Thursday, July 30, 2015

Needle and thread

Hello! I've been getting over a cold (again), so things have been a bit quiet lately. I hope my cough will be gone by Sunday so I can get back to choir...

I decided to use some of my sitting-in-bed-with-tea time to finish off a couple of little sewing projects. I've been putting them off since I find hand-sewing a bit of a chore!

The first mini-project is a set of lavender-bags that I started last time I was in Whakatane, using Mum's sewing machine.

I made basic rectangles, leaving a gap in each one for the filling. One side is patterned fabric from this Etsy shop, and the other side is plain linen with a less-dense weave (to let the scent through). This week, I made a pleasantly-scented mess filling the bags with dried lavender and cedar-wood chips and then stitching them closed.

I'll put one in each of the plastic storage tubs that hold my yarn and woollen clothes and accessories. I'm hoping the lavender and cedar will prevent weird smells from the airtight storage, and if they helps deter moths too that will be a bonus. :)

I also replaced the buttons on an op-shop cardigan which I've had for years.
It has nice classic cables and a warm peanut-butter colour, but the metallic buttons always annoyed me. I bought new buttons for it last year, and finally got around to putting them on the cardie now (that's how much I dislike sewing on buttons)! The new ones look so much better:




The last little sewing project was supposed to be hemming a couple of pieces of silk fabric which I bought with the intention of turning them into scarves.
I want a scarf I can fold up small and keep in my bag, for surprise encounters with cold wind.

I realised one of my pieces of silk was a good size to turn into a double-wrapped cowl, so I set about pinning and stitching. Unfortunately, I made a silly mistake with the geometry and when I turned the cowl right-side-out, I had a very long tube too narrow to fit over my head.

At least my running-stitch seams will be easy to unpick, when I decide to give it another go. For now, it's back to knitting! :p

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New pattern: Lunate

I have another new shawl design to share: Lunate, a one-skein fingering weight shawl shaped like the crescent moon.

I kept this design quite simple, with a stockinette ground and lace mesh accents. Lunate is a very straightforward knit - most of the shawl is made up of the same two rows repeated. Counting is minimal, as stitch markers tell you when to work the lace parts, and each wrong-side row is a purled 'rest' row.

  • curved crescent shape which drapes beautifully
  • simple lace mesh and stockinette textures
  • top-down construction, beginning with a garter tab cast-on
  • a one-skein project, requiring 410 yards of fingering-weight yarn
  • one size, easily enlarged by working more repeats
  • written pattern only (for greater simplicity in this case)

I used one skein of Vintage Purls Sock in a pale greyish-yellow called 'Jaune D'antimoine' - perfect for a lunar shawl! The simple textures of Lunate would also work well with a speckled or variegated yarn.

We took the photos at Yarra Bend Park, a bat sanctuary and lovely bit of nature close to the city. I blogged about my first visit earlier this year. We had great fun taking photos at different spots on the riverbank, exploring, and watching the bats.