Vintage Knitting, Retro Dressmaking, Make do and Mend, Original and Vintage Inspired Knitting Patterns, Vintage Inspired books

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thank you secret pal

I received a wonderful parcel today from my lovely secret pal from Finland. Thank you so much Eeva. I was very worried when I first saw the package as there was a sticker attached to it from the Royal Mail apologising for damaging the package and they hoped nothing was broken or missing! But when I opened it everything was intact and present.

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At the front is Drops Alpaca from Garn studio, I've never had any of their yarn before and I'm so excited. There are also two skeins of Lanka Pirkanmaan which is a pure wool produced in Finland

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There is also a beautifully scented natural soap called Forest Magic with this beautiful write up on the back:

"All seasons of the year are magic in the forest. Each season has its own special smells, colours, and music. My favorites are the fall and spring. Fir trees have a special scent, almost as if they are getting ready to slow down for the winter. Sap runs more slowly as the cold weather approaches...."

In addition to these wonderful presents there is also this wonderful wooden fox

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Such a great idea, you put it on the edge of a saucepan to hold the lid up to let the steam escape. I love it.

Finally there is a beautiful wooden charm necklace that I'm wearing now and forgot to photograph but is gorgeous and will photograph next time. You can just see it in the first photo.

Thank you again secret pal.

I went into the garden at the weekend and took some photos of the garden before it goes to sleep.

This is my little oak tree now one year old

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Hopefully he will be here long after I have gone. The garden has been a building site for a whole year now and yet nature still finds a way. This plant/weed - don't know which - had found a place to grow amongst the debris

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and this lovely dandelion clock looking absolutely perfect

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I treated myself to two skeins of this gorgeous yarn by mirasolperu called Hacho. Its 100% hand dyed merino wool spun in Peru. A portion of each sale goes towards the funding of a school in a remote part of Peru. There's something about the colours that despite them being olive and sage greens, mustard and gold they seem bright and summery as the sun is shining through them, especially when photographed on this cool piece of 1970's fabric from my stash.

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Plans now afoot for all manner of lovely things.

for now
Ruby xx

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Knit a poppy

This last week has just gone by so quick - I can't believe its over a week since I last blogged. And to be honest I haven't got a lot that I can show as yet. I have been working on my sketches and swatches to send to Knitscene. I'm really concerned how long it might take for my package to reach them, I just hope it gets there on time.

One thing I am able to show however is my poppy brooch that I have designed for knitonthenet's Knit a Poppy campaign. It is in support of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal and I'm thrilled to have had the chance to do something to help. The download pattern only costs £2.00 with all proceeds going to the Poppy Appeal.

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Remembrance Sunday on November 11th has meant a lot to me all my life. Both my granddads where in the Second World War. My 'Albert' granddad - married to Ruby - was only 18 when he was conscripted. He couldn't even read or write and had never been out of Liverpool before and was taken away from his family for five whole years. My 'Billy' granddad became a prisoner of war and after many escapades eventually returned home with his hair white. My great grandfather was killed during the First World War after the ship he served on was sunk. I have always thought it important to remember and to learn.

The pattern uses double knit yarn and is great for using up scraps. You could be really flamboyant and add extra petals or knit the same pattern using bigger needles and chunkier yarn and have a huge fab poppy. I've added black sequins in the centre to look like sparkly poppy seeds, but you can keep it plain if you prefer, and it can easily be completed in a couple of hours - so why not make one for everyone you know!

for now,
Ruby xx

Sunday, October 14, 2007 always a day away

No matter how hard I try, whenever I say I'll blog tomorrow - I don't. Well, can't. Something always happens which stops me blogging for days. So I'm never going to promise to blog tomorrow again.

My lovely finished Phyllo has been worn and admired. Here she is:

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I'm just so pleased with it, the fit is perfect, the length is perfect, and I love, love, love the yoke

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I don't even mind the stocking stitch edge. It somehow seems to fit in with the design. I wanted to completely give myself over to a pattern without making any adjustments, even minor ones, and see how successful it was. I knew I could trust Norah.

