Friday, July 11, 2014

Fluffy Fibers: Episode 16

Bluefaced Leicester 2014 SPAKAL spinning

Download the episode (57:42) here.

Here is the direct feed and the iTunes page for the podcast.

I am FluffyFibers on Ravelry and the podcast also has a Ravelry group and forum. Social media links are in the blog's sidebar.
The show is now welcoming sponsors for giveaways, reviews, etc.

SHOWNOTES

1. A BIT OF SEWING (01:41)
Flutter Dress
1.a Finishes
- Flutter Dress by Aesthetic Nest on Etsy. See above and below:
Flutter Dress


- Sorbetto Top by Colette, as part of the Summer Top Craftalong hosted by Karen of the Stashless podcast.
Tutorial for using bias tape as facing:  http://so-sew-easy.com/use-bias-tape-neckline/
Sorbetto Top

1.b Future Projects
- Secret gifts!
- Another dress for my daughter
- Solveig top by Citronille. I plan to make a sleeveless version.
- Small zippered project pouch for my sock knitting

2. SUMMER SEWALONG (13:36)

Let's sew a dress, or top, or hat, or anything summer related! Let's interpret this loosely. :)
There is a chatter thread on Ravelry and the Flickr group to enter your pictures - one picture per item.
Each picture will count as an entry towards a giveaway.
One post from the chatter thread will also be randomly selected for a prize.

PRIZES:
- Two winners will each win one pattern from Aesthetic Nest on Etsy
- Onion patterns (details TBA)
- a handmade prize by Sandra, Speattle on ravelry.

You can tag your related projects on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #fluffyfibersSSAL

If you would like to sponsor the giveaway for the sewalong, please email me (email address in sidebar) or contact me by Ravelry.

3. A BIT OF KNITTING (17:07)
3.a Finishes
July 9, 2014 - birthday socks!

Socks for Seb, out of Lang Yarns Jawoll Cotton Color (19 wool, 35% cotton and 16% nylon). My first socks! Using the Universal Toe-up Formula published by Amy Swenson in Knitty.

3.b In progress
- Featherweight Cardigan out of Lang Golf yarn in peacock blue.
- Socks for me! Out of Biscotte & Compagnie Felix Autorayante yarn in the Cupcake colourway.

3.c Future projects
- Fireflies Rising Shawlette by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade


4. A BIT LOT OF SPINNING (24:06)
2014-06-28_2plyed-first-handpsun-skeined
- I have been learning a lot from Felicia Lo's Craftsy class, Spinning Hand-dyed Fiber. This was recommended by Kristin of the Yarngasm podcast, also dyer of the droolworthy Voolenvine Yarns.
- I also just started watching Rita Buchanan's video, How I Spin, downloadable on Interweave.

- I have made a lot of progress on my undyed BlueFaced Leicester for SPAKAL (spin along-knit along) hosted by the Knitmore Girls, and as part of Tour de Fleece. I am part of Team Sasquatch on Ravelry.
I wound what I had spun onto Bobbins Up plastic bobbins, which adapt to an electric screwdriver. Pictured at the top of the shownotes. I have been spinning some more since then and have 150 grams left to spin out of my 700 grams of roving. I plan to knit a cardigan out of the resulting yarn.

- I also practiced plying for the first time by plying the very first singles I ever spun, 3 years ago - pictured above. Very over/under-spun (not over/under-plied, as I'm saying in the podcast). My first yarn nonetheless!

5. HAPPY THOUGHT INDEED (40:04 but really starts at 38:50)
New segment inspired by Boston Jen of the Down Cellar Studio podcast.

Learning spinning is making me dizzy with excitement.

6. A BIT OF READING (41:55)
Chapter 2 of Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. Read here.

Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fluffy Fibers: Episode 15

Me Made May - day 30

Download the episode (59:04) here.

Here is the direct feed and the iTunes page for the podcast.

I am FluffyFibers on Ravelry and the podcast also has a Ravelry group and forum. Social media links are in the blog's sidebar.
The show is now welcoming sponsors for giveaways, reviews, etc.

SHOWNOTES


1. A Bit of Inspiration (03:06)

I talk about my participation to Me Made May. You can find all my pictures here and my blog posts here. The Flickr group is here.
I mention the New Look 6557 pattern, the Menorca top from Rowan Summer Crochet, and the Monique Dress by Sew Serendipity, and the Anna Dress by By Hand London.

2. A Bit of Sewing (17:07)
2.a Finishes
Me Made May 2014 - day 3
- Day Tripper Top, from the Just Add Jeans collection, pictured above.
- Plantain tee shirt, a free pattern by Deer and Doe.
- Crocheted and sewn dress for my 1-year-old niece, pictured below. Pattern coming soon on Ravelry
Baby / Toddler Dress

2.c Future Projects
Dresses for my daughter and me. I cut out Flora and Elisalex by By Hand London and am planning on combining them. I also cut out the Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns.

