Easter Spring Dress 2017 Sew-along | Champagne Twist


“#EasterSpringDress2017"

Hello folks,

In addition to the #2017MakeNine sewing and knitting challenge, I’ve just signed up for the #EasterSpringDress2017 sew along hosted by Akram of Akram’s Ideas and Judith of Judith Dee’s World.

I already have the bonnet, which I have never worn – long story, will explain one day – the fabric and most of the notions.  When I dig them out from the darkest depths of my fabric stash Indiana Jones style, I will show you.  I have a pattern in mind too, again I will show you in another post shortly.

The deadline is Easter Sunday, 16 April 2017, (I believe the absolute deadline is Tuesday 18th April, but I want to wear my frock on the actual day!) so if you would like to participate you still have time, but maybe start thinking about putting your skates on.

For more information, please head over to judithdeesworld.com and akramsideas.com. Please find below links to Judith’s and Akram’s YouTube channels.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing all your wonderful Easter sewing creations.

#2017MakeNine – March Update

Hello,

This is an update of my #2017MakeNine challenge.

grid make 9

fullsizeoutput_9f93Greenery knit set – I am re-doing the hat because I made it far too big for my little head. I tried blocking it, and then shrink washed it, but it didn’t help. I even thought about adding a couple of pleats, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy with the end result, so I spent half an hour in front of the TV and unravelled it.  I shall start the remake as soon as I have completed my current knitting project.

I also plan to decorate my Greenery Knit set with embroidery, and I think I may have found a nice pattern to adapt. Watch this space.

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Protest hat – I managed to get the sizing correct, but ran out of wool. But no fear, I managed to find another ball of yarn in my stash, so this will be next on the list after the Greenery knit set.

 

 

Neptune wrap cardigan – this is not part of the Make 9 project, but is the reason for the delay in the 2 projects above.  I don’t like to have too many projects on the go at the same time, hence I won’t be starting anything else, until these 3 knitting goals have been completed._DSC5427

However, I will take this opportunity to explain my Neptune wrap cardigan, so called because of the beautiful sea greens and blues of the yarn.  A cardigan made of this wool, caught my eye during my visit to the Spring Knitting and Stitching show. I was inspired and nabbed myself a couple of balls – and they are huge.  Lovely to knit, vibrant of colour and a bargain at £5.25 per ball, I initially thought I would make a simple, quick scarf for spring. As the wool features a shade of green close to the Patone colour of the year, Greenery, I figured it would be an affordable way to update my wardrobe.

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Neil the Knit Stall at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show. 

Then I started knitting. And knitting and knitting. My ‘scarf’ grew into the the size of a blanket. Then, somehow, I thought, ‘I have more than enough scarves, I should make a cardigan’. I’ve never knitted a cardigan before, but heck, I’m not going to let a little thing like that stop me. I have knitting needles, courage (or madness, not sure which yet!) and wool. How hard can this be? Famous last words …

It’s taken me about 3 days to knit the back piece, and now I’ve sort of come up with a plan to make the front – a 2 piece affair which I hope will have an wrap over effect and self ties. And maybe some sleeves. Did I mention I was winging this?

I have employed my bamboo stitch skills for all of the back, which took up about 75% of the first ball of wool.  For the front I think I will start with the bamboo stitch at the bottom of the bodice to the mid way point, and then switch to good old stocking stitch. That’s the plan anyway, fingers crossed.

It feels strangely liberating to be free style knitting like this. I love the fact that I am utilising my knitting skills in a slightly different way. I’m looking forward to finishing it, and showcasing the final results in the near future. Keep posted via my Instagram account and fingers crossed, I will be able to model it here on the blog soon.

Thanks for reading, please comment and subscribe for more.

 

 

The CT Show, new episodes live – The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

Not 1, but 2 new episodes of The CT Show now live on the YouTube channel, featuring The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show. Check them out here!

February Resolutions – Design Month

Hello,

Continuing with my monthly resolutions series, here is a preview of what’s coming up this February on Champagne Twist.

