Monday, September 25, 2006
1 vintage project and one new project, until all the vintage projects are history, either made up or trashed.
The new project: a black and white jacket. The Donna Karan is currently for sale at Neiman Marcus for $2600. I'm using it loosely for inspiration, I love the portrait collar, don't need the double breasted. Currently I'm deciding between the Marfy jacket, zip front, or the OOP Vogue Oscar de la Renta jacket, button front.
This is the start of my fall wardrobe planning. I have black pants, and have numerous black wools for skirts/pants/dresses.
to be updated and continued post mini-vacay trip, Oct 10 or so.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
For an update on the infamous sleeves check here. It's too painful or hilarious or something to post it again here.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
….you have countless almost finished projects lying around. Most of which have been in some state of progress for months.
….you have been cleaning out and organizing your work space for a week, and are overwhelmed.
….although you have vowed to finish your current projects before working on another, and certainly before Starting yet another…you are bored to tears by the stockinette, you are uninspired by the Spring colors and style of the suit,
…in short, you long to work on something for Fall. It is blessedly cool. There is a crispness in the air that is so uncharacteristic of this area of the country this time of year, but is very reminiscent of home.
So you think “What can it hurt, one day to work on something for Fall, something new and exciting?”
You pull out the luscious Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in that burnt umber color you have, you pull out the swatch you did a year ago, you pull out the cabled cardigan pattern with the vintage 50’s fit and styling that you’ve been wanting to start…you go match it to 3 different woolens in your stash to make sure there are pant and skirt options for this without shopping, although you feel much too fat to even contemplate cutting pants out now.
You look at the swatch, (which was washed and blocked and grew in the blocking) you realize that in order to get the 5 st to the inch you need, you should go down 2 needle sizes, which will improve the look of the stitches too.
And you hide from everyone, knowing that you are expected to do what you’ve vowed to do, that is, finish up that stockinette sleeve etc., and you cast on. You decide to knit the cardi in the ‘round’, adding the stitches for the two fronts and the back together for a total of 290+ stitches.
Hmmm, that seems like a lot of stitches for a cardi knit out of a light worsted at 5/in. You do it anyway. You get 250 st cast on and realize you are going to run out of long tail. You take it off and start again. You get close to 200 st cast on and encounter a knot. You take it off and start again.
You have the cast on and begin knitting. A full sk is finished and you begin the second skein. You look at the picture, wondering at what point the buttonholes come into play, and you realize that in your cockeyed figuring you inverted the patterning, and that you have a purl band where you should have a cable band at the center fronts. You slide it off the needle, to rip it out, and start again. As it comes off the needle you stare at it in awe. “WTF?” You get out the tape measure. This baby, at the hemline measures 55 inches. You think to yourself, hmph, good thing I turned the patterning backwards in my head and had to take it off, or I might have knit the whole cardi for a 3x. You unravel the whole, after measureing the gauge over cables and rev stockinette. You get out the calculator, and after some figuring think that the designer that wrote the pattern was cracked in the head. You open up excel on the computer, you redesign and redesign, and come up with numbers that will work, taking into consideration that this yarn grows .125” per inch in the blocking. You reduce the 9 st cable braid to a 6 st simple cable twist in order to keep the overall look yet get it small enough to fit.
You pack it all up, take it to your Wed night knitting group, and cast the lovely Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran onto the needles yet again. You knit the foundation row and then get knit up through the first cable twist.
You go home, go to bed.
And sometime in the middle of the night, wake up and realize that something is still wrong. You go get it out, get out the tape measure, and … yup.. The 6 stitch simple cable shrinks down to 1.125”. The 9 stitch cable twist shrinks down to 1.25” as measured from the first attempt. For the difference, you could have left the 9 st braided cable in and had a much more interesting cable. You put it away and go back to bed.
You wake up in the AM, make a pot of coffee, take the latest attempt off the needle, and unravel and wind the lovely Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran back onto the ball, knowing that you will cast it back on for the 9 st braided cable.
After you finish the stockinette sleeve that you should have been working on to start with.
