Sunday, August 17, 2008

enter the rubbishseamstress

So due to a misunderstanding with a utility company, I ended up suddenly and unexpectedly having some spare money. Hooray! The obvious thing to do then, rather than paying bills or buying sensible things like groceries, was to run to my nearest sewing machine emporium and spend it all on a shiny new Brother. I had a mild feeling of guilt about this as I'm not good at spending large amounts of money. This soon dissipated though once I'd had a go on the new toy. So much fun! Even breaking a needle almost immediately didn't dampen my enthusiasm. I have no idea what I'm doing here obviously. I've never done anything with a sewing machine before. Don't even remember doing anything useful with one in school. But anyway, I skipped along to the fabric shop that's conveniently situated about 2 minutes walk from my house, and bought some fabric scraps from the bargain bin for £2, partially mitigating the guilt of forking out a rather larger sum for the sewing machine. I then attempted to make myself a bag using this tutorial from craftster. And I sort of managed it!

Cockily, I even added a zip, even though this wasn't part of the tutorial (living in one of the rainiest cities in the known universe, bags that have the top open to the elements are pretty useless). I didn't make a particularly good job of this - the ends of the zip are a little untidy. And the appliqued flowers are falling off a little. I did them first, before I could really sew in a straight line, which was ridiculous overambitious. But hey, it was all part of a 'learning experience', and now I have a fally-aparty slightly-bigger-than-a-handbag bag that nicely accommodates purse, phone, books / magazines, nintendo ds and a small knitting project. Ideal!!


Saturday, August 02, 2008


rubbishknitterjunior wears newborn slip-stitch hat by rubbishknitter
I know I've been a bit quiet, but I've been busy! So here are some of the things I have been making recently.

  • A son, born last Sunday

  • A slip stitch hat for newborns

The former was 8lb 12oz and quite cute.

The latter was made up out of scrap yarn during a sleepless night last week while I pondered whether I was in labour or just having indigestion (with hindsight, I suspect a combination of the two). I have never really done much with slip stitch patterns, so was quite surprised to see how it's not just the pattern but the texture that is affected - it looks kind of like ribbing. The hat's also actually been very useful. Amazingly, it fits perfectly! And newborn babies seem to be a bit rubbish at regulating body temperature, even in summer - any bits of baby that aren't under a blanket generally feel freezing. So if anyone else is interested, here is a quick attempt to write up the pattern (it was reaaaally easy, takes approx. one sleepless night to make)

Newborn slip-stitch hat

Yarn: Oddments of Rowan 4 ply cotton in leaf green and purple, scrap of Debbie Bliss Cathay in turquoise (I know, this is a slightly thicker yarn, which is a Knitting Crime, but it was the most suitable scrap yarn i could find in the cupboard at 1 am!)
Needles: 3 mm double-pointed
Size: Large-headed newborn
magic hat of sleepiness

  • Cast on 100 stitches over 3 needles, join to work in the round.

  • MC (leaf green): Do about 10 rows of k1, p1 ribbing

  • CC1 (turquoise): repeat around: [k1, sl1 purlwise]*

  • CC1 (turquoise): k

  • CC2 (purple): [k1, sl1 purlwise]*

  • CC2 (purple): k

  • MC (leaf green): [k1, sl1 purlwise]*

  • MC (leaf green): k

  • Repeat last 6 rows another 6 times (or possibly 5 would be enough if the intended recipient is blessed with a more normal head size!)

  • Start decreasing, maintaining slip stitch pattern:

  • CC1: [[k1, sl1] 4 times, k2tog]* around

  • CC1: k

  • CC2: [[k1, sl1] 3 times, k1, k2tog]* around

  • CC2: k

  • MC: [[k1, sl1] 3 times, k2tog]* around

  • MC: k

  • CC1: [[k1, sl1] 2 times, k1, k2tog]* around

  • CC1: k

  • CC2: [[k1, sl1] 2 times, k2tog]* around

  • CC2: k

  • MC: [k1, sl1, k1, k2tog]* around

  • MC: k

  • CC1: [k1, sl1, k2tog]* around

  • CC1: k

  • CC2: [k1, k2tog]* around

  • CC2: k

  • MC: [k2tog]* around

  • Break MC yarn and pull through remaining stitches. Break other yarns and weave in ends. Place on baby.