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Yearly Archives: 2013

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Hello again, I hope you all had an especially lovely holiday season, whether with family grappling for radiator rights, or down under, strolling around the beach. My holidays were very calm and relaxed, not too much happening but there were still events to attend. One of the most important events being Christmas diner at my nana’s house. This dress was a simple shell, a basic A-line shape with a bit of extra flare and a little bit shorter for some fun. However I had bigger plans, involving crochet hooks and way more hand sewing hours then I could have imagined!

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The design came in the middle of an art class, I was madly inking, painting and drawing away hoping IMG_0003jfor that miraculous thing one calls inspiration, my eureka moment. And it came. I was interested in playing with new textures, some knitting, dying, even macramé…, or crochet. I haven’t “hooked” anything in a few years. I had a tendency to make my pieces with really loose tension, there were a lot of holes in my supposedly warm hats, so I left the craft and picked up my more successful endeavour, knitting. Another thing I wasn’t good at with crochet was the patterns, knitting patterns have a code that reveals itself like a friend, crochet is like knitting’s more beautiful yet evil twin. So I did what any normal person would, I made up my own pattern with the help of the internet and my fingers muscle memory, soon I had a mini fleet of crochet circles waiting for their commander to give them a battle field. Now all I had to do was figure out how to attach my little army to their neutral base….

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And so, with the help of early home times during exams I started to sew on the pieces. I continued doing at least two or three hours every day, while reciting the laws of physics, the revolutionaries of the 1800’s and some French grammar. even with the exams over there was a mighty load left, so every night for the two weeks leading up to Christmas I would work on the dress, I even managed to reclaim my new Christmas dress ritual of late finishing by sewing the buttons holes on Christmas morning! But it was all worth it. I’m seriously in love with this dress! I love the colours, the irregularity of the crochet pieces and the neckline. I’ve been told it looks a little high, but I think it works with the style of the dress.

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The next chapter of the dress was the photographing. I had to sacrifice all warmth for several minutes. Ireland in December is cold, and while the dress is mainly made of wool and has a high neckline, it also has no sleeves and is rather short. After getting the desired shots my fingers were numb and tingly for at least 20 minutes, dedication I tell you.

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I hope you all enjoy your celebrations of the new year. I also wanted to say thanks for an amazing 2013, it’s been a really unique and interesting year for me, in many ways… I’ll be back soon with some photos and resolutions!

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Every year on Christmas eve our family has a little Smorgasbord. Based around the Swedish tradition, our family aren’t so keen on Herring though, which features a lot. So our version is all of our favourite food put together as a mini buffet; meatballs, frankfurters, all kinds of potatoes, cheeses, salamis and lots of fresh bread! It’s my favourite meal of the year, I love it even more then Christmas dinner, although my nana does make the best roasted potatoes….

I hope you all enjoy your Christmas and your Christmas food! Now I’m going to go and have my first bites of Christmas!

P.s. The photo above is of a traditional Dalahäst,

p.p.s. the title is from a book I’m reading where they have their own Smorgasbord too!

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I love those times when you become happily obsessed with something, whether that be a book, a film, a blog or a song. In my case the obsession is with a song. I’ve recently found the website 8tracks, you simply choose a mood and genre and then playlists associated with your selections come up and you select your mix. I’d been using the site for about a week when I stumbled upon the song “sweater weather” by the neighbourhood. And I quickly, as I said above, became obsessed. It reminds me of summer while also making me think of winter. The above photo is how I look while listening to the song, in fact I listened to the song on repeat while taking these photos.

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I guess I should also talk a little about the actual cardigan. I started this a while ago as I wanted a warn cardigan that wasn’t oversized or really long. I chose the cardigan pattern out of this book. I did make a few modifications though. I knitted the three pieces, the back and two sides, together as one piece. I also knitted the sleeves in the round. It was quite fun to take a simple cardigan and change it into something a bit more interesting and unique.

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To make the final piece nicer I used a new technique. The three needle cast off, a method I learnt during work experience, it’s even my orange nails in the photos. Out of all the seemingly difficult knitting techniques to learn, this is by far the easiest and most useful. It gives a nice clean edge and you don’t have to sew up a shoulder seam either.

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I also added some strips because I felt like it. In retro-spect it makes it look slightly 1973. Ah well, I still love it.

Also, in case you wanted to hear the song, there’s the link below.

Happy Christmas and may all your obsessions be bright!

