Domestic Goddess


Whoa, I thought this was a knitting blog?!? Yes, it generally is. But I seem to be only able to knit when it’s proper freezing winter weather out there. Something about yarn, knitting, and dark nights that just go together. But now that the weather is lighter (bloody England, it’s been raining for a month straight!), I don’t feel like knitting as much. So I’m dusting off the ole sewing machine.

Today was a super crafty Sunday. There was sewing. There was gluing. There was the spending of a lot of money on crafts.

I woke up at 9, which meant one thing: I had 4 hours to make something on the sewing machine before my Honey woke up. Operation scour Pintrest. I’ve been wanting to refahion some old tee-shirts into a skirt for quite some time now, so when better than the present? I found this

  Here

And thought  “I have two shirts that I accidentally stained.  Let’s try it!”  Naturally the example is WAY nicer than what I managed to cut and sew together:

Two tee shirts to a skirt

I also decided to play with making fascinators.  I’ve been looking at various birdcage veils and fascinators, and didn’t see one that really stood out as what I wanted.  Plus, they were all crazy expensive.  Like, starting out at £40.  So I did some research and went to Hobbycraft, where I spent approx£10 on materials and voila, fascinator #1:

 

First fascinator

Now I’m just waiting for the veil fabric I ordered from online cheap fabric stores so I can work on the veil.  I haven’t decided if I want to make the veil separate and attach it to a comb, or if I want to attach it to the fascinator, or if I want to make the fascinator/veil combo a comb or clip.  Luckily, the flowers only cost £3, the combs £1, and I have enough feathers and diamontes to make probably 2-3 more.  I had and old fake pearl necklace break on a trip from Cambridge to Edinburgh, so I’m reusing those beads.   Heck, maybe after the wedding I can sell ’em!

I’m not really a seamstress, but I would like to be. And as much as I love knitting, it takes me about a month to make a jumper, cardigan, or lacy shawl.  But I do get that smug sense of satisfaction when I whip out a hat in a day.  And it seems like you can get the same sense of quick accomplishment with sewing.  Not that I’ve every made anything wearable.

But, I have been fiddling about.

Last year I bought myself a sewing machine as a Christmas pressie.  I played around with it and did the usual newbie crafts- I made pillow cases out of fat squares. Although I have to say I was pretty chuffed with my non-measured unpatterned experiment of the Union Jack.

I also refashioned a pair of leggings into a long sleeved shrug, which I thought was pretty creative and thrifty of me, but other than that, nada.

Then I got obsessed with buying cheap vintage kilts on ebay. I got one for like £2 and….it didn’t fit.  It was long enough by a mile, but it’s interpretation of a UK size 14 was not my body’s, so it just wouldn’t go around my waist.

That is, until I whipped out the sewing machine to try and see what I could do! I cut off the top waist band part, folded it down, made a new band, reattached the leather buckles, made some button hole slits, and voila! It was A line anyway, so by cutting about two inches off the top, it made the waist bigger to fit my wine belly.

Naturally I didn’t take any pictures of the waist, which is where all the refashion happened. Eejit. And I got super lucky because the pleats where already sewn in, but I was mighty chuffed with what I was able to do- things like button holes- that let me play with some of the functions on my machine.

Now I’ve done a whole slew of pressies for others, but those will have to wait until after Christmas!

The other night, My Honey was out late at Dr. School Christmas dinner/drinks event, leaving me all by my lonesome until well into the night.  So I did what the doting girlfriend does best- bake things.  Plus I’m super skint this year and wanted to test drive cookie recipes…because nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a bag of homemade fat and calories, lovingly tied up with red and gold sparkly ribbon. The evenings events? Gingerbread men. Voila.

Picture 002

Picture 004

Let me say, by the end of it, most of the gingerbread men were starting to take on the characteristics of a modernest abstract creation that got lost somewhere in between Dali and Pollock.  That and they were increasingly looking like either gingerbread ghots or gay  KKK mutant hybrids. Time to just stop and nom those bad boys.
Picture 003

In knitting news, I am quite surprised at how far I’m coming in Snow White . I’ve finished the body (up until the sleeve join) and an 2/3 finished with sleeve numero uno. The shocking thing is

1) how I’m still sane

2) how far I’ve come

3) that I might have a new sweater to wear in Scotland next week.

The sanity part though is really the kicker because let’s face it, this pattern is ALL 2×2 rib. Yeah, there’s some shaping in there, but really, for what it is, it’s ALL 2×2 rib, and I LOATHE endless ribbing.  Well, I hate knitting endless ribbing, but I love the slimming illusion it gives when you wear it- which is probably why I keep persevering. So hopefully, it all goes to plan, I will finish this sleeve no later than tomorrow and start the second.  That one I hope to be done with  on Friday or Sat.  Then depending on where I am, I will get the sleeves joined on and will either be done just in time to board the plane Sun. night, or will have to finish it all up en Ecosse.  Which of course means I’ll have time to work on ANOTHER jumper…hopefully this time with my wonderful gift voucher to k1 that my awesome awesome colleagues at the NLS gave me as a leaving pressie.  Booyah!

