Welcome to the first post of 2019, what I hope will be a happy year for all of you filled with piles of shiny inspiration and crafting time. If I look back over the last year, before I start looking forward into the next one, it has definitely been an interesting time as well as the year where this blog has grown to over 100 posts!
After I’d pulled it all apart in a bit of a rage at the airport, I have finally managed to progress from the first section of Venus onto the fans! Who would have thought it? I have restarted this pattern three times now and, probably out of sheer bloodyminded stubbornness, I am determined I will get to the end. Occasionally, I succumb to taking a scorched earth approach to mistakes in crochet, mostly because frogging is a lot of fun, rather than fixing things or working around them, but maybe this is the final time I’ll restart this shawl for no good reason!
Somehow I wasn’t so laden with lovely new fabrics after my tour of Berkeley that I couldn’t find the energy for my final stop, the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles. Really I should have gone earlier in the day, as it’s actually only about a fifteen minute walk from Stonemountain and Daughters but it is very conveniently located near Ashby BART station so my tired feet could escape back to SF relatively easily. Even more convenient considering how many extra bags of embroidery supplies I ended up with from here!
I’m going to be participating in Spinzilla this year, which is a global event where the sole goal is to spin as much yarn as possible. Of course there’s plenty of silly events to be enjoyed too, like photo challenges, and the general, good social atmosphere to be enjoyed with these big events. Spinzilla will be running 3 – 9th October this year and registration is still open until the end of September if you want to join in!
I very much doubt I’ll be winning any competitions for most spun but I thought it’d be good to get a bit of practice in before the start of Spinzilla. Plus, this poor silk top has been sat, half-spun, for far too long. I’ve even got a pattern picked and needles prepped for the final yarn…
Murdering skeins is a bit of a hobby of mine. I’m not sure where I developed quite such an aptitude for transforming beautiful bundles of fibre into Eldritch horrors of the knitted world but it’s about the least useful skill a crafter can have.
Sometimes it has been clumsiness or underestimating quite what a disastrous effect travelling can have on your supplies. Sometimes it has been my notorious impatience with wanting to dive into a new project. Other times, I swear I simply turn my back and when I turn around, I’m greeted with a sight that invokes the more colourful regions of the English language.
Like most people, I’ve dreamed of being able to have beautiful, well-fitting garments in whatever colours and fabrics I wanted without ever having to go near a clothes shop again. When I finally bought my own sewing machine, I thought it’d be a good time to try learning dressmaking as well as developing some level of competence with my rather grumpy machine as well.
Dressmaking has turned out to be a rather different beast from everything else I’ve done before. I’m used to very fine work, mostly done by hand. Learning to cut some approximation to a straight line for garments was a bit of a learning curve for me and it’s taken a few horrendously rolled seams for me to be confident machining on both straight lines and curves. Luckily my teacher has the patience of a plurality of saints, every bit of which she’s needed for the pyjamas I’ve been making for longer than either of us care to remember.
The pattern is Simplicity ‘2317’ and in many ways, this project was a terrible choice for a beginner. I bought the material (relatively lightweight polyester) and pattern from John Lewis, on the assurance from the staff that this was completely suitable for a numpty who could just about work out how to press a pedal on a sewing machine. I’m not sure if I had offended them or they’d never known the horror of trying to deal with a sleeve where the fabric wants to go anywhere but where you want it to go. It also frays when you as much as look at it for too long and is generally a nuisance to handle.