31 januari 2017

Got a Curse I Cannot Lift

So, I've been knitting a lot lately. I made my father some socks for Christmas, there's an oversized cardigan in the works, I have plans for more socks, hats and sweaters and I finished a scarf!

This yarn was one of those purchases that got the 'you bought something that matches your hair again' comment from the boyfriend, and he wasn't wrong at the time (I've gone a bit greener since then). It's Malabrigo Rios yarn in Teal Feather (I think) and it was amazing to knit with. It's 100% merino wool, so super soft as well. I think my face in the above picture says enough. I have used the worsted version of this yarn in the same colourway to make a hat before, so now I have a (somewhat) matching set!

But what about the pattern? What if I said this scarf was vaguely based on a scarf worn by Remus Lupin for like, one scene in Prisoner of Azkaban? I can't even find a decent picture of the original. Someone had written a pattern for a scarf like this but I can't deal with written cables and just trying to read this gave me a headache. In the end I simplified the pattern to the max, used Stitch Fiddle to make a chart and went to town.

The pattern is not that complicated and was easily memorized. It's basically two cabled rows (mirrored) on either side and a honeycomb panel in the middle. I worked on and off on this for a few months, but all in all it was done surprisingly quickly. I definitely got faster as a knitter! I had four skeins of this yarn, and used almost all of it, so this is a long scarf!

This scarf has been keeping me warm and toasty the past few cold days, and my friend Charlotte seems to approve as well!

Do you want to make your own vaguely Lupin-inspired scarf? Here's my pattern:

(Click to enlarge)

PS: Curious about the title? It's from this werewolf song.

26 januari 2017

Floral Skirts and No Dog Poop in Sight!

That title will be clear at the end of the post, I swear.

As promised: a sewing project! I have a few more waiting to be photographed and stuff, here's to hoping that gets done soon. This is one of those relatively quick things you make between more elaborate stuff, which then get worn to death:

I made this circle skirt right before Christmas and it's become my go-to thing for those 'maybe slightly dressy but not too excessive' occasions. Or just for when I want to feel twirly and draped in lots of fabric.

The fabric is a printed Scuba I got at Pauwels stoffen right before they closed (sob). I had never worked with this stuff before and was a bit lost at first about what to do with it. It's bulky and doesn't really hold a crease, so something simple would work best. In the end I just went for a full circle skirt. Almost boring!

But it's so full and swishy! Sewing the fabric was very straightforward, I just had to make sure to topstitch every seam to make things lie flat. This is one of those skirts you can leave balled up on a chair for a week and then just walk out of the door with it. Not that I would ever do that. Ahem.

I also added a golden exposed zipper to the back, because I could. It also felt 'right' to break up the flowery print with something a bit tougher. I'm slowly getting better at these exposed zips.

The hem is finished with a bias facing (which is my preferred hemming method) but topstitched instead of handstitched down. This seemed logical, since I topstitched the hell out of the rest of this thing.

Bonus picture: my mother cleaning the dog poop off the rooftop before we took pictures. Blogging, so glamorous.

14 januari 2017

Which Witch

Another drawing! I have a backlog of sewing projects to photograph, but time (and the weather) are working against me. I guess I'll just keep making stuff and then bombard you guys with posts once I get around to take pictures!

Yesterday I made a quick illustration inspired by a song by Florence + the Machine:

I had the song stuck in my head for a while and came up with the image whilst in the shower (where else). The eventual drawing is barely different from my initial sketch, I only added the striped part of the skirt and made it look like her dress was falling apart in a way. At first I wanted her to be walking on stars but the unravelling seemed more in tune with the song!

I made this drawing in my usual way: make a sketch on printer paper and use white carbon paper to transfer it to the back of the black paper, then cut it out. Doing this means that the only lines on the black paper are the final ones, which makes it easier to cut out accurately. I could sketch directly onto the black paper with white pencil, but the lines would get really unclear if I had to redraw some bits. Does that make sense?

I couldn't really find a clear audio version of this song (it's a bonus track on the latest album) but here's a pretty fun live version of you want to hear it:

04 januari 2017

The Rifle

Happy New Year everyone! I was kind of happy to see 2016 go. It wasn't an especially bad year for me personally but it was a bad one for a few people I care deeply about, and moving on to 2017 feels like some sort of closure. I don't know what 2017 will bring but here's to hoping for nicer things!

I spent one of the first days of the new year working on another song illustration :

This one is for 'the Rifle' by Alela Diane, and it's maybe one of my favourite songs of all time. The lyrics have some very clear imagery going on, but I wanted to be less literal with my interpretation. I tried to picture the idea of a threat coming from the woods by drawing a giant wolf/fox thing sneaking around a tiny house. This was one of the easiest illustrations I've done in a while, as in, the process from idea to final result was super quick, apart from agonizing over the position of one front leg for fifteen minutes and a half-hour nap.

The wolf/fox and house were cut out of black paper and scanned, I then cut out around fifty little trees and photoshopped them in the background (so I had more control over the scale and could create a sense of perspective). At first I had placed the trees closer together so there would be more overlap, but this got too crowded and took away from the monster a bit.

Anyway, that's a whole lot of ranting about the endless dilemmas I face while drawing. I like how this turned out, and here's the song for your listening pleasure: