Sous Sous by Norah Gaughan – KNIT

Knitting… one of those endlessly therapeutic crafts… once you master it!

I had the Sous Sous jumper in my Ravelry queue for quite some time, it looked quite complex, large and daunting. However when you keep coming back to something, at some point you either abandon it – or you rise to the challenge.

Sous Sous - front view

ref=”https://sewbusylizzy.com/2018/06/06/soussous/sousous3/” rel=”attachment wp-att-6512″> Sous Sous – front view. There’s some colour pooling at the front lower edge… you can’t ‘un-see’ it once you’ve ‘seen’ it. One of the dangers of beautiful but variegated hand-dyed yarn. I love it despite the ‘flaws’.[/ca

It didn’t take me quite as long as expected – and it also wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined.

It was a pleasure to knit with beautiful Madelinetosh Merino DK yarn and a gorgeous set of circular needles I received for Christmas.

I was guilty of being very excited about this project right from the beginning!

I was guilty of being very excited about this project right from the beginning!

Construction

The front and back and knitted in two pieces. The shoulders are seamed and you pick up stitches to knit the sleeves. The side seams are then sewn… and it’s done!

There is an enormous amount of moss stitch and the cables are quite simple once you get into the pattern.

Sous Sous - back cable detail

Sous Sous – back cable detail

I did have issues with the sleeves. After ripping out my first sleeve attempt about four times, I just knitted in pattern in a way that made sense to me and that worked rather than following the pattern word for word. Very brief notes on Ravelry here.

Sous Sous - moss stitch

Sous Sous – moss stitch

I’ve only steam blocked this. I think it will soften and relax again with a gentle wash and block later.

Tips

I’m no knitting guru. Every project you learn something, gain more confidence, try something new. And every project I’m on YouTube deciphering and mastering a new technique!

I’ve found Very Pink Knits on Youtube very helpful. Clear concise demonstrations of techniques.

Thoughts

It is an unusual shape and I was slightly concerned when I finished that I may struggle to wear it. Turns out I love it. It’s a lovely casual layering piece, easy to slip on over everything and anything. Perfect for those in-between days when it’s neither cold or hot. If I had the time and patience I would be tempted to knit one in a few more colours!

Sous Sous - back view

Sous Sous – back view

The back is large and weighty and I find the weight makes wants to slip backwards… but I love it enough to forgive it for that. However when you look at the back photos on the pattern itself, the shoulder seams are set over the back of shoulder.

I originally thought I would like to change the front curved hem or raise the neckline – however I’m so glad I left the proportions as they are… for me, it just ‘works’ and has been worn quite a lot… in fact it’s perhaps my most loved thing I’ve ever made!

Sous Sous jumper, design Norah Gaughan, yarn Madelinetosh Merino DK. Knitted by Sew Busy Lizzy

I tell no lie, this jumper is very roomy!

I was so impressed with the design of this pattern that I purchased the Cable Source Book by Norah Gaughan. It’s an absolutely beautiful and detailed book which includes techniques and patterns – highly recommended to all the knitting people out there.

Details

Pattern: Sous Sous, Norah Gaughan on Ravelry here, purchased via Ravelry.
Size: the smallest one – finished bust size 132cm or 51 inches.
Needles: Knit Pro Golden Light Gift Set, purchased from Morris & Sons (on sale!)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino DK in Cloud Dweller, purchased from yarn.com

No affiliate links – purchase where you choose.

action shot…

Sous Sous jumper, design Norah Gaughan, yarn Madelinetosh Merino DK. Knitted by Sew Busy Lizzy

as randomly snapped late on night in the work lift – thank goodness for mirrored lifts!

Me?I’m doing OK – thank you

Me?

I’m doing OK – thank you to those who send me lovely messages and check in on me.

I’m running but not excessively. I run about 30kms a week. I don’t push myself too hard but somehow have taken a minute off my pre-accident 5km personal best (and my calves are getting too big for my long fitted boots and also my jeans LOL!). I have plenty of restrictions, no weights, no lifting anything above my head, rollercoasters, contact sports, painting ceilings, chiropractors and other things – things I can live with. Sometimes anxiety eats away at me – and I get sad or emotional – but that voice gets quieter as I leave ‘that day’ further behind.

