Sunday 27 April 2014

Mandala Madness!

Finally... I have finished my mandala!

It took me a lot longer than it should have - it's a very quick easy project.  I just stopped and didn't get back into it for ages.

I'd seen mandalas all over the blogs for so long.  I'd thought they were pretty, but didn't know what I'd do with one.  Then I saw my friend Anna's beautiful large mandala/Christmas doily here.  I fell in love!  Check it out, it's amazing!

I decided it was time to attempt a mandala, but I needed a helping hand, so I started with this pattern: the Little Spring Mandala from 'Made in K-Town'.  It's a great pattern, easy to follow.

I followed the pattern up to and including round 7 (but for round 6, I just did 6a not 6b).  At this point in the Little Spring Mandala pattern, you would do the final two rounds (8 and 9) which make the border/edging.  I added four more rounds before going onto those two edging rounds - just to make it a bit larger.

I'm still not quite sure what to do with it!  But I do like it...

I expect I will keep moving it around...

Setting up random arrangements to photograph...

"I sense a blog post coming on" said the Lumberjack as I fannied about doing that!

One more for luck...

I used a random collection of leftover yarn:

  • Bamboo Ewe - 5410 Mercury (leftover from my Sidewalk Shawl)
  • Stylecraft Special DK - Aspen
  • Random white DK (that I've had since I decided I was going to knit a jumper when I was 13 and didn't finish it, despite assuring my mum that I definitely would if she bought the yarn - bad daughter!)
  • Stylecraft Special DK - Pomegranate

I will link up to Chrissie Craft's Mand-a-Long - if I'm not too late.  Better go and find the post and check that out...

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Pretty Things

Thanks for the comments on my clothes sewing - you are all so kind!  I'm still researching and thinking about what to make.  I do a lot of thinking and not a lot of doing!!  I should just get on with it - if it looks rubbish and I don't wear it, it's not the end of the world - at least it'll be some sewing experience.

In the meantime, I've been attempting to snap some pretty pictures...

The table laid (well, partly - where is the cutlery?!) on Sunday for some tea and homemade scones with clotted cream and rhubarb and ginger jam.


Flowers in the garden...

I love tulips!

Aren't bulbs amazing?  They just spring up, year after year, without any effort or care.  (My kind of plant!)  These were all sewn by the old couple who used to own our house.  There are so many grape hyacinths - huge patches of purple all over the garden!  Beautiful.

These tulips are shown off nicely by the backdrop of a lovely new fence the Lumberjack put up with our neighbour on Saturday morning.

There used to be a lot of tall bushes between our gardens at this side (the house end) of the garden.  They were on our neighbour's side, and they got rid of them all to create more space their side - which left things completely open.  Before you knew it the men had got together, bought some timber and put the fence up!  Above are pictures of just the frame, then the finished fence - I was very impressed.  (I didn't get a photo before the frame went up, but I don't think it takes much of a stretch of imagination to picture it!)

And as if fence building wasn't enough (and as if my scones weren't enough!) the Lumberjack decided to make a bread and butter pudding on Sunday evening...

Hard to get a decent picture, as it was dark by then - but I thought his pudding deserved some glory!

I am planning to get my backside in gear and continue with this...

It hasn't progressed much since the sneak peak I gave you here.  I've got no excuse - it's not exactly a big slow make!

But I am currently using it in it's unfinished state, for a little posy of spring flowers I picked from the garden...

I still can't get over the fact I've got a garden and I can just stroll out and pick some flowers from it.  Seems to good to be true!

Here ends this post of randomness... until next time...!

Saturday 5 April 2014

Sewing Clothes

Thanks for the lovely comments on my last post!

One of my goals for this year was to make an item of clothing, and watching The Great British Sewing Bee has definitely inspired me further.  I'm sure a lot of you agree!

When I think about it, I have actually made the odd couple of items of clothing in the past...

I made the asymmetric top above about 9 years ago, when I was 25.  I did wear it out two or three times, but I haven't worn it in many years - not so sure about having a sheer fabric over my belly these days!  I didn't have a pattern, I just made up the design (which is probably why it's a bit of a strange one!) - I can't even really remember how I did it now!

There's even a fairly neat zip and hook-and-eye fastening on the back:

In fact, the more I look at it the more I think that it wasn't that bad really, especially as I made up how to do it as I went along!  I'm sure that lots of things weren't done in the way they are supposed to be done, but it looks alright.  Not that I'd wear it now.

Then a few years back, I attempted to replicate a simple top I had and loved wearing.

This picture was taken in 2010 when I made this top.  (I think I'd recently been on holiday as I'm sporting a lovely tan.  Tan?!  Yep, that's me tanned - I'm a pale creature!)  It's a long top to be worn with leggings, in a stretchy knit material with a wide band along the bottom.  (I clearly hadn't heard of pattern matching when I made the band - it didn't even occur to me!  Although, I actually like it like this - it shows that it's a separate band, and I like the [unplanned] flower placement.)  This top got more wear than the other one I think, but again not something I wear these days.

I now want to try making something "proper" - something using a pattern!  Something that I want to wear now, and will get a lot of use out of.  This is where I'm struggling.  I've seen Bunny Mummy's lovely skirt here and thought that it seemed a simple pattern to start off with, which I like the sound of.  BUT, I'm trying to get a balance between making something simple and making something I'll actually wear.  The problem I have with skirts is finding a top to go with them.  Even though I really like the skirt and want to make it in some lovely colourful fabric, I know I won't wear it.

I'm currently going through my decluttering process, and my wardrobe needs a lot of attention and clearing out.  The last thing I need is to start filling it with homemade items I'm not going to wear.

So my current quest is to find a pattern for an item of clothing that isn't too tricky to make, but will look great on me and will be regularly used!  I wouldn't hold your breath...

As I typed the above, I couldn't resist trying that first top on again - looks like I just about squeezed into it!  I got the Lumberjack to take some pictures... don't judge too harshly - remember this was made for 25 year old me to wear, not 34 year old me!!

I'm on tiptoes (for some reason) so was using the door to keep my balance!

I ummed and ahhed over putting these photos on, but thought "what the hell!".  I know when I see other people's handmade garments, I always like to see them on the person - gives a much better idea.

Now to find a pattern for something more appropriate!

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