See weed

Seaweedrs_1 Even though I don’t normally knit for anyone other than yours truly, I did volunteer to make an 8 x 8 inch afghan square for an afghan destined for knit blogger Crazy Aunt Purl’s (Laurie) gran who’s in a nursing home in So Cal.  Not only is it a very sweet idea, I thought it would be fun to find a stitch that would look ok on both the right and wrong sides.

First stop is of course one of the Barbara Walker Knitting Treasuries.  I randomly grabbed Treasury #2 and came across the Seaweed pattern that is described as "seaweedy" Seaweedwswhich made me laugh because Barbara Walker talks like me.  It also had a photo of the right and wrong side and both looked quite nice to me.  That’s a winner in my book.  The top photo on the left is the "right" side and the one on the right in the "wrong" side.  It’s subjective.

Enter some leftover worsted wool and size 5 needles (remember I’m a loosey goosey) and in a short while I’ve got the required square.  Easy as can be.  I’d hoped to make more than one, but given the length of my personal to do list, I thought I’d send the first one off before the November 10th deadline to make sure I live up to my promise.  If anyone wants to make a big swatch for a good cause, click here for info.

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Mutton dressed as…

First order of business:  Zoe’s dress arrived on Friday morning and she will have her  costume for her two costume contests.  Who knew Halloween was such a competitive sport?  Hopefully it fits, she was in school when it arrived and her parents didn’t want to yank her Malskein_1out in the middle of the day just to satisfy my curiousity.

Second, the Malabrigo I got at Purlescence is wanting to be something RIGHT NOW!  I was thinking cardigan with some leg o’mutton sleeves in simple stockinette.  I don’t know why I’m Malabrigo1feeling so Gibson Girly right now, but I really want to try such a crazy sleeve (modified for worsted weight yarn of course).

I shan’t cast on until the Phildar sweater is sewn up though, I’m too close to lose focus.  After Phildar comes the mutton.  I’ll start with the sleeve and knit a sweater around that.  Odd, but it may work.  I’ve put my mental sketch on paper so you know what I’m talking about.  Who thinks this could work?

Halloween!

Zozo1_1

Whew!  I can check "make Vampire Princess costume" off my list of things to do.  Just in a nick of time too!  This Halloween snuck up on me with Rhinebeck being last weekend.  Luckily I’d been slowly working on this costume for "Fake Niece" Zoe for some time, but had to push through the last two evenings to get it done.

Even hyper critical me thinks it came out terrific.  It’s kind of hard to see from the photos, but the peplum is purple organza with fuzzy black glitter spiders on it.  The other fabric is a black net with purple glitter spiderwebs printed on it.  There are also FOUR layers of tulle in that skirt.  Talk about devotion.

I brought it to Zozo2work today to pack up in our shipping department and made everyone exclaim about it’s cuteness before packing it up.  I’ll try and get pix of the girl in the costume (hopefully it fits…), so you can see it on a person rather than hanging on my door.

Specs:  Pattern – McCalls 4947, combination of views A and B with overlaid netting on bodice and sleeves

Now I can get back to sewing up that Phildar Rhinebck sweater.

First the Swag

I went to New York Sheep and Wool with the intention of not buying any yarn.  I mostly succeeded.  I did buy a couple of yarny things, and two nonyarny things.

ScarfI wanted a more portable project than socks because of all the walking around, socializing and drinking.  Can’t turn a heel with that kind of schedule.  I bought this Morpheus Scarf kit from Morehouse Merino.  I usually always buy something from them, but rarely end up making it.  This time I started this scarf in the huge line to exit the parking lot and finished it last night on my sister’s couch.  It’s not blocked, so I can only show you the colorway so as NOT to get an improper blocking ticket from Miss Alice Faye, the queen of tiny well blocked lace.  I think the scarf colorway is most accurately described as Camoflauge.  What they call it, I don’t know.  It’s SockandsoapCamo to me.

