Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Autumn Colours and Summertime

Life has been fairly quiet in the past week. For starters, I have finished work until September. (Definitely one of the perks of working in a school) This is great news as it means having free time to pursue my hobbies. I say this as I look forward to having this time to myself all year. It has meant I can do things in my own time as opposed to finding the energy and motivation after a long day at work.

I've made myself a new top with the fabric I told you about. It is definitely in need of a wash now...the fabric has a strange smell, more likely the dyes in the material. Its a simple smock top. I did a dummy version with some cheap material for another version of a top but I don't like the way the pleats hung so I decided on something different. I'm so glad that I decided to make a dummy version with cheap material first rather than risk ruining the new fabric. I still have my beautiful Liberty fabric, which is dress material...so thinking about dress possibilities.

The other half has spent hours blocking and took new photos of his latest work. I'm thinking of trying etsy or folksy to sell his stuff as the shop seems hard to reach. This isn't a site search for shops and it lacks other useful features. Here's a taster of some of his latest work:
Autumn Leaves Cushion

Browns, Greys, Red Cushion

Grey Skies Cushion

I would like some of it to sell but so far, nothing. Yesterday, in a certain chain store, I saw some cushion covers with Autumn colours so maybe some of his cushion covers with Autumn colours will sell. They are some of my favourites but sadly, not the same colour scheme as our house. Maybe if we move, we can rethink our colour schemes. Downstairs we have blues and red and browns. Who knows?

Monday, 15 July 2013

To Cut or Not to Cut

I have spent some of the weekend tracing a pattern out from one of my dress making books. I have spent some of the weekend carefully measuring myself and then carefully measuring the pattern to see if it will provide me with a good cut. So why haven't I bit the bullet and started to cut out the fabric pieces yet?

I think the main issue is that I want it to be a nice fit. I have this fear of it being too big in the front and the back too narrow. Even with the darts in front, it seems to be an excess amount of fabric in front. Then I toy with the idea of making it into a dress and then when the possibilities seem endless. It could be a simple tunic dress, it could have a cross over front, it could have pleats, it could be a shirt dress, it could be a smock dress, etc. You get the idea. Too many choices. 

Then common sense hits me square in the jaw. The pattern on the fabric is just too busy for a dress. Hence why I changed my mind about the dress idea in the first place. So a top it is. I need to be downstairs, rethinking and redesigning the top. So far, it appears it would be the right length. I need to add a bit more to back...fold the pattern itself so I can judge actually how wide the front will be and modify it accordingly. Finally, I need to just take a deep breath and cut out the fabric pieces themselves.

Why am I so nervous? Its not like I've never made anything for myself before.

Last year, I decided to make myself a tunic top. I overestimated my size and the top literally swam on me. I did try to modify it, but it didn't hang right. It lay in my dresser for months untouched and every time I looked at it, I felt disappointed. It was donated to charity in the end. Let's hope careful planning will alleviate those fears with this new top. Here goes nothing...

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Up and Down

This past week was not the best week. I had a job interview for an internal position where I currently worked. To cut a long story short, I didn't get the job. I felt like I had my teeth kicked in while I was down on the ground. I felt like I spent the aftermath in days of confusion, anger, disappointment and frustration. It has taken me until today for the mood to have lifted.

I wanted to be more positive and upbeat, feel a sense of achievement and have that push forward that I needed but that all disappeared and was replaced by utter despair. Who would think something like that could knock me to the core? But it did...and now is time to move forward.

My goal of the week was to knit 3 square lace patterns. I did two, hated one and started a new one...so my goal of the week...well, I did one. Insufficient to say the least. However, that is not to say I won't complete my task because I will.

On a positive note, I ventured into a new fabric shop that has recently opened up near me. For me, it was very exciting to see lovely fabrics on display and I even purchased some fabric for myself. I'm in the process of making a pattern, carefully measuring my body to ensure I get a decent cut and correct fitting for myself. Since I hit my forties, I no longer feel I know my body shape like I once did...I wonder if that happens to other women?  I would like you to the fabric shop but she doesn't appear to have a website...but I would recommend it as it has 100% cotton fabric!

My other half has been much, much motivated than me. He's made a frame for blocking his cushion covers and he has been carefully blocking his cushion covers and thinking about taking new pictures of the blocked cushion covers. He had crocheted many more cushion covers...one with greys, one with autumn colours and one with rich purples. The stack grows and grows. Some of these really need to be sold. Pictures of our work to follow soon.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Shop is Open at tictail!

Long at last, our shop is open. We are trying tictail. They were on the Click programme on the BBC and after some initial frustration with uploading the pictures and lack of snazzy templates...I finally uploaded 6 items for sale in the shop. I'm giving it a month's trial to see how it works. Please feel free to visit our shop here!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Goal of the Week...Lace Knitting Blocks

Like most people, I find that life can “get in the way” with things we would rather be doing or things we would like to be getting on with. This time of the year for me is always a tricky one. I work in the school and there is only 2 and a half weeks before the end of term. I say “only” like it isn't that long now. However, I have so much to do that it is bound to feel much, much longer than 2 and a half weeks.

I'm determined not to make that an excuse for doing the things I love. Its too easy for me to sit there with lots of ideas spinning around my head and have none of them materialise. This can often be the case, especially as it gets closer and closer to the end of the school year, I grow more tired and less motivated. I tend to live day by day at this point. It would be better if I slept well, but its difficult with so much racing around the mind.

Some of my ideas I thought I might share with you. I have some stashes of some lovely yarn the other half bought me back in March for my birthday. Yes, you heard that right...back in March. I even have the knitting pattern for one stash of yarn and know exactly what I want to do with it. The other stash I was a little less clear. Its a cream with brown flecks. The idea being it was more neutral and therefore would be easier to wear with a wider range of my work clothes.

This leads me to another issue...work clothes. I hate my work wardrobe. I don't know how I allowed this to happen. Why would I have clothes in my wardrobe that I feel are underwhelming and dull? I really need to rectify this. Work is a chore at times and why should what I wear reflect this? That needs to change. Do other people make distinctions between their normal clothes and their work clothes?

So I need to make the cream and brown yarn something more inspiring and not just for “work”. I have decided it needs to reflect more of me, my personality, have some umphhhh about it!!! So I'm looking at lace patterns for that yarn. A challenge yes...so am I up to?  I'm going to use this lovely box of cards...you can get it from here
Lace Knitting by Andrea Tung

My goal for this week is produce three knitted blocks of lace to see which would be suitable for the yarn. There it is. Published for you all to read and kick me later if I don't achieve this goal. You have my permission.