Possums in the toes of her socks.

Sung of course to the tune of “Diamonds on the soles of her shoes”.

sock 32

Sock pair #32 of my knitting. Finished at Rowany Festival and handed over unblocked. Toes are a possum merino blend. Rest is Phil Folk Sock 100 which was much fun to knit. It’s two ply. One ply has the rainbow variagation, the other moves through neutral shades. Wendy Johnson’s toe up slip stitch heel pattern.

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Gelato donuts

I liked the tie dye makeover of the orange top so much I went and did another. The resulting impression is so different. Less badass, more spun sugar.

I had a winter white Country Road jumper that was looking a bit tired. It’s hard to refresh whites in wool. So instead I’ve been thinking to overdye it.

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The colours came out more muted than I had hoped for me. Silly me didn’t check the fibre composition! It turns out to be only 43% protein fibre. No wonder it came out so pastel. At least the circular patterns nicely reflect the knitted-in polkadots.

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The whole confection

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Badass Tiedye makeover

I made this vivid orange top last year out of lovely soft merino fabric. I found though that it was so bright I almost never wore it.

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So today I tortured it with elastic bands and popped in a blue dyebath.

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Woo hoo! I really like how it came out. Both more and less subdued. A bit badass I reckon. Let’s see if I actually wear it now.

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Serious Warm Finito

Faithful readers might remember this garment from last year. Serious Warm, Serious Remodel. After the hacking up, dyeing, recutting and machining, this lived in a cupboard until a few weeks ago.

Since then, I’ve removed all the overlock stitching and hand finished all the seams. This now joins my small collection of living history clothing with insides that I’m not ashamed of. Having it done after literally hanging about for 8 months feels good.

From this, though with the sleeves attached.

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To this.

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The thread is fairly fine two ply wool from the London handweavers shop. I bought it in the hope of tablet weaving with it. It’s nowhere near strong enough for tablet weaving warp, but it’s working just fine for this handsewing and at least some of the Greenland garments were finished like this with 2ply wool. It would probably be more accurate and less work to fold both allowances to one side of the seam (except the shoulder) but this fabric is so thick, that would end up very lumpy.

It was a minor miracle I got all the seams and hems done with only this little bit of thread left! Sew faster so you can finish before the thread runs out!

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I used a different fine wool to stab stitch the edges of the sleeves, but you can barely see that anyway. Can you tell the thread is bright acid green? A more obvious type of stab stitching is more accurate for the Greenland frocks, but this is a familiar technique for me and negates the business of having to use different thread to the rest of the finishing.

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Here she is all done. I will try to remember to take pictures of a full outfit when the weather is conducive. It’s way too warm at the moment.

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More Bagses

Golly, a month with no posts! I’ve been busy, but not getting to writing things up here. Two large projects are not finished yet. I’ll start with writing up some small ones.

I’ve made a couple more simple bags, this time as gifts. I ought remember to check the photos I’ve taken before I give things away. I’m not happy with the pictures of either of these, but in both cases I didn’t realise that until after they had gone to their respective recipients.

This is an intricately patterned woven “tapestry” fabric bought cheaply in a bolt end sale. The friend I was with that day liked it and asked if she could “have any leftovers, pretty please?” The piece was only small, so some years later I decided to make it up for her as a bag.  Front and back views all folded up neatly prior to posting.

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The second bag is made for a purple loving lady from 6 sample pieces of fabulous Laura Ashley (if I remember correctly) reversible cotton jaquard. I had to change the bag proportions slightly to fit the cloth dimensions. I’ve had these pieces sitting in stash for years. Now they are finally made up pretty much as I intended.

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Inside shot. Gives a better impression of how gloriously glossy the fabric is. I’ve had to use a facing instead of the top hem due to the limited fabric piece sizes.

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and here is the front view.

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Sock pair #31

sock 31

I’ve just remembered that these socks I made for my dear Papa have been received. So by my rules I can now publish them.

Wendy Johnson toe up slip stitch heel pattern. Two different kinds of Schoppel Wolle yarn. The pale one is in fact leftovers from two people’s knitting. My own and also my generous donor. We happily share both colour preferences and a fondness for Schoppel Wolle. Just so you have more socks to look at, below is the previous pair I knitted from this yarn (pair #19). These are again Wendy Johnson toe up socks, but with an afterthought heel. Toe and heel are a merino possum blend.

