Crafting in Unusual Locations #2

Last weekend I was woken by the sound of helicopters overhead – filming the cycling road race for the Olympics. So I headed off to my local park to see what all the fuss was about. There was lots of waiting around, but luckily I had some crochet in my bag to keep myself amused. A woman standing in front of me noticed my crochet, so I explained that “that lady has a book to read while she waits, so I have my crochet” and she smiled and nodded approvingly. I’m sure if the Queen were looking out of her window at Buckingham Palace, she would have nodded with approval too!

With all the stories of strict security for the London 2012 games, I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed to take such dangerous objects as knitting needles or crochet hooks into the Olympics. I really wanted to (partly because I knew it would annoy a certain person* in our group) but didn’t wanted to risk having to unravel all my knitting if the needles got confiscated, so I took some crochet on a cheap hook. I didn’t need to worry as my bag got waved through without a second glance, and sat crocheting in the arena. It was too dark to actually do any real crocheting, so I had to watch the weightlifting instead. I wouldn’t normally choose to watch weightlifting, but we had some free tickets (on the very back row) and I have to say it actually got very exciting towards the end – would so-and-so manage to lift the weight on her final attempt for a medal or not? It got to real edge-of-seat drama at the end, before the medal (and two Olympic records) finally went to a well deserved China.

On the way back from the Excel centre, we took a detour via the new AirLine cable car. The scenery wasn’t quite the same as a cable car over the Alps (I did spot the Lyle’s Golden Syrup factory!), but it was pretty cool none the less to see the sights of East London from up above.

What is the weirdest place you have ever crafted?

*The certain person (who I was sure would moan about coming to the Olympics and crocheting) actually explained my crocheting to someone by saying “When you know Alison, you know she is always knitting”. In the end it was he who was wasting the ticket by chatting all the way through the game/match/tournament, so much so that a few of us moved to some empty seats a few rows in front! Is crochet that anti-social?!









Birthday Butterfly Reveal

Could you tell what I was making with my butterfly fabric last week?
Pictured is a very tatty Burda Sadie pattern which has been adapted many times to create endless variations of a simple t-shirt. Last year I added a full length skirt to create a summer maxi-dress, but I thought the lovely butterfly fabric needed something a bit more special.
I drew around the existing pattern (in green above) and then used my french curves to change the neckline to a v-neck, and create little cap-sleeves.

The sleeves turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself, and I think I will use this again if I need/want to make short-sleeved tops. I also played with the waist-line to make a feature of where the top would join the skirt (with flat piping around the seams – not quite so easy in jersey). The waist is lower than I planned, due to the effects of stretch/gravity, but I couldn’t face undoing all that piping to adjust it (maybe I can make some gathered or pleated waistband details?)

I finished all the seams with contrast bands in a deep inky purple I had left in my stash (which means it perfectly matches a shrug I made with the same fabric). The shape and depth of the neckline is pretty spot-on, and has an applique facing (inspired by an article in Threads this month) which was much easier to get the shape right than by using bias-strips.

I also discovered a new potentially-embarassing-if-neighbours-walk-past posing-spot in the stairwell of my building, but since it was late at night I decided the risk was worth it. I was on my way back from birthday celebrations at the Southbank where we bumped into this character..

Big Ben Wenlock

I think one of my summer holiday activities will be to track down as many Olympic mascots as I can – I have been told that there is a Wenlock/Mandeville decorated like a phonebox near St Paul’s.