Proudly Presenting: Celtica


Very proudly presenting Celtica today! Or should this post be called “Surprised about the merits of Negative Ease”? There is a lot to be said about finally finishing this intricate project. Let me not rant on and on, I put it in bullet points for you:

  • There was the issue of gauge, since I used a different yarn to what was specified in the pattern, this had to be accurate and I re-knitted the skirt (fronts and back in one piece) twice when I found that my version was too small
  • There was the issue of cable placement as I re-knitted this jacket and realized that it would look horrible with 2 half cables from armhole upwards, so I redesigned the cables and added the slim one at the centre front.
  • I knitted the sleeves top down, picking up stitches around the armhole and shaping the fitted sleeve with short rows. I knitted the first sleeve head 5 times, modifying the short row technique, and then I gave up – it is what it is. I love the shape, but since the sleeves use the purl side of the stocking stitch as the right side, there was no neater way to do short rows and knitting stitches together than what I came up with.
  • Buttons: I raided my extensive collection of buttons and found real treasures, but never 7 of one kind! I did not have time to go to the amazing button shop, and part of me resented that idea – having the said button treasure in my shed… so I tried to make buttons… decided none of them were working… and settled for a mixture of suitable buttons – I think it works.
  • The shawl collar is knitted in, as is the button stand – and I finished it all off by knitting a 3 sts i-cord around the entire jacket. Looks smart.
  • Finally – when I did put the jacket on – it was gaping about 2″ at the front. Shock, Horror! This is too small! But no, it’s Negative ease in action. This jacket fits like a glove, caresses me ceaselessly on cold mornings and is made for me.

Here is the button thought experiment in pictures: all sorts of lovely stuff… could I mix and match?DSCN8269

Here is a Dorset Button (right: made at the Knitters Guild some months ago) and one I made following a tutorial on Kate Davis’ blog (left) some time ago:DSCN8270

Then three samples trying to make it work for this particular jacket. But I decided that buttons in the same color would look drab. I did not have any other color that would look good… by this time I realized that any hand made button ought to be in a satin or silk finish.DSCN8268

And voila – a dog thinking I was setting up a photo shoot to show off his new, radical hair cut: “This is a nice and sunny spot for it, Mum!”DSCN8265

“And thanks for using your new jacket for it!”DSCN8266

“Even if you are finished now, I might just continue napping, ok?”DSCN8267

And what else? New ideas are overflowing my brain… a new project has been cast on. Not sure what it will end up being, so I will post something, once I have survived this experimental phase.

Life is certainly good. There is so much going on with 4 kids – it’s great. We all love the dynamics! I must make a photo of what happens in our kitchen in the mornings – lunch box assembly, breakfast orders, sock and school uniform hunts and last minute notes to be signed.

The evenings are no less busy. 4 kids in the study in various stages of doing homework, discussing maths, drama, parliament or history – playing music of any kind. Patrick coming and going to and from band rehearsals of any kind, me forever disappearing to Tai Chi/ Yoga or other classes or P&C meetings. In between countless lot’s of laundry processed (primarily by the children), afternoon teas being produced, consumed and the debris left in the kitchen, dinners produced and washing up piled in the kitchen sink. And whenever I think that now I have a moment peace to do some work or play – another trip to the shops to buy more food!

Patrick has put the window frames into the downstairs room and today the bloke is coming to put the glass in! So that is still ticking along. I have chosen curtain fabric and ought to go and look at it and purchase and sew.

Happy Days.





New Pursuits… and other things that make me happy

I have forever wanted to learn to screen print! I am fascinated by textures and patterns, their rhythm and moods… It has occurred to me many times that screen printing is a lot faster than sewing bits of fabric together to achieve a pattern…Not sure why it turned (in my mind only…) into a ‘bigger than Ben Hur’ type thing. Maybe I thought it is rocket science, or that I need to purchase a huge amount of equipment to get started… So all of a sudden things fell into place. It started with my son mentioning that he’d love to sell some T-shirts and that he is looking into screen printing. I thought courses he is looking into, but no, he was looking into a company that would print his designs. By the time we had cleared up this little misunderstanding, I had already enrolled in a one day course at the local community college. Voila:     DSCN7640

This was achieved in 3 hours in the lovely studio! I got inspired by this fairly basic goat (?) that I spotted somewhere, did a quick hand drawing, transferred the drawing on the ezicut paper, selected my frame and my color – DONE! There is so much to learn… I am really inspired to explore this further… so if I am organised with work, I may be able to skip Tuesdays and print!

But wait, there is more! Here are my feeble attempts at gardening. I am so over buying lettuce and herbs in the shops! Again, why was it sooo very hard? I wasn’t sure if I would stay interested, nor if the plants would survive my scatty memory (watering in this heat!), the possums, my judgement of a good place for a small garden in terms of light and so forth… so I took a ‘no investment – no pain at failure’ approach and planted all this in yogurt pots. I can move them around and they are free!

DSCN7625The parsley has not survived the possums! And all of a sudden this felt very easy and I went as far as investing into a seed tray and sowed a whole heap of herbs! And I bought parsley – it goes behind locked doors (laundry) at night!DSCN7643 And as you can see, I have re-instated the compost bin (background).

And here some pics of things that make me happy: a gorgeous hibiscus from Justine that still has not been re-potted

DSCN7641Lilys going mad in my lounge room and spreading their wonderful scent.

DSCN7642A pair of Tanwy Frog mouthsDSCN7621 right in front of my door step!

And here some organizational fun, a copious amount of random buttons finding friendsDSCN7636 .DSCN7635DSCN7637