Accidents happen

Said by me at the dentist’s office the other day “I accidentally went to Macy’s on the way over here”.  Maybelle in the office couldn’t stop laughing.  Hey, I can either walk around the block, or through Macy’s Union Square flagship store.  What would you do?  Exactly.

I have so many crafty ideas and projects planned!  I’m brimming with inspiration.  Sadly, I’m lacking time.  I’m only home for a few days and then am gone for two stinking weeks.  (My employer is understaffed so summer means more flights and lots more work.  Luckily they just announced a huge plan to hire, so yippy skippy, my slothlike ways may be back soon!)  I must scale my crafty plans to the amount of time I have available, I’m not one that is able to start a project and pick it up again two weeks later and remember what the hell I’d been thinking.  Keeping notes is not my MO.

I’ll begin by swatching for a colorwork pullover based on this adorable Garnstudio Drops pattern.  I accidentally order some Knit Picks Telemark and am thinking of a pullover with long sleeves and normal body length.  So swatching, doable aspiration for the alloted time.

Sewingwise, I love this Leia dress and downloaded the pattern.  I have to piece the pattern together and trace of a copy.  Somewhat doable, perhaps with a bit of focus?  I’ve not used a Japanese pattern before, but the instructions are pictoral and it’s not a complicated dress.  See Yoshimi’s blog for her lovely version (as well as her fab work).  So surely I can tape a pattern together before going back to work?

I’m also loving listening to free audio books from Librivox.  My flight got to SFO at midnight and I listened to two chapters of my current book in my car on the way home.  No feeling tired, I was too into my book.  And it’s free!

Ok, enough links.  Time to do something!

Cavities and Japan

I love going to the dentist.  Really.  He’s awesome and all his crew have been there just about as long as I’ve been going to him (1988 if you can believe that!).  In addition to his awesomeness, he’s in Union Square.  So “the dentist” really can mean shopping/fancy lunch/Japantown/fancy bakery princess cake/all of the above.  I have to go back next week to get a cavity fixed!  How exciting!

Today I stopped by Kinokuniya in Japantown after my appointment.  I was looking for the Drape Drape books that I keep seeing on the blogs.  I found both Drape Drape 1 and Drape Drape 2 at the bookstore ($29 fyi).  They are very interesting and inspirational books, but I didn’t see myself making more than one or two things from them.  I may still end up buying them as they really are mindblowing.  What I did buy is a book called Pattern Plus Something by Nooy (ISBN978-4-579-11298-2).  That is what Google translated the title to, I don’t know how correct that is though.  I’d make just about everything in this little book.  The shapes of the garments are interesting, but very wearable.  No one wants to look like they’re wearing a costume or some art student’s final exam project.  At least I don’t.

Hopefully after my next trip I’ll have time to trace off a pattern and get my feet wet with Japanese patterns.  I’ll have to figure out all those diagrams and arrows, so I’ll start with a simple top or skirt.

Knittingwise I’ve been unispired.  I want to use up some stashed yarn and came up with 9 balls of Lana Grossa Cool Wool in a rich deep green.  Sadly 9 skeins aren’t enough to make a sweater for me.  I’ve got two balls of muddy green and two more in burgandy, so stripes are a possibility.  I thought I’d start with a topdown V-neck sweater and add striped sleeves and perhaps a stripe or two at the hem.  We shall see.  I don’t want to end up with something that looks like a college intramural sports jersey.  Let’s see if I can pull this off.

And if you’re so inclined, go wish my sister (and her hub) a happy TWENTIETH wedding anniversary.  Isn’t that awesome?!  Yes, she was a child bride.  Perhaps I can even dig out a picture of the awesome bridesmaid dress I got to wear in her wedding, unless I’ve managed to “forget” where I put the piccies…

Sweater done!

The upside of being in bed for a week with the sicky plague allowed me to knit.  I couldn’t read or sew with my icky head, but knitting with size 6 needles and worsted weight yarn kept the boredom at bay.  Consequently I finished my Lamb’s Lace Cardi in record time.

