Monday, September 18, 2017
Ann Weaver was having a destash on Instagram, and for one lot of random chunks of spinning fiber from her collection, pieces of who knew what all sorts of sheep or wool or states of prep, I got there first and bought it. So there was this peach and gray and cream fiber from Carodan Farm with no color name, so I spun it all fluffy and gave it a name: "Grilled Salmon." It is as soft as butter. Spunky Eclectic--it is pink and purple and more pink, with a little bit of yellow, possibly accidentally. I called this one "Plastic Pony." (I love good color names. Why wouldn't you give it a great name?) Look. Dyed here, and spun into a two-ply, it looked less like me and more like tourmaline. More jewels. Jill Draper told me it was beautiful and that she loved it, and that I had done a good job. I folded that moment into a little origami heart and tucked it away for a rainy day. Then I took off the sweater and stuffed it in a bag because it was a gorgeous 81 degrees, and bought a whole bunch more yarn. And a fleece. For more spinning.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
these kilt hose, and a new, near-perfect, but not-quite-perfect sweater. Who knows what I'll be wearing. There's a month to go! I'm still knitting.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Alabama Chanin right now, I will wait. The concept is basically jersey knits + handstitching + texture + no rules, ya'll. I made this one double-layered (the outer layer is from a piece of jersey I found at the thrift store, and the lining is made from two men's XL t-shirts from Target) because I hadn't yet decided whether or not to cut out the stenciled shapes--in the end I decided that this stencil pattern (AC's Magdalena) was a little too fine for me to tackle on the first try. I'm glad I did, though, because the double-thickness of this skirt feels really substantial, and like it might be nice and warm for winter. Which is coming. We will not think about that right now. I feel completely het up about this concept--jersey + handwork + do whatever you want--and I want to make All The Things out of jersey knits and paint and stitch them all up with a needle and thread and wear cottony clothes all day every day. I will wear this with boots and black tights and black or blue sweaters--up there is my Folded, all fixed and fitting me just like it should, hooray! I think my Stormtracker will work with this skirt, too. It's just so good. So satisfying, that it fits so well and comfortably, that it has a place in my wardrobe, and that it was tremendously fun to work on. You can do this too, try it. Just scrounge up a few big t-shirts, borrow one of the Alabama Chanin books from your public library, and make something. I want to make another, longer skirt, with a different stencil and maybe cut out the shapes this time, and then a long-sleeve t-shirt (double-thick, and embellished like crazy) and then a tunic dress, oh, friends, there are so many things to make. I want to show you this, too:
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Fashionary Panels--if you're trying to make your own clothes in any way, you should go get yourself some) this little drawing, imagining the lines of it in a handknit sweater. I gave it ribbed sleeves for ultra-sleeve-slimness, and a folded ribbed collar for maximum stand-up-ness, tall because my neck is ridiculous. I moved the waist shaping fifteen stitches to the front and back of the side seams, for more polish. I dove into the stash for some Cascade 220 in Walnut Heather, a diffuse grayish-brown that seems to crop up in my stash over and over again. It is the most nondescript color in the world, the color of mice, the color of my hair before it started to turn gray. I keep finding myself with a bunch of yarn that's this color, and it must be I love it. I knit a swatch, measured myself, did a little math, and started knitting, and now I have this:
