My Strings

The Figurative and Literal Strings of My Life


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When Life Sucks – Just Sock It

One day you wake up and everything gets turned upside down – and you find yourself alone. Maybe not completely – but that is what it feels like.

Things change – sometimes for the better – or rather hopefully for the better. But at times it can be hard to see the forest for all the trees – and for some time I’ve been in the thickest of woods – the kind you today only find in fairytales set in the deep, darkness of Eastern Europe.

Time to come out of...

Time to come out of…

To top it all of as if this wasn’t enough I had to stop running for a while – as I got an infection (annoying – there goes that marathon dream for April this year). And at the same time my knee started hurting – had the ‘runners knee’-scare big time – turns out having a job where you sit still alot, and school where you sit a lot, and several hobbies where I…guess…sit a LOT…(I really need my running) is a bad combination for me. It is actually unhealthy for me to sit still. HA, maybe that’ll shut those people up who says I do too much, work out too much. HA! I win.

Well, this state of darkness and brokenness have also been reflected in my crafts these past few months I’ve been away from my blog. I found no expressive creativeness though I kept to my path of getting in control of my addiction and huge amount of craft articles. But there have been  a slight shift – from fabric management to yarn play.

Ready or not...

Ready or not…

These homy, woollen, soft, fluffy little balls of comfort seemed like just the thing for me at this time. I’ve always considered knitting and crocheting as the crafters version of comfort food. Nothing like a soft and managable knitting project to give a lovely safe feeling – a little kick – a bit like chocolate…just without the sugar high.

And since part of my path is also the plan to handle my yarn collection. My state of mind combined with that fact that I do have a lot of yarn but not a whole lot of the same kind or colour – it panned out in a lot of socks.

Starting out with massive amounts of baby socks as my sister gave birth to her second child August last. An amacing little girl – Camilla. And true to tradition I just had to make her a baby basket as well. But I’ll come back to that in another post.

My beautiful little niece Camilla

My beautiful little niece Camilla

Here in the new year I’m still socking it. Big time. I think I’ve made 15 or 20 pairs the past 4 months. For my self, for my sister, for my nephew and niece, and lastly also for my wonderful, beautiful and loving yoga teacher – and my inspiration – in so much more that yoga – Tanja. Such a giving person – so seldom you have a person like her crossing your path. I am so thankful that for the time being our lives are running along side one anothers, that I get to share her light.

And I wanted so to give just a little back for all of what she gives me.

Norwegian ragsocks with a rose pattern

Norwegian ragsocks with a rose pattern

I found this free pattern for Norwegian rag socks – but a bit less plain than the usual/traditional rag socks. I just though they were too sweet not to try out. I chose to combine my sockproduction with another passion of mine – re-purpose. These socks were made with re-purposed Icelandic eco wool in light grey and a pale orangy red (dyed with madder). Both wools are single strand spun and quite thick – and actually too thick compared to what’s used in the pattern. So I had to ajust needle size and number of stitches but it didn’t give me that much trouble.

Also the orange yarn was slightly thicker than the grey, I could have chosen another colour making the thickness more even but I decided I liked that the rose popped.

Also Tanja has several times been wearing these cute little socklets which her grandmother made for her. That made for the next idea.

Not the best pic...

Not the best pic…

This pattern is from a Vogue book of sock patterns – both cuff-down and toe-up. The latter being new to me – not knowing that they exist – just never saw they point to them when I was fine making the cuff-down. But they are great if you are making scrap socks. Then you let the yarn determine the lenght of the leg and you don’t have to decide beforehand.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow but I still had to rip up several times as I felt the sock looked too boxy for my taste. It didn’t fit and hug as evenly and smooth as when I knit cuff-down. I finally came to a place where I felt I could be sort of satisfied with my work. In the picture they look very boxy this evens out a lot when you put them on.

But I do like them – they are cute. But also I will be making them again correcting the issues I still feel there are with the pattern as is. I definitely will be making more of them.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel

Opening up, coming back out again, feeling ready to meet the world on a more even playing field – and strong enough for…

Another aspect of my path to growing and opening up, to learn how to trust myself and to trust people around me and becoming a better version of myself – giving back by showing the people who affect my life that I appreciate their contributions and that I love having them in my life. Hopefully, some day in a near future I will be able to also tell them directly – with words.