I managed to complete the run leg of a 70.3 Ironman in Port Macquarie about a month ago (that’s a 21.1km – or 13.1 mile – run), you read about it here. It wasn’t a stellar effort – running on a hot day at midday, about 26 degrees celsius, full sun and no breeze. I agree, it was perhaps not the smartest idea but it did go some way to restoring my faith in my physical abilities again.

Next weekend I’m in Perth running in the Western Australian Marathon event. I have no intention to attempt a marathon until I’ve ‘passed’ an MRI or get some sort of clearance from the endovascular specialist – my next one isn’t until November. I’m just running another half marathon in a relay team with a lovely friend – who is running her first ever marathon. No stress. Just fun with friends.

First appeared on ww.sewbusylizzy.com

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Relax by Ririko – lots of knitting!

This.never.happens.

I knitted a jumper… and we had a cold snap. I was pretty excited (and I hate cold weather) because I could wear my new jumper also straight away!

A elevator 'selfie' - the day the weather turned cold!

A elevator ‘selfie’ – the day the weather turned cold!

I don’t have much to say about this jumper except I do really love it – and am rather proud that I managed to plough through some much stocking stitch (which is also known as stockinette stitch) in a sport (5 ply) yarn.

There are similar designs on Ravelry in heavier yarns which would be much faster to knit up, however I had always lusted after a fine knit jumper in a neutral tone and decided to challenge myself.

Pattern

The pattern is Relax by Ririko, purchased on Ravelry (links at end of post).

I liked the wide boxy body with the fitted sleeves; a plain knitted & slightly rolled neckline; and the ‘eyelets’ running down the body from the underarms.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

A tiny thoughtful design feature. Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

It sat in ‘my favourites’ for some time before I decided I could manage to commit to sooooo much stocking stitch in a sport/5-ply yarn. There are similar styles in heavier weight yarns but I really wanted a drapey fine gauge yarn.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

A simple boxy shape. Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Yarn

Given the considerable time involved in the project, I decided that I would indulge myself with some quality yarn. So after much agonising over colourways, I ended up choosing MadelineTosh Pashmina in Fallen Cloud. It’s a merino/silk/cashmere blend (75%/15%/10%) and it’s truly divine to knit with. I really happy with the drape of the finished jumper and the lack of ‘scratchiness’ that I used to associate with home knits.

Needles

I also purchased Knitpro Symphonie needles from an Etsy supplier (links at end of post) as they are also lovely with work with (and to look at).

Time Commitment

I tried to knit ten rows most days… some days I would knit more… and some weeks I didn’t get a chance to knit at all. I did want to finish in time for winter and felt that having a finishing goal would inspire me to pick the needles up and get through it.

I cast on 31 January and finished on 14 May. I’m not a fast knitter and while I’ve considered changing my technique, my tension is extremely consistent. So I stick with my rather clumsy knitting style – I’m not seeking a gold medal in the knitting Olympics, I just knit to relax and create the odd garment that I want.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Back view: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Derp Moment

I had never done a ‘three needle bind’ off so I diligently followed a Youtube clip, beautifully cast off my shoulders, knitted my sleeves… and then realised I should have re-read the instructions as the ‘three needle bind’ off in this occasion is done so the seam sits on the outside of the garment. Derp.

I considered my options. 1) Plough on or 2) frog the sleeves, frog the three-needle bind-off and start again. I decided on option 1 after a few days of consideration. To be honest, it wasn’t the time involved that put me off. I had started this project at the end of January so another week wasn’t really a deterrent. While I think the external seam is an interesting design feature, the top also looks lovely without it and probably even more austere which I didn’t mind. So I’ve left it.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

I did bind off the first sleeve – and then undo it and bind off again ribwise – the pattern doesn’t state to bind off ribwise (logical to a long-time knitter I guess) but it looks much better.

