Friday, 27 July 2012

Wattle-ling along

It's wattle season again. These trees are always so bright and cheery at the end of a grey winter. This year they remind me that it's Pennsic season and I'm missing out. Ah well, perhaps next year.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Cream and purple t-tunic

I've been trying to make some garb for Dash as he is woefully under-garmented. I figure if I start now he'll have enough garb for a week long camping event in April. I've already make him a long black woolen t-tunic (crusader?) and a white linen under tunic. I've also made him a couple of pairs of trews including an awesome green and black houndstooth pair.We've bought linen for a number of gab projects for him but I find I'm having the usual issue of not being able to cut the fabric because I know I'll screw it up. So I decided to use a cream woolen blanket I bought for a cloak making demonstration at the College of St Monicas. Not only is it cheap fabric, it's also wool so he'll be snug and warm during freezing Rowany evenings.

The Plan: Cream body, dark purple trim around the cuffs, the hem and the neckline.

Since he wants this to be a little fancy and I don't have any purple trim in stock I'm going to decorate the edges with embroidery. I've tested five designs that I like. The colours in the final product will be reversed, with dark purple linen and light purple thread. The linen used in a sampler was some left overs I got from Lady Nadia because I'm not sure I have enough dark purple for the garment AND a sampler.
Next time I do a sampler I'll sew down the fabric first. I had a little trouble with the linen wandering over the wool and bunching under the threads.

 Butterfly chain stitch - I like this one the best but Dash thinks it looks like a bunch of *
 Variations upon blanket stitch. We agreed that we liked the one on the right the best.
 A combination of double feather stitch and chain stitch to create little leaves every third branch.
 Half blind cross stitch. I like this one too. It'll be good for seam treatments.
Herringbone stitch - this was hard to get even as the linen kept migrating across the wool.

The verdict: I'll be using one of the blanket stitch varieties. Probably the second from the left, but using purple embroidery thread on the cream wool and cream thread on the purple linen.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


During last weeks trip to the supermarket I found Dutch purple carrots! Anecdotaly (i.e. I can't find a reference and haven't tried all that much) the first orange carrots are said to come from the Netherlands in the 17th century. I was aware it was possible to buy purple carrots in the heirloom mix from the Diggers club ( but to have these things common enough to enter the supermarket?
The carrots are a rich purple on the outside and a creamy yellow on the inside. They're not as sweet as orange carrots and will make a nice turnip replacement I think.
Of interest is the purple stain the juice leaves on my fingers. I may juice a bunch and see if I can use them to dye thread.

So, having used them for some delicious soup, I'm attempting to sprout the carrots. I didn't do this as a child so I'm not sure I'm doing it right... They don't appear to be shrivling and the sweet potato next to them is sprouting so with luck I'll have purple carrot and sweet potato casserole in a few months.