I have also finished the back and part way up the front of Sloppy Joe

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Not quite as quick a knit as you might imagine, as you have to use a cable needle to twist the dropped stitches round each other, which is kinda fiddly and slow, but the finished result is lovely. The Rowan Cocoon yarn is just gorgeous and I'm already thinking what I can use it for next. However, its not the most exciting garment to photograph at the moment, so I will probably leave it till a big reveal when its finished.

I have yet to cast on tree jacket for the sexy knitters KAL, as can't decide on yarn, likewise the silver belle KAL which I've also joined as I haven't enough of the yarn I was going to use, particularly as I'm going to make it longer.

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I have also signed up to Wardrobe Refashion for two months. If you don't know about it let me explain. You pledge not to buy anything new (there are certain exceptions - footwear and handcrafted items - you can also buy yarn and fabric) and make or refashion what you need for whatever period you sign up for. I joined last week for two months and have found that it is making me not buy. Which is really, really good as finances are a bit tight at the moment. It will also finish early December so I can treat myself to a christmas dress. Saying that I may make this one if I can find anywhere that stocks the pattern.

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Its from blue sky alpacas but I can't find it at any of the UK stockists that I know about. If anyone knows where I can get it do let me know.

Otherwise, I'm working on an idea based on this gorgeous dress by Nicole Farhi.

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I have a plain black jersey dress which could be refashioned into this dress very easily and may very well mean I don't even need to buy anything for christmas.

I'm also working on some submission ideas for Knitscene and Interweave but obviously, can't share these. Really like them though, hope they do too.
I've also got at least one design to get finished for knitonthenet but am not quite there yet. In the immortal words of Clive Dunne, "Don't panic Captain Mainwaring. Don't panic!"

for now
Ruby xx

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

As time goes by

Can't believe a week has passed and I haven't had chance to post. I have finished projects and new projects to show but will have to wait until tomorrow as TLC (Teens Love Craft Club) has moved to Tuesday night for one week only. I will hopefully have some photos of their fab projects aswell.

I have completed Phyllo and am half way up the back on Sloppy Joe. I have also been having a stash sort and have over three bin bags full of yarn to sell/swap. I am putting a list together tomorrow.

I am going to cast on tree jacket tonight for the Sexy Knitters latest Kal. After reading Robin's blog I'm going to make the neck a good inch shorter as she suggests.

until tomorrow
Ruby xx

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want...

is to craft if I want to.

I'm sure most of you already know about this particular yarnstorm but if you haven't read about it I encourage you to leave my blog (temporarily, of course) and go take a look, and then don't let the Telegraph tell us what we want to do. I love Jane's blog and am affronted at everything the journalist has written but would rather express my opinion as Jane herself has.

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Gastro porn apparently. An egg custard to you and I.

Its so simple. I use frozen shortcrust pastry and make two custards at a time.
Earlier on in the day I roll out the pastry, line two pastry dishes and bake both blind for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Remove baking beans.

To make the custard, break 4 large free range eggs and whisk.
Bring a pint of full cream milk and 4 tablespoons of unrefined golden caster sugar to the boil.
Pour over the eggs and whisk again. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Pour equally into the two cases.
Grate some fresh nutmeg over each custard.
Return to the oven at same temperature for approximately another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool.

And that's it.

I also made a brioche loaf (using my bread machine!) and boy was it good.

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I've also been knitting away at Phyllo and am nearing the end of the second sleeve. As everything to this point has been stocking stitch I haven't bothered taking any more photos yet. Either later tonight or tomorrow I should be picking up the stitches for the yoke and things get more interesting.

I have also treated myself to Rowan's new yarn Cocoon which is just lovely, with a similar feel and tension to Polar. Its very very soft but with a little mohair in it to strengthen it up and stop it from pilling in the way that Polar did. I'm feeling good about it at this point.

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I bought it after buying the latest Rowan studio book (book 6) and falling in love with this 'Sloppy Joe'

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Just the sweater I need right now and should knit up really quickly. Not that I should be casting on anything else right now, but when has that ever stopped any of us?

The sexy knitters latest project has also just been decided on and its Tree Jacket from Zephyr style which I've been fancying for a while.

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I have a large stash of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk aran from the John Lewis sale which would be just perfect. I can't seem to get a good photo of the colour though so I'll try again once I have cast on.

I also love the model's hair do and must have a go

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Isn't it lovely?

for now
Ruby xx