I finished the neckline and also didnt’ like my bind-off. So I ripped out the neck (only 7 rows) and started again. I bound off using a slightly larger needle and it ‘rolled’ in a much nicer fashion.

Techniques

I learn a few new-to-me knitting techniques in this project.

  • Three-needle bind-off
  • Frogging a bind off
  • picking up a dropped stitch several rows on (wow, that saved a massive heart attack!)

Youtube is an invaluable resource. When I get stuck knitting, I pop over to Youtube and search for the knitting technique that is causing me some bamboozlement (yes, that’s a technical word for knitting numpty moment) and I watch a few clips until I find one that makes the most sense to me.

While I’ve always used mattress stitch before (I learnt this very useful stitch when I made sculpted teddy bears), I watched a couple of Youtube clips specifically on mattress stitch and knitting and then made a special effort to make the side seams as invisible as possible. I was pretty chuffed with my efforts (I know, fat head).

Mattress Stitch: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Mattress Stitch: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Final Thoughts

I think I will knit this again, perhaps next year in a richer hue. I just adore the simplicity and positive ease of garments like these.

I quite enjoy knitting, and while I love a challenge of lace and cables as much as the next, just being able to pick up the needles and mindlessly knit was more enjoyable and relaxing than I imagined.

This project was a pretty big indulgence for me (considering exchange rates and postage!) but worth every cent spent and minute creating every little stocking stitch.

Pattern: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry
Yarn: MadelineTosh Pashmina, Fallen Cloud. Purchased from yarn.com
Needles: Knitpro Symfonie Wood Fixed Circular Needles, from CollieCraft1 on Etsy

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Just in time for winter! Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

When Chuck met Cambie… or I knitted a jumper…

Just a quick little post… I knitted a jumper!

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - front view

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – front view. Dear God – how tired are those eyes!

This one took me waaaaayyyyy longer than it should of. Once you understand how to knit cables, it’s not that tricky (really, I swear it’s easy – would I lie to you? Thank heavens for YouTube is all I can say…). It’s just concentrating that’s difficult and making sure EVERY SINGLE STITCH you knit/purl/cable corresponds with the knitting graph – that IS the challenge. One stitch wrong in a pattern like this and it’s obvious.

I had to rip back the first 15-20 rows in the pattern… not once but twice! I almost gave up but I knuckled down and I’m glad didn’t give up – and trust me I was soooo tempted to knit something else!

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - pattern not quite perfect but it's FINISHED!

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – pattern not quite perfect but it’s FINISHED! Yes, I was thinking that I completely rocked at this moment.

There is one tiny hiccup near the top of the second pattern repeat. It’s so minor I left it. The thought of ripping back about five or so rows was soul destroying. So I decided to keep my soul in tact and knit on. It’s barely noticeable. I’m glad I kept my soul in one piece.

Love this wool – it’s Malabrigo Worsted in Buscazul Buscando Azul, it’s so soft it feels like cotton wool. I purchase it from yarn.com and it comes down to less that $10 a skein (I used three) + postage.

I think the wide neckline of this design may be somewhat limiting for wear however it’s got the great visual trick of widening out the shoulders while the waist nips into providing a great hourglass shape.

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - back view

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – back view

I do love Andi’s designs, they are snug and cute as a button. They seem to be the perfect paring for Sewaholic Designs (I’ve paired Chuck with my Cambie Pox Dress – and I think they fell in love… he loves her spots and all). Andi’s designs are quite short but they finish bang on your waist and are perfect with retro-style dresses.

when Chuck met Cambie...

when Chuck met Cambie… this photo was taken by Miss 8 – camera settings not quite right (too dark and shadowy) but she was thrilled to have a go at blog photography!

Cambie was also perfect with Marion remember? She’s a versatile lass.

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund's Marion

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund’s Marion

Next up Andi’s Agatha – in RED!

Jumper: Chuck by Andi Satterlund, Wool from yarn.com
Dresses: Cambie by Sewaholic (if you are in Australia, it’s available from Sew Squirrel).

