Friday, June 8, 2012

Project updates: knitting

Hi y'all, I thought I would do a quick "project update" post while 10 yo daughter watches HP and the Goblet of Fire (again, sigh).  Hopefully we have synchronised things nicely and HP will be all over red rover by the time it is Sherlock.

Anyway, here in the lower south island of NZ we are shivering.... Alas,  there are no photos of me dolled up in my Astakhan (spelling????)  coat which I have never previously worn.  It reminds me of a poodle - an aged one at that.  After wearing it to and from work I came home to find that a large amount of the curls were coming off and I spent the best part of an evening re-sewing curls back on.  After a frustrating hour myopically stabbing here and there I resorted to craft glue.  I promise, I will post photos of the coat because it is truly awesome.

In the meanwhile, I have become rather obsessed with knitting hats.  The red and grey beret is now completed and my 10yo has worn it several times.  It is not as special as the $1 skater cap she bought from "$2 and more" store.  I then embarked on a voyage of discovery and decided to use a skein of recycled sari silk which I bought at least two years ago, and have knitted into a scarf shape and then pulled undone as the effect was totally unsatisfactory.  To my surprise, it knitted up rather nicely.  I used to spare grey 4 ply for the base and then the sari silk and then the top in grey again.  As you can see from the photo below, the colours are stunning.

I think I bought the sari silk off Trademe for around $10.  The grey wool is from my stash, inherited from my mother-in-law.

Hats are a pleasant and easy diversion from my major project which is proving to be rather tiresome. The purple cardigan with lace pattern.  I have finished one front and have started the second.  My lace motifs are not all the same, in fact, some of them meander quite drunkenly towards the centre - I hope when it is sewn up and I have done the bands that it will be barely noticeable.

I also started a third project - for my dear darling H.  He suffers from allergies and cannot wear wool, so I took advantage of the 30% off all yarn sale at Spotlight and bought enough to make him something from this vintage pattern:

I am making him a round neck sweater with raglan sleeves - and I am using Marvel 8 ply.  It is knitting up really quickly which is very satisfying.

Regular readers of my blog will know about the Ravensbourne Foot bridge which crosses the railway line.  It was recently repaired and reopened.  Imagine my delight when I noticed that a local bus shelter has been repainted....depicting the iconic bridge:

 ..and look for all those train afficionados the other side appears to depict a W Class locomotive.  Dear H is delighted (he is the one with the steam train know-how!)

Okay, its over and out for me, its been a funny week with a holiday on Monday, but I am still very glad it is Friday night!  I am going to knit a few rows and await Sherlock. xx

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekly round up

Today is a public holiday in New Zealand - its nice to have a Monday off work as it makes the weekend longer.  Its been a busy week for me work-wise as I had several meetings (two related to my union work), so I have appreciated an extra day.  

The first thing I want to share is the highlight of my week: I met up with Owlinalarkworld we went opshopping!! It was so much fun!  We talked and talked and talked and we went to Butterflies Hospice Shop.  We talked about thrifting, unions, reading and all sorts.  I hope we get to catch up again.  

I bought a few things this week - the first was these super cute gloves:

I know, I am being an idiot, but I just did not want my face in the photo.  The gloves needed a wash and I am not sure if the colour had already run, or if I did it, but there is a bit of black dots running unfortunately.  They are so cute though, and its barely noticeable.  Not bad for $3.  At the same time I scored a cool pair of ankle boots, black leather for $9.

Oh, and the red cardi I am wearing was also from Butterflies, the brand is FOIL and it appears to be brand new.  I picked it up when I was shopping with Owlinalarkworld It was $5 and I wore it the next day teamed up with a bright blue long sleeve top for maximum colour brightness.  Not visible is a black and red polka dotted pleated skirt.

Colour seems to have been on my mind quite a bit, so I made an effort on Friday to be as bright as possible.  I was meeting up with a friend I have not seen for two or three years and I was not sure she would recognise me as I have grown my hair since she last saw me!!  These flouro pink tights from No 1 Shoes worked well with a black and white maxi dress which I cut down to below the knee (or should that be cut up??).  It was a sod to hem as it is on the bias and it took hours.  The photos of the outfit were really stinky so you will have to make do with a shoe shot: DV8 leather shoes, $9 SaveMart.

