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Sunday, March 22, 2015

A quick detour

I had planned on working on the dress this week, but got detoured by a need for long johns.
Merino for Thomas and George
The pricing for these came in under $20 each, no way I'd find merino long johns for that price in the shop.   Wool is necessary as they're going through Cave Stream where they'll get cold and wet (assuming the weather allows).

I've also been working on some more spinning, this is more like my usual spinning though
about 60g of merino; I have another 240 to go
I'm either doing this as a true 3-ply or 3 lots of Navajo; I'm thinking true 3-ply would be nice though.   I won't get it finished before I start my next project though.   I'm waiting on some fibre for the Discworld SAL.    Once that arrives and it's 1st April I'll get onto that.    Sock yarn first hopefully.

I shouldn't have bought the fibre for the challenge, we've been hit with a bunch of bills of late.   We'll have to pay for the double glazing soon, had to get a door fixed and don't know how much that is yet.  The car needed some work after a replacement part caused some issues, my engagement ring needs work, T's motorbike needed it's registration and a repair which was a hideous amount and the car also needs new tyres.   I've been selling more yarn to help pay for it all.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mostly Spinning

Another beginner video, this one is my second ever corespun yarn.   I discovered that the camera has a time limit on video's too; about 12 minutes, or 4 gig.
The finished yarn is quite pretty and I will be doing more; I want to get better at it.
merino and silk corespun onto unknown 3-ply
I also did some thick'n'thin plied with probably rayon from stash
Heavenly Wools batt of merino and sparkles
and I did the rest of the first skein of long draw alpaca
You've already seen the one on the left, the one on the right is the alpaca
I've finished the first travel sock, but no pic sorry.   I've got the bodice of my 1810's gown ready to insert the sleeves and I got sidetracked by a flooded bathroom and the double glazing.
And I've got my shawl to the end of chart 2
There's a long way to go; next row doubles my stitches; then a lifeline and another 71 extra long rows before the border.
I've decided I will be casting on something new, maybe 2 somethings.  I want to make a garter cowl with the thick'n'thin  I showed you earlier and I have the yarn for a Strokkur and the need for another warm woolly jersey before winter hits.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

18th century cap?

I ran this up in 10 minutes this morning from stash to go over my somewhat messy 18th century hairstyle for Armageddon Christchurch 2015.

The Challenge:  3 - Stashbusting


Silk organza, linen lace

Stashed for?: 

The organza was bought in 2014 for underlining, the linen lace was bought in 2013 from a destash sale from the Embroiderers Guild if I remember correctly


None, I just cut out a circle, added the lace and then applied a drawing thread with zig zag.


1775 simply because the rest of the outfit is


various threads

How historically accurate is it?

probably not at all, but I needed something to go on my hair for Armageddon to hide some of the first ever attempt at 18th century hair.

Hours to complete:

10 minutes

First worn:

today at Armageddon

Total cost:

Maybe $8?

I feel like it finished off the outfit nicely, although I have a calash I made last year it wasn't really suitable for an indoor event.  I think technically it was too small, but it was so cute I don't care!    I got stopped and asked for photo's by several people so I was pretty happy about that.

I should have taken a photo when I first put it on while I was still wearing the dress, but forgot as I was in too much of a rush.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I made a video!

It's not perfect, I'm still learning the video function on my camera but it turned out better than I expected.   It did bring to the fore just how much weight I've put on, apparently a camera is much better at telling the truth than the mirror is.  At least I know now, and I know how to deal with it!

I also got some sewing on the dress done, but no photo's or video of that.

Back to the video, it's all about how to spin on the Majacraft Stylus; there's a bit of waffle about other things but I stuck fairly closely to my intentions.   I'd love to know what you all think and if there's anything in particular you'd like to see me do in the future.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015


My blue dress is now cut out and ready to go; hoping to get sewing tomorrow

I'm currently spinning long draw on my stylus and at the same time attempting to do a video of the process; I've had 3 goes so far and keep cutting my head off and misjudging where the camera is pointing when showing my fibre length.   I'll try again tomorrow when the boys are at school.  If I can get it sorted I might try doing the odd Vlog.

I'm up to row 42 on my Evenstar shawl, it's feeling a bit like a slog, but it'll be worth it in the end.  Only problem is the end looks like it's a very long way away!

Almost finished my current travel sock and have just wound the ball for the second one.
I'm decreasing for the toe now, this is my dye effort and I'm loving how it's turning out.

Have finished the fibre and knitting for my advanced spinning group, and I've even sent it off to the North Island for festival.  The remnants will be used with some yellow commercial yarn to make boot socks; I need some thicker socks to go in my Caterpillar boots.
3 ply East Fresian and silk.   Flick carded the wool and the silk caps were spun with swearing.

The mini-sock sample
I've also made myself a pair of Fehr Trade workout pants.   I think I need a smaller size in the legs, alternatively I need to lose more of the tummy so everything fits better!   There's no more sugary stuff in the house now so that should help.
Ignore the red, that's the pair I was wearing when I tried these on, I was lazy and left them on.

I love the peacock, pity I muffed the one on the other side.
And finally I spun some superwash merino, this has been Navajo plied and come out Aran weight.
It's beautifully soft.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


This was originally meant to be my January Historical Sew Monthly Challenge; it's late and I put yarn in instead, but I'm still going to go with the same information for it

The Challenge:  Foundations
Fabric:  Lining is cotton duck for strength and the outer is a very fine silk twill which still has excellent body
Pattern:  Red Threaded's Regency Stays pattern, bought off
Year:  1810
Notions:  Thread (polyester), German plastic boning (when I ran out of the spiral boning), spiral steel bones, sprung steel bones, silk bias binding (made by me), cotton cording laces, polyester ribbon and black steel grommets.  There will be a wood busk, but I have to make that yet
How historically accurate is it?  Probably about 70%, some of the materials aren't quite right like the cotton laces, some of the boning for obvious reasons and some machine sewing.    A lot of it was hand sewn though and I'm pretty sure the silk was close to accurate.   The grommets aren't but I wasn't about to put my RSI through that many eyelets by handsewing, unfortunately I only had black.
Hours to complete:  No clue whatsoever, but they're done now so I can now start working on the dress and shift and bodiced petticoat.
First worn:  For the photo's, managed to get them on by myself, was worried they weren't going to fit, but with the laces snugged in they fit well.
Total cost:  Hard to know, many of the supplies I bought some time ago, but probably around $100
See, they fit!  The shoulder straps could be slightly longer, mainly cos I'm slung a little lower than ideal for these styles, indeed too low for modern styles too.  I have to do pattern adjustments for modern clothes too.

Need to work on my lacing being more even, but considering I had no help this is pretty good.

hand sewn gussets

and all the annoying black grommets
 I wasn't only working on the stays today, this is the East Fresian all plied and waiting to come off the bobbin.
And now I'm going to take a break and kill some zombies.   I might get the dress cut out in a few days.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Some very good advice

Today I took a break from tidying out my corner cupboard and perused Facebook and I found a link to a blog I think is really valuable it's about pricing handmade items.   Now at the moment I don't sell what I make, but I am considering selling my hand-spun yarn at some point and when I get good enough my weaving.   I know a bit about pricing, but the main thing I know is that most people who sell their hand-made items undercharge "because it's just a hobby".
When I do start selling stuff I will be charging enough to cover my materials and a reasonable amount for my labour. 

In the meantime though I'm still working on my stays, at the moment there's the top to bind and the eyelets to add which I'm hoping to finish this weekend

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