Psst…. Don’t forget to check out my Crazy Barbie Doll dress and enter the giveaway!

SEWING SURPRISES SWOP (and maybe a new Cambie…)

I’ve been amazed at how frantic life has been since my return from holidays. I should have posted this when I got home – however it was so sweet and lovely I wanted to take lovely pictures… thank you Sparkly Super Nova for organising this! On the upside this post has been lost in the tidal wave of posts following a swop!

Sewing Surprises from Musings of a Seamstress

First up – check out these lovely hair bows that Sarah sent to me for my girls. I know – soooo cute. You can buy these from Sarah Etsy’s shop which will help fund her adoption project – please take some time to read about it here

Bows for Adoption

Bows for Adoption – my girls love these!

She also sent me this necklace which is just perfection. I love love love love it. I know – green with envy? I’m not sure where Sarah got this but it’s perfect and I love it. Even the chain is beautiful and dainty.

Sewing Surprises Swop - neckalce

Sewing Surprises Swop – necklace

And watcha wearing with that Lizzy?

Sewaholic Cambie - Little Skulls

Sewaholic Cambie – Little Skulls. Note to self: iron dress before photos next time Lizzy!

ummmmmm, it might be Cambie No.4…. OK stop laughing. Cambie 1, Cambie 2 & Cambie 3 are all much loved members of my dress family and they wanted a little sister. She’s a bit naughtier than the others… if you look closely…

Skulls Sewaholic Cambie

Skulls Sewaholic Cambie

I love the sweetness of the Sewaholic Cambie shape combined with the quirky little aqua skulls. When I started knitting the cardigan I had an immediate vision the Little Skulls Cambie with it.

There really isn’t much I can’t tell you about Cambie that I haven’t already. It’s a lovely shape, well drafted and by far the easiest full lined dress I’ve made so far.

ICECREAM MARION

Sewaholic Cambie - Little Skulls

Sewaholic Cambie – Little Skulls with Icecream Marion

Cute cardie… did you make that too? Yes I did! I’ve been a bit ‘knit obsessed’ this year. this delightful little monster is Marion by Andi Satterlund. It’s a new release and I just HAD to knit it as soon as I saw it. I adore the cables and I really wanted a longer sleeved cardigan as I wear my Whole Wheat cardigan a lot – cream goes with just about everything. When this cream Malabrigo arrived from yarn.com I was a little disappointed with the colour. Fortunately as soon as I started to knit it up, I fell in love. The colour reminds me of icecream and hence I call this cardigan my Icecream Marion.

It’s perfection with Cambie as it finishes right on the waistband… and Tasia of Sewaholic fame is in fact also knitting this, I spied her over on Ravelry with Marion WIP.

Marion by Andi Satterlund - available on Ravelry

Marion by Andi Satterlund – available on Ravelry

I love the buttons, they are coconut shell. The shop only had one card of four buttons and the pattern said I needed five. Then I read the pattern (I know, novel idea) and I only needed four for the smaller size. If I knit this again (and I’m tempted to in red) I will just do three button holes.

At the Historic Cemetery

At the Historical Cemetery

It just seemed perfect to photograph this dress in our Historical Cemetery. It is no longer used as a cemetery but it is where the free settlers were buried in the early days of European settlement in Port Macquarie, the graves are scattered randomly through beautiful grass and trees, it’s quite serene (this from a girl that freaks out at the idea of serenity). It’s now a beautiful park at the end of our main street.

Dress: Sewaholic Cambie (purchased from Sew Squirrel)
Cardigan: Marion by Andi Satterlund from Ravelry. Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted from yarn.com

I’ve been fearsomely tired this weekend with a crashing headache for two days. Not great pictures but hopefully I’m not looking so drained for my By Hand London Victoria Blazer – which is not far off being finished!!

And my hair is HORRID. Off to get that fixed this Tuesday!

AND! I went to the recent Sydney meet-up organised by Kristy of Lower Your Press Foot – you can check out all the pictures here at Little Betty’s blog… I felt like I cheated but my 1950 vintage lace dress just seemed the perfect choice for High Tea!

