First of all, sorry for the sudden disappearance for the whole summer! Life just ran off with me and the days passed by so quickly I hardly had time to even catch up with my Ravelry feed, much less blog. But I had been crafting a lot in the pockets of time, which are rare now that L is mobile. Before I run off with my natterings, I’ll try to catch up with whatever I managed to catch on camera. Here we go!
This was a cooler-than-usual summer. But it didn’t stop us from having fun! (As you could probably tell from my absence..)
Summer was beautiful nonetheless.
The berries were a little late too but the blueberries in the forest did so much better than last year.
Our Midsummer celebration was a quiet one with me, M, L and HH.
But further down South from where we were, there was a bigger celebration!
AP celebrated her union with her husband in Sicily, Italy. In this pic above, you can see the Mediterranean Sea and the Aeolian Islands behind them. Just typing it feels romantic!
But why am I sharing this?… Well, if you look closely at her dress, you will notice that it is…. Knitted!
Yes! It is a knitted lace overlay knitted by me.
I love how it looks on her. It really helped that the blue dress underneath is tailored to fit her perfectly… And, can you believe it, she sewed it herself! This was a collaboration of a scale I had never (and probably will never) attempted before. I’ve always wanted to knit a wedding dress, but it seems like such an insane amount of work. (Plus I do not have the sewing skills anywhere near that of AP!) But my chance came when AP was planning a celebration for her wedding.
And truly, who better to knit it for? Although there were times when I was working on the last rounds of the skirt that I was rolling around the sofa groaning, but still constantly knitting (was rushing to finish it before AP left this city) Thankfully, M was able to take over L for a couple of days so I could work exclusively on this project of a lifetime. But you know what? AP looked so stunningly glamorous in it, it was worth every stitch!
For the dress, I designed the lace using the main lace stitch from Jenny Johnson Johnen’s Echo Flowers for the bust, which flowed seamlessly into the lace with nupps, also from Echo Flowers (edging) for the hips. After that, I merged in the peacock motif from MMario’s Snowflake Peacock, continued into simple feather lace from Renate Haeckler’s Freya’s Shawl for the skirt, then finished off with another round of peacock motif from the Snowflake Peacock. The yarn used was a 50/50 silk/linen cobweb thread from Colourmart in an ecru colour. I believe the blue dress was sewn from a silk fabric (will add in more information about that when I remember to ask AP!) Because of the sheer lace and fiber (silk and linen), I didn’t want to knit it to the finished length as the lace will stretch out quite much when blocked, and the silk/linen (typically) continues to stretch under its own weight.
Hot off the needles, unblocked. I kinda had to improvise for the feather, and subsequently, the peacock motifs at the bottom because the mermaid shaping style of the dress. The feather part was quite straightforward to shape, but the peacock motifs were a little more tricky (read, I winged it and kept my fingers crossed).
Right out from the blocking bucket… The lace had very obviously benefited from the quick soak already! It opened up and draped beautifully even on the sofa. Later, I brought it over to AP’s and we started attaching it onto the dress. We managed the armholes and neckline and then AP later finished it off and added the pearl trims in Madrid and Sicily. When we started working on the skirt, it was only maybe 3/4 of the way down the length. But with a blast of steam from her iron, the lace opened up even further.
And there it was, my project of a lifetime. Hopefully it also brings them a lifetime of bliss!
Continuing with the old news up north…
We went to pick strawberries at a farm one weekend with ML. I’ve always wanted to go pick strawberries at a strawberry farm. Perhaps I have a romanticized idea of strawberry-picking, but I was not disappointed! Freshly picked strawberries are the best, indeed! It was so sweet, juicy and somehow tastes so much better! This picture don’t do the actual strawberries we picked justice… I got too carried away with the picking (with sticky fingers too!) to take proper pics but they were really big,juicy and ripe.
We picked a lot of berries, most of which had been made into jam or frozen.
We intend to go again next summer!
After the strawberries, came the blueberries! I made blueberry pies only once or twice this summer.
And then one day, I decided to make some fluffy pancakes on a whim. We had them with some homemade lemon curd. I made the moose-shaped pancake by placing a cookie cutter on the pan, then pouring the batter in. Apart from this time, we usually have Finnish style pancakes, which are more like crepes (and M is really good at making those!)
These scones, however, had been re-visted countless times this summer! And I’m sure for the future seasons as well. They are my friend VP’s Filmjölk (Buttermilk*) Scones. This recipe is very highly recommended. It is very quick to make and so versatile, being a basic scone recipe. You can make them savoury or sweet. I personally prefer them savoury – with cheeses and herbs for example! I like to make them when we have curry.
