Thursday, January 28, 2010

A sneak peek at my new project

I am about to embark on my first quilt. Wish me luck! I've done my planning and scheming and washing. The fabric is Anna-Maria Horner's Good Folks Collection. I love the colour combinations and the prints, they are old-fashioned and modern at the same time. The squares of good folks will be supplemented with some plain squares (to make a king-sized quilt cover) and the back will be some gingham or something suitably random.

I was inspired partly by the beauty of the colours and the fabric, and partly by Denyse Schmidt's quilts. Her book is great and really easy to understand. It makes me think that I can do this! Hopefully this notion is not mis-lead and it shall all turn out well!

Power Flower

I went to Cat Power's concert recently here and it was great. She and her band really put their all in to performing and into making a great show. At the end of the show she went around giving out flowers to audience members of which this is one. Its wonderful when you see people really passionate about what they do and trying to do it the best they can. The flower is a good reminder to be passionate, not just go through the motions.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Knitted Jacket

I just started on this pattern from a pattern book called Linea Pura No2. by Lana Grossa.

I'm knitting my jacket from a nice cheerful teal green that I brought ages ago. Its an 8ply from Panda called 'Woolbale' that I'm not sure if they still make in that colour. The pattern uses cotton, but I had 10 balls of wool, so I thought I'd use that. Hopefully that will be enough! I scaled the pattern down too as it didn't have a small size, so hopefully that will also mean I use less wool and have just enough. Otherwise I'll probably end up with slightly shorter sleeves or narrower sleeves (as they are a loose fit).

Its a very simple pattern that gets its interest from the detailing at the collar and sleeves. The texture comes from using two pieces of wool held together on large size needles in contrast to the single thickness, small needle, main body of the jacket.

I'm already planning on how I'm going to wear this jacket. Obviously living in a tropical country will curtail its use outdoors somewhat, but i think with a singlet underneath it might be okay in air-conditioning!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adventures With Grey & Vintage Patterns

Two tones of grey

Overall Structure of Cardigan/Shawl

The 'Sleeves' which button together with self-buttons

Over Christmas I had time to make a convertible cardigan/shawl that I've been planning for a while. It turned out quite interesting and the structure provides endless variation on how to wear it. But I find the fit a bit loose as a cardigan, it seems to work better as a shawl. I think it may have worked better in a stiffer cotton than the really soft one I used. I used two shades of grey, a light one for the body and a darker one for the trim. It was really difficult to find two shades of grey that matched tonally as well as being the same type of grey. It sounds kinda obsessive, but I like to ensure that I match warm greys with warm greys and keep them separate from cool greys. Its like blacks, green based blacks, purple based blacks and red based blacks should never be worn together. I also like to match intensity of colour together, but thats another story.

Vintage Hairpin Lace instructions

My efforts at making my first piece of Hairpin Lace

I was also fortunate to be given a whole bag of vintage crochet patterns by a family friend when I was back home. It represented a whole spectre of crafting goodness dating from the 1960s to the 1990s. So I sorted through the patterns and tips and came across instructions for making hairpin lace. This is something that I had always wanted to try but didnt quite know where to start. It looked easy enough according to the diagrams so I went out in search of the hairpin tool to make it. Which I managed to find. Then I sat down to try and realised the instructions didn't make sense as vintage ones are prone to do. I realised there were a lot of assumptions and assumed knowledge that the pattern writer was relying on. So I looked at the photos and just played around with the tool and my crochet hook and thread, testing things out. And for once, this serendipitous method worked. It actually turned out pretty decent after just half an hour at it. So I promptly made a 40cm long strip of lace and pinned it to my dress and wore it to work the next day. Hurrah for vintage patterns! (if not the instructions, at least the inspiration!) In the bag of treasures were also some adorable baby clothes, cute 1960's cardigans and tops and a very wearable crocheted winter jumper. All these will have their time soon...

1960s in technicolour...

The crochet jumper I'm thinking of making... probably in blue...

I'm definitely making this top from some light cotton...

Inspired by the post I made recently about the tshirt dress, I've got my own plans for some tshirt deconstruction. I've two grey tshirts (dark charcoal grey this time) that will be transformed into something (probably a dress). I was very inspired by the lines of this dress over at Burda style. I really like the top part of it with the 'V' neck and the fit.

Hurrah for grey! Hurrah for gray too! The colour of stormy skies, unsettled seas, peaceful doves and soft lovely wool. Hurrah in general for making stuff.