And maybe someday I can believe this

And maybe someday I can believe this

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New Inspiration

Felt kind of lost for a while. Didn’t feel the inspiration. Felt like nothing went as I planned and wished for – so not productivity. On top of the too little running – way too little looking at my goal and time frame – all due to an annoying infection in the heel cap which meant I adjusted my running style which then meant it went to my knees – and Ouch. Ouch to the point where there would be a burning feeling in them when I was lying down – and my feet would burn when getting up from a period of inactivity – like just sitting down for just a little more then half an hour.

Extremely annoying. So I’ve been powering up on my yoga – not there is anything bad about that – at all. I LOVE it – oh so much. Working, sensing, feeling my way further into Jivamukti and my inner well being – uh, and in one month I’ll be of the a weekend retreat – can’t wait. No the annoying part is that because of the infection, sitting down for long stretches of time just was not possible. And sometimes the less I make means my inspiration fades.

So, I kind of tried to boost it by tuning in on sewing quest, planning company (which hopefully will be up and running within 6 months – don’t wat to haste or force it) – and an excessive over use of Pinterest pinning with a focus on sewing, corsets, crocheting – sprinkled with a little of this and that. Slowly working myself back to a more positive and productive frame of mind.

So when sewingpatterns.com had a sale I bought 9 new patterns – all vintage/retro reproductions…of course and I also found a few on Etsy. And I am slowly getting back. I’ve cut 6 dresses, well over 20 corsets – and more are in mind, found some new techniques to try out, made new corset patterns, sizing them, shaping them – there are so many various shapes to be found in just one patterns – it is amazing. I’m regaining my will to and my passion for also making things for other people as well – a feel that has been gone for a while – due to some bad experiences.

Well, one is cut and done. Cute pattern – New Look 6723 – sort of Mad Men inspired – not a vintage/retro, but still, it has the feel. One dress with several variations – 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves, no sleeves and two different necklines – so loads to work with.

Mad Men-esque dress pattern

And then sanity went out the door and I went for crazy and perhaps went a little overboard with my fabric choice. For one I will definitely have to go crazying down in the accessory department – a lot in fact – bordering on no more than a black cardi and it will have gone too far.

Back view – and full view of the crazy fabric

The dress is fairly simple. Fully lined bodice with no sleeves, high back though not all the way up to the neck. It has princess  seams, which I love as they make it so much easier to fit clothes to  my proportionately annoying – sorry, keeping it positive- my proportionately challenged body and to top the top of a cute sweetheart neckline. Which I’m often very careful with as with a small back and waist and a substantial bust size can be…hmmm…not always good. It can flatten the chest in a very ugly way – but somehow this one works – even with very little altering.

Front view of the sweetheart

The bottom is a 4-piece A-line skirt. For this dress due to the heavy fabric I chose to make 4 pleats along the side seams instead of an even overall gather which I would have chosen had the fabric been lighter and more flowy. Also if I add a 2-3″ wide belt to the waistline it will accentuate my waist and widen the hips just a bit.

Side view

Finish of with a back zipper and sewing the lining i place by hand.

All in all – very nice I think – though crazy.

Full on view of crazy – and yes still missing my dress form…

It will be interesting to try it on and out…into the real world…

And also…I’m running again…slowly…building up again – but wup wup I’m running!


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Dress-up for another year turned

Finally, got a bit back into the sewing deed. Which I guess is sort of about time. It’s been too, too long and not at all according to plan – and not to mention – not very good of me.

So, a little while back I went all in and cut: a skirt, a dress, another dress, a pair of shorts, yet another skirt, a top and…hmm, nope guess that was it…oh no I also cut a bag out of some leftovers from a green flowery skirt. And another skirt…short, girly kind. Many of the things were cut from the same cloth – just wanted to finish it up.

Light-blue-with-baby-pink-roses

Well, I thought I would make the top as it’s something I don’t really make that often.  So it would make a nice change to make a top…but one rule forgotten…and I began at a time where I was a bit tired…stupid little me. I sat starring at the form I had cut a few months back, and I just couldn’t figure out why the pattern and the cut out fabric didn’t correspond in the bottom half. It was longer and had an added width – it meant nothing to me in that moment.  I just couldn’t figure out what on earth I had been thinking.

So what did I do…I went and cut it into form following my pattern…And it wasn’t until I had finished cutting and well on my way to sewing when it hit me…nooo…but oh well was the only possible way to take. I fortunately had a skirt cut that would fit til new-length top. The skirt was meant for a round-cut skirt with a dark blue waistband and bottom edge band (which I hadn’t cut yet)….but apparently not this time ’round.

