Monday, May 31, 2010

oops, i broke summer

Ok, I can exclusively reveal that the reason the bank holiday scorcher failed to materialise in northern England this weekend isn't anything to do with the Met office messing up their climate prediction models. In fact it has nothing to do with patterns of precipitation and airflow across Europe at all. It's because I sewed myself a sundress! Sorry about that.

The clouds began to gather last week when Mr Rubbishknitter bought a tent on ebay. And now the sewing action, I fear, has sent the sun packing from our skies, and it is unlikely to return until the new dress has fallen apart in the wash. (But don't worry - according to my garment lifespan prediction models, this may happen rather soon.)

I don't know what the fabric is, a lovely friend of mine donated it to the rubbishseamstress cause a while ago. I am a big fan of checky print and was very pleased to discover that the gridlike nature of the pattern makes it relatively easy to sew in a straight line. Although you may detect some wobbling, particularly around the zip area. Zips, in the context of sewing, give me the fear a little bit. I dealt with this using beer, which had a very beneficial effect on my general sense of wellbeing, but not so much on the rectilinear nature of the seams.

I picked a pattern which purported to be Very Easy. It's Butterick 5180, and I would recommend it for other sewing numpties looking for a quick easy dress. There are only 4 pattern pieces, and I managed to join them all together in roughly the right places. It's not amazing, but my expectations were pretty low. There was a minor disaster when I pulled a thread turning it inside out, but this turned out to be fixable using only a knitting needle and some swearing. It's a very basic straight up, straight down shift dress with no shaping so is a bit baggy and not tremendously flattering. The pointy bits at the neck are a little floppy, possibly because the interfacing I used was too lightweight. And if I'd had enough common sense to centre the pattern around the neckline, it would have looked much better. But to be honest I'm just pleased that I managed to complete a wearable garment on a sewing machine without permanently attaching any of my fingers to it. Now, if you will excuse me, i'm off to put a jumper on...


Sunday, May 16, 2010

social knitting

So I've been working 9 to 5 recently *pours self cup of ambition* which unfortunately has been taking its toll somewhat on my knitting productivity. Throughout winter I commuted to faraway grim industrial estates, sitting zombielike in motorway traffic for hours before arriving home knackered in the evening, making lame attempts at parenting, then collapsing face down onto the sofa. But I recently started a new job in town, within cycling distance, which has all been working out rather nicely in these summer months. I feel energised, revitalised! The rubbishknitter-shaped dent in the sofa has gone! And working nearer home, I have a little more time in the evenings to devote to Fun Stuff. In this last week, I have quite literally been living the dream, by going to no less than three different knitting groups. THREE! I KNOW!!1!

So I've made a little more progress on the Tempest cardigan. I decided in the end to go for a monostripe around the waist, to get round the pooling issues. I know, i know - if i'd just followed the pattern as written to start with, and done the suggested stripe pattern, I'd have been fine. I'd like to say I've learned my lesson, but I doubt I have tbh - I have a long and messy history of failing to follow instructions, and meandering off along illadvised detours. I've done the back and two front sides now anyway, so I'm feeling a bit more along the road to having an actual garment. Just the sleeves and a loooad of finishing to do yet, so I'm probably about halfway. But the nice thing about this garment is that it's basically all been made whilst sitting and chatting, either at wonderwool or at knitting group. This is quite unusual for me, I generally knit alone in a darkened room slumped in front of the telly, so I like the way I can look at parts of the knitting and it reminds me of different people and places. Good times. Although I have to admit it's a little scary trying to concentrate on the tricky bits of the cardie whilst chatting. I was knitting in a cafe on Friday and noticed, just as I was about to attempt the armhole shaping, that they were playing Play with Fire by the Rolling Stones. It was so apt that a couple of stitches fell off my needles immediately, in deference. But I seem to have sorted it out and got to the end ok now... we'll see how the sleeves/seaming goes..

Oh, and I also celebrated the new job a little bit with another skein of Wollmeise. Ahem. Got a bit carried away with the cheeriness of the colour... oops. The colour is called 'Frühling'. (What a nice word - it feels so much more appropriate for acid green than 'Spring'.) I have no immediate plans for it - it just looked like a big ice lolly or something, I wanted to sink my teeth into it, but was worried they might go numb.