Bolero DNF

P2270001 Well this weekend I had the choice of knitting frantically and finishing my Olympic bolero, or playing with my friends from out of town.  No brainer really, I mean it would have been nice to finish, but life’s too short to blow off your buddies to knit.  So after a weekend of shopping, fun and bellinis, I have an almost finished bolero to show you.  I need to sew that border on and make a collar.  It won’t take long, so stay tuned for the finished product.

I’ve decided to P2270006award myself a medal anyway…in light of the potent potables, knitting and impending Mardi Gras, I award myself the Bode Miller Commemorative Medal for fun!  Yes they look like Mardi Gras beads but are actually from Vegas’ Rio Hotel.  One of the float dudes hooked me up–I was playing the Unicorn Fantasy (?) penny slot!  I will now spend a week eating low fat foods and haunting the gym, but it was certainly worth it.

Bode_1 Congrats to all those who did finish their projects!  I assume I’m in the minority of non-finishers…

Added later:  This fabulous Bode button was stolen from Maryse of bag ‘n’ trash fame–I didn’t think she’d mind too much since she’s cool like that and I’ll bring her beer next time I visit Boston.  Promise!  Local stuff if I pack right…

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Oh-lympics!

Bolero_now_2 How many days do I have left…yikes.

Yeah, I’ve been gone all week at the fashion markets in Vegas (for work…) and had minimal time to work on the Olympic bolero.  I’m cutting it close, I still need to knit the edging around the body and a collar.  The rest of the bolero is sewed up and ends woven in.  I hope I can get it done as I think it’s turning out quite cute.

NewphildarDespite being shopped out (we buy for Fall 06, winter 06 and some spring 07) I still ripped open the new Phildar mag.  Some cute things, but not a super duper over the top fantastic edition IMHO.  Worth having though, and some very trendy, directional items are included.  Even though I work for a very, untrendy, undirectional company, I have a personal interest in trends.

What I gleaned from the markets…Brown is still the hottest color around.  The hot trends for spring 07 will be brown paired with turquoise and light green.  Orange is still hot, though it’s been lightened and made more dusty looking.  There was a beautiful palette of naturals/neutrals for the junior market for spring 07.

Hot must haves for spring are stripes in COLORS!  No navy and white stripes, it’s like open the crayon box and make stripes – all on one garment.  Denim is going to be colored, and those embellished jeans you see everywhere now are going bye bye.  Colored denim is the latest, they’re even showing OVERALLS for next spring!  Yikes! 

Sweaters are embellished with lots of flowered embroidery and there’s lots of cr*chet in the market, and sweaters are not so small and shrunken as we’ve been seeing.  They showed sweaters as part of the layering.  Most of the pants I saw were still low rise and full legged, not so much with the super skinny pegged leg – that’s hard to wear for most folks.  Trousers are super hot, full at the hem with cuffs and boots.  Boots and gauchos are hot right now and through fall.  Saw lots of them in tweeds with huge flower appliques.  There was also some talk of a "pirate" look coming from the UK, meaning big flowy white shirts with long cuffs and big collars.  I’m QUITE skeptical this one will make it to market.

985189950d1 Shoe wise, boots are everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  Shoes are rounded toe and thicker heel shapes, no spiked heels to be seen.  For spring 07 there were rope heel sandals with tons of embellishments everywhere.  That’s all I can remember now…I’m sure more will come back to me.

FYI – my new favorite slot machine (penny slots baby) is the That Girl slot.  The bonus in that game is a fashion bonus where you match up her outfit.  How fabulous!

