Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Hand-made/stitched silk mens tie

Hello Everyone,

I hope you had good Christmases. I have put off doing a couple of posts as to not spoil some Christmas presents, but now I can share some of the gifts I made including this silk men's tie. This is the first time I have made a tie but I am really pleased with the results. I sewed it completely by hand as you have to do the final seam by hand and there are only a couple of other small seams so it was just easier and also gave me a chance to practice my hand sewing.

I got the special tie silk from Cloth House on Berwick street in Soho, London, which is just one on many gorgeous fabric shops on that and surrounding streets. The silk comes in a shorter width (70cm), perfect for ties. I bought about 1 1/2 yards (135cm) of striped silk which will easily make two ties.

I used an old tie as a pattern to cut around, the picture shows the pieces I cut laid out as they were on the silk. The pattern is made of three long thin pieces that will make the length of the tie and two triangle pieces that back the two tips (One big, one small). Ties are cut on the bias- I assume this is to give them some stretch and give as they have to be pulled and knotted- that is a guess so correct me if I am wrong!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Round up of previous projects

Hello Everyone,

As promised here is a run down of the things I have made in the past year.

I started with a scarf- Typical, but it is the best thing to start with as it is just row after row of straight-forward knitting and you should have learnt a few things by the time you have finished and got your tension sorted out. I knit this scarf in Rowan big wool in a dark purple colour (I don't remember the exact shade) using garter stich (knit every stitch) on 10mm needles. I love this scarf and enjoyed knitting it as the stich is so simple and the big needles mean that it grows quickly. It ended up about 10ft long and wraps around my neck three times so it is really warm, even in the cold winters of late.

I got the idea from Aneeta Patels book: Knitty Gritty- Knitting for the absolute beginner. it was a book I borrowed from a friend so I cant review it but I do remember it had some nice projects in it and would be a good book for someone starting out.

Next I made a hat from the same wool and from the same book and added a corsage. I think this was knitted on 8mm needles. I made several hats in the same fashion as gifts for people. You can see it is pilling a little bit, but it still looks good.

Then I made this cardigan with Freedom wool I got from my local sewing/craft shop. I was in a rush to knit sometrhing and regretted the pink coloure after I had started knitting it. This was the first thing I knitted from a proper pattern from the Twilleys of Stamford 463 pattern book for Freedom wool. The pattern was for a body warmer, but after a couple of months I decided I wanted a cardigan and added somne sleeves. I used the pattern for sleeves grom another pattern in the same book that used the same size needles. I much prefer it as a cardigan and wear it quite a lot as it is very warm. It doesn't have a fastening so I wear it as pictured with a belt or a pin.

This was the first time I had used more complex stictches such as yarn over needle to create a lace pattern and was surprised how easy it was- if you write down your pattern and tick off the rows as you go.

Lastly for this post- I plan to do a similar post on sewing- wristwarmers that were my first attempt at cabling ands I love how they turned out. I plan to do some more cabling soon and will let you see when I do!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Kim Hargreaves- Darcy peplum cardigan

Hello Everyone,

I plan to do a look back over the things I have made so far, but I need to take a few more pictures. So in the meantime I thought I would share one of the knitting projects I have on the go at the moment, which is this Peplum cardigan from Kim Hargreaves' Darkhouse Collection, Heartfelt. I am using Rowan handknit cotton in dark plum, which is a dark blue/navy; and 4mm needles.

This is the first Kim Hargreaves book I have bought but I think I will buy more in the future as I really like her designs as they are things that I would buy as well as knit. I really like this pattern and I am looking forward to wearing it. I am pleased the yarn is machine washable and that it is a jacket/ cardigan so it should hopefully get plenty and year-round wear.

So far I have knitted the back, left front and am nearly finished on the right side. I started this project about two months ago and am still going! I didn't think it would take nearly this long, but it is quite hard going on the arms as the cotton is quite heavy and it is a lot of stitches on 5mm needles.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Hello and Welcome

Hi my name is Jemilah and this blog will follow my progress as I attempt to teach myself to knit and sew through a number of craft projects. I have always enjoyed being creative and of late much of this energy has been channeled into creating textiles by knitting, sewing and a little crochet. I am not a professional, as you will see, but very much an amateur learning as I go along.

I learnt to knit from my grandmother who taught me at some point before the age of ten, but due to a lack of patience I was never able to produce anything with much success and I quickly lost interest.

I started to knit again about two years ago and luckily I have developed slightly (just enough) more patience and concentration to be able to enjoy the process of creating as well as the end result. This has helped me to produce items I can feel proud of and are actually wearable- a welcome revelation! My re-interest in sewing is more recent (past six months) and is probably fuelled by my desire for quicker results.

During this time I have found YouTube videos, blogs and a number of books extremely helpful and I hope this blog will provide some helpful tips and inspiration; as well as sharing my frequent frustrations.

So thanks for reading and watch this space!