Seriously, I’m over it already. I am scrambling to get work wrapped up, bags packed, dishes done, yaks shaved, etc etc. But you know, you’re never too busy to hot glue one object to another object. Today, in the name of instant gratification craft therapy, I bring you The Entirely Obvious Feather Headband Knockoff.
I can’t stop you from interpreting this tutorial as yet another Last Minute Gift post. But, seriously, screw your needy friends. You and your crafty hands aren’t their personal gift factory.
Enjoy your toddy, internet. I’ll see you after Christmas.
Damn, it’s dusty here.
It feels a little bit weird to break a two-year silence. I’ve been sewing and knitting in the wilds beyond the internet, and it felt great. But the urge to talk shop to strangers on the web dies hard. Today I posted my first project entry on Burdastyle and the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle, and it just felt wrong to let the occasion go unmarked on my own blog.
So here it is: A Project.
When I bought my ukulele last year, I had to bike home in the rain with it tucked under my arm in a gigantic cardboard guitar box. Gig bags for pineapple-body ukuleles are usually not stocked by music stores, and in general they are as ugly as a corrugated steel shipping container.
Just in time for Sew Weekly’s “Go Patternless!” challenge, here’s the gig bag I made for my ukulele. I made it exactly the way you’d expect: I traced the uke, drew a pattern, and then flew by the seat of my pants. Apparently the seat of my pants is covered in aqua running stitch embroidery and squirrel-and-tree print shower curtains. Who knew. Well, you knew. I mean, if you know where to find this blog, you’re used to this kind of egregiousness by now.
So I’m a lousy photographer, but in real life I’m way happy with how this came out. It’s no longer scary to bike around town with my ukulele. I think I’m going to reprise the general corduroy/squirrel print/aqua stitching theme on a messenger bag soon. My only misgiving is that this bag might be evidence that I have a green corduroy problem. See Figure 174: I am the Corduroy Cowboy.
I’m quite likely to be talking to myself, since I told a total of one human being that I was going to do this today. (Hi, Nina.) I’ve been wanting to rekindle my sordid affair with craftblogging for a while, but this has always been a knitting site. It’s got knitting in the name. Nowadays I do as much sewing as knitting, and quite frankly, what I’ve been sewing is far more interesting than what I’ve been knitting. Please look at Figure 174. The project on the left is called the High Octane Hootenanny dress. The projects on the right are called socks. I’ve always hated it when knitters dilute their blogs with posts about their other domestic pursuits– “F*** your stupid muffin recipe” is something I have shouted aloud in my own house at a prominent designer’s blog before– so I’m not sure that I’m ready to pull that sort of bait-and-switch over here. Maybe, though, this is the perfect time to change gears. Nobody will notice. Mwahahaha.
…And me. Also me. Hi, Interweb.
This blog suffered the triple threat: missing knitting mojo, missing writing mojo, and missing camera. All of my writing energy was going to my internship at ScientificBlogging, and then my real job. It was hot, and I was cranky, and there was a rock in my shoe. All I wanted to do for a few months, internet-wise, was read about pretty things. All I wanted to do with string was build a rope ladder. I built a rope ladder.
But just in time for the weather to claw itself back up into the 80′s, I re-re-Revisited Francis with a screaming, burning vengeance, ending (appropriately enough) on All Souls’ Day. Kinda fabulous, huh? Dead or undead, Teh Francis looks good on everyone. All I changed was to add me-appropriate waist shaping and ditch both the cowl shaping and the elbow bells. Ravelry business here.
There was, in fact, a method to my mad omission of the cowl shaping. I can still wear Francis all cowly-like if I please, as seen in figure 169 below…
…but I think you’ll agree that wearing it upright, as some kind of ULTRA MEGA TURTLENECK, is its own brand of awesome.
Blame the photos’ not-suckiness on my housemate Paige. Thanks again!
And whatever happened to that previous going-to-a-wedding minisweater, the gauge-adjusted Anthropologie capelet?
Early last fall it changed into a beautiful butterfly.This sweater’s name is Meteora. I would name everything Meteora if Linkin Park hadn’t ruined it for the rest of us. Meteora is the Queen of the Asteroids from The Christmas Toy, which “influenced” Toy Story pretty hardcore. In the same vein, this sweater was “influenced” by ApreslosOjos‘ fantastic “Old Is New”. (Those are Ravelry links. Sorry.)
There is a big difference between the two sweaters, though– check out my seamless, top-down yoke construction. I know Zimmerman and Walker have formulas for this sort of thing, but this math was all mine. It came out awesome.
What did not come out so awesome: the shawl collar. It isn’t shawly at all. In real life it sticks up like part of an Elvis impersonator costume. I’d intended to write this pattern up and post it online for intrepid knitters who are exactly my size, but unless I work out the collar somehow, no dice.
Project Ravelry link is here.
I think I found my will to knit last night. Have you seen this?? It’s a set-in sleeve calculator, and I’m going to try it out! *
Whilst mentally tabulating sweater needs vs. yarn possession vs. stuff I can knit while watching the Daily Show, a recurring theme was– yeah, a freakin’ minisweater. To go with a red and white dress that I want to wear to a wedding. I didn’t mean to set my life on repeat, I swear.
The trouble with this plan was that none of my red yarn was a good match to any of the patterns that I like. They also didn’t match my red shoes. Just like last time, I solved this problem by
1. choosing a totally different color
2. just making up my own damn pattern. This time, with more armscye!
So! Navy blue RYC cashsoft bolero, red stripey dress. I’m pretty sure these colors are OK. Feel free to let me know if you disagree. I have sort of a color problem– I live my life as if all solid colors go with all other solid colors, especially red.
