The feature panel is from a curtain sample pack (it does have an orange cast to it in the right light), the others are from an old shirt of my husband's which has a nice texture to it that is completely lost in the picture. The ribbons came on gifts and the orange lining is left over from a kiting project. The orange bead at the point is from a necklace that fell apart as soon as I wore it.
The pattern was easy to follow and I thoroughly enjoyed sewing it- it's a shame I shan't need to make another.
So I'm going on a Time Traveller's tour of a historical city soon. So I cheated. I hired a costume. It's regency period, comes with a frock, jacket, bonnet and gloves. But no pockets.
However this is a problem that the ladies of the time suffered from as well: they got round it by using the fore-runner of the handbag (purse in american): the reticule. So here is my reticule, knitted over the last few days.
It's from the Lacy Reticule pattern by Tracey Withanee. All errors are my own.
It's not totally period accurate: it's far too large, the period ones could hold a few coins and a handkerchief. Me, I want to put some coins, notes and cards in there, as well as a phone, camera, miniature brolly, inhaler, notebook and pen, timetable for the day......kitchen sink, e.t.c.
I'll add a picture of all my regalia in a couple of weeks. But I might have to research period jewellery....
Well, I know I've posted woven newspaper baskets before, but now I've got a full set:
But I've really, really taken to this, I've added coasters and fridge mats to that, not pictured, but they're made in the same manner, just flat. They hold together because I stick a sheet of newspaper to the back. Oh, fridge mats: they're put in the bottom of the salad crisper section to stop veggies from sweating against the plastic.
The other thing I've started doing is making notecards. The woven newspaper makes an unusual background and it only takes a sheet of blank paper glued on to make it card thickness. Oh, yes, you do have to reduce the newspaper strip thickness from 4 layers to one!
I've been on a bit of a binge! I got a whole bunch of my beloved's thrown out clothes out of the rag bag and had at them with the sewing machine.
There's a couple of Tshirt bags there, I boxed the corners of those and learned from the last time: make the neck as wide as I can (my previous T shirt bag I use a lot, but I do post the groceries through the armpit cos I didn't make the neck opening wide enough ). The shirt ones look great, but I wish I'd left the buttons on the pink one too. The casual trouser one was interesting, there was some knee shaping, so in order to keep the pocket I had to use the knee section. It's given the bag some (bagging/sagging) puffiness in that area, but I don't think it detracts from it's usefulness.
I go to a knitting club (for the gossip mostly!) on a Monday. One of the girls there took against my habit of using little pieces of contrasting wool as markers and threatened to get me some "proper" knitting markers. Well, I couldn't be doing with that: commercial knitting markers are plain ugly (at least the ones round here) so I made some up quickly.
I used the remnants of wire we had used for rewiring the house, after stripping the plastic insulation off of course. And a few beads I had hanging around. I really liked the colour combination so I made as many as I could out of the one length of wire.
When I got to knitting club, they thought my markers were very old, they asked me if they were my Grandma's and didn't like to believe I'd made them less than an hour ago
I was a little worried that the bent wire ends would catch the yarn, but they don't at all.
I'd planned to try some soap making. I really had. But I settled for some conversion instead as a first project, mostly inspired by the fact I'd got some spare hard soap and had run out of liquid soap.
So found some web recipes and went with one. It recommended 1 cup of water to 1 oz of soap.
I grated my soap, weighed it, added that much (3 1/4 cups) water and went ahead. The first attempt left me with a pretty solid lump in my saucepan. So I added a wee bit (1/3 cup) more water and reheated it, stirred it, waited and got a pretty solid lump very little change so next time I added a bit more water (1/2 cup) and went to bed. Still a pretty solid lump the next morning, but a slight change, at least now it was easy to slice with a knife. So, heartened, I spent the day intermittently adding 1/2 a cup at a time until I'd added more than twice the original amount of water. But still, when I pulled the spoon out the whole of the soap came out of the pan with it like a lollipop! Next day (day 3) I started with a disaster . I forgot the pan on the stove until the soap was nearly boiled dry (Yikes) so I instantly added 5 cups of water and hoped I hadn't done too much damage. I was reassured, but frustrated to find that when the soap had finally cooled it still came out in a lump, that was pretty much indistinguishable from it's previous incarnation. In all, I estimate that it took 13 cups of water and 5 days to achieve the desired snot-like consistency that would work in my soap dispenser!
A dollop of soap that leapt onto my counter to show it's snot-like-ness
But now I know, I'll be able to do it in a maximum of 2 warmings I'm sure- if I ever need any again: I have a fair bit spare!