O-lympics shmo-lympics

Cover_500989 Yeah, yeah, yeah–one bolero sleeve is done.  Maybe a picture of that exciting raglan number soon.  Don’t platz plotz with excitement kiddos.  I haven’t actually watched too much Olympic coverage.  I mean it’s okay for awhile, but the coverage is so chopped up you lose interest and move on to one of the 3000 other channels–hello American Idol–though it is fun to hear how to pronounce those Nordic names that are all hopped up on K’s and J’s.Image_824

I’ve also been becoming interested in this Patons leaflet, curiously called "Street Smart".  I think there would be a few prison gang members who’d be a bit confused with that title…but hey, here’s hoping for that kinder gentler universe.  That bobbly hoodie is very cute and the pullover with the gull wing-esque cabling is begging to be made a zippie hoodie.  I tried to find this at the newly opened Michael’s in town, but alas, despite unearthing some horrible horrible yarns and patterns, this tasteful leaflet was nowhere to be found.  The search continues.

Added later:  I found this Patons leaflet at Joann.com and it’s even on sale for $3.99.  You can get free shipping by entering code TAB60218 on any purchase with no minimum, so do it now if you want it (code valid from 2/18 to 3/3).

For those folks needing a laugh please go read The Panopticon’s 17 Feb entry.  Please.  Brilliant.

Knitty to the Olys

Oly_body I have watched a sufficient amount of Olympics (and other things) to complete the body of my brown bolero.  While this is certainly an accomplishment, I cannot stress enough that this project is being knit on 10.75 needles and thick-ish yarn.  Plus, it’s barely long enough to cover boobages–it is supposed to be a bolero after all.  Now on to sleeve double heck…

I’ve been admiring the pirate hats being knit around the web and finally tracked down the pattern chart.  It’s a great pattern (among many others) from Hello Yarn and FREE.  So cute–check out Nipper’s version if you want to know what the heck I’m talking about.  Maybe I’ll make it out of cotton since it’s so freaking hot here.  But I shall not begin a new project until my Olympic effort has been completed, oh yeah and that Amy Butler bag too…yikes!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sweaty Olympics

Big_o_startThe Olympic knitting has begun.  Of course it’s been above 70 degrees here in northern California pretty much all  week, and here I am power knitting a WOOL bolero from Bild_5_2Rebecca #28.  Smart.  I know it will eventually get cool enough to wear this snazzy little devil, but you gotta laugh.

What you see in the pict ure is the one piece body of the bolero.  I’ve completed the right front and am working on the back.  After completing the body, you knit a really long band that you sew around the bottom to finish it off.  I’m also changing the sleeves from 3/4 to long.  If you have ape arms, 3/4 sleeves aren’t the novelty of the normal armed folks.  The wool is Cascade 128 tweed and the needles are size 10.75.  Soft wool and big needles.  AND zinfandel (Cline Cellars)…

Bo-lympics

Knittingolympics1_1Tca_1 We’ve had a last minute substitution on the Team California sweater team.  No, I’m still making a sweater, but I thought in light of me missing 5 days of knitting time going to my Vegas trade show (during the Olympics), I’d better pick a project that would knit up a bit quicker than Tubey.  I shall still knit Tubey, just not in one week.  Ya know.

Silsknitstuff001 I thought I’d knit Glampyre’s Bulky Cable Cardigan.  Love that pattern and thought I’d modify it by knitting more ribbing under the boobage.  Love it!  I bought 5 skeins of Cascade 128 tweed in a tawny brown and started swatching.  You’re waiting for the shoe to drop aren’t you?  Yup, I was able to get STITCH gauge but my row gauge was about HALF of what the pattern called for!  WTF!  Well, I’m an optimist so I ran it by the queen of wonky row gauges and Claudia’s terror for my odds of having enough yarn to complete this project were palpable through the email cross country lines.  Crap.  I looked for more of this yarn, but alas couldn’t find any.  I even bought more yarn from Elann for the purpose of making this sweater (jeans blue colorway).  Such a deal.  See how determined I am for my team!  I’m shopping for you people!

Well, what the heck is she making!?  I surfed by Fluffa’s blog the other day and she had the beginnings of that beautiful Amelie Bolero from Rebecca #28.  I love that pattern!  In fact, BoflexI’ve already made it…what?!?  Yeah, apparently in November ’04 I used some mystery festival fiber that was hand dyed and made this bolero.  Problems:  the yarn skeins were vastly different in color and my bolero looked like a ransom note.  I also had to play with the gauge and it was a tad, shall we say, revealing.  So I ripped that shit out and sent it to Claudia for redying.  Where it is in the queue of her fiber room, I know not.  Turns out I don’t miss it.

