I’ve got a new excuse for not knitting. It’s not that there’s no time, though time is still a rather precious commodity around here, or even that the current design I’m working on has hit a fatal flaw at the yoke, namely that despite a gazillion swatches it looked utterly rubbish. Fortunately for Kitty, for whom it’s intended (assuming I come up with a yoke design and finish it before she has another gargantuan growth spurt), I don’t think there’s exactly a pressing need for aran weight tweed coziness.
Those three words, “aran weight tweed” are in a nutshell, my latest excuse. When picking up that weight of wool and sitting with it nestled up in your lap is entirely unappealing, even if you could procure a cool bath for my feet, a minion to waft me with a giant leaf, and a ready supply of something lovely over ice, you know it’s time to give in to the allure of sitting under the studio ceiling fan and commune with the sewing machine.
Well that and Elma needed a new dress. And be “needed” we of course mean, “Mummy wanted to make one”.
I had a little falling down in the Liberty’s sale the last time we were in London. And by little falling down I mean metre long cuts in four different prints.
I’ve got plans for three of them, and a couple of options for the fourth, and as my fabric storage is suffering from a bizarre form of internal disarray characterised by a tendency to explode out of the cupboard all over the floor of Elma’s room whenever anyone looks in its direction, I am quite determined that I’m going to be a sewer and not a fabric hoarder; well at least for the duration of the heatwave.
I’ve never actually cut into Liberty print before; I’ve played around with hexagons from a pre-cut pack, and I’ve unfolded the two lengths I already own, stroked them, imagined tiny girls running through wildflower meadows in them, folded them neatly again and tucked them back on the shelf. That way lies not the provision of clothing for tiny people.
And then one thing changed, I made a dress for Elma that had such a beautiful cut, and such a lovely finish that it was worthy of repeating, and took away some of the nerves of making that first slice into something lovely and precious.
It’s exactly the same size and version as the previous Music Box, cut out on Wednesday, sewn on Friday, finished and bedecked with buttons on Saturday, and worn to ward off the heat at Sunday’s cricket.
Little Mari, an English cottage garden in Liberty print for my English rose of a daughter.
I’m in equal parts pleased and relieved that I got the pattern centralised on the front yoke, now I just need to work on a seamless pattern overlap on the back but I’m starting to figure out how to measure off the pattern to get that effect (although if anyone has any top tips, please let me know). Given that to have the pattern matching at the buttons I’d have had to have it off balance at the shoulders I’m not sure I would have gone for it anyway.
If we can base client happiness on the amount of time said customer spends chewing the hem of her newly finished creation, I think we can safely say that she too is thrilled.
It seems that my sewing stint is set to last too; Elma has two new dresses and has just about grown into an ice cream print dress originally made for Kitty and as that young lady keeps being discovered sneaking into the studio and draping herself in fabric, it might just be time for Mummy to even up the score.