The First Cut is the Deepest…

2013_10240006….well maybe not the deepest but definitely the hardest and most challenging for me and I suspect it is the reason I don’t do much sewing.

Apparently when I made myself some Pyjama bottoms (see link on my other blog) I said I would make my sons some.  It was one of those throw away lines which I assumed no one was listening to.  But no!  They were listening and who would have thought it but both my sons (in their early 20s) have asked when I will be making them some winter PJ bottoms!  At least its only the bottoms as they will wear T-shirts on the top.

Procrastination has gone on for a few months.  The pattern, New Look 6321, was bought on-line and is about as simple as you can get.  I spent ages surfing the net looking for checked cotton flannel which apparently isn’t that fashionable, if you want ditzy flowers you are spoilt for choice but checks forget it.  It hard enough finding companies/fabric shops that do dress length rather than quilting fat quarters but checks forget it.  Anyway, I finally tracked some down at Truro Fabrics, which 2013_10240005my sons helpfully pointed out, we had walked past several times in June when we were on holiday.  They have a sample service so I ordered a couple of samples and the boys choose the one.  So not only do I have to make two pairs of PJ bottom but in the same fabric, at least they are the same size.

Two weeks ago I stopped making excuses and cut out the pattern pieces.  I find this incredibly intimidating as I worry that I am cutting the wrong size and I have no confidence when it comes to altering patterns at all.  Luckily men’s PJ bottoms have little shaping and so I went for the basic S size.  The 2013_10240001pattern and material have sat on the table for the last two weeks making me feel guilty.  However, my youngest is home from University next weekend and I would love to be able to give him his PJ bottoms to take back with him to keep him warm in his drafty student house.

Tonight I have bitten the bullet, moved the coffee table back and tackled laying out the fabric and pattern.  The material is checked and I have lined up a couple of key points on the cross of the pattern in a vain attempt to line up the pattern but I’m not too worried about it.  I get very nervous about cutting the material out more so than the pattern, I love the fabric and dread that I am going to cut it wrong or some other disaster.  I did plan to cut both PJ bottoms out this evening but it took me just over an hour to do the first pair and quite frankly crawling around the floor for that long is enough of a work out for me.

So the pieces are cut out and now I have to crack on and sew it up.

The Cowl is Finished

20131012-200402.jpg

The Cowl is finished and my manic expression doesn’t indicate that it was a hard pattern more that I was trying to take a photo of myself using an iPad and discovered it really was quite hard to do plus I hate having my photo taken so I shall stick to things I don’t have to model in future!

Anyway, I really enjoyed crocheting the Cowl. The pattern was very simple just double crochet with a chain in between and then on the following row you double crochet into the chain gap etc. I had to do some shaping which was new for me but I think it went OK and the cowl bit itself was simple as with crochet it is easy to go round and round and make a tube, much easier than with knitting I think.

The pattern for those interested was from Simply Crochet and by Sara Huntington, I decided to omit the teddy bear ears. The wool is Rico Basic Super Big Aran in stone grey.

Now to find another project which I won’t have to model!

New Project – Cosy Cowl

2013_10020022

I have been plodding along with my Throw for some weeks now but recently my enthusiasm has been tried and I decided I needed a diversion and a new project.  I have been teaching myself to crochet from the Art of Crochet but so far I have only crocheted straight things – a couple of scarves and a bag made up of rectangles.  I have been intimidated by shaping and also avoided all the patterns in the magazine which weren’t for beginners.

However, I discovered recently that one of my work colleagues, Mellie Moo Crochet ,is a skilled crocheter and she recommended Simply Crochet so I thought I would give it a go.  Strangely I struggled to find a copy in any of the local news agents or supermarkets so I have been waiting for the new edition to come out but still no sign of it – I found it on the way to Plymouth in a motorway service station!  Anyway I was rather impressed with it and the clear instructions included along with how to guides.  I was particularly taken with the cowl on the cover and having read and understood, I think, the pattern I decided to give it a go.  It took some doing to find the wool, Rico Basic Super Big Aran, but I finally tracked it down via the internet – I don’t think I have ever had such a large ball of wool, it caused much consternation in my house.

2013_10030002

I started the other evening with enthusiasm casting on (is that the right term in crochet?) 120 stitches.  The pattern is a simple chain and double crochet into the chain gap below – easy.  Well not if you get cocky and carried away and somehow start crocheting into the double crochet below as well as the chain gap.  I have redone the third and fourth rows more times than I care to remember but I think I have got it cracked now.  I also think the fleck on the wool is making it harder for me to see the gaps.  Hopefully now I can crack on, well until I get to the shaping bit.

I’m not going to do the teddy bear ears as I am hoping to achieve a more Dr Zhivago or French Lieutenant’s Woman’s look than Winnie the Pooh!