Monthly Archives: August 2013

Video-Logging Meme: Blog Voices

Completely unrelated to sewing or knitting, except by virtue of the fact that this is a meme that is going around the sewing blogworld for the second time and I want to play!

The idea is that you read out the list of words and answer the questions on video so that your readers can hear what your speaking voice and accent sounds like. I should warn you that the lighting on this video isn’t great, but it’s do-able.

I always hate hearing my own voice played back at me. It’s always lower-pitched and a good notch posher than the voice I hear coming out of my mouth in real-time. I am from Birmingham (UK) and have lived the vast majority of my life here, barring the four years that I was at University in the North-East of England. Neither of my parents are from here, though, and I was always bullied at school for sounding posh – to the extent that in my early teens, I made a conscious attempt to shorten my vowel sounds from the southern “baaarth” to the northern “bath”, something that has stuck.

So whilst I daresay that there’s the odd twinge of Brummie on occasion, I really don’t sound like I come from where I do!

Jonathan has lived all over the country and also has a relatively generic British accent, although his vocabulary and occasional pronunciation do have a healthy dose of West Yorkshire mixed in with them from his dad’s side of the family (Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred, etc.). Inevitably that’s had a bit of an influence on me, and it probably will on any future kids too.

So, here we go!

The words are:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And these are the questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?



I was considering calling this post “FO: Refashioned Tee”, but then decided that “FO” and “refashioned” were both slightly grand terms for what I have just done, which is essentially taking in the side seams on a bought t-shirt.*

Anyhow. Here is the original t-shirt which I bought from a stall at Camden Lock in June:

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I loved the print too much not to buy one, but the shirts were ‘one size fits all’ with a couple of different cuts to choose from. This particular cut had more fabric to play with – the problem is that its profile was shaped like 1), whereas my figure is more shaped like 2):

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So what I did is that I placed my kimono tee pattern over the front and used that to mark out a new seamline on front and back. In order to give myself a bit more ease at the hips, I used this tutorial from BurdaStyle to create neat slits at the side seams, using scraps of interfacing as my ‘facing fabric’.

And the result? Well, I now have a t-shirt which I can wear! The fit at the back isn’t great but it’s eminently wearable and I’m afraid I couldn’t be bothered to do anything about that – I couldn’t even be bothered to change my sewing machine thread from beige to ivory!

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Sorry for the lack of ‘good’ photos, by the way. That sort of thing just isn’t where it’s at at the minute either.


*We decided at a knitting evening last night that I am an ISTJ. Can you tell?!

Fibre Flurry 2013!

I’ll be going to my first yarn/fibre festival this October, and I’m so excited!


Fibre Flurry is run by a friend of mine, and it’s been a real education seeing how much work goes in behind the scenes and how many different things have to be thought about.

After months of preparation already, the tickets have now been released along with the comprehensive list of workshops available. I’ve signed up for Beginner’s Spindle Spinning, but if I had unlimited finances I would totally be doing Stranded Knitting, Steeking, and Chart Magic too.

A girl needs to save up for pretty yarns, though, right?

As the festival is spread over two days, there is Saturday night entertainment in the form of the Fibre Flurry Frolick – a meal, competitions, live music, fundraising for p/hop and QEHB Charities, and a talk from none other than Amy Singer, the founder of .

Are you excited? I’m excited! A knitting, crochet and fibre festival, right on my doorstep! Will I see any of you there?

For those wondering – yes, Fibre Flurry is run by a friend. No, I am not getting paid for this post (or indeed any kickback other than possibly a bit of pizza when I go round tonight). Yes, of course I want to see her do well. But Fibre Flurry stands up for itself – this is K’s third time at running the event and it would not be where it is today without people attending, enjoying it, and crucially, coming back for more fibre-y goodness 🙂

Lesson Learned

I can be a bit of a glutton, especially when it comes to fabric.

Even after everything that happened with Minerva’s a fortnight ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about my tan jersey and its luscious handle. I kept thinking what a perfect match it would be for Vogue 1329, perhaps paired with a beige contrast. I kept salivating over the thought of a navy shift dress in the same soft, smooth, weighty jersey…

Well you know what happened, don’t you. I decided to risk it, ordering through the eBay shop this time so at least I’d have Buyer Protection. I opened the package and… it was the really crappy stuff. Bummer.

