Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Yarn Vision

I have a confession – I don’t have yarn vision. That is, I don’t have the knack of spotting a beautiful fibre, and knowing that I could use it someday. To be frank, I’m often not even able to tell if I like a yarn or not. Maybe it’s about experience, but there seem to be so many variables – tension, fibre, size of hook, pattern.
That’s quite helpful actually, because it means I don’t (often) buy yarn on spec. I need to have a specific project in mind.

Except that we’ve just got through sales season here, and I thought that if I was able to exercise a bit of yarn vision I would save myself bucketloads, and keep my hook (and hopefully needles) busy for at least part of the year.
So here is at least part of the result.
Rowan silk twist
To make a shawl. Possibly this one. 
I may have bought too much. Or not enough. Who knows?
The last time I did this, I ended up needing to go back to the shop three more times to top up, and eventually worked myself into a panicky froth and bought too many extra balls at full price online.  
(as an aside, I do have fabric vision, which has resulted in a number of boxes of neatly folded fabric nestled deep in UnderTheStairsLand. So many that I’ve now banned myself from buying on spec.)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Scrap happy

With BoyGoblin now fully mobile and into everything,  everything’s a choke hazard!
To give myself a fighting chance of keeping the sewing room at least a couple of steps away from being a deathtrap, I’ve made a scrap basket to catch quilting trimmings and stray threads.
Fresh spring florals

It hangs on the back of my chair, where the horrible old tesco bag used to sit.
The mouth of the bag is kept open by an embroidery hoop, an idea I cribbed from a laundry bag pattern   The bag is quilted, which also helps add structure and stiffness. Happily, this also means the bag will sit up on the cutting table quite happily as well.
Pretty and perky
Pleasingly, it’s also made from scraps and oddments. The feature fabric is trimmings from a “Me and My Sister Favourites” jellyroll from Moda, left over from a long running WIP (technically not yet left over, as the blocks haven’t been yet been joined up, but they have been pieced and the border, binding and backing put aside, so I’m quietly (foolishly) confident).
Sneaky peek at work in progress
The buckle, ribbon, and sequins were all fossicked up from various jars of findings.
Dainty buckle
The flowers were simply cut freehand, backed with iron-on interfacing and sewn in place by hand. They are secured in the centre with the embellishments and the petals are left loose.
Juicy blooms

Delicate daisies

Big hexes, small blanket.

This is why I don’t buy yarn on spec.

Cosy chunky hexagons

I bought two balls each of the blues and pink in the post-Christmas sales, and sort of immediately knew I wanted some sort of throw, possibly hexy.
My inspiration was this  Amy Butler quilt I had come across months ago.  I did some sketches, and sample hexes, and the dug out the picture, to find that it was much more piecy that I remembered, and really not much like the blanket I had in mind. Which really, is exactly what inspiration should do – suggest a direction, and send you on your way.
Then I got all anxious about the amount of yarn I needed, and took another trip to the sales to snap up whatever I could find – a measly two more balls of pink and two of grey.
To make the border, I needed to buy extra yarn, and bought too much at full price.
I’ve just managed to scrape together the yarn to make and assemble this large large-hexy hex.
Its an ok blanket. I guess. I’d really like to make a biggish floor cushion, with a plain colour single-hex backing.  But by my calculations that requires another 10ish balls of yarn for the back. And that will cost upwards of £50. Which is pushing the cost of the project towards £90. and that’s’ without lining and stuffing the thing…
So I’m sitting on it (or rather, BoyCat is) and thinking I might make the cushion back and liner out of dark blue jersey.
Cat photos won't become a theme, but really, could you disturb that little bundle?

Friday, 10 February 2012

A wild night in

This is what I'm doing tonight.
Thats right folks, I'm sewing buttons on my winter coat.

Yuk Yuk Yukky Yuk.

Last year, my coat shed buttons all winter. I wore it right with no cuff buttons, and then no double-breasting buttons, but when the actual fastening buttons on the front came off, i finlly had to admit defeat. Its been hanging in my wardrobe, sans buttons ever since.

This week, the snow, and the fact that my spare coat looks like its been lived in by a stray cat, has conspired to get me to stop procrastinating.

On the other hand, there's pinterest...

Monday, 6 February 2012

A Hex on all your houses!

This would be a very clever title for this post, except that a good portion of my hexes are actually pentagons, and “a polygon on all your houses” is less catchy, somehow.
Hexes and Pents

Four corners just aren’t enough for me at the moment. Three very different projects have conspired to make piles of polygons in our house. More later.