There is a knitting God and he will be appeased.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Well, it's a good thing I don't knit socks, else I would be sorely tempted to knit these beauties and join this Knit along...
(oops, I Did join that KAL) (shush! I have a pair of socks to knit since I took that class, bought that kit, and started that toe, and I figured I might as well make it a deadline and set some organization to them)
And Jae and I are each going to live to be 500, just so's we can finish all the projects we plan and buy for. Anyone else want to join us in the cinqtagenarian set?
meanwhile, I'm still up sleeve island without a paddle - on to the last sleeve of Liz.
Kim asked if I got bored knitting a back and front the same as each other for Liz - nope, they went fast and were interesting, as compared to this endless stockinette of the sleeves. O.ne. M.o.r.e. S.l.e.e.v.e ... endless
ETA; you have got to go to Mama-E's site today (she who dyes all the yarns) and visit her little rendition of how she and Lolly (she who started Project Spectrum and is now hosting Socktoberfest) celebrate Wednesdays.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Meanwhile, progress on sleeve island. I am going to be able to cast on the second sleeve today on Liz. Remember that I said if I don't order another skein of that Rovings yarn, I would for sure run out and be in a pickle, but that if I did order it, there was a good chance I wouldn't need it? Well, it's going to be close. I ordered the yarn, it came, $8 shipping - ouch! I don't blame the people at Rovings, it's coming from a place in Northern Canada and I'm sure she's not making $ on the shipping....but if I use any of it, it's going to be just a very little. So, what will I do with an extra 300+/- yards of Polwarth wool/silk that knits on a 3mm needle? It's an expensive extra skein, so I really will need to do something with it (says she of the ginormous stash downstairs).
Reading: Since the Summer Reading challenge ended I've been booking on the reading. Go Figure. I finally finished Lyre of Orpheus - finally! and since then I've read
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi. I'll start out by saying I've loved the novels that I've read previously by Hegi. Her portrayals of life in WWII Germany are compelling. But this is an entirely different story, and I'm not sure that it worked so well. Another reviewer that I just glanced at titled their review "fear, recrimination, remorse intertwine"....and I'll add, in the supreme example of a dysfunctional family. Fast read, but I can't wholeheartedly recommend it.
The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - lots of discussion on this one over at Knit the Classics. I did like it better reading it the second time. It's called really being able to suspend your disbelief. I'm still a little troubled though by the whole predestination thing between Clare and Henry, and the fact that she is still sitting waiting for him when she is in her 80's.
and am currently reading
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - if you like Victorian Era novels with dark twists and turns, you'll love this. I got up in the middle of the night last night to read through to the end of the first section.
I finished listening to
Helen of Troy - by Margaret George. at 1/2 the length it would have been great. at 30 hours of play time, it became almost a chore to get to the end of it. Still, a great look at Helen and Paris and Menalaeus.
Currently listening to
The Book of Fate - link on the sidebar. I just started this - so jury is still out. I'm ready for something contemporary though.
Robyn has a design from Norske Strikkedesign on the needles, and it is stunning. Everytime I see someone knitting something from this book I just want it more. Robyn posted on the Beadwork KAL so I went over to look at her blog. I don't have the pattern at this point for Beadwork, and I have Soooo many other projects in the queue and on the needles that it is not feasible at this time, but I'm a lurker over there anyway.
I'm so excited! A sewing blog that is really and truly about sewing. I've put their link on my sidebar so it'll always be there now, but you can find them at The Sewing Divas. Tatjana and Rebecca, I know you'll want to take a peek for sure.
I know this is primarily a Knit Blog - or has been. Truth is, I haven't found that much out there in terms of a sewing blogging community. Evidently though, there is another PR, not Project Runway (oh yeah, I'm not talking about that right now) but Pattern Review. I've googled things before and been taken to a PR single review of a pattern, but I had no idea that it was a cohesive huge site, with members and info and all sorts of stuff. However, it seems there has been a brouhaha over there lately, so I'll just stick to my blogging and reading blogs. Anyway, I am so excited to find a group blog and several of the members have individual blogs where they chronicle their sewing. And these women know what they are doing. What a pleasure to read and bop around in.
