Category Archives: Projects

Things what I am knitting

All my unfinished knitting, exposed

New Year’s resolution! Actually start blogging again! Let’s just dust off this thing and start over. Easy. Hello 2016! This particular resolution also coincides with my other resolution of not knitting in such a half-arsed unbloggable manner, which is quite convenient don’t you think?

When it comes to keeping a resolution, nothing motivates quite like shame. So I hereby expose my aforementioned half-arsed knitting to the public eye in the hopes that I may actually do something about it.

wip3

What is this: Too much ribbing to think about. I have turned the Victory Twinset Top from A Stitch In Time into a V-neck because V-necks are 100% sexier.

When did you start it: September 2015

So why isn’t it finished then: Hey now! I think this has gone pretty well considering it’s nothing but 2×2 ribbing in 4-ply! DID I MENTION THE RIBBING?

Likelihood of finishing it in 2016: Only one sleeve and the cuffs/collar to go, so I like those odds.

wip2

What is this: It’s the Sweater of Broad Shoulders from Midwestern Knits, in an unblocked lumpy mess

When did you start it: August 2015

So why isn’t it finished then: 90% of my knitting gets done in transit and this cardigan is now unwieldy as hell. Our freakishly warm winter has provided no immediate motivation

Likelihood of finishing it in 2016: High. Am now making decent progress on the sleeves thanks to numerous Twilight Zone marathons. TWIST: This project was actually a war veteran in a coma the whole time.

wip1

What is this: Bray, in Rowan Purelife

When did you start it: August 2014…

So why isn’t it finished then: Have you seen the price of purelife?? Plus I still haven’t decided whether I want the back to be the same as the front which is a totally legit hold point.

Likelihood of finishing it in 2016: Well I might want to buy property at some point this year too so not great.

wip4

What is this: Me slapping random monotone patterns onto a basic raglan jumper pattern after seeing a similar Topman jumper I liked.

When did you start it: September 2014

So why isn’t it finished then: Low on wool, increasingly dreading repeating every single pattern on the sleeves.

Likelihood of finishing it in 2016: I didn’t realise this thing was so photogenic until this post! Maybe this will inspire me to get it done for winter ’16.

Laceweight car knitting

What is this: That unbelievably small gauge Blouse from A Stitch in Time.

When did you start it: April 2013

So why isn’t it finished then: I ran out of laceweight and hope.

Likelihood of finishing it in 2016: Nah come on that’s crazy talk.

 

Ellen, have you been appropriately filled with shame: Yes

 

 

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Projects, Ramblings, WIPs

Sewing on schedule!

Haha! My Anna dress is totally on schedule! It’s a Christmas miracle! Unfortunately that schedule clashes with the time of year where I absolutely cannot get my camera to behave, so just a quick ‘WIP’ look will have to do.

Anna Dress 1

It looks almost finished, but there’s actually a bright yellow lining in there that is currently only held in place at the neck. Over the holiday I will be doing leisurely handstitching to fix it to the zip and sleeves, and then we’re ready to roll.

You  may also be wondering what is going on with that skirt. Well you see, the original pattern suggests you may like to add a thigh high split to your design. I have taken the road less travelled and added…

dress2

A box pleat that goes alllll the way up and only shows itself during movement. It’s worked out really nicely actually. What good ideas I have! Best of all, it’s all fitting really nicely. I can still see room for improvement cos I’m picky –  there’s just a tiny bit of gaping in both the front and back neck, and I reckon I could take an entire inch of ease out of the waist and still have it fit nicely.

Hopefully I shall be able to bring you some better photos next year!

2 Comments

Filed under Projects, WIPs

More and more sewing…

My sewing rampage continues. Now I’ve decided to make a dress for New Year’s Eve. Success is hinged solely what I am able to achieve over the Christmas holidays. What am I doing?? This is madness.

