Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another SSC!

This one is possibly a bit loud, being printed all over, but I really like it.

The fabric is printed canvas from Spotlight, with 2 layers of calico in the body in between the two canvas layers. The buckles & webbing come from the Army Surplus Store and are much sturdier-feeling than the ones from Spotlight I used the first time. This time I padded the shoulder straps with 4 layers of fleece and that feels much cushier.

I think the pattern is a definite improvement on my first version (I swear the shoulder straps aren't angled unevenly, it's just the photo), but I still need to work on the construction technique. I tried to take some photos to create a basic tutorial but I forgot a few stages, so I'll see what I come up with.

I really should lay off the sewing until after exams now, though the knitting is good for short breaks from study. I need to make a carrier for my Carrier Bilby (like a secret swap we're doing on the Baby Carriers Down Under Google group, but that isn't 'due' for a few weeks yet. I also need to decide if I'm buying or making a dress for Tam's wedding.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yay! FO & WIP (knitting)

I finished 'Monica' for Emma:


- I altered the pattern to knit it in the round
- Yarn substitution: I used Debbie Bliss Cotton DK instead of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
- I shortened the frill

It looks short and squat in this photo, but it does fit quite well. The 3 rows of garter stitch at the bottom was NOT enough to stop the roll, so I might unpick the cast-on edge and add more. Obviously it still needs ends woven in and to be washed and blocked.

This is a present for a dear friend of mine. I don't want to go into details in case she reads this blog (might go over and post on my LJ in a friends-only entry). It's the first time I've knitted with a single-ply yarn and now I know what people were talking about when they say it makes the stockinette stitch look twisted! I quite like it though, and the yarn is lovely and soft. I really wanted Western Australian wool, but the yarn shop we were passing by (Yarns on Collie in Freo) didn't have any suitable WA yarn in the right colorus - this is from NZ. I knew I wouldn't get to any other yarn stores in time, so I went with it.

Anyway, this WIP has been my study-break knitting - it's perfect for that as it's simple, but the texture pattern breaks up any monotony, as does the intarsia (colour change). This is the first time I've done any kind of colourwork and I don't think it looks too bad.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

And some pants

Made from the Lightning Bugs & Other Mysteries range by Heather Ross. These are a great pair of summer pants for Alastair - a funky, comfy wide leg design in lightweight quilting cotton. I love co-ordinating quilting ranges like this.

I should have been studying, but I had a headache all day and it was easier to sew. (I know I should have ironed the crease out of the fabric, but I'm lazy like that.)

Emma's "Monica" knitted tank top is coming along nicely - the main body is finished and I am halfway through knitting the ruffle. Once that's done I just attach the two and work up some straps. I adapted the pattern to knit in the round, which is great except that for the ruffle I have 260 stitches on the needles, which gets a little tedious (though good mindless TV-watching knitting).

That OTHER domestic pursuit

I can knit, and sew. I can even cook (nothing spectacular but I can follow a recipe and construct basic ideas on my own). However, I have a black thumb - in general, anything I try to grow, dies.

Amazingly, we have some trees here that have survived my neglect. An orange and a plum tree out the front that fruit quite well (the plum tree only fruits every two years, so I did think it was dead for a while because it didn't flower that spring), and a custard apple tree out the back. The custard apple tree is quite fantastic really, because APPARENTLY custard apples aren't supposed to grow very well here - they're a tropical fruit and we're not in a tropical climate (I forget what we are - Mediterranean maybe). They sell for about $5 each in the fruit markets, and we grow ones that are three times that size.

I honestly didn't water any of those trees for about three years after we moved here. The two out the front kind of self-mulched, I think (lots of fallen leaves and whatnot). The custard apple tree didn't fruit well until it started getting more water, but it survived.

Anyway, last spring my dad planted six more fruit trees for me, and re-did the reticulation round the back so I could actually water them. I kept them alive for a whole year!! Two of them have fruit this spring. We just re-mulched them this week, so here are some photos to prove I CAN garden ... with a little help. (Just don't mention the rest of the garden!!)

THe left tree is a peacharine (peach/nectarine hybrid), which I thought I had killed, but seems to be only partly dead. It didn't flower until a few weeks ago. The new growth is shooting out the sides, though, so I might have to train it.
The right tree is lemonade (a hybrid variety of lemon that's apparently quite sweet). I don't know about this one, it hasn't grown much, but it's not dead!
The custard apple tree is just to the right of the lemon tree, it's quite big (was already mature when we bought this place 5 years ago).

The left tree, right in the shadow (the tree it's in the shadow of is just some random mid-sized tree, doesn't seem to flower or fruit at all), is grapefruit, no fruit yet. The middle one is the nectarine - lots of fruit, but something is eating the fruit and it has some leaf-curl thing going on. The right is mandarin, again no fruit yet.

This one is a plum tree (not the established one), and it has three plums on it - hurray! I think this is the healthiest, nothing seems to be eating it.

Here are some nectarines:

Stupid macro function, it was supposed to focus on the front ones. Oh well.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Op shop haul!

I was at the op shop finding some spring shorts for Alastair (he's between sizes at the moment so it makes a lot of sense to buy second-hand! We found a few good pairs too - Wikidz, Old Navy & Pumpkin Patch), and came across these funky vintage sewing patterns - 1974 originals!

The fabric is just a piece I picked up for a couple of dollars, but I don't know if it's big enough to make anything. I really need to ban myself from buying kiddie fabrics now and buy things in larger quantities that I can actually make grown-up clothes with.