The Sydney Meet-up outfit - 1950s lace...

The Sydney Meet-up outfit – 1950s lace…

I CAN’T SIT STILL…

INTERNATIONAL IDLEWOOD

I’m terrible at sitting still… outstandingly so. So what to do while on holidays?

Clearly packing my sewing machine to go overseas was not an option (remember all that fabric?), I packed my knitting needles instead. For those of you concerned about getting through international security with knitting needles, don’t be. I got them through security in my hand luggage in Sydney, Dubai, London, Paris, Madrid and Singapore. I think we can safely say I did a pretty thorough investigation of international knitting & airport security and came up trumps.

I decided that whatever I knitted needed to be easy and not require constant reference to a knitting graph or pattern. Not to mention survive jet-lag induced exhaustion idiot brain syndrome.

I chose Idlewood from Ravelry. It was perfect. I got some needles in Paris (I only packed the size for the body. Doh!). Knit Pro Symphonie needles. They are heaven.

Meet International Idlewood. Yarn from USA. Needles from Paris. Knitted in London, Madrid, Singapore, Sydney and Port Macquarie!

Idlewood by by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

Yes, I arrived home to wet weather! Rambling about in a jet lag fog after lunch

This is essentially a tube. You start at the top and knit the cowl. Change needles, knit the yoke. Leave stitches live on waste yarn or holders for the sleeves. Knit the body (a tube with minor shaping). Then knit a few rows on the sleeves and you are done! There are a few rows of purl on the bands but other than that it’s plain knitting all the way! Perfect beginner knit & being a worsted weight it knits up quickly.

I started knitting Idlewood in London and finished the morning I arrived in Port Macquarie. These pictures were taken after lunch with ELH. If I look tired and sloppy…. I was… this is after 30 hours of travel and very little sleep!

The pattern includes patch pockets which I’ve omitted, I felt it looked a little hippy (in shape & lifestyle choice). I prefer it’s simplicity.

Idlewood - post international long haul flight from hell.

Idlewood – post international long haul flight from hell.

I wear this A LOT. I totally get that it’s not going to be everyone’s style – it’s not lacy, floral or pretty – heck it’s not even a girly colour! However I love a bit of grunge. This is totally my style on a casual weekend. And hello? COWL! Monster cowl! It’s snuggly and warm. The cowl is so big it can be pulled over and worn like a hood, that look isn’t for me I feel like an Ewok.

Idlewood by Cecily Glowik MacDonald COWL

Now THAT’S what I call a cowl!

I’d love another one sometime. I would knit it on a smaller needle as this is the smallest size and it could do with just being a smidge smaller.

Wool: Malabrigo Worsted. I buy mine from yarn.com. This yarn is delightful. Buy it. Buy it now!
Skirt: Vogue 1247. It’s ridiculous how much I wear this skirt.
Boots: Flore from Duo. These boots are gorgeous. I ordered these in London from the Duo shop in Convent Garden – they shipped them direct to Australia for me for free – minus the VAT. Awesome – and you can get the same deal on the website. I was served by the delightful Laura and guess what!? She’s a sewing blogger too – a newbie – go and say hi!
What is so amazing about these boots is they come in calf sizes as well as foot sizes – so there is a perfect fit for everyone. I struggle to get boots to fit my toothpicks. Worth every penny. I also got a pair of Aralia – which I wear to work almost everyday…
Bag: from Madrid – another perfect match for my less-girly grunge days. It’s a little weather-beaten looking like me. Love this bag!

And I also knitted…

Zuzu Petals for Mum

ZuZu Petals for Mum. Knitted with Malabrigo Worsted

I knitted this for my mum with the leftovers from Idlewood. 🙂 It’s Zuzu Petals Cowl by Carina Spencer- also from Ravelry. This has a 32 row pattern and I had to concentrate (and not drink at night LOL). it’s not hard but there is a lot of pattern!

