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A night out at Edinburgh Food Studio

Untitled
Untitled

I’ve been under a bit of stress recently, I don’t want to talk about it too much really, though brexit was definitely part of it. Anyway, it’s now worn off thankfully , which has resulted in me feeling like shopping for the first time in forever. I bought a couple of things from people tree, including this dress! It’s a lot shorter than I am usually comfortable with, and the waist is a bit weird but I loved the print so much and they do free returns now so I thought I’d give it a shot, and I decided to keep it. I wouldn’t wear this without tights but thankfully/unfortunately I live in Scotland so it’s not really an issue.

Edinburgh Food Studio

I wore this for a fancy meal to Edinburgh Food Studio with Dave, while my parents were here to babysit. I cannot recommend the restaurant enough! They do just one sitting and it’s communal tables. It’s a set multicourse menu, you just tell them any diet requirements in advance. I went pescatarian this time, though I think I might be good and go veggie next time. It was so beautiful! I took pictures of all the courses but one. My favourite was the tomatoes with leek dust and hogweed (picture 3), every tomato was prepared in a different way, it was amazing. And the best thing is that the restaurant is about ten minutes from ours on Dalkeith road. Maybe a bit out of the way for most people, but ideally located for us.

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Milo’s new blankie

Milo's new blankie
Milo's new blankie
Milo's new blankie
Milo's new blankie
Milo's new blankie
Milo's new blankie

I’ve finally finished the thing I’ve been working in what seems like forever! It’s a replacement Blankie for Milo, who has both outgrown and shredded the one I made for his birth. It was a log cabin construction and he just kept poking holes in the seams between colours. I did fix it a few times but in the end I gave up because it was a fight I was never going to win. Seriously, here it is, more hole than blanket:

Old blanket

Anyway, so for this new one I wanted something not too complicated but still interesting and definitely not as easy to poke holes in (though of course it took me so long to make that’s not really a problem any more). I also wanted it to look good from both sides. I couldn’t find anything pattern wise that I liked, so I ‘designed’ my own. This is the ‘pattern’ in case anyone likes it:

In colour 1 (white) Cast on an uneven number of stitches to match the width you want it to be.

K all for 6 rows.

Change to colour 2, knit 18 rows as follows:
Row 1: k all
Row 2: P1, slip one with the yarn behind the stitch, repeat until 1 stitch remains. P1.

Change back to colour 1, k 6 rows, change to colour 3 etc. Finish on a colour 1 stripe. Bind off.

Pick up stitches at the side of the blanket, one stitch for every second row. Knit 6 K all rows, bind off

For yarn, I used Cascade 220 Superwash, 2 balls of white, one each for the other colours

Can you tell I’m not a pattern designer?

Given the apparent simplicity of the pattern, I ended up having to unknit A LOT. I really wanted something straightforward to do without needing to look at it, but actually all those slip stitch rows are really easy to get out of synch by accidentally slipping two stitches at a time. Particularly if you do this twice in one row and it all seems fine when you get to the end of the row and then you realise 4 rows later what has happened. So mostly I fixed mistakes, but sometimes I could just not be bothered.

Anyway, Milo’s very pleased with his new age appropriate blanket (even if he had decided at one point n the knitting process that he liked the blue but not the white. Thankfully he got over himself)!

With Milo pretending to sleep for scale

Milo's new blankie

P.s. Not sure what to do with the old blanket! I really don’t want to keep it but also don’t want to just chuck it/donate it as rags. Maybe burn it in a ceremony, haha!

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Project 52: 29/52

29/52 Ellis

Ellis has been walking unsupported! Just inside the flat though, we tried at the playpark but he wasnt having it. Soon!

29/52 Milo

My parents are visiting at the moment and Dave and I took Milo strawberry picking while they stayed at home with Ellis (we can’t all fit in the car, plus it wouldn’t have been ideal having to walk Ellis around). I’ve got a lot of pictures, which I’ll post soon but this is my fave!

