Tag Archives: making mondays

Making Monday: Vintage Snood

The vintage snood I cast on on Saturday turned out to be a very quick knit.

Stevy's snood

It’s basically a rectangle of garter stitch with the stitches of every fourth row elongated; the pattern said to ‘pull the stitches out to about an inch in length’ but in the interests of consistency I worked *k1, yo x3* to last stitch, k1 and then dropped the yarnovers on the next row. To get the curved shape you pick up and knit one stitch for every two rows up the side and then bind off (I actually picked up and purled the second lot so the two sides matched). It took 44g of Colinette Giotto, knitted on 4mm needles. I’m not usually a fan of ribbon yarns but I used my ChiaoGoos which are lovely and smooth and it knitted up like a dream.

I think it looks rather fabulous, and almost wish I had long enough hair to wear one myself (though I know that I am really much, much happier when my hair is short). S, on the other hand, has very long hair which is perfect for snoods, so I hope she likes wearing this one.

For more Making Monday posts, check out Natalie’s post.

Making Monday: Soupy Twist

I used to do a lot of cooking, but somehow over the last few years I’ve lost interest and am more than happy to leave most of it to T (who is a very good cook). I suspect it’s at least partly because knitting has taken over as my creative hobby of choice, although I am also less interested in food generally than I was and more inclined to view it simply as fuel than as something which should always be a source of pleasure; whatever the reason, I don’t cook very often. But we had two punnets of tomatoes which had come in our Riverford box and which I was obviously not going to eat raw, it not being at all the weather for salads, so I thought I’d make them into soup.


Soup is about the only thing I still make in my old creative throw-everything-together-and-see-what-comes-out way, because while I’m scared of messing up other things if I don’t follow a recipe it’s really difficult to mess up soup. In this case I started off frying a chopped onion in some olive oil, then added the tomatoes (I think there were about five normal-sized ones and a dozen cherry tomatoes, chopped up small) and threw in half a can of chopped tomatoes that was lurking in the fridge, and let it all cook down for a bit. I wondered about seasoning it with pesto, then thought that maybe harissa would be better, and then on discovering that the harissa had gone manky after being left opened in the fridge for too long ended up adding a pinch of chilli flakes and a pinch of oregano instead. Once the tomatoes had started to break down I added a can of chickpeas and a litre of Marigold vegetable bouillon, let it simmer for about twenty minutes and then added some macaroni and let it cook until that was soft.


Once it had cooled, I boxed it up in individual portions and froze them. Now I have four no-effort packed lunches ready and waiting!

Making Monday: a start

I haven’t had much of a chance to use my craft room for actual crafting yet, but I did make a start on my Clothkits skirt yesterday, and incidentally discovered that my blocking mats double up very nicely as cutting mats.

Cutting out

I’ve cut all the pieces out and sewed the lining to the facings (learning in the process that when sewing a thin fabric to a thicker one it would be better to have the thin fabric on top to prevent it slipping away from under the thicker one; there’s not really much of a seam allowance on parts of it), but that was all I had time for, and as I’m in Glasgow this weekend the rest will have to wait.

(I was a bit annoyed to discover that the space on the sheet of corduroy has been filled up with pieces for a floppy hat. I don’t want a floppy corduroy hat, but some nice cord remnants wouldn’t have gone amiss. Anyone want the hat pieces? Shout in comments if you do.)

I’m definitely on the lookout for a nice simple dress pattern to try next. Any recommendations? I want something I can make in a wool or wool-mix fabric for winter work wear, possibly the same kind of shape as the vintage Crimplene dress I was wearing today:


Shawl – Damson
Dress – vintage (from posh Oxfam in Bath)
T-shirt and tights – M&S
Shoes – Clarks

In other exciting news, my dressmaker’s dummy has arrived today! I still have to figure out adjusting her to match my measurements, but she’s assembled and standing in my craft room, and I have decided that her name is Mildred – no particular reason, she just looks like a Mildred to me.

(If you want to read more Making Monday posts, see Natalie’s post.)

Making Monday: plans

I decided at the end of last week that I really deserved a present to celebrate getting through the first four weeks of my new job, and as as result Saturday’s post bought a parcel containing an exciting-looking bundle:

Big Birdie

This is going to be a Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt with a Liberty print lining. I haven’t done any sewing for ages, and had been considering a winter skirt but not completely sure how to go about choosing the right fabric or picking something that would work as a lining (I think winter skirts need linings, as otherwise they always end up sticking to my tights).

I haven’t actually started cutting out the pieces yet, because I have some even more exciting sewing-related plans to carry out first. One of the difficulties I’ve found, since buying my sewing machine, is that as well as making time to sew I also need to make space; the only place I could set the machine up is on the kitchen table, so I needed to pick a time when T wasn’t going to want to sit there and couldn’t leave everything out between sewing sessions. However, T has been spring-cleaning and has finally disposed of the junk which had been accumulating in the conservatory for several years. Which leaves a surprising amount of space, and it struck us both that if we had something comfortable to sit on (at the moment it just houses bookcases and the dining table and chairs) it would be a lovely place to sit on sunny days, and that the futon which is currently in the front bedroom (the one which also houses all my clothes and the yarn stash) would fit down there nicely, and it’s not as though we ever actually have visitors who need to sleep on it.