2.d Summer Sewalong!
Let's sew a dress, or top, or hat, or anything summer related! I'll open a thread on the Ravelry forum where you can share your projects for the sewalong. If you're not on Ravelry, I'll put up a post here where you can post your ideas and projects. You can also tag your projects on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #fluffyfibersSSAL 
There will be a giveaway for the sewalong.
If you would like to sponsor the giveaway for the sewalong, please do email me (email address in sidebar) or contact me by Ravelry.



3. A Bit of Knitting (28:21)

Honey Cardigan

3. a Finishes
- Honey Cardigan, by Veera Välimäki, in Plassard Tweedée, pictured above. Out of Plassard Tweedée.
- Owlets pullover for my daughter, out of Cascade Eco + in Lake Chelan Heather, to match my Idlewood for the Matchy matchy KAL.
- Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague. Out of Rozetti Yarns Soft Payette in light grey (purchased at La Lainière de Wazemmes in Lille).

3.b In Progress
- Featherweight Cardigan out of Lang Golf yarn in peacock blue.
- Socks for Seb, out of Lang Yarns Jawoll Cotton Color (19% - not 90%! - wool, 35% cotton and 16% nylon). My first socks! Using the Universal Toe-up Formula published by Amy Swenson in Knitty.
I blame and thank the Knitmore Girls and Voolenvine of Yarngasm for putting me on the socks knitting bandwagon, especially her Queen of Gray episode.

3.c Future Projects

- Fireflies Rising Shawlette by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade
- Socks for me! I just bought some self-striping yarn, ONline Garne Supersock 4-fach Art-Color in the colourway '1530' (no name?).

4. A Bit of Spinning (41:22)

Spinning Bluefaced Leicester

I mention two spinning books by Judith MacKenzie McCuin: Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning and The Intentional Spinner, as well as her DVD, The Gentle Art of Plying. You can find an extract of the DVD on the Interweave Youtube channel.

I started spinning some Blue-Faced Leicester for SPAKAL (spin along-knit along) hosted by the Knitmore Girls, and to prepare for Tour de Fleece. I am part of Team Sasquatch on Ravelry.

5. Happy Thought Indeed (43:39)
New segment inspired by Boston Jen of the Down Cellar Studio podcast.

- New additions to our family have made us very happy.
- We are going to England for the holidays. I would very much welcome recommendations of yarn shops that offer hand-dyed fiber (the only yarn shops I've been to in London are the knitting section of John Lewis and Loop) and of fun stuff to do or visit in London with a 2-year-old.

Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Me Made May: Final Recap

Hello, friends!

Here is the last wrap-up for Me Made May 2014: Week 4, and the last 3 days of May. As you will see, the weather was very changeable and made for a variety of garments.


May 22: The Summerset Top - Burda World of Fashion January 2008 # 116 top. Made in the spring of 2008.
May 23: Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Fitted t-shirt and Honey Cardigan
May 24: By Hand London Red Floral Anna Dress
May 25 - morning: Deer and Doe Plantain top and apron that matches my daughter's (made them for her birthday in February). May 25 was Mother's Day in France and my daughter and I started the day by baking a cake together for her friend who was visiting in the afternoon. 


May 25 - afternoon: Amsterdam top - Rowan Menorca from Summer Crochet, made in 2010, and self-drafted ruffle skirt
May 26: Simplicity 4022, made in 2008
May 27: New Look trousers and Spring Garden Tee, by Alana Dakos, knit out of organic bamboo.
May 28: Poppy Fields Dress - the Monique Dress by Sew Serendipity Studio.

May 29: I started being sick (not over it yet - nasty throat infection) and worked from home in yoga pants, my cosy Plantain top and massive crocheted shawl.
May 30: another cosy outfit with yoga pants and a Jalie Sweetheart top.
May 31 - morning: went out early for grocery shopping in my Day Tripper Top and Un-Iced jacket out of Rowan Big Wool
May 31 - rest of the day: It was super warm on Saturday and I wore my New Look 6557 in a white and light blue tiny floral. Still sick, but I was so happy to have completed Me Made May - and to be done with daily selfies, quite honestly!

Me Made Day - day 31 - final picture!

A few thoughts. My initial goal was to wear me-made every day and photograph as often as possible. I ended up taking pictures for every single day but one.
May was particularly busy for me (it's one of the craziest, if not THE craziest month in my job), and also very stressful, for the reasons started at the beginning of the previous post. Our childminder is finally back today (Monday June 3rd). The last week was also marred by my being sick - nothing too terrible, but you really, really do not feel like taking pictures when you're exhausted and have a stuffy nose. The keyword for May was definitely tenacity.