This is a pretty easy, straight forward top down raglan.  The pattern is error free but isn’t really that detailed for those needing more involved instructions.  I wish it had stitch counts to check progress and technical drawings with measurements.  I know I’m crazy for technical drawings but that is the best tool to see if you’re on the right track.   Just my two cents.  You can successfully make a sweater from the pattern as is.

Details:  pattern is Lamb’s Lace Cardi; yarn is GGH Bali in black 7.25 ball used (1052m); changed the sleeves to 3/4 length; added a bit of length to the bodice (the advantage of a top down construction – trying on as you knit); increased at the side sides rather than increasing a bunch of stitches at two set points; used a one row buttonhole as it’s a nicer looking finish.

I think I’ll actually wear this sweater, it’s a good weight for my California climate and it’s black – my perfect color!

Happier than the photo suggests

New Look 6802 view D is done.  Actually it’s been done for awhile, but the great plague of 2010 had to pass before I could share.

I ended up liking this dress, but am still VERY confused by the choice of knit fabric.  The pattern calls for a two-way stretch knit that needs to stretch a certain distance per a chart on the pattern envelope.  My rayon jersey has crossway stretch and easily stretched the required distance across the width.  There is no stretch lengthwise (one way stretch).  Clearly I used the wrong fabric because the overlay is twisted and loses all ability to stretch. Yes, you can still wear the dress happily, but I think that’s just chance.  It’s snug across the overlay and the underdress kind of bunches up underneath, it’s probably not noticeable to anyone other than me, but ERRRR.  A two or four-way stretch fabric would be the way to go on this one, just like the pattern envelope says (dork).

Mods:  I raised the armholes 1/2″ and redrew the curve to make a proper sleeveless garment; cut crossway stretch bands 1 3/4″ inches wide and folded them in half to clean finish armholes and neckline; took out most of the front ruching; lined the skirt with Raiders silver football jersey material.

I used the narrow twin needle for hems and facing topstitching and added clear elastic to the shoulder seams for stability.

Overall it’s a win, but just by luck.

Sick bed sweater

I came home from my last trip feeling sick, but I’d had very little sleep in the previous few days and hoped it would clear up with some serious sack time.  It didn’t.  I’m now officially sick having called in sick for the first time in about four years.  My Cancun layover tomorrow will go to some healthier person.

Because laying in bed with the worst cough I’ve ever had, alternating sweating and chills isn’t as much fun as it sounds, I thought I’d start a new sweater with some stashed yarn.  I’ve got nine balls of GGH Bali in black and thought I’d try it with the Lamb’s Lace Cardi pattern.  It’s a top down sweater so my gauge (which is close but not exact) can be taken into account.

The knitting so far has been fine, but the charts in this pattern are super annoyingly on different pages.  Because I’m too lazy to reprint them and tape them together onto one sheet, there is much flipping of pages while knitting and movie watching in bed.  Not a huge problem in the scheme of things, but annoying to this sicky nonetheless.

And, because the knitting up of black top down sweaters makes for extremely boring pictures, you will have to forgive me for the shots that are sure to come.  Hopefully this will knit up quickly as it’s worsted gauge and we can move on to a prettier (though less wearable) color.

Sweater gestation

Apparently the gestation period of a top down raglan cardigan is similar to that of a mammal.  I’m not saying that’s right, it’s just the ugly truth.

That said, Peasy is done.  It’s been so long in the making I don’t know if I made any mods, but I suspect my version is longer in the body and shorter in the raglan than the pattern calls for.  I don’t remember why, but it fits pretty darn well this way.

I elected to put buttons down the whole length of the cardie because I just like that look better.  I probably won’t use all those buttons, but I just like know I can.

Other than my non-recollection of any details, I do know this is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed and I used pretty much the entire five skeins for this project.   The buttons are from my button box.  Nothing else is bubbling up in the old brain, so we’ll call this one done.