bananas in pyjamas

23 July 2011

Let us talk of pyjamas. I kind of… grew out of them. Wore them as a kid, yes. Wore them in college and in share houses, mostly out of courtesy to others. Stopped wearing them after that. And then I moved to a cold climate. I rediscovered pyjamas for winter. Nothing is toastier on a cold Canberra night in an unheated house than a piping hot shower, cosy pyjamas, a hot water bottle, and two doonas.

I made three pairs this winter – one for me, two for the mister. Even though we’ve now moved to a house with heating.


Mine are the yellow ones. All three used the excellent pants pattern in Sew La Ti Do.

This is the only sewing I’ve done in a long time. Why? Well, here is a picture is my wardrobe.

I have so many clothes, and I only just have enough space for them (not shown: the blanket box full of summer clothes and big jumpers, the summer dresses hanging in the spare room, and the coats hanging in the hallway). I’m running a one-in-one-out rule, which means if I want anything new, I have to let go of something old. And I like everything I own, so it’s really tough to let things go. So no new things for me for a while.



a long time knitting

10 July 2011

A long time ago in a city far away, I started a jacket.

Three years and three months later it’s finished.

It’s an interesting exercise to finish something that had a long hiatus in the middle of its making. I can see how much I’ve learnt in the interim.

For example, that knitting both fronts of a cardigan at once is a good idea, because then they are much more likely to be the same size and shape (even with aggressive blocking one of the fronts is shorter than the other).

And that yarns of different fibres will drape differently, which means if they are mixed up on one garment, unexpected things will happen. In this cardigan I used wool for the trim (the darker burgundy) and alpaca for the rest. The wool is heavier than the alpaca, so it tends to drag down the sleeves and the body. On the body I don’t mind so much as I like my tops long, but on the arms it has turned the bracelet-length sleeves into full-length ones.

Still, I like it enough to wear it. And I especially like the vintage buttons I found stashed away, which were the perfect colour for it. I’m not sure how old they are, except that they are advertised as ‘boilprooof’ (which would date them to a time when coppers were more common than washing machines) and marked in pre-decimal currency (which would date them to before 1966).

:: details ::

:: yarns :: Jo Sharp Classic DK (trim), Eki Riva Natal and Eki Riva Supreme Superbaby (main, held together)

:: pattern :: #21 Oxford Jacket by Joan Forgione, from Vogue Knitting, winter 2007-08

:: ravelry link :: because my wardrobe is too grey

:: inspired by :: Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall – definitely a cardigan to wear while swapping witticisms with Humphrey Bogart



23 June 2011

A jacket for my new nephew. Chunky and warm to keep out the cold Glasgow winds. Started on Bells’ deck on a 40 degree summer day, finished as winter closed in.

:: details ::

:: pattern :: Lino’s Coat from Lili Comme Tout

:: yarn :: Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12 ply

:: buttons :: japanese felt buttons from purl soho

green is beautiful

16 June 2011

Here is where it started, and now it is finished.

Green is not an easy colour for me. Most shades of green drain the life out of my face and make me look ill and tired. About the only shade that works is this bright olive shade, the colour of a new leaf. When I started this project,  it was election day, a long winter was grinding on, I had come to the end of a long project at work – green represented the idea that winter might end, that things might change, that there might be new things to work on.

And winter did end, and things changed in unexpected ways, and there are always, always, new things to work on.

I wanted this jumper to be a bit loose, a bit long, for dagging about the house with a pair of jeans. If I was making it again I would keep the sleeves narrower, and maybe not make it quite so long. And I do kind of wish I’d made it with a little more of a I-borrowed-this-from-my-boyfriend look, maybe with a v neck and no fancy edges.

The yarn was a disappointment. It was a bit splitty, a bit fluffy, and impossible to join or shape without the join showing. The neckline looks quite messy as a result.

More pictures and details follow.

Read the rest of this entry »

let’s fly

9 June 2011

One of my recurring themes is the project that is 99 per cent finished then languishes long because there is something that needs to be fixed that I don’t get around to doing.

This cape is the perfect example. It was 99 per cent finished in July last year, and I had a great time making it. The fabric (a beautiful thrifted wool that I was given by Sally) was a dream to work with.

I made welted pockets and sewed the button holes by hand.

And then I discovered that I had screwed up the lining. I trimmed it too short, then didn’t fix it properly to the hem (read, I was too lazy to do it properly), and surprise surprise, it looked terrible.

After 8 months, I gritted my teeth, cut out the lining, and made a new one, and this time fixed it to the hem properly. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better. And as soon as I wore it, I loved it.

It’s warm and stylish, perfect for cycling (wind-proof but leaves arms free, and no sweaty underarms). Perfect for walks in the woods. Perfect enough.


:: fabric :: thrifted and gifted 100% wool herringbone

:: pattern :: lindsey from BurdaStyle

:: modifications :: added welt pockets and changed the angle.


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