Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Versatile Blogger Award!

Hayley from Hayley Goes Handmade nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award! :) Thank you!! So I have to tell you seven random things about myself and then nominate seven other bloggers!
1. When I eat toast I like to dip it in a cup of tea. Dom says this is weird and gross, but it's something I've always done!
2. I burn really easily. I use factor 40 sun cream and still burn!
3. I love doing calligraphy. A lot. Unfortunately it was one of the things I left behind when Dom and I moved to uni. I was always spilling ink everywhere though. My floor was a rainbow of spilled ink.
4. In fact I was so messy, I had laminate flooring put in as it was easier to clean. Then we moved house, so I had to be more careful again.
5. I love playing boardgames. Lucky for me, so does Dom. The latest one is Carcassonne. We've also got the Traders and Builders expansion. Shh, no we're not nerds! lol
6. Carrying on the game theme, I also love role playing games. You know, like Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, really. Unfortunately I haven't played in a long time, as we don't know anyone else who plays. Everyone we know is also away at uni.
7. Dom once got me to play the video game Dragon Age. I was enjoying it until one of the quests had me going into some dark tunnels. All of a sudden, a massive spider dropped on me from the ceiling of the cave and I jumped so much that my hands were suddenly a foot away from the mouse and keyboard. As you might imagine Dom laughed his head off while I refused to play much more. lol

Ok, seven lovely bloggers :)
Lady Cherry from Lady Cherry Loves
Patty from The Snug Bug
Jane from Handmade Jane
Sarah from Shabby Chic Sarah

If you haven't already, you should check those blogs out! :)
More later!
Ashley x

Monday, 27 June 2011

V8648 - adjustments.

I let Dom choose my next project and this is the one he chose. I also let him choose the view, as I was stuck between the blue version and the red checked version. He chose the red checked version, which I'm happy with as I like the sleeves :)
So onto the pattern adjustments. I've started to record the adjustments I make on the amazing notepad that I won in Nina's giveaway at The Vintage Family.
Now in case you can't make out my crazy scrawling, I took photos of the pattern pieces before and after so I could explain the steps I made. I started with a size 14.
The side bodice front. As you can see I've made an FBA. I tissue fitted the front and determined that I needed about an inch extra. It needed to be added to the side piece not the front piece, so following Fit For Real People I ended up with the piece shown above. This also added an inch to the waist, which was perfect as I need the extra room.
The back piece. I think I have a narrow back. I always seem to have too much fabric in the back and the armhole goes too far into my armpit. So I made a 1.5cm narrow back adjustment. I'm not sure if this will be enough, but its a start. If it seems to help, but the back is still gaping then I'll do another adjustment and record how much I needed. You can also see that I added an inch to the side so I'd have enough room in the waist. The narrow back adjustment changed the armhole and shoulder seam, so I measured the new shoulder seam and adjusted the front shoulder seam so it matched. Then I measured how much the back sleeve piece needed to be altered to fit this new armhole. I needed to raise the sleeve cap by 1cm as that was how much the shoulder seam had been reduced by. I also needed to take 1.5cm of of the underarm seam on the back sleeve piece so it matched the underarm bit of the back piece.
I just realised I forgot to take a photo of the actual front piece (not the side front piece, which is shown above as the FBA piece). All I did to it was add length to it in the corresponding place and amounts so that it matched the side front piece.
The waist peices. Yep, I'm really short waisted. I shortened them by 2 inches. Then added the inch to side pieces so that they matched the bodice pieces. This means that the waist is now a size 18 (instead of the 14 that I started with). So as for the skirt, I'll just cut the 18 out so it matches the waist seam.
This took me 3 days, working for an hour or two a day. Yes I am slow. But working on the floor is uncomfortable, and I get pins and needles in my feet every half an hour so have to shake it off! lol It's really hard to explain what I did without showing you in person. Hopefully you have a vague understanding :) Writing it down also helps fix it in my head so I don't forget. The notepad helped a lot as it meant I didn't forget to do things to other pieces. For example, I'm sure I would have forgotten to add the extra to the sleeve cap if I hadn't written it down!
I'll cut out a muslin soon, and test the alterations I made. I hope that if I need to make any more alterations, they are only minor so I can go straight onto the real thing :) And of course I'll share photos with you lovely lot.
More later!
Ashley x

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Red Crescent Skirt - Finished!

