Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Autumn Stash Busting


The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.

Oh, bugger that, thought Jorth. The time has come for me to make a list, as I have too many projects stashed away, and they are threatening to overwhelm me!

So, inspired by both Nic and Suzy, I present to you the official Jorth Crafting List of Autumn 2011, based on what is in my stash. I'm also going to follow Nic's lead and put myself onto a strict stash diet. No more purchases until the backlog has been cleared!

Red skirt (Burda pattern)
Pink viscose top (Vogue 1020)
Liberty splatter dress (Burda Magazine 8/2009)
Liberty splatter skirt (Burda Magazine 9/2010)
Spotted black coat that was cut out last year
Black wool dress (McCalls 6199)
Cowl wool dress (McCalls 6069) in pink wool knit and another in blue viscose knit
Liberty shirt (Simplicity 2255) - almost done, just need to do the sleeves!
Our Favourite Top in pink linen knit
Blue tencel dress for Grumbles
Grey corduroy dress for Grumbles
PJ pants for Grumbles and myself
Softie doll for Grumbles

Black yoga wrap (only 1.5 sleeves to go. C'mon, Jorth!)
Black and pink striped jumper
Pink baby shrug for a friend
Striped cardigan for Grumbles

Eek! There is a list longer than my arm of other things I want to make, particuarly in the knitting department, but I must be good. I'm sick of looking at stash. The worst part is, that's only the winter stash I'm tackling. There's a whole pile of summer weight fabrics that are also hidden away...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Crochet Kid

Eeek! It's finally happened. I knew this day would come, but why did it have to come so soon?


That's right - Grumbles knows how to do something that I don't know. Crochet! One lesson from her aunt Gerda, and she's chain-stitching up a storm. I'm going have to get my crochet hustle on if I'm to beat her in the crochet stakes. I've been saying for yonks that I want to make one of those fancy ripple blankets, and this, I feel, should be the winter to do it. Just need to actually learn how to crochet, that's all.

That'd be once, of course, I finish my striped jumper, and my yoga wrap, and the jumper the Galumph has requested, and the baby shrug for a friend, and the cardigan for Grumbles, and the billion or so Kim Hargreaves designs I fancy adding to my wardrobe. Ach - my hands are cramping just thinking about it!

PS Grumbles - I'm super proud of ya, tiger!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Autumn love

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Autumn 3

Things I love about autumn (in no particular order):
- baked apples
- roasted pumpkin
- school holidays hanging out with Grumbles, playing cards and lying on the bed telling each other stories
- hearing the rain on the roof knowing I am tucked up safely and snug inside
- knitting without sweaty paws
- planning which coat to sew (and never actually getting around to it!)
- cool and crisp mornings that burst into glorious sun-filled afternoons
- the change in the light and how quickly the day fades into night but still with the decency to provide a breathtaking sunset
- the first breath fog (also usually the day you realised you should have packed your hat and mittens)
- soup simmering away on the stove, for the third time that week (um, different soups people!)
- the prospect of new boots
- shuffling through piles of leaves with a giggle and a skip, and not minding the stares I am given (there are limited weeks you can do this in, and damned if I'm letting any sourpusses deny me my fun)
- getting a decent bike park at work, as all the fair weather cyclists disappear
- the NGV's Winter Masterpieces
- hot pies with sauce at the footy (oooh, the Hawks are looking good this year!)
- quinces

Have I missed any?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pink and black progress

Behold! It grows.

Striped Knitting

Maybe I will actually get this jumper done quicker than I first thought *nervously eyeing yarn stash that is threatening to burst out of cupboard at any moment*

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ink & Spindle Open Studio

On Saturday the family rode over to Kensington to check out Ink & Spindle's Open Studio. I am so glad we did, as it was fantastically awesome. Teegs and Lara, the clever girls who run the show, did a brilliant demo, and as a result both Grumbles and I have decided we want to be screen printers when we grow up.

(Although in Grumble's case she may have just been swayed by the big bowl of Jaffas on the snacks table. Ahem.)





Thanks, guys! We had a fabulous and highly educational time. If anybody is interested in going along to one, and seeing to wonderful art of hand printing textiles, keep an eye on their blog - they announce on a regular basis when an open studio is being held. If you can get to one, I highly recommend it. It's local, it's eco-friendly and the sustainable nature of their business, with a focus on minimal waste and longevity of products is to be commended. Girls, I was blown away by your work. My hat is off to you both!