So my Cascade 128 tawny brown will turn into the Amelie Bolero-the sporty spice version.  Becky is making the luxurious, classy one that will stroll the boulevards of France–I’ll be making the one that gets schlepped around the classiness of Vegas, a Vegas tradeshow no less.  Ah, the glamour…

Interfacing or are you just happy to see me?

Pizza_purse Construction work has begun on the Amy Butler Weekender bag.  I’d been cutting the numerous layers of fabric, interfacing and lining out a bit at a time in the evenings.  I took Super Bowl as a sewing opportunity.

Aside #1:  the game itself was a bit dull, the ads were eh (Pepsi’s slogan of "brown and bubbly" made me queasy–didn’t they think about that?!?) and it’s sad when the Rolling Stones were a highlight.  Now, I don’t like the Rolling Stones, despite a few catchy songs in their 100 year career, but you could tell they were no strangers to arena shows.  So props to them for working that huge room.  I also liked the parade of MVPs, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia.  Also, did that mean that every single MVP is still alive?  I lost count.

Cording_cross Right, now back to the crafting.  The photo above shows how stiff the Timtex interfacing is.  It’s kind of a cross between foam board and fiberglass insulation.  But as you can see in the eerie UFO picture of the side of the bag above, that shit works as advertised.

One also spends an awful long time making filled piping and applying to seemingly every edge.  You’ll run through alot of thread machine basting here.  Really, I had to fill the second bobbin already!  Here is the careful piping crossover join at the bottom of the main panel of the bag.

Purse_sides The pattern itself really isn’t hard, so if you want to make one of these go for it!  The directions are really detailed–this is annoying to me since I don’t really need that level of detail–just cut to the chase, but if you’ve never made a bag or just not confident, those directions will take care of you.

As you can see, I’ve made a fair amount of progress in one afternoon.  The sides are piped and constructed and I began the zipper piece.  I should have this puppy done in time to take to Magic in Vegas to tote my crap around in–fashionably of course.

Baggy

First off, did everyone tune in to Jeopardy last night to watch the fabulous JStrizzy?  I found myself not only rooting for JStr, but heckling the other contestants.  Very nice.  I’m glad no one witnessed this spectacle.  Now I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those of you who haven’t watched it yet…look away now!  But, remember she’ll be on again tonight ’cause she tied the other gal (Eleanor – who I heckled mercilessly and mentally restyled her hair–it was bad)!  Crikes!  Good luck Strizzy!

Bagfabric If you’re wondering if I still craft-yes.  I am knitting the most boring sleeve in the world and, no I don’t have the heart to show you my inches of progress.  You’ll get a peek in when they’re completed.

I am slowly working on a bag!  I’ve been taken by the Amy Butler patterns after seeing the cute backpack Woolflowers Leigh had at NYS&W about 2 festivals ago (!).  So as you can see, I got right on that.  I want to make the Weekender Travel Bag.  I got the pattern from an eBay seller (no affiliation-just a satisfied customer), picked out some fabric (see my retro fabric!) and have been cutting out a bit a day.  I’ve found that doing a little bit a day is a great way for me to work on a big project.

If you’re wondering why this bad is a "big project", it’s actually rather involved.  The pattern calls for some "interfacing" that is rather like thin foam board, in addition to regular interfacing.  I’ve not started cutting that thick stuff yet–I’m putting that off.  You also need to make filled piping, not my favorite thing.  So slow and steady is my pace, plus the sewing up doesn’t look that hard.  I’d like to get it done in time for my trade show later this month.  I have to tote papers and catalogs around the convention center and I’d like to have a stylish bag with which to tote!  Vegas and stylish, two words you don’t really see together too often.