Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Pride and Prejumice

I've had a head cold which I am now very nearly over. It really knocked me sideways though, so I haven't been getting much done the last couple of weeks.

I have, however, started on a project to make Alan Dart mice to a Pride and Prejudice theme. Lizzy, Darcy and Jane are all underway and going well - I'm a bit puzzled about what to use for Bingley though. The patterns I'm using are:

Darcy - Mostly the Ringmaster from Cirque de Souris, but using hose legs rather than trouser legs, plus a neckband from Harvest Mice and an improvised cravat. He actually stands up rather well - much better than most of my other male mice.

Lizzy - Basic dress body but with the waist level raised two rows and a two-row garter stitch edging. I used the bonnet from Dickensian Mice, the skirt frill from the May Queen in May Day Mice, and the arms are based on Jill's from Nursery Rhyme Mice. Improvised reticule.

Jane - Dress same as Lizzy's. I used Little Bo-Peep's bonnet from Nursery Rhyme Mice and arms based on the May Queen in May Day Mice.

After that I'm planning on a couple of Oliver Twist mice - Fagin and the Artful Dodger. And a few ideas for an Hercule Poirot mouse have been floating around recently...

Other projects? Stuff that, I'm making mice.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Defining 'stash'

I have a very small yarn stash.

Those of you who have seen my yarn stash are probably thinking I need some psychiatric help about now. Or maybe glasses.

The thing is, although I do have some quite a bit of lots of yarn, not all of it is Stash.

Herewith are presented my rules for stash definition:

1. Any yarn bought for a specific project is not in the stash. This applies even if I have since decided not to make the project. Sooner or later the yarn will find another project.

2. Any yarn bought without a specific project in mind but with a definite intention of using it to make one is not in the stash.

3. Partially used balls from a previous project are not stash. They are leftovers. The only exception to this is if there are also spare balls of the same yarn. Spare balls are counted as stash.

4. Any yarn which would ordinarily be counted as stash, but is too expensive/rare/attractive to be stash, is not stash.

You get the idea.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Penelope day

Remember Penelope, from Greek mythology? She was Odysseus' wife, left behind while he went off to Troy and was away for twenty years. She was under quite a lot of pressure to re-marry, as Odysseus was 'presumed dead', but Penelope was a cunning lady herself and managed to play for time. Her strategy was to announce that she would choose another husband only after she had finished weaving a shroud in memory of Odysseus, and every day she worked on her loom. And then every night she unpicked her day's work.

I was reminded of Penelope when I spent all last evening crocheting a hat, only to realise when I finished it that I had made a mistake in the second round, thus completely ruining the stitch count and size, and so had to unravel the entire. darn. thing.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Commercial break*

Hear ye, dressmakers of Australia.

I know many of you don't like Spotlight very much. A lot of the time I agree with you. It's certainly no substitute for the many Little Fabric Shops that have gone under from financial pressures.

But I'm here to tell you, they have the BEST product I have ever found for dressmaking toiles: Trace and Toile Interfacing.

You trace the pattern on to the interfacing. Then you cut out the pattern pieces in the interfacing, and sew up the garment in the interfacing (using a good big stitch). Try it on. If you need adjustments, you mark it on the toile - which means you are marking it directly on the pattern! Unpick the seams at the end, and voila, you have a pattern already altered to fit.

I found it pins and sews beautifully, without tearing or stretching, and isn't too stiff when fitting it on the body. This is definitely one product I'll be keeping around.

*This is a completely gratuitous recommendation of a product. Spotlight have not given me any incentives to write this entry. However if they would like to send me free stuff or filthy lucre they are welcome to.