Sunday, 30 October 2011

New boots!

I got some new boots this week! As you can see, they're Doctor Martins. I've needed a warm pair of boots since it got colder, but the rain was the worst. Now my feet are warm and dry! :D Last winter, when we had all that snow (I haven't seen that much snow since I was about 5!) I made do with a pair of socks, plastic bags over my feet, another pair of socks, and then a pair of converse shoes. Yeah, not the warmest or the driest. I love them already! I had a little bit of rubbing on the backs of my heels, but not enough to cause a blister. After wearing them twice, the rubbing is now gone. Hurray! Also, they're gonna last a long time! Dom has had a pair for 7 years or so, and they're only just starting to fall apart. 
I paid £63 (student discount!) for a pair of warm waterproof boots that are definitely going to last the winter, and probably many more. I paid £28 for a pair of brogues from Dorothy Perkins that lasted about 6 weeks. And I didn't even wear them everyday! After 6 weeks, a hole had worn through on the bottom. At least I don't have to worry about that happening with these boots. Also, the soles are almost bouncy! So comfy :)
Anyway enough about my boots. I took my Pendrell dress out of the wardrobe and spent an hour or so removing the zip. It wouldn't have taken so long, but I had stupidly finished the seams before trying it on. Here she is after I had finally freed the zip:
The poor thing. I'm still grumpy at her, but I'm considering working on her tomorrow morning. It depends how long it takes me to write up an essay plan. I hate writing essay plans.
In knitting news, I've finished another Christmas present! And half finished another! The finished present needs blocking though, but I should hopefully have a post up over at the Crafty Christmas Club sometime this week :)
In other news, I pre-ordered the Colette Sewing Handbook from a few weeks ago. Yesterday morning, I got an email to say my order has been cancelled as they are no longer supplying it. But then today, it back up for pre-order!! I am more than a little angry. I have already ordered it from the Book Depository, so hopefully my order won't get cancelled this time. Grrr!!
I hope you had a lovely weekend :)
Ashley x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

First present finished!

Hello! I posted my first finished Christmas present over at the Crafty Christmas Club! If you're my friend Becky, please step away from the link!
My post is here. I want to keep for myself! :) I've started a second present too which is going well.
Unfortunatley, the Pendrell dress has been stuffed in the wardrobe in a huff. I have some uni work to do so it doesn't look like we're going to make friends again any time today. If only the damn thing co-operated in the first place, I'd have a new dress by now! Humph.
Ashley x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Rosebud socks - Finished!

Yes!! I finally finished them! I started these at the end of June, had problems with my gauge and had to order bigger needles, got a blister on my finger from the needles which then split, and worked on other projects instead. So these socks took a long time to finish. They're worth it in the end though, as they're so pretty! :) I'm considering wearing over tights with a dress and some pumps to show them off! 
So the pattern I used was the Rosebud sock pattern in the book Toe up socks for everybody by Wendy Johnson. It's a lovely book and I want to make every single pair in it! My only problem is the gauge. The pattern says 8 stitches per inch on 2mm needles. I went up to 2.25mm needles and still only got 9/10 stitches per inch. I decided to go ahead and knit them on the 2.25mm anyway, but I do wish I had gone up another needle size. The yarn is Ranco Araucania which is lovely. The colour is amazing, and it feels hard wearing but soft. I haven't washed them yet, but I'll report back when I do. I'm hoping to get a little extra width by blocking. 
I'm wearing them now, and they're so warm! :)
Ashley x
ps. don't forget to click the photos so you can see the detail! ;)

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Crafty Christmas Post!

I posted my Crafty Christmas list over at the Crafty Christmas blog! If you've clicked over here from Facebook and are a close friend or family member, do not click the following link!! You'll spoil the surprise! 
For the rest of my lovely readers, my post is here :)
A little update on my Pendrell dress. I've sewn up the shell. However, I'm getting major creasing at the back! I think the zip is a bit stiffer than the one I used in the muslin, so it's causing it to crease and wrinkle. I'm going to move it to the side. The bust fullness is still too low even though I thought I'd moved it up enough. And there is too much fabric around my tummy. Grrr!! This isn't supposed to happen after two muslins!! *sigh* I'll get there.
Ashley x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Crafty Christmas Club!

The Crafty Christmas Club is back! It's a place to share your Christmas Crafting where friends and family who follow your main blog won't see their presents! I've joined it this year, and I can't wait until I have a finished gift to share over there. I'm going to look through the posts from last year for ideas, there were a couple that really stuck in my mind :)
Are you planning a Crafty Christmas this year? 
Ashley x

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Scroll Lace Scarf - Finished!