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Shopping Bag Pattern

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A friend asked for the pattern for my shopping bags. The directions might be a bit cryptic without pictures. Next time I make some, I’ll try to remember to take pics during construction and update this. Note that I haven’t drawn this to scale, use the written measurements.

As pictured, the measurements work for the soft cornered plain seam version.

Directions:
-Overlock around the base reinforcing piece and sew onto the wrong side of the bottom. Or cut it out big enough to press under a seam allowance before sewing on (this is bulkier of course).
-Sew the sides to the base with a 1.5cm seam, then overlock.
-Hem the top (double fold 3cm hem).
-Press the straps, long sides almost to the middle. Fold back on themselves and sew the ends shut. Clip corners, grade and turn open. Press neatly the whole length in half lengthwise ready to sew. Edge stitch both sides in the same direction.
-Place the straps on the front and back. I do them 12cm apart and 11cm from the top edge. Edge stitch the overlapped section with a few additional runs to secure the top edge.

For the stiff cornered reverse french seam version, add 1.5cm to the bottom depth (24.5cm instead of 22cm) to match to the side measurements. There is not a lot of point making this version unless your fabric has some stiffness to it.

Directions:
-Overlock around the base reinforcing piece and sew onto the wrong side of the bottom. Or cut it out big enough to press under a seam allowance before sewing on (this is bulkier of course and can conflict with the outer seam in this version).
-Sew the sides to the base inside out with a 0.5cm seam.
-Hem the top (double fold 3cm hem). If your fabric is heavy, it’s important to reduce bulk at the vertical seams as much as possible.
-Right sides out, Sew again around the side and base seams with a 0.7cm allowance. Sew each section separately, don’t try to sew around the corners.
-Press the straps, long sides almost to the middle. Fold back on themselves and sew the ends shut. Clip corners, grade and turn open. Press neatly the whole length in half lengthwise ready to sew. Edge stitch both sides in the same direction.
-Place the straps on the front and back. I do them 12cm apart and 11cm from the top edge. Edge stitch the overlapped section with a few additional runs to secure the top edge.

Denim shopping bags

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Where those lovely straight straps went. Not exciting but useful. Grocery shopping bags made from denim left over from one of my almost jeans projects. I’d not have needed to make them, but I foolishly dropped one of my set in a carpark. I didn’t realise until I’d got where I was going. When I went back, it was not to be found. So there is a Montjoye bag out there randomly somewhere. I hope it gets used.

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In denim, these should last me many years, as long as I manage to not leave them behind in random places.

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These are to the same pattern as my last Shopping Bag Mk II.

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Sing hurrah for an edge stitch foot

I’m sewing straps for some more shopping bags. I did the first one on autopilot, using a blind hemming foot to guide the stitching as usual. This works well if one only wants to sew to the left of an edge. That encourages sewing the two edges of a piece in opposite directions though, which causes a twist in the finished piece. Then I remembered that the edge stitch foot I’d ordered months ago, had arrived since last I had cause to do any edge stitching. Wonderful! Now I can edge stitch to either side of an edge!! Hurrah! So I sewed the other three straps with the new foot. Both sides sewn the same way up in the same direction. These straps lie flat! Yes one can sew in any direction by hand guiding under a standard straight stitch or universal foot. Using a foot that guides by the folded edge produces a much more even result with far less effort.

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and a close up of one end

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Blind hem foot on the left, edge stitch foot on the right. Both have a central blade to govern the relationship between the edge and the stitching. The wonderful thing about the edge stitch foot is the freedom of needle postitioning.

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Bernina feet. Other machines may have different feet available.

Raspberry Apple Jelly

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Quick notes for my reference. I had something under a kilo of good berries that I wanted to get out of the freezer.  I didn’t feel like making straight raspberry jam and jelly is easy, though messy to make. It turned out with good colour and flavour. Would have been even better if I hadn’t lost quite a bit of the raspberry liquid in a boil over. Bother.

~900g each raspberries and granny smith apples(washed and roughly chopped)
Put each to a different saucepan, almost cover with water, bring to boil, simmer until soft. Strain both through a jelly bag. This gave 1.5L liquid. Boil down for 30min to 1L. Turn off heat. Add ~900g sugar, stir and wait until dissolved. Bring back to boil for ~20min or until set is achieved. Bottle.