So, I'm debating about blogging my sewing. About a year ago I took inventory of all my Unfinished Kintting projects - some of them were decades old. I came clean, so to speak, by blogging about it, and got current with my knitting. I have only one project that is still sitting on the fence, that cotton top that buttons up the back - that I have to decide whether to finish or not. It has such an 80's feel - I guess that I will finish it for next summer - 80's are coming back in a big way...hmmmmm
Anyway, Tatjana said in a comment that by showing my Unfinished project down on my sewing table last post, I made her feel better about what she's got going, but she thought I might be finished before her. Maybe on that one project, but not bloody likely on the whole.
I've been kicking around in my head for awhile pulling out all the in-progress sewing, cataloguing, determining relevancy, and deciding what to finish, what to toss, and basically coming clean there. The problem is, it is such an overwhelming task, compared to my knitting from last year. Last years umpteen projects in knitting were nothing compared to what is lurking in bins and drawers and bags in the sewing room. Thing is, as Brigitte stated this week, blogging about a project sure does provide impetus to do something with it. Not to mention all you lovely folks who keep us on our toes.
This is what I finished yesterday, while in the midst of finally working on cleaning up my sewing room again.
Since I resigned from doing some design work for a client for litugical dancewear, I've been sort of paralyzed by the mess my sewing room had become. I guess I need organization to work.
Anyway, the jury is still out in my mind about the posting of the sewing project debacle.
What do you think? Are you interested?
Saturday, September 16, 2006
First things first
Heidi, baby, what were you Thinking?
and Laura at her worst. Laura, what were you thinking? I can't even begin to imagine what this look is.
Jay's collection can be seen here. Not my cup of Tea, but Jay never was. He should do well with it though
for lots more looks and chat
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
as is easily seen, the only part of the sock that I knit was knit in class - then I went back to sleeve island. I'm not looking for an oar yet.
interruptions come in the form of other activities.
you don't even want to see my sewing room. I went down there to choose the fabrics for my fall storyboards for wardrobe planning, and got so disgusted with myself for the number of unfinished projects lying around, that I didn't even do the storyboard. Got a pant pattern partially altered, put it away and took out the turqoise silk matka tweed jacket that I started last Spring then set aside. I'm going to work on that outfit, and complete it before anything else.
and while I'm at being disgusted with myself, now is a good time to vow to get back to the gym. next update when something is Done around here!
ETA: does anyone wonder if DvF didn't go to Pucci for fabric?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
First and foremost, proof that there has indeed again been progress on sleeve island. Slow, interrupted progress, but progress nonetheless.
So, this past weekend we went to Columbia MO so that dh could ride in the MS150 bicycle tour. (He did his first ever Century - 100 mile ride, on Saturday). This is normally something I would have ridden in too, except that I've been having issues this year - right now it's asthma, but its been one thing after another since spring, so I didn't plan to ride. I planned to work on the sleeves for Liz. hmph! best laid plans and all that.
I looked up Hillcreek Fiber Studio Saturday morning, not looking forward to spending a day in a Ramada Inn that was slated to close forever on Sunday afternoon, therefore it was in pretty decrepid condition. Turns out the store was literally within walking distance of the Ramada. So, I wandered over and was served blessed coffee by Joan, who was in the shop early to teach crochet to Vicky. Bex, (the daughter of Carol Leigh who is the founder of Hillcreek Fiber studios) who is the manager of the knit store got in a little later, to teach a class, that I decided on a whim to take. Marina, you're gonna not believe this - actually, many of you are not gonna believe this, but Marina may shoot me. I took a class.
Using this as a kit. Didn't get very far on it either. But now that I've got it, it's gotta find it's way to completion this month too. Dang! Care to take a guess? not particularly hard.
They were lovely, let me hang out most of the day, and they have an incredible library of books as well as some beautiful yarns that you just don't see everywhere. The Oak Grove boucles are fabulous. I used some in the Chanel jacket woven fabric that just came off my loom. It's pricey stuff, so you would really want to use it judiciously, but it is gorgeous.
I scored two out of print pocket books. I've checked these out of the library here several times. There is some good stuff in these.