Yay, it was actually cold enough for me to wear one of my knits! And so I chose my Scroll lace scarf so I could get a photo :) I really like it, it's lovely and soft and drapey. And surprisingly warm for how thin it feels! 
The pattern is the Scroll Lace scarf by Ysolda Teague. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I used 8 grams from a third ball, so should be able to squeeze a small project out of the leftovers :) I also used Knit Pro Symfonie needles for the first time and absolutely love them! So smooth and I love the cheerful colours. I used 5.5mm needles which is the recommended needle size for this pattern. Next time I'll go down to 5mm to make it a bit denser and to hopefully squeeze it out of just two balls of yarn.
Now to get some photos of my Rosebud socks!
Ashley x

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Pendrell Dress - part 4

That's how far I got today! I re-traced the front bodice pieces as the they were covered in sticky tape. Then I drafted a peter pan collar vaguely following Casey's tutorial. And then I cut the main fabric pieces :) I haven't cut out the collar yet, but I'm planning on block fusing the pieces. I now have sore knees from the scratchy carpet. I also managed to scratch my thigh with a pin which has come up in a super sore scratch. 
I also finished up two knitting projects today! I finally finished the Rosebud socks! It's so good to have them off the needles! And I also finished up the Scroll lace scarf. Now here's the annoying thing. I bought 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, totalling 250 metres. The pattern calls for 250 metres. I ran out of yarn with half a row and the cast off to do! I didn't want to undo all that knitting so I decided to just buy another ball and find a project on Ravelry for the left over. It's currently drying on a towel, as it had to be blocked to open up the lace and also to try and get rid of the edge curling that I had going on:
I'll get photos of both the socks and the scarf soon :) I'm going to ask Dom to take them for me with his new Pentax K5 camera. He got it on Tuesday and he's been playing around with it ever since. And of course who does he take pictures of when he's playing around with it? ;) Yep, me! No matter what I'm doing he'll come over to take a picture with a new setting that he's found or to just play around with it. I don't mind of course, but some of the pictures must be awful! lol 
I also bought some more yarn this week. I'm planning on making two more Snapdragon hats. I chose these two colours, as then I will have a hat that goes with everything in my wardrobe. I think I'll do the matching gloves at some point too. 
Cygnet Superwash DK

British Breeds Blue Face Leicester DK
I can't wait to finish up my current secret knitting project so I can sneak in a Snapdragon! :) My current project is my first Christmas knit. I've got three planned, but there might be more depending on how soon I finish them. When the Crafty Christmas Club starts up again this year, I'm going to join so I can share my Christmas makes :) I've been keeping an eye out for sewing projects too that I think friends and family might like. Not sure yet :)
Also, as Dom now has a new camera he has passed his old one onto me. It's a Pentax K2000. Dom felt he had outgrown it, but it's all new to me! I've only ever used it on Auto, so the photos of the yarn and the scarf are from me learning to a bit about the camera. I know a little about aperture and ISO and what not from having a film camera, but I've still got a long way to go!! :)
Ashley x

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pendrell Dress - part 3

Here's the second muslin of my Pendrell dress. It's much better, the only problem now (apart from the hastily pressed seams over my tummy) is the bagginess under the bust. Hmm, I complained about it to Dom as he was taking the photo, and he said it looked like if I pulled it up over my chest it would be fine. So . . .
Ahh! The bust fullness was in the wrong place! So I measured how much I had to move it up by and have transferred that to the paper pattern. I'm glad Dom spotted it, as I was just going to pinch the extra fabric out, but it turned out I need it! I knew I kept him for a reason ;)
I also measured the centre back seam on my inspiration dress and then measured the centre back on the Pendrell. The difference was 5.5 inches so I added 1.5 inch to account for the hem. This gives me a little extra length to play with too if I want it. So I've lengthened the pattern pieces by 7 inches and also tapered them out to roughly match the skirt of my inspiration dress. Then I ran out of tissue paper. . .
So tomorrow I'm going to pick up some more tissue paper and draft a collar. I'm also considering an exposed zipper. My inspiration dress has a metal exposed zipper, and I love the look. And I haven't learnt a new skill like that in a while. I guess it depends on whether the haberdashery stall even has metal zippers! I think I'll look online. I'm also going to trace new front pieces as they're very hard to pin in their current sticky taped state!
I hope you're all enjoying your weekend :)
Ashley x

Saturday, 1 October 2011

September - Finished projects

It's October already?! Wow. September went by in a crazy blur, in which I didn't really manage to grab any time to sew much. You might notice my Rosebud socks aren't up there. I'm still knitting away at them, I'm now on the leg of the second sock. I'm going to finish it before starting any Christmas knitting. I'm also planning on working on my Pendrell dress muslin today. We'll see if I can grab the time for me to do that. I actually woke up this morning thinking it was Friday and was kind of dreading my Understanding the Policy Process lecture. Yep, that module is supposed to be my child studies module. They're passing it off as child studies by saying we can use policies to do with children. Humph. I then realised it was Saturday and that I'd already sat through the lecture. Yay! 
It's also Dom's 21st birthday this month!! It's on a Sunday and we're not into clubbing (at all!) so I think the plan is a take away, then maybe going somewhere for a quiet drink. Or getting one of those fancy cheese boards and some wine. Cos we're just that exciting ;) And we like cheese and wine. Nom!
It's also been HOT this week. Seriously, hotter than summer was. I've been so glad for my new clothes, they're so much cooler than jeans are! Even with tights and a light jacket! I'm eager for a new dress to add to my wardrobe so I'm using this as my motivation to get that Pendrell dress muslin done. 
So how was your month? Good I hope! :)
Ashley x


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