Sunday, December 24, 2006

Seasons Greetings

Wishing Everyone a Very Merry Christmas

And Now a Poll: Which Dale do you prefer?
I've committed to ONE KAL for the coming months - I'm just about finished with Liz and really do want the support of a group to knit my first Dale of Norway sweater. I have a quantity of Dale Tiur in deep red, will need to buy the other colors for whichever sweater I choose.
I'm asking your opinion, with the cavaet that I won't necessarily choose whichever is most popular - just curious to know what you think.
Please vote below (you have to use the pull down menu on the poll)

Which Dale do you like best?
Current results

Thursday, December 21, 2006

that resoluting time of year

it's getting to be that resolution time of year, when we all decide we have too much yarn/fabric/stuff, and we all vow to not buy anymore yarn, to knit only from stash, to sew only from stash.....and the beat goes on, la di da di da
oh, we also all decide we are
out of shape, too fat, unhealthy, whatever, and we all vow to lose weight, exercise more, eat the right things, drink more water, la di da di da, and the beat goes on.

mehitabels musings details her 12 step plan for yarn and fabric mgmt and containment
Wendy has started a movement with the call to Knit from your Stash for 9 mos (the time it takes to incubate a baby, or in this case, all the time there is before she goes to the next Stitches event - she doesn't go to Stitches Midwest obviously)

Hopefully the yarn retailers don't read all of this and get up in arms about whether there will be enough business soon, as we all know how long many of our resolutions last.

Personally, I'm hesitant to make any blanket resolutions about not acquiring.
I kind of like Mehitabel's 12 step plan. In fact, way last year, I embarked on such a plan, without the numbers to the steps.
I'm on about step 6 - re-evaluate and see what's working, and what's not.
I like Lorraine's list of what she can do to make a difference in her world.

Way back last year, I made up a list of what I wanted to get done and what I would buy if I did. Well, I didn't, and therefore I won't. And I don't feel deprived. I actually quit buying yarn, very quietly and naturally, last fall. The enormity of the stash has caught up with me.

What I want to resolve for 2007:
-Stay off Ebay. 'nuf said

-finish up sewing all the window treatments for this house (that'll use up close to 40 yards of fabric I have in the sewing room)

-Very carefully consider my level of commitment before joining any more KAL's

-(again) go through the UFO's and WIP's in the knitting bag and the sewing room, and finish or scrap it all -
due date: June 30. This may take a photo inventory to keep me honest and on track.

Speaking of KAL's - I've joined the Dale of Norway KAL and am excited about it - in a reserved way because I really don't want to get too heavy into planning the next project while I've got Liz on the needles

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An FO, and some other domestic stuff

Pattern: Adrienne Vittadini
Yarn: customers own mohair, knit double holding 2 strands together, single for ruffle
Needle: addi turbo size 7, Holz and Stein rosewood size 6 for ruffle
cast on Oct 3, 2006, Completed Dec 19, 2006

More pics
Cardi neckline
cardi close-up
This was possibly the most frustrating pattern I've ever worked with. Those who've been following this blog for awhile know that I had to sit down and chart the whole thing in order to "continue in pattern" while shaping. The pattern brackets for the repeats were not intuitive and didn't follow the diamond of the chart - drove me nuts until I charted it. Brigitte started it and quit because of same. Brigitte, email me your address again and I'll send you the charts.
Also, there is a pattern error in the ruffle on row 3.
But it is Done --- doing the happy dance. And now I can get back to finishing my Liz,
Liz progress 8.31.06, before casting on for my Dale, in January.
What's been going on around our house?

and baking


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

a name thing

I'm so relieved to know that there is only ONE Of me!
LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Good Saturday AM.
The dress is finished, however I'm not going to put it on to take pics until I have occasion to dress and put on hosiery and do something with my hair - sorry, vanity wins here. ;)

Today is the day that I am going to:
1. make some cookie dough (the girls and I will be baking tomorrow)
2. pick up the thousand or so stitches to knit the ruffle around front edges and neckline of the Vittadini cardi - I got the hem ruffle done last week - and it is as cute as anything could be. It literally transforms this lace cardi. Admittedly, I've been dragging my feet on finishing this - today is the day to Just Do It (in the words that Nike made famous)
3. Attend a company-type Christmas party tonight.

Next sewing project on the table: I'm copying a Marc Jacobs jacket that I archived photos on a year ago. The jacket was for sale at Neiman Marcus for around $2500. I just realized the pics of it are on my desktop computer, so I'll have to edit this post to upload them later. Stay tuned.
fabric for the MJ jacket

Thursday, December 07, 2006

hi all, the dress is coming along.
I changed it a lot.
LOL Elizabeth - I might have thought I was joking too. After all, it's a bag lady look - but very "fashion forward" at the moment, and I'm in a whimsical mood.
for the nitty gritty on my design process yesterday check out here

Nanci, see, I don't consider those Leggings, as in the leggings that we wore in the 80's, the leggings I associate with baby weight and fat butts - those to me look like tights without feet - which is just a twist on hosiery.

and I didn't mean to whine yesterday, I just meant that I'm going to quit pressuring myself with lists of "what to get done", 'cause guess what?!, it doesn't all get done, and I don't need to feel guilt over it.
Thanks for the virtual hugs though.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The subtitle:

how I've learned that planning new projects is faster than executing new projects

Ah yes, In January of 2006 I was free of UFO's. I'd spent the previous 6 mos finishing or trashing all unfinished projects lying around (knitting projects, we are not even going into the sewing room in this discussion).
And I made myself up one helluva list for the year.
And now it is December. It's reckoning time.

