Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Escape to the Country

Last weekend we managed to get away for the weekend and do a little bit of 4wding and camping. Of course being me I took my craft stuff away and ACTUALLY finished finished a project including sewing in the ends!!!. More on that when I share the pictures. We went away to a place called emu creek 4wd park. It was a running park but became run down as the old owners lost interest. Then family of friends of ours bought the property and they're slowly working to bring it back and restore it to a working 4wd park. The purpose of the weekend was to go down and help clear lantana and find the old tracks, a lot of them are barely visible as they have become so over grown.It was a great weekend away even if I did spend most of it studying as I had my last exam today. That is another semester down :D

But study aside I want to talk about entirely happy things. On the way down the weather was a bit miserable, and we were really worried about a very wet weekend. But thankfully it stayed cloudy and wet enough to keep the temperature down and sunny enough to have a ball.
I took this photo on the way down, you can see the cloud cover on the mountains behind. We had to travel through that later. It was stunning to look at.

Of course I snuck in some knitting in between feeling car sick. This started as two rows of stitching.


The campsite was awesome. Lovely wide grassy areas and a flushing toilet!!! That's a big thing for a campsite. Here is our set up. We had the one tent and then the tarp for shade. It was really quick to set up and only took us about 30 minutes and once the creep of gear was packed away at the end it was relatively quick to pack down. We have it down to a fine art.


They had excavators and everything to help clear out the mess. If anyone tells you it's a good idea to introduce a new plant to an area tell them they're idiots. Lantana may be a pretty flowery shrub in England but here it's a noxious weed that is a bloody pain to deal with.


The kids found an old rope swing that was actually still in working order. They spent most of the weekend swinging off it. Either into the water when they had swimmers on or just out over the water when they didn't. I was waiting to find that he'd got his only jumper sopping wet... but thankfully it survived.

Now I did promise to mention my finish and here it is. This is one of two horrible photos of me wearing the beanie but you get the idea. I actually finished the stitching and sewed it up so it was a useable beanie straight away. It does feel a tinge short but not horribly so. Being a rib stitch beanie there is enough give in it and it covers my ears so definitely covers his. That said he was more interested in swinging off the aforementioned swing to really care about it. Hence the bad photos of me wearing it. I honestly think I need to make one of these for myself. They are truly a quick and easy stitch and very warm and comfy to wear. If you're wondering about the pattern it's my own design. I have instructions here.

Of course you can't go camping without trying to capture the magic of a campfire. This one was pretty awesome and burned beautifully warm. It wasn't COLD but there was still a distinct chill to the air, which meant I was wearing two jumpers most of the weekend... go figure!

 Then on the way home we got to enjoy this view. It was beautiful and I was so grateful for our lovely weekend away.

We needed this break as the chance of getting away for any decent time over Christmas is slim as it's the busy time for James as things like to grow. The joys of owning your own business you have to be there and do the work if you're the only around to do the work.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed my photos of our trip away and I wish everyone happy stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 6 November 2017

Batwing Summer Top

What do you do when you have your first free weekend for too long to remember? I should have done a LITTLE bit of study for my last exam for the semester but I just needed a weekend to recover. Instead I spent most of the weekend sewing.

I happened to be near spotlight on the weekend and may have visited with the kids. When we were there I wanted to get some fabric to make myself a couple of new summer tops just for lounging around in. I have a top that I love to wear that is just a very very very loose top with no shaping designed for draping over your body. Well while we were there and I was fending off requests to buy faux fur and polar fleece (it's tooooooo HOT!!!!) We spotted this stunningly awesome neon fabric. I'm sorry I don't have a good photo of just the fabric by itself. I was a very bad blogger and didn't photograph anything of this process. Actually I really don't have any photos of anything until the end. I was just enjoying the process of making again.

I did up this sketch to show you a rough idea of what the shirt looks like. Really loose and comfortable. The arm is just a folded over cuff sewn onto the shirt and the neckline and bottom hem are overlocked and folded over. I did most of the top on the overlocker. Rather than sewing and then overlocking I just stuck it all through the overlocker.


Now most people this neon colour would wash them out but my daughter is a lucky one to have dark skin. She can wear sooo many colours I can only dream about.


 Here is the finished top. You get an idea of the fit of this top. It's not 'fitted' at all. Actually I could probably happily wear this top as well. But she wore it all day Sunday so I call that a win.

I also have enough fabric left over to make a pair of shorts to match so she's going to have enough to wear this summer!


Would anyone be interested in a photo tutorial of how to make your own top? I have enough fabric to make myself two tops in this style so I have something to take a photo of. Let me know and I'll make sure to take photos of the steps to make one for yourself.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

This Last Month

So for about the 100th time in the 10 years since leaving school I have just finished moving again. One day I would like to settle into my own house and stop moving but until then I will enjoy what I can.

Thankfully we have moved into a house with enough space for a craft room.... unfortunately it still looks roughly like this!


Of course it won't stay like that but I kinda have to focus on trying to get some uni work finished at some point very soon. My mid semester exams are all finished and my group assignments are due in the next couple of weeks. Because of uni ramping up craft has taken a bit of a sideline. I sneak in a project or two mainly to keep myself sane but it often only gets a couple of stitches done.

That said I am constantly carrying around this lovely shawl in my bag and I work on it when I can. Mainly a little bit at lunch and when I'm waiting for stuff to happen. It's going to be beautiful when finished and I'm going to enjoy wearing it next winter as we don't have much of this year left to wear it in!! It's the cascade clusters shawl by planet june. I will share more information when I have it finished.


