I’ve got a new friend…

I bought her, but I don’t know her name yet.

I went a bit mad and decided that since my hands were restricting my knitting, I could take up my dressmaking scissors again. Got some fabric, got some patterns, got some money in for a job I did. Do I buy food, put more fuel in the car? Boring.

I have wanted a dress form for the longest time. Who needs to eat, anyway?

(Mind you, I’d better not eat much more – I’m on the borderline between two sizes of adjustable dress form. The medium was too big, especially around the bum,  so I went for dieting optimism and ordered a small. She’ll need more adjustment in the boob area – I may have to make her wear a stuffed bra – as I have a narrow back…)

Then I discovered that I can’t sew either. Can’t pin or thread needles without a fight as that involves quite a fine level of gripping. Things are improving, but for the moment I’ve settled for dressing my new friend up.

Here she is, modelling the ever-popular Citron shawl, in Malabriiiiiiiiiigo lace (yum):

And in Ysolda’s useful Damson shawlette:

I do love knitting shawls. I have a weakness for skeins of fabulousness (now, there’s a name for a yarn store, I’m copyrighting it now), and one skein can easily equal one shawlette – just perfect for winter.

This is my own simple eyelet and raised row shawl from the back:

and, a little blurrily (sorry about that, but the weather’s gone gloomy and the flash makes everything very, very flat so I needed a long exposure), from the front:

And finally, because a girl can’t just wear shawls, in one of the two sweaters I managed to complete in the three weeks between hand injuries (connection? what connection?):

Not brilliantly dressed. I got the giggles, but not as much as S. the window cleaner did. Oops.

It’s – well – improvised. The pattern is actually Chamomile by Kim Hargreaves, in Rowan’s Summer Tweed, but mucked about. I went to a workshop at Rowan in Holmfirth, and bought some yarn from the sale bins. Because we turned up on time rather than early, choice was limited – the others had already raided the bins because they were experienced Rowan workshopees and knew – so I had a variety of dye lots to choose from. I did the best I could, and quite like the variations (the stripes on the sleeves do actually match up, it’s just that one shoulder drooped when S. nearly fell off his ladder).

I’ve become really interested in bast fibres – woody plant fibres – lately, so the next time Madam appears she will be wearing hemp. Wearing hemp, despite evidence to the contrary. Now I must make tea for the window cleaner… I think he needs biscuits, too, after that.


6 thoughts on “I’ve got a new friend…

  1. Knitsister

    Love all the shawls and the jumper too, and your new lady friend was well behaved for the photo shoot. I have two lady friends like this, one is called ‘BAAAAbara’ and looks like yours, the other is ‘Gwendoline’ and is of the vintage metal variety. They make great companions, as they will wear anything you dress them in without an argument 😉

    1. kate Post author

      She was, wasn’t she? Much better behaved than me!
      (Love Baaaabara – how appropriate… as in ‘two sheep walk into a baaaaa’, which reminds me, what has eight legs, four ears and twice as much wool as a sheep?

      Two sheep.)

  2. Annie

    Oh lucky you! I’d so love a dress form … I keep eyeing up fab vintage ones on ebay, and watching the price skyrocket beyond my means! Has your new friend got a name?

    1. kate Post author

      I’ve been looking at them too, but gave up in the end. Wish I had several in the attic!
      (She’s a real rag-trade, east-end-workshop dress form, so I’m tempted to be stereotypical when naming her and go for something harking back to a Jewish past or reflecting a Bangladeshi present, but she seems to be responding to Madam. Clearly a dress form with attitude.)

    1. kate Post author

      Well, she’s not going anywhere, :-)… Mind you, that’s probably because I couldn’t fit the wheels on with my hands in their present state; if I had been able to, she’d probably be off somewhere more stylish where she could be draped in silks rather than posed in handspun…


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