Thursday, 26 February 2015

Butterfly Emery Dress ✓

Blogging and sewing has been very slow around here recently, but oh yes, I have another finish off my Q1 2015 FAL List!!
My Butterfly Emery Dress is done and very much in use!
This has sat chopped out for about errrr, 18 weeks (that is disgraceful!!) according to the picture I put on Instagram.
I finally got myself together last week and using my lovely (if a little verbally abused) overlocker I got it sewn up in a child free day and then hand stitched and hemmed it with a little hinderance help from my husband and children!!
I think mentally I was putting this off because of the task I set myself matching the butterflies down the zip. Kerry gave me some brilliant tips when we had a class together at The Village Haberdashery, measuring and marking at short intervals on both the fabric and zip and basting it in first rather then unpicking tiny stitches if it was off. And it was a few times! The unpicked and I spent many minutes swearing at my stupid fabric picking skills, but.....
I'm so bloody pleased with the effort it took, (the back and neck may look wonky but that is actually my own back and shoulders as I have Scoliosis and this photo has just shown me that I need to straighten up!!!) I think it really makes the dress look less handmade.
Now, the fit is still not right, I shortened the bodice at the appropriate line by an inch, but the shoulders, above the bust and top back was still to big for me. I had to take another inch and a bit off the top of the shoulders and an inch off the sides of the bodice. I made the size 16 which is my waist measurements, but unless anyone tells me this is a bad idea, next time I might make the size 14 and then slightly grade the waist to the 16. Would this work dressmakers? As I love the dress and the style, but that baggy top is really bugging me.

The details 

I've worn it twice since I finished it and I loved it on.
Even my little helper liked it, now to pick out some fabric for the next one! 
I have got another finish to share, but I need my tall husband home in daylight to get some pictures, maybe over the weekend. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

I'm a lucky lucky duck!

Everyone loves a giveaway, right? We link-up blog posts, comment on posts, make things to a theme or fabric and generally jump through hoops, as we all love to be in it to win it!
Well a few weeks ago I commented on a blogiversary post and congratulated the blogger on 7 years of  blogging, 7 years is a long time to narrate and share on a blog and I definitely think that is something to celebrate!!
Anyhoo, it turns out I was the winner of that giveaway and this week my prize popped through the post. Not just any prize but the most beautifully handmade mittens from Pj of The Snail Garden.

And she wrapped them in a lovely Moda fq, with hand cream (which smells delicious!) and some yummy chocolate that my husband said 'you have the other stuff, I'm having the chocolate!' There might be a fight over sharing it!
The mittens are beautiful on and fit perfectly, I can't wait to wear them out. 
I think handmade giveaways are the best kind, thank you so so much Pj xx

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Naiada Shawl Finish!!

So, I've shown glimpses of my finished Naiada Shawl by Martina Behm and now here it is in all its glory!!
I think it's safe to say that I end up loving everything I make, but this is definitely up there at the top of the Love List!!!
I love the yarn, the pattern and that is was finished to wear on one of our very rare snowy days!
I took myself, the dog and the shawl to the forest for a little photo shoot, which was to say the least an experience..............I drape shawl on tree, step back to take picture, dog pulls owner, photo is a blurred mess, shawls falls off branch, put shawl back, feed dog treat, snap quick picture, shawl falls, dog tries to eat shawl, owner has a break down and just takes a picture of shawl on snowy floor and gives up and goes home vowing to never take dog on photo shoot again!!!!!
Anyway, I started this at the beginning of January and had it finished and off the needles with about 3 weeks, so a lovely quick knit and it was lovely to have a break from knitting with 4ply. 
The pattern chart was very easy to read and it was a great project to take to the children clubs. 
The yarn was a very lucky purchase, from a rare skein being left in The Skein Queen's update the day after release (I'm nearly always at running club on the night of the updates, so miss them!!), the colour of it is so hard to photograph and do it justice, but it is beautiful and a joy to knit with. I can understand why her updates sell out within the hour or so now I've actually knitted with it. 
The wave effect in the pattern is so different and give real texture to the shawl. 