On the needles now…

Marion by Andi Satterlund. It’s also on Tasia of Sewaholic’s needles and Leila of Three Dresses is swatching her Marion after all my tweetin’ about it! I’m on my second sleeve now…

Marion Cardigan

Marion – I love my Whole Wheat cardigan so much I wanted another cream one with longer sleeves

MOMENTARY LOSS OF MOJO

Thank goodness I am on holidays for a month at the end of this week, I am dead on my feet from exhaustion!

I have been super busy making/knitting things but need to take some pictures and finish some projects off in the next couple of days. I’m working on two skirts – one of which is my next Abakahan Fabrics 15 Pound Aussie project. The other I’m hoping to wear to the meet-up. How fabulous does this day out in London sound?? Thank you Rachel of House of Pinheiro who has done all the organising – can’t wait to meet you!

The gorgeous Rachel of House of Pinheiro

The gorgeous Rachel of House of Pinheiro (IRL I probably only come up to her kneecap)

CONFESSIONS OF SEWBUSYLIZZY

Like all truly hopeless marathon runners, I hit the wall of exhaustion hard after the Tessuti competition.

TESSUTI GRIDLOCK - final

TESSUTI GRIDLOCK – sleeves rolled back.

I thought it was a pretty neat entry. Thought out, well executed, highly wearable and stood out from the crowd, an imaginative use of the fabric. The photos were well styled and the backdrop was awesome! Unfortunately Tessuti did not agree – or at least not in a winning or honorable mention kinda way. The winner was an outstanding creation and they also decided to award five runners-ups with $100 Tessuti vouchers. And no, I didn’t make that short list either. They are all great projects, there were some in particular I really liked right from when they were posted.

I never ‘expect’ to win these comps. I’m fairly uncompromising person at times, I make something I will wear and suits the fabric – that’s not going to win me accolades – but I’d rather be ‘me’ and someone else’s version of ‘me’. At some point in our lives we all get caught up in being the someone other people want us to be or think that we are, I’m past being that person. I simply am who I am. Take me or leave me. I’ve never been a fan of reptiles of any shape or size – so my chameleon qualities are non-existent. My conclusion was that either:-

  1. my stitching is not up to scratch; or/and
  2. my fitting is not top-notch; or/and
  3. my style is not ‘Tessuti Style’; or…
  4. it actually doesnt mean much at all…

I admit, I felt quite despondent about entire process. It was one of those ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ moments. The feeling you get when you know it doesn’t matter what the dumper says to the dumpee, it’s simply a sugar-coated version of the truth.

Then I came back and read all the comments on this post, read the comments on the Tessuti post, the Twitter feedback and realised that to humble old me it’s your opinion that counts more. I might not be a stitcher to attract Tessuti applause but you gave me a standing ovation.

Thank you.

I’m annoyed with myself for being distracted by the Tessuti project and thinking about the outcomes and what that meant about me, my style, my ability. It took me a few days to realise it meant precisely nothing. I’m just me and I’m happy with that. $1K would have been nice or just a pat on the back – but you gave me truckloads of encouragement and admiration. That’s more than enough for me. I sew & blog because it makes me happy. That’s all.

My disappointment is no criticism of the Tessuti winners, the judges or anything else. It’s simply an interesting reflection about me & the process. And I’m tired, very very tired and that never helps.

It even manged to stop me stitching (it can and does happen LOL) while I gazed at my bellybutton in long sorrowful moments of self reflection & doubt. So much so that I lost faith that I could make my pink jacket. Stupid I know.

Burda 03/2013 jacket

Burda 03/2013 jacket. A pretty wool blend.

I have these wonderfully perfect buttons from Buttonmania in Melbourne – thanks to the ever-wonderful Rachel of My Messings. I could finish the jacket before I leave but I would botch the finish. And that’s not worth it. So it shall now wait for my return. I feel really bad about as Rachel made a huge effort to get them to me on time. Thank you Rachel you are fabulous.