Then I got confused. Maybe it’s the tan fabric that they got wrong (to my benefit) in the first order. So I went back to the website again, and zoomed in on the pictures in detail. And look what I found. Click on the images below and it’ll hopefully bring up the full size versions.

beige tan

Look closely at the weaves. I know that computer monitors can play tricks and stuff but those are two different fabrics, right? Yet the website descriptions are exactly the same: “The most fabulous quality Morgan Crepe Jersey. A blend of Polyester, Viscose and Lycra, this medium-heavy weight jersey is perfect for skirts, dresses, jackets and more!”

After discovering this morning that eBay Buyer Protection isn’t worth the storage bytes that the title occupies, I’m just sucking up the wasted postage costs and sending the whole lot back (along with the polyester print that was cut so far off grain that there was only 88cm usable fabric in the metre:

IMG_6707 (600 x 450)

I’m sorry guys but there’s no excuse for that, especially in a fabric that is eminently snip-and-rip-able.)

That’s a part of me which is tempted to call Trade Descriptions on their asses, but at this stage I really can’t be bothered. I can say this with authority, though: I will never, ever be ordering from Minerva’s ever again.

Letting Go

The inlaws are visiting next weekend.

Actually, that opening sentence with a full paragraph of its own is more there for comedic effect than an indication of any actual trepidation. I like my inlaws a lot and am really looking forward to spending some time with them because we don’t get to see them nearly as much as we do my parents.

However the sleeping arrangements that their visit will necessitate do mean that Jonathan and I are spending this weekend having something of a blitz on the house, of the deep-clean and proper sort-out variety (rather than the “ah, that lot can go into a pile for now” variety that happens most of the rest of the time).

All of this is a rather convoluted way to say that I discovered my second knitting project ever, my Fae Folk Hat amongst the pile of textiles in our bedroom.

Now let me say first that I loved this pattern when I started it, and I still do. It’s a quirky hat, designed for all sizes from newborn to adult, and all of the finished projects that I’ve seen strike that wonderful balance between whimsicality and practicality. Below is Carina Spencer’s project photo for her adult version, and, well, how could you not fall in love?

Photo from Ravelry

The problem is that when I knitted it, it was my second ever knitted thing. I used Artesano Aran in two shades – Sunset and Maple – and calculated the lengths exactly so that I’d end up with a perfectly mathematical, visually random striping effect leading from a predominance of Maple at the bottom to Sunset at the top. I also decided that as cute as the pixie crown was, I was a grown woman and might possibly be better with a standard rounded top to my hat.

I hadn’t realised that yarn requirements are often overestimated, so the colours didn’t work out as intended. I was a bit of a twit newbie knitter and didn’t add evenly worked height into the hat where I’d taken out the decrease rows for the pixie crown. My ribbing sagged out (what can you say, it’s alpaca…) and I ended up with prominent gaps at the stitch markers.

It doesn’t even fit onto my head properly, so wouldn’t keep me very warm without constant tugging down over the ears. In the long term, I am very loathe to call this hat a success.

IMG_6537 (600 x 450) IMG_6539 (600 x 450) IMG_6540 (600 x 450)

I am placing these shots here for posterity, and I am going to be brave. I am going to place my second ever knitted FO into the rag bag for the charity shop*.

All of that said? I’d really like to knit the pattern again at some point, ‘cos it is friggin’ cute.


*Charity shops in the UK can get £5 per bag of textile waste that goes to recycling.

WIP Detail Shot #6

I’ve been doing some sewing today, and I’m feeling pretty proud even if I do say so myself:

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intersection of corners

IMG_6704 (600 x 450)

mock French seams



We interrupt your (not-so-)regularly-scheduled crafting blogging to bring you a link to this, an eloquent and 100% spot-on post from So I Might Be Wrong.

I did say to myself that I wanted to keep this blog free from personal ruminations and health issues, but… there are people now following this blog who don’t know me in real life and who didn’t read my old blog, and along with my ‘About’ page, Alison’s post provides something of an explanation of myself also.

I can’t think of a sensible way to finish this, so I’m just going to hit ‘Publish’ 🙂