Where’s Wally

by Natalie on March 17, 2014

 

 

My weekends in London mostly seem to involve running errands and enjoying the sunshine these days. This weekend I started the process of getting a bank account, bought a pair of house shoes (which was surprisingly urgent), celebrated my roommate’s birthday, discovered a park and a charity run, and hung out on a houseboat. Phew! It’s too bad there isn’t another day in there just to recover!

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I am so happy to have a giant park so close to my house. It has a little pond and some fantastic walking paths. I went by specifically as I had heard that there would be a 10k Where’s Wally* race on Sunday morning. The race benefited a literacy charity in England, so the theme worked pretty well. Almost everyone had a costume on while they ran; a striped shirt, hat and glasses. Not surprisingly I had the hardest time trying to find someone that I knew was there after the race. Everyone just blended together in their matching outfits. In the end I had to give up and head out to my next stop.

 

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The next stop was to visit my friends Joanna and Tom, who live on a houseboat in Regents Canal. It was delightful! We sat on the roof and drank wine for the whole afternoon. I knit away on the button band of my Pomme de Pin cardigan, which is almost done. We had a roast dinner with some friends of theirs who lived further up on another boat. In the evening we had homemade damson berry vodka with fizzy water. Delicious!

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I think I have fallen in love with living on a houseboat for at least a week while I live here. I’m not sure that I would want to do it full time, even if it is cheaper than renting a regular flat. The winters sound awful, and there is a lot to manage with a boat that you don’t have to think as much about with a house. Septic tanks and water tanks, coal heating etc. It all sounds just right for a holiday though! I think that this summer will involve quite a few visits down by the water with friends.

* Wally is British for Waldo. As far as I can tell they are exactly the same. Perhaps the name change helps in his quest to stay hidden from the world?

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Liberty of London

by Natalie on March 16, 2014

Yesterday I was downtown doing some shopping and I found myself near Oxford Circus, so I thought I would pop into Liberty and escape the crowds a bit. I have friends at home that are always asking me about the Liberty store, so I thought I would share with everyone.

It is a huge building, 4 floors. It is actually like a really fancy department store, with all sorts of big name designers that I only hear about because they happen to dress presidents and such. I usually just skip straight up to the 3rd floor for the haberdashery department.

 

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The floors are organized around two of these atriums that go right through the building. One of them had this huge chandelier thing in it.

 

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The skylights at the top let in lovely light.

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The second atrium was not decorated, but it does give you a better view of the fabric from the other side! The shelving is really boring compared to everything else in the store, but the contents are gorgeous!

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This was more of a reconnaissance trip than anything. I didn’t buy anything. I did have a lovely conversation with a woman named Jules who works in the Rowan yarn section of the store. I picked out this print as my favourite of the new collection. I’m going to have a hard time choosing which of the three colours to pick for a summer dress! The print is called Heidi Maria, for those of you who will ask!

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It’s Springtime in London

by Natalie on March 8, 2014

I have pretty much settled into life in London. I am living in a house in the east end with a few other people, including one of my oldest friends from Toronto. Our house is a 30 minute walk from my internship, which is pretty amazing in a city this big. I have been here three weeks and am still sorting out favourite spots and making friends, but so far so good!Untitled

Last weekend Liv and I went to visit friends of mine in Oxfordshire. They live in a small village, and their neighbour has sheep! These sheepies and chickens were a little concerned by the puppy we had with us and were not interested in making friends. Another time.

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Liv and I went to an early morning Ash Wednesday service at St. Pauls this week. The space is amazing, and the morning was delightful. Perfect weather.

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Overall I can’t complain about the weather in London at all. Today was 16C! Bare legs in March! I am bottling it all up and sending it home to Toronto where it is still totally frozen over.

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I went to a knitting show, Unravel, on my first full weekend. It was so much fun! They had these fantastic signs to show people the way from the train station to the venue. They were made of wrapped yarn. I suffered from serious camera shyness so don’t really have any other photos of the event, but you can hear me in this podcast by A Playful Day around the 24 minute mark! I was with Tom of Holland and Anna of Sweater Spotter fame. It was such a great weekend to meet people and to get to know some of the local fibre businesses.

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My little Canadian brain cannot compute flowers in February and March. These poppies are so jaunty in there window boxes.

UntitledI walk through a churchyard on my way to work in the morning. They have a few small fields that are just riddled in crocuses. I have to be careful that taking pictures of them doesn’t make me late for work!

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These stacked headstones are from the same churchyard.

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One thing that I am looking forward to is getting to know some of the smaller areas in London. Liv and I have ended up in the middle of town (this is an amazing sunset on Oxford Street), the last two weekends. While the shopping may be convenient, the crowds are insane, and all the shops are the same. There is so much going on here, I’m sure I’ll never see it all!

