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knitting in the Fareo Islands

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Last summer I visited the Fareo Islands, a retreat from the intense heat of our British summer and also to learn more about knitting.  It was also a leap into the unknown as I have never been on holiday on my own or a tour.

We spent 7 days in the old town of Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands.  Large natural harbour and beautiful old houses with their turf rooves.  The knitting classes were tutored by the brilliant and very lovely Katrina i Geil, a Faroese knitwear designer who is collecting the traditional Faroese patterns before they disappear.

Knitting was a huge part of the islands income and a way of keeping warm in such an extreme climate.  Knitting in the round with several yarns building up the pattern gave the knits warmth – as the yarn is 2 ply.  I have been discovering how slow 2 ply can be!  The way sheep and farming works on the islands is so different from here at home, there many family’s have sheep and its mostly very small family holdings that keep going and the yarn is also spun and sorted off the islands.

Food on the islands is expensive and we never got to try the dried fish delicacy although we did eat some amazing seafood.  If you are going to Torhaven book a table at Barbara’s ahead of time – we had to wait a week for a table and it was the best!  Never eaten such delicious fresh seafood, 5 of us ordered 3 starters each and got to try a little of everything. Rhubarb is also grown on the island and we had delicious rhubarb jam for breakfast – did want to bring some home but with only hand luggage was concerned it may come under liquids.  So if you know of anywhere I can source it do say!

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Even if you think you don’t know anything about the Faroe Islands you’ll probably know the jumper above, knitted on the islands by Gudren & Gudren.  The knits are super warm and I did buy mittens as my hands got so cold on some of our excursions.  Ravelry has some wondeful Fareose patterns and once I am finished knitting my second Fareose fisherman’s hats will start a jumper for winter.  I’m a slow knitter – not as in slow fashion just ………..slow.  There were 2 book I bought on the islands and only 1 is translated into English, Faroe Island Knits by Svanhild Strom & Marjun Biskopsto.  The other is a chart of traditional Faroese patterns and I thought would also translate into amazing quilt designs.

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We pestered our bus driver to take us to see the Mulafossur Waterfall on the island of Vagar, so on our last day on route to the airport in extreme cold and fog we visited and wow it did not disappoint!  If you’re looking for a holiday with a difference, love walking, knitting and exploring – the Faroe Islands will not disapoint!

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Christmas Gifts, sewing, Uncategorized

sewing updates

A little late into the new year, but here a few Christmas gifts I made – some I didn’t get to photograph as they were sewn and then flew though the post.  The pj’s above do have matching bottoms, a fab pattern Butterick 5537 – the same as my previous dressing gown.  My brother love the dressing gown and even my eldest nephew asked me to make a pair of PJ’s!  The top of the PJ’s is long and perfect of your wanting to make a short night-shirt.  For the next pair I’m going to cut the facing so I can carry the piping detail down the front of the top to the hem and also pipe the pj’s hem turn up.

I also made 3 dog coats, the blue is a cotton lining and has a beautiful waxed linen for wet days.  Top right is a waterproof cotton and lined in Liberty tana lawn, both of these have a layer of cotton quilt batting for warmth.  Bottom right is Pop’s with her waterproof and padded lining, made from off cuts of my padded rain coat made late last summer.  I loved the photo of Tess the Springer in her coat on Christmas morning!

Happy New Year!

 

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Plastic free gifts | 2018

I have tried very hard this year to buy from smaller companies and from Etsy, asking at the point of order that I am happy to have them delivered plastic free and that I am trying to reduce my plastic consumption.  So far every lovely supplier has been amazing.  So I thought I’d post some fun plastic free gift ideas.

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Alpaca socks

plastic detox a

How to give up plastic

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beautiful organic teapot

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gingerbread recipe in a jar – to make at home

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mobile phone pocket

cross over apron

cross over apron for men and women

mintie

Mintie lunch box bundle and the calico bag can be personalised.  We use ours nearly everyday and its brilliant.

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delicious foods

plants & flowers are always a delight to be given.  Patch – bostern fern, Bloom & Wild – liberty flowers or plant up some bulbs in a lovely container or these ready planted.