Of course, moving the futon downstairs will leave quite a bit of space in the front bedroom. Easily enough for one of these, which will be perfect to put the sewing machine on. And then I’ll basically have a proper craft room, which is very exciting; I can move all my craft books up there, and the fabric and yarn which is still stashed downstairs, and have it all in one place instead. We’ve ordered the desk and it should be delivered tomorrow, so I’ll be spending next weekend building it and sorting stuff out, and then I’ll be ready to start my skirt in my own dedicated workroom where I don’t have to put everything away at the end of each sewing session!

(If you want to read more Making Monday posts, check out Natalie’s post!)

Making Monday: ALL THE THINGS

It’s completely bonkers that when we’ve just passed the autumnal equinox and it doesn’t get light until too late for me to take my outfit photos outdoors, it should also be warm enough that I opted for short sleeves and sheer tights (which turned into ‘no tights’ later on because I can’t stand the feel of sheer tights and they were making me far too uncomfortable).

Apologies for the picture quality:


Necklace – made by Helen
Top – East
Vest – Primark
Skirt – Boden
Shoes – Clarks

I think I may spend the rest of this week’s heatwave sweltering in tights, as I really struggled in these shoes; the only way I could walk without my toe hurting was to walk on the side of my foot, and that hurt my ankle, so I think I’ll go back to my nice sensible lace-ups tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in making news, I appear to have had a fit of startitis. In the last week I have cast on:

Litchfield band

A Litchfield hat.


A pair of (Can)tab socks.

Forest Canopy

A Forest Canopy Shawl.

And I’ve bought the pattern for Quintet and am going to start swatching soon.

(If you want to read more Making Monday posts, check out Natalie’s blog.)

Making Monday: Elektra

The fifth of my A to Z of shawls is Elektra from Romi‘s 7 Small Shawls: The Pleiades. I used Yarn Yard Crannog in a wonderful teal/turquoise shade; I cast on while I was on holiday a few weeks ago and bound off yesterday. I haven’t got round to blocking it yet, but I did take some pictures of the unblocked shawl.

Elektra 1

I really like the lace pattern, and I think it’s going to be beautiful when it’s blocked.

Elektra 2

I’m not sure whether to move on to the next shawl or knit something different for a change. I’d quite like to make myself a garment, though I’m worried (probably needlessly*) about knitting something that looks dreadful on me and also (with more justification) about whether anything I make will really get that much wear; my handknitted cardigans are definitely too casual for a job where I’m tending to find that wearing jackets is the best way to make my existing wardrobe look appropriately smart. I can imagine a fantastic professional wardrobe where handknitted cardigans and jumpers are paired with neat pencil skirts and trousers, but my full skirts are definitely better with jackets, and there are only so many casual clothes I need. On the other hand, I think shawls are just fine and certainly intend to keep wearing them for work. So maybe I should stick to making shawls…


Shawl – Milkweed
Top – M&S
Skirt – charity shop
Tights – M&S
Shoes – Clarks

(You can read more Making Monday posts here.)

*I am currently wearing my ‘disastrous’ Featherweight Cardigan with jeans and the top I wore for work; as long as I let go of my vision of it as a smart fitted cardi I could wear for work I rather like it; it’s a gorgeous colour, and lovely and soft and drapey.

Non-making Monday

I don’t seem to have anything to post about for Making Monday this week. I did make a banana cake, because we had bananas that were too squidgy to eat any other way, and I have been knitting away on socks for my husband and my Elektra shawl, as well as swatching for Litchfield (the yarn I was going to use was too bulky, so I have ordered some Cascade 220 after swatching with some leftovers I had lying around and coming up pretty close), but really, the main thing I’ve been making is an effort to balance the demands of my new job with my need to look after myself and get enough sleep and exercise and take time to relax. The trouble is, that doesn’t really result in anything I can take photos of for the blog. Except possibly me, sane and healthy* and refreshed and ready for my second week in the job:


Necklace – M&S
Cardigan – clothes swap
T-shirt – M&S
Skirt – Dorothy Perkins
Tights – M&S
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

I’m not sure this skirt was quite the right choice with the tail-end of Hurricane Katia sweeping across the UK, though – I kept having to hold it down as I walked along!

If you want to read more Making Monday posts (probably from people who have actually made stuff!) check out the post here.

*well, except that I think I may have broken my toe when I accidentally trapped it under the leg of the chair I was sitting in last week

Making Monday: Making Time

There never seem to be enough hours of non-work time for me to do everything I want to. I’m sure there should be, but even allowing for the fact that I need to eat and sleep (and invariably have a sleep deficit to catch up on at the weekend, given that I get up at 6am and really need 8-9 hours a night) the weekends seem to whiz by and before I know it it’s Sunday evening and I’ve hardly made any progress on my knitting, let alone found time to do anything else. Until last week I hadn’t read a novel in about six months, which is a shocking admission from someone who’s always thought of herself as a bookworm.

