Whilst we were away I picked up a couple of skeins of yarn. One of these was one Hobbit took a shine to and enthusiastically agreed when I suggested we buy it to make her socks.
I decided on simple tube socks to help them last a bit longer. While she’s slowed down in growing it’s still a bit unpredictable as to when it’ll happen. I made these toe-up with 48 stitches around and knitted 20g of yarn before working 10 rows of ribbing and the bind-off. I think I could possibly have gone up to 56 stitches (certainly 52) and they not been too sloppy. However she has a younger brother who can take possession of them when they get too tight.
The yarn is a NZ brand Countrywide Yarn Company. This is their Happy Feet sock yarn in the Clown Multi colourway. The patterning surprised me as I though it was going to be more variegated than that. I don’t know what it would have done on a different circumference of knitting though and Hobbit likes the zig-zags.
The kids birthdays are only a few days apart so we have a bit of a birthday week going on at this time of the year.
(Note: this post is mostly a reference post for me for future cakes)
I consulted with my newly 4 year old about cakes for her and her brother and we decided that she wanted a ladybird (not a ladybug) like she had last year but this time it had to be pink with lots of spots. The spots later got upgraded to being purple in particular and there had to be a sticking out tongue. I have two hemisphere cake pans that I bought for last year’s efforts and made a 1.5 x banana cake to fill the two of them. I skipped the mashing bananas step and my Kitchen Aid mixed them in quite thoroughly anyway. The small cake was cut and then stuck to the larger with vanilla butter-cream which was spread over the rest of the cake too. I used store bought black and fuchsia fondant icing for the body and small amounts of white fondant that I coloured with gel colourings for the facial features and spots. I had a bit of trouble with getting the black icing smooth especially on the face as it ended up very thin in parts but she was not bothered by it’s wrinkles and was pretty excited by her cake.
Wee Man didn’t have much to say about his thoughts (he’s still not much for talking) but Hobbit and I decided on chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a rocket on top. Wee Man told us that rockets fly to the moon so we had to have a moon too. I used the large hemisphere cake tin to make the cake (a single recipe of chocolate cake) and then covered it in chocolate butter-cream. I again used white fondant that I coloured with gels to make the decorations. The rocket and moon are from cookie cutters (they came in a set with an astronaut) and the stars are from little icing cutters. He was pretty excited about the rocket flying in the sky to the moon and very much enjoyed having Happy Birthday sung to him.
In the interest of using up some of the leftover dk and aran I have in my stash I’ve knitted Hobbit a colour-work hat. She’s rather interested in rockets at the moment so I looked around for rocket inspiration to make a chart for a hat.
There are 5 rockets around the hat with decreases in between them at the top. Knitting 4 would make a baby hat and 6 an adult hat so I might be using this pattern again. I’ve started with ribbing and then a bit of plain stockinette before starting the charts. The hat used most of 50g of the main colour and about half the ball of the contrast colour. I’m pleased I’ve got some use out of the yarn and she wore the hat as soon as it was dry from blocking so she’s happy too.
In order to use up my stash I’ve tried to assign projects to most of the yarn I have. These two skeins of handspun were not enough yardage to do much with but cowls are always useful at this time of the year and have the advantage of being worked until you run out of yarn.
The blue cowl is handspun silk. The cowl is worked in seed stitch in the round and I just worked until I had (barely) enough yarn for the cast off.
The pink cowl is handspun kid mohair. When I spun it there was not really any halo at all but as soon as I started knitting it there was more and more fluff. This one is for Hobbit and is the small version of the Honey Cowl.
My Hobbit has not been too impressed by her knitted cardigans lately so I needed to find a layer that would work instead. This is look 10 from Five and Ten Designs Volume 2. The body is purple sweat-shirting fabric and the cuffs and collar black ribbing. I have made size 4 again as the other two I made previously still fit well.
