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Rainbows everywhere!

20 Jan

Everything is colourful!

I chained my bike (the big turquoise one!) next to this tiny knit-bombed rainbow covered trike outside work last week. All around town these yarn-covered bikes have appeared, a lovely impromptu street art to brighten up our car-infested streets.

 

 

One of my costume lecturers is knitting these amazing sweater dresses out of 4-ply sock wool. She has made three so far, and by all accounts it is totally addictive, watching the colours change and grow. They are truly beautiful, light and colourful works of art! She keeps one in the car so she can knit wherever she finds a spare minute.

 

 

A whole basket full of 4-ply yarns ready to be knitted up. Irresistible!

 

 

Of course I couldn’t resist! I have a whole bunch of 4-ply wool in the stash myself, and socks are not my favourite thing to knit (I suffer dreadfully from ‘second-sock-syndrome’!). Tomorrow I am flying to Tasmania to visit my Mum for a few days, and this will be something to take along and keep my hands busy. That gold sparkly yarn will be in there somewhere, oh yes…

Pretty Little Herringbone Stitches

7 Jan

Herringbone stitches on the inside neckline

Although overlockers leave the insides of your garments looking neat and tidy and professionally finished, sometimes I feel it takes something away from the ‘feel’ of a handmade garment, especially one made from a vintage pattern or vintage fabric. I love looking at the insides of old garments and finding where the maker has left their personal touches – stitches to alter size, mend holes, or finish raw edges. Once upon a time someone took the time to sit down and finish all the unseen parts of their creation, little guessing that it would survive many decades for another seamstress to marvel at.

Herringbone stitches are particularly lovely. Originally a decorative stitch often used in embroidery, you can use it to finish a raw edge to stop it ravelling, or to hold up a hem securely. It works really well on loosely woven fabrics as well as it makes kind of a ‘net’ to hold the threads down.

 

Image from funfabrics.com

 

In the first picture I have used it to finish a strip of bias tape to the back of a neckline. Folding the tape under and slipstitching it proved to be too bulky and not pliable enough to curve around the sweetheart neckline, so I experimented with the herringbone stitch. I think it looks rather pretty! This dress, made from a 1940’s evening dress pattern (but in a much more daytime gingham), felt suited to a more handmade finish rather than having the insides overlocked. I think I might even pull out the pinking shears!

 

Fun fact: the German word for herringbone stitch is ‘hexenstich’ – literally, ‘witches stitch’. It does look a bit like old runes or pagan symbols, I think!

Washing Day

13 Oct

Lawn needs mowing, shed looks.... sheddy. Ah well! But how about that Hills Hoist?!

There is something about a sunny, slighty windy day in early Spring… hanging out the washing is just a lovely thing to do.

It’s one of my favourites chores anyway; damp clean clothes fresh out of the machine, standing in the sunshine and enjoying the day as you hang them up. The satisfying way you snap the fabric when it’s wet and the wrinkles fall out. The eye-catching colour combinations you get when you hang some pink undies next to a yellow blouse, or a green bit of fabric.

All clean and dry and ready to go into the stash!

Even better is taking it all down again. Satisfyingly sun-warmed sheets, soft dry t-shirts, lengths of fabric ready to be sewn up. Folding things into neat stacks. I probably sound a bit silly waxing lyrical about doing the washing, but hey, it’s the little things, right?