Bee hotel and flower press [totally inspired by Angel after watching Escape to Chateau]

the goodlife centre

the Goodlife Centre

and finally how about an experience, be that a class at Bread Ahead, learning simple electrics, simple plumbing to lampshade making at the wonderful Goodlife Centreurban bee keeping or maybe pasta making.

Hope this list can spark some ideas and when gift wrapping maybe consider using recycled brown paper, or even Furoshiki.

This is not a sponsored post and I have not recieved any gifts – just loved the items.

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The Landgate | a review

the landgate

Pattern: The Landgate

Fabrics: waterproof cotton fabric from The Cloth House warehouse.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] threadhardwear, zip & elastic.

Pattern description: The Landgate Jacket is the first unisex pattern from Merchant and Mills, it’s versatile, functional and thoroughly modern.

Pattern Sizing: Medium.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?:  Yes

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: Nice, straight forward make.  Easy to follow pattern, I prefered to bind the seams inside for a nice finish.

Did I make  any pattern alterations or design changes?  Yes, I dipped the hem at the back into a curve, just to make it good in a storm.  Also used the same fabric for the pocket linings.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?  yes, its a good pattern. If you’ve not made a jacket before, take it slowly and maybe use a waxed cotton.

Conclusion:  This is the second Landgate I’ve made.  The first in a Merchant and Mills waxed linen, re-waxing it proved tricky and thought this waterproof fabric would be perfect.  The fabric is thick and didn’t like pressing all that much (used lots of steam aand a pressing cloth), it’s waterproof rather than shower proof and with wear the fabric will soften.  Using the metal eyelets gives a really professional finish and instead of using cotton cord, I used a thick elastic cord in a contrasting khaki.  The jacket is easy to wear and unisex, so would make a great make for a guy.

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.

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#Plasticdetox June

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I have been using Aesop on and off for quite a few years, finding the packaging really attractive.  Trying to go plastic free, they do have a good range of products with only plastic lids and the bottles are recyclable and also reuseable too.  Some of the products I thought were recyclable and discovered I had completely misunderstood the symbols!

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I have assumed this means recycling as it appears on deodorant bottles and all sorts of things.  In my London borough we can recycle spray antiperspirants like the Sure bottle in my bathroom cabinet.  The symbol above actually means that the producer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging – NOT that the packaging is recyclable.  But I’ve at least learn that now.  The cleanser I chose is an oil base and good, my skin clean – alough still unsure.  So the search continues….  The eye makeup remover is fabulous and so is the facial scrub – but that it appears to be totally recyclable and I am waiting to hear back from Aesop.

Marks-and-Spencer-lambs lettuce

Failed miserably with salad – why do salads items always come in plastic?  No where can I find a lettuce not wrapped in plastic, so have taken matters into my own hands and now have a small space on a friends allotment.  I can not get an allotment of my own in my borough, our garden is a very small courtyard that appears to home bugs of all descriptions that eat all my attempts at growing any veg.

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I then became aware of gardening without plastic was going to be more tricky, seeds in paper will be fine. I’ve started growing some and will transplant when they are big enough.  Found some woad seeds and thought they would be interesting to add in, then I could experiment with dyeing linen and wool.  But all potting compost appears to come in plastic – pre planted veg, fruit and herbs are all in plastic – it’s everywhere!  But I’m sure I can find a way and have plans, the others at the allotments grow the most amazing things.  So inspiring!

With holidays coming up I am researching sun creams etc and busy emailing companies to gain more information. More on that next month!

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T:203 cuff top | a review

T-203 cuff top

Pattern: T:203 Cuff Top by The Assembly Line.

Fabrics: clerical cotton from Fabrics Galore, I bought this in store and can’t see it on their website.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] thread & elastic.

Pattern description: The Cuff top has a straight fit and kimono sleeves with wide elastic cuffs.  Kimono sleeve with top stitch detail on centre and shoulder seams.

Pattern Sizing: X Small, Small, Medium & Large.  I made the medium.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?:  Yes

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: Well written pattern, with clear instructions.  Simple and straight forward and classed as very easy.  It is beautifully packaged and the instructions are in booklet form, complete with drawings and lots of helpful tips.