The lucky pattern for NYE is the By Hand London Anna dress. It’s relatively simple and seems to have a high success rate if the internet is anything to go by. Load up Google Image search and look at that parade of knockouts! So far I’ve made two mock-ups of the bodice just to be sure I’m going to get it right. The UK Size 18 fit me pretty well straight off the bat, but I still ended up doing a whole load of tweaks in a quest for perfection:

  • Narrowed the neckline by 1 1/4” to ensure bra straps don’t show.
  • Raised the back shoulder seams only by 5/8” as the seam was off-centre and the front rode up a little.
  • Deepened the front neckline by ¾”, which I suppose is equivalent to 1 1/4 “ when you take the shoulders into account.
  • Let out the front outer pleats by ½” at base, 3/8” at the top, then added that ½” to the back darts. This sort of compensates for a slightly full bust and swayback at the same time.
  • Lowered bust pleats by ¾” because my boobs don’t go there.
  • Added pockets. Remember the ABAP rule of successful sewing: Always Be Adding Pockets.

And finally, to really put the pressure on, I shall be cutting into this expensive and no longer available printed Liberty Tana Lawn I bought years ago.

liberty lawn

Gosh it’s so nice though. It folds like paper under an iron and has the dull shine of sateen. Will it all be worth it? Will I stick to the rudimentary timeline of tasks I wrote down to ensure my success? Will I end up going out on the town in a dress I bought last minute from Warehouse? Only Future Ellen knows the answer to these things, and she’s selfishly refused to master time travel to give me an answer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Projects, WIPs

Oh hi there

Wow I really broke my blogging habit huh? Let it not be said my procrastination is half-arsed. Undisplayable secret knitting aside, I haven’t really had many successful knitting episodes to talk about. I finished my Hetty cardigan and it turned out slightly too small. Not because my gauge was off, but because I was being overly optimistic with how much negative ease a cardigan can withstand and still button up. Whoooops. I am still throwing it over things though, because it was too lovely to ignore.

Mostly, I’ve been sewing*.
It seems to take me longer, or at least more effort, but I am actually managing to finish things along the way. Behold! A fashionable t-shirt that is literally just a t-shape. Bless the 90s revival for lowering everyone’s expectations of fit.

tee

This is made in a relatively stiff pointe roma jersey, which was a delight to sew. I tried making a second version out much floppier material and it looked terrible. I then decided that maybe I’m not quite at the level of draft my own sewing patterns from scratch just yet and resolved to actually buy some in the future. So just this weekend I finished View A of Simplicity 1321. It’s so fresh I haven’t even ironed the hem yet, excuse me.

skirt2

This took far longer than it should have because I insisted on vertically aligning the fabric pattern at all points. It’s a 6 panel skirt and I only got one seam right first time. Never mind, I didn’t get to where I am in life by looking at things that don’t quite line up and saying “that’s fine”.

skirt

It’s very odd fabric actually. My grandma gave me 4m of the stuff, and it looks great but it has no stretch. Despite being incredibly thin, slippery knitted jersey fabric. Makes no sense! I ended up underlining most of it with cheap gabardine which made it a lot easier to handle. However I suspect it’s gone the other way and is now slightly too thick for it’s purpose. I still have plenty of the check jesery left and now I’m thinking a bomber jacket would be a great idea, as long I cover the whole lot in interfacing first. One day I’ll get the hang of using the right fabric thickness…one day.

*and playing doge 2048

2 Comments

Filed under Finished Objects

Road trip!

I have had a lovely holiday, thank you very much. We saw sights! We ate nearly a whole family-sized sack of haribo sweets! I got stranded on a zip-line over a quarry, which was possibly the highlight of the week.

My Hetty cardigan is looking much more like clothing now. I got as far as one sleeve and then decided I wanted it to be a full-length sleeve rather than the pattern’s shorter sleeves. I took diligent pictures each day of the trip and am not letting my recently accquired gif skills go to waste:

HettyprogressYou’ll notice I made some pretty spectacular progress after the first day, when we drove straight to Scotland. We went to Edinburgh Zoo (penguin parade!!!) and ate all the Scottish food.

P1010905

P1010913

We went to Newcastle and had a good drive around the whole area, including a slightly terrifying late night drive up to Kielder Waters and the observatory. It’s a fantastic ‘dark skies’ area. At one point we drove past an owl, just casually sitting on the side of the road, which made the whole trip worth it alone.