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Stash Sale

by Natalie on January 22, 2014

One thing you can be sure about on the blog is that if I am quiet, things tend to be going down in my personal life. Like many bloggers, I can find it hard to share all those life details with my readers as they happen.

Luckily for the blog, these life things have mostly sorted themselves out and are now ready for sharing. In less than three weeks I will be moving to London, England! I have no idea what I will be doing when I arrive, short of job hunting, but I am very excited none the less. I have a flat with my dear friend Olivia in the North/East of the city already.

In the meantime I am sorting out my life here. I am getting all my worldly possessions ready to be packed up, donated, sold and pitched out. Yes, this applies to my stash as well. I am really enjoying the opportunity to really simplify what I own, but it is hard to say goodbye to some of it! So, I am hoping that you will help the parting blows and take some of it to new and wonderful homes instead.

I have made a flickr listing of all the available yarn and fabric. The prices are listed on the individual photos, or best offer. First come first serve to my email, natalieselles AT gmail DOT com. Shipping will be $8+$2 for each subsequent item. I will adjust shipping as necessary after the post office run.

Click the photo below to see more!

Artesano 4ply Alpaca

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12 Outfits One Year Later

by Natalie on January 17, 2014

It has been  a full year since I started the 12 Outfits project. I had high hopes of getting it all done in year, but it didn’t quite happen. I was starting to get a little down about it, but then I pulled everything out and dudes. I made a ton of stuff last year. I also knit three kids sweaters and had a bit of Christmas knitting, so I’m saying I have a few months of grace time.

Reflecting back on it I would make a few changes. I got a little cocky at the beginning of the year and added in socks to my January and February outfits. If I really wanted to get it done I should have just continued onto the next project and gotten ahead of things. I need to make more time to sew. I did pretty well on the knitting, especially considering the extra stuff I knit as well.

I completely forgot about having to make time for Christmas knitting. What was I thinking?! I could be further along if December wasn’t a holiday month. Silly me.

Here are last years photos, with updated photos from this year. I’ve got something made for every month, and some of them are very close to being finished. The 12 Outfits Project

January 2013

12 Outfits Update

January 2014

JanuaryJanuary

Handspun wool/silk blend from Fleece Artist/Old Maiden Aunt/ Fleece Artist. Mountview Cardigan by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud from Knit Scene/ Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair. Grey pinstripe synthetic blend.

 

January Outfit

 

I added a pair of socks to this outfit. I still love this sweater, I wear it all the time.

Shawl: Handspun wool/silk blend from Fleece Artist/Old Maiden Aunt/ Fleece Artist.

Sweater: Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman. Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair in Lupine.

Dress: Grey pinstripe wool blend in a Japanese Dress pattern.

February

February

Handyed by me laceweight and aran yarn. Navy shot cotton by Kaffe Fasset. Japanese dress pattern. Dream in Color Classy in Grey Tabby.

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Not a huge fan of the fit of this sweater. I didn’t do enough thinking before I designed it and the shaping is too loose for my liking and the armholes are just too big. I’m not sure I’ll go back and fix it.

Shawl: Handyed by me laceweight and aran yarn.

Dress: Navy shot cotton by Kaffe Fasset with Liberty trim. Japanese dress pattern.

Sweater: Mohonk by Jill Draper Makes Stuff

Socks: Froot Loops in Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label

March

March

Fabric. Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson in Amethyst. Amy Butler Frenchy Bags pattern. Cosmo embroidery floss. Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabric. Bag Handles. Tula Pink Nightshade fabric.

March
I decided that the print on the first fabric I chose was too big, so I swapped it out for this woodgrain fabric instead. It has my best invisible zipper yet. The bag has all this embroidery on it that you can’t even see very well, but I still like how it turned out. The bag has no depth so I am going to go back and add a gusset piece between the front and back. Right now it is only good for carrying a magazine, and I had the idea that it would hold a knitting project.

 

Skirt: Woodgrain from Les Amis by Patty Sloniger

Sweater: Julissa by Vanessa Smith. Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson in Amethyst.

Bag: Amy Butler Frenchy Bags pattern. Cosmo embroidery floss. Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabric. Bag Handles. Tula Pink Nightshade fabric.

Cowl: Jill Draper Makes Stuff Nimbus

 

April

April

Blue polka dot jersey. Nani Iro cotton/linen. Design-It-Yourself Clothes by Cal Patch.

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A complete change around! I still want to make something with the other pieces of fabric, but I was having a hard time matching anything to them. They don’t even go together very well.

Vest: Watershed by Amy swenson in Wool/Mohair handspun.

Legwarmers: Madeleine Tosh Vintage in Logwood.

Fabric: Anna Maria Horner Voile. To be made into Colette’s Hawthorne.

