Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Xmas Curses

It's that time of year again. Yes I know Hallowe'en hasn't been and gone yet but apparently everyone needs to give us horribly gendered and ageist present recommendations! Yay for us!

Amazon thinks Mums like perfume, clothing accessories and easy listening. Dads just love bestselling electronics (illustrated with a Kindle - obviously a man thing), golf gear and whisky. Grandpas are the real losers, poor bastards, they get Crossword solvers, aftershave and socks. At least Grandmas get mystery books to enliven the umbrellas and foot care products. Umbrellas? Because every Grandma needs more than one. Stylin' it Granny needs one for every outfit.

Apparently as a Wife I like romantic comedy (you can fuck right off), earrings (ok, maybe, depending) and straighteners (er, no) and my Dear Husband would like a compact camera (only if he's allowed to take pictures of my arse with it), multi-tools (admittedly convenient for impromptu torture) and watches (er, no. Why does he need one when he has a mobile phone with the time on it? Who gives fuck if Pierce Brosnan is advertising it? Who the hell's Pierce Brosnan anyway?).

Hang on a moment...  it looks like Husband and Dad with their electronics are having a whole lot more spent on them than Wife And Mum. You bastards. Of course Grandma and Grandad can make do with stuff from the pound shop. They're old.

Fuck easy listening and romantic comedy. But not mystery books, they rock.


Please excuse me while I find a wall to beat my head against for a short while.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Day Trip. Another One.

This weekend Mara and I went to the Knitting and Stitching show with her new squeeze. MrK would have been bored out of his skull before we even got there but Mr. New Squeeze was interested and helpful and cheerful throughout. I may have to send MrK over for lessons. (Only joking. I don't really consider the inability to happily spend 6-7 hours at a knitting expo a flaw requiring correction.)

I managed to stay within budget by the clever tactic of leaving my card in the car and only having cash with me. This was my yarn haul:

Colour! Hurrah! I'm wondering what on earth to do with the gorgeous lace-weight silk in the bottom right that won't result in clown barf. Maybe I should keep the skein as pet yarn and just admire its lovely colours and stroke it occasionally, rather than knitting with it.

I also got a clever device called an umbrella swift which will take some, if not all, of the swearing out of winding yarn from the skein into a ball. For the non-yarnies among my readers a skein is what you see in the picture above where the yarn is twisted into a rope and round upon itself. When opened out that's like big loops of yarn and needs to be wound into a ball before it can be knit up. This process is not conducive to calm or air clear of F%&$!!!, at least not for me. The fancier the yarn the less likely it is to come already wound into balls like the one in the centre of the pic.

I need to buy a new yarn storage box. Again. Damn.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Lanesplitter skirt

I've finally finished my lovely red Lanesplitter skirt:

I'm really pleased with it, although it makes my little belly stick out a bit. Meh. I've made a fairly significant modification in my addition of the wide elastic waistband. The pattern says that you should pick up stitches from the top edge and knit a casing for elastic. I hate elastic casings with a passion - they are so monumentally unflattering even in a thin woven fabric. In a hand knit? Double yuck.

So I bought some extra wide elastic and measured round me so that it would be snug and a little bit cinchy (but not too much - I want to have space for pie and beer!) and cut it with a little bit extra so if I needed to undo it and expand it by half an inch or so later there would be space. I sewed it up on my sewing machine using a wide and short zig zag stitch:
Then I seamed the skirt using bodged mattress stitch. At this point I tried on my elastic waistband and my skirt to check there was nothing going horribly wrong. There wasn't. Hurrah! I then turned the skirt inside out and placed the elastic inside at the top edge. I decided against using my sewing machine on such a chunky, fuzzy and bumpy knit fabric so carefully handstitched the elastic to the skirt, easing the skirt to fit the smaller waistband as I went. I pinned it before sewing to keep the easing nice and even.
And that's it. Finished!

Although it's pictured here with the waistband on display I think I'll wear it mostly with a longer top. My waistband means I can wear it with a tight top if I want without having the wodge of a knitted casing at my waist. Now I want the autumn weather to return (we're having unseasonally warm weather here) so I can wear it with tights, my brown knee boots and a nice jumper or blouse. Or maybe combat boots... hmm... I'm off for a wardrobe rummage!