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Saturday, November 22, 2014


I've been documenting my fabric stash into an Excel spreadsheet.   So far I'd say I've done about 80% of it.   There's still some in one 60L box, some more in a drawer, a few bits in my wire basket stacker and then there's the large sea chest in our room.
In case that wasn't enough I went to the new fabric shop (The Fabric Store) that opened on Thursday today.   30% off made it worth while and I only came out with 3 things; 2 of which I went looking for.
As a result I now have 1.5m of lovely linen gauze (blue), 8m of silk taffeta (salmon) and the item I hadn't been looking for is the goat pelt
The linen is going to be a shirt for me, I used to have one I loved in a light yellow many years ago but it wore out.    That was a 1980's oversized one, so this one will be more fitted and it's a little more see-through so there will need to be careful choosing of bra colour but it will be nice to wear.
The silk is another 18th century gown, or will be eventually.  I want to redo the original as the fit wasn't quite right in the bodice (too long in the body and too wide in the neck).   If I change my mind I should have enough to go 19th century instead; will wait and see.
The goat which was the unplanned purchase is going to be a muff; it looks like faux fur, but it is definitely real and I am totally in love.

I've not got much done in the crafting side the last week or two; instead I've started the 30 Day Shred workout programme again to help with my fitness and the RSI.   I've also done some prep work and painting on the concrete structures at the end of our driveway; that was hard work and I'm still feeling tired a day after I finished.

I've sold enough yarn to pay for the fabric above and also a Majacraft Stylus kit for my wheel which was nice.  I'm getting the lace kit for Xmas and birthday so there will be laceweight and woollen spun in my future.  Neither will arrive for another week or two though.

Sewing: Nothing since the skirt but there will be more soon, if nothing else school wants me to do some for them
Weaving:  Also nothing since the scarf, I've got the yarn ready for the next project but can't warp up till I've finished cataloging my fabric.    I also need to finish the application for the new weaver's award.   That is pending me finding the original planning for my placemats which I know is in the studio somewhere......
Spinning:  Another 195m of yarn plied for the stockings, over half a bobbin filled leading towards finishing the Perendale.
Knitting:   Finished chart 3 of the test knit, having issues with the first section of the next chart, but I think I know what the issue might be so about to test that theory.
Isn't it pretty?  Almost up to the second ball

Second sock started in my Merino Possum yarn, loving it.  I think I will be using the double gusset heel in future; cups my arch so much better than anything else I've tried.
Apologies for the low light cellphone photo.

Have cast on a cowl, well, I've done the slip-knot.   The yarn is Noro Silk Mountain and I finally found a pattern that I think will suit the yarn; the 2-hour-artists-loop.  

Our garden is doing well, the corn is a foot high, eaten a few strawberries and the peas have been popular too.   Zuchinni not quite so happy, had to plant a third one as the second is trying to die.   Beans are in pause mode, but the spuds are up and looking good.
The corn is looking good, in the background are our lettuces which are going down a treat.
Tomorrow I'm hoping it's not quite so hot, want to do another workout and there's some sewing to do too I think.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Two Thirds Done

I've finished 525m of the yarn for my eighteenth century stockings, which means another 300m approximately to go.   Some of that is on the bobbins ready to ply, but I will need to spin up some more.
Gilled perendale spun worsted, approximately sport weight as planned.
 This morning we went out on a road trip to The Iris Garden in Motukarara; it's been a few years since I was last there and it's just as beautiful as I remember.   It's only open for a few months a year but worth the trip.

I think this is the one I bought, very similar to my Supreme Sultan, but a little lighter and smaller, it'll be planted further along that same bed.

Loved this butterfly and there were tonnes of bees as well.

