Tuesday 19 October 2021

Harry Potter knitting

Before it's forgotten altogether I need to get this project on the blog.

I made the rookie error of completing the much asked for Book Week costume Harry Potter scarf and beanie in sufficient time that, a week later, when book week dress up day came around the novelty had worn off. Potter was out of favour and I was making the last minute Malory Towers dress. You'd think I would have learned by now. ;)

At the peak of her HP obsession, A dragged me to a Harry Potter shop over in Fitzroy which is actually quite a neat conversion of an old terrace house. A shop downstairs and Potter themed cafe upstairs. She bought herself a tie with her pocket money and really, really wanted s scarf too. I said, "I could knit that..."

The scarf took forever as the whole thing is knit in 1x1 rib which I believe is slow knitting even if you're not already a slow, novice knitter.

The beanie was much more fun and actually went along quite quickly

Both are knit in super cheap Stallion 8 ply acrylic from Spotlight, which is really very soft and pleasant.

The scarf is based on the Harry Potter Slytherin House Scarf pattern although I used 3.5mm needles, cast on only80 stitches and did only 9 repeats of the pattern. The original pattern in a finer wool and smaller needles would take me FOREVER to knit.

The hat is the Hogwarts House Hats pattern by Sarah Belcher. 4.5mm needles for ribbing and 5.0 for hat. Only other modification was 4 rows of ribbing in each colour rather than 3. This was really fun to knit and I'm a little sad to have not seen her wear it yet. But, for a $2/ball outlay, I was much happier to spend less than $20 and a lot of time for a passing fad than the official merchandise retail price!

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Lockdown crochet critters

 How can you tell how long I've been in lockdown?..

...by the number of crochet animals around the house.

Melbourne has, I think, just won the world record for the city with the most number of days in lockdown. If I can't celebrate that with a blogpost about crocheted critters, what I can do?*

This is "Georgie" who was a request from A when she was flipping through my Crochet Wild Animals book.

I was ordering some yarn online for a different project and it seemed easy enough to through in some cotton for this one. I think it's a Bergere de France yarn, but I appear to have tossed the wrapper already

It was a fun little project to make and those horns (ossicones, to be precise) are just too cute!

The primary reason I was yarn shopping, late at night, on my phone was for a different project.

Actually, the real reason is because we were STILL in lockdown and late night wine fuelled online shopping is what you do when there is * (see footnote) else to do

We have a bit of a gap under our front door and the cold winter made it clear we needed a draft excluder.

Let me introduce you to Portal, the door-snake

Portal is also made form a pattern from the same book. She's crocheted in a cheap King Cole Merino blend DK that was a bit of a beast to work with as it tended to split really easily.

But the real challenge has been trying to train her to stay at her post by the front door... Here she is in a brief moment of good behaviour:

A little off duty leisure time on the carpet...

Then, good girl, back where you belong

The pattern had an error in how much of the beige/off white yarn was needed, and she lay around half finished for a bit while I waited for another ball of yarn to make it's way to me (and yes, I bought that ball late at night, with wine in hand and may have added something else to make up for paying for the shipping, see footnote)

In the end I ran out of the brown colours a repeat or two before the pattern indicated I should stop, but she was already long enough.

once she was finished, she was off!

She's stuffed with tiny scraps from the fabric bucket which gives her a bit more weight and better draught excluding properties and also makes for some interesting views of her multicoloured "guts" between the crochet stitches. 

P managed to wrestle her down out of the trees and tame her..

or did he?!!!

* sweet fuck all is the correct answer.

Saturday 9 October 2021

Camo kids

The big kid recently put in a request for some camouflage fabric cargo pants. he doesn't ask for much, and only seems to grow upwards, so any sewing is always worth the effort.

He's wearing cargo pants from two years ago cut off and hemmed to shorts, so there's plenty of wear in one garment. Ok, I'm onto it...

Camouflage fabric is not something I usually shop for (trust me, if there was any chance this inner-urban city kid could be mistaken for someone who shoots things, these pants would NOT have happened!). The only place I could find any that was offering pandemic appropriate click and collect was Spotlight. It's described as "novelty print drill". So yeah, weird, chemical smelling painted fabric, but it fitted the purpose.

