Being Frank…

Accepting my failings


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Yehaaaaaaaaaa! It’s the WIP roundup…

I’m hoping towards the end of this week to start putting photographs on the blog again having now sorted out my technological issues…in the meantime a status report…

This month the emphasis has been on decluttering rather than making,  so not much stash busting but little purchasing so I guess I end the month on a win

WIP’s first since I am feeling quite pleased with myself… you see I’ve finished my Mum’s cardigan…ok so when I say finished I mean I’ve stopped knitting, Mum is unfortunately still waiting for the finished article as it needs ends sewn in, sewing up washing blocking.  Pikkuveli on the other hand now has buttons and is in the cupboard waiting for winter

Myrna is on the naughty step but Liam and Catkin have both been examined, detangled and places found in the pattern

Everything else remains untouched or unphotograph or both

In sewing Hollyburn has been recut and is waiting resewing…nothing else resolved…I was too busy getting through second sleeve syndrome

Stash

Yarn –I ended July with 5556 grams and have ended August with 5756 having purchased 2 balls of sock yarn whilst on holiday (from a German supermarket) – I have however run out of hat sized bits of leftovers and have donated lots of ends of balls to an organisation in Nottingham who amongst other things are knitting poppies 

Material     Stash end of July 9959cm  Stash at end of August 9809cm

I made 2 Mabel’s this month although I counted 1 of them in the last round up. Both need hemming…neither of which are likely to be hemmed this side of Christmas (not even the one that was the right side) as I have it on good authority that the Mabel is not for me!

Fabric used 1.5 metres, 0.5 metres from stash…

However, none purchased… not sure I will be saying that next month as the weather is turning and thoughts are turning to thicker fabrics…of which I seem to own few…

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In the mire aka bogged down

I am now at the start of my 5th week of being ill and the house is beginning to suffer.  I have always said that I don’t mind untidiness but I hate dirt, and this house is beginning to look very dirty indeed…after all I have an almost 8 year old boy and 3 very fluffy cats dirt monsters all 4 of them.

The male side of this household isn’t quite as concerned by the fact the house isn’t clean, their minds inhabit higher planes where Lego and motor sport  reign.

I can only manage a little, the occasional toilet clean, wiping a surface in the kitchen, before I need to sit down and rest – I tried vacuuming the floor (brushing it first to collect cat hair) and washing the tiles  downstairs…motivated mainly by a desire to cut out a skirt admittedly… 30 minutes cleaning led to 4 hours in bed and the rest of  that saturday evening on the sofa…

I am feeling swamped by dirt dust, clutter and unfinished things.

The good news however is that I am now able to sew and knit again so in my own small way I am trying to get the house organised.  I am going to tackle the WIP and the UFO’s. Once again I am restricting myself to finishing 2 or 3 things before I can start something new. I say 3 things as some of them really are quite small, as small as sewing on a button in fact !

Yesterday I sorted out Cria’s buttonhole issue (buttons too small for buttonholes…note there are 21 of them !)…pictures of Cria coming soon I promise, after all it’s been finished since April last year…I’ve also reknitted the cuffs on my hot pink Cowl top (not yet blogged), been a bit obsessive over those sleeves as this is the second time I’ve reknit the cuffs.

Next up buttons on a par of small baby shoes…I’m also trying to finish a skirt off and a top I’m making for Spider..only I’m not sure if these count as UFO’s as they’ve both been cut out since the new year…I guess they are WIPs, as my definition of a UFO is something that was started over a year ago…

These baby steps to clearing the clutter makes me feel a little better…and this morning I need some sort of boost as my chest is full of phlegm yet agan…and the new antibiotics the GP gave me to try to sort out the ear infection (which is not improving) leave a permanent strange taste in my mind.

Anyway, sorry for whinging, but I needed to get this off my chest (unlike the phlegm which I can’t shift)…and besides it’s my blog !


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Wish me luck…

So you remember I said last week that I cut Tiramisu out when I was a little bit distracted…and you remember I then checked I’d cut it out correctly but that I was suffering a bit at the time from lack of sleep ?

