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Tag Archives: Purl Soho

a life on the ocean wave

Actually, just the White Caps Cowl. I’ve been knitting a row here and there and now and then with the occasional longer burst of activity. Mostly, it’s restricted to what I can do on the bus, which is rarely more than two rows (and that’s with the bamboo yarn, which provides faster results because it’s smoother, easier knitting), with maybe some night-time bowling over of a few more rows and once in a while some weekend work. On the whole, this has been fitted in around many other things, so although it’s taking longer than I’d hoped, and missed the birthday deadline entirely, it will certainly be ready as a Christmas gift.

Nearing completion

Normally at this hour on a Saturday, I’d be at a rowing regatta. However, although YoungB’s crew is rowing today, he is away this weekend and I no longer feel greatly obliged to be there on my own. When he was rowing, I would have gone to help set up marquees and chivvy the kids along at appropriate moments but the nature of school rowing is that the people change. So this morning, I slept late – for a Saturday – and don’t feel a bit guilty about having done so. DrB was up and about early for cycling purposes. He’s not home yet.

What do you reckon? Should I just knit a few more rows while I have some uninterrupted time?

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Knitting, Rowing

 

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beginning yarn bombing

Last night I sat down and crocheted an utterly over-the-top enormous, orange rose. No, I haven’t taken a photo yet though I promise I will. Right now, I know I’ve an early night because tomorrow will be an early morning, fetching my rower from his revels so he can ensure that his crew is ready for racing. I’m presently too tired to think. Did any of that make sense?!

If it didn’t, which is my fear, you’ll understand why I didn’t pull out my White Caps Cowl to do any knitting tonight on the bus. I was sure I’d make a mistake or miscount something and have to tink rather too far for comfort. If, indeed, I retained the ability to tink – or think – at all.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Crochet, Knitting, Rowing

 

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what you do when things go wrong

Summer suddenly reverted to winter a week or so ago and I had no decent tops I could wear to a family function. The skirt fabric that wasn’t quite large enough for the pattern I wanted to use started to look like a good option for the unexpected sartorial lacuna, so I nutted out how to make something appropriate using Portia’s simple top in a long-sleeved, layered-looking version, augmenting the patterned fabric with some plain black knit fabric that had been in my stash for a very long time (it featured in one of Boy’s pyjama tops, 10-or-so years ago).

I said life had been a bit nuts and that was all part of the drama. I was trying to talk to people while trying to sew (not a good thing to do). I was hurrying (also not a good thing to do). I was away from the house for hours at a stretch at times I’d planned to be at home sewing (at least I was able to take my knitting with me; the White Caps Cowl is coming along very nicely, thank you). Everything that could have gone wrong probably did. I broke my new twin needle, luckily after doing a very good job of topstitching around the neck (I was extremely pleased with how well that turned out but didn’t seem able to take a good photo of it).

Of course I only had one twin needle suitable for stretch fabrics, so that little mishap necessitated reverting to first principles for all the rest of the topstitching – that is, sew one line, align presser foot with previous stitching and off you go on the second line of topstitching – but hardly surprisingly that took at least twice as long as one effort with the twin needle. I couldn’t get the sleeves to work, so ended up simply hemming them and calling them done. They looked like this:

Nothing wrong with straight edges but they do so get in the way (in my case, in the curry)

Eventually I had an opportunity to sit and sew without interruption and tried to improve the sleeves. After many more nightmares, I ended up with a simple elastic cuff (I was going out to an evening event and needed to have a closed cuff to prevent chill air going up my sleeves), which looked a bit like this:

Functional but deserving of the, “Oh, dear,” reaction one family member bestowed on them

Today, after having battled quite a bit more, I ended up with something that is far from perfect. But it looks acceptable and probably even presentable and there comes a point where you have to say, “Enough,” and mean it. The top now looks something like this:

It’s warn and at least as well made as anything I could have bought.

The fabric on the left is a second bandanna I’m making for Dr B. His needing a new one quite desperately also played a part in delaying my finishing the sleeves for my top; but, as I say, it had elastic to keep the chill out (and worn under a jacket, who was any the wiser?) so the bandanna was a clear priority. It looks very nice – sorry, no photo; it’s in use! – and the size has been voted as precisely what was needed. As I say, I’m pinning another and will get onto the orange number within a week or so, I hope. This fabric was decreed to be something all right to use for a test but probably not “for real”: it’s a mustardy yellow with leopard spots and roses on it. Doesn’t it sound ghastly? It’s actually not and, you know, once it’s under the cycle helmet and tied so that there’s a tail hanging down to cover Dr B’s neck, you can hardly see the design on the fabric anyway.

I’ve had to give up on the Apronalong, though. I couldn’t quite fit that with all the other things going on. I’ll make an apron, probably even two, but much closer to Christmas. They, at least, shouldn’t give me any grief in terms of sleeves, should they?