We also have some new life here, baby praying mantis; so cute!
Back to the knitting now, going to try and get another repeat of chart 3 in for the test knit before dinner.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I've been busy

The scarf is finished and ready to go up north as part of my application for the Beginner Weaver's award (fingers crossed)
Superwash point twill scarf.   2.3m plus fringes.   Selvedges are straight (whoop!) and it's mostly even.   Superwash is hard to work with though, it doesn't turn into a true fabric but it has such lovely drape and the bits that aren't quite right I'm told are me just being picky.

Heel is turned and I'm halfway through the gussets on the merino possum sock.   I'm afraid my shawl has stalled as the RSI was unhappy after the weaving so I've given things a break.

Perendale plying, this is now finished but still on the bobbin cos I've not had time to wind it off yet.

My favourite iris

and the lovely maple which is beautiful in spring as well as autumn

and my latest project; a linen A-line skirt with ribbon trim and photobombing cat.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's Traditional!

In New Zealand on Labour Weekend it is traditional to spend time in the garden and that's what we've been doing.   Admittedly I didn't get so much done yesterday as I was at the guild (wearing my eighteenth century garb, no less!), but I did get some weeding done in the afternoon.

Today though we'd originally expected to be stuck inside as the original weather forecast was pretty awful, but they changed it and it's been lovely!    As a result after me getting over an IBS attack (probably brought on by antibiotics for an ear infection) we went to Oderings Garden Centre and spent more than I wanted to on plants.   It was a good haul though, we got tomatoes, potatoes, asparagus, strawberries, beans, bok choy and marigolds.   They're now all in aside from the tomatoes which I think need to be a little bigger before being planted.   The boys chose most of the plants and then helped plant them

This is the back vege patch that was cleared yesterday.  It now has the bok choy, beans, marigolds and potatoes in it


Zucchini, I love these things in the summer, hope they do better this year than they did last year.  These and the strawberries are in the flower garden bed in front of the living are.   No flowers in here!

And finally the main vege patch.   It's got asparagus, corn, lots of lettuce types and some marigolds as well.
We put in extra asparagus as the original one was able to be harvested for the first time this year and it was so much nicer than the shop bought ones!    Unfortunately it didn't produce enough, so in 3 years we should get a much bigger crop when the new crowns are ready.
Next weekend we'll clear out the old sandpit of weeds and the tomatoes will likely go in there.

No weaving so far this weekend, but I'm hopeful for tomorrow.   It's been making my RSI worse, so have given  my arms a break from it and have been doing some arm strengthening exercises and stretches to hopefully help them recover.  I'm not far off finishing the scarf though, so hopefully I'll get it finished this week; eldest now wants to learn too, but I think I'll have to find a smaller loom to help him with that.
This is what's on the loom, I've got 1m to go at the most I think.   Can't wait till it's off and wet finished.   It'll be one of the pieces I send up with my application for the new weaver's award later.
On the knitting front my test knit is growing.  I've done 6 repeats of the second chart and it's looking good.
I want to get this finished quickly so I can wear it before it gets too warm, but it's quite large and has a lot of beads and lace so takes time.  The yarn is Wandering Cat Yarns Slinky Solo Cat
 My travel knitting has grown as well, I'm about to start the heel flap
This is a mishmash of patterns including Hermione's Everyday Socks and Cristi Payne's double gusset sock. The yarn is John Q's Earth Wear which is a sport weight yarn with possum and is darker than it looks here.
In my other knitting I am about 2 rows off finishing the raglan increases for my jersey and I'm about 2 rows into the colourwork for my socks that need me to concentrate.   I've put a couple of projects on hold as I know I won't get anything done on them while the above projects are active.  Finally my Pi Shawl is not on hold, but not overly active either; I'm halfway through the first chart.   One of the ladies who started when I did has finished and I suspect all the rest are much further through than I am, I'll get there though!

I also need to start doing some sewing for the boys and me, but not till I've got a little more time.   Hopefully George might be interested in that too, I do have 2 sewing machines after all, and he enjoys it at school.