The Details: 

My addiction to Martina Behm pattern has now hit 5 shawls, so I've cast on a new shawl (the addiction to shawls will still continue, obviously!!) by Helen Stewart called Pebble Beach Shawlette, which I've had in my Ravelry Queue for a while. 
And in the theme of liking several things on the go at once I've also cast on a sweater for Rose than I bought the yarn for last year!! 
It is the Striped Sweater from Debbie Bliss Magazine and is great TV knitting, this is the back all finished and I cast-on the front last night, but if you follow me on IG you will know that I might soon run into pattern trouble as, Darling Boris the Standard Schnauzer got hold of the magazine and it now looks like this............
Me and the tween have done a bit of puzzle piecing, but there are still a few words and numbers missing, so I'm going to go forward and hope it makes sense when I get there, although The Husband knows just how upset I was and he has offered to get me a replacement if it doesn't work!! Bad Bloody DOG!!! 
I'm off to make a start on quilting straight lines on this very much neglected quilt top. 
Do you use a soluble pen to make your lines for quilting or one of those Clover Hera Markers that I've got my eye on??? The pens never seem to mark the fabric clearly enough for me, especially when its a coloured fabric. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Camera Challenge 1

So, Katy over at The Littlest Thistle is challenging us to be a bit more adventurous with using our big girl cameras and after getting to grips with the basic at the end of last year I am more than ready to be a little bit more educated and less scared of all the functions on my Nikon D3200

Littlest Thistle Camera Challenge 2015
We were given three shots to take, using the full auto setting and then the camera's preset mode to see the differences.

I got a little carried away, as I'm lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of Outer London.
For each photo the Full Auto is on the Left and Preset Mode on the right.

The London Skyline from Epping Forest.

Corporation of London Golf Course.

Snowy Epping Forest.

Me with my Wurm hat and newly knitted shawl.

I was going to try a portrait of the dog, but that turned into a debacle!!!!!! So, it had to be me.


I couldn't get any photos for this setting as rugby was cancelled two weeks in a row because of the pitch and the children would not be willing models!

I really can't believe the difference in the two settings, especially in the landscapes of the skyline and how the depth of the colours change on the golf course. Although I am surprised there isn't really a big difference in the snow scene.
The portrait shot was also very surprising, I feel like it gave my complexion a nice soft airbrush!!!!! And after seeing these differences it really made me fiddle with the settings when I was trying to get shots of the finished shawl, more of which another day (when I get a post typed up!).
Can't wait to see other peoples photos and for Katy's next Challenge. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Wurm Hat ✓

I haven't been near nor by my sewing machine for what feels like ages, (in reality it is just 2 weeks) but I have been knitting like a mad woman. Lots of appointments and getting back into the children clubs have meant that I have need portable pick-up and go projects.

So I have two knitting finishes to share this week and the first is my Wurm Hat. This was put onto my FAL Q1 List as the Lake District Hat, but after restarting it twice I felt I needed a simpler pattern. Every time I knitted the first row of the pattern, I ended up with the wrong number of stitches and I know I want to push myself as a knitter, but I do want to enjoy knitting the third attempt at cast-on was for the Wurm.
This knit was so so easy peasy and it's a free pattern!
One skein and a bit of Drops Alpaca Yarn in 6834 Blue Turquoise and I have the warmest, cosiest and best hat I've owned. I bought the yarn from Hannah when she was de-stashing on IG and still have a two and a bit balls left for a shawl or scarf.
The yarn is not so easy to photography and you really can't see how pretty the flecks of pink and turquoise are in that almost petrol blue base.
I did want to add a pompom, as every good hat needs a pompom, but I need to get to HobbyCraft to get one and I totally have not had a spare minute to get to my local one, so it will be added at some point, but for now I'm a very happy and warm dog walker with it as it is!!
My second knitted finish can be spotted in this shot too, this was this morning in the forest having a play with my camera settings for Katy's Camera Challenges.
I'm also really trying to keep up with my Ravelry Page, if your on there let me know as I love seeing peoples favourites and queues, not that I need any encouragement to add to my own ones!!!! 
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