Just before moving I visited Lincraft for a little treat and to get some supplies for upcoming projects. The fabric on the left is to make a giraffe for a friend. Her daughter and son fight over the one I gave him so I'm making another for her. The green cakes are for another rainbow ripple blanket for another friend's baby. 


Being roughly what I'd call a 10ply yarn or worsted weight (depending what system you use) it is working up really quickly considering the lack of time I've spent on this so far. It is my pick up and do in the evening when I have 5 minutes spare before falling asleep project. With all the moving I have been collapsing to sleep really early. My friend picked out the cake out of a selection I showed her but I'm also glad that I like working with this yarn.
 

I also have another baby blanket I should be working on but it just requires too much thought at this point. After my assignments are finished I should have time again and thoughts. We shall see!! 

Last weekend we escaped the crazy and I took the kids into see riverfire. It's a firework display in my city where they have barges in the river and also points on the buildings. We were there from mid afternoon and had our spot saved a couple of hours before the fireworks started. It gets really crowded but at least they have some entertainment before hand. They had army helicopters doing manoeuvres and the jets come through and even a C-17 fly over. It makes it more enjoyable to wait. 

 

I will leave you now with my stories from this month. Hopefully next month will feel a lot more settled and I might be able to actually achieve something.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin 

Monday, 28 August 2017

My new Beret

I have thing for Berets. I seem to prefer them over beanies. Often because they are smarter to wear than a beanie and when I wear them most is for work. This beret was made to match my cowl I made for work. It is actually a matching pattern (by the same designer with the same lace pattern). I have also planned to make a pair of fingerless gloves to match as well. She hasn't got a set of gloves but I found these on ravelry that look similar enough to be able to work with.

So here is the pattern I used for this beret. The beret de printemps.

 I tried to get all artistic and get a fancy photo. I think it turned out alright :D But you can really get an idea of the stitch. Also I know I've been lazy and haven't bothered to block it but honestly the moment it was finished it got placed on my head.... it's hard to block something on my head!

 I just think it looks so awesome on my head that I can't take it off for very long!

 I do like the interlocking lace in this stitch but it did take a long time to work up.
And here you can see the side of my head. It has a slight slouch as should a beret without being slouchy and plays up my hair rather nicely.I also love that I can be lazy with hairstyles while wearing my berets. So much easier to style my hair!!

So expect at least one more post eventually in my navy blue installments as I will be making some sort of glove and maybe even a different type of scarf. I have enough yarn to play around with and make a pile of different sets, whatever works and I can combine different types.

I'm also torturing myself by teaching myself combined knitting ... which is continental with a couple of changes. I'm slower with it but I think that in time I will be MUCH quicker than I am with English style. Though I'm finding it confusing holding the yarn in the left hand. Oh well we shall see if I change styles or keep it the same in time.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Lekala 4345 Dress

I am sooooo excited to finally be able to show you guys this dress. I finished it over the weekend and it's been a journey and a half.

I will start this by saying NONE of my issues have started with the pattern itself. I found the pattern easy to work with but I didn't read the lekala instructions I just worked it like I thought I should. I also didn't use any facings. I also didn't add the cap sleeves as I figured it was more versatile without them.

To start with I used a cotton broadcloth in brown. Why I picked brown I'm not quite sure as it really doesn't fit with the colours I seem to be working with more and more but I do like how it looks. (I just seem to be heading towards navy not brown). It took me AGES to cut out the fabric. It sat on the floor of my craft room for ages. Also being a broadcloth I had to adjust how the pieces sat on it as it's not as wide as a normal bolt of fabric.

To make sure I had enough room for this zip (as lekela patterns are notorious for only having 1cm in the seams) I added another cm when cutting out all the fabric onto the back seam on all bits. Just something to be aware of and I'm glad I did.

I sewed all the bits together then I prepared to sew in the zip. I started by pinning it and then I tacked the zip in figuring it would make it easier.

 Here is the disaster it became!!

I am usually a better sewer than this but this is what I managed. It was puckered and pulling and I couldn't sew straight to save myself!

So unpicking I did go. Not my idea of fun sewing. Then I tried again. Eventually I pulled out the tacking and tried pinning again instead. It's still not perfect and no I'm not showing you what it looks like now. But believe me when I say it is a LOT better than above but NOWHERE near where I love it. I'm actually debating adding some embroidery down the zip just to hide it.

Of course I found out that I probably should have added interfacing onto the fabric and that would have helped with the way it was pulling and puckering. This was only after the third time and I had had enough of the bloody zip.

In case you were wondering how I finished all the hems, I use my grandma's method. Overlock around all the hems and then just fold under by the overlocked part. I have used this method any time that I don't add binding to a hem. It really is so quick and easy.

So after all this talk here is the finished product.

 I love love love the fit and flare aspect of this dress. It's not a really tight dress but it is comfortable to wear.

I may need to fiddle the back of the neck section and add a couple of darts. Not sure as I don't want it too tight.


It's still technically winter here so I'm still wearing my summer dresses over leggings and long sleeved shirts.
Of course I love the skirt of this dress. It has the right amount of up when turning in circles.

Oh and those people with beady eyes will notice the beret I'm wearing I will need to write up a post for that one too. Just not today. But I may manage to finally get a photo of it today.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin
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