Finally on spinning.  I've got the first bobbin of my grey perendale finished and am over halfway through the second; they're for my eighteenth century stockings.   After that's done I've got a SAL for Artemis Fibres and I've got the coloured romney to finish as well.   Maybe then I'll do something from Heavenly Wools or something else in the stash.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Better Late than Never

I am now all garbed for the eighteenth century; there are some fit issues; the centre bodice is a bit long and the shoulders are too wide so I will need to do some adjustments for the next one.   The sleeve looks a little odd due to that problem so I'll pop out shortly and get Thomas to pin some darts in place; I'm pretty sure that fit adjustments would be standard for any gown even back then.  After all not all gowns would have been made by experts; mine certainly wasn't!

I'll endeavor to fix the worst of the fit issues this week; probably tomorrow.   It could also do with some boning in the front as well, apparently the original didn't have it, but I need it!

Oh, ignore the hair, they definitely didn't have scrunchies then!

The Challenge:  Terminology

Fabric:  Polyester curtaining - the weave is right, but the content is most definitely not!

Pattern:   Janet Arnold polonaise 1770-1780

Year: 1775 approximately

Notions:  thread, hooks and eyes

How historically accurate is it?    The pattern is, but the fabric isn't.   Sewing is a mix of machine and hand; so I'm saying about 50%

Hours to complete:  A lot, and more to come to change the fit a bit.

First worn:   for the photoshoot, planning on wearing it for a school drop off if I can get help to get into it and next Saturday to the weavers and spinners guild
Total cost:  Probably somewhere around $40 all up; hard to know though.

This came under several terminology items.    

Robings which is the trim that goes around the back of the neck, down the bodice and into the skirt; these are hand sewn and might be hiding one or two sins in the dress make up.

Sabot Sleeves:   The sleeves have a curve built in at the elbow to facilitate movement 

Not yet sure what my next foray into historical clothing will be, but I think there will be more effort put into fitting first. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Beginnings

That's the theme for this year's show and tell at our guild.   I was going to rehash some old yarn into something new, but after trying I've decided it's not going to work (mohair I used back in the 1980's).   Instead I've revisited my projects for this year and decided I already have something perfect!
Remember this?   It's my first woven project.    It's the first project also on my loom which is a new beginning for the loom, and being my first project is a new beginning for me.    It also was a new beginning for the yarn as I'd managed to have no idea of when that yarn would be used and it had been in the stash for quite some time!
It has proven to me that I love weaving and as a result I'm now working on my third project which is a little more complex than anything I've done before.

Here's my sample for the point twill I'm working on
You can see I've tried a few different beat options for the weft; I think I'm going to stick to the version at the top of this picture which gives a nice finished look and a nice flexible fabric.   This will be a scarf and I suspect will be well used next year.   It will also be part of my application for the New Weavers Award, but not the main reason I'm doing it.   I'm having fun!

On the knitting front I've almost reached the armholes for my jersey.  My test knit is on hold till my large Fleegle Beader arrives; hope it's soon!   My Pi shawl hasn't moved much either, the yarn is so fine it's not the easiest knit.   My argyle look socks have the first ribbing band done, will start the colourwork soon.

Sewing has kind of stalled; school holidays are part of that, and the fact that I handsew for a living means I tend to put off stuff I have to handsew for "fun".

I've been spring cleaning though, that's kind of put the rest on go-slow and now that the inside of the house is mostly done the garden is starting to scream for attention.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Guild of Weavers and Spinners new rooms.

The Christchurch Guild of Weavers and Spinners is now open in new rooms at The Tannery, 11 Tanner Street.   We welcome new members and visitors who are interested in any of the fibre crafts, including knitting and crocheting, in addition to spinning and weaving. We meet on Mondays, and Saturdays from 10am-2pm, and on Tuesdays from 5.30-7.30pm. Beginner spinning classes are starting on Thurs, 16 Oct, and Sat., 1 Nov, both from 10am-Noon and running for 6 weeks.

If any of my readers are in Christchurch, do come along; we'd love to see you!

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