Contrast like this – but skirt not at all looking like this

I gave up – something didn’t want me to make a top…so I ended up making yet another dress. The reason why I didn’t want to make a dress from this fabric was that I already have made one a few months back. Granted from another pattern…but still.

Project one

I’ve used this pattern before so everything just seamed to flow from one end to other (probably had used up my screw up points for this project already:-)…). No alterations really…other than the usual – shorten the skirt considerably (to compensate for lack of long legs), take it in a bit more in the darts under the breasts, remove a bit under the arms, and take it a bit in in the back seam.

The lovely pattern

I made the strap section in a contrast colour to add some more life and crazy to the dress. Works really well, very happy about the feature – but it also meant I need to dig out some more of the turqouise fabric so I can make a belt for the dress. The colour is so strong compared to the soft baby blue and baby pink roses that a belt in that same colour as the strap is needed to pull the dress together – make it whole.

Doesn’t do much to show off the true colour of the strap

This means another wait till I can deem this outfit all done and finished – need to find the perfect belt buckle for the belt. I think something with a mat finish. Bright would not do well for this dress and these colours – I think it would add to the cold side. Not that I can’t wear the dress until I’ve made the belt…but…it wouldn’t really feel right to wear it until it is all done. Though it looks nice already – and as it is sort of Summer-like dress in the colour scheme I should try to wear it before Summer’s over…hmm, today.

In almost all it’s glory

However, keeping positive I still did finish yet another project. Very good. Yeah. Also another vintage 50s style dress. And –  One sted closer to my goal.

Side view

Soon I’ll turn another page in my life book. Plan to do it with two hours of yoga in a new class, also I have a gife certificate to try hot yoga…maybe I’ll be daring the day I step further away from being born.

Happy 1st of September and Fall to all.


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Doll On

Ha, finally finished something I posted I wanted to make. Which is really double great – as for once I’m going against my vow not to make things for myself with a hard deadline. But I guess promises are ment to be broken (hope not)…sometimes and at least I’m the only one taking the fall for this one – only me to hurt me (and that can be bad enough at times…internal cat-fight…wrauu).

NO – I will take back control of this out of control spin of ideas.

So back to the good part.

It started with this:

Rows of dusty rose with roses

More planning…figuring things out – more so than usually – as I am trying out a new corset pattern…so taking a bit longer than normal to fit the pieces together in my head.

Then on to the borring face of cutting…

All done – finally…at least with the cutting

Going through a bold fase and trying out the no helping pins while sewing…so far so good…even with the added “thrill” of using my mothers old sewing machine – old but dependable – very noisy and haven’t seen any help or service…but still – it can sew…

Tadaaa

Many hours spent on ebay searching for the right lace, trims and appliques. And in white – something I usually never god for. I’m just not so good with white…or more correctly good with keeping things white…

Butterflies in vienice lace – I just couldn’t say no

In the spirit of it being intended for Copenhagen Grotesque Burlesque – I try to go for all in and all the way. Luckily I have a good friend keeping me on my toes – I usually always go for simple and understated – perhaps an oxymoron saying corsets with understated – but I usually manage without trouble.

Close-up of the French lace with silk ribbon and the vienice lace covering the boning

So lace lace and then more lace – and what the h… – then some more lace just for the fun of it.

Ending up with this. The bands at each side adorned with the butteflies are sewn in between two of the panels – and are ment for being tied into a huge bowtie in the back – just for som added doll charm…

Final result

And here full view of the bow…and the back side of the corset. Before punching the holes…which is the final thing to do – but it just got too late to do – don’t think my neighbours would appreciate me hammering holes in at 10 in the evening.

Back bowtie

An now – all finished…a skirt and a shirt to go for the full attire..


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Baby Patch

In my family it has always been a tradition to make things for any kind of occation…big or small.

David – 3 years – loves Cars

And three years ago my sister had her first baby – georgeous little boy – and I of course wanted to make something special. As it so often happen with me and my crafts need one idea sort of expanded into several.

I ended up making a patchwork baby blanket – hand sewn from one end to the other – perfect for going home from the hospital wearing new garb. The blanket is also a perfect fit for the baby carriage. It actually didn’t take as much time as I would have thought. I made it in a wind mill 3D pattern in blue tones with a triangular quilting pattern. Very cute.