And then last week we went on holiday to a cottage in the Wye Valley, where I not only managed to read two novels and make a start on a third, but to finish the socks I’ve been knitting for my friend F:

Black cat socks

and to finish my Daybreak, which is currently blocking (and it turns out that the stripes show up just fine on the finished shawl):

Daybreak blocking

and to start my next shawl and pair of socks, and also to watch quite a lot of episodes of Twin Peaks on DVD (it seems less terrifying now than it did when I was 17, but no less weird).

And the one difference was that instead of having wireless broadband on tap, as it were, all we had was my mobile wifi dongle, and even though I was still checking my email and Twitter and Ravelry and the blogs I subscribe to three or four times every day once I’d read all the new posts I put the iPad away, switched the dongle off and went back to my book or my knitting for a couple of hours, instead of checking almost constantly in case I miss something important (which I never do). This afternoon I found myself sitting there looking at Ravelry and wishing away the hours until dinner-time, and it struck me that while there are often interesting things on the internet, spending hours on end online is actually rather boring, and it stops me doing the things I actually enjoy. If I want to make the most of my free time, I think I need to try to set limits on the amount of time I spend online.

Or, to update a TV theme from my childhood: ‘Why don’t you just switch off the internet and go out and do something less boring instead?’.

(If you want to read more Making Monday posts, check out the links on Natalie’s blog.)

Making Monday: Mistakes and Sleeves

This weekend, I made a sleeve:


In fact, I made two sleeves, and finished off my Market Blouse.

Back view

I’m very pleased with how well the sleeves turned out. It’s just a shame about the rest of the top.

Front view

Side view

Yeah. I’m not going to be wearing this one to work any time soon. If it was a bit longer I might consider wearing it belted, but it’s too short for that to work, and tucked in it just blouses out in a rather unflattering way (although, admittedly, not quite as unflatting as the way it looks untucked).

I have learnt several lessons from this.

1. If I know that most patterns are designed for a B cup, and I also know that I’m a FF, expecting a top to be wearable without serious pattern adjustment is probably wildy overoptimistic. To put it mildly.

2. If boxy tops don’t fit me in shops, they probably aren’t going to fit any better just because I’ve made them.

3. I should pay attention to the drape of a fabric before deciding to make a garment from it; I don’t think this top would ever have been flattering but a soft, drapy cotton would have looked a heck of a lot better than this stiff fabric.

I think the top could work for me, if I made a size smaller (to eliminate the surplus fabric at the back) with a full bust adjustment (for obvious reasons) and a lot more waist shaping (which would probably also require adding a side zip so I could get it on and off) and used a softer fabric. Unfortunately, that’s a long way beyond my current sewing skills, so I think I’m going to have to wave goodbye to my dream of a rainbow of lovely simple-but-slightly-smarter-than-a-t-shirt cotton tops and concentrate on making skirts until I get a lot more confident.

Still, look at those sleeves. Those sleeves ROCK. Who would have thought someone who’s never sewn a sleeve in her life could make such fantastic sleeves?

Today I wore my Clothkits skirt, just to remind myself that I can make wearable garments.


Necklace – Oxfam
Cardigan – clothes swap
T-shirt – M&S
Skirt – made by me
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

(If you want to read more Making Monday posts, check out the links at The Yarn Yard!)

Making Monday

Natalie at The Yarn Yard has come up with the idea of ‘Making Mondays':

We all make things. We knit. We sew. We bake. We write. We paint. We make a home for ourselves and the people we love.

So I thought that we could, collectively, make Mondays our day for blogging about it.

I have been trying my hand at making iced tea.

Iced tea

I’m not a big fan of soft drinks; most of them are far too sugary for my taste, even things like ginger beer. I drink a lot of tea, but sometimes I want a cold drink. I’ve had ready-made iced tea when abroad and found it quite pleasant, and I thought I’d give making my own a go.

Rather than use the same teas I normally drink hot I bought some flavoured teabags. I read online that cold-brewing worked best as it prevents the tea getting too tannic, so I put three teabags in a jug of cold water and left it to brew overnight.

The first attempt (Spice Imperial) was nice, but the flavour of the spices didn’t come through as strongly as I’d hoped; I think next time I might try adding boiling water first to bring out the flavour of the spices and then top it up with cold and leave it to brew. The second was white tea with cherry, which was better, and now I’m brewing up some green tea with mango. (Later – by Jove, I think I’ve got it! Three teabags, jug of water, brewed for about four hours – absolutely perfect.)

The weather has suddenly turned hot, so refreshing cool drinks are a very good thing to have! Staying cool at work is a bit of a conundrum; I’d love to float around in summery dresses but in fact none of my summery dresses are decent for work without a camisole under them, so I decided that a t-shirt and skirt was probably cooler.


Necklace – shop in Burford
Top – Boden
Skirt – Next
Sandals – Hush Puppies