Thursday, December 28, 2006

Time to Start Thinking Costume

I have eaten too much I think, to the point where I feel very bloated and full even though I've barely eaten this morning. After a few days of very little activity and much food, I'm beginning to go stir crazy so this afternoon with my mobility returning I'm off to hit the sales. Eeep!

I believe it is time for retail therapy.

And what is on my shopping list... Buttons!

And trim, something sparkly.

And yarn.

And should a miracle strike so that I find something suitable, fabric would also be nice. :)

Yesterday afternoon I got out the original pattern for a jacket drafted for me a few years ago by Esther and began modifying it again. I like this modifying lark, you take a pattern you know is about right fit wise then tweak it so it's something completely different. I've added in a little ease, sloped the centre front and back to a point and opened up the collar a little.

At that point I had to give up as my knee was threatening dire consequences if I didn't get off the floor, but that leaves me with the skirt (for this jacket) to draft and then the sleeves. The skirt is going to be full, in a masculine style reminiscent of early 18c frock coats. It will have deep pleats at the side and buttons to attach the front to the back. I'm even considering pockets which will be a first for me.

The sleeves I'm stuck on; they should have full, deep cuffs but if I do then I'll never get the coat I want to wear over the top on. This is me being practical as always and taking into account the fact that the costume will be worn outdoors so at some point the weather will demand I wear a coat. At the moment I'm stuck for ideas on alternatives to deep cuffs which will go with a riding jacket in the style of a men's frock coat. I could just skip the cuffs and sew decorative banding around the wrist opening I guess... I still need to think about this.

I washed the hideous pink silk yesterday and it still looks as horrible as ever. Perfect really. Dave says its eye watering, but I think that applied as a lining to the skirt and front panels of the jacket it will be perfect. I need to find a similar weight cotton/linen for the back and sleeves though. After all what could be more stylish than chocolate brown moleskin with pink diamond check silk?

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Today is the winter solstice and given how bad the weather is out there, I barely noticed as the light levels today have been generally poor.

The fog which arrived on Tuesday is still here, with freezing conditions and poor visibility the theme out and about today. I forgot to wear a hat so my ears were soon lost to me and even with gloves on, my fingers went numb. I just stuck my head outside to pay the vegetable man and it's eerie seeing a road full of cloud, with little patches illuminated by steet lamps.

Eerie and cold.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Not quite what I expected

I finished my first every crocheted hat last night, part of my ongoing project to learn to make more than square things and follow patterns.

I was making one of the hats out of the Happy Hooker book and despite checking the tension/guage or whatever you call it first, the end result was huge! It looks like a hat alright, but for someone with a significantly bigger head than either myself or Dave. This could just be that we both have small heads of course, but it does highlight one critism of the book, i.e. that I didn't see any instructions for sizing up or down patterns.

After laughing at the result of a week's labour, I was both disappointed and pleased. Disappointed because the hat seems to be mishaped along the join seam between rows and is obvious far too big. Pleased, because I did finish it, it was recognisable for what it was and I had followed a pattern.

The mishapen bit may have worked out if I blocked it, but a wooly hat is never something I've really considered as suitable for blocking. Or it could be one of those things which would pull into shape once put around someone's head, if either of us had a head big enough to fit it. Alternatively, maybe the yarn was wrong; being an American book it calls for 'worsted' weight which I think equates to Aran in the UK... But I didn't have any, so opted for good old DK instead.

One to put down to a learning experience I think and it will be passed along to a charity shop in the new year. :)

At the moment, I'm also thinking about small crochet projects I could take with me down to Cornwall. I'm also intending to pack a pair of knitting needles, since I really do need to give it a go again. Either would mean I have something to do while listening to Dave and his sister frothing about Maelstrom, which I expect them to do at length.