I finally finished it! :) I love how it turned out, especially how well the lace went in. I followed Tasia's tutorial for inserting the lace and it was so easy! Also, I'm definitely getting the hang of doing zippers by machine. I'm going to give it a go on my next project :)
As for the photos. . .I'll get the hang of it eventually! I'd go for Patty's superhero pose but it doesn't look right as my arms stick out too far because I'm so short waisted! Bah, ah well. I suppose its the clothes that you're interested in, not the funny half smile I'm pulling. 
Also, new shoes!! I loved how cute Tasia's Keds looked with all manner of dresses and skirts, so I finally got round to getting some. I found mine on ebay for £15.25 with postage. Certainly cheaper than the £26 and upwards that other places were charging! I inspected them and they were indeed brand new as the listing said :) As they're navy, they don't really look right with jeans so I'm hoping this will encourage me to wear more skirts and dresses. 
I'll take some detail shots soon, as the batteries were low in the camera and I've no idea where Dom keeps the charged ones. 
More soon!
Ashley x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Knitting FO's and a WiP

My first pair of toe up socks!! The bottom (the sole) is 1x1 rib, and the ribbing around the top is 2x2 as I didn't want it too tight. Sarah (the teacher) also showed us a new-to-me way of casting off that makes it nice and loose too :) She was also kind enough to show me how to do fair isle, as I've never been able to get the hang of it and have never had the chance to ask anybody. She answered all of my questions in a really friendly way, and then let me have a go on a sample after showing me :) Dom has already started making charts (at my request) on Excel using 8bit characters! :D
I've also made another Dalek dishcloth, this time out of dishcloth yarn. I got it from Spins and Needles for £2.20, and will be able to get at least 2 more out of it. To say they'll last way longer than disposable dishcloths, I think that pretty cheap!
This would need blocking if it was for a garment, but as its only a dishcloth I'm not going to bother. This one is for Dom's little sister Imogen who is a big fan of Doctor Who, but I'll be making more for me and Dom too.
And now for my work in progress. I'm really proud of how this is going.
Wristwarmers!! With a fancy cable pattern! The yarn is Andes by Debbie Bliss, 65% baby alpaca and 35% mulberry silk. I used it for the lavender cushions shown here that I made for the swap between me and Sarah. I liked it so much that I had to get some for me too! It's beautiful, so soft and with a lovely sheen from the silk. Easily my favourite yarn that I've used so far. This is the first complicated pattern that I've ever made! My Knitty Gritty book certainly helped a lot. There is a mitten pattern in there that I knitted up for practice first, to make sure I understood the pattern and how the thumb is made. The pattern calls for aran weight yarn, but Andes is DK weight. This isn't a problem however, as I did a gauge swatch and it came up slightly small. The pattern would have been a little too big for my hands though, so the Andes is perfect :)
Apologies to those of you who have no interest in knitting, my sewing mojo has been on holiday for  a while. It's nearly home though and I might do some sewing after tea. I've also got a couple of dresses that I want to try refashioning into skirts :)
Ashley x

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Rainbow scarf - Finished!

I love how simple and colourful this scarf is. The yarn is Colinette One Zero, in the colour way jamboree. It'll be lovely and warm in the winter. I love the tassels too :) I've also finished my first toe up sock! I'll take photos when I've finished the pair :)
Ashley x

Friday, 17 June 2011

An award!

Sarah over at ShabbyChicSarah passed on the Kreativ Blogger Award to me! Thanks Sarah! :D So now for 10 random facts about me . . . This is gonna be tough!
1. I actually have green eyes though in most photos of me they look blue.
2. My mum taught me to knit years ago, but she didnt know how to cast on so we twisted loops around the needle instead, and she didn't know how to cast off so I just undid it and started again!
3. I'm a coffee and tea snob. We've just bought a hand grinder so we can grind our own coffee beans and are the proud owners of a Gaggia Classic coffee machine. I love it to bits, and now can't stand the smell or taste of instant coffee. I also drink loose leaf tea from a fancy infuser teapot. Lincoln is home to The Imperial Tea Company so we head there for tea and coffee. It's a family run business and they're all really friendly and helpful :)
4. My Auntie Laura taught me to cross stitch when I was about 9 or 10ish, and I loved it! I looked forward to seeing my auntie even more as I couldn't wait to get onto the next colour of thread! :)
5. I own three cameras, all film cameras. I have a polaroid camera, a Diana mini and a Pentax (P30). Though at the minute I'm using Dom's Lomo LCA with a splitzer on it. I'm shooting the left side of the frame. Then when I've gone through the film, Dom will shoot the right side of the frame! :)
6. My favourite chocolate bar is a caramel kitkat chunky :)
7. I have small feet. I'm a size 4! At least there's usually my size left.
8. I have two brothers and two sisters, I'm the eldest. My youngest sister is very proud of the fact that she looks like me (poor thing! lol) and likes to make 'clothes' out of newspaper and selloptape, and is always making me bracelets and other jewellery type things :)
9. I'm also quite short. I was the tallest in my class for years, then everyone else had growth spurts and I didn't! lol
10. I don't like to hold small animals. Like rats, mice, rabbits, hamsters etc. I think it's because I don't see them as very clever so I'm scared they'll bite me for no reason. Whereas I see dogs and cats as quite clever so I don't think they'd bite me for no reason. Weird, I know.

