Saturday, 30 July 2011

Happy Secret Birthday Present

This month was Richard's birthday. He was 32. I decided I would like to knit for him a cardigan as we have been buying a lot of things since we moved in, and also because I think it is a special gift if you spend your time to make it especially.

Since I made my raspberry pink cardigan, Rich has been much more happy with the idea of a hand knitted item so I picked out a simple raglan pattern and got some Dark Grey Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply (lovely and soft merino wool, cashmere and nylon blend) and set out to some secret knitting!!

I think I have left the pattern in my drawer at work so can't show you it now but it was a vintage gem - nice and seventies, but just the right one - a raglan 4 ply.

It was a bit of a task only knitting when he wasn't about. I was so pleased with myself that even though we live together and work together and often spend time together, I managed to complete this project without his ever knowing!

I ordered some brown leather buttons to finish off. This was Fred Perry's idea - not really mine. A good idea Fred!

And here he is modeling the finished result. I had been comparing the size with his clothes as I went along and think it payed off. I was pleased it was a good fit and looks so nice.

He is pleased about it too.

Yours secretively,
Emilia. xxxx

and Richard.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Newest Shortie

For my birthday I got some lovely wool. It is Rowan Scottish tweed in colour way 'herring'. My mum knitted my dad a pullover in this and I loved it so much. It is a sort of grey-brown but with little flecks of primary colours. very lovely.

As you can see i have made a start! I have chosen a pattern from my vintage collection which is from 1958 and called the newest shortie. Here she is - really lovely!

i like the style advice they give. i will be sure to wear mine with a slim fitting, light-coloured dress.

I can't follow the pattern exactly as i need to make it a bit smaller to fit me and also because it was written for 3 ply and the scottish tweed is a 4 ply. I have got the tension close but not quite right so I just using the pattern as a guide and doing a lot of mathematics to get the right number of stitches. I'm a little tentative as it's hard to know how big to make it to get the correct fit, but I don't mind a bit of trial and error.

I am also using this project as an opportunity to practise a new knitting technique. it is the way my mum knits and always tells me i would be better off if i did too. I found this good video which demonstrates well. the only real difference is the way to hold the right hand needle - like a pencil. I don't quite wrap my wool in my hand the same way as the lady in the video though, but found my own way which feels comfortable.

You tube is really interesting for different knitting techniques. i spent so long watching different english knitting styles and the continental way and the cross between the two. phew! Also, i was amazed to see this amazing lady from scotland! She is SO FAST!

Yours merrily we knit along,
Emilia. xxxxx

Friday, 22 July 2011


I am very pleased to announce the completion of my mint green cable beaut...

The cabling is also on the back of the shoulders - here is a close up.

I am really pleased with this one as I had drawn the pattern using my measurements and instructions from my knit design book (as well as a little inspiration from topshop) and it has worked out really so well! Such a good fit - although perhaps a little long in the arm.

 pleased! thank you Deb for these sweet birthday hairslides.

I had quite a lot of trouble towards the end of this project because the button bands proved quite an ordeal. Because I had used reverse stocking stitch, it was really impossible to pick up stitches to knit the band horizontally - although I did have a few attempts. In the end though I decided to cable some bands and sew them on. They are curling back a bit at the moment, but hopefully with wear this will sort itself out. and with the buttons done up i am really pleased! I think Kirchhoff would be proud!

Also I am pleased because today we have some blue sky. I am on holiday from work at the moment so it's not so good to have rain - although it has meant I have managed some home improvements on indoor days. Now we have curtains in our bedroom (very floral curtains! but Rich says he doesn't mind. at least it's what he says)

And you can see from the picture that the sky today is blue - so now we are going out for a picnic and beach afternoon. That's much more like it! Good excuse to wear my new sunglasses....


Hopefully there will be lots more show and tell from these few weeks off. 

Yours restfully,
Minty. xxxx

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Linton Tweeds

Today was exciting for me as my order from Linton Tweeds, arrived (the house of Chanel buy this!)

These are the fabrics i got to make some new clothes. I just bought a metre of each but they are really wide so plenty there for something nice. It's so delighting.

 This navy grey and pink is luminous! I am very pleased i opted for this!