This book is my indulgence from Last week. Good thing too, since I've been lusting after it for awhile, and bought the last copy Nancy had. I found out from Bex that it is now OOP. The mittens in it really are magnificent. Who wants mittens for Christmas?
shoes. I just bought these this AM - saw the real thing yesterday at the Cole Haan store here in St Louis, but they didn't have any sizes left - so I ordered online. I love heels, I wear heels. Makes me taller.
Answers to last post questions:
- the cardi is a Karabella pattern and was actually on my list of things to knit this year. I cast that one on while we were on our cruise in the Carribean last New Years. knit the body and put it away. Time to finish it.
- Lorraine, I'm all over it. Shall we say, dinner cocktails at 6:00, dinner at 7:30? Actually, the pic in my profile was taken while I was cooking, (along with Michellers) for a bunch of GF's at Kims place out in Tahoe last July. There were about 20 of us I think.
- Thanks for the well wishes for Joey. but I'm not doing any more "he is doing well" updates. Even as I wrote that he was being admitted to the hospital with a high fever. I believe he was released last night, that was the plan last I talked to my sis, but prayers are appreciated.
- Tatjana, the Jamaican Jerk rub I make is a derivation of a recipe by Jay McCarthy, who really knows what he is talking about, but you can find a zillion recipes by googling both jamaican jerk seasoning, and jamaican jerk rub
- And thanks for the compliments on the herb pots, but they are really the doing of my very green thumbed hubby. my thumb is brown. He grows them, I cook with them. Keeps things in balance around here.
And finally! tada, I've finished reading Lyre of Orpheus by Robertson Davies. He is a Canadian writer who is joining my growing list of favorite Canadians. He writes with intelligence and humor. I really do recommend it. Especially if you can stay awake to read more than a few sentences at a time. Now I'm delving back into Time Travellers Wife (thank you Michelle). On the listening side of things, I'm 27 hours (out of 30) into Helen of Troy by Margaret George. Its good. Long, but good. If I were reading it though, I'm not sure that I wouldn't have put it down already. Surely she didn't need 1000 pages to tell the story of Helen, Menaleaus and Paris.
Finally, Happy Birthday Jon, my baby bro who is 35? today
ETA: It's Fashion Week in NY this week, for Spring '07 collections. I'm in heaven.... Have you looked at the
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
|You Are an Excellent Cook|
You're a top cook, but you weren't born that way. It's taken a lot of practice, a lot of experimenting, and a lot of learning.
It's likely that you have what it takes to be a top chef, should you have the desire...
Well, that was a fun little quiz.
On the Culinary Front
Last weekend was Harvest time around here.
Basil and Thyme, enough for the Red Army should they show up on our doorstep. I made a dz little jelly jars full, a half dz half pints and a quart of basil pesto. Have already given away (to my Wed night knitting group friends) the dozen little jelly jars full. We'll keep the quart and maybe one half pint, and the rest will go to family as I drive around Michigan end of this month, and close friends here. I spent the rest of the weekend making 3 quarts of the Jamaican Jerk seasoning. Stripping all those thyme leaves off the stems is just time consuming, but the stuff is Good! I also have a brown grocery bag full of thyme, and several tied stalks of basil drying in my basement, to be jarred later.
Cherry tomatoes. My son started these from seed late in the growing season, after he'd graduated from college and moved to his new home in northern IL. He brought us this plant July 4th, and it is now producing sweet little tomatoes. They barely ever make it past the door before we've popped them into our mouths.
Also drying: Sage, and Rosemary (not pictured).
I read cooking magazines like some people read gossip magazines or fashion mags. Last Saturday, as dh and I were getting our bagels and lox at the local Eistein Bagels bakery, I was reading Saveuer Cooks, and started in on my rant about magazines printing recipes using ingredients I've never heard of, don't have a ghosts chance in hell of obtaining...you know the story. So, I was reading a recipe for Nori Furikake encrusted Ahi Tuna. After we'd finished our bagels and lox we made the excursion into Kirkwood to Global Foods, as I needed habaneros peppers for my Jerk Seasoning, and the grocery hasn't had any yet this year. What do I find on the shelves at GF? Nori Furikaki seasoning. Well, shut my mouth! of course we bought it. Nori Furikaki is a mixture of chopped dried seaweed (the same that is used to wrap sushi), sesame seeds, salt and I don't know what else. Wed night I made Furikake encrusted tuna, and guess what? It made tuna, which is never a fishy fish, taste fishy. LOL. We won't be doing that again. But, it was interesting.