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Last week I went to a blogger event with colour elements. I don’t usually go to blogger events because my childcare brownie points are precious, but I made an exception for this because I am fascinated by all things colour theory and consistent colour palettes (sp?). I wrote years and years ago about building a capsule wardrobe around three colours, which is actually this blog’s most visited post! (It is cited in the Wikipedia entry for capsule wardrobe). At the time I really wasn’t ready for actually living with a capsule wardrobe, but it seemed (and seems) like an excellent approach if you can pull it off. As I’ve got older, and busier, and happier with just wearing the same thing over and over again, I’m coming round to a smaller wardrobe though. I’m also less happy to wear worn out fabrics, and I’ve gone up two dress sizes since pre-kids, so have sold or donated a lot. I think the amount of clothes I have is now a bit more normal, and I’m actually starting to think about filling holes and building something a bit more coherent with my sewing. I actually did some thinking around how I might do this a couple of years ago, at which point I made myself a little graphic with the colours for me. Here it is!

colour scheme for a wardrobe

So anyway, colour elements! It’s an approach to working out what colours suit you, but it’s designed to be less time consuming than (and not as expensive) the traditional colour me beautiful approach. You get assigned into one of four elements (hence the name), earth, fire, water or air. As part of the event we got a little chat with Karen, the founder of the company, she took one look at me and went ‘yup, earth’. Which is quite reassuring because the earth colours are pretty much exactly what I had stuck into my personal palette! I know what I like and what works for me I guess!

Colour elements has a free app that show you all the colours, and you can mix and match them to try out combos. The idea is that you can take it with you when shopping to hold against clothes (or in my case, fabrics) to see if they fit. Or you could just spend ages messing about making little pictures, hehe!

earth colours

Finally a little shout out to the shop where the event was held, kakao by K on thistle street. I’d never been to that shop before, I’d always assumed it was way out of my price range, but actually it’s a mix of prices. The concept of the shop is Scandinavian design (the owner Karina is Danish), so it’s mostly good quality neutrals – and the loveliest jewellery. This is the dress I had my eye on, I’m hoping to find the time to go and try it on. I’m not sure it will work on me, my boobs may spoil the horizontal line in the middle, and I’m never quite sure if oversized is a silhouette that works on me or not! It would look amazing on a more straight shaped person anyway!

Dress

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Seamwork Akita blouse

akita blouse

For my birthday, and in light of my me mad may reflections, I bought myself a seamwork subscription. This is the first thing I made, the Akita blouse. I love the exaggerated shape of the shoulders, even though the effect is not so visible on me, given my giant arms.

I’ve decided I’m never even going to attempt making anything without fitting adjustments again, what’s the point of sewing if you’re just gonna recreate rtw. The top is a size 8, with a substantial fba (I’m coming round to the idea that I do actually have a large chest. Some pictures of myself I look at myself and I can’t help thinking whoa boobs!) graded out to a 12 (because of the added width from the fba) at the front, and a 14 at the back. It could probably do with an extra couple of cms round the hips anyway, so I’ll add that next time.

akita blouse

The fabric is a cheapo flower print (£1/metre!) I got at Edinburgh Fabrics when they were have a sew Saturday sale. It seems to be good quality though, been washed a few times and is holding up well so far. I had 1.5 metres and I needed it all. This is my main gripe about this pattern, fabric efficient it is not. The patterns description is all ‘you can get this out of just 2 yards’ like that is in any way impressive. It’s a short sleeved top, for gods sake, I struggle to think how it would be physically possible to use more than 1.8 metres for one of those! You can get a scout and an onyx out of a metre no problem, and a sleeveless onyx out of about 70cms. The reason it uses so much fabric is because it is just one super long pattern piece. It needs a lot of length, but not width, I actually have enough of this fabric left over for another top, but then who needs two identical tops? If anyone is in a similar situation and would like to do a swap, shout! I have actually seen a person who has made a few of these and has just cut the pattern piece up, in which case you could get it out of 75cms, but then you do of course have a seam on the shoulder, which somewhat ruins the lines of this.

