Tuesday, 28 May 2013

You can't knit forever...

After spending hours knitting on the one day, I had a slight ache in my right wrist, which by the next morning had developed into a full-blown case of RSI. Resting and recovering now, and it's feeling a lot better today, but I'm avoiding the knitting/crochet for a bit, and using the computer isn't too comfortable either.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Re-use, re-cycle... and dye!

Firstly, I am in the black hole of skirts. Seriously, I have not touched a skirt since... oh right, since before making 25 skirts for the theatre group. Hmm. That could have something to do with it...

On to the main business of the day. The navy dye I bought to dye the medieval dress has been re-purposed and used to dye an old jacket that was looking pretty shabby. It started out as a nice black corduroy number, but over the years developed some nasty rubbing on the edges and folds of the fabric, which sent it grey/white in places. Not good. But it still fits really well, so I didn't want to throw it out. I thought of binding the edges, but decided to try dyeing it first to see how that went.

A note. I deliberately did NOT use black dye to re-dye this jacket. Black dye is notoriously difficult and frequently needs 2 packets where any other colour needs only one, and I didn't want to go through all this just to find I'd dyed the edges a slightly different shade of grey!

Dye used: Dylon machine dye, colour Navy, 1 packet.
Buttons were removed from jacket before dyeing, and the jacket was turned inside out as per washing instructions on label.
Used front-load washing machine on 40C Delicates cycle as per packet instructions.

I am really pleased with the look of the jacket since dyeing it. The colour, while remaining black, has gained depth and richness, and the blue is only visible as a sort of sheen - similar to how black fur/hair sometimes has blue highlights. Very good result!

(Photo will follow - you probably guessed that by now, though, didn't you?)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Weekend road trip

There's a new Lincraft store opened only 10-15mins away from me, and I had a list of stuff I needed to get - YES I really did need all of it, sheesh! - so Mum and Nanna and I hopped in the car and went on an AWESOME THOUGH VERY SHORT CRAFTY ROAD TRIP.

I managed to get almost everything I needed (yay!), which was:

1. 2 x 35mm buttons to finish Rainy Days Vest. Check.
2. 1/2m of black ribbing to make a new yoke for a wool skirt I picked up secondhand. Check.
3. 3.5m black binding for hem of wool skirt. Unfortunately they didn't have this in black in the right width.
4. 4 small red buttons for Dolls' Russian Dress. Check.
5. Millinery wire to stiffen edge of Dolls' Russian headdress. Check. (I hope - I'm not quite sure what millinery wire is.)
6. Black round elastic for waist of Dolls' dress and tights. Check.
7. Dark blue dye to modify last year's Medieval costume - it's cream and I'd like it to get less filthy this year. Check.
8. Cord to make a drawstring for some pyjama pants that had lost their elasticity. Check.
9. Um... something I can't remember. Check.

So it was a very productive trip. The vest buttons have now been sewn on, the pyjamas have a new drawstring and the elastic is in the dolls tights. Next up should be the wool skirt.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Never knit when you're tense

I know. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it?

Maybe I should rephrase, however.

Never begin knitting the second sleeve when you are more tense than when you knitted the first sleeve. Because you are likely to find yourself more tightly, and then when you measure it turns out you're getting a much firmer tension than you got on sleeve 1 (20 stitches to 4 inches as opposed to 18 stitches), and you are then going to need to pull out everything you've done on the second sleeve.

Yeah. Ask me how I know.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

RL is not good just now...

...so I don't know how regularly I'll be able to update. I seem to be attending a lot of funerals just now.

However, the silver and gold skirts are done and sent off, so they're out of the way.

The vest is done and blocking, and I've started knitting the Slip-Rib Tunic from Patons 1210. Yarn is Zhivago in deep red colour.

Hope you are all well.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Silver lining

Silver skirts are DONE! Bound the hems with polyester interlock - 1m was plenty - cut into 1.25 inch strips across. Using a rotary cutter and mat to cut the strips made it go so much more quickly than using scissors - more even, too! I co-opted a volunteer to try on a skirt and the length seemed fine, so hopefully the same will be the case for all of them.

I'm about to try mending the frayed bits and opened seams on the gold skirts. Since they were made out of lame/lurex about 7 years ago, and have been worn in a number of theatrical productions since... they're in bad shape. Mostly the fabric is fraying too badly for me to do much good mending them, but I'll have a go so I can say I have.

Rainy Days vest is almost done - coming down on the far side of the button band now, with only a few inches left. Then I'll need to find some buttons. Unfortunately, the pattern doesn't say anything about blocking after finishing, and it's going to really need it as all the 'rib' bands are curling like blazes.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Forgot to say...

I realised after yesterday's post I'd forgotten to mention a few of the recent lot of creative pursuits. So without further ado, they are:

1. The 'Rainy Days and Mondays' vest from 'Crochet Today!' - using Bamboo Ewe (wool/bamboo blend aran weight). I'm up to the bottom band, halfway through that, and then it'll be time for the button band/collar. It's required MANY samples and test swatches for stitch, tension and just about everything else as well. But it seems to be going fine now. (Touch wood.)

2. 'So this isn't Home Sweet Home - Adjust' cross-stitch designed by Joan Elliott. Features a lot of teddy bears doing cute but destructive things all over a traditional 'home sweet home' style sampler. Very funny and although it is quite large, it breaks down nicely into smaller motifs of 1-2 bears. Almost halfway on this (although in the interests of full disclosure I should point out that it's been sitting around for over a year with almost this much done).

3. Researching a costume to make and wear to the Abbey Medieval Tournament and/or History Alive events. Having temporarily given up on the full-skirted medieval gown, I'm looking at doing an Anglo-Saxon style outfit, using this:

undefinedas inspiration, more or less (I have a black-and-white version of this picture in a costume book, but couldn't find it online). For a better idea of the style, go here and look at the Anglo-Saxon lady half-way down the page.

Meanwhile, the silver skirts have all been cut out. They did all fit on that piece of fabric - worth remembering that circles can be cut out more economically than squares - but I'm now a bit worried they may be a bit short. As I don't have heights for the ladies, I'll just have to see how things go - worst case scenario there is a fair bit of fabric left over, so maybe I can fudge lengthening them. Also, they need binding with black at the bottom hem, so maybe I can use that to lengthen a trifle. 5 skirts are now ready for binding/lengthening, 4 still to go. I may yet throw them on a bonfire.