Needle Case update
Nancy, who owns the LYS I attend knitting group at on Wed nights (there's one for the grammar police) has agreed to sell my needle cases, so I left 3 with her Wed and already one has sold! Two more are up on Etsy for sale. More to come.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I did it! I finished 6 needle cases and actually got them online. They are not in an Etsy shop yet.
But they did rate their own blog, so that I could separate the pictures and keep them straight. Click on the title Deux-amies and it'll take you to the new blog. As soon as I can manage it, (or Bribe Jae) I'll have a button for it, and if you would like to like it to your blog, then, bless you and thank you!
First, Marina, as winner of the blog-iversary quiz, must go choose which one she wants, or if there are none there she likes, I've given her info on what is still on sewing table. I'm telling you, just getting the first batch up was a chore. I'm picturing smooth sailing from here on out. I expect to be adding more tomorrow.
Melanie of Tea Leaves, who also happens to be a hostess at the Knit the Classics blog is getting the Blind Assasin Tapes
Jennifer who is participating in the scarf exchange, who also happened to hostess the Vacation Swap, and who loves purple, is getting a purple scarf kit - Jennifer, I need to write the directions out, so give me til Friday to get that one in the mail.
Arletta, who lives right up in my old neck of the woods, who expressed an interest, is also getting a scarf kit - Arletta, I'll email you to find out what color you want.
not a one of the Sew Retro folks asked for a pincushion. I did offer.
And, as soon as dsd is home, I'll put the names of those who commented on what my hubby says all the time when I'm knitting - which is always a variation on the theme: "That doesn't look like my hat", their names shall go into the hat for the surprise prize. (and wouldn't you just faint if it were the bleepin yarn to knit him his hat?) I should just knit the thing already! geeze.
Thanks to all who participated.
and I have to come up with something for my Brother! my brother Dave took the quiz. What's amazing is, he knew what entrelac was (or he guessed right!)
Earlier this summer my youngest bro, Jon, popped in, and then left me a wonderful comment, telling me he felt like he'd just invaded a private teaparty or something. It's amazing to me when my family pops in, although I know my mom and my sister do occasionally.
Speaking of my sister, I will leave you with a picture of Joey curled up in his blanket. I just got an email, and he is doing ok. They're going to start giving him some weeks off on the chemo - which will give his little body a break. He's doing well though.
Monday, September 04, 2006
well well well, Karleen Koen has finally come out with the third in the Trilogy that began with Through a Glass Darkly, and it is a prequel. I first read TaGD 20 years ago (no way!), when it was released in 1986. If you like historical romance fiction, this rates right up there with the best. Seems to me that 20 years is a long long time to take to write 3 books, but, I ordered my copy of Dark Angels and it came from Amazon on Saturday. Review to come. looks like it is the story of the Grandmother / Matriarch. I loved the historical detail, and the story, can't wait to finally finish Lyre of Orpheus and Move On.
Summer REading Challenge wrap up: I didn't get read what was on my list - in fact I only read 2 of them, but I did get some interesting books read, and listened to more than I ever have. I'm really liking listening to audiobooks.
this was The PLAN
Umberto Eco The Island of the Day Before
Wallace Stegner Angle of Repose
Wallace StegnerCrossing to Safety
Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Elie Weisel Night
Susan Kay, Legacy
Rosalind Miles I, Elizabeth
Actually Read/Listened to:
- Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
- Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, Audible.com audiobooks
- Legacy, Susan Kay, hardcover
- The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn, Robin Maxwell, paperback.
