Medieval times

Good thing #1: Halloween costumes only have to last a couple of days at most, so they can be pretty much flung together quickly and easily (I just keep my fingers crossed that no one will sneak a peak at the loose threads and runaway stitches that lie beneath...)

Good thing #2: My kids are young enough that I can steer them towards costume ideas that aren't way beyond my very-much-just-a-beginner skills

Good thing #3: It hasn't occurred to my kids that the store bought costumes are probably way cooler and won't be met with blank looks when they go door-to-door (yes, last year my daughter was told what a cute rabbit she was. She was supposed to be a dog. Luckily she was too young to know that anyway...)

So without further ado, here's this year's attempt at costumes: a Knight and a Maiden (she's not ladylike enough to qualify for a lady, I'm afraid...)

Knight costume: was an old (stained) curtain, a bit of red felt, a plastic sword given to J in England and a ball of grey wool. The grey knitted sleeves and (detachable!) hood are supposed to look like chain mail. Don't laugh. If you knew how slow I am at knitting, you'd be making polite comments about how you had mistaken them for the real thing, or other such blarney...

As for the maiden, well, her outfit was blatantly copied from, I mean, greatly inspired by

K was originally going to be another knight. Or a horse (I'm sure the poor girl will get revenge on her pink/frill/glitter-phobic mum by demanding to be a fairy princess every year when she's old enough). Anyway, I then came across GoingSewCrazy's creation and that seemed to be the perfect costume to go with a knight.

Unfortunately I didn't have the Ottobre pattern or any other dress pattern, for that matter, so this was more a result of me making it up as I went along and, well, it shows.

Still, I have now made a dress for the first time and sewn in a zipper for the first time (I have since found a tutorial for sewing in a zipper and it turns out there is a lot easier way of doing this. One day I will think to do a web search for tutorials first. In the meantime, maybe I should look at the scary looking metal things that came with the sewing machine and see if any of them answer to 'zipper foot').

Anyway, a bit of grey green moleskin fabric from the clearance rack, coupled with the leg of one of my holey pairs of trousers and a bit of pink ribbon and Bob's your uncle.
I think I'll throw in random weird British sayings more often, just to keep you on your toes.


Hello again.

The problem with not having a digital camera is that I do not have much new to show you right now. The kids' Halloween costumes are pretty much finished, but have not been photographed. I swore that I had taken a picture of some of the summer tops that I had made for K, but when I got the film back, I found that it was not so. There's stripes on the photos I took with my ancient SLR, so I need to retake them. The photos I did take with the point and shoot before I left have turned out kind of funny colour-wise. Take this picture of the blanket I crocheted for my nephew: the blanket is green, the border is beige and the 2 stripes are actually dark brown. Not that you can tell that from this photo. Still, they weren't my first choice for yarn colours anyway, but my local yarn shop's supplies were severely depleted...

So, more oldies it is. Here's a pic of my first sewing attempt. It's a kimono top made for my son out of one of my husband's old t-shirts while I was pregnant (using Martha Stewart's baby kimono pattern). It's hand sewn as I didn't have a sewing machine back then so I really hope that you can't enlarge this photo...
This was sewing attempt #2 (same pattern):
My husband spent the money I had earmarked for a new camera on fixing our sprinkler system while we were away (he has a completely different priority system to me...), but the good news is that my dad has loaned me his old film camera. When the ash clears I'll take some photos for you. Spare a thought for our local firefighters.

edit: I called these tops kimono tops, as that is what Martha Stewart's pattern is called, but a lady named Wendy let me know that the term Qipao is a more accurat description of this style of top. To find them on Marth Stewart's ever changing site, you'll have to search under kimono, though.

England (and Wales)

I warned you about the grey skies...
Ps. Did you see Thomas?


I'm back. Needless to say I had a great time: it was absolutely wonderful seeing everyone again. My niece and nephews are all such great kids and immediately welcomed my two into their play. I am terrible at keeping in touch with people, but it felt like no time had passed at all when I was chatting away with my friends and family. My friends had travelled from all corners of the UK to say hello and it truly reminded me just how good a friend they all are to me. Note to self: call and write more often.

I have photos to show you (lots of grey skies), but that will have to wait. I still haven't finished the laundry, the house is a mess and I've got 2 Halloween costumes to make. I'm as slow at knitting as I am at crocheting and I dopily decided to knit part of one costume. Wish me luck.