Design Month, February 2017 - Champagne Twist
February is Design Month, on Champagne Twist. champagnetwist.wordpress.com

February has been designated design month. It’s going to be an exciting mix of fashion, crafts and home decor design. What do you hope to achieve this month? Do let us know in the comments box, and please subscribe for more information.

Check out the my 2017 resolution plans video below.

Thanks for reading.

Village Haberdashery – New Location Report

vh-dummy-2Some afternoons start off a little dreary with grey skies, as did last Wednesday when I made a trip to the new Village Haberdashery site. However, the grey skies were soon banished, to be replaced by a rainbow of fabrics, yarn and flowers.

The Village Haberdashery is a sewing and knitting emporium, newly situated in West Hampstead Square. A very short walking distance from West Hampstead Tube, Rail and Thameslink stations, the store is ideally situated for those who live in and around North London.
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The new shopping estate where the store is located is still a bit of a building site, but it’s easy to find, and if you look suitably lost, a skill I have perfected over the years, a nice group of helpful builders are on hand to provide precise directions should you need them. After climbing a flight of stairs, or if you’re more sensible using the lift, you are greeted by a beautiful retro dressmaker’s
mannequin on the first floor, outside the shop front.

 

Follow the sign, where a magical wonderland awaits.

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A unique, and I think better, use of a wheelbarrow. I wonder if I plant my yarn scraps in the garden, will they grow to be huge balls of wool like these ones?

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After seeing this beautiful dress, I was inspired to purchase some of the fabric. Initially, I thought about making a summer skirt with it, but I’ve changed my mind and will instead make a square necked tunic, to show off the beautiful print. The tunic is part of my #2017MakeNine challenge, so please stay tuned.

If there is any fabric leftover, I hope to make a matching Ghislaine hair tie.

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Les Fleurs Rayon by Rifle Paper Co. – Birch Floral in Periwinkle

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Lots of space for sewing and knitting classes, or for a good cup of tea and a natter. In the background, you can see some of the sewing machines set aside for classes.
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Just look at this marvellous wall of wool. Imagine the wonderful array of knitted goodies you could make with this collection of yarn.

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I have often tried to visit the old location, but it was a bit of a trek and difficult for me to get to, however the new location is more ideally situated. The new store is bright and roomy, yet jammed packed with lots of sewing, knitting and paper crafting goodies.  It is quite easy to spend an entire afternoon browsing and chatting to the owner and members of staff. They are welcoming, helpful and ready to offer their expertise should you need it. A home from home. I’m already looking forward to my next visit and adding to my ever increasing stash.

Have you visited the new Village Haberdashery? What do you think? Please add your comments below.

Thanks for reading, and please subscribe for more. Oh, and please check out my seamstress tag YouTube video here 🙂

Greenery, colour of the year projects

January 2017 Health and Wellbeing January 2017 Champagne Twist champagnetwist.wordpresss.com
Health and Wellbeing January 2017 Champagne Twist champagnetwist.wordpresss.com

Greenery, colour of the year

The Pantone colour of the year 2017 is imaginatively titled, ‘Greenery’.

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And as it so happens, whilst I was sorting out some things, I discovered 4 and a half balls of deliciously green yarn in my stash (well it’s actually my Mum’s stash, but she said I could have it).  Ooh, me thinks a knitting project coming along.

Green knitted scarf

This is my first knitting project of 2017. After a couple of attempts trying out a lace stitch, I settled for the old faithful stocking stitch.  I wanted to make a scarf – yes it’s another scarf – and showcase it’s beautiful green shade and it’s soft mohair mix texture.

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Details

I cast on 36 stitches, and the plan is to continue until the scarf is nice and long, or when I run out of wool – which ever is sooner.  I’m using 4.0mm/size 6 needles, and the wool is a 70% Acrylic, 15% wool and 15% mohair mix. It’s so lovely and soft, I’m looking forward to wearing my new scarf. However using such small needles and thin wool, it’s taking an absolute age to knit. But, it’s something I need to do – get out of my comfort zone of only using large needles and thick wool in order to get speedy results.  Time for something a little different.