While it’s perfectly acceptable for a grad student to wander around looking like Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine, I try to keep the color combinations logical for formal outings. My first color ideas for this sweater were deep mulberry and punch-in-your-face teal**, but then I remembered that sometimes people like it if you don’t make the other wedding guests’ eyes bleed.
*Thanks Aaron, Elinor, and Jenna for making the internet awesomer for knitters!
**I still can’t quite kick the idea that robin’s egg blue might kick ass.
Still trying to recapture the ol’ knitting mojo. It’s a good thing my grad knitting group cancelled itself today, because I’d have showed up with nothing but gauge swatches to work on.
While I try very hard to answer the important questions of pre-knitting, I’d like to share a few of my triumphs from The Great Radio Silence Of Aught-Eight. I’m trying to keep EXTREME SOCK BLOGGING to a minimum, but I finished these recently and I feel pretty good about them:
You’d never know it, but these are the Gentleman’s Railway Sock from Nancy Bush’s Vintage Socks. I got about four inches in with the railway stitch, and realized that the K2P1 cuff rib suited the dark Ultra Alpaca better than a lot of indistinguishable knits and purls.
The only mods were the allover rib, the stripes, and the use of “heel stitch” (k1, sl1 on WS rows) on the heel flap. I even completed the proscribed calf shaping, which seemed like total overkill to me. Did Victorian gentlemen really have calves so shapely that they needed a half an inch of extra ease at the cuff of a regulation-length sock? I fired up my Time Potato to travel to the past and find out.
The answer was, “no”.
I’d love to tell you about the stuff that I’ve been knitting, but as of yesterday I’m not sure if I’m actually knitting anything at the mo. I burned out on socks (more in another post) and was happily getting my knit on with Francis, Revisited. New knitters, try this pattern. It’s a great first sweater, and it basically makes everyone look hot. You’ll love it, except for the bell sleeves. Hello, elbow-bells: the revolution is over, and the Yankees won.
Anyway! I’d finished it in five balls of Pastaza, and had juuuuust woven in all of the ends when I realized that there was a sixth ball of Pastaza. This was like discovering Pandora’s Box hiding in the trunk of your car. My sweater was cute, but wouldn’t it be nicer with an extra bit of ease? Wouldn’t it be more wearable? Yarny Ol’ Kim’s had extra ease, and look how cute!
So! Francis got de-visited and subsequently re- (re-?) visited. I took the whole thing out to the arm split, and knit the whole thing back until about three inches shy of the desired length. And then: O HAI, SPRING! Here in Sacramento, I won’t be wearing a worsted llama/wool turtleneck-looking thing until next November and I sure as hell don’t want it on my lap. Prognosis: HIBERNATE.
Switched over to Ophicleide. I have high praise for the writing of this pattern. These days I rarely buy patterns because the quality-to-price ratio is starting to disgust me. Jaana’s is an exception. She lavished this pattern with care. Before she released Ophicleide: The Pattern, I’d been faking my own version based on her photos of Ophicleide: The Sweater. Her patterned version is way, wayyy better than my knockoff.
The problem here was me. One of these sleeves is a good 25 stitches wider than the other. Which will be awesome, if I ever do get an arm cannon. FAIL.
As it turns out, I was not dead! My computer and camera were, though. Funny thing, that. It makes it hard to blog.
Didn’t make it hard to knit, though. Since we last spoke, I wrote some patterns, made some sweaters, ripped out some more-different sweaters, revisted the hell out of Francis, and went on a mighty sock binge.
And I moved to Sacramento! I now live within biking distance of The Governator’s office and the yarn store which shall not be named. Also within biking distance I encountered three gentlemen clad in awesome hats, as shown above. Hand-knit! By the Nepalese neighbor of the be-frogged fellow. He is the proprieter of a Nepalese import business, and these hats and others will be on display at an event this Saturdy at Beatnik Studios.
But the frog hat, alas, is the only one of its kind. Perhaps because of the crocheted eyes.
(Thanks again for facilitating the photo op, Jason!)
I made these graphics so I can call them up every time I need it, which currently seems to be about three times a year. I’m holding steady at about two projects that need only a weekend of work, a bunch of socks in various states of disarray, and a pile of pretty distracty yarn.
If work is excuse number one, here’s excuse number two: My ol’ Buick-y camera’s memory card reader is working funny for some reason. Onward to the scanner!
This is/is not Lien Ngo’s Pintuck Tee. Obviously I got a little happy on the instructions at some point. Preliminary fittings indicate that the sweater safely contains 100% of me, but not 200% of me, which is good. After the Lucky debacle, I need a win.
The sweater is close to completion, but I’ve reached sort of a mental block. The sleeves, you see. I want something a little bit more arm-encapsulating than Ms. Ngo’s vision. I see the geometry very simply in my head, and besides Barbara Walker has half a chapter on such things in Knitting from the Top Down, but… arghh, I keep thinking about Spongebob and the sleeves on Glee and some other pre-blog knitting disasters and my knitting confidence takes a big flinch the way I used to flinch after that time I got hit in the face with a softball. Wish me luck.
Speaking of luck and arms! I heard the best phrase evar on Teh Rav this week: “Bingo Wings”. Yeah, I realize this is just another one o’ them slang things that pass me by for years– I was the last to figure out “NOT!” in my middle school– but bingo wings. It is so perfect that it almost makes me want to co-opt it to rally those of us who are annoyed with tiny-arm patterns. Hell, I almost formed a Ravelry Group– if Ravelry’s “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” is going strong, then surely there is a place in the sea of Rav Groups for those of us who wear a Ysolda-Small except for our Ysolda-Large biceps.