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I’m someone who likes to collect things, who never wants to let anything go to waste, because of this personality trait I have managed to acquire a rather large collection of magazine clippings. Always getting first dibs on the Vogue magazines around the house for “recycling” purposes. And these pictures would grace my corkboard for at least six months, until I finally get my act together to put up some new pieces, however I was constantly cutting out more pictures. My at first innocently sized stash grew to a new untameable size and so the book was born after seeing this post. Admittedly my version isn’t quite as cool, beautifully covered books are considered more sacred in my house, but I did find something nearly as good, at least to my eight year old self. A book on the history of horses! Yes, I was that classic horse-obsessed child, now I can’t see the appeal as much. Unwanted book becomes necessary inspiration journal/ scrapbook. Plus I feel green for reusing the book. Now I’ve got to go and go clip some more photos, my stash has started to deplete to the stage where it’s become slightly normal!

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It’s my friends birthday today so I decided to make her a little something special… She had a little get-together on Saturday where we all watched horror films, followed by Christmas movies, followed by some truly scary songs and dancing from youtube. Then when nearly everyone had left we started making fudge, or “butter with sugar” as the recipe really is, figuring, heck yeah we can so make our own cook book. Note we failed at melting chocolate only about 2 hours earlier…

I quickly decided to make something for her gift, it is my forte after all (same friend). I’ve done a little bit of jewellery making, only in a sense of, thread this single bead on this long, pre-fastened chain, and some friendship bracelets. This was new and exciting, I love the idea of beading but there’s a lot of gaining the proper beads which I’m not very good at. The ones I used were some of my mums, I chose them because they’re really similar in colour to my friends eyes, I then found the perfect wool to do a little fishtail to fasten. A little homage to my friendship bracelet making days… I also made a little jewellery bag to go with cause, when a girl can sew, why shouldn’t she sew? The little bag was a little drawstring with some braided embroidery thread as string. This is one of the nicest gifts I’ve given, and she liked it too, job well done I think.

Also the card was one of first dives into Microsoft Publisher, I always use office, and I have to say for the card it made life a whole lot easier (there’s a photo collage inside)!

P.s. I also got her some tea, I’ve converted her to my mint tea habits!

P.p.s I’ve recently joined flickr, you can check out my page here, or click on the widget on the side.

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So this is a very old dress, from around a year ago, when I was starting drafting. It’s a A-line shape but with a bit of a twist. It’s made with a dart-less block so the shape is very simple, and really quick to make. But since it’s made with a velvet with a lace overlay it’s a bit more classic.

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I originally made this dress for Christmas last year, being the bold seamstress who sews up her hems on Christmas morning. But it was finished for then, so why has this only been photographed now…Well without coming up with too many excuses I’ve been lazy and busy. It’s way too cold to wear this outdoors in December and January, and it’s too warm for Summer, also there’s not so many places to wear a dress such as this. Recently I’ve been hinting at a new camera, and I’ve also fallen in love with this blog, the result is a missing tripod, and some haphazard modelling poses (my tip, listen to music as it makes your expressions more genuine). Also a lot of eyeliner has been used recently as well….. I think the result is worth it though.

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As for the “interesting” styling, I’m aiming at grunge, I don’t really do pretty little dresses so it’s only natural to include a scarf, an over-sized blouse and a heavy wool coat. I think it works, or maybe it’s just the un-brushed hair and dazed expression that pulls it together…

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But the dress, the velvet is from, as always Murphy Sheehy’s, it was hiding towards the back of the shop, whispering “buy me…buy me…” and well for €15 I couldn’t go wrong. The lace is from Paris, a little bit more exotic. It was again, hiding, but it too came home with me. I’m still utterly in love with it, the paisley, the combination of it with the velvet, the shape, how it’s slightly wider then the under layer. It’s possibly the most pretty thing I own, and the only evening dress I have. Now all I need is some long black gloves or lacy fingerless ones, maybe I should start these.. but that’s for another day!

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I always love receiving photos of summer during harsh winter days. I found myself smiling at this particular set because it feels so long ago. These are from Bloom. A flower festival held in Phoenix park in Dublin every year. This year it was packed and the weather was amazing, I brought a little jacket with me, because it’s Ireland, but I didn’t have to put it on once! I miss those days, now I’m cold with a coat and a jumper…

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A new piece, a new post. The cold winds have started rolling in here, the other day, the only reason we didn’t have any frost was because the winds were too strong… What! But I think I can survive the mystical problem of Irish weather with this. I love cowls! For some reason they all seem to be blue, but the only problem with them is that they are either too bulky, or they don’t cover enough of my face. I find that most cowl pattern are for the cold, not the wind, and believe me that “plus wind chill factor” bit you always here on the weather forecast makes a huge difference!