Sadly, I had to resort to stocking stitch, instead of using another stitch, but I have learnt how to do a lace stitch and I’m reserving that new skill for my next knitting project – a shawl.  Yes, I’m really branching out now LOL.

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This fabric is in my stash – Park Landscape by  Michael Miller.

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I am toying with the idea of using the Simplicity 2444 dress pattern. If I do, I will change the neckline of the bodice to either a round neck or square neck, again to ring in the changes.

Decorating with Foliage

My 3rd project within the theme of greenery, is creating a floral arrangement, using only evergreen foliage.  In the deepest, dark of winter, some greenage can be a welcome addition to the home. It serves as a reminder that Spring is not far away, and that hope like some plants, is evergreen.  I particularly like the following quote I found on the Pantone website;

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Picture source: Pantone.com

I think Leatrice pretty much sums it all up.

Do you have any plans to incorporate Greenery in you wardrobe or home decor? Are you going to add this shade of green in your colour scheme? Please share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, please subscribe for more information.

 

Learn how to knit the pussy hat

Hello,

Well, what a fabulous day yesterday was. It was the first time I have been able to smile until my face hurts for months. Ever since #FakePresident robbed the election, I have felt helpless, down hearted – you know all the usual. Actually, it not usual. None of this is. I’m normally a happy, go lucky, cheerful soul. Brexit and #FakePresident temporarily hampered that. Temporarily not permanently.

Recently, as my Instagram followers know, I came across, during my pre-spring clear up, some lovely balls of wool.  In less than 10 days I knitted 1 scarf, 1 hat and a pair of mittens. I am not a knitter. I occasionally dabble in the craft, but I generally stick to the knit one row and pearl one row regime and that’s about that. Hardly challenging, but it served me well every time I wanted a new scarf.

But 10 days ago, I discovered 4.5 balls of wool. Such a lovely green shade, the colour of growth, nature, even hope for the future. And I started knitting. But I didn’t just want to knit. I wanted a challenge. I wanted to do justice to this beautiful yarn and create something other than just a bog standard garter stitch scarf.

I did some research and learnt finally how to do a simple 2×2 rib stitch. That lead to me successfully knitting a wearable hat. I then researched how to make finger-less mittens, and I’m happy to say that I have made my first complete set of winter woollen  accessories.

greenery-knits

If little me can do this in 10 days, whilst running a social network, working and negotiating life in a capital city, what can I achieve in 10 weeks?

In those 10 days, I have watched as one role model family left the White House, to be replaced by the most despicable, greedy, criminal, un-American, unpatriotic, classless, unworthy, traitors move in.

But during those 10 days, I have also witnessed the very best in humanity. Millions boycotted the Inauguration, much the annoyance and embarrassment of the #FakePresident, and millions and millions, not just in Washington, but all over the US and all over the world came out the very next day to protest. The causes were many and vast, but centred around the fight to protect the civil rights for all. The protests also gave me something. Something very dangerous to people who believe in hate. The protests gave me hope.

So to my fellow fighters of equality, lovers of the human race, protectors of civil rights, I want to say …

THANK YOU.

This is a long introduction to a video I have discovered earlier today – a tutorial for the pussy hat project. Yesterday’s worldwide protests may be over, but it only marked the beginning of to the road for justice. So I encourage you to continue the protest by knitting. Knit your pussy hats, not only for yourself, but for your neighbours, family, friends, even people you don’t know. Knit, and wear with pride your creations, and continue prove to the #FakePresident, that Love will always trump hate.

By the way, I described myself earlier as, ‘not a knitter’. That was 10 days ago. Now, I’m working on my 4th knitting project of the year (day 22 of 2017!), and planning my 5th. I think I can call myself a knitter now. I wonder what I will be in 10 weeks from now – word on the street is there will soon be a vacancy in the Oval Office …

Just imagine what you can achieve when you believe in yourself and love others. But don’t just imagine, work towards your goals, then set higher, bigger goals. That way our children and grandchildren won’t have to protest in the same way we, our parents and grandparents had to.

I shall be sharing more details about my knitwear collection soon. For now, thanks for reading, and please join me in our quest for equality for all. Subscribe, follow, like, comment and love 🙂