I started a jumper for one of my nephews, Henry, a good while ago. He is growing really quickly so I needed to crack on. I had never knitted in the round before, but liked the idea of not having to sew the finished pieces together. One row buttonholes are also new to me but I have figured them out too with a little help from here: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer07/FEATsum07TT.html
The pattern is a free download from Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/five-fruits . I chose only two colours rather than five and I think that works better for a boy, especially this denim coloured tweedy effect yarn. The buttons were from my stash and are a perfect match. Time will tell what they were bought for, but it’ll be too late then!
The jumper has taken a while to complete but I am really pleased with the way it has turned out. I plan on making one for my niece but I will use brighter colours for Matilda’s. Also, I didn’t like the hem at the bottom so I will add a ribbed cuff next time. I now know that dpn’s are not scary, I can obviously tackle socks; stripes are not difficult and as long as you don’t join the yarns together too tightly you can adjust the join when you weave the ends in. Who knows, maybe fair-aisle socks next, only joking!
It’s been a while since my last post, thinking I hadn’t really done anything. When I look back that’s not actually the case: we had an amazing holiday in France, we had our house upside down, I’ve done a bit of sewing and knitting, started making bread again and now it’s back to studying.
Our holiday was split into two parts: the first being an adventure holiday with Manor Adventure and the second a more relaxing break in a lodge overlooking a golf course both in North East France. We had a brilliant time climbing, canoeing, and all manner of outdoor pursuits. It was possibly the best holiday we’ve had, as the kids had a ball and we got to have dinner in the evening whilst they went off doing more activities. How many holidays are there were the kids dictate the day and then you get to have a romantic evening? I did get some good bruises and a fair number of bites but they were worth it!
Look at me hanging onto the railings at the top of the abseiling wall – knees bent desperately trying to keep away from the edge! I climbed up the inside on ladders (with a harness), after all the children and other parents had had their go, hoping we may run out of time but we didn’t!! I still haven’t conquered my fear of heights but I did go over, feeling very pleased that I hadn’t embarrassed Madeleine and Dominic. Our favourite parts were on the lake where we got to have a go in canoes, kayak’s and on paddle boards; we did seem to spend more time in the water rather than on it though. We enjoyed that so much that we have joined a local kayaking club, just missing out on the outdoor season, it’s now held in a swimming pool. It will have to be something exceptional to surpass this years’ holiday.
Summer is sizzling here at the moment and we’re not that prepared. We haven’t experienced a really warm summer for such a long time it seems. We’re all short of summer clothes. I have bought some board shorts for the kids so we can go to the beach without fetching pockets full of sand home and I’ve made Maddy a pair of shorts with matching vest. The main fabric is left over linen from some trousers that I made for my nephew, and the jersey was bought to go with it. I’m hoping to make her a casual dress with this jersey too, as it will be so comfortable.
It was a squeeze to get the shorts out of the remnant linen; there was very little left when the pieces were cut out. Maddy prefers shorts to be longer and I didn’t have enough to do a hem so I trimmed the bottom with ribbon and pulled some threads to give a frayed edge.
Maddy’s inspiration came whilst we were shopping for thread, she spotted a frog that she had to have. It was supposed to iron on but it didn’t feel very secure so I went round it with some green thread. The end result was really good and very well recieved. The shorts are going to have to be smuggled out of the bedroom and into the wash basket but the top has already been removed. It didn’t last an hour before juice was spilled down the front, not bad enough that she had to take it off so she was able to wear it when we went for a walk along the seafront. It was so hot yesterday it was the perfect outfit.
The shorts are cut-off trousers from Burda – 142 05/2011 again! The t-shirt is Riviera from Sewing Clothes Kids Love. I am going to make another t-shirt for Maddy to wear with these shorts and then maybe go back to the blue shorts. I do, however, have a commitment to Dom to make some jeans. He has been badgering me for a while so the blue shorts thankfully will be pushed down the queue.
I have been feeling a little under the weather recently and at the end of last week came down with shingles. It could be because the house is upside down with the building work going on, or because I’m waiting for exam results, or any number of other things. The rash is on a section of my back where I missed with the suncream last weekend and got sunburn, so I think it may be that.
