a dodgy dress and a dodgy fringe

I can’t decide how I feel about this dress…

I’ve had the idea for this in my head for a while and finally sat down yesterday to put it together.  The pattern is a mix of things – I combined the yoke of Macaron with a bodice pattern piece I drafted to my own measurements for something else.  The fit of the patterned top part is actually quite good, it feels nicely fitted and very comfortable.  I’m very pleased too with the armholes as I forced myself not to take shortcuts and put in facings round the armholes and neckline, complete with interfacing.  I even made a practice bodice and adjusted the fit and dart placement.  So far so good.

For the skirt I wanted gathers at the centre of the front and back.  I took the measurements of the bottom of the bodice, made the skirt as long as I could according to the fabric I had and then shaped it out to give a wide-ish sweep.

I can’t decide though, I feel like its a bit big and unflattering, especially where the gathers are (my sister was particular unimpressed by this bit) but part of me thinks its a little bit cute.  Maybe because I mostly wear fairly fitted things it feels big, but actually it’s ok.  I’d love some honest opinions….

Right now I’m trying to weigh up how easy it would be to alter, and do I really like it enough to bother?   Especially when it’s nice to have something less fitted and extremely comfortable in my wardrobe.  Do I mind that it might be unflattering when I work from home and no-one has to see it?  It’s also much better when pinched in with appropriate knitwear.

Please also excuse my dodgy haircut, which actually, is a lot better than it was two days ago.  I was in a bit of a rush to get ready for a night out and cut my own fringe (which I’ve done plenty times before) only I made a bit of a mess of it and one side became obviously shorter than the other.  Whoops…

all i can think about is wool and flowers

I spent most of the weekend outside, moving things around and tidying up my front garden.

I’ve also gone through a few days of Total Spinning Obsession.  It was pretty serious, I spun 100g of wool brought back for me from Ysolda’s trip to Shetland (the pale blue), getting about 350m of fingering weight.  I have more of this to go, but got a bit distracted by some gorgeous Shetland wool/tussah silk from Old Maiden Aunt in the colourway Davy Jones’ Locker.  (Thanks Nikki!)  I navajo plied this to get 100g of aran weight, as soon as this is dry I’ll get a better photo*, then it’ll be on the needles becoming a hat.

* A friend commented on one of my Ravelry projects to say that she liked how there was always a dog sneaking in every photo.  I didn’t even realise that Penny has got into this one until I put it online, see, it’s not always intentional!

berries!

I’ve had a very busy week at home, and have been spending time with friends and turning a year older.  I’m noticing really obvious themes in the things I’m making.  Right now – berries!

Homemade scones with my blackcurrant and raspberry jam.  I can’t even tell you how good these were…

I’ve also seen the return of my Spinning Obsession, fueled partly by lots of lovely new fibre which arrived on my birthday.  To clear some bobbins, I finished spinning some Fyberspates BFL fibre in a lovely raspberry colour.  There’s about 350m of fingering/sport weight yarn here, enough for a small shawl from Miriam Felton’s new book Twist and Knit.

(Notice also my favourite new mug (another awesome birthday present).  Sheep!!)

And then my future knitting too – the extremely lovely Ysolda treated me to some Wollmeise for my birthday, in a raspberry colour.  This photo really doesn’t do it justice!

This will become a sweater at some point, probably something lovely that will be in Ysolda’s new book.  Yay!  And thank you lovely friends!

garden noms

So far my new vegetable garden has been pretty productive.  Its given us more courgettes than I ever thought could possibly exist (and they’re still coming), lots of herbs, blackcurrants, beans, salad, spinach, gooseberries, onions, rhubarb, blueberries etc….

New successes this year though have been raspberries.  I’ve never had these in the garden before because the fields near our house have been so full of wild ones, but earlier this year our local council cut them all down to plant a new forest.  I caved in and bought a few canes, and now I get these –

Another new excitement is tomatoes!  I’ve tried to grow these various ways every summer for the last four years and never managed more than a couple green cherry-sized fruits, usually because of the dreaded blight, or just crappy weather.

It’s still early days, but I might have cracked it, as these are actually a good size and there’s still time for them to ripen.  Hurrah!

This is also my first time with runner beans for a while.  I planted the seeds quite late so no beans yet, but they have the most beautiful flowers.  I think the variety is White Lady which I bought because one of my dogs LadyBug is very old and has a white beard.  (Oh, and I knew the flowers would be pretty.)

I have a bit of a thing about plants that like to grow up things a bit too quickly, or that strangle and climb up whatever else they can find, it creeps me out a bit.  So I feel a bit uneasy about the pumpkin that is currently growing up inside my hedge, but I’m doing my best to be brave and leave it alone.  And also, because I’ve never managed to grow a really good pumpkin before.  Yay!

And for all this I thank my new (slightly) raised vegetable beds, a bit of planning but above all – chicken poop!!  Thank you my chooks x

sweetgrass and a shawl

I got this same feeling at the exactly the same time last year, the need to finish things off and clear out my knitting basket.  It’s nice to suddenly have lots of finished things as almost all my un-completed projects only need a little attention.  I’ve noticed this time too that they’re all the same kind of project – small and too complicated for bringing to my knit night.

So, the first completed thing – Sweetgrass Socks by Sarah Fama (ravelry project details here)

I cast on for these as soon as they were published in the Spring/Summer Twist Collective issue and I loved them.  Before I could start the second sock I got a bit distracted (something about not having a ball winder handy for the second skein was all it took to throw me) and they went to the bottom of the pile.  But during a panicked search for travel knitting projects for my trip to Knit Nation last week they were unearthed.  Hurrah!  And now my mum has another pair of socks on the way to her as there was never going to be enough yarn for a pair for me.  I refused to admit this until I got half-way down the first foot with about 3 grams of yarn left.

And now to the next thing…Lune by Miriam Felton

I started this months ago when I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the pattern before Twist and Knit was published.  The distraction came this time by knitting up sweaters for Ysolda’s new book.  Every time I look at it I’m surprised by how much I’d already done, so it can’t take that much more surely?  I’m going to push on with this for the next couple of weeks and see if I can finally get it finished.  I’m making it in some delicious alpaca/silk laceweight from Old Maiden Aunt.

However, the new Twist Collective issue is seriously weakening my resolve not to start anything brand new for a while.  The day it came out I couldn’t stop thinking about this gorgeous dress by Cirilia Rose.  If I had the time I would make probably more than half the patterns, I think its one of the best issues ever…