Did I make any pattern alterations or design changes?  yes, used a thinner elastic – 1.5 inch wide as I have a large reel at home.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?  Yes, I will definitely make it again. The top has a real Cos look to it and very easy to wear, would be great in other colours and also think washed linen and silk would work.

Conclusion:  Great pattern, simple and would be a brilliant first pattern for some one.  I bought it direct from The Assembly Line although The Draper’s Daughter is now stocking them.

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.

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The Holiday shirt | a review

the holiday shirt

Pattern: The Holiday Shirt by The Maker’s Atelier.

Fabrics: Washed linen from Ray Stitch.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] thread, 3mm white elastic  metal cube cord ends, white cotton tape and cord locks.

Pattern description: An easy pull-on top in two lengths, with options for short or long sleeves, collar or hood and with or without drawstring waist.

Pattern Sizing: 8 – 18.  I made the size 12.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?: yes

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: Well written pattern, with clear instructions.  Simple and straight forward to make.  The cotton tape worked beautifully to hide the seam in the hood.

Did I make  any pattern alterations or design changes?  No.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?  Yes, I will definitely make it again.  Thinking of a winter weight version – slightly longer with pockets, may be in a denim.

Conclusion: A great pattern, that will be easy to wear and add to my wardrobe.  Perfect added layer and with some lovely details.

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.

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Tea and crafting with friends

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Last week I sent a few hours with friends and other ladies learning how to paper cut at Tea & Crafting in Covent Garden.  There was lots of tea and coffee and cupcakes galore to keep us going and a great treacher who showed us the basics and then helped us along the way.

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The crafting space is lovely, with walls full of makes, from giant arm knitting to tiny strawberry pompoms.  I did manage to finish my cut, using on of the templates provided and so enjoyed the process.

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I’m certainly going to try paper cutting again, practice will help my technique, below is what one of my friends made – all hand drawn and no template used!

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I need to work on my technique and going to use some Etsy templates I have found, there are some truely amazing artists there who sell paper cutting templates and also artist who sell there fabulous original works.

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New year sewing plans

Happy New Year!!  I thought I’d share some sewing plans I have for this year.  A friend of mine is a professional declutter, she gave me a simple tip to see what clothes I wear and those that just hang unworn.  Go through your wardrobe and turn all the coat hangers the wrong way round.  When you wear the item it goes back in with the hanger right way round, simple!  Do this for 3 – 6 months and it will be easy to see what you actually wear.  I have been wearing my trapeze dresses by merchant and mills, both in super warm wool.  Although a lot of the time I wear my jeans, white shirt and sweater or cardigans – sometimes all 3 when its cold!

shirts from top left clockwise: Paula Wilson, white company, Wolf in sheeps clothing, Old Town, Zara.

My wardrobe is lacking good shirts, some have worn and now have been darned, my favorite blouse is really looking past its best.  I’ve been searching for some good patterns and have found a few brilliant looking versions, thought I’d show you a few I’ve found that fit in with what i wear.

Etsy is always the first place I look and discovered a fab shop in Japan called Patternerie.

LINNET Pattern : No.81 Blouse with Small Square Collar

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/211202851/linnet-pattern-no81-blouse-with-small

love the simplicity of line in the Linnet patterns.  In fact I found it hard to pick just 1, but this one above I think would work best.

melilot shirt pattern

Melilot Shirt by Deer & Doe

The covered placket and simple line works beautifully and in silk would be so lovely to wear.  Great in tana lawn or linen as well.

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The Nell by A verb for keeping warm

Thought this would be great in a fine cotton lawn.  Some of the images show the bib looking stiff and bulky, thought I’d use a very fine interfacing and see if this would work.  I found this pattern over 18 months ago while I was in New York.

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Trudy Tunic by Style Arc

Lovely tunic shape and so very like the Zara blouse.

and finally

Box Shirt The maker's atelier

The Box shirt by The Maker’s Atelier

An easy to wear boxy shape that would be great with jeans or a skirt.  The Maker’s Atelier patterns are brilliant and never had a pattern not work.  I love all 5, just need to choose which one’s to make.  Do you have a good shirt pattern you could recommend?