Sunday, 28 September 2014

Autumn/fall knitting plans

Apologies for another filler post whilst I'm on my honeymoon, normal service will resume next week, with a hand sewn skirt and crocheted cowl to share with you all!  In the meantime, I'm loving all the fall inspired crafts popping up in the blogosphere, this is definitely my favourite time of year.  With the chilly morning dog walks, nights closing in and fireside evenings to look forward to, it's the perfect time to plan some knitting projects.  Here are a few I've got queued up (feel free to add me on Ravelry - CraftandThrift!), what's on your needles this season?

Strokkur by Ysolda Teague

I've been dying to make Strokkur by Ysolda Teague for ages now.  Andrew and I are planning a trip to Iceland hopefully next year and it would be amazing to have an Icelandic inspired sweater to take with me!  There are a few Ysolda patterns I'd love to knit, I should really just get on and buy one of her books to be honest.  Support a fellow Edinburger!

Twing Trees by Sarah Bradberry

4 years ago I made Andrew a blanket out of recycled wool sweaters, backed with fake fur.  Although it's possibly the ugliest thing I've ever made that didn't end up in the fabric recycle bin, it is super useful and we snuggle under it daily, either on the sofa watching TV or in bed.  It seriously offends my eyeballs now though, especially because some of the thinner sweaters have bobbled and ripped quite dramatically, so I'm planning on knitting a more attractive top layer and cutting off the sweater layer.  So basically replacing the sweater layer with a knitted top.  The pattern I was going to use for the top was Twining Trees by Sarah Bradberry, it looks simple enough to do whilst watching TV but complicated enough to keep my interest, since I do have a double bed sized amount of squares to make.

Oatmeal Pullover by Jane Richmond

After the success of my British Herdwick sweater, which I wear a lot despite being so itchy and rough I feel like it's giving my skin a gentle exfoliation as I move, I want to make another similar jumper.  This time in less brambly yarn.  Oatmeal Pullover by Jane Richmond looks just the ticket, easy to sling on over anything for walking the dog or running errands.

Owlet by Kate Davies

As mentioned in my previous post, Kate Davies' Owlet is on my Christmas knitting list, this time for my god child (of Dala horse sweater fame).

So much knitting, so little time!  Feel free to share your knitting or crochet plans below...

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Trawl through 'Saved for Later'

By the time you're reading this, I will be on my honeymoon!  I've queued up two posts to cover the two weeks I'll be away, I've got lots of craft and thrift related reading and projects planned for my holidays so I'll be back with a vengeance!


I know it's ridiculously early but I'm starting to think about Christmas.  Specifically, what presents am I going to attempt to make and what baking projects I'm going to trial.  I've done pretty well in the past year for not taking on more than I can manage but there are definitely a few things I want to make before the festive season, either for me or as presents.
  1. I've just bought an overlocker (more on that when I'm back!) so some simple projects to master the machine would be super useful.  This piece from Veronica Darling inspired me to make some placemats and what better reason than for the holidays.  Create-Enjoy made some tie-dyed napkins that were pretty cool, I'd probably just use stash fabric but would be a great little project to practice the art of overlocking!

  2. A Beautiful Mess had a round up of 20 favourite holiday recipes in December last year, some of which would be perfect to practice in autumn, before serving to family at Christmas.  The truffles especially caught my eye...

  3. For our American brethren, this adorable card from Laura Berger would be perfect for Thanksgiving.  We have one of her prints (A Tiny Visitor) and it is adorable.  I would buy up most of her shop in a heartbeat.

  4. I'm not planning on crafting too many presents, since I always take on too much and it stresses me out in the run up to Christmas.  Last year was a nice balance of handmade and bought gifts and I plan to repeat that again this year.  I want to knit an Owlet from Kate Davies for my god child, partly because it's adorable and easy, partly because I made one for myself and we could be MATCHING!  So much cute.

  5. These aren't specifically for Christmas but are definitely autumnal, Whisky Cinnamon Rolls from A Beautiful Mess.  I love cinnamon rolls so much and the addition of whisky would be amazing, especially after a chilly dog walk.  I'm imagining the fire on, hot chocolate on the stove and warm, boozy rolls straight from the oven.  Perfect for Christmas Day morning.
So many plans!  I love this time of year, autumn and the run up to the holidays are definitely my favourite times.

You can see my previous trawl over here.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Hand made bunting from floral fabrics

I recently bought this amazing string of hand made bunting from Lapin Gris Vintage.  Based in Devon, Lapin Gris specialises in vintage themed lovelies for your home.  From scented candles in vintage jelly moulds, to 1950s framed adverts, to chintzy cake stands, Lapin Gris has it all.  You can check out the website here, facebook here and twitter here.




I love the floral fabrics, the bright colours make them less twee and more fitting with my personal style.  I like some floral chintz in my home, but too much pastel and flowers can be a bit granny if you're not careful.  The blue polka dot string is just too cute as well.