Although I swim a mile at least twice a week I haven’t felt as healthy as I did when I was running, so I decided to give it a go again this morning as I couldn’t go to a public swimming pool. I have had ongoing problems with plantar fasciitis for years and was advised to give up running and try something else, which is why I started swimming. I could comfortably swim a mile breastroke but took lessons because I wanted to learn how to do front crawl; initially it was really difficult, particularly breathing, but it is now my default stroke. I struggle to motivate myself so need goals to aim for, that is easy with running as there are always races going on somewhere nearby, that’s not the case around here for swimming. If I lived near London or Manchester they have open water challenges which would be great but we don’t have anything like that. If the pain in my feet isn’t too bad after a week of steady short runs I would love to take it up again but if not I’m going to have to set my own goals for swimming, whether that’s faster or further I need to decide and set a deadline, otherwise I’ll fall into a rut and get bored with it. I have also decided to fortify my diet as well; this morning instead of toast and jam I had a green smoothie. Neil’s reaction was priceless when I gave him one too. He said ‘my gag reaction is fighting with my swallowing, I’m not sure I can drink it.’ I think I may have to tweak the ingredients, theres no getting away from kale or spinach though. This morning I made two glasses with 1 glass of water, 1 banana, 1 apple, 2 pears, 4 kale leaves (stalks removed), juice of a lime and about 1cm of ginger. The first third of the glass was the worst, then I got used to it but it would definitely benefit from being chilled. Tomorrow the fruit is coming from the fridge and not the fruit bowl.
Something to look forward to – today is the start of Kids Clothes Week so this weeks goal is to get some holiday clothes made for the kids. Only four week until we’re in France so I need to get cracking! V Excited.
I have done very little sewing lately and what I have done, I have unpicked. Do seam rippers get blunt?!?! The dress I started is enormous and hangs like a tent. I made the size according to my measurements but it seems way too big; that is all unpicked ready to be re-cut to a smaller size. Thank goodness it isn’t a complicated pattern. I still haven’t started Maddy’s shorts that I cut out a good couple of weeks ago. I have a bad habit of putting things off that I imagine are going to be difficult – there is a fly zipper in them!
In my defence the house is absolutely upside down at the moment, we are having two floor cavities filled in which means that we currently have three rooms concentrated into one. The kitchen is an island too, as both rooms which are being ‘done’ lead into it. I have never appreciated the benefit of trays and fold down tables before. With the dining room table in the shed and the kitchen only accessible across rubble they have become indispensable.
This is the living room being taken apart, before the electrics have been stripped out by the electrician.
Neil putting his barrow away after a very busy weekend: a very productive weekend. The old sunhouse was ripped off the back a couple of years ago, but the base was still there and being used as a patio. This needed to be removed as it was breaching the dampcourse. Not rocket science but somebody had obviously overlooked this before building another room onto the house. There was a massive amount of stuff removed from there AND he pulled up the floorboards from the living room and dining room (with help from my dad and son Alex). What an awesome trio they are.
On Tuesday I took my end of module exam, so I now have about twenty hours a week that I didn’t have last week. It felt like it went ok, so hopefully when I get my result in August I’ll be happy. Open University is great for flexibility, but I somestimes struggle motivating myself. I am looking forward to the time off between now and October and I no longer need these, yay.
I decided to cut out the fabric for Maddy’s shorts that I had traced a little while ago; I also decided to make myself a dress, a very simple dress to get me going, but nevertheless something for me to wear. Both of these are now cut out ready to start tomorrow.
There was just enough fabric here for Maddy’s shorts, I only needed to use some scrap fabric for the pocket lining.
I’m not convinced about this fabric, but thought I would use it for the first sewing project for me for a long time. I bought it a couple of years ago from a sewing event at the Birmingham NEC and have never got round to using it. I also bought some lovely paisley fabric at the same time, but daren’t cut into that until I have made something else first. This pattern should be ok as there’s very little to fit. I have extended it by 4cm because the length looks too short for me to wear without leggings, but apart from that it is the same. I’m looking forward to making it tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing it without leggings for a while yet as the weather is not great.
In the meantime I used an old shirt of Neil’s that was going in the charity bag and some more fabric that I’ve had for ages to make Maddy some pj’s. I bought the fabric as it was in the reduced bin, but I’ve never found anything it could suitably be used for before. It is perfect for pyjamas and she has gone to bed in them tonight so obviously a success.