I always find thinking of things so difficult! I'd like to pass this award on to:
Kat from Krafty Kat
Pins and Needles
Roo from Roobeedoo
Suzy from Suzy Sewing

Thanks again Sarah! :) I should have some more knitting photos to show you all later. I have to admit to you lovely lot that I haven't done any sewing since my exams finished!!  What is wrong with me?! I need to get my ass in gear. lol
Ashley x

Monday, 13 June 2011

Dalek Dishcloth

I advise clicking on it to see it better. It's so much more amazing in real life! Much easier to see too :) I used some cheap acrylic yarn as its what I use to test new techniques. Yep, I learnt how to knit bobbles just so that I could make this. I'm sure this skill will come in useful though :) The pattern (and a much better photo of the finished item) can be found here on Ravelry. You will need to sign in/sign up to see it though.
Apparently there are yarns that are made specifically for dishcloths. Can anyone recommend any? Thanks! :)
Ashley x

Friday, 10 June 2011

Toe up socks!

I had the first half of my knitting class last night at Spins and Needles! There were six students, and the lovely teacher Sara :) Everyone was really lovely, and Sara was an excellent teacher. When I read through the first page I almost panicked as I thought I was way out of my depth! I couldn't even figure out how to cast on! You use the figure of eight method so that there is no seam at the toe. Luckily, no one else had ever used this method before either :) I was the first to get the casting on, but once everyone had it sussed they soon caught up and overtook! I've never knitted with anyone else before, and I discovered I'm relatively slow. We have homework for next Thursday, we have to knit the foot until we get to the heel. Then Sara will show us how to turn the heel in the class :) Here's my progress so far, I need another inch or so:
The top of the foot. 
The bottom of the foot. 
The top and bottom don't look that different in the photos, but they are. The bottom is ribbed once you get past the toe. This is so it has a better grip on your foot. The needles are Brittany needles, which are lovely to knit with. I'm planning on slowly replacing my current needles with Brittany needles as I love them so much! The yarn is Cygnet Superwash, shade 298. I love the colour and they're going to be so warm as they're 100% wool! :)
Also, look what arrived today!
Isn't that notepad amazing?! It came wrapped in tissue paper tied with that lovely lace from Nina from The Vintage Family. I won her giveaway, my second win! How lucky am I?! :) I'm going to use the notepad to record the adjustments I make to patterns. Usually I use a scrap of paper, and although I now have my drawers I still manage to lose it! And recording adjustments fits in with the background on the notepad :)
Ashley x

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Floral Crescent Skirt - Finished!

I finally got photos! Still not pretty outside photos though as the weather will not cooperate. I got sick of waiting so took some inside shots. Please excuse the milk bottle legs. I don't tan ever, I just burn so I play it safe with masses of sun cream (when there's actually sunshine!). You were also nearly subjected to a gross shot of a burn on my left arm. Luckily Dom noticed, so you get my right side instead. The burn is from the stupid oven. It had blistered up and started healing when I scratched it by accident when distracted by the latest episode of Doctor Who (if you've seen it, you'll understand why I was so distracted!).
So back to the skirt. I LOVE this pattern!! As mentioned in this post, this is the first time that I've put in a zip successfully! I'm going to try the zipper insertion method on other projects too. When I hemmed it, I only took it up about half an inch so it's a little longer than if you followed the pattern. I like the length, its just below the knee which is great as I have knobbly knees! lol The waistband is really sturdy too, which feels nice and secure. It also shows the shape nicely.
I can't wait to finish up my red version! :)
Ashley x

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Knitting kept me sane.

I've mentioned a few times that I knitted a lot during revision breaks. It's all pretty simple stuff, but it helped in not getting bored so easily. So here's what I've been knitting :)
I love this yarn, it so nice to knit :) I've decided to add tassels on the ends, that's what the hank of short pieces is in the top photo. I figured I'd cut them first so I could just knit until the end of the ball without having to worry about leaving enough for the tassels.
I finally cast on with this gorgeous yarn. It's so soft and pretty. I'm using 8mm needles to make a lovely lacy effect, but it also makes it a tad difficult to knit which is why I haven't been working on it as much as the Colinette scarf. Here's what it looks like close up:
I'm also really close to finishing the baby cardigan. I just have to sew up the sides and get some buttons :)
I also took the plunge and decided to attempt the mittens from the Knitty Gritty book. They're a lot easier than I thought! The photo's in the book help a lot, and once you've done the thumb its plain sailing. Here's how far I've got:
I've also finally got round to joining Ravelry. My profile is here, I'd love some friends if you're a member! :) I'm also about to cast on a Dalek dishcloth/facecloth from a pattern on there. I learnt to do bobbles just so I could do the pattern! There are some really clever Doctor Who patterns on there that I love! :)
I've given up on the weather, and am going to try and remember to take photos of my finished Crescent skirt tomorrow. I also want to get on with my red Crescent skirt.
More later :)
Ashley x

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

May - Finished Projects

Wow, this month has gone by so fast. I blame my exams. At least they're nearly over, one more to go! So here are my finished projects from last month:

It seems its been a month of little projects, apart from the Crescent skirt. I'll update the photo of it when I have one of me in it :) I think this month should be better, I'll have lots of free time to sew!
Ashley x


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