Check out Lapin Gris Vintage, either via t'internetz or if you're lucky enough to be in Devon, in any one of the many vintage and craft fairs they frequent!

Disclaimer: I bought my string of bunting, all views are my own.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Work in progress - Featherweight cardigan by Hannah Fettig

What's on your needles this week?  I'm slowly working my way through Hannah Fettig's Featherweight cardigan.  I actually started this a few months back, using this lovely bright blue acrylic yarn my father in law thrifted from a car boot sale for me (£2 for the cone, bargain!).  I've stalled a little, the middle section is just row after row of stocking stitch and although I wanted something relaxing and easy, I wasn't quite looking for something quite so...dull for want of a better word.


I'm excited to see and wear the final item, it's going to be the perfect late summer/early autumn weight and the colour will go with lots of my vest tops.  Just got to plough on through this middle section, 6709 people on Ravelry can't be wrong!

P.S. Follow me on Ravelry at Craftandthrift!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Refashioned men's wool fairisle sweater

I saw a link recently on Charity Shop Chic, that lead me to Sew Amy Sew.  Sew Amy Sew is hosting a 'Repurpose, Reuse, Refashion' challenge for 'sewists to do your bit to minimise waste!'  This suits me down to the ground, I thought, so I went rummaging in my stash trunk for some unloved charity shop find to repurpose.  I've been doing pretty poorly in my New Year's Resolution to sew more, so this little competition was exactly what I was looking for to get me started on sewing again.


I started with this amazing fairisle 100% wool sweater I thrifted for 99p from a charity shop in Mussleburgh.  I've been planning on converting it to a cardigan for years, after being inspired by this amazing cardigan refashion from April Leino.  The idea behind her cardigans is that everything is recycled from previously discarded clothes, so it's completely sustainable and creates something new and interesting from something disposable.  I love that ethos, so much of our fashion these days is treated as expendable, without a thought for the huge amounts of energy, resources, time and money that have gone into turning it from cotton on a plant or wool on an animal, into a wearable item of clothing.  I love charity shopping, but sometimes it's depressing to see row after row of the same poorly made, disposable cotton t-shirts or baggy, acrylic jumpers.  Not to mention the thousands of tonnes of similar items that never make it to charity shops and instead head straight to landfill.  Now that I have a bit of disposable income, I try and buy as good quality and long lasting as I can afford (when I need or have to buy new) with a view to getting it fixed in the future to prolong its life.  That's why I bought my Barbour and Ten Point shoes, the Barbour can have the zip and poppers replaced and rewaxed every 2 years and the Ten Points can be resoled and zip replaced if necessary.


It's honestly not wonky at the bottom in real life, promise!  Clearly wearing it my standard one-button-under-the-boobs isn't the best look for this cardi

After refashioned men's fairisle sweater by Craft & Thrift

The 'After' taken in a rush last Thursday night in a bid to get my competition entry in on time!  But proof that it's not wonky at the bottom, promise!

Anyway, back to the sewing.  I started by removing the sleeves and taking them in along the side seam.  I shortened the shoulders and recut the armhole to match my smaller sleeve head.  I then replaced the newly sized sleeves back into the smaller armhole and sewed up the side seam to compensate for the smaller armhole.




I then cut up the centre and turned in as small a hem as possible, since the fit around the body was already pretty good.  I pinned some gorgeous purple velvet ribbon over the top of this hem and sewed it down, partly to reinforce the button bands and partly to give a more professional finish by hiding the hem.  I love the look of wool and velvet together, it's so sumptuous and warming.


The length was a bit long for me, so I cut off the bottom cuffed hem, marked on where I'd like the bottom hem to sit and cut off the corresponding strip of fairisle in the middle.  I then resewed the cuff back on, this time higher up.  If anything it's now slightly too short (didn't factor in seam allowance, facepalm) but not enough to stop me wearing it.  It's actually grown slightly since blocking as well, so has ended up at a near-perfect length.


I normally wear a cardigan done up halfway, or even just with one button fastened under the bust.  Since the fit around the body was now pretty snug, I elected to just do buttons halfway up the body, to give a V neck appearance.  No point putting buttons all the way up to the collar, if I'm never going to use them!  I say thrifty, you say lazy.  The buttons are all from my stash, I didn't have 5 matching so I went for purposeful mismatch instead.



All that was left at this point was to remove the '90s, dirty, frumpy label and replace it with one of my own, left over from my Etsy shop days.  Oh, and darn a couple of holes in the cuff using my mad surgical skillz.  I've already worn this so much, I can tell it's going to be a hit for the winter.



I've got a couple more wool sweaters to refashion as well, this little project has given me the confidence boost I needed to get going.  It was amazing how easy it was to fit into my life, in the past I've spoken about why I've struggled to learn to sew, with one of the main issues being finding time.  This project was perfect, 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there and it was done in a week.  I think I have this mental block about sewing, that I need a whole afternoon set aside to really get my teeth into a project.  Refashioning is so much easier than following a pattern as well, you just make it up as you go along, the perfect lazy persons sewing!