, how stinkin' cute is this knit? The pattern is a Debbie Bliss one, and better than that - it's a FREE Debbie Bliss one. Hoorah! You can get your paws on the pattern right over here.
I'm totally feeling the nautical vibe this summer, and as soon as I saw this pattern in the 2/2010 Burda Magazine, I knew this top had to be made. In fact, I may* have even uttered a little "Arrrrrr! That top will be better than a frigate off the starboard side with all canon's a-firing!"**
So shiver me timbers, I whipped it up before a sewing mutiny could occur, and I was forced to walk the
What? Me hearties want the gory details? Well, all hands to deck and set yer sails: here are the deets before you get your
fishing lines knickers in a sailor's knot:
Pattern: Striped Top from Burda Magazine 2/2010
Fabric: Jersey knit from Tessuti Fabrics
This was a very quick and easy top to sew together. I did add some pleats to the sleeve raglan edge, and this made the neckline fit much better. I made it up in size 34, and didn't add any of the side seam allowances as I find the Burda cut can be a little on the generous side, and I wanted a nice, fitted style top.
*Any excuse to do a crusty old pirate voice!
**Actually, I think most things are better than that particular situation.
***Many thanks to dear husband and all his years of reading/watching Hornblower for the ship shape navy terms.
...of a little bit of "Drape Drape 2" dress manipulation I've been doing. And boy, is it fun!
There's a new bandit in town. You'll know her by her clever disguise - she can bounce the sun's glare directly into your eyes from her mask, rendering you blind and enabling her a quick get away.
You may also know her by her dodgy dance moves. The Stripey Bandit sure does like to rock on!
Pattern: Dress #12 from Ottobre Design Magazine 2/2005
Fabric: 1m of stripey cotton print, which wasn't quite enough - boy did I do some head scratching trying to fit all the pattern pieces in! Still, yet enough stash buster, so I'm pleased.
Notions: elastic for sleeves and neckline
I adore this dress - I'm so happy with how the stripes look going both ways. It's a winner!
Don't forget, fellow Australians, that tomorrow is Ride To Work Day! You can bet that I'll be proudly mounting my faithful blue steed (hmmm, that sounded rather wrong!) and pedalling in to work after scoffing my FREE BREAKFAST organised by the good folks at Bicycle Victoria.
If you see me pedalling along, feel free to wave - although I will be honest: I will put the heels in my bike basket and pedal safely in my daggy old sandals.
So that is how you shall know me - I'll be the one with the cool dress but awful shoes, replete with distended stomach doing free coffee/muffin/croissant/fruit salad burps as I ride maybe not so gracefully into work. Still, it beats being stuck in traffic or wedged into somebody's armpit on public transport. Viva la velo!
Now, forgive me if I'm wrong...
...but I think somebody is rather pleased with her new top!
Pattern: Peasant Blouse from Ottobre Magazine 2/2005
Fabric: 50cm cotton from stash. Love a stash project!
Notions: elastic for sleeves and neck edge, plus shirring elastic
Watch out for more of these this summer!
Oh my sainted aunt - what is that... that thing vomitting all over my kitchen table?
Before I end your suspense, a little background: today I had the day off work, and decided to get cracking on Grumble's summer wardrobe. Foolish me thought it would be a mere matter of opening the bureau door and fishing out the fabric I had in mind, but instead I was confronted with a jumble of fabrics all threatening to spill out of the over packed cupboard, and all baying for attention with the same refrain: "Remember me? I was meant to be a dress by now! So when you gonna sew me up, huh? HUH?"
With a sigh I set aside my initial intention, got down on my hands and knees and began the job of sorting through the fabric stash, and figuring out my plans. Fabric that I did have a specific project in mind for was neatly folded up with the corresponding pattern placed on top, and carefully lined up on the shelf. Scrappy bits that were kept for whatever reason were reevaluated, and either consigned to the op-shop bag or to the 'other projects' pile. And all those weird odds and sods were put into a bag to be donated to the local kindergarten.
After working steadily for a good half hour, I rocked back onto my heels and surveyed with satisfaction the work I had done. But alas! I had forgotten the scrap bag. Now that I came to think of it, I hadn't come upon the fabric I wanted for Grumble's top, so I took the scrap bag out to the kitchen table, and began to hunt for it.
All those scraps - mostly left over pieces from clothes I had made for Grumbles - spilled out onto the table. Here was a piece from her first summer dress. Here was a piece from the jeans I had made, and lined with spotted cotton. Here was a piece from the top she wore on her first day of kinder. Here was a piece for each day we were happy, sitting in the sun, just my girl and me. Each one felt like a precious memory, and couldn't be thrown away, but collectively the bag seemed to be taunting me. "LOOOOOK!" the scraps brayed, "Look at all these pieces left from the clothes you made your child. Clothes for a little girl that you can never make again, because your daughter is growing up faster than you would like, and you can't have any more children, so you'll never be able to make those clothes again. BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!"
Good grief! It was like the fabric elephant in the room had come to life. I almost burst into tears looking at all the pieces. The worst thing is, though, that even though I don't want these scraps to hang around as a reminder of what-might-have-been, I don't want to throw them either. The bittersweet memories were suddenly too much, and I was feeling them too deeply. I was standing in my kitchen, having a meltdown over a bag of cloth, battling to keep my emotions in check. But bloody hell - the cloth scraps were winning!
Then I thought of something. My salvation, so to speak. I would make the scraps into a yo yo garland! That way I could do something useful with the scraps, and keep the happy memories associated alive, but could put it away when I tired of it.
Restraining myself from doing a little happy jig, I leaned in and whispered to the fabric bag "So! What do you think of my clever plan?"
The scrap bag was silent. It knew a winner when it saw one.