Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Better late than never: my first (Disco) Renfrew!

I've had this pattern for a long time. Probably even since Tasia first released it. I had just finished my Minoru jacket and was definitely sold on the wearability of Sewaholic patterns. Within the first hour of receiving my Renfrew in the post I had already traced and cut all my pattern pieces (ok fine, I did no such thing. I cut that tissue paper right outta the packet. I try to be more of a perfectionist these days). But at the time I didn't have any decent jersey in my stash, so I slightly ran out of keen steam and instead settled for salivating over everyone else's versions of the Renfrew Top that kept cropping up in my reader. Seriously, there was a month or so where I don't think anyone blogged about anything else! Renfrews that stick out in my memory have to be Andrea's Renfrew cardi (definitely need to try that), Marie's flamingo print numberLladybird's many monochrome's and Joanne's adorable maternity Renfrew.

So, with my PMS sewing list in mind, I have been sure to keep a sneaky eye on the lookout for worthy knits whilst fabric shopping. I've acquired some stripey knits, the odd metre of a block colour here and there, and they will definitely all get Renfrewed at some point soon. But - then I met this muted gold viscose jersey, and immediately I envisioned the Disco 'Frew. A fabric such as this requires appropriate treatment, after all. 

The adding of the peplum could not have been easier; it's just a super short circle skirt (always having to refer back to our circle skirt maths tutorial of course) seamed to the waistline of the bodice and reinforced with elastic, which also cinches the waistline perfectly. The seam itself isn't so pretty from the right side, but that's easily remedied with a belt. As for the hem, I used the same vintage Tyrolean tape I used for the shoulder seams (such a pretty detail!) stitched over the turned in hem. I'd actually never thought to do this before when hemming a knit fabric, but it worked so well, and adds a bit of welcome extra weight. Fit-wise, I cut a size 4 (UK 8) and ended up taking about half an inch out of the side seams, and I had to shave a good inch from the sleeves to make them a slimmer fit. Looking at these pictures now, they could probably do with another half inch or so taken out to smooth those crinkles, and a good inch off the sleeve length! Which reminds me, the sleeves on my Minoru jacket are too long too... Something to remember: my arms are shorter than Sewaholic patterns suggest!

I am definitely planning more of these, most likely more casual, less blog-worthy versions. There will be stripes, block colours and long sleeves aplenty. I doubt I'll go for the cowl neck variation, not really my thing, but you never know; give me a couple of metres of some supersoft thermal knit and I could be swayed. You'll see it here first.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

What the f*** is that in your freezer??!?

In my freezer you'll find the basic essentials of life (bear in mind this is just my little fridge freezer; I also have a pretty serious industrial freezer big enough to hide a pair of bodies that I found on the side of the road that is host to a many more exciting frozen goods... no bodies though):

Fish fingers. Obviously.

Lots of ice-cream. Of both the Italian and dairy-free varieties.

Black Cow vodka. Seriously good stuff. Made by a friend of mine in Dorset, this is the world's first vodka made from pure milk. Seriously good stuff.

A sandwich bag full of crochet granny squares. Whaaaaaat?! 

Truth is, I got moths.

I started crocheting these squares in the Summer, using my many, many random balls of DK yarn with which I don't yet have the patience to knit something real, but always seem to buy from sale bins or discontinued stock. A technicolour granny square blanket along these lines seemed the obvious fate for those poor lonesome yarns. 

After a slowish start, I really got into the swing of things as Autumn turned to Winter when I was given a beautiful yarn basket from a beautiful friend for my birthday. I knew immediately that that would be the official granny square blanket basket. So things were going great... and then I went away after Christmas for a couple of weeks... the moths saw their opportunity, moved in and got busy.

Anyone who knits/sews/owns cashmere will know that it's not the fully grown moths that chomp away on your best woollens, but in fact their larvae. Their pesky, greedy, good for nothing offspring. Killing moths as and when you see them is obviously a good preventative (extreme moth contraception), but what you really want to do is actually stop them f***ing in your stash. This time I was too late. When you find those white wispy strands of moth larvae the only thing for it is to get that shit in the freezer. That's the only way to kill them.

I have not been put off by this little hurdle however, and I am full steam ahead with operation Technicolour Granny Blanket Stash-Bust and hope to have all 432 - yes, four hundred and thirty-two - squares done and joined for next Winter. In the meantime, as a precautionary measure, each square I complete is immediately relocated to a sandwich bag in the freezer until further notice.
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