I got startedon my list. Admittedly, I got a lot done. A lot that was on the list, and some that wasn't.
but, I also started way more than I finished, which leaves me now in the same place I was in a year and a half ago, with a lot of UFO/WIP's.

Truth: I have lofty ambitions (don't we all)
Truth: When I put my mind to it I can stick with a project - this has come as a revelation
Truth: It takes longer to knit a whole sweater than I want to acknowledge

In August, when I attended Stitches with Jae and Kim and had such a marvelous time, I bought the yarn for Elizabeth (that Polwarth silk&wool which is just gorgeous stuff) and got started around Aug 15-ish. I worked steadily on that, and almost finished it (drat, there is that first sleeve that needs to be completely re-worked so it's not really almost finished).
Oct 4 I accepted a commission to knit a lace cardi for someone else. I put aside all else and began knitting the Vittadini cardi. I am to the stage of knitting miles of single strand mohair lace ruffle - when it is done I Will post pics, I promise. I expect to have it finished to deliver Dec 15. That is 10 weeks of fairly intensive work. I think it's fair to say that if I'd kept going on Liz, rather than getting sidetracked by this commission, that would have been 10 weeks solid knitting to finish.

So, it takes 10 weeks for me to knit a sweater.
I'll keep my sidebar the same for now.
but come January
the in the queue and the planned stuff is coming down.
goals ahead: finish all the WIP's, and then start new projects as they strike my fancy - with no agenda hanging over my head and with no production goals in mind.
'nother goal - stay on this yarn diet. I've managed to go since Sept without purchasing a single skein of yarn. Methinks my incredible stash has finally caught up with my psyche.

Meanwhile, want to know what I just decided today to make for tomorrow night?

Kathryn over at Stitchers Guild put up a link to the Missoni website, for ideas for someone, and I've just eaten up almost an hour watching their slide shows. I have this sudden inspiration for a dress using fabrics I already own (bonus!) to make this style of dress. Admittedly, it's way outside my typically tailored/fitted box - but hey! I'm going to give it a go. We have an annual party to go to tomorrow night hosted by the Patent Attorneys office that my dh does a lot of work with, and then dinner plans following at Remy's Wine Bar, so I've decided I want a new dress. I'll be back with pics to let you know how it works out.

Monday, December 04, 2006

random monday

Thanks everyone, my dad is doing great!
I talked with him Friday night, and he's home from the hospital and the prognosis is very good. The worst news for him is that he can't travel til the very end of December, which means that they will have to spend Christmas in the snow in Michigan rather than in the comfort of their Florida residence. oh well.

still getting lots done. and this morning, in the never ending quest to clean out some of the excess, I listed 20 sewing patterns on ebay
This is just one, but if you are interested, you can click on 'see sellers other items' and the rest will come up.

Meanwhile, we had a wine tasting / dinner party Saturday night for 12. It went exceedingly well.
hors doevres:
crostini w olive and sundried tomato tapanade,
crostini with peppered ricotta & anchovies,
and bruschetta with fresh tomato/basil topping
a cheese plate consisting of plain brie, sliced french morbier,sliced manchego, and two different italian salamis sliced - one spicier than the other.
Caeser salad,
veal roulades,
spinach lasagna,
steamed green beans tossed with olive oil, tomatoes and garlic,
seasoned white beans

dessert tray: dense chocolate single layer cake with whipped cream (couldn't find my flourless cake recipe so I went into epicurious -found a recipe that I won't use again - too much fuss for reallymediocre results),
petits fours (these are the best, from a local bakery)
sliced almond fig "cake" found in produce section - it was excellent
sliced lemon white stilton cheese (again, this stuff was incredible)
spiced nuts

a variety of red wines, after dinner a variety that included grappa (Yuck!), an excellent sauterne, grand marnier, baileys, and I don't even know what else.

The spinach lasagna is made with a white bechamel sauce and the descrip and recipe can be found in a 2005 issue of Cooks Illustrated. The veal roulades are stuffed with a mixture of prosciutto, anchovie, capers, garlic, tom paste, white bread crumbs, butter, and ?? I don't even remember what all else I put into it.

Now I've gotta go finish some needlework.

and tomorrow or the next day I'll list another 20 patterns on ebay,
and I'll post my thoughts on setting goals for knitting and what I've learned this year about my rate of production - subtitled "how I've learned that planning new projects is faster than executing new projects"