akita blouse

The other thing about this top is that it uses a lot of bias tape, more than one pack. Which is fine if you make it yourself but at this stage of my sewing career I prefer to chuck money at the problem and just buy it. Colette do seem to like finishing things with bias tape, and I’m actually not quite sure this really needs quite as much as it does. It’s got tape running down the entire length of the side seam on the inside, which makes it easy to do the armholes and the slit at the bottom (as well as looking nice and neat inside, but I still reckon you could do this with just ordinary seaming on the inside). Oh, and I did also depart from the instructions a little. It has you encasing the seams in bias binding, and I did try to do that, but my binding had no crease in the middle and was quite thin, and it just proved so annoying that I gave up and just folded the tape to the inside. (Which incidentally, is also what I intend to do should I ever make another Sorbetto) Apart from losing a tiny bit of widths, I can see no negative effects. Apart from that, the instructions seemed fine although I didn’t read them all, I’ve done the bias bound neckline so many times on various onyxes that I just did what I always do. It’s nice that I’ve got the experience how to not have to be handheld all the way!

That’s all I’ve got for this pattern! Definitely like it and planning at least one more.

akita blouse

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28/52 Milo
28/52 Ellis

This week’s Project 52 pictures are from the opening day of the new galleries in the Museum of Scotland, which we went to on Friday. It was great, there was loads to do with a million staff members, people dressed up and stands with activities. It wasn’t too crazy busy either as I had feared, I assume because it was the first week of the school holidays, when everyone goes away, before holiday companies start putting prices up because the English schools break up.

It was also the first time anyone has ever recognised me from the blog outwith the context of a blogger meet! One of the museum workers started speaking to me just as we were leaving, I thought he was just being extra customer focused, but he said he read my blog which explains why he was speaking to me in particular. Unfortunately at this point Milo had had enough of all the people in the new bit and had started asking to see the fish (game, on the fifth floor), so I was pretty distracted and trying to keep up with Dave and Milo and my mum. So if you’re reading here, I apologise for not chatting properly!

National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening< National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening
National Museum new galleries opening

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Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship

Today I’ve got some photos of the ‘dazzle ship’, an Edinburgh Art Festival artwork that is docked in the Leith docks, just outside our work. Dave’s office actually looks out onto the ship, so he’s been watching it being painted, whereas I’m tucked away in the middle of the building at the far end from the ship, so I only really investigated once it’s been finished. You can’t actually go close up to it, so you can only see the one side of it, but it’s still pretty cool.

The artwork is by Ciara Phillips and was commissioned for the centenary of the First World War. It’s about the role of women in the war effort, because these dazzle ships were real things, designed not to camouflage, but to confuse German submarines with their unpredictable angles and colours (though there is no evidence that this actually worked). More than 3,500 were dazzled, designed and painted by female art students while their male counterparts were away fighting. The design is based on a print, and reads ‘every woman a signal tower’ in Morse code.

The ship is there until the end of August so plenty of time for a visit!

Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship
Dazzle ship

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North Berwick family pics

North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics

You know sometimes when famous bloggers travel halfway round the world and then all you see is lots of pictures of themselves? Well, this is kind of like that, except the halfway round the world bit. I took the camera when we went to North Berwick with Dave’s mum to take the weekly pictures but of course ended up with way too much cuteness to not share it all. But I have blogged less self-centred pictures of North Berwick before, so I don’t feel even a tiny little bit bad.

April-juni
North Berwick family pics

Milo on the train with his engine driver’s hat

North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics

Ellis got decorated with daisies while we were waiting for our fish and chips

North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics

Bumshuffle race!

North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics

North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics

We got ice creams. We didn’t get Ellis one, yet still somehow managed to end up with two cones in the end!

North Berwick family pics
North Berwick family pics

I know this isn’t a very nice picture, but I’m including it because this never happens! Ellis pretty much only sleeps at home, and not a lot of that either. I felt so smug about how easy he was to put down, thinking it was down to us having learnt our lesson and not letting him fall asleep on us last night. Then he turned one and that went out of the window, and now he does not go to sleep without a fight/lengthy period of cuddles.

North Berwick family pics

Beautiful handdyed yarn. I didn’t buy any, because more expensive than even the going rate for those sort of things, and I still have my yarn fest goodies to use up. But it’s nice to look at and know this shop exists.

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Project 52: 27/52

27/52 Ellis

Ellis took his first few steps unsupported this week, launching himself between people! Here his is walking along being held on one hand though

27/52 Milo

I know this is a picture of both of them, but the one I was going to use for Milo ended up being more overexposed than was salvageable really, so you get this instead.

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