I’ve been majorly neglecting the knit blog for a while, as I am majorly reminded of everytime I see all those white numbers inbetween red ones on the right side of my blog’s calendar.  But I came down with a severe case of knitting ADD again, an even though I have birthdays coming up in addition to getting my x-mas knitting sorted, I still managed to convince myself that I was due some new me projects.

After finishing the Back to School vest, I still have 4 skeins of the redwood colour left plus all that blerg Salmon colour.   Now, apparently my mom was a bit put off when I told her my plans for the yarn and how I wasn’t too keen on the Salmon.  She accusingly asked me why I only boringly knit with one colour and that she purposely got those yarns for me (apart from them being on sale) because she visualised them working well together. I retored back that I an not skilled enough for fair isle knitting, leaving my only other option stripes.  And as any fashionista can tell you, horizontal stripes on a routund or curvy body is a big no-no; unless you want to purposely add 15 lbs to your tummy.

However, I’ve been vying to try the Two Toned ribbed shrug also found in my wonderful Fitted Knits.  And in less than a week, I was rocking this (and please excuse the headlights- who knew what the joys a flash pic could do when wearing the wrong bra?):

And I LOVE IT!  I’m even digging the retro colouring.  But unlike other shurgs I’ve found, this one does a great job of looking somewhat classy, due to the ribbed collar that flares out ever so subtly.  It also flares out around the girls, giving the illusion that you have a nice, slender, elegant neck and an ample bosom. Giggidy.

And thus, with one quickly project out of my system, I should have buckled down and focused on my birthday/x-mas lists, right?

Except that for the past 7 months I’ve been having visions of Owls by Kate Davies running around in my head.  I’ve even slowly (so so slowly ) been spending £6.25 a skein on nice, Rowan Chunky wool specifically for this project.   But I couldn’t bring myself to jump into a project such as Owls with expensive wool without having tested it out in a much crappier wool.

Solution?  Sacrifice an old finished project for a greater cause.

The hobbit cloke thing was the very very first think I ever knit what wasn’t a scarf.  But would I ever wear it? No.  And thus, it gave itself to 5 big balls of yarn.  I would just like to take a moment there to PRAISE Katie over at the Endless Cast-on for helping me so so much on figuring out this behemoth.   I managed fine until the increases because everyone on the Owls Ravelry group had pre-emptively scared me about the back poofing out.  After having my poofy back fears squelched, I went on and did two back increase and then moved the rest to the front.  And tried it on. And found it MASSIVE.  Well, not massive, but with quite a bit of give which I knew would only get exaggerated once the cables started happening.  So I ripped out get two increases in the back and two in the front.  And then realised that I had 4 more stitched for the XS and 4 few from being the S which I had started with.  And here’s the thing- I am NOT in any universe a small.  So a quick gauge check found that I was getting more like 3st an inch because this damn hobbit yarn is Megga Chunky.  So it’s hard as bull balls to knit with, and, until 6 inches ago, stiff enough to stand on it’s own.    So that is what is accounting for my switch to an xs, but also meant I had to magically make 4 sts go away.  Which I did on the sides.  Now I only have the arms to do before working on the cabling.

And lastly, this is just a rant because I got quite hacked off this afternoon looking for yeast.  You see, I’ve had this craving for pizza lately.  But homemade pizza- with olives and artichokes.  I have been dreaming of artichokes, and figured it was nigh time I do something about it.  I figured I could mix up the pizza dough and then pop out to the shops to get the toppings while it raised in a warm oven.  But it being my life, I was one tablespoon short of yeast.  No biggie, I’ll go to the BIG Scotmid that has everything under the sun for everything.  Negative.  The largest supermarket in the area didn’t have anything but olives and cheese.  Long story short, I had to go to 4 different bloody shops before finding one that sold yeast.  Dear Britain: almost 50% of all thing requiring flour also require yeast.  Maybe you should think about stocking some!

I also invented a sauce base for the pizza that was so damn good I ended up spreading it on toast to eat while the dough raised.

Half jar of artichoke hearts

Two big spoon fulls of mayo

Big ol’ spoonful of left over pesto I found

dollop of garlic olive oil ( couple weeks ago I crushed some garlic and added it to the olive oil jar)

Blend with blender or hand blender

OMFG! Absolute heaven.  I think I’m gonna have more toast with it on because I can’ t wait to eat it on a pizza.  Orgastically delicious!

Okay, so not a knitting post, but one that deals with me being a Little Miss Homemaker at the moment, so I felt it apropos.  While  wasting time researching other homemade crafts, I came upon the awesomeness of this shop on Etsy: Boojiboo

They have the CUTEST aprons EVER on there.  Now, I know that aprons in this day and age tend to harken back to a day of female restriction.  Did our mothers burn their bras and attend Woodstock so that we could toil away in a hot kitchen under the iron first of the apron and its pre-1960 semeotics?

But look how FREAKING CUTE THEY ARE!

Um, how can you NOT want one of these?  I’ll take 5, kthaxbai