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Rhinebeck this year. It is happening! I feel like an eight-year old getting ready for her first trip to Disneyland. The wall-to-wall woolly-ness. The leaves and the cider and the like-minded people all around. Oh, sigh! Lovely. The first thing to figure out is: what on earth to wear? Rhinebeck is where yarn lovers let their mad skills out and let their freak flags fly, and I thought this would make all my current mostly-stockinette projects fall by the wayside so I could plan some kind of epic garment--there has been a LOT (more than usual, even) of trawling through patterns, but I am as yet undecided. Anything I make specifically for that occasion still has to fit into the regular wardrobe when I get home, and that makes a delicate balancing act. I love the idea of starting something special. I think I will enjoy the lengthy search through pattern options, and if the search turns up nothing that really wants to be my Rhinebeck Sweater, I'll just wear something from the shelf in the closet and be happy. I do have these to show you, little mitts I made while the weather was too warm to be worrying about cold hands, but they will be just right in October. These were designed by me, using up some scraps--the two main colors are Dream in Color Classy, in a discontinued colorway, some kind of antique gold [here are their current colorways, lock up your credit card before you click that link, whoo] and the ubiquitous Patons Classic Worsted in Lemongrass. The contrast colors are all from the leftovers basket--I think the pink is from my experiments in dyeing with avocado pits. I thought about going on ahead and making them into mittens, and once October is over and winter sets in hard and there is no place in my life for naked fingertips, I might do that, just pull out the bind off at the top of the hand and thumb, and do some decreases until the fingers are covered. Meanwhile, though, I like them this way. By the way, the main stitch pattern is from this book, and the contrast color band is something I just improvised.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Mazzy, by Elizabeth Smith--which I've worn all day today and I love it, but it has turned gray and gloomy and there is not a ray of light to be found. This cardigan is pretty great though, in spite of a huge chunk of mistakes (made by me when things on Orphan Black got really compelling--no spoilers, I'm only on Season Three) in the cables at the back of the collar:
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Everyday Style") and I'm hoping there is enough summer left to wear it. Folded drifted malevolently into my mind, making me feel guilty and unsettled, and I realized that if I expect to wear this anytime at all, and certainly before approximately a year from now, I'd better get in there and fix it. This thing was done, blocked, and sitting on the shelf in the closet, awaiting a public outing, and it sat there for a long time, unworn, before I finally admitted to myself that it was too short, and also a little too narrow at the bottom hem for my personal taste. Which was a little bit of a pain, because Folded is worked from the bottom up, which means that too-narrow hem was the cast on edge, and one of the only non-magical things about knitting is that you can't just unravel from where you started--you can only unravel from where you ended. Well, I didn't want to rip out the whole sweater and start over, making the cast on edge bigger (for a wider hem) and I didn't want to just abandon the sweater altogether (this is Madelinetosh Merino Light! Yummy!) so the only thing left was to cut off the hem and knit it down from there, which after lying awake in anticipation of the endless tedium of doing that, I finally did this morning, and it was an hour of work. Note to self: See? Get in there and get it done, you'll feel better. To remove the hem, I snipped one stitch right above the ribbing, unpicked each stitch one at a time, and put each loop back on the needle, one at a time, until I had all the stitches live again, and ready to knit--top down, this time--where I will work an extra set or two of increases and add more length to the whole thing, finally ending with the ribbing. It's a little bit painful to do this, cutting into a completely finished object with scissors and then picking at it for an hour, but honestly, it is waaaayy less painful than knitting an entire sweater in fingering weight yarn and then never wearing it because I'm too lazy to spend half a day fixing a small problem. That's not how I want to roll. So, tonight I will knit a few inches of stockinette and then the ribbing, and then I will want to wear this. Luckily, the weather is perfect for it.
