Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Mohair: A Love Story.

So, you know how every blog post from the last like two months has basically been me having a heart attack or reviewing the last three days and then saying I've got to get off quick because I've got more stuff to have a heart attack about. Well. Not today! Today is a day for me. I have stuff to do, sure:
  • Photocopying and scanning a few bits for accounts. 
  • Writing a blog post for an exciting new website - I'm going to be a regular. 
  • Chasing up a payment and working out how I'm going to do the next bit of work for a customer.
  • Putting some patterns on the internet (that I promised you months ago...). 
  • Sorting out some internet orders and changing the status to 'delivered' on some workshops that have passed. 
  • Changing the window (but I've forgotten the all important certificate that will be the star of the show...). 
And a few bits that I'm sure I'm missing. But right now I want to talk about being a local celebrity and pillar of the community and all round good egg which is why I get FREE TICKETS to things. Mwahahahaha! Although, I haven't actually got them in my greasy mitts and until that time I am technically ticketless until proven ticketful.

I'm going to see the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Concert Hall on Sunday and I'm most excited!

What a man! What hair! 

We've got the poster in our shop and I always take posters for things like that because it fills up the space that would otherwise be taken by inappropriate acts (although I'm often saying 'nah' to posters with naked female wrestlers... Really? You think this is the shop for you?). Occasionally they give me free things.

I went last year to one of these things, on my own, and really enjoyed it! It was the first classical concert that I'd chosen to go to and I felt kind of posh apart from I had loads of bags for the internet orders and getting there on time after closing the shop meant I was sweaty and horrid. Everybody else was dressed up and less stressed. Also, I didn't realise how quiet it would be so the sock project I took to work on was too loud which meant I actually had to sit still and listen to something for once... This time I'm taking the boyf and it's after a lesson so I'll be finished by four and I'll be crocheting  - no clacketty clacks for me!

So, yesterday, when I'd confirmed with the nice man about the tickets I decided I needed a new dress. What I absolutely don't need is a new bloody project but we don't need to talk about that do we... I've more than likely talked to you about this if you've ever been in the shop because I'm finally working on my MOHAIR DRESS!

I've been collecting bits of mohair from friends' and customers' destashes for a looooooong time. I tend to think that it's not a good yarn for teach knitting or crochet with and it's not good for the average charity knit so I don't feel too bad about yoinking little bits (also, mostly, people tell me that I'm to look through to find stuff for myself first and then do what I will with the rest). I've amassed a collection that looks like somebody barfed the 80's in my stash and over the last three years or so I've occasionally got it all out to stroke and love. King Cole have a bloody marvelous book that has a mohair dress in it:

Available at the Best Yarn Shop in the Midlands. Ha. 

I fell in love with that dress at first sight but the size falls a good 10 inches too small for me and whilst I could sort it pretty easily sometimes I just don't have the drive. (I hope you're listening King Cole, and all other yarn manufacturers, sometimes fat people don't have the drive (or knowledge) to rework patterns so they give up with that pattern and get their stuff elsewhere. Whilst you're listening to that, have a think about how much more yarn I have to buy to cover my fat bum. Fat Fact.). So, I fell in love with the dress - the sleeves, the skirt, the mohair, the stiffness, the pose of the model and I knew I had to have it. But natch, I don't want such a boring colour and to be honest the only colour I have enough of is this:

and it's totes not my thing... 

But. Colour progression and stripes are my thing! So I got together all of my mohair, discarded (for a future project) the blacks, blues, minty greens and bluey-purples and made a little progression on my floor.

Looking at that and wishing that I had some sort of photographic sensibilities like Attic 24. Nah. Not me. Shove it all down, get a photo, get crocheting. That's my motto!

The colours are slightly 'off'. Which I did a little bit on purpose - one of my first memories of Dee is her telling me that the shelves don't have to be perfectly colour-ordered because something that looks wrong will draw the eye to it - I'm using that to my advantage at the bust/waist (boom!) and because there were some colours that just didn't work but I couldn't not have them because I luuuuuuuurve them (looking at you bright sunshine orange and grassy-forest green) and it's already a bit mental being a mohair dress on a fat girl with 15 or so colours so what the heck? :)

I decided on crochet because it's quick, less maths-y and I had the right size hook rather than needles to hand (I'm sure I've told you before how lazy I am...). I started with a chain that I thought was about right, did a row of dc's and then joined in the round hoping that the little bit of work would prevent a twist. It didn't. That's life. Then I did a bit of increasing and then I changed to a bigger hook which means that there's a slight bagginess to the top bit but it's okay because I have boobs.

I've added a bit of waist shaping this time because I want the skirt to be a-line and I think that'll give it the best chance of showcasing that and also because mohair, chunky-ish stuff isn't a thick-waisted girl's natural homeland so shaping will be my ally. After I've got past my waist I'll do some increasing, probably four stitches per round (but not lined up because I do want this to be mindless) and see where that gets me...

I'm doing the sleeves at the same time because I've only got little bits of some of the colours and I want the sleeves to roughly match the dress. So I do a bit of the body, making sure I still have some of all of the colours then I do one sleeve and then the other. The beauty of the mohair and crochet is that there's only one loop to lose and because it's mohair it's pretty much impossible to lose the loop. So I just leave the loops a-hanging and pick them up when I want.

I promise I will talk more about how to make this sweater - perhaps even write some sort of pattern - because it's ridiculously easy, it came out of my head and this is the third time that I've done it and if this works then I think I've hit some sort of jackpot for a sweater that only takes a few days and literally no brain cells. I suspect it may suit my body shape and not a great many other people's because it always ends up with a wide neck and the increasing is quite severe so you do need a good rack but it's a beaut and I don't want to keep it to myself.

So, I'm going to catch up with the Ottomans and do some of the dress, then do the first two bullet points, then a bit more dress, then a few bullet points etc. etc. What a day! What a relief! What a bloody lovely life!

Love Eleanor. xx

One last bit of mohair porn:

Phwoooooooooar! Look at that fuzz! :)

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