My inspiration for Davids blanket

I knitted a carriage suit, a matching hat, several pairs of booties and a sweater. I also made an embroidered keep sake with his facts. Lastly I made a very simple double layred fleece comfy blanket with a hand stitched edge. My nephew still uses it – perfect for those hot summer nights where a duvet is just too much.

Windmill

Well, three years on and another baby on it way – new plans. Actually, I going to do much the same again – with a few variations. No need to make the same – the items are fine and can be used again. But still, she… (yes, my perfect sister, doing everything the perfect way is now having a girl :-)…no love that gives me opportunity for variation in my creativity)…she needs to get something new, that’ll be just hers.

The finished blanket – patch, quilt and all

So firstly I made her a patchwork baby blanket matching the first one. The patterns are sort of similar – but then again not. This one is also made with a 3D windmill pattern – looks very much like the plastic windmills on a stick you can get children at the carnival.

The four different blocks assembled

Even though it is for a girl and made more girly than the first one I made – I really didn’t want to go all in on girlyness – so I was carefull to tone it down.

I had the three in front (yeah) – the fabric for the back side I bought

I chose four different kinds of cotton fabrics. For the back layer I chose  pink fish on a white background. The front I cose to compose of a classic candy striped, one with tiny roses on green and then a sort of kitchen things/flower theme print on white. It was a bit of a gamble whether they would work – but you got to live a little on the dangerous side sometimes.

Quilting pattern consists of circles and half circles

I’ve started a mutli-coloured cardigan – and I’ll make a hat and some booties again. The booties mostly beacause I’va found two great vintage magazines with some cute suggestions. But I not as pressed for time with these things  as I was with the blanket – she needed to get that before she had her little girl.

Other than these things I have only got one more set plan – the baby fact embroidery (klokkestreng – still not sure what it is called in English or if even is something used outside Scandinavia).


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Life vs. My World

I really am an uneven match for competing with life and events taking place. somehow you would think this really could not be new to me or anyone for that mattter. But in spite of my 31 years of full on living I still at times have a hard time accepting that I am not always in control of what is going on with me or around me.

Not that I am an anal control freak…that much…well at least only when it comes to myself and the things I do – not with other people (saying this in the hope of it making it a bit more alright…)… No I just really like being on top of things – I am one of those people who makes endless lists and have an all time updated calendar. There is just something compelling about being able to cross things of a list – the feeling you get when physically seeing your achievements is important.

Lalalalalalala…experimenting with diversion of thought

But I do know there are things beyond my control and beyond my grasp – I can accept that fact – I can live with that fact…but when life crashes on my personal space of need and freedom – I reserve the right to protest…

My comuter crashed….oh, the horror!

NOT acceptable – AT ALL. How dare the darned thing break down on my – going into it’s own little happy circle of neverending start-up. I really do not do well with technical thingies not working. I forces me to realize that I am not as independent from those machines as I’d like to think I am. I have no problem going days without turning it on – not a problem…no addiction tic sets in. But when you know your access is not possible the frustration sets in.

And worse – there is NO room in my budget for a new pc at the moment – don’t know what to do…but for the time being I’ve borrowed and old pc from a friend. It really is so very sweet of him but wow sooo slow – you have time to make coffee while it goes through start up.

I could choose to look on the bright side – as I at the same time have had to set aside everything else in the sewing department. For a long time I’ve been pushing a few planned or sort of planned projects in front of me with the excuse of having enough time. Then suddenly not so much time – so not having to spend time in front of the pc might be a good thing.

First project – clothes for the next Grotesque Burlesque Copenhagen – also I had to wait and see if the theme of the night could be worked  in and also other wishes for the nights dress up.  As it happened the theme will not influence my clothes – Palace of Forbidden Acrobatics…all very well and opening up to fun and games…but I just can not picture myself in a full body leotard not even with a corset to match and make up the finish – an idea I’ve been flirting a bit with. I don’t think I can forget myself enough – and not being stick thin – I am not really sure I could pull it off without looking like a plump little bulging ball in spandex…so next idea…

Dusty pink with tiny roses – will make up the main feature of doll

The idea with the most votes ended up being all in on dollification. And here I still have to take not just some but a lot of deap breaths…I like simple, sophisticated, 50s style clothing. This is not even near simple and sophisticated. I’m trying to ease my mind a bit with the period I’ve chosen as inspiration – the 1880 porcelain dolls. But still I love feminine – but the girly and lacy and very cutesy…no not so much. But on the onther hand – why do it if not doing it well and all the way…

So in the near future I will be seen in dusty rose, with roses, all over frilly and lacy – not to mention puffy and curly. Oh my…don’t think too much…or you’ll scare yourself…

So…

Fabric choice for baby blanket

Second project – or more correctly projects. My sister is pregnant with her second child. And her being the perfect being that she is – she is having a girl this time (first one was a boy…just turned 3 last week).