I've been collecting dead umbrellas for a while. They make wonderful parachutes for teddy bears, but that's a different story. This, on the other hand, is the story of a wonderful rainbow umbrella that was torn in a very strategic place and so unsuitable for it's purpose.
I'm a recycler. Obssessively, really. So the canopy was removed from the frame, the tiny end caps collected on a string and the twisted and broken struts used as pea sticks. So the largest part of thos umbrella that was left was the canopy, the beautiful rainbow canopy, the beautiful rainbow rain-proof canopy, Ah Ha! . Just the thing for a cape.
But hang on, even hemmed and fastened, the rain will be a little chilly. I must line it. And pockets, everything needs pockets. They'd better be on the inside, otherwise they'll fill up with rain! So I present the umbrella rain cape.
I've been fancying doing some modelling for a while now, I used to really enjoy it when younger, but stopped for a long time. My current circumstances dictate that what I do is small & cheap, so I thought I might start with some salt dough.
It was quite a substantial undertaking. First of all, I made too much, so even after 2 hours of kneading (on & off) the gluten in the flour wasn't well developed enough to allow me to mould well. So I threw it away and sulked for a long while.
So then I tried a much smaller amount (after recovering my composure) and this lot did work, but still took considerably longer than the 20 minutes promised. But I finally had the dough that I could use sort of like clay. I decided to make some buttons first because A] I'd seen some posted on here and B] they were hopefully going to be quick and easy. Well, I produced about 50 over the days work and left them to air dry. The next day I checked them: still not dry, so I popped them in the oven after I'd finished cooking and had turned the oven off. Checked them again next morning: still not dry. This time I tried baking some of them at 180C. Yay , dry, but distinctly brown . I put the others in the oven as it cooled again. Finally they came out dried through. I didn't say: this is the wettest summer on record here in the UK, humidity has been absurd (for this country). Anyway, I finally got a matched set of 8 non-browned dry buttons that hadn't cracked in the drying process.
Then I started experimenting with the paint and glazes. Long story made short: I didn't prime the buttons, I washed them with watercolours between 2 & 4 times to get the depth of colour I wanted and varnished them with superglaze, which is nice & clear & shiny and doesn't dissolve the buttons or streak the colour when I used it.
And here they are
Since then I've been playing with other salt dough projects, but that's another story.
In my bid to bite off more than I can chew I promised to knit my mum a waistcoat. She wanted something quite long, and something that would go with a lot of different things. I looked for some patterns and decided that I would learn some lace knitting this time, and bought a pattern & some wool.
ARRGH! I tried and tried and tried, and eventually took the pattern to the knitting club I go to: The particular size I wanted just didn't work. Not even the experienced ladies at the club could make it add up. That took me a few months to work out.
So I picked a simple pattern (in chunky this time) off the internet and decided I'd add a bit of lace knitting to it out of the book I've got. I'm not going to link to the pattern, because when it came to the shoulders I had to re-write the pattern several times to get the hang of what was meant and it still doesn't look quite right. Oh. Yes. I also fiddled with it mightily to get the lace pattern in as well.
So, overall, I learned to lace knit, I learned to start (sort of) patch pockets, I learned to pick up stitches for ribbed edges and I learned to interpret awkward patterns. I wish I'd put the lace pattern on the pocket and also that I'd written out the pattern in a comprehensible form before I started knitting and I wish I'd written the alterations in a form I could still understand now!
A couple of highlights for the new things I learned.
Poor Beastlie. He's sick. Which means he has to go to the vet. But he is 8ft long (ish), weighs as much as a toddler (nearly all muscle) and doesn't like being enclosed, so tries to escape.
When we moved house recently, it was only a 15 minute trip, but he managed to escape (fortunately after we'd parked up at the new house) from the cardboard pet carrier we used (it was recommended by a shop we won't be using again).
So I got my thinking cap on: I needed an air permeable container, with a secure or securable lid, that is big enough to hold him, but not so big that he slides all over the place. It needs to be washable, warmable and appropriate to put on the scales at the vets. It can't have big holes or he'll injure himself trying to get out. This ruled out any of the standard pet carriers.
So I ended up with a large plastic click lock lidded container, I melted holes fairly close to the bottom and also in the lid. It felt a bit on the cold side and wouldn't fit on the scales, so I sewed an inner for it and placed the inner over the top of some polystyrene tiles, to keep his belly warm. If it's very cold I can put one of those re-usable hand warmers to keep him warm.
And of course, I had to personalise it!
And a close up of the embroidery
You know I keep calling him him? We don't really know so we chose a name that is easily changed if we ever find out. I'm not, however, going to subject him to an uncomfortable unnecessary procedure by the vet just to find out. We love him/her anyway.