Yarn object number two was two measly little skeins of sock yarn.  Just two, which equal one pair of socks.  I’m like a saint.  It’s a beautiful colorway from Spirit Trail Fiberworks.  It’s red and pink.  Hello!  Perfect for my subtle tastebuds…

The pretty sock yarn is posed with my half yearly supply of Got Soap bars.  They are heavenly smelling.  Not too pungent, just soft and natural smells, it’s almost impossible for me to use other brand of soap now.  They’re sitting in my suitcase making it smell great despite the suitcase containing five days of dirty clothes.Necklace_1

Last but not least is this glass button from Moving Mud.  They make very lovely glass buttons, shawl pins and the like.  I think this is a button, but it looks like a pendant to me.  I plan on stringing a cord through the back loops, or adding jumprings through those loops and wearing it as a pendant.  It’s a lovely clear glass with a smattering of white and pumpkin colored flecks.  Again, how could I not buy that?

In case anyone is looking for completed photos of the Phildar sweater, it’s still not done.  I haven’t spent any time on it and didn’t want to hurry it and do a crap job.  So it’s still only 3/4 sewn up with no collar.  I hope to complete it as soon as I finish Miss Zoe’s Halloween costume!  It’s almost Halloween and that costume isn’t quite done.  Bad fake Auntie Sil.  Bad…

Fingers crossed I get home today.  I decided weeks ago to fly standby using my airline employee flight benefits.  Of course all the flights are full today, so I’ve got one shot out tonight that looks okay and it looks good all day on Tuesday.  The catch there is that I’ve got to work on Tuesday morning.  You think they’ll notice if I stroll in at noon?  Here’s hoping I don’t get stuck at JFK this afternoon!!  All this hassle to save $400…

Leaf Peeper

RaglanI arrived in Boston safely and slightly sleepily yesterday morning.  The foliage was so gorgeous when the plane was on final approach to Logan, that I had my nose pressed to the window the whole time.  Amateur behavior, but WTF.  The tree leaves have turned some at home and the grape vines are turning yellow, but these right coast leaves are ORANGE!  Love that.  One of the best parts of Rhinebeck to me is the scenery.  So incredibly gorgeous.

Ends_1I’ve been working steadily on my last sleeve and finished last night.   I IMMEDIATELY began seaming.  I mean immediately.  No happy dance, no topping up the wine glass.  I was seaming on the hop.  Three of four raglan seams are sewn.  I knew it would be a bother to get those dumb stripes aligned AND it is.  So some seams are better than others, but since the stripes aren’t actually the same COLOR, the effect is dimished.  Yup, I think my original notion of knitting this in the round would have been a good idea.  Oh well, hindsight and all that.

I think I’ll get this sewn up and knit up a 1" or so crew neck ribbed band.  I’d originally thought cowl, but a big yellow cowl doesn’t seem right how that I see the sweater partially sewn up.

So the moral of this story is if you see a redhead in a bright sweater that had yarn ends dangling behind her like some shredded bridal train at Rhinebeck, it’s probably me and I hit my wall.  Say nothing about this deficiency.  Trust me.  Just say "nice work" and change the subject.  Now fingers crossed for finishing.

Looking good?

This post could take the form of – which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?  Perhaps I’m being a tad melodramatic (who moi?), but I shall present the photographic evidence and y’all can decide whether I’m screwed.

Backfront_1The photo at left is the "good news".  I’ve completed the front and back of the Phildar sweater that I wanted to wear at Rhinebeck.  It seemed like a totally doable goal when I got the yarn about a month ago.  Sure there’s ends to weave in and sewing up of stripe sequences, but it’s doable.  Hell people, I’ve made ballgowns with boned bodices.  I can sew up a freaking sweater in a moving car.  While driving no less.