May

 

May

Monsters fabric. Cosmo floss. Thread. Goldfish fabric. Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Lace in Dutch. Wiksten Tank pattern.

May

The shawl was a massive success. Obviously still working on the bag and tank. They are less of an immediate concern since they aren’t really weather appropriate.

Bag: Monsters fabric.

Tank: Wiksten Tank. Goldfish fabric.

Shawl: Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Lace in Dutch. Wasp and Rose by Anne Hanson.

June

June

Beulah Cardigan Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark from Knitscene Spring 2012. Tanis Blue Label in Grape. Pearl Bracelet by Lizzy House in Glacier.

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Exactly what I wanted! The sweater still needs it’s embroidery, but I have enjoyed wearing it a lot anyway.

Sweater: Beulah Cardigan Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark from Knitscene Spring 2012. Tanis Blue Label in Grape.

Dress: Pearl Bracelet by Lizzy House in Glacier. Homemade pattern.

July

July

Decorator weight fabric from Aix en Provence. Field Friends in Shroom by Birch Fabrics.

July

I used the fabric from the original March skirt for the lining of the duffle bags. I love that I have a matching set, and the duffle bag carries a ton of stuff.

Duffle Bag and mini: Pattern by Gui Latulippe. Decorator weight fabric from Aix en Provence.

Tote: Shopping Tote from The Workroom. Field Friends in Shroom by Birch Fabrics used for tote lining.

Tank: Cascade Pima Cotton. #01 Vogue Summer 2013 by Mari Tobita.

August

August

Secret Garden Lock and Key by Sandi Henderson. Coral Kona Solid.

August

Work in progress. I may rip out the cast off for the cowl and add more length. I forgot how much those cowls can condense and turn into very little fabric once you start wearing them. I have made a muslin for the top so I should be able to cut it out anytime.

Cowl: Laceweight Silk.

Top: Cream Voile. Pattern Jasmine by Colette.

Skirt: Secret Garden Lock and Key by Sandi Henderson. Coral Kona Solid.

September

September

Spud and Chloe Sweater in Popsicle. Seberg Sweater Tarasovich-Clark from Knitscene Spring 2012. Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabric. Red/blue striped fabric. Blue tile fabric. Walk in the Park Backpack Tote pattern. Navy ribbon.

September

The sweater needs only a sleeve and some finishing. Skirt cut out already. Backpack exactly where it was a year ago.

Sweater: Spud and Chloe Sweater in Popsicle. Seberg Sweater Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark from Knitscene Spring 2012.

Skirt: Kelly by Megan Neilson. Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabric.

Backpack: Red/blue striped fabric. Blue tile fabric. Walk in the Park Backpack Tote pattern. Navy ribbon.

October

October

Red Diamond Sock yarn. Flea Market Fancy by Denise Schmidt. Imperial Yarn Tracie Too in Natural. O-Wool Legacy DK in Lava, Raincloud, Earth and Rutabaga.

October

I love this sweater! I can’t wait to get it finished. It is going to be a constant in my wardrobe for sure. I’m not a huge fan of the socks. They are kind of blah. I wish I had done some sort of texture instead of just stripes. Whatever, they will still get worn.

Socks: Red Diamond Sock yarn.

Skirt: Flea Market Fancy by Denise Schmidt.

Sweater: Imperial Yarn Tracie Too in Natural. O-Wool Legacy DK in Lava, Raincloud, Earth and Rutabaga.

November

November

Madeleinetosh Tosh sock in Composition Book Grey. Stripey Fabric. Jill Draper Catskill in Bering Sea and Concord.

November

I think I am going to turn that stripey fabric into an apron instead. I think this outfit is going to be a great cool winter colours outfit. The shawl gets loads of wear already. I’ve got the sweater up to the armpits on the body, sleeves done already. I am going to be making some changes to the collar. The skirt just needs an adjustment to the back and buttons.

Sweater: Pomme de Pin by Amy Christoffers. Madeleinetosh Tosh sock in Composition Book Grey.

Skirt: Kelly by Megan Neilson. Constellations fabric by Lizzy House.

Hat: Jill Draper Catskill in Bering Sea and Concord.

Shawl: My handspun giant crochet granny triangle.

December

December

Blossom by Kim Hargreaves from Misty. Sashiko fabric. Cosmo floss. Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2ply in Pewter.

December

Another perfect choice from the get go. The sweater is amazing. Soft like butter. I did this for NaKniSweMo. I’m so glad I got it done in time for the holidays. The skirt, not so much. I started on the embroidery, but that will take a while to get done.

Sweater: Blossom by Kim Hargreaves from Misty. Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2ply in Pewter.

Skirt: Sashiko fabric. Cosmo floss.

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