Learning from mistakes… and I have learnt a lot lately

I seem to go through a rather brainless period lately and I do not really know on who or what to blame it. Staying at home with children doesn’t seem to help me personally to keep my brain fit and healthy. I guess I should look for some kind of activity… say cross words or…. knitting. Isn’t that supposed to be one of these activities to keep your brain active? Clearly not true over here.

And sadly I seem to make more mistakes when I am particularly pleased with my own cleverness.

Example No1 “The Dress”

I am currently sewing a dress for myself. Well, I try to.

I always pre-wash new fabrics and put a little old cleaning cloth in the washing to see if the colour of the new fabric would discolour other items. Clever, isn’t it. Except if you put several new fabrics in at the same time.

So my lovely orange flowers on white background were suddenly orange flowers on a yellowy-peachy background. Slightly disappointing but still pretty enough to be used.

I placed the pattern on the fabric and was extreeeemely pleased with myself that I not only managed to put them so close together (loosing 5mm of the edge of a dart) that I might actually be able to make a skirt from the left overs but also that I remembered for once to transfer all marks onto the fabric,…. shaking my head smugly about the silly notch in the middle of the front-fold… If I cut there into my fabric I would have a hole in the middle of my dress…. silly.

Once I finished cutting out everything super carefully, I realised that I had placed them wrongly, with the front cut in half instead of one piece and the back as one piece instead of cut in half. I guess, I could fix it by adding a stripe in a contrasting colour which would “cut” the front in two halves but that would mean that I had to buy new fabric so I just bought the same fabric again and I’ll not make that mistake again ever….hopefully

Example No2: “The vest”

My mum requested a sleeveless vest for my dad with “a fun design, maybe stripes”.  As usual I skipped the rather useful planning and calculating before ordering and ordered a main colour and a few single balls in other colours…. which was then rather tricky to put together.

I guess that is something I will never learn so I should not count that as a mistake anyway.

At least, I did a proper counting job and counted all my rows and wrote down all the numbers on little scrap papers which I placed carefully around the house.

So I was really surprised when I made the buttonhole band and then the armhole band and things clearly did not match.

It took me two hours of counting again and again until I actually found the mistake. And I had to rip at least one day worth of knitting.

Lesson learned here: Don’t bother counting rows if you are actually to stupid to do it properly.

And last but not least, I was again very proud of myself that I remembered that I will have to take care on which side to place the button holes as my father is not exactly the cross dress type of man who is used to wear his buttons on either side 🙂

So, I finished the vest, asked my husband to wear it for the picture, wrapped it carefully, sent it to Austria and waited for the thank you call.

IMG_1831Which came a couple of days later. Beautiful, super soft material, nice colours, fits perfectly but by the way, the buttons are on the wrong side….

At least that is easy to fix 😉


Next time: Yarn over and their English equivalentS and why it is actually really useful to watch you tube videos only half way through and with the sound switched off.


bags, bags, bags

As it has mainly been about my children knits so far, I would like to finally talk a bit about my bags.

But before I do so, I want to show you my last “custom order”. After finishing a hooded vest for the shop I asked my daughter if I should make one for her as well or rather a dress and she said: Both. I then made the second mistake of letting her choose the colours out of my stash…. and she chose all of them. Some of them really don’t go together so I first wanted to ignore it but then  I shouldn’t have asked her if I am not prepared to follow her wishes. And actually it turned out to be really great. It was only a matter of how to order the stripes.

I want them all

I want them all

I also love her strawberry skirt… I made it because she is just so thin that the ones that fit around her waist are too short.

And here the two vests together, they are both the same size except that the models wearing them aren’t

But now back to the actual subject: bags

I have been knitting a few bags in the past, they are easy and quick and ideal presents for more normal occasions where you do not want to overdo it.

But I haven’t knitted a bag for myself yet, I have to admit. I always have to think practical, I have a huge bag (in fact, apparently not huge enough and therefore completely broken) in which I have to carry half of the household. And as I live in the UK, I also have to have a waterproof one. I have a few really nice bags but in the end, I always use the same for my everyday life. I have always been like that and I guess I will never really change… So no cute knitted bags for me but it doesn’t stop me from producing them.

So here are a few examples of what I have done in the past.

I made these sets of bags for children a long time ago. The shoulder bags were just an excuse to use up some left over yarn and both my children loved them.  They are tiny so only really to play with.

The bedside bags (with the intarsia) have open end strings so you can tie them to your bed and keep important little things in there.  You could also tie the strings together and use them as a shoulder bag. I think if I made them again, I might make them with a cotton lining.

For the following water bottle bag I have used the  Bishi – pattern by Georgie Hallam. It is really nice and I like the whole combination with the dress (also made by me)

I have also made a few really small gifts for grown ups like a smart phone or a passport holder. Apparently the smart phone holder is also ideal to keep a dummy safe over day time.

Bags are also a great way of personalising the present. I made the following one for my mum who uses quite often cotton bags. I have actually made a mistake in the pattern repeats which I only discovered once I had all ends woven in and cut. So it became “the design”.

cotton bag

cotton bag

I have sewn the whole bag using greenish- turquoise heavy cotton and added one knitted side with a bit of a lace pattern so the green could shine through.

I have used this design of one knitted lace side also in the following folder-holder for my sister. The back of the holder is a heavy burgundy cotton and the front has actually three layers: burgundy fabric, yellow fabric and knitted red-orange-yellow with a few eyelets to let the yellow fabric come through. I have decided on a middle layer as the yellow background looks much nicer than the burgundy.

folder holder

folder holder