 This is a black textured woollen. It didn't photograph so well but it is really lovely in real life.

Along with my order, I was sent a set of samples. They are lovely, and good to have to help me with future purchases. It is really very hard to buy fabric online!

There is range of the couture fabrics, and also a selection of the crepes. That is good to know the colours of those - they are next on my list!

Here are some close ups of my favourites. They are really gorgeous in real life. I don't know i will ever go to Fabric land again. op.

I think a few fabric corsages are on the horizon! Luckily tomorrow is my last day of working for a few weeks so I will have lots of time for my projects. I am looking forward to that quite a lot!

Yours tweedily dee,
Tweedily dum. xxxx

Monday, 11 July 2011


On saturday, as well as doing a lot of baking and shopping, I also managed to squeeze in a spot of dressmaking.

I had purchased a piece of this liberty print fabric a little while ago. It is called Betsy and i just thought it was such a retro gem. The liberty fabrics are so beautiful but unfortunately also a little on the pricey side so the piece i bought was quite a small one (1m). I was planning to do another bit of draping, but decided to see if I could lay a pattern onto it for a 'real' dress and really rather pleased to find I could!

The pattern I used was this one from last summer (also used for this cold weather version) I have been wearing that dress this summer too - it was a good project for sure, despite it being a sad day for England in the world cup.

And here I am in my new blue one. I ended up in a bit of a rush on saturday as really wanted to wear it to see Surfer Joe and the other surf music bands who were playing that night.

I am so pleased. And it is nice when these things go together nicely. I definitely recommend liberty fabric for smooth sewing.

Now I am going to spend some birthday money at Linton Tweeds (fabric suppliers of Chanel) 
uh oh. spagetti oh.

Your fabric junkie,
Betsy, xxx

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Birthday Cakes!

Today it is my birthday! and so what better occasion for eating loads of cake (also it is Rich's birthday tomorrow so it really is necessary to do some baking and icing)

I have had this cupcake stand since christmas but not yet used it. It was good to save it for this time though - what joyful celebratory treats to behold!

I made three whole batches so have a good variety - lemon, chocolate chip and marshmallow and almond cakes. we ate all the spares yesterday just to be sure they were good enough. they were.

Also i got myself some little plates for the day - the perfect size for a little cake! (and my mum says they are very old so perhaps much birthday cake has been enjoyed from these ones)

And if all this wasn't enough, a small cake from cake master mummy - orange and poppy seed!

I have been treated this morning with breakfast and presents and lunch and tea, and now off for some music for the afternoon. What a very lovely day for me.

Yours, a year older now,
Wise old Baker. xxx

Friday, 8 July 2011

Sewing the mouse (scruffy little mouse)

For a long time I have had this little mouse hanging around:

What a sweet picture he made. But tonight i thought it would be a nice thing to sew the mouse!

He went together in no time! What a sweet one.

He is a scruffy little thing. Not at all as neat as the model mouse in the photograph but I think i like him more this way.

Mrs Mouse.  xxx

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Fresh fruit bake

This morning I was up bright and early to bake a summery cake delight.

I really really liked the look of Debbie's fresh fruit tarts and then i came across this recipe from the vegetarian cookbook my mum bought for me and decided it would be a good treat for this summer's weekend:

kettle's on

A gem! 

I am going for afternoon tea today, arranged by feminist brighton to raise money and awareness for The Poppy Project. I mentioned that I would make a cake for the day so perhaps this will be a welcome addition for that event (and a good excuse to tuck in!)

Yours better get a move on,

Almond. xxxx

Friday, 1 July 2011

Great minds....

Today I was browsing the elle autumn/winter runway edit supplement, and came across the page devoted to the designer Meadham Kirchhoff, complete with this outfit...

It did ring a few bells...

If only I was a quicker knitter! (although finishing sooner probably wouldn't have got my cardigan onto a model at london fashion week and stolen the thunder)

Unfortunately my version is still a work in progress, but getting there now. Just a sleeve to go (and button bands and collar)

I would quite like to wear it on my birthday next sunday... let's see about that! At least I know which colour lipstick to wear it with now.

Yours, just call me Kirchhoff,
Emilia, xxxx