P1010916

P1010935

P1010941

For some reason we thought it would be a good idea to drive to Bangor the morning after that! In a historic slate mine in the area, there exists the longest zip-line in the country. It’s about a mile long – you get strapped into a very large harness and trussed up superman style before coming down at 60mph from the peak of this hill…

P1010954

right over the lake, and to a platform some distance away. You might be able to see the zip-line in this one, although you can’t in the previous pic.

P1010957

It was absolutely flippin glorious, only muggins here got hit by a crosswind halfway down and stopped about 10m short of the platform before sloooowly sliding all the way out to the edge of the lake. Naturally the instructors had procedures for this kind of thing and soon a guy on a rope was hauling himself out to rescue me. The really fun part was that he was in a sitting position and every time the ground team gave another pull on the rescue rope I went facefirst into his thighs, which is a hell of way to introduce yourself to someone. My only regret is not cementing the awkwardness of the situation by calling him a sight for sore thighs.

After that we stopped by Chester and headed off to our final destination of Alton Towers. Not much point showing ride pictures here, as they’re all the same: T looks mildly pleased and I look like I’ve just been slapped awake.

But the main thing is I ended up with this!

WIPHettytwo

 

Oh and here’s a final pic for any Stewart Lee fans in the house…

P1010934

2 Comments

Filed under Projects, WIPs

WIP: Hetty

I’ve managed to make some spectacular progress on the Hetty cardigan. Even using 4-ply instead of worsted, it’s still a quick knit. Tight, cropped cardigans are handy like that. So after a false start where I miscounted the stitch gauge and 10 days of correctly calculated knitting, I’m already over halfway through the body. Not too shabby!

WIPHEtty

What’s more I intend to make even more spectacular progress. We’re spending the whole of next week having a road trip around the UK to see some touristy things we’ve always liked the sound of, but been too far away from to just go casually visit. I’m looking forward to it a lot. Me and T actually have quite good fun sharing long car journeys. We commute to work together, which I think makes learning to chill out in a car a necessity. Otherwise, every commute becomes The Commute of Feelings: Airing Of Work Problems and Why Are You Driving Like That. We throw some good car dance parties. We’ve become very good at placing snacks in each other’s mouths. It’s very harmonising.

In between my turns at the wheel will of course be knitting. How much will get done? Up to one sleeve? One and a half? The whole flippin thing? Tune in next week and find out!

1 Comment

Filed under Projects, WIPs

Suddenly, sewing

Guys, I feel like such an idiot this week. I’ve lived in Bristol for almost 4 years, and up until now I have completely failed to notice Flo-Jo Boutique, a.k.a DRESSMAKING HEAVEN. It’s on the busiest part of Gloucester Road for crying out loud! I have walked straight past it on multiple occasions, sometimes even on the same day!

Luckily I have been able to rectify this grave oversight immediately.

sewing

From left to right, I have: 3.5m of lovely cherry print cotton, two Colette dress patterns, lining for a long-planned, never-started project, and a knicker making kit, because why not? One day, someone will ask me if I made my outfit and I’ll be able to look them unblinkingly in the eye and say “Yes, I made all of it. And I mean allll of it”. It’ll be so worth it.

Between this new discovery and the reappearance of the sun, my favourite heavenly body of all time, I am actually feeling like doing some sewing again. It’s been a while. I’ve never been a particularly accomplished seamstress, because I am messy and easily distracted. When I sew, the front room becomes a maelstrom of tatters and threads and stays like that for at least a week after I’ve finished. If things go particularly badly there might a surprise pin in the carpet.  Then I remember I still need to sew on buttons or something and just get drunk instead. Learning to knit was an absolute delight for me, because it meant I could finally(!) make my own clothes without sewing.

But feelings change, and I’m prepared to give sewing another shot. First things first, there is this fabulous dress I started well over two years ago and have been meaning to fix.

day7b

It’s made from fancy Liberty Lawn cotton, and it was coming along pretty much perfectly, until I realised the neckline was gaping. Fixing the neckline just never happened…probably because I was knitting instead. I have gone ahead and fixed it now though! That’s only the half of it, I still have neckline binding and buttonholes and buttons to contend with. It’s not worth it’s own post yet. Maybe, just maybe I will have this done in time for summer.

5 Comments

Filed under Projects, Ramblings, WIPs