Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The magic loop

See that? That is the start of a pair of socks, knitted using the magic loop. I only learned of this technique recently - knitting something with a small circumference (like socks) on a set of bigger circular needles - but since I've started researching it, everyone has been singing it's praises. I'm not completely convinced yet as I usually quite like using double pointed needles, but I am giving it a fair go and learning a new technique while I'm at it. If you're curious about the magic loop, have a look at this.

The socks are actually for boyfriend. Last time I tried to knit socks it was a bit of a disaster, but I'm a more experienced knitter now, so I thought I would give it another go. It's also something I can do as we travel on trains throughout Europe - yes - we are leaving today for a trip through the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium! Oui Oui! So it might be a bit quiet around the Stitchybritt blog for the next month, but if I make some cool crafty discoveries I will be sure to let you know. You can also follow me on Twitter (I'm @stitchybritt) as I intend to tweet updates of my sock knitting escapades.

Until then, auf wiedersehn!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Warm, warm legs on these cool, cool nights

During these cool winter nights I've been sitting in front of the heater knitting up some legwarmers. The pattern is a spiral rib knit (from The Purl Bee) which is basically just a knit 2 purl 2 pattern, starting on a different stitch every 3rd row. Looks tricky but it really isn't!

I picked up the yarn at A Coffee and A Yarn's yarn swap night, it had come from the bottom of another knitter's stash and I gladly exchanged some yarn that I wasn't going to use for this blue and brown twist.

I'm almost all done with my winter knitting, just one more thing that I'm going to try my hand at... more on that next post!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blue and green should never be seen*

*but I've always been a rule-breaker

I promised that I would show you what I did with the vintage green fabric from my Nana's stash, and so here it is...

This is a batwing top based on this Burdastyle pattern. Boyfriend and I are heading off on holiday soon, and I thought this would be a nice light summery (yes! we're going somewhere where it's summer!) top to pack and wear.

I was a bit unsure how to cut the pattern from the fabric to make the most of the print, but I think I did pretty well.

The top came out HUGE. I know it's meant to be big and roomy, but this was actually massive. I took it in quite a lot and I'm still swimming in it. I also learnt that v-neck binding can be quite fiddley, but I finally got it in the end (plus, I've now got another technique to add to my repertoire).

I'm not totally sure if the oversize look suits me, but it seems to go ok with a pair of jeans, and is also nice with the belt.

What do you think?

Monday, June 20, 2011


During a recent visit with my Nana, she asked me if I would like some vintage fabrics she had stashed in a chest. Uh ok, you twisted my arm Nana!

My Nana had a range of fabrics, most of which she bought in the 60s and has never sewn with. So, I came home with a bag of fabrics all dying to be used. Only thing is, I'm not sure what to make with them! This is where I need your help, stitchy peeps.

The green fabric has already made its way into a project (I'll show you later this week). It is a light, summery polyester and I love the print.

I call this one the psychadelic flower garden. It's a very light (slightly sheer) poly blend. Any ideas what to do with it?

Batik isn't really my style, but it is obviously good quality (and authentic - purchased in Malaysia in the 60s). Perhaps a bag or something else that I won't actually wear?

I love this japanese-print fabric (a comfy cotton), though it's probably going to have to be a dress to make the most of the length of the print. Any ideas? (I promise I'll iron it before I sew it) ; )

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crafty Community

Two excellent crafty events lately:

Photo of me by Kitiya

1. The Sydney CBD Etsy Crafty Party, hosted by the wonderful Kitiya Palaskas, with more photos on her blog. We made felt mountain brooches (see the one I'm wearing in the photo) and mini bunting.

2. Sydney Inner West Brown Owls hosted at my place on Tuesday night. Of course I forgot to take photos while everyone was around, and all I can show you is the aftermath. Tea was drunk, cake was scoffed and stitches were STITCHED. Much fun.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Evil Purple Top

See this top? You think it's a nice top, don't you? Well you're wrong. It's evil - pure evil - I tell you.

What might look like a pretty top in the picture has actually caused me weeks of nightmares. I bought the fabric for $3 per metre from Reverse Garbage because I liked the colour and, as it is a crape, I figured it wouldn't need ironing. Well, wasn't I sucked in by vanity and laziness? This fabric has been nothing but trouble since I first started to cut it.

This fabric is the kind that:
- frays like crazy
- if you put it on a table, it slinks off onto the floor by itself
- doesn't hold pins because the weave it too loose
- once cut, will never sit the same way again

The pattern I used, Simplicity 2586, is a good one - easy, straightforward, fits nicely. Unfortunately, it has taken a lot of battling with the fabric to get the top to this point. And to make matters worse, my overlocker died halfway through the making, so I had to use a friend's overlocker to finish the job. The top might look presentable from a distance, but check out this neck binding...

The stitching is wonky, and sections of the underside didn't catch. I am going to unpick it, tack it, and try again.

Lesson learnt: Cheap, slinky fabric is nothing but trouble. Never again!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Swing coat refashion

Lately I've been admiring all those cute cropped swing coats about, and was thinking about making one. Then it dawned on me that I have a coat in my wardrobe that could be easily refashioned into one! I bought the coat in an op-shop binge, it was 50 cents and I liked the colour, so I didn't really pay attention to the fact that it is definitely in the style of a more mature woman (the truth is, my Nana would probably be more likely to wear it than me). So into the wardrobe it went, and it hung there, unworn, for a few months. Until now!

I cut some length off the sleeves and the hem of the jacket, and it was as simple as pinning it at the right length and stitching it up.

Not only was I happy to turn something unworn into something wearable, but I also used up some thread I had leftover from another project - right down to the last of it, and nothing left on the bobbin. Alright!

I'm thinking I could possibly even make the hem a bit shorter - what do you think?