Monday, June 12, 2017

A red rose blooming in Reading

Yesterday I walked around some of the open studios on the Whiteknights Studio Trail, and between two locations spotted this magnificent bloom. Given the recent election result in Reading, I thought a single red bloom in contrast to its surroundings an apposite image.

I took some other pictures that were not relevant to the situation, a couple of which I'd like to share

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Meet Nelson, the fox I knitted from an Intrepid Fox kit from Ella Austin (the designer) and Skein Queen (the yarn dyer). The kit is available from Ella's Etsy store:

I took a very long time to make this, as I had several other projects on my needles, and I am not really a fan of knitting Fair Isle on such a small scale.

He is named after Nelson, the fox in the adult puppet series broadcast on BBC in 2010/11. We have an urban fox in our garden that we call Vince, Nelson's rather more gritty brother in the series, but I do not feel Vince would wear a Fair Isle vest.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Recently completed projects

I have completed some projects recently.

First, I knitted an oversized sweater in Noro Silk Mountain yarn. I measured some oversized sweaters I bought from the Sarah Duncan store in Bath (sadly no longer there). Based on the tension I obtained switching with this yarn, I used Garment Designer to plan and calculate the stitch and row counts I would need to make a garment in the same size and shape.

Next, I strung some Picture Jasper beads that I had purchased on sale from Hobbycraft, with some spacer beads I had in my stash.

Finally, I made the Pfeilraupe scarf that is very popular at the moment, using some Rowan Alpaca Colour yarn (discontinued and bought on clearance).
There are so many ways to wear this scarf, if you want to see more, take a look at my Ravelry project page, where you can follow to the designers information and the pattern itself.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Weekend in Somerset

Last weekend we visited some friends in Somerset. I took my two new 'Frankenstein' tops to wear, the grey t-shirt:

and the red tunic:

The t-shirt is based on Marilla Walker's Sailors Top, enlarged to my size and made A-line instead of straight, and the tunic is based on the Tessuti Mandy Boat Neck Tee, again enlarged to my size, made A-line, and with the sleeves lengthened.

I'm enjoying getting back into making these 'upcycled' tops.

Wheilw we were visiting our friends, we went on an outing to Lyme Regis. The improvements to the sea front are fantastic, though my photographs are of somewhat more established features.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Updated machine covers

I recently purchased a new sewing machine. It is somewhat larger than my old one, so the machine cover I made just over a year ago did no tfit it.  It seemed a shame to get rid of the cover after I had put in the effort to make it, so I converted it into a cover for my main overlocker. This involved opening up the top of the cover, and cutting some away. The overlocker has a narrower but deeper footprint, and is a bit taller than my old sewing machine. I therefore added a little to the height of the front and back of the cover, and made a new top to match the new footprint. When I sewed this in place, I retained two of the side seams as corners.

Here is the repurposed cover on the overlocker:

Meanwhile, this left the new machine without a cover (apart from the rigid plastic cover it came with), so I made use of some blue patchwork I had been working on for a cover for the overlocker. It needed to be made wider, and have more strips added, and I also needed to make end pieces. Here it is:


So now my machines can be protected from the dust when not in use.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tank Top with Racer Back – Garment Designer Pattern

Someone recently asked about making a pattern for a tank top with a racer back. Here is how I would do this using Garment Designer.
Start with a Contoured top, Sleeveless, with a Scoop neck and a Wide neck style & choose the level of fit you want.
To narrow the shoulder strap, select the segment at the top of the armhole and move it inwards, taking care to keep the garment shoulder parallel to the sloper shoulder (the green line). You may also want to move the point where the neck meets the shoulder over if the Wide neckline hasn’t made it as wide as  you want – you want the shoulder strap to be at about the middle of your shoulder.
Looking at this garment, I decided that the back neckline needs to be moved down. I turned off Front/Back symmetry so I would not affect the front neckline.
Now for the racer back. I already have Front/Back symmetry off, so selecting the point between the two segments of the back armhole will only affect the back of the garment. Move this point towards the centre back as much as you want the cutaway portion to be. I also moved the point down to get the angle I wanted at the top of the strap.
To get a better shape armhole, I adjusted the curve control points as well.
The final pattern with seam allowances: (I would probably adjust the top of the armhole once printed out to get a smooth curve.)