Thursday, December 3, 2009

Broad Beans and the Easiest Ever Apron-from-a-Tea-Towel

It doesn't feel much like summer when it's 10.8C ("feels like 8" the Metservice helpfully told me on their website, yes, I know, I felt it!), but the masses of broad beans in my Broadbean Jungle suggest maybe better weather really is on it's way.  I love the green of them when they're young - very spring.  Also, I love blue and white china, so I'm showing off my plate.

I must have been stuck inside too long this week, because today I got out my Bernina and made an apron out of a tea towel.

Here's how to do it:
Find a funky tea towel.
Cut it to the size you want, perhaps 2/3 of a tea towel.
Use the cut off portion to make ties.

My tea towel came with built in trim and embroidered rooster, as soon as I saw it I knew it really wanted to be an apron.  As the towel had more trim along the top I cut a wide strip off the top and sewed it back on as a waistband, cunningly concealing where I sewed the ties on.

Truely sewing for dummies.  Even I managed to break only 1 needle and sew things together the wrong way no more than 2 or 3 times. 

I really should not be let near sewing machines!  To be honest, I've never broken a sewing machine needle in life before - but I always sew something the wrong way round.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lulamae to Anahera

Some time ago I got it in my head to design a top for my big girl based on the idea of a 1930s girls tunic.  She likes to wear leggings, but often pairs them with just a t shirt, which to my eye just isn't "decent"!  So I wanted something long enough to look like she wasn't half dressed, but short enough for play, with pockets for treasures (and everything is better with pockets in my opinion), cap sleeves for sun protection, and for no reason other than I wanted to - pleats! 

I wanted to call her Lulamae (Holly Golightly's real name) as a reference to my dustbowl inspiration, but Miss Z chose the name Anahera, which is actually perfect.  This is my Ravelry blurb:

Anahera is a long top or short dress depending on your whim - short enough for cartwheels and tree climbing, but long enough to wear modestly over tights or leggings. Slightly puffed sleeves provide a girly touch and sun protection, and the neat little pockets are perfect for Thing Seekers to store their treasures.

A little bit dustbowl chic, a little bit Belles of St Trinians, Anahera was inspired by a 1930s pattern book and the tunics/gymslips school girls used to wear.

Knit in the round from the bottom up, concealed pockets have little pleat details, which are echoed in the slightly puffed sleeves.

I wanted this to fit an 8-10 year old, and it's just a tad big on my petite girl so I'm pretty happy with the sizing.  A lot of calculations went into this!  And a lot of figuring out how to do stuff - pleats, hidden pockets....  Not entirely happy with my increase pleats (kf&b&f&b x 2), so please tell me if you know a cleverer way to do it.  I found the pocket plan in my old Stitchcraft magazines, and the pleat method using a cable needle from Sweaterbabe's Vine Lace Top Down Cardigan.  Then I found Pleat by the fabulous Norah Gaughan and remembered it's impossible to be orginal ;-)

I'm hoping to get the pattern written up for sharing soon (all things take time!), and to get the calculator out for smaller sizes - 4 and 6 year olds need frocks too!  Oh, and the camera out for a proper modelled session.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beat My Hi-Score

I've been meaning to knit a spacies beanie for ages, ever since seeing the wonderful bpm socks in  The socks look tricky, but a hat I can manage.  I found these charts by Jennifer Wang on Ravelry and decided the time was right for Space Invaders Extreme!

Ry wanted the shooter included, and one of the invaders blowing up - phew, found a chart for that too.  He wanted a roll brim, so he got one.

Now the big girl is requesting a hat with baby deer on it.  What is it with baby deer - and rabbits and squirrels?  I don't mean with 8 year olds, but with 28 year olds?  And 38 year olds - can't have too many cute crafted woodland animals ;-)

Knitting fair isle is fun, perhaps I'll get around to those socks after all.

Fun to knit, and fun to make your children happy, huh?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Now for something completely different!

Originally uploaded by serrawerra


Finally finished my pretty Pioneer top. The crochet edging scared me for weeks, but at least I knew hdc meant half double crochet - I just had no idea how to do it! The yarn is an alpaca/silk blend by Misti Alpaca and the colourway is called Foxtail, how could I resist?

Monday, October 12, 2009

I don't have time to sew

I don't. I also have no space to work, and no money to spend on stuffs. Luckily I don't have a sewing machine at the moment so there's no point in indulging my fabric obsessions.

Luckily. Introducing......

The Starship Enterprise!

Is that a cool space age fin or what? Actually it's a Bernina, Bernina, so (sew?) easy simple and versatile. I feel like such a traitor, I've always been an Elna girl.

Next time, knitting!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Sea

When I arrive at MY beach (Parapara, Golden Bay) I walk into the water, I look along the beach and all around to hills and distant mountains, and I breathe. I breathe more deeply than anywhere else, I breathe my life back into me. I find myself in the sea.
Well, actually that's my daughter, but perhaps we find ourselves in our children as well.

My children understand me, there is nothing better than looking for treasure on the beach - in the rocks, in the sand. I love the mystery - will you find the perfect shell, or an empty noodle packet off a Korean fishing trawler? This is Makara Beach on a totally out of character calm day, always feels like the ends of the earth although it's only 20 minutes drive from the city. Mostly rubbish we found that day - car tyres, plastic bags, broken bottles (we weren't the first teenagers, and looks like we weren't the last, to spend nights in that falling down concrete bunker).

I live near the sea of course, but hopefully not too near. I've been doing a lot of sad thinking about tsunamis this week - I think we'll need to head for higher ground if a 6 metre monster ever heads our way at 500kph.

So there ya go, my first post. Next time..... knitting!

Look - my blog!

Which is empty while I try to become blog-literate. Watch this space.....