Bank holiday sun

Moneta DressMoneta Dress

I’ve finally finished my Moneta dress! I spent quite a long time putting off making it (because of the 63 page pdf, ugh) but I’ve finally finished. The top went together quickly and smoothly, the only alteration I made was to add a neckband because it makes it a bit more stable.

When it came to the skirt, I didn’t add any pockets into the seam because I didn’t want it to be too bulky around my hips. I originally used the same striped fabric as the top but the way the stripes fell on my hips looked a bit off so I used some grey jersey I had lying around instead. I added the patch pockets to pull the whole thing together, but I think the left pocket is a bit wonky so I’ll need to sew that again. I’m really enjoying wearing this dress, it’s really comfy and I can definitely see more in my future.

As it’s a bank holiday my partner and I went for a wander to the Plantation Gardens, they’re a hidden garden in Norwich with a mix of different things including hidden paths, a bridge and a medieval type wall. I’d never been before and really enjoyed looking round and taking photos.

I also got my hair cut yesterday, it’s quite a change from my last hair style, but I’d had a pixie cut four years ago and really wanted one again. My hairdresser was so excited to do a pixie cut, and I’m really happy with the result.

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April in Review

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What I loved:

These past couple of months (I know, it’s a bumper review because I was too busy in March) I have been all about the prints. I really need to get out of my comfort zone and try some bright prints, because I want to mix up my wardrobe a bit. I adore this bright print dress, she always chooses the best prints and makes such awesome dresses. I love how Gillian has used this print, and her really ingenious ways of getting a whole dress out of a small piece of fabric.

This month I’ve been crushing on Countess Ablaze‘s yarn, I’ve so far bought two skeins, both from her series of one of a kind colourways based on The Odyssey. I love The Odyssey so much, and I was so happy to be able to get some of the limited edition yarns. I’ve already started knitting a shawl with the right hand yarn and it is looking so great.

What I listened to:

I’ve been really loving audio books lately, I splashed out on an audible subscription and it’s been great. At the moment I’m on an autobiography kick, I think because you don’t have to pay as much attention to the plot so I don’t miss as much if I accidentally zone out. I really loved A Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes which is all about being an introvert and pushing yourself, I found it really moving and inspiring. As a fan of Grey’s Anatomy I liked learning what goes on backstage and how Shonda Rhimes created the series. I also enjoyed Spectacles by Sue Perkins, I’ve been a Sue Perkins fan for so long and her memoir was funny but also really touching.

What I’m planning:

You guys, I’ve finally finished my Moneta dress! I’m about to take some photos so a blog post should be up soon.

I’ve cut out the fabric for a Mesa dress, but I’ve modified it so it it midi length, which I’m more comfortable with. I also want to make a couple of Lane raglans but all my fabric is striped at the moment and I’ve been driven to distraction by stripe matching lately.

Spring Stitching

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summertide-shawlIt’s spring… sort of! When we left the house to take these photos it was bright sunshine, and by the time we’d walked to the river it had clouded over and was really cold, I was lucky I had a shawl to wrap around my neck for the rest of the walk to the pub.

This is the Summertide Shawl by Curious Handmade. I really enjoyed knitting it, especially the third clue (the first white part). It’s an old shetland lace stitch which has the same repeats the whole way through, but every eight rows it is offset by four stitches which is why it changes. It’s really soothing to knit and looks really organic, like ears of corn or fronds of a leaf.

The shawl itself isn’t as big as it should be, my finished gauge is way off what it should be. This is partly because it’s cotton, so doesn’t bloom when it is blocked, and partly because I used a size too small needles. I really want to make it again in wool, so you can really see the lacework open up.

plantain-tshirtI also finished another jersey top, this time it is Deer and Doe’s Plantain. I really like how flared the pattern is at the bottom, making it a really easy to wear t-shirt, but I like my necklines a bit higher, even though I already made it higher when I cut it out. I think because the fabric has quite a lot of stretch, and my shoulders are quite sloped, it accentuates how low the neckline is.

A shoal of shawls

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A month or so ago I completed my first shawl, Lavalette shawl, as a birthday present for my mum, and I am now thoroughly hooked on knitting shawls! For my first shawl, I picked a simple pattern just using stockinette, yarn overs and a bit of garter stitch at the borders. I did still manage to mess up the first openwork section, but I put that down partly to inexperience and partly to trying to knit on a coach to London. I ended up adding an extra openwork section to use up the last of the yarn, which is why the edge is quite wavy, but I like it like that.

