Archive | September 2014

burgundy and knitwear – getting ready for autumn.

Have been really crap at taking photos of this lot in a timely fashion. Once again I was waiting to get round to dye my hair, but it always takes a good 2 weeks longer than I intend to get round to it (my appointment is on Friday) so I finally gave up this weekend and took pictures with monster roots.

So….

Firstly, a top I have made many times before, pattern of my own design and previous versions to be found here, here and here.

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The jersey is from Rolls and Rems in Lewisham, and although it seems good quality and I pre washed it no problem, as I was making it I found it doesn’t massively like a very hot iron, so this could be a bit of a problem.

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Close up of the lace and buttons…..I think I’ve finally cracked getting hold of cheap good quality lace! 🙂 There is a seller on ebay from Hong Kong sells stuff that is actually comparable to Japanese quality but affordable, and everything they’ve sent me so far has been ace! The buttons are from a vintage stall in Greenwich.

 

So secondly…… heres finally my finished knitted shrug…..

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This was made from a Debbie Bliss Riva yarn in Heather, and the pattern is from the Riva booklet. It is a kit I was given by Jon’s Mum and is my first attempt at making something that isn’t garter stitch, so I am quite pleased with myself. It took me ages though. Next thing I’m working on is a scarf and hat for winter.

The skirt in both photos is this one I made last year.

It is also the time of year the fabric stall lady gets all her autumn stock in, so I went on a trip down there last week…

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The one that looks like granny carpet is a lovely soft jersey, as are the purple, cherry red and purple stripe pieces. The red floral one on the bottom is a knit that I’m going to use for a dress or cardigan, and the two floral ones at the top are crepe, so they will be summer dresses. I am quite pleased with that little lot.

My sewing at the moment is deeply boring actually, I’ve got a plain long sleeved top ready cut out in the same burgundy fabric, then I’m doing another one of those ruffle blouses in red followed by a red funnel neck top, followed by two jersey tops for a friend, and at some point during that lot an orange and black ruffle blouse for Halloween. Which is all really boring and I’m taking ages over it as my health as per usual isn’t great, so possibly I’ll be all done on that lot by xmas.

However by the end of the year I’ll have my basics wardrobe completely sorted, so I’ll be able to focus on fun frilly projects next year.

Chester….a weirdo’s guide!

I wasn’t going to post about this, as it was just a two day break in a random northern city, but actually it was too awesome not to.

First of all we got a first class train up there. This is because for whatever bizarre reason it was pretty much the same price as standard for that particular journey…

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Jon, having a beer on the train. Straight after that they gave us a free beer as well! 🙂

The hotel we were staying in was half way between the station and the town, it was a bit 80’s decor and had a very 80’s restaurant (breaded camembert, stuffed duck) that we avoided, but it also had an awesome swimming pool with a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi that we gave a good explore after settling in.

We then hit the town to find dinner and drinkies.

Chester is really weird as all the buildings even back to medieval are 4 stories high and the bottom floor and cellar are one shop and then there is a gallery you can walk along with a second shop at first and 2nd floor level. it is also a lot posher than I was expecting (Hollyoaks is not a good advertisement) and has a lot of interesting quirky shops……

including a Tiki Bar!!! I don’t think they even have one in London and I have been dying to try one out for like ever! This one was in the crypt of a building and was so pretty……

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I had a Mai Tai and a Pina Colada and Jon had a Tequila Sunrise to drink. It was so cool, though the choice of happy hardcore style dance music blaring did seem a little incongruous.

Then we cleared off to a pub near the river to eat, it was recommended to us as really special and it was ok, however £10 for a 8oz steak and chips and a half bottle of wine each was pretty darn good, I’ve got to say. We were a bit too tired and cocktailed out to want to get really drunk, so, as it came with a handy lid, we liberated the bottle of wine back to our hotel and had it the next day while getting ready for the convention.

Next morning we went on a walk round the town centre again. It is such a bizarre place, even Debenhams is in like a really ancient building…this is the coffee shop in the basement….

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Then I went to look at a shop that had caught my eye the night before…

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Morgan is a little chain of boutiques in Chester and Wales that does what I can only describe as Mori Girl – a japanese youth style that involves dressing like someone who lives in the woods and is close to nature – clothing. Which is awesome cuz this is the middle of England. The shop is very pretty (I had a job and a half making that photo not reflective, there are far better pictures on their website) but ruinously expensive, serious designer prices. As inspiration it is lovely though, and although the workers there and the clientele seemed mainly my Mums age, one of them knew exactly what Mori Girl was and had a pinterest board full of it apparently.

So feeling inspired, we head across the road to Cancer Research and there I did what I have to describe as my best charity shop haul in ages…

In fact if more stuff had stood half a chance of fitting I would have had half the shop away with me….

Here goes then…

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The blouse is a lot more poofy and victorian style when you actually have it on. Left behind of particular note was a one shouldered 90’s top sewing pattern that only went up to a size 12, a Mansun/Manics fan green army jacket (Jon already has one) and a blue velvet jacket (too small for Jon).

On the way back to the hotel we ran into a town crier convention as well….

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So then the convention, which is what we were actually in Chester for. It was a celebration of the works of a 90’s band called Mansun. For anyone who doesn’t know they were a britpop-glam style band a bit like the Manic Street Preachers, but with a much more prog edge to them. They were quite big at the time but never made it massive, to a large part because their record company didn’t think they were pop enough to push. They split up about 10 years ago now, but amongst young kids (And there really were quite a lot at the convention) they’ve once again got a bit of a cult following as people who weren’t there at the time reevaluate everything that happened in the britpop era and decide what they think was good or not, 15 years later without the record label and radio 1/nme interference that was a major issue at the time. A phrase that got bandied round a lot at the convention was ‘Britpop’s Velvet Underground’

Anyway, it was very good fun, there were a few exhibitiony things, a few talks and panels on various aspects of Mansuns history, and then a gig in the evening. I didn’t take many photos as I was having fun…

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Jon posing as the album cover from ‘Six’ and one of Paul Draper’s guitars.

It was really weird though, back in 2000/2001 there was a whole community based round liking this sort of music, there were multiple club nights in London playing Mansun and other bands of their ilk and millions of underaged teenagers, who wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a nightclub at that age these days, following minor rock stars around screaming. I kept recognising people vaguely who I’d known back then and been to the same gigs and clubs and pub meet ups as, but as Facebook didn’t exist there was no practical way of keeping in touch with. I do miss London having a functioning alternative scene! One of the things you don’t realise until you see them all in a room with you is just how many people have had to move away!

Anyway, journey back was a right pain in the neck as Virgin trains, in their wisdom, had decided to do track repairs over the bank holiday weekend and so a train would have involved 3 changes and taken 5 1/2 hrs, so we took a coach which took 6 instead. Which was not great and made me kind of ill.

I’ve been kind of ill ever since actually. I have finally blocked my knitting, but due to rather damp weather and having to dry it flat its drying rather slowly. I also intend to spend tomorrow working on my next top.