Friday, April 08, 2011

The tanbark issue

There is a great tradition of humans taking what they feels others don’t really need, for both good and bad purposes. The stealing of copper wires, for example, is a thriving industy of its own, as many a disgruntled train commuter has discovered to their dismay when their service is brought to a shuddering halt by the fact that all that lovely, very expensive copper wire has been removed from the overhead train lines by thieves in the night.

Then there is the tradition of gleaning. This ancient version of food gathering has long been practiced, with benevelant landlords setting aside one day for the local poor to forage in their fields and take away the vegetables that had not been considered worth while harvesting. A bell would be rung on the morning of the day set aside, to let the gleaners know when they could begin, and another bell would be rung in the evening to end the days work.

So I’m still trying to figure out which of the two Grumbles is doing when she brings home her daily quota of tanbark from school, cleverly hidden in cuffs of pants, bottom of shoes and stuck both inside and outside of socks. Is there some desperate tanbark shortage ahead that she is stockpiling for?

Thank goodness it’s school holidays, if only to save my poor back from sweeping the darn mess up!


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Jorth's yearly knitting delusion


Oh, look! I'm going to have myself a gorgeous striped jumper in no time. No, really! Cinch to whip up, yeah? That little beauty will be done in days...
(Pattern from Phildar Automne/Hiver 2002)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A condensed personal history of shirts

Liberty on Sabrina

The sewing stars aligned, and I was able to work on my shirt for two consecutive days in a row. I'm really enjoying the mechanics of shirt-making: the pressing, the exact measuring of facings, the meticulous edge stitching. It's not a job to be rushed, but a job to enjoy and I'm pleased to say that so far the results are looking good!

As I sewed, I was trying to remember the last time I had made a shirt. I'd done a boy's shirt at uni - in calico, ugh! - but the last shirt with collars and facings that I'd made were the pj's I'd sewn to take into hospital with me to have Grumbles. I thought myself pretty darn clever, making button up jimjams for breastfeeding ease, but with everything that happened I didn't even end up wearing them! The room we stayed in (for the hospital was kind enough to let Galumph sleep in a fold up bed in the room with us to help with Grumbles, as I was in no state to get up, let alone tend to a newborn in the middle of the night) was so, so hot. The heating came through the walls, and couldn't be turned down or even off, so I ended up begging my sister-in-law to buy me some singlet tops from Sportsgirl to wear. Those, teamed with some loose cotton pants became my outfit of choice, all the better for everybody - for it did seem like every medical person in the hospital came to have a look - to check out my hysterectomy staples and accompanying fluid bag. Quite the fashion statement!

The pj's? Well, since Galumph had nothing to wear to bed each night, he ended up wearing them, and mighty fine did he look, too, in his yellow, pink and red striped jarmies, alternated with the navy blue with light blue stars pair. Apparently when the night nurses had their changeover meeting with the day nurses in the mornings, the first item to be discussed was which pair Galumph had been seen padding around the ward in. Poor Galumph - they weren't items he would have asked to wear, but I think he did them (and myself and Grumbles) proud.

When we moved into our house last year, we found the pyjamas. They were musty smelling, and worn out, so we turfed them, and I was not sad to see them go. But thinking about them today made me realise how different my life is now. Grumbles is a little lady now, and I've made peace with what happened in many ways. We have our (very) little home, and our health, and my days are filled with smiles and laughter. I'll be wearing this new shirt, fingers crossed and wood knocked on, as I watch Grumbles grow up, and myself grow older. I hope to walk into the future in this shirt, holding both Grumbles and Galumphs hands, as we strive to make our own lives happy, and to make differences to others that need us.


Speaking of making a difference, if you've got a minute then please check out Kiva. It's a fabulous way to change a life! Last week we helped a collective in Mexico with a loan to buy embroidery materials, so the women could earn an income. It felt pretty darn good.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Soon to be a shirt

I have two days off in a row - bliss! It feels like I haven't had that for ages, even though I have, but it's all been taken up with fete sewing and other onerous duties. But today I am determined to sit down and get some sewing done for me, me, me! (sorry Grumbles)

I have Liberty wool/cotton. And a block of time. And a freshly made cup of joe. I want for nothing more (except a cleaner, perhaps, to swing by and do the housework that I am conveniently ignoring...)

Shirt In Progress