Only after I'd cut them out did he tell me the pocket was too small for his phone and asked for it to be deeper. I'd already cut something else from the leftovers, so the leftover-leftovers were small and the pocket couldn't be recut, but was extended by about two inches with a nifty diagonal addition.

The pattern is the Oliver + S Field Trip Cargo Pants (his all-time favourite) in size 12 (largest size) with 2" extra length at upper thigh and 3" extra length at the hem. The next pair of cargo pants will certainly need to be a different pattern. :(

The little kid was watching with interest and wanted a camo fabric garment of her own. 

We'd recently been talking about re-making the Hopscotch skirt, with its cute cargo-esque pockets, so that seemed the obvious choice.

Also a size 12, although this is a pattern that would be very easy to add width and length to, and keep using for some time to come.

It's the little folded pockets that look like noodle boxes that make this skirt pattern something extra...

And I figured it would both suit the fabric and styling, and save me the trouble of buttons and buttonholes, if I used snaps for the front placket. Just a few minutes with some antique brass press studs and the bench top snap setter and it was done.

She went on to make her own scrunchie out of the very teeniest leftover-lefotver fabric, but I've been remiss and not photogrpahed that.

(if the brown long sleeved tee looks familiar, it was my Metro tee from last year, that proved it's pure wool-ness by failing to survive the washing machine. Damn. I'd loved that top. Anyway, now she does too)

Saturday 2 October 2021

Vogue 8813 - all the checks

 Ages ago I saw an inspiration image of a shirt using multiple different checked fabrics and I'd been wanting to make a dress with that idea ever since.

I found the perfect fabrics, although perhaps I chose the wrong pattern. I'm still on the fence about that part....

The checked linens all came from Fabric Deluxe. They're lovely quality linen and knowing they were all the same weight/type made me feel comfortable about mixing and matching the fabrics within the one garment.

The pattern is, of course, that Marcy Tilton dress with the puppy sized pockets.
It's been a few years since that first version I made and my mum now has that one as well as her fishy linen one.

I sized down from my previous make and started with the size M for this dress. It was certainly only a starting point as I fiddled in various ways trying to like it.

Ostensibly I was sewing view C with multiple different fabrics and the pockets left open to hang (or catch on every doorknob and counter corner in reality).

But there was just SOOOO much fabric in the front half of the dress. The gathers under the neckline were causing the centre front section to plump out like a maternity dress. The sheer volume of fabric in each side section was falling inwards and making that centre front section plump out even more.

I just wasn't feeling it, at all.

It sort of looked better when I put my hands in the pockets and pulled the dress outwards. So first I tried threading some thin hat elastic (we call it mask elastic these days, right?) into the rolled edge of the pockets. That made a wee bit of difference to the front section (maybe a trimester's worth less fabric pooling?) but now I had gathered side saddle bags to contend with as well.

So, I pulled the elastic back out and decided there was no way around it: I had to take the volume out of the centre front panel. That meant undoing all the rows of gathering stitches and then unpicking the collar. The centre front panel was cut down to width so that when it was ironed flat it was about the width that the gathered panel would have been at its narrowest point.

It still hangs a little oddly at that point where the pockets pivot off the centre panel, but when I'm wearing it, and in motion, that bothers me less than when I was trying it on and standing in front of a mirror.

I added the buttons and the pleats into the pockets in order to take out some of the saggy volume. Sadly that means some of the visual of the inner pockets being in the lightest, contrasting linen was lost. By this time I was very much of the midset thta finished was better than perfect and I was ready to knock it off and move on to somethingelse.

Having said that I wore it for a few days and really quite grew to like it. When the hotter summer days hit and I want a loose, linen tent to wear I think it will be a much loved dress. 

And, happily, there'll be enough left-over matching linens to make that button up shirt when I do tire of wearing this dress.


Pattern: Vogue Marcy Tilton 8813 (now out of print)
Size M - with a big reduction in the front panel
Fabric: Check linens from Fabric Deluxe
Buttons: two big, chunky, black plastic button from Jimmy's that I didn't take any close up photos of.