The yarn is King Cole Bamboo Cotton 4ply in colourway Opal, these pictures have done a terrible job at capturing the colour and I’ve had to edit them a bit to even get near how it looks in person. I loved knitting with it, the bamboo makes it really soft to wear and it is the perfect weight for summer.

Here’s a sneak peak of the Summertide Shawl by Curious Handmade which I am knitting for the Shinybees Podcast Rewind KAL. I’m knitting it in cotton so I can wear it in warm summer evenings once it is finished.

Finally, I have a couple of other shawls I am planning. I bought a beautiful Countess Ablaze skein as part of her Odyssey Trail colourways, which I want to combine with a more neutral colour and knit into Asunder. The yarn I bought is a sock yarn which isn’t soft enough for me to wear against my neck, so I’m thinking of pairing it with Tangled Yarn’s Coast yarn, which should be pretty soft. I also want to knit a Byatt shawl, but I haven’t decided on a colour scheme yet.

Budapest Hat

My partner and I visited Budapest at the beginning of this month and in preparation I knitted a hat to wear, as the climate is usually a few degrees colder in the winter in Norwich. The pattern I used was Molly, a free hat with textured stitch and a lovely cable which continues right to the crown. I used Malabrigo Worsted in Frost Grey, as I figured it would go with most outfits, and the name was pretty appropriate.

The hat was pretty easy to knit, I decreased the stitches because my yarn was a bit thicker than suggested, which meant I had to freestyle a bit on the crown, but I made it into a spreadsheet and it went without a hitch. I really enjoyed knitting the hat, I tend to think of hats as short projects, for a couple of stints of TV watching, so I don’t mind if they require a little bit more concentration than socks. The only thing I had trouble with was the weight of the yarn coupled with using the circular needles for the body (rather than magic loop) meant my wrists hurt after a bit.

I love the finished hat so much, it’s squishy and comfy and warm, as well as looking pretty cool in its slouchy style. I wore it most of the time we were out and about in Budapest, but to be honest, the weather was much worse back home in Norwich. When we finally arrived in Norwich after our holiday was over, we had a miserable walk home from the coach station in the pouring rain. The weather hasn’t been any better since then, so I’m really glad I’ve got a new warm hat.

February in review

 

What I loved:

Why is it that as soon as Tasha makes something I have to have it in my wardrobe? This Agnes top in jade is absolutely lovely, and although I don’t think it will suit me as well as it suits Tasha, I still definitely need to make one myself.

I love all the versions of By Hand London’s Sarah shirt, but this one by The Wardrobe Project is one of my favourites. As one of my goals this year was to learn how to sew shirts, I’m hoping I’ll make one before 2016 is up.

These Monkey and Nutkin socks on Tin Can Knits are so fun looking, and I’m itching to make some with some Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn that’s burning a hole in my stash. Both these patterns look perfect for variegated yarn and I might just have to cast one on when I finish my Broken Seed Stitch Socks.

What I listened to:

Reply All is one of my new favourite podcasts, with this episode being one of my favourite podcast episodes ever. It’s about a mysterious figure in New York, I don’t want to say more, but it does contain selfie rat.

Srsly Podcast is the pop culture podcast from The NewStatesman, a political and culture magazine. It comes out every week and always cheers me up, and recommends lots of new films/TV shows and books. I don’t think I can chose just one episode, although their Friends special is one of their best.

What I’m planning:

Yep, I’m still planning a Moneta dress, the correct fabric has arrived and I’ve pre-washed it, so now I just have to get over my reluctance to stick together a 63 page pdf.

At the moment I don’t have any other sewing planned, but for Christmas I got a gift voucher from my partner for our local fabric shop, so I might spend it on some knit fabric and make a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

I splurged on some yarn yesterday, so I’ve decided to make this shawl in cotton, it’ll be perfect for summer and will improve my confidence with lace knitting.

Seaside Socks


These socks are made in Drops Fabel Print in colourway Sea Mist and they’re finally socks for me! I didn’t realise how clever the yarn was when I started knitting with them, I just liked the colours, but as I continued the design which looks like a beach developed.

I used Susan B Anderson’s sock pattern again, with the short row heel, the first sock is made using dpns and you can see the ladders on it, so I used the magic loop method for the second sock.

For this post I figured the best photos would be some of a Norfolk beach. The ones I used are from a trip to Southwold I took last August. I love living in Norwich and being close to the seaside. I usually visit Sheringham when I want to go to the seaside as its only an hour on the train, but this trip to Southwold was with my parents when they came to visit.