Monday, July 24, 2017
pattern by Sonya Philip has been in the back of my mind, and sometimes in the front of it, ever since she released it. I love the idea of these simple pants so much--two pattern pieces + a few yards of linen fabric + a little elastic = instant gratification wardrobe staple. These are the pants I want/need. This is what you wear with those long-ish dresses and tunics I keep seeing everywhere, but that cling to my cotton leggings like a hungry bear. It feels like these will fill a little bit of a gap in the wardrobe. This test pair, made in about an hour (sewing, I love you!) out of a piece of thrifted linen, are the perfect lounge-y, pajama-y pants. I am wearing them right now. I want to wear them all the time.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Granito by Joji Locatelli. Such beautiful simplicity, that thing. Those pefectly placed pockets. The skinny sleeve/baggy body combo that I'm so into right now. Even though I suspect this otherwise very good yarn (Holst Supersoft) is not a good match for the pattern--Supersoft is quite rustic and a little bit scruffy and light as a feather, which is ordinarily one of it's big advantages, but it isn't going to drape at all, and Granito seems to need drape--I had some Supersoft in the stash and this pattern was crying out to me. It may work out just fine, but somehow that isn't the point right now. I have reservations, indeed I had reservations when I set out, but I am enjoying it anyway, and I might surprise myself--it could be perfect. It might! We knit on the porch, Catdog and I. She offers advice and suggestions, and raises an eyebrow slightly at me now and then, when I make an ill-considered yarn substitution, but for the most part she is intent on the arrival of the garbage truck or the mail carrier or somebody going by on a bike, and can't really be bothered with my yarn problems.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Ecktorp sofa from Ikea, which we bought I think back in 2012, and I had two plain white slip covers for it. (Guys, don't get a white couch without getting a spare slipcover. Serious. What are you going to sit on while the only slipcover you have is soaking in OxiClean?) Anyway, after awhile, one slipcover had gotten pretty grubby--and also, I get bored and like to change everything around about every five minutes-- so Michelle and I cooked up another vat of indigo and without any hesitation, I dunked it. Oh goodness, I love it. Its the color of blue jeans [obviously] and I think it will fade in kind of a gorgeous blue jeans way [also obviously] and I can hardly wait to watch that happen. I love that old-blue-jeans-grayish color. I await that, and also all the other fading iterations of indigo blue this slipcover will undergo. They are all good. Indigo dyeing is so much fun. Everything white that isn't nailed down suddenly looks like a good candidate to be indigo. I still have the other slipcover, which is still white (for now, for now...) and so will probably alternate them, which should keep me entertained for awhile. Camaro-inspired rainbow palette across the body and sleeves. Those stripes! Bliss. I feel like this is something I would have worn in 1978, while watching Starsky and Hutch [speaking of which, hoo! That show was so full of handknits.] I feel like my first boyfriend Bobby from next door had this shirt. It makes me think of the Brady Bunch and my Huffy ten-speed bike and spending entire fall Saturdays reading comic books. Next time I'm gonna lower the stripes about two inches, which will make it totally perfect, but this one is nearly there. The collar is huge. Ultra. Mega. It's 11 1/2" tall, meant to be folded over for a double-thick, no kidding, all-the-way-warm turtleneck. My neck is pretty long and I am always wishing for more collar on a sweater like this. It looks a little bit like a neck brace, but I'm telling you, when the wind is howling (just a few months, friends) I will be enjoying that super tall, ultra mega collar very, very much. Developing these sweater template patterns that are just right for me has been the most rewarding project I can remember.
Friday, June 30, 2017
here.] Not too warm for a turtleneck, out there beside Onondaga Lake on a summer evening. Nope, nice and chilly. This is Stormtracker by Alicia Plummer (I might as well throw out my Ravelry queue and just start knitting her designs. I love every single one of them) knit in Patons Classic Worsted, colorway "Mercury", which a slightly grayed navy. I modified the sleeves by working them even for six inches and then starting the decreases, and they fit much better. Anyway, I love it, and I hate that I can wear it right now.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Folded by Veera Valimaki, and I think I have to conclude that it is too short.Stormtracker by Alicia Plummer; plain stockinette in the body, sleeves smothered in cables. Smothered feels like the operative word with this sweater right now, because I had to try it on a million times while knitting it to check the fit, and it is way too hot around here right now for those shenanigans. Get that wool off my neck! I'll show it to you when it's dry. I will love this one in October, which will come soon enough, I'm in no rush. I knit those cabled sleeves four times in total to get them big enough for my upper arms--I think I chose the wrong size to begin with, but it worked out in the end. I assume. I am not putting it on today, ugh, it's too hot. Mazzy by Elizabeth Smith, that is tweedy and black and I can't wait to wear it. Because it isn't sweaty enough around here or anything. I'm just really motivated right now, and in full-on sweater knitting mode. This does seem to happen to me a lot. I've been asked, "Isn't summer the off-season?" Which does give me pause, but no. I knit like a fiend all the year long, and always something wooly. That's how I roll. this. I think that grinchy green will add just the right amount of pizzazz. What are you guys up to?