In amongst the washing, knitting, grocery shopping, play-dates and dinner with friends,  and other household chores, we watched TinTin on DVD and really enjoyed it.  I've read a couple of the books but I am not a die-hard fan unlike some I know.  On the retro theme, today we watched the Smurfs - a real blast from my past.  It was cute and harmless family fun.

Right my uninterrupted internet time is over, so thats all from me.  Hope you all have a good week,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Polyester to the max and some crimplene as well

Well everyone, I am having a an hour or two by myself at home this evening, which means one thing: uninterrupted free time on the internet!!!!

What I want to show you are the three fabulous frocks which I have bought via Trademe recently.  Now I am sure you will agree with me, that sometimes buying online is not always successful.  Sometimes it feels like I have bought more "misses" than "hits".  Descriptions can be hilarious and appalling at the same time depending on the spelling mistakes.  However my last two purchases have more than made up for the past mistakes.

So in one week I made 2 purchases - one was 2 dresses for sale together and another which was ambiguously titled "Someone's treasure".  The listing for two dresses caught my eye because of the patterns on both dresses.  Usually when things are sold in twos or threes, or mores, there is one very ugly item, or one item which is not vintage, so when I saw the pics I knew I was on to something.  To my delight there was a "buy now" for $20 so I buy now I did.

Firstly, for your viewing pleasure is an Osti Fashions maxi dress with a charming border print.  If the fruit were red I would say they were plums, but they are brown, so I have named this my "nut" dress.  I wore it on Saturday with brown boots and my yellow lurex cardigan and a denim jacket.   The fabric is polyester - a thicker, denser version of most of the Osti dresses I have seen.

This dress is a wonderful fit - it seems to have panels down the side which are very flattering, although it is slightly tighter across the stomach than I would prefer, I just love the swishing of the fabric around my ankles.

Here is a gratuitous close-up of the tag for all you tag lovers out there.  Egad, in that photo you can see the shocking state of my nails and my cuticles.  One thing I have learnt with polyester is "thou shalt not have rough nails", else pulls and tugs will happen.  After taking this photo I gave myself a manicure.

Secondly on the menu tonight, is a dress which on first glance could be printed with pink camouflage pattern but if you look closely its grasses and stuff, but freakily, some of it is upside down like floated inverted islands.

I have coveted a pink dress of this colour for quite some time: okay well maybe not quite this colour but a light pink.  This is a good-old-fashioned shirt dress with buttons up the front.  Alas the belt has been lost but I wore it with grey tights, silver waist cincher belt and my favourite grey cardigan.

Again more tag porn, its not a brand I am familiar with, but my collection is only in its infancy.  I guess its around 1968 or later as it is Made in New Zealand and in the metric sizing which I think came in around this date.  I know that decimal currency came in July 1967.  

As I mentioned earlier, my second purchase was entitled "someone's treasure" and there was no photo in the main listing but the title appealed to me so I clicked and look what I found:

Personally, if this was my treasure it would not be on Trademe for $10.  No way.  My photo is a bit better than the one which caused me to bid and swoon almost simultaneously.  I was delighted when I won, and a teeny tiny bit concerned that it would not fit me.  What was I worrying about????  I tell you, if the dress fits, wear it.  All I need now is an excuse reason - hoping my Dear H will take me out on a date.

As you can see from the tag, its made in Melbourne, from Crimplene, and as its an Aussie size 14 it does fit me.  Its essentially a maxi shirt dress and it has very little shaping and less stretch.  However, I will be wearing it, and then posting a photo.
In some ways, this is the dress I had wanted to find when I went to Melbourne for my holiday, but didn't.  I imagine it would have been a lot more than $10, so I have myself a bargain.  Due to the uncanny successes of these purchases I have sworn off Trademe for a while.  Well, for a week or so.....

So I have worn both the pink and the "nut" dress.  Now my challenge is to wear the purple lurex crimplene number.  I think a big dress needs big hair, but what about jewels?  The long sleeves would not be great for lots of bangles (if I had any to match) and with the fairly simple collared neckline what kind of necklace would work?  Maybe big earrings?  I would love to know what you think!