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Cycling, Knitting, Sewing

 

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white fluff on a blue jacket

Today I managed to do a row and a bit of my White Caps Cowl while I was on the bus. Darn it all, the yarn made such a mess of my blue jacket that I’m revising my plans with regard to knitting on the way to work. I don’t mind so much messing up clothes when I’m on the way home but I’m supposed to look presentable for work. Hm, I might have to find another little knitting project to keep me busy.

And in the way that other people sometimes throw my plans into disarray, Dr B asked for a bandanna. He wasn’t necessarily asking me to make one, but he was hoping he might be able to find one with funky fabric for cycling purposes. In the end, I offered to make it. I spent my lunch break checking out fabric at the local Spotlight store. The restrictions related to not having flowery fabrics (or music that wasn’t Dr B’s own – no, there’s no fabric with his music on it, I promise you! – which ruled out quite a lot of options that I would have thought might be passable otherwise) or anything green (which he doesn’t much like, probably because I do) or too thick or with too high a polyester content. Ideally I wanted to find a pure cotton fabric. Quilting fabrics offer a good range but they’re generally heavier than might be desirable for a bandanna that has to go under a cycling helmet. I found some that I thought might be all right, anyway.

YoungB pointed out that cyclists wear some fairly wild bandannas (we know this to be true) but even he vetoed some of the options. His words were to the effect that, if Dr B were to wear that fabric as a bandanna he (YoungB) would have to laugh at him (Dr B) to save everyone or anyone else having to do so. Oh, how did I manage to get the boys to “audit” the fabric? (Neither has the patience for fabric shopping, I tell you from long experience, unless it’s for themselves and even then their attention span is, well, short.) Why, phone camera, of course. I might be technologically inept – I am; just ask YoungB about how I alway mess up trying to set up the TV unless he’s there to tell me how – but I have my moments.

Sure, there are plenty of bandannas available but Dr B wears his out with amazing rapidity so the idea of my making a couple for him is far from silly and, once I’ve tracked down a fabric he’s prepared to wear, shouldn’t actually take very long. A square of fabric with a rolled hem – he’s not after the fancy shaped sort you can buy. He has a couple of those and while they’re good, they don’t provide quite as much protection for his head as the cotton numbers that he already owns – should be a reasonably quick sewing projection, don’t you think? And then I can get back to my aprons and my knitting!

Sorry, either my computer is playing up or our Internet connection is but I’ve had a few crashes in the writing of this post so plan to send it as is without photos or links. Soz, as the kids these days would say. 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Cycling, Knitting, Sewing

 

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banalities of life

I’ve been mending reusable shopping bags. I know. You’d think there’d come a point where you’d reckon enough is enough and out they’d go but when it’s just a bit of stitching that’s come adrift, the urge to fix it is overwhelming. Also, Dr B asked if I would!

I have also been knitting and am a little over three inches along with the White Caps Cowl.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing

 

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too tired

There is sometimes a cruel twist in being both recorder and typist. Sitting through a hearing once is usually enough. Having to sit through it again several times (there’s no such thing as being able to type straight through with the majority of work we do, so you’re constantly going over and over bits to make sure you’ve heard it properly) is just malicious, I tell you, malicious. That’s been my very recent experience and I decided to finish work 10 minutes early because I couldn’t do another minute of the stuff without wanting to scream!

On a nicer note but almost as frustrating, I was trying to find a circular knitting needle that was somewhere between 40 cm and 60 cm. The shorter is the recommended size for the White Caps Cowl, but I’m finding it altogether too frustrating to work on. The longer is more than the recommended length but I suspect I may end up using it to get my work established, whether or not it’s the right size. It’s just not possible to cast on and straighten out stitches on the 40 cm circular, I’m distressed to say; not for me, anyway. So I’ve had to resort to my mother’s trick of doing the first few rows back and forward to get some stability going. Then I’ll try to join it and work in the round.

If you’re a knitter, you might want to tell me why I’m wrong to do it that way and I’ll listen politely but your arguments won’t sway me from my path. If it was good enough for my mother – a knitter in the days when everyone knitted their own socks and whose cunning tip might therefore be seen as born of long experience – then I see no reason at all why I shouldn’t make life a little easier for myself by following her example.

And it’s a long weekend here. I plan to sew and knit as much as I can. I have Apronalong fabric to sort out and patterns to tidy before I get cracking on that project. Still, the forecast is for a very wintry lot of weather indeed, so staying indoors sounds like a perfect plan. If you’re having a long weekend too, and even if you’re only having an ordinary one, I hope you’re able to get lots of sewing and knitting done.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing

 

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today’s inspiration

I’ve quite fallen in love with this lovely soft bit of warmth from the folk at Purl Bee.

from Laura's Loop

The yarns required are beyond my purse and I might struggle to purchase them locally, so I’m using this to inspire an adaptation for a forthcoming birthday gift (they just keep coming round, those birthdays).

PS: OK, something is not working quite as it should but I must go to bed or I shall never get to work tomorrow and that would probably be a bad thing! I’ll try to fix this tomorrow.

PPS: now things are OK. Good night!

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Knitting

 

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