Now the "bad news"…Yup those sleeves aren’t, uh, quite done.  I Sleeviesam blessed with two (slightly ape length) arms and as one notes in the illustration at right, the left arm is getting shortchanged.  (Yes, I am the sister who went to art school – so let’s not talk about this illustration).  I will have you know that I am blowing off my homework tonight inorder to knit on this sleeve.  I’m sure my pass/no pass grade won’t be in jeopardy by one late assignment.  THIS is my level of commitment to making this sweater in time for Rhinebeck.  You may also be interested to note that the first time I went to Rhinebeck I wore a sweater that was safety pinned together because it just wasn’t getting done.  It was hideous, but I wore that out in public.  If you see me wearing this around Rhinebeck with safety pinned seams and duct tape holding that left sleeve to my body, SAY NOTHING.  Just nod knowingly and appreciate the effort.  Then buy me a drink.

Field Trip

Sista My sister and I headed down to Sunnyvale to help the Purlescence girls warm up their new shop.  PurlgirlsThe shop is beautiful with lots of light and seating.  They’ve also stocked the shop with all the yarns YOU’D have picked.  No crappy chainstore stuff, just quality, yummy stuff.  Congratulations to Nathania, Sandi and Chloe!

Now, of course I didn’t buy anything, just lending moral support.   MalskeinRemember that garage full of yarn and a trip to Rhinebeck next week?  Right, you weren’t swallowing that fish story were you?  I was forced to purchase some Malabrigo.  Malclose_1Forced, I tell you.  Here’s Nathania laughing at my resolve (or lack thereof).

Now for the goods, the booty, the shwag…Malabrigo.  Yum.  Enough (I hope) for a nice little cardie.  I’m weak.

Phildar made easy

200645621a000000_r_1 I don’t have any knitting or sewing progress to share, work’s crazy busy with photo shoot and my sis is in town.  Between the two, not so much with the knitting.  There are a couple of things.

First, Nathania and partners are opening up their NEW yarn shop in Sunnyvale this Saturday.  Claudia and I will definitely be there to show our support and maybe a credit card to two…

Second, I see Phildar has their English language site up and running.  They are selling the English versions of their catalogs (when available) as well as the yarn.  Pretty cool.  I’m still a Knit N Tyme gal, but it’s nice to see them showing some interest in serving the US market.  I do love their stuff…Look how cute the sweater on the left is?

The sleeves are so interesting

Sleeve Sleeves are not really interesting, I was fibbing.  I show you progress on sleeve #1 of Phildar Horizon sweater.  I acknowledge that it is rather a boring sight to behold.  I mean it’s a sleeve.  Nothing tricky, no neat tips.  Just cast on, maybe a few increases then do it all again.Sunset

Fortunately, I live in a beautiful part of the country and caught the picture at the right yesterday just as the sun was setting.  In the foreground is the Port of Oakland, not really pretty in clear bright light, but with the forgiving light at sundown, just lovely.  In the background on the right is the always gorgeous skyline of San Francisco.  The picture, taken on the Mandela Parkway through my dirty windshield doesn’t do it justice.  Just take my word for it.

Photoshop and vampire princesses

Zoeclose1 First I’ll begin by sharing some links to online Photoshop or general photo editing tutorial sites on the web that I’ve learned about in my online Photoshop class.  They’re quite fascinating and will totally suck your time.  Ask me how I know.  Photoshop links:

http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips.html

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

http://www.sketchpad.net/photoshp.htm

http://www.photoshopsupport.com/tutorials/cs2-photoshop-9.html

http://journalism.berkeley.edu/multimedia/tutorials/photoshop/

http://www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php

http://www.wetzelandcompany.com/MonthlyTips.html

http://www.photoshopcafe.com/tutorials.htmZoefar1

Now for the crafting bit.  I did rip the offending sleeve from the Vampire Princess bodice and it is now where it should be and matches the other side’s sleeve placement.  I can’t have my fake niece looking all wonky as she’s Tricking and Treating in her hood… It’s looking very Vampire-y around here isn’t it?