*VP had advised that Swedish Filmjölk/Finnish Piimä is fattier/creamier than buttermilk. If you cannot find Filmjölk or Piimä where you are, you can replace it with buttermilk plus a spoon of sour cream added in.
Mmmm! You have to try this recipe. I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it!
I’ve also made fudge recently. We decided that since we had so many cake occasions this August, I will make fudge instead of cake for our 2nd wedding anniversary. There were marshmallows, salted peanuts and liquorice in there. So bad, but so good!!
I have done another patchwork quilt this summer. This time using the FreeSpirit pack I bought along with the Persimmon one last Autumn. I paired the FreeSpirit pack with some plain white cotton and made simple 8-point stars plus a flying geese border for the top and bottom using the leftover fabric.
The finished quilt. This time round, I tried out the quilt sandwich method and used the backing fabric to make the binding (the edge that joins the back and front). Quilting method was the classic stitch-in-the-ditch.
Back view. A bit scrunchy but this side won’t be seen much anyway. :P
It was my first time with 8-point stars and also the flying geese shown. I really like the flying geese look. I like how simple but graceful it looks. Mine are a bit wonky but its good enough for me!
This patchwork quilt is L’s bedcover and had been in use for the past couple of months already. The width is wide enough to be tucked in and the length is long enough to cover the parts I want covered.
Patchwork quilting had been fun. But I think I’ve done enough quilting for the year. :D Also, quilting eats up thread really quickly. I’ve actually finished a few spools of thread already! For the first time in my life!
I also did some other quick sewing recently, making a project bag for a crafting friend.
It has a drawstring closure.
I stuffed the bag with some yarn from the stash. She crochets and I thought maybe this can make a little lap blanket.
This one is very recently sewn up, just this past week! A cute little overall for AP’s little LL, who celebrated his 1st year just this past weekend.
I tested the fit on L yesterday, after finishing the overall, since L and LL are quite similar in size. LL was super adorable in the overalls though, with the wide and pouffy pants. :D
I’m not 100% sure but I believe the fabric I’ve used is a light viscose one. It drapes really softly and lightly. I’ve bought enough of this fabric to make 1 or 2 more overalls that I intend to make for some baby boys in Singapore. The fabric is excellent for hot/humid weather!
I had ordered these (ultra)suede labels a couple of years and really love them. Very soft, outstanding and classy.
I used golden buttons to add a bit of a pirate style to these overalls.
The overalls have little REAL side pockets. How cute is that? ^_^
I had also made a matching pacifier clip but forgot to take a pic of it. :( But the clip is a wooden one with a pirate ship printed on it. Black and white as well, to match the overall.
Funny thing about the overall, though. It is a very good thing that the print is so busy because otherwise my stitching will be really obvious and it will look pretty terrible! I probably should’ve used a black thread so that my newbie stitching won’t be so obvious, but I felt that a red contrast will match the pirate theme. If you could see my stitching, you will think I’ve been sewing drunk!
Another funny thing – it was my first time making sewn buttonholes and when I tried to cut open the first one, the seam-ripper was stuck so I gave it a stronger tug, upon which the entire piece ripped right through to the top! I freaked out a little and tried to patch it up using a wide zigzag stitch over the torn parts. Thankfully it seems to have worked. But then I had to do the same zigzag stitching on the other buttonhole as well so it won’t look as weird as it already is!
Knitting-wise, I have done quite a bit as well. I’m knitting in a knitalong with VP for this lace-mohair cardigan. It is based on an existing pattern but we decided to modify it and knit it according to our own measurements. I’m done with the body now and have since moved on to the sleeves, which of course is now going slowly. At the top of the pic, the body is unblocked and at the bottom is the body after a quick soak. I have now seamed up the shoulders and am working the sleeves top down.
I have recently been knitting some things for a baby photographer in town. This is one of the sets I’ve knitted. There is a white set too, which I’ve (unbelievably) forgotten to take a pic of! I’m pretty sure I remember taking pics of it but there wasn’t any.
I also made some baby basket for the photographer. This one turned out too small but I’ve since made a bigger one to replace it (and sent it off without taking pics of it, of course.)
Same goes for this pouch. I made this at the same time as the basket above and have made a bigger replacement at the same time as the replacement basket.
And that is all the pics from my camera for catching up! Phew!
That is pretty much my summer. How have your summer been?