Well, in my family we always make things for the new babies. My give here is a baby blanket – patchwork – hand sewn. It is not that big – so it doesn’t take that long to make. Meant for going home from the hospital – and fits perfectly for the baby carriage. I also make another blanket – more simple – two layered fleese hand stitched along the edges. Just at comfy kind. My nephew is still using his – perfect for those summer nights too warm for regular duvets.

And then the last fixed item – klokkestreng. Don’t know what it’s called in English – or if this even is something used outside Scandinavia. They are a bit like a baby book – with just that facts – date of birth, weight, length, time….

Embroidery – klokkestrenge…no English name comes til mind

After that it is just whatever I feel like making…not being made by others…like my mother making a ‘pakkekalender‘. I’ll be knitting for sure – I’ve been missing just sitting and relaxing with some knitting.

Baby multi colour knit

Teddy bears have been collected, a basket found and now I just have to fill it with usefull and fun stuff.

If I can find/take the time…there is also a trip to Berlin coming up…can’t wait…love that city.

Also I really need to finish a project soon – looking back most of my post for a while have been start up posts…hmm, well one project should be meetings it’s end very soon (just as soon as I pick it up – forgot it at my parents house last time I was there). But I know it’ll be finished soon – as I now have found the perfect buttons for the Candyfloss Bundle...


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Promises vs. Fact

So far so good – and I was doing so good – on the verge of being proud of myself. But no sunshine without tons of rain to spice things up.

The plan was as follows: One in and one out – at least…better would be: Two out to one in…making up for and getting on top of projects backing up…

And I raelly was sticking to the plan…but then evil took over – something possesed me…my resolve dissolved faster than and SunLolly.

Yup – I had a go at my overly sweet and girly fabric again.

Evil girlyness

Don’t let the shyness and soft pastel blue fool you – once it gets you – it gets you good. And wins the battle in even faster than Russell Rees vs. Des Sowden.  It all began with me trying to se hhow far there was to go with one of my storage spaces – the bridal chest of 1841. I began…and found it really was possible…

The amazing…

See…all empty…

C’est fini

Or not – nope – I am not even close to being close to finished. And also the chest is not exactly my only fabric-hide away. This is where it went during my empty-out the darned thing frenzy…

Once there was a bed

But even though it is a huge ordeal to empty the chest and fill it again – it helps me ship the fabrics around – so when I open the cest it is not always the same inspirations that stare back at me. And this time – even though it is not that far back it just started yelling at me again.

The extreme behavior payed off. It started out with a plan to make another skirt. That got me thinking – I’ve made so many skirts and not that many tops. Admittingly I had my reservations about this fabric and it’s ability to morph into a suitable and nicelooking top. But…no risk no gain…or something.

Flower – hope for power

Next I’ve been missing a pair of simple and basic shorts. So I dug out a Vogue patterns featuring a set with jacket and long shorts. A little bit of adaption – and the shorts got shorter – the other length’ll just make me shorter anyway.

But still – more cloth…(be ware of offers that gives you 6 meters for a very low price…them seem to procreate whenever left alone. So following the girly-girl trail the last of the fabric was spent on a short pleated skirt – very school-girl like – just hoping I can find something to tone it down…Or I’ll just have to sell it of…

So more work ahead…and there is a promised project hanging over my head – a fitted corset pattern….I really just need to jump and finish it…it is not as if it is that hard…just…not exceiting right now…where most of my creative attention is divided between kimonos and the Copenhagen Gotesque Burlesque party in August.

Can’t wait…right now I’m debating with myself if I can overcome my fears and arrive in a spandex one-piece with just a corset to adorne the thing – but can I rock that…even though it would be perfect as the theme is ‘Palace of Forbidden Acrobatics’.

Uh – nasty flashes back to the days of show gymnastics…

Is this scary business me

Or is it just a no go…

Or go for the hooded kind and hide the awfull truth

Still undecided.