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The wool is from my first trip at Winnie’s wool café, and let me tell you it is a cool place. Admittedly the wools are not as gorgeous as those at this is knit but they do have drops wool. Which is exactly what this cowl is made from. Drops alpaca to be exact and at only €2.50 for a 50 gram hank it was quickly mine. I used one hank of navy, and another of a light grey. I also used some mystery bright blue alpaca stuff from my stash to line the inside and cover up the colourwork.

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The pattern is quite simple, casting on using this technique, then knitting up in colourwork in the round, the pattern is basically a rotation of 3 stitches in one colour, then 1 stitch in the other, once you work the wanted length you do one purl row, so the front folds over, and then change to lining yarn. Continue down till the lining matches the length of the exterior, then undo the provisional cast on, transfer stitches to another set of circular needles and then use the 3-needle cast off to bind the two pieces together. And finished!

grid_42675_lgThe colourwork pattern.

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You can also look at the project over on ravelry.

Happy winters, may your tea never cool nor you biscuit packet ever diminish!

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It’s that time of year again. Arriving upon the gate of the RDS, the direction was soon clear by the bus fulls of ladys, all towards the same direction. The “click-clack” of knitting needles enticing me forward, to enter a new world of bliss, filled with luscious silks, warm wools and crazy soft cahmeres and angoras. Not only were the wools jumping from every direction claiming “buy me! buy me!” but there was also plenty to intrigue all crafters. It was a textiles extravaganza, with fabrics, threads, dyes, books and notions, leaving out of course the amazing displays by both craft experts and up and coming designers. The above photo is from the Patchwork Societies exhibition. There were many amazing quilts but the blues in this one really struck me.

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Many of the fashion colleges from around the country had exhibitions within the show. Colleges such as NCAD and LIT. I’ve heard of these colleges before but not the Belfast school of art. I really loved what they had on show. It was all so interesting, the photography, the projects, they even had concept books beside, which I near squealed at!2013 Pentax K-5 11 047

These gorgeous pieces are by Oliver Docherty. I’ve been lucky enough to not live with horrible macramé  hangings, I’ve seen them in some holiday homes, so I do know their hideousness. These dresses however, are stunning. The above dress is worked with what I think is some type of leather cord, and the one below is made of straw. I love how unusual the material and tecknique is, it’s almost made me interested in testing out the skill the myself…. For now though I think I’ll leave it to the experts!

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Onto the yarn, you didn’t I could just look, could you?, my willpower to buying beautiful textiles is 0! The first picture is of some testing I’m doing. It’s a mixture of some aran weight charcoal tweed, with some green rowan mohair-ish wool in a cabled concoction. I’m thinking a polo neck jumper for some time in the future, but who knows if that will happen!

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The next piece of wool needed an extra special photo for an extra special brand. Coolree are an irish yarn brand. All of their wools are hand dyed in Ireland. I’ve seen their wools several times before but I never seemed to pick up a hank. I couldn’t let the opportunity of a whole stall of these colourful wisps to go by, this peach piece came how and I’m still trying to figure out what pattern will do it any justice. Any suggestions?

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And last but not least and ball of the tweed. I originally got it to create something colour blocked with the grey but changed my mind after my experiment. Now it will probably become a Christmas gift…

p.s. I wore my wrap skirt to the show, because I have a weird tradition of creating a new garment to wear specifically to these shows.

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The “perfect” wrap. At the moment I’m creating a mini collection for myself, most of the pieces are finished, in the process of being photographed. I’m also creating a little booklet to go along with. I’m always stressed with school work, that having a little project like this makes things more fun, a little light at the end of the tunnel.

But this skirt is another story! It’s a self-made pattern, as in I lazily traced off my skirt block, added a little flare, a slight asymmetrical front flap piece and hacked off a ton of length. I then without testing, cut into this gorgeous wool and cashmere fabric from murphy Sheehy’s, praying the pattern was close enough to my blocks that it would work. And it did!

I made up the skirt on a new toy (sewing machine) testing out all the special stitches, including an over lock stitch and even automatic button holes! My life has been revolutionised! The skirt was made up in a day, cut out in the morning and sewing the hem by the evening. The joys of holidays it would seem.

These photos are my next adventure into self-portraits/ fashion photography. I’m quite happy with the photos, the first one is a close contender for the cover of my booklet… I’m testing out new manual settings on my camera as well.

Have I mentioned comfortable this skirt is, I could swish around in it for days….

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And here’s a little preview of the rest of the collection.

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