For obvious reasons I hadn't been able to sew a lot in the past 2 years - and more largely, have had so much less time to sew since I arrived in Southern France in 2009. I felt taking part in MMMay would provide a nice opportunity to get back into wearing handmade about every day, the way I used to before I had my daughter. 
It worked. 
I wore old favourites (like my New Loook 6557 dresses, which have gotten worn so much every single summer since I made them 8 (!) years ago. These dresses got re-assembled a couple of times to be finished more nicely (I was a very beginning sewist in 2006) and to be better adjusted (they started out being too large so I took them in a few years ago). 
I also rediscovered beautiful things that had not been given the love they deserved in the past. My Amsterdam crochet top, for instance. My Poppy Fields Dress, as well. I believe this dress is one of the very finest I've ever made, but I completed it as I was pregnant with my daughter and it didn't fit comfortably within a day or two of its being made! Then for the last two summers I was unable to wear it because it wasn't breastfeeding-friendly. This spring, as we nurse twice a day at most (and usually just once), I was finally able to wear it, along with all my beloved dresses - and to make new ones, like the Deer and Doe Sureau, and my two By Hand London Annas.

Me Made May was very exciting the first two weeks. Then it did become more tedious. Not in the wearing a handmade garment every day, but in the taking a picture every day. I grew increasingly self-conscious in posting a selfie every day to my Flickr and Instagram feeds, and I'm probably not going to make a new dress for a little while, if only NOT to have to take Yet.Another.Self.Portrait. ;)
(I used a tripod and a remote for all of the indoors pictures, by the way. Sometimes my daughter actioned the remote. She has become very skilled at it).

Also, I have been so much focusing on my sewing for this past month, that the rest got neglected. You can't be both taking and posting pictures every day, AND knit/sew/spin on top of it. Definitely not with the kind of time I was having in May. 
So, right now I plan on concentrating on sewing clothes for little ones - my daughter and her cousin, who will be one in a week; and to practice my spinning for Tour de Fleece. Because, yes! Next event in line is Tour de Fleece, in July.
Me Made May - day 30

A last word in parting. If you listen to the podcast, you will, of course, know that the backdrop for my pictures are the amazing bookshelves that Seb built from scratch with my father. They fill an entire wall top to bottom, and they make me so happy.

Who among you participated in MMay this year? How do you feel as it is now complete?

Happy summer, everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Me Made May: Week Three


Hello, all! It's already time to wrap up week 3 of Me Made May 2014.
We've been having a particularly hectic at the moment because my daughter's childminder is very sick and has been off work since last Tuesday, and we just learned she would get back on June 2 in the best case scenario. I am very worried for her, and we have been completely scrambling for the past 10 days. Getting emergency childcare has proven very challenging and as we have no relatives nearby, and this is one of the very busiest months on the year for both of us, it's been extremely stressful. We miraculously got a spot at a local childcare (that she's been to in the past) for this morning and tomorrow morning, but no idea yet how next week will be. I'm typically getting up at 4 am and going to bed at 11 pm to make sure I stay *almost* on top of things.

All that being said - I am very happy to say that I have been steadily keeping up with MMMay, and have even managed to snap a picture almost every day (which wasn't actually part of my challenge). Last Monday was an absolute no-go, as I was away all day and only came home from work at 9 pm! I wpre my Rowan crochet top that I also wore on May 11 last week, along with the handmade trousers I wore on May 14, so you're not really missing out on anything.

I don't have time to detail each garment the way I did for week 1 and 2, so I'll just quickly tell the names and drop the links here:
May 15: L'été Enfui blouse - Burda World of Fashion June 2008 (Burda Tendances Modes juin 2008) - Blouse 107 . Made in 2008.
May 16: Another New Look 6557 (same as my Olivia Dress last week), in a light blue floral print on a white background. Made in 2006.
May 17: Blue Anna and Miette cardigan (never blogged!). Both out of Rowan fabric and yarn! I was complimented in the street that day for my outfit. Made my day.
May 18: Ruffled skirt (link with take you to tutorial). It was very summery on Sunday and we went to a petting zoo and had lots of fun.
May 19: Not photographed - Amsterdam Top from Rowan Summer Crochet and New Look trousers.
May 20: Deer and Doe Plantain wearable muslin (finished last weekend) for a quiet day of working from home (and taking care of my daughter).
May 21: Day Tripper Top (also shown in Week 1 of MMMay) and Honey Cardigan, which I finished the night before! Perfect for the rainy, stormy weather and for working from home again. Design is by Veera Välimäki.