This is the first time I have worked with ribbing fabric. It’s a wee bit fiddly – easier to cut and sew with the rib than across it. It’s not too much different from other stretchy knits though. The pockets are welt pockets made of the ribbing fabric and were probably the trickiest bit.
I misread one of the pattern adjustment instructions and had to re-cut the zip facings and sewed on a section at the bottom of the zip. This led to my first attachment of the bottom ribbing to go not so well as it was actually several inches longer than it was supposed to be. I unpicked rather a lot of stitches to get it off and then trimmed it done and reapplied. The second application went much better and the waist now snugs in a bit like it is supposed to.
Having not read the instructions before I sewed it I was surprised at the order of instructions. I think I might consider having the ribbing go all the way across to the zip another time. Still I’m happy with the result and so is the Hobbit. Before I’d fixed the ribbing she wore it to school and (unusually for her) wore it the whole time she was there. It’s thin enough to fit under her raincoat (essential for around here) but warm enough to use as a outer layer when it’s not actually winter weather.
Filed under Hobbit, Sewing
I really think the Hobbit needs to stay this age forever so she can wear dresses like this forever. I’m really happy with how adorable this is.
She picked the fabric after changing her mind half a dozen times (this is the one I was going to pick before she came along to look) and then chose yellow ribbon to go with it (I probably would have chosen red). Wee Man is thrilled with all the ‘tars’ (stars) on it.
This is Simplicity 2377 View A in size 4. There are 6 variations in the pattern, with and without sleeves, with different trims and with differnet fabric combinations. I think the only modification I made was to machine stitch the ribbon to the neckline before tying it in a bow instead of making the bow first and hand stitching it on.
Filed under Hobbit, Sewing
The Hobbit has been growing again and her dresses from last year have been looking rather short. I found a couple of knit dresses second hand recently which have worked well for her to went looking for a knit fabric pattern for her. I found the Uptown Downtown Dress from Sew Straight and Gather which looked just the right shape and as a bonus from size 2 to size 10 so should be useful for a while yet. The pattern is a PDF and has the ability to only print the size that you want so I have cut out the pattern pieces straight from the print out. Obviously I will have to print a new set for the next size up but as I tend to make the same pattern more than once the added durability is worth it to me.
The dress has a lined bodice and a flared skirt. The front and back are single pieces and there are options for 3 different sleeves in the main pattern as well as some notes on modifications. Also included is an expansion pack with pattern pieces and instructions to modify the pattern in other ways (length, colour blocking, neckline, sleeves etc). I have made two dresses from the cap sleeve version.
Pictured here are pictures of the ‘rainbow’ dress. I used purple fabric for the lining of the sleeves on this one, the other dress is entirely that purple (and not pictured here). I have to admit that I basically didn’t follow the directions. I was planning to but the way the dress is put together leaves exposed seams at the armholes even with the lining. I assume this is a) easier to sew and write about and b) keeps the lining in place. I have sewn my dresses so that the seams are all enclosed between the lining and main dress. This involved fiddling a bit with pinned pattern pieces to make sure things would still turn right side out but once I’d done it once it was easy enough. I stitched shoulder seams, attached sleeves to each armhole (2 lining, 2 main), sewed the lining and main together at the neckline, turned the dress right side out and then twisted things around to sew the sleeve ends together. After that was all accomplished there are two long side seams – lining together, underarm lining, underarm main and then the long main side seam. I used a twin needle to stitch the hems.
The third dress I’ve made has been seen here several times before. It is a navy corduroy version of New Look 6016. This is the largest size of the pattern so will probably be the last version I make for the Hobbit. The photos aren’t very good as the lighting was rather bad plus the fabric very dark. I’m pleased with the bias binding I picked for the armholes and it matches quite well with the buttons Hobbit picked from the button jar. I have to add that I’m quite enjoying the ease of making buttonholes with the automatic buttonholer on my new sewing machine. So much easier than fighting with my old on. There are more buttonholes in my future I think.
Filed under Hobbit, Sewing