Wednesday, 27 March 2013

In pure crocus fashion

Here I am, dressing to imitate a sugar sifter...Err, no, it's just that my take on spring is someone else's take on autumn. Still, you ought to appreciate the solid deco streak. I do. I mean, I'm the only one that does. This is one of my favourite outfits of late, worn at work and out and about, yet the best I managed to squeeze out of someone was "God you're colourful today". I did wear it with a green necklace at the time, just to make sure everyone was getting the reference. Ha!

Still, I continue to be bemused by it, as much as I am by my hair in the first day of a set. This is how it looks nowadays (I've had it cut in a shorter bob at the beginning of February) - once those rollers come out. Welcome to the 20's afro of some sorts! Relieved to be in fancy company here, with the likes of Clara Bow, Claudette Colbert, Marion Davies and Marie Prevost. It's always a consolation to find that others have gone through your pain too...:)

xx That's all xx

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Goodbye winter


We may be ready to wave winter goodbye, but an unusually cold early spring makes for plenty of opportunity show you another one of the knits whipped up by mother during the winter months. 

But when I say whipped up, don't harbour any illusions - while the actual knitting involved in this project was fairly straightforward, the waiting time surpassed that by a long stretch. I had been wanting one of these for longer than I can remember. Now that it's done it almost feels like relief :)


 The yarn used is Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed, a mixture of wool and angora in a chunky weight. I must say, I love this yarn despite its lack of density; it feels like I imagined it would feel, warm and cosy, yet light and soft, without much fluffiness. It's a pleasure to wear. 
 Speaking about which, I must admit this project was pure self indulgence. I mean, what sort of uses an outfit like this may have apart from fancy dog walking? - and I am yet to reach that stage in my life where I can have a dog, let alone luxury walk it. 
Still, it counts as one for the heart.

Loosely based on the cardigans in the images above, the design as always was improvised around the quantities of yarn I had. With a little bit more than I needed in blue but not quite enough in red, mother came up with the idea of making a double row in blue at the bottom since I didn't want any of it in the collar nor along the buttoning edge. 
This looks fine at the cuffs, but not quite so at the bottom of the main body of the piece, especially after the pockets have been added. It looks odd and there is too much blue concentrated in one area for my liking. If I could change something about it, this would be it. 
It just shows how important it is to get your yarn quantities right if you want that little project close to your soul to come out just right.

There you go, it's a wrap. 
But, just as I type this, it starts to snow some more.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Caped for spring

Outfit details:

1930's inspired, knitted cape, with vintage vegetable ivory buttons and a 1930's buckle;
vintage crochet beret from etsy, vintage glass beaded hat pin, also from etsy;
modern skirt and Miss L-Fire shoes. 

Whilst spring remains in the realms of the imagination, this little project has come to life - if a somewhat unfulfilled one as I will further explain. Starting point to be observed below, in the shape of this McCall cape, which in my version has a shorter length.
This was partially to do with the limited quantity of yarn available - 900g -1000g of a discontinued Rowan Chunky Tweed (the back of the vest which is not visible is made of a different yarn). I am actually on the lookout for more of this yarn if anyone is de-stashing, as this project really needs some rounding up.

There were not only those issues that made me choose a shorter length, but also thoughts of practicality and look - I did not want this to be totally over the top; looking back on this I'm not sure the option I took had any impact on those matters, however a longer length, if achievable at all, would have resulted in a heavier fabric and the cape would have been pulled down a lot more by its own weight.


 I am happy overall with the way the yarn behaved - saying this from the perspective of one who didn't actually do the knitting job :) - the texture and weight were a good match for this project, and the construction gives it a nice drape at the back. There is an unfortunate tendency for the front sides to roll in despite a chunkier border worked by mother, but hey, knitted fabric will do that. 

What is far more bothersome is that due to an error of calculation the cape sides meet at the front a lot further then required. This results into the best part of my arms showing, only made worse by a tendency of the cape to gather and pull towards the back. 
Now as a temporary measure I folded the top sides of the cape at the shoulder and pinned them in place with buttons, which changes a bit the design of the coat, not only at the front, but also at the back where this takes somewhat away from that swing shape that you can see in the McCall image. It's the best I can do until this can make its way back to mother for proper attention.

You can see below how messy the button job is, as I couldn't get the sides of the cape to fold neatly and at the same level, and there is some pulling at the vest going on as well. There are ways to put this right while also going back to the original design of the cape at the front. I think it needs  2 sections added to it so it becomes wider and covers the shoulder/arm as intended without being puled from the sides by buttons or otherwise.

This however involves getting my hands on more yarn, which is proving more than challenging as this was discontinued quite a while back. I am thinking to unravel the vest and use the material to make up the 2 extra sections I need. I could then have the vest re-knitted from a substitute yarn - the trouble I am having here though is finding something that would match not only the texture but the colour too.. What a mess, hey?!...