I had a go at making my own buttons, they were horrendous. The fabric was thick and frayed awfully. I wish I’d taken a picture of my efforts but I tossed them aside in disgust and outrage! This buttons are perfection. You need buttons? Check out Buttonmania in Melbourne, Australia. Go on spoil yourself. I know you want to.

Perfection: Buttons from Buttonmania

Perfection: Buttons from Buttonmania

Me? I’ve gotta go. Sew & pack for London, Paris & Madrid. Yes, sucks to be me.

Thanks for hanging around with me and putting up with my random rumblings and sewing creations.

Love Lizzy. 🙂

 

Footnote: You know this post always bothered me a bit and I’ve frequently thought about taking it down. I think people misread it. I genuinely like Tessuti, I’m a customer and I actually didn’t mind not winning. At all. I know the winning entry would have been impeccable. I know people who know and highly respect the sewist (sorry just can’t type sewer when I talk about someone) and her & her skills are held in very high regard.
I guess the point I was making was simply I didn’t understand the criteria and I had no idea how to improve if I was to sew in a competitive sense. The more I sew and blog the more I’m not bothered by these things. I think Tessuti have more than a right to run their competitions however they like. I work in a highly regulated environment and initially struggled with anything that wasn’t strictly governed, had guidelines and so on. These days I kinda like that. I don’t mind how designers or fabric shops run their business – it’s none of my business. I’m happy to support them. In fact I love Tessuti and frequently buy fabric there.

Made-by-Me in Tasmania

Great Lake, Miena Tasmania

Great Lake, Miena Tasmania

I’ve been away for a week in Tasmania. Just a quiet week, not too much sightseeing as I’ve been to Tasmania five or six times now! The holiday house is located in the central highlands of Tasmania, it’s in a little town which is basically composed of little holiday houses and very few permanent residents, it’s trout fishing country so many are shacks more than houses – quite quirky and charming in their ramshackle way.

It was nice to have a slower holiday, it helps you stop and see the little things that you might otherwise zoom by…

Pretty little flowers in the park at Cressy

Pretty little flowers in the park at Cressy

Little Australian bush flowers

Little Australian bush flowers

Most of the clothes I wore on holidays were made-by-me. I’m never sure if it’s the novelty factor of wearing my made-by-me clothes or just that they are nicer than my RTW that means they are always my first choice in the morning. The nicest thing happened in Deloraine, Tasmania. I was wandering along the main street, wearing my Lonsdale with red flats and my Whole Wheat slung over my arm. A little elderly lady was sitting in her car, she flung open her car door and stopped me to tell me how gorgeous she thought my clothes were – that I was ‘quite the picture’. Once I explained I made my clothes, we then had a lovely chat about how much she adored making her own clothes too. That was a real holiday highlight for me!

Maria Denmark Day-to-Night Top and Whole Wheat Cardigan from Ravelry

Maria Denmark Day-to-Night Top and Whole Wheat Cardigan from Ravelry

My MariaDenmark and Sewaholic clothes got a lot of wear – and my Whole Wheat cardigan, my first knitted project in YEARS was in regular rotation.

Sewaholic Lonsdale and Whole Wheat cardigan

Sewaholic Lonsdale and Whole Wheat cardigan – in King Solomon’s Cave, Mole Creek Tasmania. It’s 9 degrees down here all year round! I’m cold but not quite freezing in this picture…

We took some lovely pictures in the caves but WordPress keeps reverting them to the wrong orientation. *sigh* patience required.

Maria Denmark Birgitte Top and Yasmin Yoke Skirt

Maria Denmark Birgitte Top and Yasmin Yoke Skirt. I made this top from a $1 skirt from a second-hand stall

You will notice a new little skirt has popped up. This is the Maria Denmark Yasmin Yoke skirt.. It’s a simple make and very easy to fit as you go along. I’m not thrilled with this fabric although I like the pattern. The fabric is a butter suede and while it looks and feels lovely from the outside, it’s a bit ‘sticky’ on my skin – it really needs to be linted (note to self: remember that when you use the blue butter suede in the stash!). I think I will try making this up in some lightweight demin, it’s very easy to wear as it doesn’t sit too high on your waist.