Well, guess what ? Yep I came unstuck whilst sewing it up…but then that’s why you do muslins.

I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday doing a few minutes here, a few minutes there and had managed to chalk up successful shoulder seams, binding that looked pretty good, centre front and back seams in the skirt and was then having a few problems with the gathers and attaching the midriff. I then left it overnight and tackled the gathers and the midriff on Tuesday I think it was. Pushed through that, ticked it off, then to baste the side seams and try it on…over the shoulders and head, pull it down and…OH !!!

I was swimming in it. That bodice was HUGE…I sat looking at it for several days and have just taken the seam ripper too it. Only to the midriff bit though, haven’t touched my shoulder seams as they are far too good (well I think so).

Anyway, to take things forward  I have altered my traced pattern to follow a different cup size…I may have gone down a bit too far, but what the hell there is a lot of stretch in the jersey. I placed it over my sewn bodice and cut it down to size.

I’m now sitting here watching the snow, listening to some Gershwin, drinking coffee and enjoying the wood burning stove. What’s that you say, I’m procrastinating ? No, just thinking my way through the next steps…after all no point rushing this…I won’t be finishing it this weekend as I’m about to run out of thread and I doubt I’m leaving the house this weekend as only the road in and out of this village gets gritted…

In the meantime I think a nice fleecy pair of sheep covered PJ’s is calling me !

“Nice work if you can get it…and you can get it if you try…”

Edited:  Just tried it on after sewing the new size…it is still far too big… 😦  am going to seek assistance later this evening from a man and a shed load of pins…


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I blame the sheep

You remember I said that I was going to sew and knit from what was already in the house ?

Well, less than 10 days into the new year and I blew it.

I went to Fabricland in Reading to buy some snaps and some thread…and heard the sheep bleating to me, “take me home, take me home”…

I promise on the life of my 3 cats, that I will not buy any more until I have managed to turn the sheep into a pair of warm and fleecy PJ bottoms…which is very probably going to happen in the next 10 days because

a) it’s cold

b) I own a pattern for PJ’s

c) I’ve made them before

and the unofficial d)  Tiramisu and I have” issues”.

It’s ok, we are working through them, I don’t think there will be a permanent separation it’s just, it’s probably fair to say that the 3 way triangle that is myself, Gary (the sewing machine) and Tiramisu are just not cohabiting happily…


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Frankly Speaking…I hate tissue patterns

I love the start of a new project, the anticipation, the wide range of new possibilities. At the start of a new project you feel like a fairy princess, nothing is impossible, everything you touch turns to gold, it will look fabulous, you will look fabulous, you will make lots of versions of it, as many as there are different bits of material in the world…nothing has gone wrong yet, you are invincible.

 I never quite fell the same way with knitting as I know that I can rip it back and start again…as a result I am never quite as disappointed at the end of a knitting project about the things I didn’t get right, as I am about a sewing project.

 Anyway, the other night (7th January) there I was noodling about on the internet when I suddenly realised that Day 1 of the Tiramisu sew a long had been posted. Of course it was already the 8th in Australia..turns out the post went live on the stroke of midnight (which I think may be about 2pm for us)

 I read through the post and I took note of Steph C’s helpful suggestions about gathering your tools together in a box…and I thought about getting off my bottom, but being lazy I declined…pretty much because I have lost my seam ripper, although why this should stop me putting the rest of the things in a box I have no idea!

 She concludes the post by dealing with tracing the pattern…tracing the pattern? Hmmm, wait a moment, it’s 9.30pm, Spider is in bed, Husband is in the kitchen watching something about racing and salt plains in the US…oooh, and look there is a big empty living room floor…and it’s clean. I could cheat here and start the sew a long a day early.

 So I grabbed the pattern and a pencil, found the tracing paper and finally cracked that baby open….and then…

 Well let’s just say the fates conspired against me, first it was Spider awake and with a tummy ache, whilst in the bathroom looking for something to alleviate his pain I spotted a cat…with a big gash in his back (cat fight…he is now under observation to see if it requires a vet)…after dealing with these things I went back to the living room to find another cat, asleep on the pattern. Oy, that’s my pattern you rotter, I paid for that (there was another cat last night who left wet paw prints over the tissue!).