- The Ocean Between Us, Susan Wiggs, audiobook,
- Dissolution, C.J. Sansome, audiobook
- Twilight, Katherine Mosby, paperback 291 pages
- A Room with a View, E.M. Forster, audiobook
- Bel Canto, Ann Patchett, audiobook
- Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult, audiobook
- The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco, audiobook
- The French Lietenants Woman, John Fowles, audiobook
Currently reading / listening to:
Elizabeth and Mary,cousins, Rivals, Queens Jane Dunn, audiobook audible.com 30+ hours
Helen of Troy, Margaret George, audiobook, 30+hours
Lyre of Orpheus, Robertson Davies, hardcover
Recently moved to the list of books I really would like to add to my library:
Friday, September 01, 2006
a 5x15" strip for the WTW blanket over at Knit the Classics that Amanda will be putting together again. and (this was done at Stitches but I never got a pic of it) another 5x5 sq for Warming Grace. If you want to knit fair isle with cotton, this Manos Stria is wonderful cotton to use.
Lizzie Update - Front and Back complete
you can see the difference in the spacing on the darts between the front and the back. The front I probably moved too close together, but when I hold it up they are ok, and infinitely more attractive than the wider spacing of the back darts.
So, in September, my Plan (ah yes, I have to have one of those) is to maroon myself on Sleeve Island. I have sleeves to knit for
- the (Neglected) red cotton cardi
- the Sockotta baby cardi
- the black alpaca silk Drops cardi
Meanwhile, I really really want to cast on for one if not both of the Starmore Arans I want to knit this fall - one for dh and one for ds#1, and I'd better cast on for 2 double knit hats. Yes, ds#2 has started singing a similar refrain as dh - only it goes like this "am I ever going to get my hat?"
Once I get the two hats done, and have built myself a raft to get off sleeve island, Then I can move on.
if I start to swim off, feel free to remind me....sleeve island is the order of the day. Now I really must get off the computer so that I can get something done.
The Cropped Pant
So, I'm a tough cookie to satisfy. I complain that there isnt' much new, but when there is something new, I wonder what they were thinking. go figure.
Of the cropped pants showing up everywhere in the stores, these two get my vote as most wearable silhouette (not by me mind you, but I won't cringe when I see it walking down the street towards me. The below the knee, slightly straighter / fuller leg works.
These three just look like they took a pair of straight legs or flares and Cut them off. Is there anything in the proportion of the first pic that works? The matching tights help, but still, ugh. My objection to the second? Think about it. This is on a model (size 2, virtually no hips), and it looks like she's hippy. What will that do to Ms normal Woman who does indeed have hips? But this last one, IMO takes the prize for worst of the lot, proportion-wise. WWTT?
DKNY - ok look but oh so last year, and it was cutting edge the year before that
Middle, almost a gaucho, ok I guess.
But this last one. Marc Ware is the designer whose name is on them, and Marc, I gotta tell you, if you set out to make a dowdy looking pant - you succeeded with flying colors! Christin, I'll give it to you, this absolutely takes the cake on how bad a high waist can look. WTH? too high waisted, too long, and Dowdy!.
to add to yesterdays bottom story;
This is about as narrow as I can and will go. For me! In fact these are pretty classy pants. (They're Armani, what would I expect other than impeccable?).
But as regards yesterdays narrow pant silhouettes? I drew all those X's through those pics when I was working on my own story board. I'm hippy. My thighs are wider yet than my hips. Narrow legs are not a good silhouette for me. I don't think Extreme narrow legs are good on much of anyone, but for those whose shoulders balance out the hips, Narrow works. I get it.
those fabulous mid-thigh cabled sweaters coming out - they require leggings. I lived in leggings in the 80's. They will look fabulous on the young and the slim and fit. But as I wrote to Marina this morning, I saw enough stretch pants stretched over wide cellulite ridden bottoms and thighs at Stitches to give me long pause before I consider showing that side of me to the world.
If I get back down under 160 (shush, I weigh a lot, I know) I will probably consider getting a pair, and wearing some of those awesome long cabled sweaters again. Until then, I will try on, in the presence of my good friend Sharron who will tell me honestly whether or not the look is pure beached whale or not, I will try on some of the longer tunic length sweaters over Narrow skirts, or longer narrower gauchos. If they don't work, so be it.