I also made up a black/white stripey top from Maria Denmark’s Birgette pattern. I cheated on this t-shirt. I made it from a $1 skirt I picked up at the school fete. It was a long tube skirt and too big for me. I cut the body pieces so the skirt hem was the t-shirt hem. I also have not bothered to hem the sleeves. I don’t think this sort of stark stripe is my thing, it’s a bit harsh. Anyway for $1 I’m not too perturbed – I love the t-shirt pattern, I like the negative ease.

We saw lots of little creatures in Tasmania. It really is the place to see Australian wildlife, once you get away from the towns and cities. On the way to house on the first night we saw four Tasmanian Devils, a Spotted Eastern Quoll, countless wallabies, two wombats and more – meaning we had to drive slowly to avoid hitting them! No doubt they were driven to the roadsides in search of food as much of the country we drove through once we got the to Great Western Tiers which has suffered in the recent bushfires.

A little echidna trying to mind his own business

A little echidna trying to mind his own business

Mother Nature can be harsh…

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress, take 2 - side view

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress, take 2 – side view

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress - take 2

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress – take 2

The above dress is my second Maria Denmark Day-to-night dress – I found this amazing knit at Lincraft, it’s a rayon knit, lovely and light (and it was half price in the recent sale). It was intended to be a Sewing Cake Tirsmisu – and while there are so many lovely Tiramisu’s out there in the blogsphere, I’ve yet to find a fabric that screams Tiramisu to me. SewImpatientLizzy!

I’ve worn this dress a lot, out and just around the house, it’s so comfortable and flattering. And yes, it really takes about 60 minutes to make!

Whole Wheat Cardigan was a star of the trip – thank you Rachel for your encouragement! My cardigan is not quite perfect, in fact I’ve nicknamed it my Amish Cardigan – I once read that the Amish always incorporated one mistake into their quilts as only God is perfect. I am very much not perfect so I incorporated many mistakes! 🙂

Sewaholic Cambie and Whole Wheat cardigan

Sewaholic Cambie and Whole Wheat cardigan. This is waaay to early in the morning for me. PLus I didn’t take a hair dryer away – yes! A real holiday!!

I nearly finished a cardigan for my daughter – I’m knitting the sleeves now and then just the button bands to go. This pattern is Langston from Ravelry, a really sweet little cardigan. I knitting it with a Paton’s wool called Romance. It’s a yummy merino/cashmere blend and I picked it up at Lincraft just before I left for holidays. It was marked down from $9 a ball to $3.99 – like it’s meant to be. I started it once I got through airport security with my needles, I was worried some nasty airport man would make me rip the knitting off!

Langston from Ravelry

Langston from Ravelry

I’ve learnt so much about knitting in the last month. Thanks to YouTube and Google, I’ve mastered cables, SSK, the Magic Loop technique and more. If you can knit plain and purl stitches but think that knitting a cardigan or jumper is beyond you – it’s not true. I watched several YouTube videos and have vastly increased my knitting abilities. Don’t underestimate yourself. If you are determined you can do anything!

Ravelry has been a relevation to me. It’s like facebook for knitters and crocheters, an amazing source of inspiration, patterns (lots of free ones at that!) and more. It’s free to join so if you are curious go and have a look! And you can friend me – my name is SewBusyLizzy (yes I’m imaginative!).

I arrived home to the most amazing package from Blogless Anna (go and check out her adorable parrot blouse). I’m actually speechless – she sent me some fabric which she picked up at The Fabric Store’s recent sale. She said she got it home and realised it wasn’t her. So she sent it to me – it’s SoSewBusyLizzy that I’m refraining from wrapping myself up in it and rolling about on the floor. Thank you Anna – I adore it!! I have a couple of ideas how I’m going to use it… once I stop patting it.

More on that in my next blog post – along with a couple of sewing goodies I discovered at the Evandale Market in Tasmania. Plus I got a couple of really exciting emails while I was in Tasmania as well! Watch this space 🙂