 So that was D day -1 a bit of a wash out.

 Official Day 1 aka cheats Day 2 was cutting…sensibly I resorted to just checking the pattern to see if I’d correctly traced it (and retracing a binding I’d manage to loose already in 24 hours – should have put it in a box I guess)  and held back on the scissors, because quite frankly I was on planet Janet (Spider woke several times during the night and I’m never good when I’ve had a disturbed night)…so despite trying to cheat I am now back on official UK time for the sew a long.

 No doubt some readers would query how, when I received the pattern just before Christmas,  I have managed to resist cracking the pattern open before, when out in blog land there are people who have already made at least 4 !

 Well, the answer is this…I hate tissue paper patterns…or more correctly I fear them.

 You see tissue patterns are so light and delicate, I thing of beauty perhaps? They make me feel everso clumsy, a klutz, an awkward galumphing oaf in fact. They make me feel inadequate and useless and that I am about to mess things up forever

 They are so flimsy and fine that I feel like I will break them…also I find the big patterns unwieldy…it is not easy to find somewhere to lay them flat so that I can perhaps break them down into more manageable bits (and don’t get me started on folding to put back in envelope)

 Never was there a girl more suited to digital download…I don’t mind all the sticking and piecing together I can deal with that because they are printed on thicker less delicate paper.

 Besides, you don’t get issues about how to store neatly with digital patterns…just with losing the lot when your PC collapses and you’ve forgotten to backup to the external drive…!


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CPR aka clearing the decks

As the new year approaches I feel a need for order. I need organisation, clear floors, tidy cupboards…I need to finish things that are started. I need to draw a line under the year…

…oh and I need my dining room table back as we have people coming for christmas dinner…

Partly inspired by the CPR  I have been going through the WIPs pile.

Last weekend I had a sort out…I learned to let go and accept that some things, even when finished would never be worn: I frogged 2 sweaters.

I also managed to sew a grosgrain ribbon on a button band and sew on 18 buttons, that would have been a finished cardigan to write about this week, but I’d lost 2 buttons and by the time I’d sewn them on this weekend I had lost the light…

Other hilights of this weekend include frogging back and reknitting a cuff, dying a cardigan…now waiting for 2 of the right buttons to be found and sewn on (yes, another cardigan with 20 sodding buttons)…I also seamed another jumper and bunged it in the wash.

Plus sewing together 3 bookmarks (knitted bookmarks)

No sewing this weekend as I haven’t moved the sewing machine out of the bathroom yet back to the dining room…and a sudden decision to decorate the lobby means the dining room is now full of coats…but to be honest the only outstanding sewing WIP is the corset (from august 2011 so now an official UFO).

All the other sewing is waiting to be cut out before they can be started…so not even WIPs yet…


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The problem with resolutions

Resolutions, at least making them, gives you that glow of virtuousness…which lasts right up until you find yourself faced with the need to uphold your resolution.

So it was last Tuesday when, having resolved that for every new project I wanted to start I should finish 2 existing projects, I found myself struggling with the desire to cast on something new and exciting when deep down I knew I should be sewing on buttons (have I mentioned how much I detest sewing on buttons…and don’t get me started on buttonholes !)

Sat on the sofa grouching away I consoled myself with a wee dram of whiskey and some chocolate and then remembered I had given up both chocolate and alcohol (except on Fridays)…bah !

So with much bad grace I dug out a sweater and without enthusiasm sewed a few ends in.

Next morning in a hurry to find something for the train I dug even deeper in the project basket and unearthed a sock…long abandoned when I could ignore no longer the fact (which I knew when I cast it on) that I didn’t have enough yarn to finish it… I grabbed the socks with a joy more related to the fact it wasn’t a “button” project than enthusiasm for the knitting…and headed off to work.

Result a week later:

Knitting: 3 out of 9 projects finished. Progress on 3 more

Sewing: 1 out of 4 completed

Crochet : 0 out of 2

So I guess resolutions can have their uses… even if I am hating having to be good and stick to them.